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2nd October
written by Splash

Title: Tales of Vesperia (テイルズ オブ ヴェスペリア)
Console: PS3 (Definitive Edition 2019: PS4, PC, Switch)
Genre: Action RPG, Fantasy
Language: Japanese
Company: Namco
Summary: Swiped off Wiki: Vesperia takes place on the planet Terca Lumireis. The people of Terca Lumireis have come to rely on “blastia”, an ancient civilization’s technology with a wide array of capabilities, such as providing water, powering ships, or creating barriers around major cities and towns to protect them from monsters. The Imperial Knights and Guild members also use “bodhi blastia” to enhance their abilities in combat. The blastia, created by the elf-like Krityans, are fueled by a substance called “aer” that lends its power to the blastia’s ability, but can be fatal to humans in large concentrations.
Story: 9. People should know that story is never the reason why some devote so much time to these games. While each Tales game has something unique from another Tales game, in the end they’re all kind of knick-knack-y off the fantasy genre in general, and people shouldn’t expect anything excessively mind-breaking. There were a few plot points in this game that really got me happy about the fantasy feel of the game though, and the ending is quite satisfactory, which lends me to give it a good score.

^Note these are my comments back when I first played the game in 2009, and 10 years later, the story has actually aged REALLY well. I’m able to appreciate a lot more within it after a decade has passed. Playing a second time and knowing what happens during the first run also makes certain points in the story more interesting to dive into, and for this I would take Vesperia as my favorite Tales game in terms of story. There are times when there might be “too much” (at least to my attention-deprived sleepy husband), but it’s honestly very needed for the huge array of characters that get involved. There’s the extremely one-track storyline of Graces, and then here’s Vesperia which is very much opposite of it in terms of simplicity. It also greatly helps that the characters are not huge anime chuuni tropes like the more recent Tales games (cough Berseria). So with preferences in mind, I’ve come to appreciate Vesperia muuuuch more over the years, now that I’m actually able to consume all the details.

Also, is this the only Tales game where the name actually has major relevance to the story???
Characters: 9.5. Toriumi and Mamo w00t \o/ Also appreciated Takemoto Eiji in there. XD; As for the actual characters, one of the better jobs for Tales games. Some Tales games focus too much on doing “story chapters” for each character, which becomes a little too episodic for me at times, so I prefer it the way they did it for Vesperia. Characterizations are developed for each character throughout the entire game, and it all comes together quite nicely. Oh Flynn, you take too long to permanently join. XD~

The main protagonist (Yuri) is definitely one of the most mature ones too, in refreshing ways. And there are various spots where he proves that very well.
Graphics: 9.5. Not quite as detailed as it could get for a PS3 game, but I won’t complain as much because the actual battles are in a very high fps, which makes things look really smooth (except when they actually lag, lol). Very small complaints, really.

For Definitive Edition, I got the Switch version (when it was on sale in the E-shop for $15) solely to have a portable version. Without the portability, there’s really extremely little reason for me to get the Definition Edition at all, because everything is actually the same as the PS3 version except for getting access to all the DLC costumes (minus some minor collabs) without paying DLC price. Does make me salty for having bought a lot of the PS3 DLC costumes though lol.
Sound: 9.5. Definitely one of the best Tales OSTs, but nothing truly ground-breaking imo. As usual. XD Still good though. And sadly eons better than many of the recent Tales tracks that aren’t done by Go Shiina (I’m looking at you again Berseria). And I love Bonnie Pink’s Kane wo Narashite.
Gameplay: 10. This is where the deal is made, along with replay value. The weakness with Tales on PS2 games is LOADING TIMES. With this PS3 version, you can install parts that make gameplay essentially seamless. And it’s so beautiful and fun.
The cast of 9 playable characters with all their different fighting styles is wonderful. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as things like Yuri’s longass streaks of combo plays, Patty’s random fun and pwnage, Flynn and Yuri Shugo Houjin’ing alldaylong, Rita’s Tidal Wave spamming, Raven’s AISHITERU ZE!, and REPEDE. REPEDE, REPEDE, REPEDE. kuoooooooon!
Fatal Strikes are addictive.

My one and only complaint I can think of is the inability to do damage to downed enemies except with very specific moves. Every other move just flies by and lets the opponent be invincible temporarily, potentially dodging very costly moves. It slows down the gameplay and just looks freaking awkward. “I fell down, now I’m invincible to most of your attacks!!!” ._.;
Replay Value: 10. Most Tales games just frustrate me when I think about how much grinding I have to do in order to make a fun replay. But this Tales games makes it so easy and enjoyable. For one, farming grade points is made much faster and simpler with Rita’s Tidal Wave trick. Also, just about every scene is skippable, so you can skip the less interesting scenes whenever you want to. There’s such a hugely ridiculous amount of extras inserted into the PS3 version with extra dungeons filled with bosses, the 200-man melee and much more… An easy extra 100+ hours of play if you so desired. Eat your heart out, Final Fantasy.
Overall: 10. DEFINITE 10. I have to say I was really torn between putting it as 9 or 10 at first, before I started my second playthrough. But I also have to say my only reason to bring it down to 9 is going through the hours and hours of troublesome sidequests to finish up accomplishments, along with hours and hours of grade farming and shitz. But that’s usual of Tales… Unlike Rebirth, at least there wasn’t as much of a “random” forging system. When you really start to enjoy it, and it’s totally doable with a decent lot of time, it’s SO ENJOYABLE. In terms of Tales games, and in terms of PS3 games, this totally has my 10 rating.

Also, I wasn’t sure where I would put this in the other categories… but the amount of in-game costumes you can get… so awesome. There are just so many costumes in general, I still have so many to try out at all. It’s a real shame so many of them went DLC for Graces and Xillia.

And something about this PS3 version just makes all that long gameplay more tolerable. Repede and the chibi dolls, probably.

Regarding Definitive Edition, it’s even worth the full price if you haven’t gotten the game before. In my case, since my PS3 version is really decked out, I waited long for a good sale. $15 is an easy call. If you haven’t played Vespy before and disregard these sales for other RPGs instead, some part of me is going to shun you tbh. /hum

Wiki (US)
Kouli’s Vesperia guide

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