Tales of Vesperia Review

Tales of Vesperia is the first attempt by Namco Bandai to bring the Tales series into the next-gen of gaming. After a lackluster PS2 outing with Abyss, Vesperia looked to correct the issues plaguing that title, and make it a must-buy for RPG owners who also own an Xbox 360.

Thankfully, all of the issues from Abyss have been rectified in this latest title. The load times are much improved (and nonexistent for the most part), the characters are great and relatable, and the game never feels like it was just phoned in with only its name to carry it afloat.

Unlike most RPGs, the Tales series features battles which take place in real time. After engaging an enemy on the map (you can see them a la Chrono Trigger for those unfamiliar with the franchise) you and your three fellow party members are transported into a battle stage. Through combinations of face buttons and directions on both analog sticks, you can perform a variety of special attacks, magic abilities, melee or ranged blows, and more. It adds an element of strategy and skill to what is usually a blasé feature in most RPGs, ensuring that the fights stay fresh much longer than its counterparts. And unlike the last Final Fantasy, the real time battles in Vesperia mean exactly what they say.

While the combat is a blast, at times the game does seem to drag on. The overarching story is fairly simplistic in terms of RPG storylines, but it’s the small conversations and subplots between characters which make Vesperia interesting and memorable long after it’s done. Unfortunately these subplots and interactions are interwoven with lots of walking from point A to B, lots of fighting X and Y, and lots of obvious “I knew that would happen” moments. It’s never bothersome enough to detract from the magic of the storytelling and the characters in the game, but the second half (after you get to the desert) begins to wear on you more and more. You only want to see what the group does next, not fight monster after monster only to be rewarded with a story section which doesn’t really contribute anything but more questions.

That’s not to say the game is truly ever boring; it’s no more boring than the average RPG in that respect. What makes it more noticeable is that when Vesperia shines, it truly shines. Since this generation started with the Xbox 360, dozens of JRPGs have tried to become the “Best RPG of This Gen Until Final Fantasy,” and most have failed. With its combination of strategic and inviting combat, loveable and entertaining characters, and spectacular voice acting segments, Tales of Vesperia proudly snatches that title from whichever generic JRPG held it beforehand. It may have the bigger name behind it, but Final Fantasy 13 is going to try awfully hard to overthrow Tales of Vesperia from its new perch.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.