CGRundertow TALES OF VESPERIA for Xbox 360 Video Game Review


Awright, I’ve been on kind of a Tales kick
lately. Once I hear a Sakuraba soundtrack, I want to hear more, and more, and more. So
when Jerid from Missouri sent us this copy of Tales of Vesperia – one of those alarmingly
rare XBox 360 JRPGs – well, I may have sprained something jumping on it. (And clipped Derek
in the kneecap. But that was just for fun.) And so I started playing, and thought to myself,
“SELF! This feels just like Tales of the Abyss! Only with more voice acting and no
3D jammed into it!” The battle system’s almost identical. The “Interstitial skits
with faces in boxes” are there too. The biggest differences I found were that the
plot actually bothered to explain what the hell was going on, Yuri Lowenthal – I mean,
Lowell – is a kind of cheerfully sarcastic Robin Hood type that I can tolerate for the
duration of a JRPG, and… this dog’s smoking a pipe. Your argument is invalid. So some shmendrick’s going around, stealing
gems. Gems that make barriers work. Barriers that keep monsters from overrunning cities.
And when it happens in Yuri’s home, he doesn’t get mad, he gets even. Unfortunately, such
vigilante justice is frowned upon by the local constabulary, and so one man’s quest for
retribution quickly becomes a criminal record long as my arm. Fortunately, with the help
of a regal-looking healer girl (and is there any other kind), he makes his way out of the
city to tail the thief, getting into all sorts of misadventures in the process. Along the
way you join forces with a precocious hunter kid, precocious researcher kid, disreputable
informant… y’know what, you’ve heard all this before. Combat plays out in real-time,
with various combinations of guarding, attacking, and doing really shiny stuff, along with the
occasional quick-time fatal blow if your eyes and fingers are working well. Like in Tales
of the Abyss, you move in a straight line relative to your target, but can break that
linearity by holding the left trigger or choosing a different foe. My primary issue is with
the relatively small area of attacks, especially when going up against a half-dozen foes or
more. Sure, you’ve got this guy in front of you handled, but get another four guys
on your flanks and you can’t really respond save for an AoE special attack, which will
probably be interrupted by one of those four guys I mentioned earlier. This isn’t the game that’s going to turn
anyone on JRPGs. But Vesperia – and its new cousin, Tales of Graces f – are evidence that
old-school concepts that originated in the 16-bit era still have a place in the conversation.
Without going into the history lesson again, the feeling I get from these games today is
the same that I got from Star Ocean almost a decade and a half ago. It’s the kind of
game that can tell a story without taking itself too seriously, while still being heavy
enough to keep driving you to play it. Is it nostalgia if it’s new, but following
an older formula? Like Throwback Pepsi? I suppose the more important question is…
where the hell did that dog get a pipe?

82 comments

  • LudoKai

    By far the best RPG out for a console <3

    Reply
  • Praise The Masculine Flames

    I like this game

    Reply
  • Bryce Pants

    This is really the best JRPG for the 360. The characters are actually likable (unlike most JRPG characters), the plot is well written, and it doesn't follow a lot of the cliches that comes with this genre. The combat works well, the voice acting is really good, and the game flows at a good pace, even if you do have to grind out some levels here and there.

    I've always liked the Tales series and this one is in my top three.

    Reply
  • StarBoy Jones TV

    Was this ever on the PS3?

    Reply
  • Minako Arisato

    There is in Japan, but no, this never came to the US.

    Reply
  • Wexter0083

    I prefer Symphonia but Vesparia is great and I hope to own a physical verson, (damn XBLA) but its so hard to find.

    Reply
  • TomApple

    … i would like this game if it was released on the ps3… but japan has no plans on releasing the ps3 enhanced port…. so… yea…
    and i don't ever plan on buying a 360 just for 1 game, i like jrpgs but there isn't enough good quality jrpgs that are only released on the 360 (due to the fact the 360 isn't popular in japan) to make me want to buy a 360 for that reason, and i don't like the 360 because of its fail rate

    Reply
  • sojiro856

    I think the pipe in Repede's mouth is from his previous owner. I don't think the dog ever smokes the pipe.

    Reply
  • mylifeintheknifetrade

    Easily the best Tales game.

    Reply
  • AnimeWolfgamer

    Man this is one game I wish I bought but no and now I can't find a copy.

    Reply
  • sirjj25

    My fav game of all time have played it 27 times with 999 hours each time

    Reply
  • ZeroFang

    "how the hell did the Dog get a pipe?"……..Watch ToV the First Strike.

    Reply
  • yodagamer1

    I'm sure he finished it at some point, they probably want to contain the spoilers so they only show the beginning

    Reply
  • BearCat

    Confirmed, that's how I got it

    Reply
  • Jawnsunn

    Skits, voice acting, and battle system is in every Tales game.

    Excluding the SNES version.

    Reply
  • FastTquick

    For once, I would like developers to make a JRPG with real-time, action-oriented combat kind of like what was seen in Dragon's Dogma mixed with Assassin's Creed. I love how the Tales series' combat is kind of a step in that direction, but I would like to be able to freely move around the battlefield rather than be locked in one linear direction.

    Reply
  • PixelleHearts

    like final fantasy type zero or XIII versus?

    Reply
  • overlordbaal

    Symphonia and Vesperia are best Tales of

    Reply
  • AnimeWolfgamer

    Wait the whole version like without a disk?

    Reply
  • AnimeWolfgamer

    Wow you don't know what a good game is do you?

    Reply
  • Nat Varmac

    Really? I got mine off of Amazon last week for $25.

    Reply
  • dudeofdeath868

    TALES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Joey M

    I just happen to be playing this at the moment 🙂 Awesome game, easily the best on the 360 😉

    Reply
  • Linux_Rocks

    I wish we'd get the enhanced PS3 version of this in the west. It has added features and other extras.

    Reply
  • Dalton Perdue

    HEY, I LIKE PEPSI THROWBACK! 🙂

    Reply
  • DwRockett

    Just wondering, wasn't this the game that sold a bajillion Xbox 360s in Japan or something like that?

    Reply
  • Frankxx87

    Tj you suck

    Reply
  • Raven Night

    you only been playing video games for 3 years right?

    Reply
  • Vir Animus

    This game was really cool, but I preferred the Symphonia story arc to this one. However, Flynn is probably my favorite Tales character- I was so angry when I figured out that you couldn't play as him!

    Reply
  • larryminzy

    why was this game only released for the ps3 in Japan? I played the Japan demo

    Reply
  • deadjames3

    What's wrong with anime? It's better than any of the shitty tv shows we have here in America.

    Reply
  • deadjames3

    You can on the PS3 version, and he's basically like this game's version of Luke from Tales of the Abyss.

    Reply
  • deadjames3

    Yeah you obviously haven't seen very much anime because those things are only true of the shows that are really popular internationally, but if you actually watch the stuff that they don't show on tv, you'd see how wrong you are. Also you don't seem to understand that anime is an artstyle not a genre, so it also depends on what genre you watch. If you want to see proof that you're wrong then check out Mushi Shi, Darker Than Black, Gurren Lagann, Spice and Wolf, and Samurai Champloo to name a few

    Reply
  • larryminzy

    NO SHIT 😐

    Reply
  • Flesh Man

    Is this like Tales of Symphonia on the Gamecube? I loved that game.

    Reply
  • konataGAMERZ

    ordered the game. payed for it. played it for 60 hours. got tired.

    not disappointed. gonna continue playing it later

    Reply
  • NettoSaito

    Yep and most fans agree that Vesperia is the tales of game that compares to it/is better than Symphonia. So in other words, if you love Symphonia, you'll love Vesperia lol

    Reply
  • Electric Relaxation Alex Mayweather

    sakuraba's getting old im beginning to predict triplets and his 4 to 3 suspension resolutions. sorry but kinda repetitive

    Reply
  • drtokubuns

    I love games like this:3 star ocean 3 and it's combat we're most reminiscent of this style even though the dialogue and voice acting had ALOT to be desired,star ocean 4 realized its faults and added new elements And cleaned up cutscenes combat voices and dialogue…why am I talking about this in a tales of vesperia review? Because that dog was smoking a pipe!!!

    Reply
  • TehGamerJake

    I disagree with 2:44. Shown this game to a few friends and they are also pretty interested 😛

    Reply
  • lambers69

    i thought this was much better then tales of graces f, but regardless they are still two awesome games! 🙂

    Reply
  • Brian Maglinger

    Alot of people think Vesperia is better than Graces f,
    reguardless both are great games because they are made by two different teams.
    Vesperia is an upgraded Abyss and Graces f is an enhanced Wii port that's tons of fun!

    Reply
  • Shawn Watts

    Totally agree

    Reply
  • KillMePlease

    I imported the PS3 version, and it's damn good.

    Reply
  • TheGoodzGamer

    I came here to let some steam off from that terribad Abyss review, stop referencing it lol

    Reply
  • Wenceslao Futanki

    damn thats how rpgs should look, we need some remakes with those aesthetics

    Reply
  • Taylor Skinner

    Repede has a pipe as a keepsake of his old master if you played the game you'd know that….

    Reply
  • Jarrett DeVore

    good review thanks man

    Reply
  • ipatchi002

    Thats not a dog, thats Repede.

    Reply
  • ipatchi002

    He only ever shows footage from the beginning of the game.

    Reply
  • lambers69

    The question he asked at the end can be answered by the film they made for this, this possibly is my favourite game, i actually prefer this to final fantasy 7 which is extremely hard for me to admit!

    Reply
  • dyldragon1

    Review Crash Bandicoot Wrath of Cortex!!!!!

    Reply
  • dyldragon1

    Am I the only person that sees Saeko from HOTD here?

    Reply
  • Geektasmo

    I missed an opportunity to buy this game and now I am kicking myself…le sigh

    Reply
  • KillMePlease

    Yeah, it still didn't sell as well as they had hoped in Japan so they made a heavily expanded PS3 port that never made it over here.

    Reply
  • KingR098

    Yeah, but that doesn't really matter considering they ported again to the PS3 with a tons of extra goodies. After the success of the PS3's Vesperia, Bamco ended up just releasing the rest of the Tales Of games on PS3 (Vesperia, Graces F, Xillia, Xillia 2)

    Reply
  • BULL BEAR

    Yep, you know it.. This review calls for a *facepalm* Anyone wondering if they should pick up Vesperia, the answer is yes.

    Reply
  • BULL BEAR

    One other quick thing, this game basically has 2 different styles of fighting. One the option of being a power-house, killing enemies quickly resulting in a snooze fest battle. Or turn your power to minimum damage (skill set options available after weapon pickup) and learn how to combo and Fatal Strike. This is when I rediscovered a whole new (AWESOME) game. This clown doing the review obviously didn't take the time.

    Reply
  • TheLordDeliverence

    If it wasn't for this game my xbox would have just been a paper weight.

    Reply
  • CoreyOfMyLife

    For good reason.

    Reply
  • Luchiop

    I love the tales series, but this one pushed my cliché tolerance boundaries way too far. maybe it's time to give it a rest till i play the next one.

    Reply
  • lambers69

    this game and the tales series in general is the reason i still have hope for the gaming industry, amazing games, i get a great feeling too from these games, like the great feeling i got from final fantasy 7! p.s the question you asked at the end of the video is answered in the tales of vesperia film

    Reply
  • II Noxus II

    Im a massive rpg fan but when I played the demo of this I didn't like it

    Reply
  • Renz Buster

    You can't be attached by this game by downloading just the part of it, the tales game was known to have excellent story as for a true rpg fan you should know this.

    Reply
  • galdaius107

    in my opinion this is the best RPG for Xbox. End of story.

    Reply
  • Makoto Yuki

    the demo is shit, I put off buying the game cause of it. HIGHLY regret that, this is the best JRPG this gen.

    Reply
  • TheUnknown Joe

    Dog with a pipe?
    Japan. Nuff said.

    Reply
  • Gatsefy

    There's an anime to explain how Repede got a pipe…

    Reply
  • Natedog

    i love this guys reviews, but this one was just terrible! he sounds like he didnt even want to play the game or do a review about it. what a let down cuz this was one my fav games

    Reply
  • ryan cook

    Best jrpg this gen without a doubt.

    Reply
  • MxNasty206

    i love tales of vepseria!
    and btw repede got the pipe from his former owner who died. there's a movie that explains the life of some of the characters before the game. such as yuri, flynn, repede, rita, and raven.

    Reply
  • DevilHunter1994

    I love this game and Yuri may just take the spot as my favorite protagonist in a JRPG. He tough enough so that he doesn't take shit from anyone and yet he's also a fun guy who doesn't dwell on some dark past. (Not saying I don't like characters to have dark pasts, I'm just saying it gets old after seeing so often.) Too bad we never got the superior PS3 version of the game. God dammit

    Reply
  • AlexeiVesperia

    no, the only reason y namco bandai release tales of vesperia on xbox360 is becoz microsoft throw a lot of money to them …. its got nothing to do with loyalty .. if anything, ps3 owner is the one who should pissed off and they actually did . .haven't you heard in japan, one tales fan burn and break ToV 360 disc when he found out that ToV will be release soon on ps3 ,he's mad becoz he just bought xbox360 just for the game ..

    Reply
  • Braids

    I doubt it, since there was a PS3 version in Japan that even had extra content.

    Reply
  • FilleAtomique02

    I loved ToV, but if I had to be honest, it's mostly out of nostalgia and loyalty. If I didn't get a free Xbox and was lended it by a friend I probably would have never played it. ToS was my first JRPG and ever since I basically made a pact with Namco and love them. Playing a Tales game is like coming to your parents house. They might get a new sofa or some shit, but they are formulaic, and nothing changes too much. That's great, but then it gets annoying.

    I fell in love because Yuri was the new couch. They took a character with a Kratos/Regal/Jade/Guy ish demeenor, threw in some Lloyd for that hunger for justice and BLAM: You have a Medieval RPG Batman/Robinhood of sorts. But it got too cookie cutter after that.

    I mean, Raven's role is pretty similar to Zelos, Estelle is basically Colette, Karol/Rita are pretty much Genis. and Judith is pretty much Sheena, or Tear if you wanna go ToA. 

    And the plot is pretty formulaic too: simple initial mission that blossoms into a series of unfortunate events that leads into the party going scooby doo and becoming meddling kids that leads into exposing someone as a traitor of sorts that leads into some ELEMENTAL SPIRIT CHASING that leads into betrayal that leads into OMG HEROINE MUST BE MARY SUE AND WE GOTS TO SAVE HER. blah blah blah.

    And at some point you have to call upon the knowledge of some isolated dying-off people. You get the drift. It's nice to see how they stay relevent and reinvent themselves…but how many combinations of the same shit can you do?

    Reply
  • Elvis Florian

    So in order for me to try this game out I have to buy a xbox360 I guess I'll have to pass on the system then. I'll enjoy the rest of the tales on ps3.

    Reply
  • David Timmer

    This one was my first Tales game and I'm glad it introduced me to this franchise.

    Reply
  • David Timmer

    Also, Yuri's a better protagonist than Luke

    Reply
  • Kiji Kijimura

    El juego en q idioma está para el 360?

    Reply
  • F0RY0U

    I miss you CGR.

    Reply
  • RetroIslandBoy

    on the contrary TJ lol…..this game single handedly got me into and hooked on JRPGs 🙂 i love this game. i love this whole series 🙂

    Reply
  • jb0258

    He got the pipe from Yuri. Yuri got the pipe from his and Flynn's old captain, of the knights. After he died

    Reply

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