Overall - 80%
Any JRPG fan who missed Tales of Vesperia the first time around shouldn't hesitate to check out this definitive edition of the title. Despite its age, the game still holds up in 2019.
A little over 10 years ago, the original Tales of Vesperia launched on the Xbox 360. After all this time, does the game manage to hold up to newer JRPGs, or even newer “Tales of” games? Check out our review and find out what we thought.
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition Review
This is my first time playing Tales Of Vesperia. However, I have played many other “Tales of” games.
The world of Vesperia is not a friendly one for humans. Beasts and other monsters roam the world, and attack both humans and their villages. To counter this, humans use what is known as Blastia, which are magical items that can create barriers for towns. The Blastia is also used by humans to add magic to their attacks. Yuri Lowell is the main character of the game, and he has one such Blastia. In the town Yuri lives in, a Blastia core is stolen, causing a fountain to flood the streets. Your first task is to find the Blastia thief and recover it.
Usually, a job like this would be taken care of by the knight Flynn, but he is currently out of town. While searching for the Blastia, Yuri gets captured and tossed in a cell by the knights. Here you will meet up with a woman named Estelle, who is looking for Flynn to warn him about something. Soon after, Yuri and Estelle team up to escape the castle. When Yuri finds out the Blastia core thief is outside of town, he leaves with Estelle to find the thief, while she searches for Flynn. This is where the adventure truly begins, and those who want to see this journey to its end should expect to put in anywhere from 60-80 hours.
Combat in Tales games has always been a little different from that of traditional JRPGs. Battles are not turned based, but they are still instanced. You still load into a battle when you fight, but you can move around the area freely and all fights are done in real time. Using basic attacks and Artes (magic attacks), you will try to build up combos to either keep enemies locked down or to do a maximum amount of damage. For those simply looking to progress through the game, there are plenty of basic combinations on hand as well. However, if you want to dig deep enough, a number of crazy maneuvers can be pulled off. Just know that it can be as complex or as simple as you want it, and the option to have your whole team fight automatically is also present.
It is important to note that while Yuri is the main character, you do not have to play him in combat if you don’t want to. Each of your teammates fights a little differently, and you can choose who you control in battle. Yuri and Karol are both front line fighters, and hit hard. Estelle can heal and buff allies during combat. Rita, on the other hand, is a mage who excels at powerful spells and AoE attacks. Raven and Patty have a good mixture of ranged and melee combat. Yuri does feel like he is intended to be the main fighter, but you will do fine if you want to play any of the other characters.
Aside from combat, you will be taking part in crafting, cooking, skits, side quests, and powerful monster hunts. Crafting is vital in Vesperia, because it comes with weapon skills. These skills can be learned if a character masters them through a weapon. The skills come in the form of passive buffs and abilities you will use in combat. As long as you have a weapon equipped, you will have that skill. When you unequip the weapon, you have to equip the skill, assuming you have mastered it. You only have so many points to allocate to skills, so you will have to pick and choose based on what you want to use.
The Wonder Chef makes an appearance, and can be found all around the world of Vesperia. When you see him, he will teach you something new you can cook and give you the ingredients to do so. Cooking is a quick way to restore HP, TP, or give you a buff for the next battle. Aside from searching for him throughout the world, you will also be searching for powerful monsters to slay. These monsters provide some of the hardest fights in the game, but also give a significant amount of experience and rewards. Just be sure you are prepared for a long battle.
I do want to talk about what’s included in this version of the game. You get all of the DLC, and you start with it as well. Having all the DLC means you can get access to insane equipment and cash right from the start. You also get all the bonus outfits, and of course the Patty DLC, which never made it stateside. There is one slight problem with this DLC though, and that is that Yuri has a different voice actor in the dub. It can be very jarring to go from one cutscene with one voice actor to another one shortly after with a different voice actor. It does not break the game, but it is worth mentioning.
Any JRPG fan who missed Tales of Vesperia the first time around shouldn’t hesitate to check out this definitive edition of the title. Despite its age, the game still holds up in 2019.
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