Tales of Vesperia Review

August 2008, Tales of Vesperia releases on Xbox 360 and while the game never really sold much it still launched positive waves in the gaming community. I was pretty excited when I read the news that a definitive was releasing for our beloved Xbox One-console. If you are wondering what is new in this version: updated HD graphics, DLC costumes, two new characters and new music tracks. It is pretty much a no-brainer to play this Tales game if you haven’t done so, even me who played it more than 100 hours on 360 was still really happy to replay this awesome RPG experience.

The good

  • Fantastic loveable characters: Just looking at the screenshots is enough for loving the cast of characters. For example Yuri’s loyal sidekick Repede. A dog with a metal chain around his chest and a pipe in his mouth that fights with daggers, sound crazy, it is crazy but the design is absolutely fantastic. This fast moving character isn’t the only great character, with over eight playable and dozens of NPC it is safe to say that the thing that makes Tales of Vesperia shine is the personality from the protagonists.
  • Lots of dialogue: Tales of Vesperia has some extensive dialogue, in cutscenes, during combat or while exploring the world. No nonsense blapperish but meaningful and interesting conversations, with enough humor, intrigue and character building. Let that be a warning too though, if you dislike long chats this isn’t the game for you.
  • Visuals: This game from 2008 has aged like a fantastic wine, you never notice that this remaster is actually from a previous generation. The cellshading-style is vibrant, colorful and highly detailed. The bump in resolution makes the Definitive edition much more pretty than the Xbox 360 version, obviously.
  • Combat system: At first glance you might call it a button masher, and that isn’t far from the truth. It is surely true with fodder enemies but with large groups of fodder or boss fights you really have to use some tactics. Choosing what each of the four characters will do in battle is crucial if you want to survive. If you notice that a particular spell isn’t effective against a mob you will have to disable it yourself, the AI is smart but you have to be the puppet player that gives commands. Consumable items and skills are another big role while fighting, you have to keep a specific momentum because everything has a delay-meter.
  • Voice acting and music: The music selection and overall sound, especially the voice actors (Japanese or English) is simply close to perfect. Each environment has the right atmosphere with ambient noise and music selection, the victory music for example will never get old, even after hearing it a million times.
  • content galore: You will be spending over 100 hours fighting with blastia’s and with Yuri’s combat party. Around half of it with the main quest. This is a huge game with lots of towns and environments, it is hard to believe the design work in this game. Other games (Kuch… Final Fantasy ..) avoid letting players explore towns and Tales of Vesperia is full with it.

Mixed feelings

  • Balancing between boss fights: Sometimes a boss fight is over before you know it, other times you have to grind for ages before you even have a chance against the monstrosity. The balance is a little weird at times, this doesn’t become an issue before you reach the ten hours mark. So be sure to kill every monster you come across because nobody likes grinding, right?!

The Bad

  • Battle voices:  Estelle’s sentence “Holy spirit -” even pops up in my dreams, some battle sentences are so heavily repeated that getting annoyed by it happens really fast. Each and every time the same things are being said over and over again, even my girlfriend complained about it while playing her Sims 4 on PC. Luckily for her I use my Plantronics headset a lot.

Tales of Vesperia | Score: 93%

It was one of the best games on Xbox 360 and it is incredible to have an even better version on Xbox One. This is how a JRPG should be, adorable characters, great story and character building, fun combat system, lots of dialogue and content. Do yourself a favor and buy this game.

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