|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 26, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Nonetheless, Tales of Vesperia is a long game. There is a lot of content to be discovered. If you were to dive in and plow through the main story arc, it would take you around 50+ hours. If you are a person who likes to dawdle by taking on tons of extra fights and fulfill the myriad side quests, there could be more like 75+ hours of gameplay. Either way, I think RPG fans will be amazed at not only how much there is to do, but just how quickly it all seems to fly by.
Best of all, Tales of Vesperia is an absolutely gorgeous title that makes use of cel-shading to masterfully impart an anime feel. The lush and bright environments, amusing and creative character and enemy designs, the fluid animations, and fully realized world are outstanding and reminiscent of the beautiful Eternal Sonata. In fact, I didn't find a single major fault with the entire visual presentation. Some of the vistas are a bit muted and gamers may find the mini-cutscenes to be amateurish due to the use of frames and exaggerated expressions, but I felt both the background environments and the silly frames nicely communicated the manga element to the mix.
Graciously, the aural presentation is nearly as good as that of the visuals. The localization of the game into English was expertly done. The story's themes and intended voice definitely come through the dialogue. Unfortunately, there is no Japanese voice track to be selected, but the English voice acting is sufficiently good that you'll likely not even care. Plus, the soothing melodies of the musical themes excellently capture your attention and are varied enough to keep them at the default settings.
Truly, Tales of Vesperia is more akin to an interactive cartoon than it is to a traditional JRPG. This is one of the reasons players will enjoy this title so much. It is an engaging gaming experience that somehow capably balances storyline, combat, in and out of engine cutscenes, power leveling, and main and side mission quests. Every one of these elements comes together in near-perfect harmony, so you'll rarely feel as if any one aspect is dragging. I was surprised at just how good this game actually is. Nevertheless, it is a JRPG and was made for those gamers interested in the genre. If you are a patient player though, then there is a lot of adventure and fun to be found in Tales of Vesperia; sit back, pop some corn, and enjoy the show.
CCC Editor / News Director