Tales of Vesperia PS3 Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by kayos90, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. kayos90

    kayos90 Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    United States
    It's been a while since i've last been on here posting a review. I've been busy with college and such and actually I should be studying for chemistry right, shhh don't tell anyone. Anyway, it's been a while since I worked on a review and posted it so here you guys go!

    <div align="center"><img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/24/Cast_of_Tales_of_Vesperia.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>

    Tales of Vesperia (PS3) Review

    Introduction and Notice:

    Tales of Vesperia was originally released for the Xbox 360 in both Japan, US, and Europe, however, during the year of 2009, a PS3 version was formally released. With this new release, there were an insertion of new characters, Artes, and quests. This review may be similar to the original review to the Xbox 360 version due to the content similarity; however, this review will be broken down into 3 general scores, Stand-Alone Score, Comparison Score, and Import Score.

    Story --------- 9

    The story is set in the world of Terca Lumieres. The world is full of monsters and in order to protect themselves, mankind use the power of a special gem called Blastia. Blastia uses Aer, a special substance of the world, to erect barriers around cities, give enhanced physical ability, and heal injuries. Blastia has become and essential part of living to every living being.

    The exposition of the story is a common theft problem. Yuri Lowell, the main character, living in the Lower Quarters of the Imperial Capital Zaphias finds out that the Aqua Blastia that runs the fountain in the Quarters is stolen. In order to find the thief, Yuri ransacks a noble’s house and eventually ends up in jail. Due to series of unfortunate circumstances, he is forced out to journey the outside world, completely unprotected by barriers, to find the thief that has escaped with a mysterious young noble girl named Estellise and his trusty dog Repede. What starts to be a small fetch quest turns into a something much bigger that both Yuri and Estellise does not expect and may very well change the whole entire world.

    The general plot of the story is well executed but it’s very cliched in terms that the main archetype of the story is the basic archetype of many JPRGs. This doesn’t mean that the story is bad. The characters are all likeable and they go through their own share of problems that brings them closer to being human. Karol is a kid who has a big dream of creating a guild to belong to, however, he has a problem coping with fear. The way that Karol deals with the problem through the support of his friends and his overall growth is done extremely well and the player can definitely notice the change from beginning to end. It’s this type of character interaction and growth that gives Tales of Vesperia to life, but it’s not the only thing.

    The main gem in the story of Tales of Vesperia is its theme. The theme is “To Enforce One’s Own Justice”. Yuri has a best friend named Flynn. Both are heavily justice-oriented but the way of bringing their own justice differs. While Flynn prefers everything done legally and through the law, Yuri believes that the law’s inability to evict criminals gives birth to his own justice of taking matters into his own hands. These are very contradictory methods of bringing justice and when you hear the conversations between these two characters and how they live their lives it gives the player some thought of “What is Justice?” The message truly speaks out and is constantly reminded to the player of what each character faces in his or her own life that requires each owns resolution.

    Unfortunately, the story is not without a problem. It takes a little too long before the main plot picks up and by them time player learns of what is truly going on, the game is already over. The pacing could’ve been done better but it’s not and it’s unfortunate that this is one of the game’s shortcomings. Another is that the story lacks depth and is very straightforward. While the characters and theme itself is amazing the main plot isn’t so grandiose and as a result the silver lining between the plot and the theme is very visible.

    Gameplay ------ 9

    The gameplay uses the “Flex Range-Linear Motion Battle System.” The player runs on a 2-D plane between the controlled character and the enemy. By using the X and Square button, attacks and special attacks, Artes, can be used. By using them in a specific sequence combos can be unleashed and it becomes much like a fighting game. However, holding of the L2 trigger button allows the character to break away from the 2-D plane and roam the battle arena freely. You won’t be fighting by yourself against the enemy, as you will have 3 other characters fighting besides you. The AI is somewhat competent and if they’re not the player has the option of changing the fighting style of the AI in the Strategies section. There is a great deal of customization for battle giving the player full control. Overall the game is well implemented and executed and is very fun to beat the hell out of enemies. Mechanics such as Burst Artes and Mystic Artes, which are extension of special attacks, and Overlimit, which is the game’s equivalent of super mode, the game has a variety.

    Unfortunately the battle system of the game does suffer in the PS3 version a little more than the 360 version. The framerate will dip at times and is a little more prone to do so than the 360. While the 360 and the PS3 have different hardware to work on, the game could’ve used more polish. Not only this but the game is a little broken considering that the main character can go in to Overlimit without the use of using the Overlimit gauge and bring down a rain of infinite combos. However, these are minor problems that don’t detract the game’s overall experience.

    If the player isn’t out on the battlefield then they are traveling through the world and cities. Each town has its own unique look with variety. Each town has basically a shop, an inn, and people for side-quests. The archetype is the same throughout every town and the fact that this doesn’t change is sort of disappointing but is a common symptom in every RPG. The player also has the option to travel through the world by land, water, and air at some point of the game and traveling is made much faster. There isn’t much to do in the Overworld other than collect synthesizing materials.

    Minor things in the game such as Synthesizing, Coliseum Battles, Side-Quests, and et cetera are welcome editions. When the player has enough materials, they are able to create items. Using this method, the player can synthesize new weapons, armors, and even visual attachments for the characters such as sunglasses. If you’re not creating then the player has the option to go to the Coliseum and do a single man fight against a certain amount of enemies or a team battle. The addition of team battles is new to the PS3 version and is much better than the original 200-man melee. Side-quests are plentiful in this new version and the addition of new bosses and features makes the second run of the game much more worthwhile.

    Additions to the PS3 version of the game is the Team Battle in the Coliseum, New Bosses, New Sidquests, New Characters, New Artes, New Skills, New Items, and more. All of these make the PS3 version more than a port and is great.

    Graphics ------- 8

    The graphics in the game use a light-cel shaded engine. By no means does the game’s graphics compare to Eternal Sonata’s but it is still plausible. The characters are well designed in an anime-esque way and the environments look all pretty amazing. The world is very colorful and vibrant with each look being unique throughout the course of the game. One of the few main problems with the game is character animations in cutscenes. The characters move very blocky and methodically and it doesn’t seem natural at all. Not only this but the designs of monsters are unique but the core monster themselves are the same, just with different skin. A game with such a large scope should be given this treatment but it’s sad that it’s not.

    Sound -------- 8

    Notice: Sound is judged with both Japanese and English tracks and therefore the outputs will be both but the scores will be unaffected.

    The sound in the game is phenomenal, in the English version. Getting back on track, the audio tracks in Vesperia is very good, however, it is not memorable or exceptionally amazing. The voice work seems very average with a few key amazing acting here and there but for the most part it doesn’t compare with the English voice track. The characters are sometimes very squeaky and at other times their voices seem very monotonous. The musical score is very captivating and the tune that is playing in each cutscene is always the right one. The audio captures the beauty of the game and ranges from fiddle playing to rock. Overall the audio is great but not outstanding.

    Tilt/Value ------ 9

    Notice: The following is just a copy of the 360 version’s review. The reason being is that the basic core value of the game is the same.

    Although the game isn't extraordinarily innovative, it still does an amazing job at utilizing the battle system. The innovation isn't revolutionary but the minor tweaks that it has here and there from prior Tales of games will make this game definitely feel differently.

    When a journey is finished around 60 hours or so, one would think that the game is done and over with. Fortunately that is not quite the case. This game is long in one playthrough, but there are plenty of side-quests to do and plenty of achievements to unlock. If you are a perfectionist, you will be playing this game for a very long while. The side-quests in this game such as the coliseum battles or the EX dungeon can give you a sense of accomplishment. Other side-quests include getting all the titles, unlocking all Artes and such. If the total amount of time spent on the side-quests are added up then it can well be 20+ hours. Not only that but the achievements in this game will have the player going through the game at least 3 times. There are many difficulty modes to play in as well as extra features you can unlock when the player starts a new game. Tales of Vesperia is a game meant to last.

    The addition of the PS3 version is a new EX dungeon, many more side-quests, and moves.

    Stand-Alone Conclusion -------- 8.5

    Tales of Vesperia is one of the best JRPGs on the market for this generation and with good reason. The game has a great cast of characters with an amazing theme backing them up. The battle system is fun and very versatile. The audio is great and the graphics are just as great. The year that has passed since the 360 version of the game’s release has shown that the same game doesn’t look as good compared to other games on the market but it still holds outstandingly well.

    Comparison Conclusion -------- 8.8

    The core aspect of the story in Tales of Vesperia hasn’t changed much between the 360 and PS3 version of the game. The minor changes that it does have, though, is the troubles that Patty faces with her search for Aifread’s Treasure and her lost memory. Her problem still adds to the game’s theme but nothing more. There are hardly any gameplay changes only addition of moves and skill. The additions are great and are neat little extras, especially the secondary Mystic Artes. The PS3 version is the definitive version but if you already played the 360 version then you can pass this by, unless you really want the secondary attacks and Patty on your team.

    Import Conclusion ----------- 7.8

    The game is great and has everything to offer but it’s definitely not import friendly. The whole entire game is in Japanese and if you don’t even know basic Japanese then you won’t have any idea where to go or what to do. Despite this the game is still amazing. There are guides and translations on the internet but they might not get you the whole experience needed for the game.

    Final Conclusion Score ---------- 8.6
  2. dgwillia

    dgwillia The Bacon Lover

    Mar 9, 2008
    United States
    Columbia Station, Ohio
    God i cant wait for this game, i already had the 360 version, planning to rebuy it again whenever i can find a used one, and im planning to get this one day one. Thanks for the review.
  3. kaisai

    kaisai GBAtemp Regular

    May 31, 2007
    United States
    um whos the girl on the top left. am only on the 2nd act on my 360
  4. kayos90

    kayos90 Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    United States
    This is for the PS3 version of the game and it's japanese only. My 360 review of Vesperia might be a page back or such. Anyway, she's an exclusive character for the PS3 version of Vesperia.
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