Tales of Vesperia

Posted by staff | Posted in Role Playing | Posted on 07-11-2010

5

  • Next Gen sights and sounds – First Tales RPG game with high-definition graphics, broadcast quality animation, and Dolby surround sound.
  • Evolved real-time battle system – New refinements and additions to the trademark Tales real-time battle engine making for the most action-packed, dynamic RPG fighting ever
  • Fan favorite character designs – Characters designed by famous manga artist, Kosuke Fujishima, responsible for popular series’ Ah! My Goddess, Sakura Taisen and You’re Under Arrest
  • Immersive look and feel – Detailed environments, animation and an artistic style so good, it’s like playing a cartoon
  • Dramatic story – Gripping tale of a young hero on a quest for justice, trust and friendship filled with unexpected twists and turns at every step. A decade of Tales – The first game celebrating the Tales 10 year anniversary.

Product Description
A new generation of tales unfolds! A power struggle begins in a civilization dependent on an ancient technology, the blastia, and the Empire that controls it. The fates of two friends traveling separate paths intertwine in an epic adventure that threatens the existence of all. Tales of Vesperia marks the first Tales RPG release in HD with detail and graphics never before seen in the series. Now, real-time battles are more exciting than ever with over limits, the abi… More >>

Tales of Vesperia

Comments posted (5)

Pros:

+Engrossing storyline, thanks to some well developed characters

+Fun, Addictive Battle system

+Very well written dialog with a good sense of humor

+Good voice acting

+A Fairly good soundtrack

+Good looking game

Cons:

-A lot of story exposition, some of it not even necessary

-Battling can sometimes rely on button mashing over skill

The Tales series has never been too big in America, but many of the games within the series are a blessing. Tales of Vesperia is a great outing that many fans of the series may enjoy. If this is the first time you’ve ever played a Tales game, then Tales of Vesperia is a good game to start with.

Tales of Vesperia takes place in a world where blastia, magical properties, are used to protect the denizens from monsters. There are also knights who help out and protect the citizens of the world. You play as Yuri, a man who left the knights mainly because he didn’t like how the government treated the people. Obviously, there’s something else a foot. Something more that this powerful empire is hiding and as Yuri and company you’re going to find out what it is.

Tales of Vesperia may not have an original storyline, but it’s told very well. Much of the dialog is very well written and sprinkled with its own fluffy humor. What really helps the story standout as being something much more than it is, however, is the cast of characters. They’re very well developed and as you play you’ll become really attached to them. Each also has their own distinct personality to help them along and they have their own charms about them. To help character development you can also watch skits, which are basically conversations among the party and they’re completely optional. They really add to the characters by giving you a glimpse into just what they’re thinking. If there was anything about Tales of Vesperia’s story that is a little troubling, it would be that perhaps there’s too much story in some areas. You’ll run from one town to another only to backtrack to a previous town only to realize it was all done for story exposition and that you didn’t really engage in a lot of battles. Yet, while there’s a lot of exposition, there’s still plenty of battling to be done.

The Tales games have largely been known for their battle systems. Once a battle begins you control one of four characters. You can all run around freely and land blows akin to a hack and slash game. You can also perform special techniques called Artes which will cost you tech points. It’s all very simple stuff and feels very similar to the Star Ocean games. It can feel like a button mashing affair at times, and certainly the beginning stages of the game can be that way, but as you get further into the game it becomes less about hack and slash and more about strategy. Bosses in particular can be a challenge, especially if you want to get all the achievements. Some bosses require you to do certain things in order to get the achievement for them.

While you control one character the game’s AI makes it a point to control the other three. Surprisingly, the AI does a very good job of keeping your characters alive and using items on allies who need them as well as healing. You can also set certain strategies and customize it up to help out. Even better than that, the game has multiplayer. Up to four players can play, although only the first player gets to control what happens in the field. For all it’s worth, though, the battle system is superb.

Finally, there are abilities. Characters can equip weapons that will teach them certain abilities. If they use the weapon long enough they’ll learn the ability and be able to use it whenever they want, provided they have the skill points required to equip it. There’s nothing difficult about learning Tales of Vesperia’s battle system. It’s all relatively simple and easy to pick up on. So even if you’ve never played a Tales game before, the battle system is easy enough to learn that it shouldn’t give you any trouble.

Graphics wise, Tales of Vesperia is gorgeous and runs very smoothly. Most of the dungeons you’ll travel to also look nice. The enemies and bosses are very detailed and the load times are incredibly fast. The character designs are perhaps the best part as every character stands out as their own. Music wise, the game has a lot of memorable tunes that stand out. There are a few forgettable tunes but much of it really fills the situation. Much of the dialog in the game is spoken and the voice acting is very good.

If you’re a fan of the Tales series, this is a great game to add to that collection. If you’ve never played a Tales game before and you’re curious about the series, this is a good game to start with. With its easy learning curve and character driven story, most RPGers will find Tales of Vesperia to be a real treat.
Rating: 5 / 5

It’s really a shame that game reviewers have started reviewing Japanese RPGs from the perspective of mainstream American gamers recently. Let’s face it, most Americans don’t like anime, and they don’t like RPGs, so trying to tell them whether they’ll like a game like this is pointless.

However, to any Japanese RPG fan who might actually play this game, it is unquestionably a 9 or a 10. It is the best Tales game ever, better even than the early Tales games from SNES and PS1, and better than Tales of Symphonia. It’s miles beyond Tales of the Abyss for the PS2, which despite having decent gameplay, had characters that were the worst mutations of anime, who got really annoying and made parts of the game a chore. Tales of Vesperia, by contrast, focuses on the simple humanity of its characters, and always keeps their individual thoughts and desires in view. Not only does it stay true to its characters, following their adventures with humor and empathy, it’s also conceptually the best cast any Tales game has had, for so many reasons.

The game is full of characters who, despite being based off of obvious anime cliches (like the individualistic hero dressed in dark clothing, Yuri) really jump off the screen. Even the 99% pink princess is charming because she’s realistically naive but also well educated, and it doesn’t hurt that she isn’t voiced by an annoyingly high voiced little twit. The best of these are characters you’ll remember after you play the game, like the characters of a good fantasy novel.

The world of Vesperia is actually rather innovative as well, I thought, though I haven’t seen this mentioned in any of the press reviews, all of which spend a good portion of their time stating the bloody obvious: (WARNING: this is a Japanese RPG, which means it is from Japan and is an RPG, and so on).

What makes the game world feel unique is that, instead of being a normally peaceful, ordered place that is threatened by some mad Machiavellian villain or organization*, Tales of Vesperia begins in a world in which humans are a minority, struggling for survival. Early in the game you are shown that the only reason humans are able to survive at all in the harsh environment is because of magical force fields created by artifacts called Blastia barriers that protect the cities of the world, barriers that people rarely leave (anyone else smell a recipe for adventure?)

I’ll stop there, because I don’t want to spoil any of the game. Let me just say in conclusion, to anyone who’s still undecided about this game: I have never played a Tales game that I would rank anywhere near my favorite JRPGs. My favorite JRPGs are Final Fantasy 4, 6, and 7, Suikoden 2 and 5, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, the original Final Fantasy Tactics, Lunar, and the Grandia 3 combat system (though the game itself sucked after 5 hours). I’ve played a lot of JRPGs (too many…) and the above are the only ones that I’ve ever replayed. Tales of Vesperia is actually worth replaying. Every aspect of it is enjoyable, from the fast action combat to the beautiful graphics to the great characters and surprisingly great voice acting (no whiny main characters here!).

What’s sad about the reviews this game has received is that you can tell most of the reviewers really enjoyed the game, and had almost nothing negative to say – they just felt that scoring it too high numerically would get them in trouble with the mainstream audience, and they may be right (I’m sure they know about that better than I do). What’s a real shame is that as a result of all this, a game that is clearly the stand out in a long series (the Tales games have been around for years) is receiving a lower metascore than most of the previous games in the series! For example, Tales of Symphonia: 85. Tales of the Abyss: 80. Tales of Vesperia: 79. Sure, that’s not a huge difference, but this is a game that should be scoring five points above Symphonia, not six points below! One last thing I didn’t see mentioned in ANY of the reviews – and I obsessively read these things – the game has four player co-op! So if you like playing RPGs with a girlfriend, wife, sibling, or just some good friends, consider this review score an 11. Going from exploration to cut scenes to combat in this game is like going from a candy store to a game store to glorious paintball. Two thumbs up and all that, what what.

* (For those who play lots of JRPGs, this setting should sound familiar)

Pros:

Pretty much everything. See above. To me, the story is the most important part of an RPG, and the characters and how they interact with their world is the most important part of a good story. But the combat and graphics are also incredibly polished and probably better than any other RPG on the system.

Cons:

Every fourth cutscene or so isn’t voiced, but because all the inter-party banter is voiced, the game still has more voice acting than a Final Fantasy game, and probably better voice acting too (and I love the Final Fantasy games).

I’ve heard the boss battles can be too easy if you control the mage character Rita for most of the game.

Oddly enough, the worst voice actor out of the main characters in the game seems to be the dog, Repede, whose bark lacks… um… conviction. That dog needs to stop smoking (and walking around with knives in his mouth).
Rating: 5 / 5

Tales Of Vesperia surpassed all of my expectations. Until now, Tales Of Symphonia has been my fave installment in the series, but this is far above and beyond that it ends up being a greater game in my opinion.

The BIGGEST upgrade in this game is that the skits are all FINALLY voice acted. Before, in the U.S. version of these games, it was just text you had to read, which sometimes you’d miss half of because they text wasn;’t on screen long enough.

The visuals in HD are truly amazing, and the voice acting is the best yet. What this series always had was many different ways to play, you can be a button masher, or spend time trying to time things out just right and learn new skills and get bonus achievement points.
Rating: 5 / 5

I was not sure whether I would love Tales of Vesperia or just like it, as most game sites scored it around 8/10. But after watching a few hours of gameplay on youtube and enjoying it, I knew playing it would be even better. I think Tales of Vesperia deserves to be in the upper 8 to lower 9 range (out of 10 points). It is now one of my favorite games.

Pros:

-Most of the characters are well-voiced and have interesting back stories. The main character, Yuri, is not your stereotypical hero. In fact, he has a bit of a dark side to him, which makes his character even more interesting. Some characters might seem over the top at first, but they all grew on me after a few hours, and I don’t dislike any of them. One of the girls can be a bit annoying (Estelle), she does play the naive, cute heroine well though. Even the little boy, Karol, who I thought would annoy me (as most kids in JRPGs do), is actually pretty well voiced and I grew to like him as I played.

-If you love dialogue, you’ll get tons here. Most if it is well written and quite funny at times. If you only want action, stay away from this game (though I’m not sure why you would be looking at an RPG in the first place).

-The story is mostly good, though people who have played tons of RPGs might find it a bit stereotypical. Even so, there are enough surprises to keep you playing. People who haven’t played many RPGs will probably love the story.

-The battle system is fun. No random battles, and you get to control the characters.

-Friends can join in during battles and take control of a character (only local co-op, no online). Friends can drop in and drop out easily.

-Huge world to explore. This will take you at the very least 50 hours to finish.

-Very pretty environments and characters. The graphics aren’t taking the Xbox 360 to a new level, but they do look great overall. I particularly like the Anime style.

-Grinding isn’t really required to beat the bosses, as long as you fight most enemies in the dungeons.

-Tons of optional side quests. Lots of items and monsters to find/fight.

Cons

-Near the end of the game, the story slows down a bit. The story in general might be considered average by hard-core RPG gamers.

-Dungeons are pretty linear, and the puzzles are extremely simple. This isn’t Zelda. Luckily, dungeons aren’t huge, there’s just a lot of them. So in between dungeons you’ll generally get some story progression. I’ve played Baten Kaitos (Gamecube), which has similar linear dungeons, but for whatever reason I liked Vesperia’s better. Could just be because I care about the characters a lot more, so the linear dungeons don’t bother me as much.

-Some people might find the characters/dialogue cheesy. I personally didn’t, but I can easily see how others might feel differently.

-Only local co-op, no online.

Overall 9/10. One of my favorite games, and highly recommended. If you’ve never played an RPG before, you’ll probably enjoy this game a lot. If you are unsure, watch walkthroughs on youtube to get an idea of the gameplay/story.

Rating: 5 / 5

As someone who reads reviews before buying anything, I decided I would return the favor to Amazon.com by writing a review about a game that I believe is truly exceptional.

Let me start off by saying that if you have been looking for an old-school role-playing game, this is the game for you. This game features boss battles, monster battles, spells, dungeon crawls, small towns complete with an inn, a tavern, a general store that sells equipment and towns people with plenty of random things to say that add nothing to the story what-so-ever. Most of all, this game features a compelling story and a lot of dialogue for your reading pleasure. In My opinion, this is the best RPG I have played since Lunar series (PS1 and Sega CD) and Final Fantasy 7. I believe that these days, the only company people trust with RPGs is Squaresoft’s Final Fantasy series and while I too play those games for a good story, a lot of times, I feel bogged down with all of the customization that must be done in order to truly experience the game. If you are like that, rejoice, for in this game, while there is some customization that can be done, it is not needed to fully enjoy the game. Just continuously equip the armor and weapons in the next town and be on your way, just like it used to be.

If you’re looking for an original story, you won’t really find that here. This is the classic story of the troublesome angsty youth with a chip on his shoulder and no known job or schooling who starts doing a remedial task that takes him away on a journey against a seemingly invincible foe. And what journey would be complete without a clueless love interest and band of comrades to help the main character discover his personal identity? Even though this story has been done to death, to me, this story was a breath of fresh air compared to the complex tales that many games attempt to wave which leave you concentrating more on the back story and the world’s politics than on the main characters themselves.

Now let’s talk sound, the voice actors are great. I would say a good portion of the text in this game is spoken and the voice actors do a good job of adding personality to a 2D character. I also appreciate that it doesn’t sound like one person did all the voice acting. The music is perfect as well and though you won’t recognize any of the songs, each one sounds familiar and won’t sound repetitive even if it starts over. Another added touch that you won’t notice unless you focus on it, is the sound of people walking. When you walk across a bridge, it clanks and as soon as your character steps onto the grass on the other side, it sounds different, instead of constantly sounding like you are walking on some kind of metallic surface no matter where you are.

OK, now we come to the graphics. This game has beautiful backgrounds, colorful and memorable monsters, unique characters and beautiful areas (towns, dungeons, caves etc.). The game uses Cel-shading which, if you are not familiar, makes all the characters look like they are in a controllable cartoon. The beautiful thing is, the cut scene characters look just like the characters you play with, so you know how in Final Fantasy games every so often they switch to the ridiculous CG shots? None of that here. While some might see that as a setback, I believe it really helps keep the story in perspective and makes you feel like you are in control of the whole story and not just a majority of it.

The battle system is not turn based at all and reminded me a lot of old Playstation games like Star Ocean or Grandia, where your characters are free to roam around the battle ground and you must move them to the enemy and press the “attack” button to attack. There is magic, but the battle system is best understood by playing the game for yourself. Or, if you would rather, you can play with a friend. No longer are your friends forced to sit around and watch you go through the story by yourself. In this game 2-4 players can play together (provided you have enough controllers). I believe they can only participate in battles with you, but I am not sure as I have yet to play the game with a friend.

All in all, this game is destined to be a classic. Not just for the 360, but for video games as a whole. In this player’s eyes, it is an instant classic. A departure from all the ridiculously complex RPGs to a more simple time, when games were more about the story and characters and going on a journey.
Rating: 5 / 5

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