We only received our Nintendo Switch copy for Tales of Vesperia last night, but because we love you, dear reader, we decided to stay up super late diving into the game so we could report briefly what we found. If you’re not familiar, Tales of Vesperia is the 2009 JRPG from Bandai Namco’s beloved Tales Of series. It’s often considered the best title in the long-running IP, which is lofty praise considering how much I adored Tales of Symphonia back on my Gamecube.
But I digress – Tales of Vesperia originally came out in the US for the Xbox 360 only, though it had a JP release on PS4. Today, the game makes its comeback with new content and remastered sound and visuals on just about every platform imaginable minus your smartphone. The main character, Yuri Lowell, is voiced by none other than Troy Baker, which is more than enough reason for me to skip the JP voice-overs and go with the English ones.
The classic Tales Gameplay is still present here – run around the world, talk to people, fight monsters, and dabble in side quests. It’s as straightforward a JRPG as they come, but what sets Tales Of games apart is always their Linear Motion Battle System, which acts more like a hack and slash Action RPG than a traditional turn-based affair. It’s what made me fall in love with Symphonia on the Gamecube, and Phantasia on the SNES way back when.
So far, there doesn’t seem to be any standout feature to Tales of Vesperia that makes it more than another game in an established and tried and true JRPG series. But that’s OK. The Switch is quickly becoming home to some great imported RPGs, and Tales of Vesperia may sit among the very best even though it’s a re-release of a ten-year-old game.
It starts off slow, as do most games in this genre, but once you’re out and exploring, learning about the main characters, and fighting and building your characters, the game’s hooks sink in deep and you find yourself playing for hours on end. We’ll have our final review next week, but for now, rest assured that the Nintendo Switch just got another great JRPG added to its library.