PLACES AND FACES
If the script seems a little overwritten in places, time spent with the PS2 version suggests that the localisation will be worth waiting for - the doltish Luke grows into a likeable hero, and he's accompanied by a cast of memorable allies and foes. Yet even without the story to fall back on, Abyss has much to recommend it, not least its vast and varied game world, which introduces new places and faces before you've had a chance to get bored of the old ones.
It's undoubtedly better on 3DS, too. In 2D the camera can barely contain the action, with special-move pyrotechnics and all those lovely numbers jostling for screen space with the combatants and causing something of a visual muddle in the process. Nudge that slider upwards and there's more room to breathe - enemy attacks are easier to spot, which makes for more effective dodging, even if invisible walls remain a problem.
Elsewhere, the effect is subtler, but the extra depth enhances the beauty of a few vistas. The lengthy loading times that blighted the 2005 release have been substantially reduced too.
The score below reflects the game's unfriendliness to non-Japanese speakers, but you can expect it to rise significantly upon its UK release. Impatient RPG fans might find the exciting combat to be worth the hassle, but otherwise: roll on November!
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Gargantuan role-player that will gain much in translation. Unless you're fluent in Japanese, hold on for its UK debut in a few months' time.
- Busy battles are improved with 3D
- Hours upon hours of fully voiced chat
- Gameplay is great fun
- Much like the six-year-old PS2 game