Tales of Vesperia is one of the best JRPG experiences this gen
Tales of Vesperia is one of the best Japanese role playing games to come out so far in this generation. Even though the game didn't sell well in America, unlike in Japan, Tales of Vesperia is still an amazing game and any fan of Japanese role playing games should check it out in some form. The story is engaging, the characters are some of the most interesting in recent role playing games and the gameplay is fantastic. The flashy quick paced combat is a blast to play through and the role playing elements can be as deep as you want them to be. On top of it the game looks amazing and sounds amazing.
Tales of Vesperia has an intricate and complicated plot. The plot starts of quite simple. It centers around Yuri Lowell, an imperial knight drop out, and his quest to find the lower quarter's aqua blastia. The blastia control everything in the world of Tecra Lumireis. They protect cities from monsters, allow normal citizens to have special powers and they also control necessary functions like water control. As Yuri hunts down the thief of the Blastia, he comes across a variety of characters which stem from the kind and lovable Lady Estelle, the spunky Karol, the hilarious Raven, the short tempered Rita and the warrior Judith. The characters are all great and there is not one character in the game who is bad or unnecessary. The plot of the game though seemingly simple from how I summarized it is far from the real deal. The game changes a lot and with numerous plot twists the story is one of the best this generation.
The gameplay of Tales of Vesperia is well done. There is a lot of depth in the combat but much of the time you can get away with using the same combos. Of course though you can make it more varied and it become a lot of fun. You can also control any character in your party later on in the game which can add some depth. The combat is quite simple, B is normal attack, A is used for using special skills called Artes and X blocks. The combat is extremely fast paced. Boss Battles are some of the best battles in the game as they should be, often a special strategy has to be done in order to down the boss and this makes the combat far more tactical then in normal battles. The game also employs the standard potion system, weapon system, and armor system. There is also the cooking system which works well but it is hard to get the necessary items to make food with. There is no faults with the gameplay in Tales of Vesperia, just my only complaint is it doesn't do anything new. Either way though it's still great fun and it is superbly executed.
Technically Tales of Vesperia is a wonder and should be the standard for cell shaded graphics. Every character looks amazing and the amount of detail in the graphics is pretty damn good. The cities all look amazing and some of the lighting and particle effects are awe inspiring. The only weak spot is some bland over map areas but other then that the game is graphically flawless. The game also sounds amazing. The English voice actors do a great job and each character is well acted. The only fault is that sometimes the dialogue doesn't appear but this issue is almost gone later in the game. The game also has great music and the theme song for the game sung by Bonnie Pink is one of the best I've heard. On another note, people complain about the character studies but I see no problem with them. They are all voice acted so they are fine to listen to and often interesting. The only problem is they can look a bit weird at first but once you get used to them there is no problem with them.
Overall Tales of Vesperia is the whole package. It has an amazing story, a great cast of dynamic characters and it has the gameplay to boot. If you didn't like Japanese role playing games already, Tales of Vesperia will not change your mind but of course any fan of JRPGs should pick it up and give the game a chance. It will be an experience you will remember, I guarantee it. Tales of Vesperia so far is the best RPG of 2008.
Pros: Great story, great cast of characters, flashy combat is fun and easy to use, technically impressive, lengthy, addictive
Cons: Starts off slow, sometimes there is no voice overs, few innovations
Overall: An amazing role playing game well worth your money