Destructoid writes: "The Japanese RPG never ceases to astound me. It is a nearly untouched genre, steeped firmly in tradition. It beckons players to grind for experience senselessly for hours on end with an overly simplified battle system. It entertains with the same archetypal build of protagonists, antagonists, and supporting characters. The genre's males look like women, and the women look like 12-year-old girls. The games have multiple discs, hours of cut-scenes, and a massively linear style of exploration and gameplay.
Over the years, these cracks in the armor have turned into massive fissures, releasing steam and bubbling goo that have catalyzed the spawning of odd hybrids. One could surmise that the success of the Western RPG, which is typified by its non-linearity, often-complex story structure, and redefinition of battle, has aided in expanding the cracks into the gaping holes that we recognize now.
Tales of Vesperia resides in this transition period. It's obvious that the developer, Namco Tales Studio, has tried to integrate part of the Western experience into its game. There are marked improvements in the genre itself, changes that were needed for the betterment of the series as a whole.
Taken out of transition context, how does Tales of Vesperia perform as a standalone title? Does it captivate, immerse, or entertain? Is the visual art a viable alternative? Is the battle system fluid and fun? Will it transcend the Tales series?
Hit the break and I'll tell you."