Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition Review – Worth Another Trip
One of the most popular entries in the Tales series of JRPGs, Tales of Vesperia was first released on the Xbox 360. There was additional content for the Japanese audience which the English-speaking folk never got to enjoy. This marks the first time the content is made available for the Western audience.
RM199 (PS4) / RM239 (Nintendo Switch) / RM179 (PC via Steam)
+ Colourful cast of characters.
+ Enthralling storyline.
+ Caters to both casual and hardcore gamers.
+ New additional content makes it worth playing again.
+ Very satisfying combat system.
- Random difficulty spikes which makes certain battles surprisingly tough.
- Dated visuals by today’s standards.
- Frame drops in certain areas can be very jarring.
- Will require gamers to explore every bit of the game to get the full experience.
Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition Review
Tales of Vesperia Definitive Synopsis
The game takes place in the world known as Terca Lumireis, where its inhabitants rely on an energy source called “Blastia”. It was used to provide resources and protection for major cities around the world. In ancient times, the abuse of Blastia led to the creation of a monster called the Adephagos which threatened life itself. To save the world then, the Adephagos was sealed indefinitely and a new world order was established.
Fast forward to present times, former knight Yuri Lowell sets out on an adventure with his faithful companion Repede to recover his neighbourhood’s Aqua Blastia, a valuable source of water. This inadvertently led him right to the core of a power struggle in a civilization dependent on the Blastia and the Empire that controls it. It is up to Yuri and his friends to unravel the dark history behind the Blastia and take down the true evil that lurks in the shadows.
Unlike the original iteration of the game, this version of Tales of Vesperia comes with a number of additional content, including a fully playable Flynn Scifo and the addition of a new party member, pirate Patty LeFleur. It also comes with additional story content that expands further from the original story while maintaining the overall theme. This release marks the first time the extra content has made its way outside of Japan.
You Need to Play With an Adventurous Spirit
Like with most role-playing games, you have your main quests and side quests to deal with in Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition. The main quests are mandatory and it will be used to propel the story forward. The side quests may not necessarily be quests per se but they are optional and it can yield some valuable rewards that will be useful in the journey.
For most parts, the quests are straightforward so most gamers should not have any trouble with the obstacles. However, there are certain points that will leave you thinking as to what you need to do as the game will either vaguely allude to it or just expect you to explore on your own. It’s not a bad thing but it does mean that you will need to approach the game with an adventurous spirit to experience the game in its entirety.
The world of Terca Lumireis was considered pretty big back when it was first released but by today’s standards, it is of decent size. There are a total of six regions with each containing settlements and dungeons which players can explore. While the main storyline will inevitable bring you to most of these areas, there are some which you will have to explore of your own accord as it is optional.
Furthermore, you can’t simply go to every single area until later in the game as some of them have requirements that need to be met first. In this sense, it’s more of a controlled open world environment which will help gamers from straying too far off. Especially when there are so many things that you can overlook such as treasure chests, hidden items, and optional quests, it can be easy to get distracted from the main objective.
Surprisingly Difficult At First
Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition utilizes the Evolved Flex Range Linear Motion Battle System which is an upgraded version of the combat system from Tales of the Abyss. At its core, the combat system is still like a fighting game-esque action-based system where gamers can freely move around and execute attacks anytime they want without having to wait for their turn. You can use normal attacks, Arte attacks which cost TP (technical points), defend, and use items.
However, you can’t simply attack continuously as there will be a small window of time after attacks where you will be vulnerable. The basic idea here is to chain your attacks by using normal attacks followed by arte attacks for maximum damage. Gamers are granted a maximum of three hits for normal attacks, which can be increased by unlocking certain skills in the game.
As for Artes, there are two types; Base Artes and Arcane Artes. Base Artes are regular technique-based attacks whereas Arcane Artes are powerful techniques which do more damage. Arcane Artes have the unique ability to be chained to Burst Artes followed by the signature Mystic Artes when used with the Overlimit gauge. Simply put, it can be used to start off a character’s finishing move.
There are no skill trees in this game and you will have to obtain them by mastering them from specific weapons. It is as simple as using the weapon until you have mastered the skill. These equipment can be obtained by either purchasing from the shop, an item drop from a defeated enemy, or synthesizing using materials dropped from enemies.
Overall, the combat system is still robust and entertaining even by today’s standards. It’s not complicated but due to the fast-paced nature of the system, certain fights can be overwhelming at first. However, the difficulty will not be a problem when you have grown accustomed to the system and do the necessary preparations before a tough battle. If it’s still too hard then, you can adjust the difficulty settings anytime you want without any repercussions.
On another note, you can replay Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition again with extra bonuses after you’ve finished the game the first time around. In this New Game Plus mode, you can select a number of options based on the grade points you have obtained from your previous playthrough. This can include double experience points, more gald, and more. It’s certainly worth playing again just because of the post-game content, which is actually very tough. Yes, the secret boss battle against Kratos (Tales of Symphonia) is present.
Tales of Vesperia Verdict
Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition is a great game for those who did not manage to experience the game yet as well as those who have for its original iteration. Despite the upgraded visuals, it is still reminiscent of the PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 era of gaming but visuals should not be the reason for you to play games. It should be whether the game is able to entertain you, and it certainly does if you enjoy role-playing games.
However, with the game being a little difficult at first as well as some random difficulty spikes in later points in the game, it does force you to grind levels before approaching certain battles. If you can look past that, then you will be able to enjoy an adventure with a cast of colourful characters and an enthralling storyline. For those of you who have played the English version on the Xbox 360, you will be surprised to find that there are a good number of times where you definitely did not remember such a thing happening. That’s the new content.
With that, I award Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition with our Silver Pokdeward.