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Game review: Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition

21 Jan 2019
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Tales of Vesperia is a game that came out back in 2008, although not many people had the chance to play it initially. At the time of the game’s initial release, Tales of Vesperia was originally an Xbox 360 exclusive. 

The game eventually got ported over to the PS3 console a few years later, although this version of the game was only released over in Japan. Japanese gamers are lucky because this new version of the game introduced more side content and two additional playable characters. 

Thankfully, now more people are able to experience the game thanks to the release of Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition. The game features the aforementioned new content from the Japanese version and is out on more systems such as the PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One. 

It’s been well over 10 years since I played the original Tales of Vesperia on the Xbox 360, so I have forgotten most of my previous experience. That said, I was back in the groove playing this Definitive Edition and I loved my second playthrough of the game. 

One of the best things I love about the game is its interesting story and likeable characters. The story starts off a little slow because the main character named Yuri Lowell is chasing down a thief that stole his city’s ‘blastia’. Blastia is pretty much a special device that creates a barrier to prevent monsters from attacking cities. 

While Yuri is out chasing the person that stole the blastia, he meets a princess named Estelle who is out on her own adventure. Eventually, the two meet up with even more charismatic characters and they will learn more about blastias and how they dangerous they can become in the wrong hands. 

In this newer version of the game, two more playable characters are available to join your party. One of the characters is a cute pirate girl named Patty, while the other character is Yuri’s old knight pal named Flynn Scifo. It’s actually pretty cool that you can get to play as Flynn since he’s one of the most important characters in the entire game. It’s quite strange he wasn’t a playable character in the Xbox 360 original. 

Aside from the playable characters, there are also some side missions and other new content you can experience too. Some elements of the original game have been changed as there are different storylines and more dialogue for you to see.  The only jarring thing to note here is that the original English voice actors did not reprise their roles to record the new dialogue scenes. It’s a small flaw, but the differences are instantly noticeable. 

In terms of gameplay, Tales of Vesperia is a fun JRPG mainly because the combat system is very fun and engaging. Usually JRPGs feature turn-based combat systems, but this game features something more active and gives you more control. You’re able to move around the field somewhat freely while you execute many attacks. You’re also able to play as any character from the party during combat making the battles less repetitive to play. 

What I like most about the combat is that the A.I. is pretty smart because they always try to keep your character healthy. I remember losing a lot of health during a specific boss fight, but my allies always used items and magic to revive me. They’re also pretty good at executing their own special moves as well!

In terms of graphics, Tales of Vesperia still looks like an awesome game as the 2D art style doesn’t look outdated. Sure the game isn’t 4K enhanced, but the visuals are awesome to look at and should look pretty on any system that you play it on. 

As much as I liked playing Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition, the game isn’t perfect. One of things I did not like about the game is that there’s no mini map provided for you when you visit dungeons and towns. The only map given to you is when you’re out on the world map. There were many times I got lost due to the lack of a map during all areas of the game. 

Another thing this game lacks is a quest guide telling you what your next objective is. I remember forgetting where I had to go, so I had to remember from memory what the next objective was. In one instance I had to look at a walkthrough since the game never tells you where to need to go to next which is very annoying. 

Despite some minor gameplay flaws, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is still an excellent JRPG featuring wonderful graphics and an additive combat system. Even if you already played the game 10 years ago, it’s great to play the game again with the newer content that has been added. 

Verdict: 8.0/10