The ‘Tales Of’ series has been one of the most-popular JRPG franchises from Bandai Namco that up until now, it continues to be a massive hit. From the plethora of ‘Tales Of’ game that have been released, there has been a few that stood out and that’s the previously Xbox-exclusive Tales of Vesperia that was released back in 2008. Exactly ten years following its release, Bandai Namco is re-releasing the game on all major platforms including the Nintendo Switch to give everyone the opportunity to play the classic hit title that only Xbox players were able to experience in North America.
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is the same game that Bandai Namco released ten years ago on Xbox 360 – except it has a lot of new content this time around that never made its way in North America unless you are in Japan. The term “Definitive Edition” shouldn’t come off as a surprise already as there has been a lot of games like this one in the past. What fans will be getting in Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is an updated re-release of the original game with a lot of improvements to look forward to.
For those who have not played Tales of Vesperia before, the game has one of the best storylines in a ‘Tales Of’ game. It tackles a lot of different themes like friendship, family, and of course betrayal. The game starts off in the world of Terca Lumireis in which the place is powered by a so-called Blastia – a protective barrier that has been protecting towns and other places from vicious monsters that have been roaming the world using a power coming from ancient monsters. Unfortunately, one of the Blastia in the lower quarter of the Imperial City Zaphias has been stolen in which our main character Yuri Lowell, sets out to catch the thief. This starts the story of Tales of Vesperia where Yuri will eventually uncover the mystery surrounding the Blastias and how his discoveries will change the world.
Along with Yuri, he will be joined by a group of people that will make Yuri’s journey a fun and exciting one. One of the characters that will join Yuri in his adventures is the princess Estelle and his loyal dog, Repede. Compared to the recently released Tales Of game that came out, Tales of Vesperia manages to have a modern battle system that everyone is accustomed to and of course a lively world to explore. However, those who have played games like Tales of Berseria and Tales of Vesperia will see how much Tales Of game have improved in a lot of areas, but still – Tales of Vesperia manages to still feel modern at this day of age.
Nothing has changed when it comes to the gameplay. If you have been playing Tales Of games for the past years, the progression and battle system will feel pretty familiar to you. If I am not mistaken, Tales of Vesperia is one of the first games to introduce the ability to move around the battlefield whenever you encounter a monster in the map. As far as linearity is concerned, the game is not super linear as it offers quests to give you a break from the lengthy adventure of Yuri. Just like the original, the game can take around sixty hours to complete.
Now discussing what the Definitive Edition offers for fans who have already played the game, one of most notable features is the updated resolution. While it’s not 4K enhanced for those who have a PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, the game still looks crisp and solid at its upscaled resolution. Though it would be really cool if Bandai Namco manages to make the resolution at 4K.
As for other content, there will be two playable party members that will be available later on the game – that is Flynn and Patty. In addition, there is also additional content that has never released outside of Japan such as new locales that you can visit, new costumes, and of course scenario. If there is one thing that I really love about Tales Of games, that would be the Skits scenarios that further expands the lore of the game.
For those who prefer the original voice acting, there is an option to choose the Japanese track at the beginning of the game. Since this is the second time around for me playing the game, I find the Japanese voice-overs to be slightly better than the English ones.
Discussing performance in consoles, primarily the Xbox One version that I played, the game runs pretty smoothly. There hasn’t been a moment where I encountered major hiccups that detracts me from fully enjoying the game. However, there are some instances that I encountered minor slow down when moving from a large city to the next.
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition retains the charm of the original, despite being 10-years-old. To date, Tales of Vesperia remains one of the best Tales Of games that Bandai Namco has released and a solid choice to release all the content North America didn’t get to experience. While the game shows its age, such as the occasional hiccup, it shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying what it has to offer. Regardless of whether you played the original or a first time player, you should give this game another whirl.