Review by Galactus21

"A charming and lighthearted adventure"

The Tales series has always been one of the premier rpg series coming out of Japan. Tales of Vesperia is a solid addition to this series. Tales of Vesperia is Namco's first foray on Microsoft's system for the Tales series. Vesperia follows our protagonist Yuri Lowell, a former imperial knight. At the onset of the game, one can feel the charming nature of the game almost immediately. Further into the game, Yuri meets up with the princess – Estelle. As you travel further, you will acquire more team members. Each of these team members has their own unique personality. Together as a team, they form a cohesive unit that plays off each others' great personality. Vesperia's main selling points are its characters and its battle system.

Like any rpgs, the story plays a big part in how the game is enjoyed. From this perspective, Vesperia's story is a bit hit and missed. While it does a good enough jobs keeping you interested during the game, the majority of time I felt confused at the direction of the story. It felt a bit bland. The characters on the other hand were the shining point of the entire game. Each character has a strong personality. This made me feel for the characters and their cause. This made me want to see how they would do as they fight together as a team.

The battle system is a real time system. For the most part, the combat system feels quite responsive. The game also provides a lot of depth when it comes to the combat. Against the majority of enemies, I felt I could spam a single button and do well. But against some other enemies, it really forces you to utilize the amount of options available to you. The player can also mix and match between attacks and skills that when combined form a devastating attack combo.

The cell shading like graphics look quite good. It brings out the characters charming nature more. The lighthearted adventure is reinforced by the graphics. The character models look quite stylish. The environments have a lush and colorful look to it. The musical soundtrack is quite good as well. The soundtrack does a good job of fitting the particular mood of that moment. The voiceovers aren't quite as good at times though. Yuri, for example, his voice sounds forced at times.

In the end, Tales of Vesperia is a good addition to the series. It's lighthearted, fun, and charming. It has its ups and downs, but overall there are more positives that negatives. Throughout this charming adventure, I felt involved with the characters. The characters and the mostly strong battle system is what made this game as good as it was. If you're not a big rpg fan (especially Japanese rpg), then renting this game should suffice. If you are one, then this should eventually become a purchase.

Gameplay – 8/10
Graphics – 9/10
Sound – 8/10
Value – 7.5/10
Overall – 8.1/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/08/10

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

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