Tales of Vesperia Hands-On

We try out Namco's upcoming RPG for the Xbox 360.

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If you're a role-playing game fan who's been hankering for a more traditional experience than what's currently available on the Xbox 360, Namco is cooking up something that just might suit you. Tales of Vesperia is the recently announced Xbox-exclusive RPG that marks the first installment in the Japanese developer's Tales series for the console. We recently had the chance to try out a work-in-progress demo of the game to see how it's shaping up and are excited at the prospect of high-def RPG action.

Yuri and friends should be arriving on the Xbox 360 this fall.

The limited demo kicked off shortly after the proper start of the game and found us meeting up with main character Yuri and his motley crew of a party: Karol, Estelle, Rita, and gaming's most awesome canine character since Amaterasu, Repede, a pipe-smoking dog. The quintet arrive at an area known as Ehmead Hill, and after some hijinks ensue (Yuri's a bit of a rebel and sort of a wanted man), they set out to do some exploring. The real-time cutscene already featured full voice, with passable voice acting. Namco reps also noted that the skit interactions between the characters will feature full voice, which is a first for the series.

Gameplay was pretty much what you'd expect from a Tales game. There was exploration and, when we came across enemies, combat. Battles still play out in real time with the option to stop the action to make item choices. You'll be able to assign attacks and spells to the controller buttons to let you string together your own unique attack combos, which is always a good touch. New to Vesperia is a much more timing-based combo system that will require you to mash buttons quickly and in the right combinations. It's an interesting new wrinkle to the system that will take some time to absorb. We're curious to see how it works out in the final game. Finally, we were able to confirm with Namco reps that cooking will appear in Tales of Vesperia, so we look forward to getting our sandwich on.

The game's graphics are similar in spirit to Namco's recent Xbox RPG Eternal Sonata, but feature their own distinct art style that uses less dark lines and outlining. The characters feature the anime style we've seen in the last few Tales games and have a familiar feel to them. The environment we saw followed suit with a similar style and a lush color palette. Combat was bolstered by a host of special effects to supplement magical attacks and spellcasting.

Combat in Tales of Vesperia incorporates an interesting new combo system.

The game's audio is coming along. We heard some low-key tunes and decent voice acting. There was also a decent amount of ambient audio and plenty of effects during combat to sell the hectic pacing. At the moment it doesn't look as if the game is going to break much new ground, but it should have all of its bases covered.

Based on what we played, Tales of Vesperia is shaping up to be a comfy fit on the Xbox 360. The visuals are stylish and crisp, with a rich color palette that sells the beautiful art. The gameplay is very much classic Tales and delivers a solid real-time feel to the action. The tweaked combo system keeps things interesting; we're not totally sold on the timing just yet, but we're anxious to see if we can master it. If you're a fan of the Tales games or are just looking for a more traditional RPG experience, you'll want to keep an eye out for Tales of Vesperia when it ships this fall for the Xbox 360.

Discussion

152 comments
mergedsalem23
mergedsalem23

playstation3 and 360 got awersome graphics better then the wii

POkemonfreak101
POkemonfreak101

hmmm I hope there's a chance for this on the wii....if not, at least my friend's getting it =D

Quique85
Quique85

i hope this comes out on the ps3 like eternal sonata is, with more sidequest and more characters, its the same developer namco bandai who knows what could happen

I_Like_Muffins
I_Like_Muffins

I just hope that this game is as good as tales of symphonia! even though i never finished it... my friend had the game not me.

Dragoon_Pyro
Dragoon_Pyro

Yeah, umm, Shinkada? The Graphics card on the 360 actually is better than the PS3's. But yes you are right that the PS3 has a much better CPU, but not the GPU. Oh, and this game looks amazing. DO WANT.

imperial_agent
imperial_agent

im not a Jrpg fan, but it's awesome that 360 is getting them all. Blue Dragon Eternal Sonata Tales of Vesperia Lost Odyessey Infinite Undiscovery Star Ocean 4 Sounds pretty good!

sunilian
sunilian

i heard about tales of symphonia from my friend and i bought havent still not tried yet though. but the trailer looks very good. this seems like a very good and interesting series

xRyanforever
xRyanforever

I loved Tales of Symphonia, the story just had me so into it I finished it even though I usually don't finish games, just play them most of the way through and then whenever I feel like playing them again. I'm excited for this game to come out.

Shinkada
Shinkada

Bah. It looks more like Symphonia than Abyss... ie more family-happy. I loved that, for the first time in bloody ages in a Tales game, the caster in Abyss WASN'T an annoying kid. In fact, he was the opposite: A smartassed, arrogant, sarcastic adult. Main character looks a bit fruity, too. But hey, I didn't like the look of Luke when I first saw him, so who knows. I like the sound of more timing-based combos, too. And from the trailer it looks like FoF Charge is back, which is awesome because without that we wouldn't have had those insane 70-hit single-character combos. Hopefully the caster will end up not to be a kid. Also: "no ps3 version please .....don't need a delay... or break down in graphics please remain an xbox 360 exclusive,' I lol'd. Delay is true, but break down in graphics? I love 360 fans who can't deal with the fact that, even if the overall console might be a bit shoddy due to its lack of good exclusives and slow online service, the PS3 DOES have slightly better hardware. Also, Tales of the Abyss renders weeaboo's arguments against dubbing unfounded. Tales usually has awesome English VA's (see: repeated use of the very awesome Cam Clarke) and Abyss was some of the best VA'ing I've heard. Much better than most of the very repetetive, typical and numerous Japanese anime VA's out there. I mean, come on. Jade. Do the Japanese even USE sarcasm? Jade's Japanese VA was terrible compared to his English one.

paciouno
paciouno

no ps3 version please .....don't need a delay... or break down in graphics please remain an xbox 360 exclusive

Sonic_Tidus
Sonic_Tidus

Really wonder if this will be on the PS3 as well. I just don't want to waste my money on a Xbox 360 just to get this.

ElementZero1
ElementZero1

omg tales games are one of the best rpgs series out there gamplay wise and story can't wait to play it :D

kamikaze0807
kamikaze0807

Look Great Can't wait to play this Tales of Abyss was one of the best RPGS Ever

jknight5422
jknight5422

Is this game for kids only? Do adults play this game?

Luigi_Fire
Luigi_Fire

Hopefully, this will come to the PS3. Most of the Tales games are on the PS systems.

Torque1599
Torque1599

Can I just voice my objection to Mr. Torres' assertion that Repede or Ameteratsu are the most awesome canine characters in gaming history? The most awesome canine character in gaming history is Dogmeat from Fallout. Get it right.

FireAza
FireAza

Chester950: "wackanese"? Is a derogatory term of a derogatory term really necessary? I think they have the right to complain, history has shown the English dubs of foreign content (not just talking about Japanese games here) often tend to be hammy at best. And why not? The studio producing the dub is on a meager budget (they are after all, merely translating a game, not making a game from scratch), so they can't hire top talent. They're also, of course, translating something from a foreign language, a language which may not transition to English cleanly, and thus you have characters saying translations of phrases that sound fine in their original language, but sound either cheesy or unintentionally hilarious in English. Second, something is bound to be lost when producing something sans the original language and actors. Can you imagine a foreign dub of Futurama? Where the English jokes don't carry over properly and the cheap hack actor re-voicing Fry lacks even the tiniest smigion of Billy West's immense talent? Should, say for example, the Spanish audience watching the show be called "Spanlish" for recognizing that the original English version of Futurama has far better production quality and works better in English? Of course, all this is moot if the game has the option of both English and Japanese languages, and gives us the option to choose our language of choice from the get go, instead of forcing us to unlock the Japanese language by first finishing the game in English so the translation studio feels like they've accomplished something (looking at you .hack//INFECTION).

Chester950
Chester950

man don't you love it when the whackanese complain about English Voice Actors....man shut up. Also it's ONLY for x360 you PS fanboys get used to it..

LsTr_Of_SmG
LsTr_Of_SmG

Sounds nice I've just finished Eternal Sonata and I'm playing through Tales of Eternia on the PSP at the moment. Eternal Sonata was good (though arguably rushed in a number of places and the story could have been ebtter told) and Tales of Eternia has been keeping me nicely occupied so this should be rather interesting.

yentar480
yentar480

If it's anything like Tales of Symphonia, this is going to be an excellent game. I'm very excited.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

this might be good. eternal sonata was. will need a demo to go up on live though to try this game though. rpgs are cool as long as the battle system is good.

Ed_The_Great
Ed_The_Great

Looks a little on the the kiddie side but I can tolerate that ,if it's a good game.The more RPG the better.

rlabre87
rlabre87

I guess I should buy a 360 now...eh, I should have already. I mean, I have alot of games for the 360 when I don't even own the system -_-'

Xarthadius
Xarthadius

@kevcomesripping they've got you where they want you

bin-hiding
bin-hiding

the tale games are always good.. lets just hope they dont get the idea of making this one the same way they did the PSP one... that mission system was horrendous... if they stick to their original system and linear story this is come out to be another good installment on the series

KingSigy
KingSigy

This game is a graphical genius. It's just beautiful to look at. Hopefully the gameplay lives up to the Tales name.

KevComesRipping
KevComesRipping

God this is madness... I haven't even finished the first disk of Blue Dragon, I'm still only half way through Mario Galaxy, I just started my MLB season, I've barely scratched the surface of Smash Bros Brawl, and there's 2 new Tales games coming out, along with GTAIV, and I haven't even had a chance to take a look at Mass Effect or Lost Odyssey yet... I need to win the Megabucks and quit my job just to play games..

heroface
heroface

@hellrazor707 ...here we go again

hellrazor707
hellrazor707

ok this game looks awsome. ive never seen such cool character design. but did you see the trailer! the voice acting is soo brutal i probubly wouldnt be able to stand it. they should seriously put a english sub option so i can listen to the japanese voice actors( which are 30 times better than the american ones).

kaelishida
kaelishida

hmm... i'm going to get used to the art style used in this game... its a breakaway from what they used in the other Tales games... hoping this would come out for PS3 as well...

dreamcastdre
dreamcastdre

Day one buy for me. 360 is getting some nice RPG love. Lost Odyssey is my favorite RPG this gen, beating out both Mass Effect and Oblivion, both of which I loved. Hopefully Tales of Vesperia kicks ass like the other RPG's I've had a blast with on the 360.

gamer_unleashed
gamer_unleashed

DANG ToS II and Tales of vesperia both look intense!!!!!! but since i have a wii ill be getting the sequel!! i wish the wii also got Vesperia. no hating i love the 360 but i would like it on a wii too. yes i kno maybe the graphics might be somewhat inferior but have u seen ToS 2;s graphix??? they are awesome!!! anyway i really wanna play this game the Tales series is awesome!!

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

pipe smoking dog? weird...............yet cool

Will1210
Will1210

Yes!!!!!! I was hoping you could play as the dog! I think Im sold on this title...

Zoldaire
Zoldaire

Oh yea, more RPGs for the 360. This is another must buy.

Krusnikzero2
Krusnikzero2

Can't Wait! I've been waiting for a new tales game for a while.

xboxFan101
xboxFan101

looks good that .the last RPG they made for 360 game play was sick .

Mangafan2
Mangafan2

Oh my god this looks awesome. Wants me to buy Xbo360 =( But I wonder if the gameplay is the same as Symphonia though. Didn't read it yet. But it's like actually playing an anime. So cool! I will be picking up the sequal/spin off of ToS first though.

Darkstar_Sinada
Darkstar_Sinada

Symphonia was amazing, I'll definitely be picking up this one.

sonicare
sonicare

I enjoyed Tales of Symphonia on the GC, so I may give this one a whirl.

Bedoxxx
Bedoxxx

the new tales game hmmm should be awsome =)

ocinom
ocinom

no matter what people say or how they rate this game, I'll still buy this one. Finally a Tales game

iboo01
iboo01

I ve been waiting months for a game like this

hhh34c
hhh34c

I will have it by any cost.