Tales Of Vesperia: Definitive Edition – that one Tales game with the pipe-smoking wolf – makes its PC debut today after a decade of lurking around on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Bandai Namco continue to bring their JRPG back catalogue to PC (and current consoles), and the latest to make the hop is the perfectly decent Vesperia. It’s been given a gentle graphical touch-up and bulked out a bit with some new bosses, mini-games and a pair of new recruitable party members, though I gather some of those upgrades are from the Japanese-only PS3 release. Take a peek at the launch trailer below.
If you’re new to the Tales series, their main defining feature is their real-time action combat. You directly control one character, while your AI-controlled party run around the 3D arena, hacking and slashing alongside you. There’s a focus on positioning, juggling enemies with combo attacks and manually dodging bigger attacks, but it’s nothing too demanding. Still, it gives the games a lively rhythm, and bouncing from one fight to the next feels less grindy when you’re not dropping into turn-based combat menus every thirty seconds.
As there’s no huge differences in combat from one Tales game to the next, what differentiates them from each other is their writing and characters. Vesperia is resolutely okay. The characters aren’t irritatingly oblivious youngsters, and the pipe-smoking, knife-wielding wolf Repede is just a brilliant bit of character design, if not much for dialogue. Still, I’d recommend the newer, slightly more mature Tales Of Berseria over this if you had to pick one Tales game to play. For me, the most exciting part of this release is an end to this emotional rollercoaster on Twitter – look at the dates on the tweets, starting from the top.