Tales of Vesperia is a fairly straightforward Japanese RPG, which in our book is no bad thing at all.

The first time you watch the opening cinematic of Tales of Vesperia, you're like, "Man, this is the most generic thing I've ever seen." Then you start playing the game and you get to know the characters better and you get into some battles and that's when it happens - you start to understand the totally sappy bonds that all the characters keep going on about.

It's all about love and friendship, teamwork, and exploring a world you've only scratched the surface of. Pretty soon you're humming the theme song and watching the opening cinematic over and over again. I just wish the actual game itself had left me feeling as warm and fuzzy as the intro.

Tales of Vesperia is very much a Tales game, so if you're familiar with the series, then you'll feel right at home. The series has its own quirks and unique sensibilities, so your enjoyment may depend on how much you liked other Tales installments.

Vesperia stars Yuri, a retired knight, who gets caught up in a mystery when when an important Blastia - it's sort of like a programmable magic bauble - is stolen. You can guess what happens after that: you go out, meet characters, fight battles and unravel the larger plot.

There is a fairly complex combat system in place, complete with an Artes system that gradually evolves to let you unleash some impressive moves.

There's also an Over Limit and Fatal Strikes system that you can also exploit but because different enemies have fatal weaknesses to different series of continual attacks, I just mashed the B button with my eyes literally closed and still managed to survive.

NEXT PAGE: Tale spin

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