A JRPG that is worth a try

I consider myself to be a RPG/JRPG gamer above all other genre gamers types because I look for story to immerse myself into and worlds to explore other than the one I am currently living on. After seeing the average scores given to the game, I began to notice that most of the games that these reviewers that give good grades to games are mostly FPS/action games. RPGs to me tend to be at the lower end of the stick in the gaming industry. Is Tales of Graces f any different from other JRPGs out there right now? The Tales series seems to follow its own formula and combat system and interesting anime style story/graphics.

Story/Characters 9/10
I enjoyed the story of Tales of Graces f and not all would stand by me on that. You start off with Asbel Lhant who is a rich noble son and heir to the Lhant family. Him and his younger brother Hubert discover a girl sleeping on the hill next to town and their journey begins. Your story starts off in the childhood story where you and the characters of the game start off as children, when they reach adulthood, each character goes through a change. Hubert is better at combat and much braver than before, Cheria is no longer a sickly child, Asbel begins to understand that his choices weren't the best. This brings me to the characters, I know not many people enjoy the characters of a JRPG series, but I seem to find the characters more interesting than people let on. Characters have their own personalities and you will learn to like them as you go down the road, characters such as Pascal are comical relief where as characters like Malik are mysterious and wise. The game seems shorter than most Tales games/JRPGs out there, but you will still clock in a decent time.

Gameplay 9/10
The game has Tales worthy combat and gameplay, when you start combat you will be in the arena where you can freely roam around the field and make attacks at command. Instead of having the basic attacks, Graces has A arts which are your auto attack combos and B arts which are your magical attacks. It feels nice that NAMCO tried to make the auto attacks more interesting to use, but this comes with a sacrifice as well. Mana no longer exists and you have Chain Points. During the battle you will start with a set value of points and when you use an A or B art your points will decrease. This means that when you are out of points, you must defend or back off to let your points regenerate. This gives the enemies or boss time to kick the crap out of you while all you can do is dodge and block. This brings me to dodging and moving, dodging is quite interesting now because you can spin around a target or hop backwards/forwards to dodge attacks, but dodging or free moving around the map sacrifices chain points meaning you will again be at the mercy of a monster if you make an error. I don't mind the points as much, but I did find the way of Vesperia more interesting with mana instead of chain points. Graces is still a fun game though with fun monsters/boss, interesting, but sometimes easy puzzles, and a great world to explore.

I am not going to bother rating the graphics because that isn't what a game is fully about. Gameplay, story, features, and multiplayer make a game stand out. Tales of Graces even though short with things to gripe about is still a wonderful RPG and a beautiful world to explore with an interesting story to take part in. 9/10