Reviews Comments: They Got it Half Right
They Got it Half Right
The Tales series has been one most popular and long-running JRPG series exported to the United States. It has an exciting and battle system that is very fast paced and attentive, a wide variety of environments, as well as unique abilities and techniques with which to customize your characters. However, what makes it so notable is the way it tells a story, building a world and at the same time deconstructing, creating a vortex of drama, suspense,comedy and tragedy to draw in the player. Vesperia was fun, but I never was sucked in and upon playing a second time, I realized how awful the story was for this entry. The characters for this game are irritating. They are largely composed of walking two-dimensional RPG stereotypes. Rita is an insufferably abusive tsundere that I wanted to throw off the edge of the final stage dungeon by the end of the game. Karol is the annoying tag along kid with a voice like nails on chalk board. Raven and Judith have phoned in voice actors with the emotional range of a teaspoon. Estelle is a Colette expy, but far more bland and unoriginal. Yuri is a Karma Houndini with a strong affinity for self-righteous speeches and indecisive monologuing. They are all flawed characters but instead of trying to improve themselves like previous protagonists they instead decide it better to spout off their Freudian Excuses as if it completely justifies their actions. A good way to examine a story is comparing characters at the beginning to their personalities at the end. Unfortunately, Vesperia's characters remain stagnant and that's the worst insult I can give to a Tales game. The schizophrenic plot does the game no favors. The story starts as a bunch of unexciting guild quests, switches to a transparent political drama, before plunging head deep into a "Save The World" plot. The pacing for this game is terrible, making the player slog through boring exposition dumps before throwing five curve balls. The villain for this game is the unholy union of Sephiroth and Captain Planet with all the Narm of both perfectly preserved. Even worse, the main characters constantly kiss this guy's ass and in spite of causing the deaths of countless innocents and trying to kill more, he is "forgiven" and allowed to live. Vesperia is a fun game but do yourself a favor and skip the plot. There's even an achievement for it.
I call BS on Yuri being a Karma Houdini. Ragou and Cumore deserved to die. Hell, Yuri gave them far too merciful deaths for the atrocities they pulled. And you think Judith and especially Raven were "phoned in"? I couldn't disagree more. Hell, I disagree with pretty much all your character complaints except for Estelle being bland and Karol's voice being annoying.
comment #21364 SomeNewGuy 4th Oct 13
Yes, Raven and Judith have terrible voice actors. The only tone they seem to speak in is alarmingly casual. Take the scene where Raven learns that he has a blastia core in his chest and has been secretly working for Alexei. Rather than having fear or anger in his voice he instead speaks in his goofy tone as if this is far from a life changing revelation it should be. His later confrontation with Yeager should have evoked melancholy or sorrow, but he keeps that same tone. Judith has this problem as well even though she has less emotional scenes. In one scene, she is cornered by her former friends under the threat of death but she sounds as completely relaxed as she always does in spite of this being a very stressful situation. When a character sounds the same regardless of situation it comes off as obnoxious and takes the viewer out of the experience. This results in dramatic scenes losing effectiveness. These actors lack emotional range for their characters or can't keep the voice sounding consistent if they try to show stronger emotion. You disagree that Rita is one of worst tsunderes ever to grace video games, let alone the character archetype? Forget Karol, Rita is the worst character in this game. Everything that comes out of her mouth is caustic garbage. She is always jump to conclusions and think the worst of people. She's a stuffy know-it-all that talks down to the rest of the group like they are idiots. She openly attacks people and they feel it is fine to let it go. She uses Karol as a personal punching bag and the audience is supposed to find it funny. I don't care how people think of Karol, watching a ten year old getting beat up should never be funny. She is Jerk Sue incarnate and to stand out amoung a group of lackluster performances it should tell you how terrible she truly is. Yuri is a Karma Houndini, not because the villains did not deserve to pay, but because he broke the law. He comes as a hypocrite believing in a system and then breaking the law because others break the law and he doesn't have faith in that system working. Whats the use in supporting a system that doesn't work? I hate that being a vigilante is Yuri's one flaw and more often then not its glorified. The only person in the group that learns of Yuri's transgressions is Karol and he just shrugs it off. No one ever questions Yuri's actions or tells him, he's wrong. Yuri comes off as self=righteous, with judgement that is above all others. It doesn't help that he is the leader in all but name and makes most of the decisions.
comment #21371 Immortalbear 5th Oct 13
I greatly agree with you on this review regarding the plot. Compared to other Tales games this one was an utter trainwreck. While it started promising seemingly meant to deconstruct "Justice" but it just ended up as wasted potential.
comment #22154 matteste 20th Nov 13
There's an achievement for skipping the plot?
comment #22156 BonsaiForest 20th Nov 13
No. There is not. There is an achievement for doing a speed run but that's on New Game+.
comment #22157 HARTH41 20th Nov 13
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