Wednesday, 30 January 2019 11:48

REVIEW: Tales of Vesperia - Definitive Edition (Xbox One)

Written by Brett Hale
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The Tales franchise begun in the mid 90’s and really hasn't stopped since. The last few were new games, but 2019 brings us an oldie. Tales of Vesperia was first on console in 2008 and has received a well-deserved Definitive Edition which is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

This isn’t just a re-released game branded as a Definitive Edition, it’s the 10th year anniversary of the game which is packed full of goodies that no one outside of Japan has ever seen before, things like characters, costumes & it also introduces two new characters into Tales of Vesperia

This overall still doesn't make it that much of an exciting action-packed game, it actually starts off quite slowly. It does pick up a little after around an hour of playing. You are for the most part, Yuri. He had me slightly confused, he looked like a girl, but once he spoke I realised this is a dude not a girl! Tales games do have the tendency to have male characters looking quite feminine, but I digress. Yuri will travel to many different locations meeting friends along the way and also meeting enemies. The story is plain and simple, there is a power struggle of the people caused from ancient technologies that the empire controls.

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There isn’t much that goes on, you’ll have a lot of conversations with prominent characters, while interacting with random NPC. The other side of the game is the battles. They happen a little at the start, but you’ll eventually be having one every few minutes, it really just depends where you are. Running past enemies will sometimes allow you not to battle with them however, battles are pretty freaking easy! Controls when in battle are very simplistic, movement is done so with the left stick and attacking is A or B and A + B. You can target enemies with RB while X guards against attacks, you can also jump with the left stick + X. Battles will begin upon walking very close to an enemy, the screen smashes like glass and then the fight is on. Battle difficulty will depend of the overall difficulty of the game... easy, normal or hard.

While running around inside or out, you’ll come across chests and boxes, just stand close and a prompt will appear, and you can gather items for health and other things.

This game hasn’t got an autosave feature, you’ll need to remember to save your game whenever you near a save point, they are floating books inside of bright orbs, you can’t miss them as they stand out.

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There are also marketplaces/vendors that you can buy and sell items whenever you approach one of them. Items can be health, magic, weapons and attire/accessories.

There isn’t a usual pause screen, sure the game can be paused but it’ll just say paused on screen, to get to a pause/options sort of menu you’ll need to press Y. You can then see your current characters and their health, level and check skills, cooking, equipment.

There isn’t any online play full stop! Local co-op is all you get but even that still raised my eyebrows. Why? Because as much as the game supports 1-4 players locally it's only supported when in battle which as you can guess leaves other players out when there isn’t a battle taking place, though battles occur often, it still makes no sense to leave them out from freely running around with others.

It wasn’t until the eighth generation of consoles came out (PS4/Xbox One) that I first played any Tales game. So, I have some knowledge of the franchise. I quite enjoyed both Tales of Berseria and Tales of Zestiria, so when I was given Tales of Vesperia I was pumped to play it. It might be old, but the Definitive Edition has touched up the game very well, giving it the crisp full 1080p resolution it deserves. It just makes the game look fresh and vibrant. The entire game is cartoon animated and runs as smooth as butter on a hot knife, my only negative point is I just wish I was able to pan the camera around. Music has always been a major part to the Tales games, and though I hadn’t played it in 2009, today it stands to have one of the best musical soundtracks to date. When in a battle, the tunes are fast paced guitar riffs, and while travelling around you’ll greeted with a variety of music that just pops in your ears (A good pop in fact).

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Starting the game for the first time you’ll be asked to select an audio language either Japanese or English, even when selecting English all dialogue is heard but also displayed in air bubbles.

Note: all button layouts mentioned in my review are for Xbox.

How did Tales of Vesperia stack up to others I’ve played? It was okay, just very slow. I enjoyed how simple the battles were, but maybe they were too easy, even when playing on the hardest difficulty. Visually the game shines and the same can be said about the music.

Pros
1. Artistic visuals
2. Now in full HD

Cons
1. Same battles over and over
2. Slow moving story
3. Lacks real coop



Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE, Nintendo Switch
  • Age Rating: Teen
  • Content: Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
  • Developer: Bandai Namco Games
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
  • Genre: Action / Adventure, Role-Playing