Flynn being playable first and foremost. A common complaint with the 360 version was that despite Flynn having a large role in the story (and arguably being more important than some of the party members), he is only playable for one battle. The PS3 version however upgrades him to full-time status.
One of the most infamous parts of the 360 version was the lengthy segment where the party loses Estelle and Raven leaving them without a reliable healer (only Karol and Yuri, the latter of which can only heal himself). In the PS3 version, however, Flynn joins the party during this segment which helps since he has "First Aid" as a healing Arte, and Patty should have her own healing artes by this point in the game.
After a lot of players complained about a lot of issues with Definitive Edition, especially a bug where the game could crash anytime (everything mentioned in the Porting Disaster section), Bandai Namco released a patch (1.0.2) pretty much fixing the majority, if not 90% of what people have complained about.
A divide over Rita's popularity between her role in the plot and gameplay. Her fans love her for her snark and game-breaking magic abilities, which allow her clear entire waves of enemies single-handedly. For her critics, she embodies everysinglenegativetsunderestereotype ever. Some also point out how her only real role in the plot is being the party's Blastia expert making her feel more like a plot device and how she never really grows as a character, other than implied feelings towards Estelle.
While Yuri's approval as a whole is well liked as a Tales protagonist, there are many that dislike him for his hypocrisy as far as acting as judge, jury, and executioner, regarding anyone he personally feels "has it coming". Yet, having the audacity to talk down to Pharaoh and Sodia for doing the same. The fact that no one (other than Flynn and Sodia) call him on it makes it moreso, since she's made out to be the one 'at fault' for questioning him. Then there are those that hate how smug he is and his lack of chemistry with the rest of the party.
Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: During the Seduction quest in Heliord, Yuri can choose to have Judith, Estelle, or Karol seduce the guard. No matter what, the quest is relatively the same with them having to make a sexy dress. However, if Yuri chooses Judith to perform the seduction, for some reason Estelle also gets a sexy outfit, despite having no reason to wear one. Now if Estelle is chosen to seduce the guard, Judith will also get a sexy outfit of her own but it's specifically pointed out that she asked the peddler to make it for her while Estelle was getting ready, so it makes sense in the scene. It's Lampshaded by Yuri, who bluntly asks why she is dressed up despite not being part of it, at which point Estelle changes back to her normal outfit.
Breather Boss: The first Yeager boss battle. He doesn't even have a Secret Mission!
Alexander Cumore, a captain of the Imperial Knights, is from a noble family and considers peasants to be completely beneath him. When he is placed in charge of the town of Heliord, he tricks peasants into volunteering for brutal labor with the promise of making them nobles. Cumore has no authority to ennoble people and he knows it. The labor these peasants undergo is so brutal that many of them die of exhaustion. Later, Cumore is sent to govern an oasis town to find a monster that lives in the desert. While in this position, he forces the peasants in the town to go into the desert to find the monster, knowing that this will likely kill them.
Ragou is the corrupt magistrate of Nor Harbor. Nor Harbor has been experiencing storms, making it hard for the people there to make a living off of the port commerce. To make things worse, Ragou harshly taxes his people. If someone cannot afford his taxes, Ragou sends his mercenaries to take their loved ones—including children—as collateral. He keeps these loved ones in a basement full of monsters. When the heroes confront him over this, he explains that he finds people getting eaten by monsters to be entertaining. Ragou offers only one hope to his people: If they kill a vicious monster and bring back its horn as proof, they will never have to pay taxes again. Of course, this monster would make short work of most people who try to fight it. The heroes eventually discover that the storms around Nor Harbor are created by a special Blastia in Ragou's mansion, showing that he orchestrated the suffering of his people for his own amusement.
Demonic Spiders: The Ex Unicorns in Tarqaron are very dangerous Lightning Bruisers capable of overwhelming your party through just ramming attacks alone, and take a lot of effort to put down. What's worse is that you can face a group of up to three of them at a time, and they tend to go after your healers first. Prolonged battles with them can result in wasting life bottles intended to be saved for the dungeon's two bosses.
Disappointing Last Level: The third arc is seen as this narrative-wise. While it doesn't come out of nowhere, it pushes aside a lot of the plots in the first two arcs in favor of an energy-conservation Aesop. The plots it does carry over from the first two arcs however such as Yuri's vigilantism and Karol's conflict with the Hunting Blades are ended on an anti-climatic note.
Ear Worm: Bonnie Pink's "Ring a Bell", which is used for the game's OP. Listen to it once and it's bound to get stuck in your head, on auto replay.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Averted, a possible first for the Tales Series — Yuri Lowell actually is the most popular character in the game, both in Japan and in Western territories. He averts the Kid Hero and Idiot Hero tropes in the best possible ways, which probably helps. He was the first character to dethrone Kratos as the most popular character in the Tales fandom. Still, the game's secondary characters do receive a lot of love...
Flynn is generally overshadowed by Yuri due to the latter's badassery, but there are people who believe Flynn's ways are better.
Yeager doesn't get much screen time, but has been voted the most popular villain in the game on the official forums.
Fanon Discontinuity: Many fans claim this towards The First Strike movie due to its arguably odd approaches to characterization and its many inconsistencies with the game. One of many examples regards Rita being knowledgeable about Aer Krenes, when in the game, she never knew what one was until the visit to Keiv Moc.
Fashion-Victim Villain: Cumore is a bit hard to take seriously with the blue lipstick, widow's peak, pink and light purple color scheme, and heart patterns in the front and back of his armor.
Franchise Original Sin: Vesperia (on the PS3) was the first game to introduce DLC costumes. While this upset some fans, the game overall was still very meaty and had easily the most in game costume in the series before... or since. The very next game had no more than two in game costumes per character (to compare, everyone on the PS3 version of Vesperia had at least five, with Yuri and Karol having well over that), with the rest only available through DLC. The game after that had four costumes total, two of which were for the female lead.
Friendly Fandoms: A lot of fans of this game are also fans of the BlazBlue series since the first installment came out internationally not too long after this game's international release.
Goddamned Boss: The Baitojoh in the Blade Drifts of Zopheir is not an overly hard boss like some of the more notable ones in the game, but it is incredibly annoying to fight for a number of reasons. Being an enemy that flies above the ground means that stringing together combos to gain any offensive momentum on it is difficult to pull off, and it will constantly dig underground to evade your attacks. This can drag out the fight longer than it should, and while underground, the Baitojoh will stick its dorsal fin out to emit a shock wave that will insta-stun any of your party members near it, leaving them vulnerable and unable to attack for a short time. All of these together makes this boss fight a very irritating slog to go through for what is just another unassuming monster with no bearing on the main plot, and it will likely make you spend some of your resources to keep your head in the game.
Good Bad Bugs: The Xbox 360 version had a skill called Eternal Support, which gives the stat boosting spells Estelle casts the chance to remain permanently until the the end of the fight (or until you get killed), instead of only lasting for a few minutes. One of her spells, Force Field, gives all characters in the area of effect invulnerability. Due to an oversight, Force Field works just fine with Eternal Support, meaning it's possible to make characters unkillable for the duration of the fight. You could simply set everyone to Auto Fight once you got it to work, and go make a sandwich or something - you'd win eventually. This oversight was fixed in the PS3 remake.
Ho Yay: Zagi wants to carve Yuri's name into his own blood! He spends a lot of his time hunting Yuri down as well. Yuri does not return the feeling in any way.
On a more positive note, Yuri and Flynn's relationship is dripping with subtext that only gets more obvious the more you listen to the production team gush about how important they are to each other and how much everyone supports it while being absolutely against Yuri being with Estelle.
A female example: Estelle and Rita give off a very strong Romantic Two-Girl Friendship vibe, what with Rita constantly fretting and worrying over Estelle's safety and how protectiveshe becomes of her as the game progresses. And while it seems one-sided from Rita's end, there's scenes such as them sleeping in the same bed at the inn, and in a later scene, Estelle falls asleep at the foot of Rita's bed while watching over her.
Judith also calls Rita out on her attachment to Estelle, during the skit that takes place, after Alexei prevents her from accompanying Estelle back to the capitalnote by ordering her to investigate the Aer Krene at Keiv Moc instead. When Rita claims she'd deliver her report to Alexei in person, Judith replies that it sounded like an excuse to see Estellenote since Rita could simply send the report by messenger.
A subliminal joke in Nam Cobanda Island, in a quick play. One's a hero, one's the damsel to save, guess who plays who? Estelle's the hero and Rita's the damsel Estelle has to save. Then there's the impromptu twist when Rita fries the play's antagonist...
Yuri adds fuel to the fire in a skit triggered by using Rita's Levitation skill for the first time by calling them Ristelle when Rita is flying and Estelle is holding on to her legs.invoked It's even the name of the skit!
Made even more evident in the PS3 version, including a scene where they care for a lost infant together.
And in the live-action "Tales of Ristelle" skit, Zelos' JP VA tricks Rita's JP VA into showing up by telling her Estelle would be present. Rita calls him out for tricking her, while Zelos and Milla Maxwell take turns needling her about her feelings for Estelle.
Inferred Holocaust: Zig-zagged with Aspio. When Tarqaron is raised from the mountains, the city is destroyed in the resulting earthquake during the process. Although we see that many of the scholars evacuated to other nearby towns, considering that it happened on what must have been really short notice, there were undoubtedly casualties.
Ristelle has more or less become the official name for the RitaxEstelle pairing.
Due to the aforementioned gamebreaking Tidal Wave and the process in which it is used, we also have: "Blah blah blah. TIDAL WAVE!"[repeat ad nauseam]
To a lesser extent, "Blah Blah Blah. CRIMSON FLARE!" since it could give a huge amount of hits.
"I am SO going to make you-Blah blah blah. TIDAL WAVE/CRIMSON FLARE!".
Whether or not it's intentional from the programmer's POV, Tipping Forties repeatedly points out how Repede ends up being a cutscene-only version of The Faceless because he has no real plot importance and is thus either absent in most cutscenes or barely visible behind most characters or objects to a degree that their LP thread was renamed to reflect to this ("The Repede Obfuscation Station").
"Yeah that onenote The European Namco Bandai twitter back in 2015 told fans they were listening to them about localizing more games. In response, people suggested Vesperia, to which they stated "yeah not that one". When the HD remaster was announced, the Tales of twitter responded to the original tweet with the response, quickly becoming a meme.."
Yuri's vigilantism is not something you're supposed to think is factually correct all the time. Yes, he punishes REALLY evil people, but he might end up Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and it alienates him from his loved ones as well. Yuri needs someone like Flynn to wring him in at times.
Likewise, Flynn's always-lawful approach isn't automatically the best, either. Yes, he has a point about Yuri Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, but The Empire's laws have repeatedly proven ineffective at protecting countless innocent people from the very Asshole Victims Yuri targets. Like Yuri, Flynn's approach needs a counter balance to it, or else he beams a Knight Templar like the Big Bad.
Mis-blamed: The PS3 version not getting localized. This was actually not done because Namco was selfish, it was because Microsoft paid for it to be exclusive outside of Japan. In fact, the voice actors wanted to localize the PS3 version with the extras.
Moe: Estelle and, to an extent, Rita. Parodied with Karol's "Girly" outfit, if you choose him to distract the guard.
Ragou abducting people's children when they fail to pay his cripplingly high taxes and feeding said children and many others as the game implies to monsters.
Cumore fooling the people of Heliord into working in slave labor camps, sending people from Mantaic on suicide missions hunting for Phaeroh, and sending one of his own knights on said suicide mission after he failed to get kidnapped people on the wagon fast enough.
Alexei torturing Estelle.
Many people found it hard to forgive the Hunting Blades (especially Clint and Tyson) when they assaulted Nordopolica to kill Belius just because she is an Entelexeia.
Narm Charm: If the player is quick enough, the second Rita enters overlimit, her voice clips will end up interrupting one another resulting in her going from "I am SO going to make you pay!" to "I am SO going to make you-Blah blah blah."
Repede's father Lambert and two of the other dogs owned by the knights being turned into a monster and slaughtering two of the guildmen, complete with blood.
The literal shower of human blood from one of the aforementioned guildmen falling onto Hisuka and her subsequent appropriate reaction.
The golems attacking the knights while they are investigating the ruins for the source of the abnormal Aer. What makes their appearances worse is the red cords, which, according to Flynn, have to be cut in order to kill them.
Obvious Judas: Some players have admitted that they were able to catch on to the identity of the traitor in the party before The Reveal even happened. Considering how traitorous party members have been a theme since Tales of Destiny, many went into expecting a twist of this nature. A lot of fans speculated on account of the fact that their one name being more like an alias than a given name. There's also the fact that in his early appearances, Raven runs into the protagonists at the most convenient times almost as if someone is telling him to spy on them.
The PS3 version has a ton of extra content the Xbox 360 original never got.
The Definitive Edition is the PS3 version, but updated with higher resolutions, constant framerates on the PC version, and portability on the Switch version. The console versions also are stellar, with the only issues being some locations having small drops of frame and some technical glitches that were thankfully patched out shortly after release.
Unfortunately, the Definitive Edition is this for the new consoles, which is marred by run-on sentences, typos and grammatical mistakes. The newly localized lines also have inconsistent writing that are not consistent with the polished dialogue of the original. But worst of all, the newly dubbed dialogue and extra skits have inconsistent sound quality. Except for Pattys audio (mostly), the new audio is either too low in volume, or too high- which distorts the speakers due to the inconsistency.
The Switch version is possibly the worst one of them all. It has game-breaking bugs and glitches that were not present in either the PS3 or Xbox 360 editions. The game shuts down at random. Thankfully, Bandai Namco released version 1.0.2, rectifying most of the most annoying problems.
Everything around the second Duel Boss fight. Alexei controlling Estelle's power, up to and including the second fight against her, fought with just Yuri and a heartbreaking simplistic rendition of Ring A Bell playing in the background. It almost makes you feel like he's actually going to kill her, but thankfully the result is heartwarming instead.
A major one in The First Strike when Yuri has to kill Lambert, a member of his squad and Repede's father due to a case of Demonic Possession. It really hits home when Repede later greets Yuri back at the gates, smells Lambert on Yuri's sword, and runs further out to look for him.
Yuri: "Oh, Repede, I'm so sorry. Your dad, I had no other choice..."
And then, Repede immediately licks Yuri's face, as if the sweet little puppy understands exactly what happened and why Yuri had to do it.
Another common complaint is that the story is just too different to previous games in the series, being more in line with games like Final Fantasy. Because the game doesn't flesh out its villains anywhere near as much as past installments, most of them come across as purely in it For the Evulz. The whole "Order Versus Chaos" sideplot, which was advertised as the game's central story element, is eventually dropped for a Green Aesop borrowed wholesale from Final Fantasy VII.
One common criticism with the story is that many of the party members have subplots in the game that are important for a brief period of time but once those subplots end the characters become mere backdrops. In particular Raven and Judith don't really do much once their subplots are resolved (Pretty early, too), and quickly get pushed back in favor of Yuri and Estelle, with Karol getting a debatably larger focus than them.
The Adephagos itself - most players, when they first learned about this world-devouring monstrosity, thought "Wow, are we going to have to fight that?", and a few monsters spawned from this Eldritch Abomination were fought as bosses at one point. sadly, Duke is the Final Boss and the Adephagos is a Cutscene Boss and is practically used as a plot device.
The subplot about Yuri taking the law into his own hands by murdering people, even though they're people who deserve it seems to fade about two-thirds of the way into the game without ever being concretely resolved.
And whatever happened to Dedecchi, the guy who stole the aque blastia? Thankfully the PS3 version has a small subevent where the party finds him, and Rita Stone Blasts him before he is arrested.
Much talk is made of the party forming their own guild, but the guild never grows beyond the party who carry on traveling normally afterwards, doing nothing apart from the occasional odd fetch quest common in Role Playing Games. Thus forming a guild never factors into the plot and ends up appearing to just be a formal way for the party to pick a name for themselves.
Tier-Induced Scrappy: A very subjective example in that each party member is unique and fill different roles in battle.:
Karol is often seen as a low tier induced scrappy due to being very slow in both attacking and movement. (Meaning he gets hit a lot) but at the same time, makes up for it by being very tanky and having very high health. His AI is actually rather competent, which helps, but he is a rather unpopular pick for players who would rather use someone much faster like Repede or Judith. This stems from how combo heavy the game is; Yuri, Flynn, Judith, and Repede are able to do fast and strong combos, Karol is sadly left with slow Artes that are poor in combo potential.
Judith, in part because her gimmick is pretty much juggling enemies in the air or attacking from the air. Her AI does not always take advantage of this, and a player has to be very good to use her effectively.
Rita and Raven for simply being too good. Being that this game can be quite difficult, having characters who are ranged and stay ranged (As opposed to Estelle) or, in the case of Raven, are effective at hit-and-runs are a very valuable asset. Raven is also one of the three characters (in the original version) with an ability that can heal the party as well - Yuri and Karol can only heal a small area around them with their Artes- Guardian Field and Nice Aid Smash, so while they can heal other members of the party (and themselves), they have to be right next to them.
Flynn as well - he is one of the most powerful knights in-story. And in gameplay, he plays this role way too well due to how many of his artes have wide range, high damage, and very fast animations. The game is one of the harder games in the series - and some players think Flynn makes the game TOO easy.
Some of Rita's spells are on the lower-tier end of the spectrum due to being counter intuitive and not very practical in battle. The two most notable ones are Spiral Flare and Blade Roll. The former is essentially a more powerful version of Fire Ball, but unfortunately, it's held back by a huge start-up delay so by the time the spell is all set up, enemies are very likely to move out of its range, causing the spell to miss entirely as a result and wasting TP. The latter on the other hand is only effective at close range and is very circumstantial when Rita goes into Over Limit and needs to get enemies off her tail, since as an advanced spell, it has a very long cast time by default.
The Un-Twist: Absolutely no one is surprised that Estelle's a princess, save Karol. Yuri even says outright, during the first visit to the Quoi Woods—long before the reveal in question—that she's a "sheltered little princess".
Viewer Gender Confusion: Yuri, due to the boxart, and people not recognizing that his name isn't the feminine Japanese version of Yuri, but rather the masculine, Russian, version. Then they see his exposed ("surprisingly flat") chest...
Lee from Still Gaming: "I was so dumb (Concerning the Tales of series in general) that, by looking at the cover... I thought Yuri was a chick. After all, Yuri means... Uh... never mind."
Lampshaded in the first few minutes of the game - a male NPC at the inn offers to buy Yuri a drink before realizing Yuri is a guy. The same NPC later complains about Yuri's "womanly" hair in a hilarious manner.
A few have mistaken Witcher (aka "Apple Head") as a girl. There is a scene in the PS3 / Definitive Edition in which he joins the other guys in the party in the hot springs, but this isn't until really late in the game, and is optional.
Duke has gotten this reaction a few times as well.