- Platform: Xbox360
- Genre: JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game)
- Release Date: 8/26/2008 (USA)
This post marks my first real preview ever, and this is probably due to the fact that I’m afraid that Tales of Vesperia won’t meet great expectations in the sales department, and that would be unfortunate because Tales games are exceptionally great JRPGs. The biggest surprise is that the game is heading to Xbox360 exclusively, a home console that is famous for catering to the hardcore, all-American crowd that usually favors shooters and action games over RPG games (just take a look on its 10 Top games and you’ll get my point). Although this is not a mockery but it’s more like a solid observation based on sales, however; things might change in the future especially since Xbox360 is getting some nice exclusive JRPG games such as Infinite Undiscovery and Star Ocean: The Last Hope. In the mean time, enjoy the write-up and the complied information for this promising game. It is also worth mentioning that the Demo Version is already available on Xbox Live, so go ahead and give it a try.
The people of Terca Lumireis rely on Blastia, technology created from Core with a wide array of properties, to carry out their daily lives in peace. Most importantly, Blastia is used to create barriers. Because monsters overindulge in Aer and become powerful and dangerous, as a result, barriers are needed to hold them back from entering the cities. However, because Blastia protects and shelters people from the dangers of the world, it has prevented most citizens from exploring what lies beyond city walls.
Yuri Lowell, who he lives under the protection of barriers, longs to journey the outside world like his childhood friend Flynn Scifo. Flynn is a knight working for the capital, and thus is allowed to leave the city to protect citizens from harm. Yuri was once a knight with those same ideals, but because he hated the way the government enforced things, he retired and instead started up his own guild, Brave Vesperia, to serve the poor using his own sense of justice. When a Blastia regulating the water supply is stolen from the lower quarters of the capital, Yuri takes matters into his own hands, only to be landed in jail. There, he encounters the sheltered Estelle, who decides to help him capture the Blastia thief so that she can leave the castle that has confined her for many years and explore the world herself.
- Yuri Lowell
The main protagonist of the game that wields a sword in battle. An empathetic young man, who doesn’t give a second thought about helping those in need, but he knows his limits. He is quite sarcastic and cynical but a nice man at heart. He was once a knight, which gave him the freedom of taking brief journeys outside his hometown, but now works as a bodyguard. Envious of Flynn, he decides to leave his city and see the world himself. He hates the nobility and the government. He also yearns for his older brother. He meets Estelle when events lead him to be imprisoned.
The heroine of the game that wields swords and staves. Her real name is Estellise, but she is also called Estelle. She uses healing magic and has pink hair. In the castle, Estelle encounters Yuri. She separates herself from her sad world, and begins to speak out and take action. She was kept in her castle for a long time, where she took up training with the sword. The many things she encounters in the outside world also surprise her. She enjoys reading books and takes the knowledge or other info she gains from them very seriously.
- Flynn Scifo
A knight that wields a sword and shield. Flynn shared his childhood with Yuri, though they contrast from one another. He has similar ideals of helping others, but chooses to work them out via politics instead. After Yuri retired from the knights, he began to gain many achievements and was promoted. He neglects those of the nobility, but is friendlier to the common people of the empire. He travels regularly to fend off monsters, a fact that makes Yuri envious.
Yuri’s loyal dog, who accompanies Yuri to places and fights with him using a dagger. He holds a pipe in his mouth, which is a memento of his previous owner. He is very close and friendly with those he accepts, but hates it when those he doesn’t know try to touch him. He appears to be the calmest of the group.
- Rita Mordio
A brunette-haired girl who wears goggles. She is a researcher that studies Blastia, and hates to be interrupted during her research. She is eccentric and has a poor social disposition. In battle she wields a book and is capable of using various magical attacks.
- Karol Capel
A little boy who wields a giant hammer and various other large weapons. He says that he is from the Hunting Blades guild. Due to certain circumstances he accompanies Yuri on his journey
A beautiful woman that wields a spear. She is a member of the Kuritea tribe, a minority race. She encountered Yuri while wandering the world with two companions. She is sensible and speaks of going ahead without taking measures. She appears gentle, but she decides without hesitation and pushes onward. She speaks strongly without delay, which makes it difficult to socialize with her. When she goes into battle, she becomes violent, which creates a feeling of mystery about her.
A frivolous and shady-looking man that wears long clothes, and uses a bow and a dagger. He appears before Yuri while he is traveling, and annoys Yuri and his friends through his persiflage. To step back from troublesome things his voice becomes high-pitched immediately, and he becomes defiant to answer with his worried personality. As might be expected of someone his age, he strangely implies of past hardships, but the actual truth no one knows.
- A classic series returns: The newest installment of the Tales RPG series keeping the established gameplay formula that fans love
- Next Gen sights and sounds: First Tales RPG game with high-definition graphics, broadcast quality animation, and Dolby surround sound
- Evolved real-time battle system: New refinements and additions to the trademark Tales real-time battle engine making for dynamic, action-packed RPG fighting
- Fan favorite character designs: Characters designed by famous manga artist, Kosuke Fujishima, responsible for popular series’ Ah! My Goddess, Sakura Taisen and You’re Under Arrest
- Immersive look and feel: Detailed environments, animation and an artistic style so good, it’s like playing a cartoon
- Dramatic story: Gripping tale of a young hero on a quest for justice, trust and friendship filled with unexpected twists and turns at every step
- A decade of Tales: The first game celebrating the Tales 10 year anniversary
- Titles are obtained through main story, sub-events, & mini-games.
- Attachments are accessories you can equip and they change the appearance as we already know. They are obtained through synthesis, depending on the materials you have. Each character has different attachment and some characters even have ten of them. Keep in mind that attachments don’t have stat boosts or anything like that.
- You can mix titles and accessories together, but some combination cannot be done.
- Some titles and attachments can be downloaded via Xbox Live but they are definitely in the game as well.
- The Xbox Live list is international, ranking from fastest clear time, highest combo, highest damage, highest mini-game points, arena, etc.
- All kinds of transportation: boat, airship, flying creature, etc. It seems the boat will be used for a large portion of the game.
- The world map is made of six continents.
- Time and weather change: day, night, dusk, twilight, sunny, raining, etc. There are materials and monsters that would only show up at specific times and weather, in addition, different NPC at towns and dialogue at different times and weather. This also affects story events: one could get this scene during a sunny day, but someone else could get the same scene during a rainy night, etc.
- Making the same recipe over and over again can produce out a new recipe.
- There are three difficulties known so far. You will not succeed in secret missions if you beat the boss on Easy.
- The gameplay time is around 50 to 60 hours (longest main scenario in the series supposedly).
- After beating the game, you can unlock about half of the achievements. Then the “real” challenge begins.
- Rare weapons, mostly made from synthesis, have the Special skill (5 SP), which is for Mystic Artes. Usually, you need Over Limit Lv3 to do so.
- Over Limit Lv4 requires key items, made from synthesis. Many key items are made through synthesis. Sorcerer’s Ring, this time around, has levels. Lower levels allow to get rid off small items like trees and wood, but for stuff like the Gigant Monsters, the path will be blocked till you have a higher-level Sorcerer’s Ring. Otherwise, you’ll run into Game Over before you notice it.
In The Mean Time…
Go and pick up Tales of The Abyss for the Playstation 2. It’s one of the best JRPGs released in the last console generation. You will absolutely love the compelling characters, the diverse side-quests and mini-games, and mind-blowing gameplay. As a matter of fact, Jade Curtiss alone justifies purchasing this game; he’s one of my favorite videogame characters of all time, really. Read my review HERE.
On The Horizon