Tales of Vesperia Xbox 360
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Released on 26/06/2009
A power struggle begins in a civilization dependant on an ancient technology, the blastia, and the Empire that controls it. The fates of two friends traveling separate paths intertwine in an epic adventure that threatens the existence of all.
Tales of Vesperia marks the first Tales RPG release in HD with detail and graphics never before seen in the series. Now, real-time battles are more exciting than ever with over limits, the ability to unleash fatal strikes, combinations and burst artes. The next evolution of the revered role-playing series comes to the Xbox 360.
- 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 the most action-packed, dynamic RPG fighting ever
- 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 hero on a quest for justice, trust and friendship with unexpected twists and turns at every step
- A decade of Tales – The first game celebrating the Tales 10 year anniversary
Tales of Graces F coming to PlayStation 3 next summer
Namco Bandai has revealed that the newest instalment of its Tales of... series, Tales of Graces F, will be coming to PlayStation 3 next summer.
The game is the first in the beloved franchise to be released on Sony's console and is an enhanced version of the original Wii title Tales of Graces, which was released to great acclaim only in Japan in 2009.
Tales of Graces F chronicles an epic conflict between three kingdoms, following hero Asbel Lhrant and his friends on an amazing quest that will defy their expectations and test the bonds between them.
It features a revamped real-time battle system that lets players change their combat style and weaponry on the fly, bringing new flexibility, accessibility and tactical depth to skirmishes.
The game features the same amazing visuals for which Namco Tales Studio is known, with rich character designs provided by the acclaimed Mutsumi Inomata.
This follows the recent release of Tales of the Abyss on Nintendo 3DS, a previous instalment in the franchise that was originally released on PlayStation 2 but has only now made its European debut.
A fantastic tale ready to be told...
What was your golden gaming period? Mine came in late 2001. After I exhaustively enjoyed six months of Dreamcast online sensation Phantasy Star Online, I switched to singleplayer RPGs and in a few short months got through the superb Skies of Arcadia, the great Grandia 2 and Sega's iconic Shenmue II, plus the seminal Final Fantasy VII. And it's happening again.
Just a couple of days after finally conquering Square Enix's majestic Final Fantasy XII (Gambits > Defeat: Vayne!) Tales of Vesperia landed on my desk. What's a guy to do?
The Tales series has been around for going on a decade, but this is its first appearance on a HD-ready console... and it looks fantastic. Sure, it may not have the gritty believability of a Mass Effect or the sprawling gameworld of a Fallout, but this is a different kind of role-player. The wide-eyed characters, colourful landscape and stylised cel-shading in Tales of Vesperia come together to make this one of the best-looking Japanese-style RPGs on the Xbox 360, creating a world of childlike wonder that perfectly suits Vesperia's anime-style story.
The wide-eyed characters, colourful landscape and stylised cel-shading create a world of childlike wonder that perfectly suits Vesperia's anime-style story.
In that story, you take on the role of main character Yuri. At first, he seems like your typical JRPG lead character cliché; a sword-wielding loner with effeminate looks and a problem with authority figures. Only an hour in, however, and his self-depreciating nature and understated voice acting will have you warming to him.
Within that first hour you'll have explored the gameworld's capital city (and Yuri's home) of Zaphias, met a couple of key characters, gotten to grips with the battle system (more on that later), and eventually find yourself setting out along with your fateful pooch Repede and sheltered Palace-dweller Estelle to find a jewel thief, locate endangered imperial knight Flynn, and recover the blastia core (energy-filled crystals) which powers the water system for the lower quarter of caste-divided Zaphias.
It's a quaint start, then, but one which snowballs into an epic and engrossing experience. As new characters join your party, small plot questions become larger mysteries and Vesperia's deep gameplay systems open up before your eyes, you soon find yourself almost overwhelmed with customisation options, collectibles, side-missions, stat-enhancing cooking recipes, equipment-creating synthesis combos, and an increasingly tactical battle engine.
Fights in Tales of Vesperia are not your typical complex, slow, tactical menu-driven affairs. Nor do they happen at random like in RPGs of old. Instead, you can see your foes on the screen, meaning you can choose when to enter and when to avoid battles.
Action-packed battles sit nicely between deeply tactical titles like FFXII and a more instinctive, fast-paced action game.
Walking into an enemy causes the screen to shatter, and loads up the battle mode itself – a small, 3D environment in which you control one character, moving left and right with the left analogue stick, attack with B, use that character's powerful artes attacks on A, guard with X, jump by pressing X and up on the stick, and run around the 3D area by moving whilst holding the L trigger. Items are accessed by pressing Y, and as is now fashionable in the genre you can assign your A.I. companions (up to three accompany you on the battlefield) different default actions and positions within your battle formation.
Initially it all seems a bit frantic, but as you get used to it, unlock new artes and overkill moves, learn new skills, discover items to allow you to switch party leaders mid-battle, and start to define which characters are your curers, spell casters, ranged attackers and melee strikers, Tales of Vesperia's action-packed battles take on an appeal that sits nicely between deeply tactical titles like FFXII and a more instinctive, fast-paced action game.
In many ways then, Tales of Vesperia is an altogether traditional Eastern RPG; but the polish, presentation and unusually high level of accessibility in its battle system make it an outstanding release – especially on Xbox 360, which isn't exactly famed for housing genre greats like those in my opening paragraph. In fact, it's fair to say that this is probably the console's best Japanese RPG – and with Final Fantasy XIII on the horizon as well, Microsoft's machine might just be entering its own role-playing golden age.
- A typical Japanese RPG on Xbox 360 with a remarkable level of polish and refinement.
- The battle system is particularly approachable, and yet deceptively tactical.
- Beautifully dreamy cel-shaded presentation and charming, often understated voice acting.
- Refines the typical Tales RPG formula without doing anything especially new.
- There are more tactical RPG battle systems out there.
- Some of the wide-eyed cuteness can be a bit cheesy and won't be for everyone.
Tales of Graces F coming to PlayStati… (16/12/2011)
Namco Bandai has revealed that the newest instalment of its Tales of... series, Tales of Graces F, will be coming to PlayStation 3 next summer.…
Tales of Vesperia Review (16/07/2009)
A fantastic tale ready to be told...
What was your golden gaming period? Mine came in late 2001. After…
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