Gaming

Bonus contents, updated graphics in Vesperia

PHOTO: BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT

Tales Of Vesperia Definitive Edition, the new remaster of the decade-old Japanese role-playing game Tales Of Vesperia, brings back fond memories.

Allow me to explain. When the series debuted in 2008, I invested many hours playing its Xbox 360 version, so much so that I skipped the Japanese-exclusive release in 2009 on PS3, which offered two additional playable characters. The Definitive Edition includes that content and also comes with updated graphics. The PS4 version offers 1080p with 60 frames per second (note that there is no further resolution enhancement if you play this on a PS4 Pro, unless there is a patch in future), while the Windows version offers near 4K quality.

However, even the PS4 version looks great and its resolution is definitely adequate, given the game's anime-styled cel-shaded graphics format.

Developer Bandai Namco has also updated the game's soundtrack with new songs. Fans should get the Premium Edition, as it comes with a four-CD compilation of music (available only with the PS4 version).

The two playable characters that I have been looking forward to are Flynn Scifo and Patty Fleur. When I played the Xbox 360 version of the game in the past, Flynn was an indirectly influential persona accessible on only special encounters. But because of his popularity with gamers, Bandai Namco made him a selectable playing character in the PS3 port.

Patty is a young girl pirate with an attitude. Once she joins your party, you will be exposed to additional side quests that provide much backstory to the events that occur in the game world. Be sure to recruit her into your party.

The Definitive Edition also introduces more mini-games and bosses as well as unreleased costumes through its bonus content. Sweetening the deal further are two sets of free content available on PlayStation Network Store that contains a generous amount of customisation features for the playable characters. Being able to switch up to four different costumes for each character is refreshing, especially when you are going to spend hours playing.

  • SPECS

  • RATING: 8/10

    PRICE: From S$79.90 (PC; Nintendo Switch; Xbox One; PS4, version tested)

    GENRE: Japanese role-playing game

I recommend players save their progress whenever they come across the sporadically located save points. Once the entire party perishes, it is game over.

Some of the additional scenes come with voice-casting. When you launch the game, the system requires you to select Japanese or English audio. However, there is no option to change the selection again unless you reload the game. Speaking of which, Troy Baker, the original voice for the game's main protagonist Yuri Lowell, has been replaced by American voice actor Grant George in the additional scenes.

But I found almost no difference between their voices and the change should not affect the gameplay experience for players.

My one quibble is a button-mapping issue on the main menu of PlayStation titles. The menu says "Press X" to start the game, but the correct button to press is actually the "O", or circle, button.

• Verdict: Tales Of Vesperia Definitive Edition is a worthy tour down memory lane for fans.

• Nizam Mohd is a freelance writer

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2019, with the headline 'Bonus contents, updated graphics in Vesperia'. Print Edition | Subscribe