[Review] Tales of Vesperia

So this final week (for me) of holidays, I’ve spent it (as sad as it sounds), playing Tales of Vesperia (Xbox360) and I’ve just finished it (not completely, but enough to rant about it!).

PAL Cover

PAL Cover

Alright, I can’t really be bothered to construct a proper review, but I’ll just throw some quick thoughts down.

If you’re super lazy then here’s the key of the whole review/rant: Tales of Vesperia is a GREAT game and if you like RPGs (real time too!) then get it!

OK, for the not-so-lazy part of things..

Tales of Vesperia is another game title of the “Tales” series by Namco Bandai Games. Their games are pretty much all RPG games. Personally, I’ve never had experience with any of the Tales games, rather I have watched Tales of the Abyss, which was an anime adaptation of the Playstation 2 game.

Anyway, Tales of Vesperia (ToV) starts with the main character Yuri Lowell and his dog Repede, who have been told that the lower quarter’s “blastia” (devices which allow people to do certain things, e.g. a barrier blastia provides a barrier around a town to stop monsters from entering) is broken again, so Yuri sets out to try fix it and ends up finding out it was actually stolen and upon chasing the thief, he realises he’s on an adventure which will end up deciding the fate of the world! (Yeah pretty standard storyline + buildup, but what did you expect, really?).

So just quickly then, story-wise is pretty cliche, but for a game like this (especially after watching Tales of the Abyss), I did not expect some fantastic story anyway. But it wasn’t boring, it was still engaging, so the story never bothered me. I wanted to find out how things ended, I wanted to find out what happens next etc etc.. so I kept at it.

Story aside, I guess I can brush on things like Gameplay, Graphics, Sound and Replay Value?

Let’s try it this way then..

.:Gameplay:.

So, gameplay is like your standard RPG on console, er.. e.g. Final Fantasy – where you walk around, talk to NPCs, do missions/quests or whatever, and continue with the story. In terms of movement, that’s pretty standard, you explore and do stuff.. etc etc.

Now the battle system is different – it is FULL real time, and I loved this feature because it made battles non-tedious (unlike turn-based RPGs), so every battle you sort of felt motivated to finish it (and you get graded on it depending on your performance, such as combos, specials, etc).

So a few things I loved about the gameplay, in short:

1. It was REAL TIME.
2. Up to 4 real players can help you in battles, i.e. one control each character.
3. Although you only control one character, the AI isn’t too stupid!
4. You can use any of the main characters to battle.
5. You don’t have to switch the characters around and they can still get EXP (later on though).

.:Graphics:.

Alright well, I don’t really know how to compare graphics for an xbox360 game.. I’ll go with style then?

The in-game style is kind of a toon-shader look, not as extreme was Zelda: Wind Waker, but around the same idea. It was good though. The cinematics, rather than having some super-rendered CG, they used an anime approach, fitting for a Japanese game I reckon.

The only complaint with graphics, as mentioned by some reviewers like IGN/X-Play, is that the battle backgrounds seem to be a bit neglected and dull, but meh, you’re focusing on the battle not the roses!

.:Sound:.

Hmm.. I’ll make this section quick.

Music – pretty good, fitting and not too repetitive, even though most of the battle music is the same.

Voices – lol.. well.. you ever try watching an anime with english dub? This is probably the biggest like flaw for the game. But.. honestly, for an english dub, it wasn’t too bad, it wasn’t unbearable – sometimes a bit corny, but not enough to make the ears bleed. So.. it wasn’t too bad :P.

SFX – .. good? lol.

.:Replay Value:.

High, like.. very high, I spent 48 hours to finish the game, and I missed out a heap of shit :(. Needless to say, I’m going to play it again, to get more stuff! Also when you finish, you can use some points (“Grade”) to carry over some existing data or improve your new game (e.g. x10 exp) if you wish.

But there’s definitely a tonne of things to do in ToV, although more subtle unlike some games which have “side quests” sticking out in your face. Alot of self-exploring is required. But it defeinitely seems rewarding.

So I spent 48 hours to get my characters to about level 62, I wonder how much higher I can go?

.:Closing Words:.

Get it, really.. if you’re looking for a solid RPG that won’t get tedious/boring, this is the one.

Sadly, I’ve avoided using my computer for almost a week to finish this game, because I just never really felt bored of it when I played it.

P.s. I heard they will be releasing an anime as a prequeal to the game this year, can’t wait :).

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