Review by doctorofwho
"A worthy installment in the Tales of series"
Tales of Vesperia is the first Tales of game on the 360 and it is the first Tales of game to be done in High Definition. I was put off first and didn't get it straight away because of the demo but once I got the full game I was pleasantly surprised.
The story of this game takes place on the planet Terca Lumireis, the people of this planet have come to rely on an ancient civilization's technology named Blastia which has a wide array of uses such as providing water and protecting towns from monsters with barriers. Another type of blastia which is common with Imperial Knights and Guild Members is called "bodhi blastia" which enhances the combat abilities of its user.
The player takes the role of Yuri, an ex-imperial knight who after a number of events, has to leave his home town on an adventure that will take him all over the world.
The story is both amazing yet familiar, what I mean by that is if you have played other Japanese RPGs then you probably won't be too surprised by some of the plot twists they throw in. But if you enjoy Japanese RPGs then this game's story will be very enjoyable to you.
Anyone who has played previous installments of the Tales of series like Tales of Symphonia will be familiar with the gameplay elements of Tales of Vesperia.
Like most Japanese RPGs before it, the gameplay involves alot of walking around towns, dungeons and the world map along with talking to people that you come across.
One system in Tales of Vesperia allows the player to cook food. As you wander around, you may find unusual looking things that once you have spoken to will change into the wonder chef. The wonder chef will give you recipes that you can use to cook food that may heal you or do other things such as restoring your TP. You can also set the food to certain buttons on your controller that allows you to eat the food at the end of battle.
Another system in the game allows you to collect materials and synthesize weapons, armour and items and synthesize them at a shop. Alot of weapons need previous weapons to be synthesized as well so it is a good idea to keep all weapons you get.
The battle system in Vesperia is done using a real time battle system. Once you run into an enemy you see on the world map or in a dungeon, the battle starts. In battle you have to use a combination of attacks and artes, which are special skills to win. Artes use TP which if you are not familiar with the Tales of series but are familiar with other RPGs like Final Fantasy then TP is basically MP.
In battle you control one character, usually Yuri and can move freely about the battleground and you can target any of the onscreen monsters. Once all enemies are defeated, you win the battle and get experience, gald which is the money of the game and grade which allows you to carry over certain things into a new game once you complete the game.
If you touch a monster on screen and you are in close proximity with another monster then an encounter link happens. What happens in an encounter link is that you have to face more enemies at once but you get more experience as well.
You can also via the arte menu set a friend to another person and fight alongside them in battle.
There is alot of fun to be had with the battle system, the synthesize system and the cooking system in Tales of Vesperia although if you are coming from mainly turnbased RPGs then it may take some time to get used to the real time battle system of Tales of Vesperia.
The graphics are amazing although if you hate anime style graphics then you may not like the graphics of Tales of Vesperia. The game runs in 720p HD Resolution and is the first Tales of game to run in HD.
Throughout the game, anime style cutscenes happen which are beautifully animated and have nice looking effects. If you're a fan of anime style cutscenes then you will love these. You would almost think you were watching an anime when looking at these cutscenes.
The characters also look pretty good in game although some characters you may think are your typical looking Japanese RPG characters. The backgrounds, scenery and dungeons are also very beautiful and you will enjoy visiting them as you travel throughout the world.
The music is composed by Motoi Sakuraba and the opening theme, Ring a Bell is done by Bonnie Pink. The soundtrack is very varied and as you progress through the game you even get a change in the battle theme. The music you hear throughout the game is very enjoyable and they certainly don't get boring.
After reading all of this, you can decide for yourself if this game is worth buying but I think if you enjoy Japanese RPGs or have enjoyed previous Tales of games then you will very much enjoy this installment in the Tales of series.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/16/09
Game Release: Tales of Vesperia (EU, 06/26/09)
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