When this game was announced on the xbox I was slightly disappointed and I am not sure why, I think it was because I loved Tales of Symphonia on the gamecube and love platforms sticking to the platform I fell in love with on. [Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the new world, now available to pre order on the wii].
First thing I noticed about this game was the intro which shows an Anime cut scene showing all the characters in action along to a very catchy theme tune so much so I leave it a to run through before I play the game.
As a fan of the Tales series Vesperia does not disappoint at all and ticks all the boxes to be a very enjoyable game. All the characters you get and meet are very likable which is strange in most RPG’s as there is normally at least one that gets on your nerves and most of the time it’s the kid. Although we do have a couple of them in Vesperia they work well of each other and become likable, this is down to how well the script is written for these characters, there are lots of speaking parts and most are humours. The only thing that started to annoy me where at the end of a battle your characters will say something and this can get repetitive but thankfully they do change through the game and depending on what characters you have in your party and also can be skipped.
You play as Yuri Lowell. You’re an ex-soldier, living in the lower class world. Yuri quit the Knights because he was fed up with the way laws were stopping people get their just deserves and this as you will see when the game goes on is where Yuri comes into his own and shows a darker side to him. The first character you bump into and is also your healer is Estelle who is a vital character to have in your group of 4 but her whole “I am not coming with you anymore ok I will” attitude gets old very quickly.
Some people have said the battle system is just button mashing but there is so much more to in then this especially when facing bosses and harder enemies. It’s true that you would only use two attack buttons in a fight but you do need to block and watch everyone’s health as you are fighting. Also special attacks are provided later and can pop up in the middle of any fight. You would just control Yuri while the other 3 characters will attack and do their own thing around you, you can put your trust in your healer but it’s worth protecting her and stop her being attacked so she can cast. It would also be wise to watch her TP [Magic Meter] so she can cast, this can be replenished during battle slowly, after battle or through items.
As well as fighting and special attacks you will also pick up a limit meter which will increase as you play the game, this allows you a short burst of attacks without stopping and is great when under pressure. There were bosses where I would clean out some of my healing and Life items and it’s annoying that you are only limited to carry 15.
The usual RPG things apply like at the end of a battle you will gain experience, money and maybe new skills. You carry items for everything you need; you can change/upgrade weapons and clothing and carry a certain item to help you. And also for anyone who has played any of the previous games you can also cook certain foods which have different benefits.
I also love the soundtrack to this game; the music matches the mood of places you visit and the storyline which is a big factor of any RPG.
Alongside Lost Oddesy this is one of my favourite RPG’s on the Xbox 360, I wait with high hopes for the 2nd Tales of Symphonia game coming out on the Wii.
My Score 91%