Review by googleyahoo123

"Tales of Epic Success"

Introduction

Tales of Vesperia is another JRPG from Bandai Namco. Tales of Vesperia is a real-time action JRPG for the Xbox 360 that has a nice balance of your everyday RPG cliches, mixed in with its own unique charm and qualities. Those familiar with the Tales series will be pleased to know that all of your favorite aspects are very much still there, and some are improved.

Story

You play as Yuri Lowell, a young ex-knight who got tired of the imperial and noble's corruption and neglect to those who are poor. One day, the aqua blastia core of a fountain nearby your neighborhood is stolen, and you embark on a simple task to find the thief. During your quest, you meet up with a pampered princess, who is on the look for one of Yuri's friends. Your paths cross, and one event leads to another, soon expanding into something much more complex than a simple bandit hunt. Naturally there is a great deal of character development along your journey.

Gameplay

Tales of Vesperia uses the same battle system as Tales of the Abyss and Star Ocean 3. You control one character on a battlefield of four. You have 3 primary different types of attacks. The B button utilizes normal hits, while the L and R stick + the A button utilizes Base Artes, which are basic techniques, and Arcane Artes, which are higher leveled. The game is not turn based, but in fact real time, so a lot more combo options are opened, and with the added abilities of Arcane Artes and Overlimit, which you get later in the game, you get away from the Dynasty Warriors button mashing to somewhat of a fighting game sort of feel. Adopted from its brother Tales of the Abyss, holding the L Trigger will let you use Free Run, giving you a full 360 degree mobility during battle. Monsters are not random encounters, but you can see them on the field and choose if you want to engage them or run. The way you encounter the monsters have different effects, such as stunning them with a ring, or being ambushed by them from behind. Party members have adjustable AI, and ask permission before using items, which give you more control. Combo chaining is available as you progress through the game. That said, the battle system is nearly perfect, although a few flaws should be pointed out, such as still having to scroll through a menu to access items without a shortcut system such as one from Kingdom Hearts. HOWEVER, that flaw is picky at best, and will not count towards my personal score for this game. One that will however, is that fighting can get stale, especially towards the beginning when you do not have a lot of skills yet. And even with them later on can get tiresome, and feel like a button masher to anything not a boss fight.

Sound

The sound of this game is phenomenal, from the catchy music and great detailed sound effects. Every sword hit and magic spell, heck, even equipping certain body parts of armor have unique sound effects. But the sound isn't perfect, Tales veterans will recognize some recycled tunes from past games, which are kind of annoying and give a sense of laziness from the producers.

Graphics

This is not your father's Tales Of game. The graphics are truly next generation, including vivid detail in character weapons in battle and during cut scenes. The graphics are cell-shaded, but that doesn't mean it isn't absolutely beautiful and absorbent. Skits are still a drag to watch with their mediocre talking heads, but this time their voiced at least.

Conclusion

Namco's Tales of Vesperia is an awesome JRPG, most certainly one of the best I've played. Fans of the earlier Eternal Sonata will enjoy this game to the bone, while new gamers from fighting games such as Soul Calibur and Smash Bros. Brawl can stray into the RPG waters as the game is real time.

Tales of Vesperia is a MUST buy for all RPG fans with an Xbox 360, and a definite rent / check out for everybody else.

Story: 9/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Graphics: 10/10

Tales of Vesperia by Namco for the Xbox 360 gets a 9/10.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/29/08

Game Release: Tales of Vesperia (US, 08/26/08)


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