Game Review: Tales of Vesperia (360)

Tales of Vesperia for the Xbox 360 is Namco’s latest in their Tales series of anime-styled role playing games. But is it worth hours and hours and hours of your time? Read on to find out.


In Tales of Vesperia, you play as Yuri, a former Royal Knight who now lives in the slums of the Lower Quarter in his hometown. Yuri’s world is filled with vicious monsters, and the people in large cities use magical artifacts to provide barriers to keep the monsters out. But when a thief steals the Lower Quarter’s protective artifact, Yuri chases after the thief to the outside world. After meeting up with various characters, Yuri and his team of rag-tag adventurers stumble upon a greater evil plot and they’ll end up saving the world in the process. You know, typical RPG stuff.

Fans of other Tales games like Tales of the Abyss or Tales of Symphonia will be able to jump right into Vesperia. One of the mainstays of Tales games are the action packed real-time battles, and Vesperia is no different. Most RPGs have turn-based battles, but the 3-D skirmishes against enemies on the world map and in dungeons are more akin to a fighting game. Players can make combo hits, special moves, and magic spells on the fly. When playing solo, the computer controls the other members of your party in battle, but you can adjust their fighting strategies in minute detail to suit your style. Best of all, provided you have four characters in your party, up to four friends can grab a controller and join in for multiplayer co-op battling fun!

Another Tales staple also found in Vesperia is the heavy emphasis on item manipulation. After battles, players may earn food items and tools as well as experience points. The cooking system is back in Vesperia, and you can collect recipes and combine your food items to make meals to heal your party after battle. Likewise, you can also combine tools and other goodies to make even better items with the Synthesis system.

The anime-styled graphics are so good, it’s hard to distinguish when the animated cutscenes end and the gameplay begins. Play control is also responsive and easy to learn. In fact, the hardest thing to do may be wading through all those menus. Even though Tales of Vesperia may be a bit too long for its own good, and it also is a bit too similar to past Tales titles, RPG fans will definitely eat this latest quest up.

Kid Factor
Tales of Vesperia is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors for Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, and Suggestive Themes. The only blood in the game is in an animated cutscene or two, where monsters devour a downed carcass. The rest of the violence is much milder, as defeated enemies just fall over. There is an occasional ‘damn’ or ‘hell’ in the spoken text, and just like many other anime cartoons, the suggestive themes are more campy than racy.

Even though most of the dialogue has spoken voice, strong reading skills are still a must for wading through menus and other text. If you’re okay with your kids watching some of the anime cartoons on Adult Swim, you’ll be OK with them playing this game. While Tales of Vesperia is best suited for teens, gamers who are a little younger would probably be fine playing it with some adult supervision.

Really, the best part about Tales of Vesperia is worth mentioning again. Up to four players on the same Xbox 360 can participate in battles. This makes the game a blast for a group of friends, or sharing with siblings and other family members. When little brother Jeff and his teenage friends come over to play games, they usually opt to play their Call of Dutys and Halos. They rarely want to play any of ‘my’ games. But lately we’ve all been having a blast playing multiplayer Tales battles, and it’s a lot of great fun.

No Responses to “Game Review: Tales of Vesperia (360)”

  1. how do you you play co-op on that game i cant figure it out

  2. When on the subscreen menu, under the ‘skills’ selection, you can choose to switch characters from auto, semi-auto, then to manual. Pick manual and make sure that character is in the right slot in your party. For instance, if you want a certain character to be player two, make sure they’re in the #2 slot on the main menu. –Cary

  3. How do you feel about the main character, Yuri. While he is good, he does do something dark such as murder. Just wondering.

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