Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition review for Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco
Medium: Blu-ray
Players: 1
Online: No

If you asked someone to make a top 5 list of ?Tales of? games, it?s safe to say Tales of Vesperia would make the cut. In my mind, Vesperia, Abyss, and Symphonia are darn near interchangeable when it comes to my favorites, so having an excuse to revisit one is never a bad thing. With the release of Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition, you?ll get to not only experience the Xbox 360/PS3 game spruced up, but with all of the international content that we missed here in North America. Finally having the complete package release for Western audiences is a great thing, and makes this a modern console port worth checking out.

I spent my time on the Xbox One version of the game, but it?s my understanding that the PS4 and Switch versions run just as well. Vesperia?s cel-shaded style of art translates well to modern consoles, and the addition of full voice over work in all scenes is well done. The voice-acting in the original Vesperia was solid, and remains so here. Other additions include a new playable character in the form of Patty Fleur, and allows the character Flynn to become a regular member of the party instead of being a guy that just shows up at various points in the story. The remainder of the game feels mostly untouched, outside of looking a bit better than before. I?m O.K. with that however, as Tales of Vesperia was already a great JRPG to begin with.

If you haven?t played Tales of Vesperia before, you?re in for a treat. It adopts most of the mechanics found in modern Tales games. Combat is active, allowing you free control of one party member (which you can switch between), as you hack and slash your way through groups of enemies. You can employ the use of Artes, special abilities that add to your standard combo, occasionally applying magical properties to attacks. Party members are controlled by the A.I., which doesn?t always make the best choices, but you can opt to quickly switch between party members for specific actions. Boss fights can be challenging, especially early on, but in general the combat feels fair.

The overworld of Tales of Vesperia is large, with many side activities, crafting, and cooking collections to participate in. Side conversations will pop up occasionally, adding a little more flavor to the overall story. There?s a grading system built into combat, allowing for better rewards based on overall score. Hidden items and chests are tucked into various spots within dungeons and towns. In general, there?s just a lot to see and do, providing a little more bang for your buck.

Tales of Vesperia also features one of the best Tales protagonists in the form of roguish Yuri Lowell. I?d also argue that the cast in general is really good, even if a few fall into some basic anime-esque character types. The addition of pirate Patty is welcomed here, but I?m fond of even the side characters, like the bumbling knights that attempt to capture Yuri and his group while constantly failing to do so. Late game revelations are generally intriguing, and overall I?d say Tales of Vesperia features one of the better Tales of scripts.

There?s not much else to say about this release, other than it?s nice to have the complete package available. The PS3 version of Vesperia that never made its way out of Japan has always been a long sticking point for fans, and with the release of the Definitive Edition, it?s a wrong that has finally been righted.

Note: Bandai Namco provided us with a Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition Xbox One code for review purposes.

Grade: A