Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition is for all intents and purposes a celebration of the game as it reaches its 10th anniversary. As with any remaster the game features upscaled graphics and content previously exclusive to the Japanese-only PlayStation 3 release, alongside Japanese and English audio. Having been only available for the Xbox 360 outside of Japan this marks a special release for a lot of Tales of fans.
The world of Vesperia is intriguing. A civilisation that depends on blastia, an ancient technology that is heavily controlled by the Empire. Blastia comes in many varieties and can greatly improve the day-to-day lives of people. It can even create barriers that keep the cities safe from hordes of monster that roam freely outside. The more valuable blastia is reserved for the upper classes and nobles. But when a low-grade blastia from the lower quarter is stolen, former Imperial Knight Yuri Lowell sets out to track down its thief. And so ensues a tale of twists and turns. Taking us across the world to uncover a plot much deeper than simple theft.
Vesperia opens with a very basic premise and never truly expands upon that in the early stages of the game. A slow burn would be an understatement. The theft angle is a little too simple to carry the story for the amount of time it needs to. Making progress in those early stages a slog. Anime cutscenes, created by Production I.G., help the story along. Combined with short skits that can be viewed as they become available. The skits themselves are not completely important to the story but help give the characters some much-needed personality.
Battles comprise one player-controlled character and AI-controlled party members, given the action-oriented mechanics, this works well. You can move your character freely within the isolated battle environment. Allowing you to unleash basic attacks and skills from the optimal position. The AI does a decent job of maintaining the rest of your party, but be sure to monitor everyone’s health. You can set commands allowing for better micromanagement over how your party performs during battle. Allowing you greater control over each battle’s outcome. The battle system can be a little sluggish here and there by today’s standards but remains enjoyable.
The game runs smoothly; the graphics have been upscaled, but still look a little dated, which is a charm in itself.
Ultimately, Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition should please fans of the series and even attract a new generation of fans into the ‘Tales of’ franchise.
Review copy provided by Bandai Namco Entertainment