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Tales of Vesperia (X360)


Tonner Cyn
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So, my willpower seems to be failing me and I think I will pick this one up. It is getting slightly better reviews than Infinite Undiscovery, and from video I have seen so far they do seem to be similar games. Obviously the art style is different.

 

Best Buy is trying to keep me from getting it though. It hasn't shown up in my local store even though it was supposed to be released yesterday.

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Well, I only got about an hour into it due to the lateness, but so far it's a LOT like Symphonia. In the best way possible.

 

The world itself is interesting and the story is engaging. I mean the overall storyline seems to be shaping up into the usual Evil Empire, but the little details are great. The way they're telling this thus far is quite good, with a class struggle and what appears to be a great little love triangle in development. Symphonia was very good in this regard, but I am much more taken in with Vesperia's opening. There are definitely story notes here that are making me very anxious to sit down and play more.

 

The characters are fun. I already like main character a lot, there's definitely some Robin Hood/Han Solo/classic rogue archetype about him. And his sidekick is a pipe-smoking dog, which is all sorts of awesome.

 

Graphics and music are well done, especially if you love that anime art style. Had a hard time telling when it had shifted out of the opening and gone into the user-controller portion.

 

Hmm, what else? Combat is very similar. I got done with the tutorial to figure out the button presses and it was like putting on an old pair of gloves. Some minor alterations; you can free-run around the combat area with a button-press, which I believe you could not in Symphonia, but otherwise it's the same thing. You get graded on your performance, etc etc. It's fun, quick, and lightning fast. Challenging too. You're not getting past that first boss just by button-mashing, I assure you.

 

Oh, the skits are back too. I'm not sure if this is a feature of the Tales series or not (I suspect it might be, but I've only really done Symphonia so can't say for sure), but I loved the skits before and I love 'em now. They're a great way to flesh out the characters.

 

Right now it's at least as good as Symphonia, though it's hard to say from just an hour in, but rest assured there will be a LOT of time put into it this weekend to see if that holds up.

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Five hours now, still loving it.

 

The voice acting is the best I've heard so far in a JRPG, spot on.

 

Sense of humor is great. I've actually laughed out loud which is rare, it'd be the funniest game I played this year if I hadn't just finished The Simpsons.

 

Genuinely difficult boss fights. You can't just button mash things and win, which is nice. Even better, and this is the best damn thing ever, characters NOT in your active party for combat gain the same damn xp and points towards skills. No more of that bullshit that drives me insane where non-active characters get a friggin' portion and no skill points, meaning that you can't swap characters in and out when you want and have them of equal level. Here, though, you can, and I love it. That's been a pet peeve of mine with Final Fantasy forever and I'm glad somebody just outright changed it. :tu

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I keep trying to pick this one up. Earlier in the week a guy at Best Buy told me they'd get it today, but when I went they still did not have it. Just a heads up for anyone still planning on getting it - Fry's had it advertised yesterday for 54.99. I'll be having BB match that, if they ever get it in!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Will hit the 30-hour mark in this one soon, which is apparently towards the half-way point or so. Makes sense, a lot has happened but the story hasn't yet hit the 'epic world-ending catastrophe' level that I'm expecting it to reach. The plot threads are all there, the revelations just haven't hit yet.

 

This game is the bomb for anybody who loves a good JRPG. It's got a lot of old-school sensibilities but it's done just so well. The combat is an extension of the Symphonia/Tales style and it's challenging without being maddening. You are not gonna hold down a button and get through this game, lemme tell you.

 

The way they integrated the boss fights with achievements is also clever - you have 'secret missions' to fulfill and you're not told what they are but they're strategy moves which not only make the fight easier but also give you said achievement. Keeps you looking at your situation and surroundings.

 

In case I can't stress this enough, this story is really, really good. There have been brilliant plot twists here and the characters are all likeable. There's a particular scene(s?) with the lead where he takes a common storytelling cliche head-on and it's going to put this game in my Top 5 Moments for the year list easily.

 

Unless there's a helluva let-down coming, this game is definitely topping Symphonia for me. It's a damn shame that it doesn't seem to be getting a lot of play.

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  • 1 year later...

I finally got around to taking this out of the wrapper, thanks to Mass Effect's issues on my 360. I should have done it sooner! It's been hand-crafted for Tales of Symphonia fans like myself, just as Mark said. It looks great in HD, it plays similarly (a good thing), and so far, the characters & story are well written - my wife, a notorious critic of anime cliches, is even paying attention to the characters.

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Oh there's at least one cliche that Yuri just basically kicks right in the junk. And it isn't just a cliche of anime, but all storytelling that I feel takes the easy way out. I assure you that when you see the scene you'll be waiting for it to happen, then it just... doesn't. I loved the game even more at that point.

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Heh, looking forward to it.

 

At the third boss battle, massive difficulty spike... So far, not a single death, but blam, dead three times in a row, though the last one was close. Boss battles actually require strategy unlike most field battles so far.

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I just got Judith/Judy as a party member & am working my way up that particular Tower. I doubt I've got past the part you're talking about.

 

I'm glad somebody else played it at last .

 

It's Tales of Symphonia HD in everything but name; how could I not play that? :)

Edited by dogbert
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So three of us own it ;)

 

Still playing it over anything else in the backlog, still loving it. Worked my way through the desert sequence & back to the big reveal back at Nordopolica... I'm not going to call them "twists" because they're not Shmalymanan style plot changes, but there's been some nice 'changes' to the storyline progression and to the scope/history of the characters.

 

I loved the story progression between Yuri, Flynn & Cuomo (sp?) at Mantaic after the long tough desert sequence; a suitable climax.

Edited by dogbert
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Pretty sure you're past my favorite part of the storyline, Brian. If you're past Ghasfarost then you definitely saw it by now.

 

 

When Yuri goes vigilante justice on Ragou and kills him. That was some great storytelling; you don't see many heroes who are willing to take the greater good upon themselves and the whole event is left very nebulous as to whether it's even a good thing or a bad thing.

 

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Ah, gotcha. As I said, the second such scene had more impact on me as it was more calculated & cold blooded. I'm looking forward to seeing the consequences.

 

At about 25 hours with about ~35-40% of skits viewed. How long did it take you to finish?

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More progress; got the means of rapid travel last night & access to all those islands without beaches ;) I loved how the major story beat with Don Whitehouse was resolved; like the moments mentioned in spoilers above, I got to give the writing team praise for sticking to their guns.

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I'm hitting the classic JRPG "Wall". I got past a major story point with the big reveals of the world's history & the consequences of blastia, as well as the reveal of the real big baddy & the baggage that goes with it. At 26+ hours, there's still tons of game to go but I'm in a dungeon I can't stand & finding it hard to continue. Gah!

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