Back in February of this year, I played through Tales of Berseria which was the first Tales of game that I played. Now we jump to the end of this year, where I decided to finally play Tales of Vesperia - a really good decision. It got to the point that I fell in love with this game in under two hours, something I never felt with anything else I played. I was wondering what else was in store and was looking forward to what was to be shown. As with all Tales of games' theming, this one is themed around enforcing one’s justice
Pros and Cons
- An amazing story with wonderful characters
- Fun combat when you get the hang of it
- An awesome soundtrack that is great to listen to
- A beautiful art style that makes the game look good
- This game has one of the hardest tutorials ever
- You can get beaten into a corner sometimes and can’t do much against it
- There are times where the hitboxes on the enemies are too big in narrow passages in certain areas
- There are times where you won’t have a clear idea of what to do or where to go next.
Yuri Lowell is living a peaceful life in his home area called the Lower Quarter. However, one day, the Aqua Blastia is stolen. This Blastia keeps the fountain water supply at bay and prevents it from flooding the area. Yuri decides to go and find the thief but is arrested by the Knights and thrown in jail. He manages to escape but a woman named Estellise Sidos Heurassin or, as she likes to be called, Estelle runs into him and asks for his help. She wants to send a message to Flynn Scifo as she has a warning to deliver to him. Yuri also has a dog named Repede who is always with him wherever he goes and so the trio sets out on their journey.
That’s about as much as I can say about the story of Tales of Vesperia. It’s very interesting to go through and can get really interesting in the later parts. The English voice acting is something else that I have to give some credit for. I really enjoyed the presentation that we were given, and I recommend trying it out, take it from someone who enjoys subs more than dubs.
The characters are what make Tales of Vesperia shine, as they are really amazing. They have their own fun personalities that make them special. Yuri has to be one of my favorite main characters in any video game that I have played. Instead of being that one hero who is always good, he takes it upon himself to do crimes for the greater good and will bear all the weight on his shoulders. This makes Yuri a very interesting character and honesty is one of my favorites.
However, my all-time favorite character award has to go to Raven. I love this guy’s personality, his humor, fighting style, and he is just an overall great character. Despite his appearance, he is a high-ranked member of Altosk, one of the five master guilds. He has a lot of mystery to him and it’s what makes him unique.
I will also give a special shoutout to Rita Mordio, a researcher who studies blastia and is anti-social. She is capable of using various magic attacks, making her one of my favorite party members in combat. Then there is Patty Fleur, a pirate who can wield two flintlock pistols. She is also looking for lost treasures. Oh, and Redede is cool too, can’t leave out man’s best friend as well.
Also, Flynn Scifo’s design reminds me a lot of Ky Kiske from Guilty Gear, you can’t change my mind otherwise.
The Linear Motion Battle system makes a return in this game and since it’s one of the older titles, it may come off as a little rough for those that were used to playing Tales of Berseria. You see, how it works in this title is if you are locked onto an enemy - which you will be - that’s the line your character is moving in. There is no Free Run option in this game so you will have to adjust accordingly. Despite that, the gameplay is very fun, once you get the hang of things it’s actually rather smooth and such.
Though that’s not to say that the game is perfect on everything it does with the gameplay, as I have quite a few issues with it. First things first, a game should teach you how to use its core mechanics. Tales of Vesperia does, but it’s certainly not perfect. If you want an example of what I mean, picture this; you, the player, want to learn how to swim and Tales of Vesperia is like, here we throw you in the deep end and you learn that way. This mainly stems from the first battle, as the two enemies you fight have a large health pool and will spam attacks on you. With no way to heal yourself, you may easily die. I almost did but I got off lucky and won.
In other words, the enemies can overwhelm you if you are on your own. Though you can do this too with your party members when you attack enemies. This can also be done easier with your Over Limit and you can spam them till they die. Spellcasters suffer from this the most as they can’t do anything, so they are just screwed.
Travelling happens in secluded overworld areas where enemies you can run into roam around too. But here is the problem, because those enemies like to have too big hitboxes and to be generally too huge to be able to ignore. This is one of the bigger issues I had because there are times where I just wanted to not fight them, but I was forced to since I could not pass them, or the hitbox was too big. Like, take a look at this screenshot. I can’t move on because I am forced to fight this guy.
Then there is the issue of the game’s progression. There were moments where I had no clue on what to do. Sometimes I had to talk to my party members that are scattered throughout the area, or I had to go to a certain place that I had never been to that is not marked on the map. This resulted in me looking up a guide on where I had to go or what I had to do.
Other than these issues, the game is honestly fun and I really enjoyed it, combat is very fluid and there are a lot of Artes that you can use in combat. All of these will require TP to use, so be careful, or you may end up wasting it all too quickly.
I love the soundtrack; it’s honesty really well done and fits the areas that are in the game. My personal favorite has to be 'A Vow of Unity', it’s located in this area called Dahngrest and when I first heard it, I knew it fit very well with the area.
Graphics and Performance
Tales of Vesperia looks very well done in terms of its art style, it feels unique as it’s different from the other Tales of games. The game runs very well and I had no issues while I was playing it, with it also running at a solid 60 FPS. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM.
If you enjoyed playing through Tales of Berseria, then I highly recommend trying out Tales of Vesperia. It’s one of the older titles in the series and for what it’s showing, I think it’s worth it. The story is just one of the reasons to keep playing. I honestly enjoyed this title more than it seems in this review and it’s probably one of the best games I have played in my eyes. Is it better than Berseria? Well, that may require some thinking, as they are both good in their own ways.