Review by peter_good133
A Tales of the West ?
Tales of Vesperia Review.
The Tales series has always been a very nice but niche series. Only Tales of Symphonia has gathered great attention from the West. This may change with Tales of Vesperia, a game designed for the western audience. Of course, they fail a little bit in making the games graphics western (they are anime style), but the story and characters show great improvement from the other Tales.
The story is (surprisingly) beautiful. It takes the standard tales: we start with a cliche story so you get to know the characters and when you know them BOOM! plot twists after plot twists. I would say its the best story of all Tales. Of course, story tastes differ a lot from one person to another, but no one can deny that a good amount of though was put in Tales of Vesperias tale. It was also well presented without being too fake. The characters are all loveable and, while they are all cliche, they still manage to be original.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are beautiful. I dont understand why some say that they lack detail because, even though they arent as detailed as Eternal Sonata, they still have a lot of them. The only thing that I found boring is one of the many battle backgrounds. The sound is also standard for the Tales series: great battle music, good story music but forgettable themes for ambient music. The ambient music, even if it fits the place and ambience, is slightly boring.
This is where the game gets great. Tales of Vesperia is all about the battle system. I wont spoil too much of the features you get, but they are many ways to customise your character as much (if not more) as in deep turned based systems. The game mixes that with the wonderful Linear Motion Battle System, known to keep the fun factor in the Tales series at maximum. You control one of your many characters in battle while the computer controls 3 others. You can customise your AI a lot, but dont worry; the game doesnt want you to be stuck in menus for too long. You can save some team strategies and order your characters to follow the new orders just by pressing one button in battle. That said, the AI is smart! It wont run into a lot of spells unlike in Tales of the Abyss and will understand that the enemy is strong against a certain element unlike in Tales of Legendia. The battle system also features the games most beautiful animation graphics for spells and Mystic Artes (hi-ougis). The game is fast and plays like a fighting game, and while you can get bored and just button mash your way through the easy regular battles, when you face a boss, you will get completely owned.
Buy or rent
Buy, with all the things you can do, you will be stuck on the game for at least 65 hours if you try to all of the side quests (more without a guide). Following another Tales series standard, Vesperia has great replay value! It is not boring to play through the game 3 or 4 times in a row.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Tales of Vesperia (US, 08/26/08)
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