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Tales of Vesperia Review

As more and more RPG’s come along for the Xbox360, they keep getting better. Tales of Vesperia is no exception. This latest Tales game offers a very long story, great looking graphics, good narrative, and enough content to last about 60 hours.

As the case with all Tales games, Vesperia has a long story that involves the world being in danger. The main role is accompanied by Yuri Lowell, an ex-Imperial Knight who lives by doing only what he wants. When the blastia core (magical devices) of the lower quarter gets stolen, Yuri sets off to find the thief and return order to his part of the town once again. Along the way, Yuri runs into characters such as Estelle; a run away princess, and Karol; a monster nerd.

Throughout the story, Yuri and his friends will run into new characters and get into new messes while fixing some along the way.  If not skipping scenes or rushing, the story can last up to 40 hours and wraps up nicely. Similar to other Tales games, the “talking heads” scenes make a return. While they are completly optional, they do give more insight as to what is going on or character opinions on certain issues.

As you travel further into the world of Terca Lumireis, you’ll run into more characters that will join you on your quest. At first you’ll only start off with a few, but later they’ll keep coming one by one. Each character has their own personal goals that they would like to accomplish while on the epic quest. Everyone’s goal is written out well and it can be hard not to care about them. The character relationships can be heartwarming as well. When Yuri and Estelle talk one-on-one you can’t help but smile sometimes.

When looking at the world of Terca Lumireis you’ll find beauty everywhere. The visual style is most similar to Eternal Sonata with the cel-shading, but side-by-side, Tales of Vesperia would look more crisp overall. Some of the cutscenes are completely animated, like an anime show, and look fantastic. While their aren’t a whole lot of those scenes, they can pick up the pace since some of the real time scenes can be a bit lacking.

As you travel more you’ll run into a number of towns. As you enter a new town you’ll need to talk to every party member, who will be scattered around the town. A lot of information comes from these towns, monsters may attack, you might find new friends and possibly new enemies, and more quests. You wont spend too much time in these towns since there aren’t many errands you have run in them.

Tales of Vesperia runs and plays very well. There’s virtually nothing to slow down the pace of the game, as there aren’t any time consuming puzzles or vast arenas you have to run through. Vesperia stays true to the formula of other Tales games. The combat is virtually the same here. It runs in real time and you’ll have a nice sized field to fight in. The default option is auto-targeting enemies while you press the B button to attack, while pressing the A button along with pressing the left analog stick in a direction to perform Artes. Everything looks and flows beautifully in combat and is pretty easy for the most part, though some strategy is required for some later boss fights.

The combat is not all about mashing buttons until you win. There is the option to change the strategy for you three AI-controlled teammates, or have three of your friends pick up controllers to play as them. In later fights, item usage and character placement is imperative. If you’re lucky enough while using an Artes, a green, red or blue decorated circle will appear over the enemy. If you press the right trigger in time you’ll perform a fatal strike. These usually don’t kill an enemy right away, but if it does you’ll be rewarded with more EXP and Gald.

As stated before, Vesperia has other aspects that other Tales games have. For instance if you look carefully enough you’ll find the Wonder Chef, who will give you new recipies for you to cook and you’ll get new Artes as you level and find new weapons. In the end, Tales of Vesperia does not disappoint in the least. It’s refreashing to see an aging series get such a fresh update. While Tales of Vesperia isn’t too much different from the others, it absolutely is the best. It’s one of the best RPG’s on the 360 to date and is worth a purchase.

9/10

Originally posted on Endsights, September 7, 2008

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March 5, 2009 - Posted by | Review

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