Friday, 22 February 2019

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition ★★★★★

It seems to be the decade of the much-loved remaster, and the latest one we’ve received is ‘Tales of Vesperia’, a JRPG that is highly regarded as one of the best in the series of the ‘Tales’ games. You play as Yuri Lowell, a young man trying to live a normal life who ends up getting pulled into a narrative that will affect the entire world, with the choice of either saving the world or destroying it with the use of magical devices known as Blastia.

As the game is just a remaster the story hasn’t been changed from the original, however, we have been treated to some additional scenes which were once only for Japanese players. Whilst this is an improvement, it does cause some issues concerning voice acting – the actors from the new scenes are not the same as the original actors, and it's sadly very noticeable. It’s not the worst thing to happen to a game (giant plot holes and terrible mechanics would be much worse, for instance), but I did find it quite jarring at points. Despite this, the rest of the game has only increased in quality, and of course, is now HD.

The original was released in 2008, and the graphics have aged fairly well, most likely attributable to the gorgeous cel-shaded art style. Characters and monsters are well-animated and give off the feeling of watching and playing a high-quality anime. The scenery is also beautiful, with giant vistas, bustling towns and cities, and labyrinthian dungeons.

As like all ‘Tales’ games, the battle system is action-based with the ability to hit combos and set off special moves in real time with one character, whilst the other characters are controlled by A.I. They’re not completely free will as you can select tactics for each individual – for example, the character Estelle can be a healer so she can be utilised to automatically heal any team member who is below 30% health.

The mechanics are incredibly detailed, allowing for hours and hours to pass with you becoming completely lost in the game. It’s a double-edged sword in that you can sometimes lose the feeling of progression, but at the same time, it’s totally worth it for all the wonderful things you can discover by letting yourself become completely immersed.

I’d say that ‘Tales of Vesperia’ is probably my favourite ever ‘Tales’ game-high praise considering I believe ‘Tales of Berseria’ (the previous mainline entry) to be one of the greatest JRPGs to be made within this generation. Even better, ‘Tales of Vesperia’ is now priced at around £35 which, considering you get to experience an entertaining (and at times very dark) story you certainly won’t forget, is well worth it in my eyes. 

Hannah Read

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