28
Aug
09

Tales of Vesperia

    Name: テイルズ オブ ヴェスペリア(Tales of Vesperia)
    Producers: NAMCO
    Genre: To Enforce One's "Justice" J-RPG
    Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
    Release Date: 26-06-2009(EU, Xbox 360), 17-09-2009(JP, PS3)

So, aside from being on finishing exams months ago, going on vacation, and all other stuff I was busy with, I still don’t want this blog to die. It’s not that I’ve been too busy lately, but let’s just say I didn’t have enough motivation to keep on blogging and blogging. I think I’ve been typing too long, it kind of wore me out. Anyway, to put everything aside, me and my bro decided to play a  game released on the Xbox 360 in EU, called Tales of Vesperia. It’s not yet released on the PS3, but that version does have some extras that made me rage pretty much. I’ve calmed down, but still missing on a lot of stuff.

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So, I decided to review it as soon as I could, so I won’t let you people wait for too long, I guess. Even though I know it’s a J-RPG again, I’m really fond of ‘Tales of’ series. Though, there are a few things that made me cry, because of being in the wrong place and especially: stuff that concerns region-free. There are two examples to get of this. First of all, look at the release date of Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. That game was released in North America more than 1 year ago, and what does the release date in EU say? Indeed, Q3 this year…It currently IS the third quarter of this year, but there’s still no exact date on when it’ll release. I really do hope it’d be this year, so we can do that right after sorting out things with this game.

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A general example of the battlefield.

I can’t forget the other example though, because it has to do with this game. As far as you all might know, this game is also going to be released on the PS3. Guess what, it has tons of more extras that made me rage, but I’ve cooled off right now. I’ll make a list of what will be added in the PS3 version:

  • Full voice acting, including new skits and cutscenes
  • Flynn and Patty Fleur as playable characters
  • Tie-ins with Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike
  • New (Remodeled) Towns / Dungeons with new bosses(Including the infamous Sword Dancer)
  • New Mystic Artes / Artes
  • New Quests / Sidequests / Subplots
  • New Songs
  • New Costumes
  • Repede and Flynn as selectable on-screen avatars
  • Tag Arena in Nordopolica Coliseum
  • Connectivity with Tales of VS
  • Pre-Order Bonus (Abyss Costumes for Yuri, Flynn and Estelle)

For the Xbox players though, I hope we can rest assured. There were a lot of rumors about DLC including all this stuff will be released someday, probably after the launch of the PS3 release. I don’t think it will come for free, however. For once the PS3 wins of the Xbox, apparently it’s pretty rare. Aside from the resolution, because it seems the PS3 has a crappier resolution than the Xbox version. Though, can you be satisfied with only a better view of the game? I doubt it.

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The second pirate loli in the Tales series…Patty Fleur…And she looks just like Chat from Tales of Eternia.

The Japanese voices contain several known voice actors, like Mai Nakahara(eg. Nagisa from Clannad) and Chiwa Saitō(several anime VA roles).  Nonetheless the voice acting of the English dub, is unexpectedly amazing as well. It was better quality than I thought. Even the OP was done in voices, both English and Japanese. They’re both done by the band called BONNIE PINK, and the names are Kane wo Narashite in Japanese and literally translated Ring a Bell in English.  This is unexpected, actually, since normally the English Tales of… series have an instrumental version of the OP. The reason? I guess they couldn’t find any English singer to sing a J-pop song.

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Overlimit causes a lot of advantages: instant casting, infinite canceling, etc.

Many reviewers thought this is one of the best ‘Tales of’ games these days. I think that too, but you’ll have to watch out for subplots and events, or else you’ll follow quite a linear path. The story is  sometimes pretty forced because they’re always trying to be very serious. The drama isn’t too strong either. As if they’re trying to get away with the usual conversations, but they just don’t reach your mind. At least you don’t get bored of the game, which is a good point. The story goes as following:

You’re Yuri Lowell, in hunt for the Aque blastia core(Think of it as a power source) that was taken from the lower quarter, causing quite the fuss. Captured trying to find that thief, you meet a girl of royal status, Estellise. Because she’s searching for Flynn, a friend of yours, you travel together with her out of the city to find what they were searching for. But of course, it just won’t end like a simple trip, as you come in contact with a lot worse situations, which you’ll have to solve. It’ll turn to the typical ‘Tales of’ formula as always, where you’ll eventually have to save the whole world, only for a small problem to start with.

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The cutscenes are really awesome. Now hope that the movie also has the same graphics.

I do have to say that this game is really recommended, sometimes I can’t even separate cutscenes from normal in-game scenes, like above. It looks quite the same, high definition and nice detailed. I guess that happens when you take this game to a next-gen console. Graphics are undoubtedly a point of interest.  The battle system is an upgrade of the one from Tales of the Abyss, the skill system now has a limit and the grade system is advanced. There’s also a lot of synthesizing to do, for better blades that also wield skills in them, so you learn them as you fight. The music is quite variating, with a lot of different battle themes, though they sound quite inappropriate in some places, in my opinion. Like, too fast when the game isn’t that fast.

The game isn’t short, I think. I’ve played 48 hours for 1 run, without most of the sub-events, alas, so it seems. I don’t know how much we have skipped, but there were some moments where you think like: I’ve missed something. Just like not having explored all of the map at the end of the game. Such feelings. Me and my brother have been playing in endgame to farm more and more grade, as you need around 18000 grade to get everything in your next run. The only question I ask afterwards is: Was it worth for doing a second run?

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I shouldn’t have use PS3 promo screenshots…Flynn, Sword Dancer, Patty…Makes me cry ._.

Conclusion

Story(8/10)
The story goes pretty personal and pretty serious. You really got to understand the pressure of the story, or else it won’t be enjoyable at all.  I do think it’s a good story, as you get into another trouble every time you finish something up. There’s enough variation in dungeons and enemies to play against, and it’s not bad even if you follow the main story until the end. You can miss things like guild objectives and eventually subquests, but they’re not a must. Too bad some one or two cities become unavailable in later parts of the game, so you’ll have to watch out. Note that there’s almost no fanservice or whatsoever. Together with not really any character development at all. I don’t really know if it’s a good thing or not. There are some referrals to the older Tales games, but it’s not really visible.

Gameplay(8.7/10)
The upgraded battle system plays really better than the Tales of the Abyss one, but at the same time also has the same flaws. Free walking through the battle field is really nice and there’s a fixed camera when there is more than 1 player playing at the same time. Overlimit has better functions now, ie. it can be really handy now when you need it. It can be freely used when the meter reaches 1+.  The flaw? The difficulty between enemies and bosses. Somehow the bosses are always a pain, compared to the normal enemies. Luckily there’s not need to farm for levels. Unless you’re playing on hard, if you prefer that.

The end is pretty weak, if I might say so. I’d expected a little more about the crisis they were facing in the end, but it’s easily finished. Maybe there’s stuff hidden for a sequel? Perhaps, it’s a possibility. In my opinion, you might lose motivation of doing a second playthrough of this game. There might have been a couple of things you missed in the early parts, but if you have collected enough grade for the best extras in the next playthrough, it’ll become much easier and more linear. Not to mention the time you’ll spend…

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The game is pretty fast, there’s not really much to say about these guys called Red Eyes. Nice lighting though.

Graphics(9.5/10)
Because it’s on the Xbox, the quality is of course a lot higher. It can be put on the HDD to decrease loading times. The battles in game are 60 FPS, which is quite new and very nice to see. The game has a total of 13 animated cutscenes, which are all 1080p resolution. The art is like eye-candy. Flying around is more visible than ever. Some of the dungeons’ layout are nicely designed, though others might look a bit the same. At least almost every enemy here exists out of a different model(Remember how stronger versions sometimes had different colors in older games?). Not much to say more about the graphics I think. They’re high quality, no weak point in it. If you want to see the 1080p OP, you might want to download my rips and see how it looks. They’re available here:

Click here to open the ‘lol, anime’ MegaUpload directory

Audio(8/10)
The OP is for once, not instrumental, but dubbed in English by the Japanese band itself. Though I still prefer the Japanese version. There are a lot of themes, but to be honest, the total OST of Vesperia is not as good as Symphonia. It has a lot of different battle themes, which aren’t bad at all. Melodrama? Meh, I didn’t really feel it at all, a really supporting background music wasn’t too noticeable. I don’t think I have to give criticism to every single aspect, so I’ll leave it with this.

Final Conclusion: 8.6
I hope people are satisfied with this mark. I’ve seen people hate this game for some reasons as well. I guess you’ll have to be a Tales fan to be able to like these games to its best. Some people use cuteness as factor. Hmm…I got to say that this is one of the more serious business games. Maybe it became too serious for people. Oh right, unskippable cutscenes, too easy, repeating story formula… I can realize their pains, yes. It’s a on of the better Tales games, so I think you ought to try this game if you like the previous games…aside Tales of the Abyss…I didn’t like that game, heh. Edit: I’m DEFINITELY using less words next post…It’s reaching the 2000, lol.

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…..9999999 damage…..

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2 Responses to “Tales of Vesperia”


  1. 1 T-Spirit
    02-09-2009 at 20:13

    It’s been a while since the last time I posted something on your blog. So, here it is.
    When I saw the words ‘Tales of’, I really wanted to read your review. You, Chrouya, know I have Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology for the PSP, which is a great game. And now, ‘Tales of’ is going next-gen! Yahoo!!! Concluding your review I should be happy to be a PS3 owner. This may be a game for my wishlist. Next to Assasin’s Creed 2, FFXIII and Heavy Rain btw.
    Well, keep on going with this blog and I see you in a couple of days at school XD

    See ya


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