Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Retroblog: Tales Of Vesperia (Xbox360)

Originally posted: Jan 20, '09

First of all if you like those high definition full 3D games like Lost Odyssey, then stay away from Tales Of Vesperia, why?, because this game is pretty much anime on every aspect with just simple 3D to add. For me I think those who have played the old Tales games are the ones who will enjoy Vesperia the most. Because this game has stayed to its roots but in a positive and addictive way. If you did had fun on an old Tales game then I'll bet you you'll love this one ten times, but that's not to say newcomers won't enjoy much, I'm just warning you that if you're looking for a good looking 3D game, you might be frustrated with this one. This game is definitely more of a service to hardcore fans than anything else and just to give you an idea for comparison, this game and Eternal Sonata are from the same publisher Namco Bandai, and both of them have cel-shaded graphics, Eternal Sonata came about a year earlier than Tales Of Vesperia, but why does it have less powerful graphics? That's the point, it wants to hold on to the magic it already has. Anyway for me, however it looks, a Tales game is still a Tales game.

If you get over the initial looks of the game, you'll find Tales Of Vesperia a well-told, action-packed RPG. The story is compelling, voice acting good and with some humor to boot, and the whole experience is what will keep you coming back for more. Character development is also good but it doesn't pay that well because you can only use one character in battle. Yes you can switch characters while in battle and do some AI stuff for those you wouldn't control but you'll mostly be using the main character in your adventures. This game is long if you do all the side events, and it somehow sucks that there are definitely plenty of missable items/events in this game, so for every story event you do, you pretty much have to check back on some older towns you've already visited so you won't miss out. Aside from that, it also has plenty of dungeons for you to scour and lots of towns with NPCs for you to interact with. Like other Tales games, this one is divided into three parts, like three chapters, and each one will take a lot of time to finish, so you'll mostly clock out 80 hours just to finish the game the first time, but don't worry, if you have the patience to play the game again, it is possible to do it in less than 12 hours. With the EX mode unlocked after finishing the game one time, all items and weapons will be carried over to the new game so playing it again will be a breeze. Now you're wondering why in hell will you play a long RPG the second time around. Well, let's just say there are plenty of bonuses and if you're the completionist type of person, there are things you can only accomplish on your second playthrough.

Now with those plenty of things to do in this game, the one thing you'll need more of is more time to play this game as it's easy to get hooked on this one. And just as a bonus, there are lots of surprises and cameos on this game but I won't go much into detail so as not to spoil the fun. If you liked the previous Tales games or anime based RPGs then this one's for you. Tales Of Vesperia is only available for the Xbox360.

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