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Tales of Vesperia
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is the newest installment in a 10-game deep series. As with all the other games in this series, this game does have mild violence (swords and other weapons), mild sexual innuendo, and mild alcohol references. But ultimately it imparts good morals and ethics, along with teamwork. While there is an online component, it's basically used for uploading your battle stats to a leaderboard.
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What's it about?
You may not have heard of the Tales series, but the manga-inspired RPG series began in 1995 and is 10 games into its deep, varied mythos. TALES OF VESPERIA, the franchise's first Xbox 360 game, extends the series' themes of a striving humanity which struggles with good and evil to make something much bigger. The plot begins with the loss of Blastia, which regulates the country's water supply. But as you go deeper, you'll witness a government that is over-protective and dictatorial, monsters that overwhelm you, and a magical tale that twists and turns before it's done.
While the dialogue in this fantasy RPG can be clunky at times, you'll fall for the characters who are brimming with charm and complexities. Your character will grow more powerful not only through leveling up, but through fighting. The fighting is presented in real time, and you'll also have various magic spells to wield, which result in beautiful fireworks on the screen. After a battle, you'll accumulate Learning Points which improve your skills. You won't go alone into battle, either. Your team includes three characters with their own marvelous powers and abilities. During a fight, which sometimes includes mild bloodletting from swords and other weapons, you can choose to control whichever character you like. You'll find some sexual innuendo and kissing, along with some quick scenes of drunkenness.
Is it any good?
The minutiae in Tales of Vesperia will be enjoyed by the micro-manager in you. You could spend well over an hour just deciding which magic to use. But it's not just magic and fighting which makes Vesperia an above average game. While the graphics aren't realistic or the best you've ever seen, these cell-shaded characters and environs will occasionally fill you with moments of sheer wonder. Be prepared for a game that will take at least 40 hours to complete. Finally, while there is an online component, it's mainly to upload your battle stats to a leaderboard.