Tales of Vesperia - hands-on

So there we are, getting mobbed by about five foxes and three birds when we figured out something really neat: after keeping up a steady stream of attacks (with carefully timed button presses) a target reticule appeared on one of the foxes.

“Press the right trigger!” shrieked our demo guy.

We obeyed and watched in awe as Yuri shot through the targeted fox with a single sword stroke - the Fatal Strike, in all its glory. That enemy felled, we turned to take on one of the birds, but for some reason, Yuri started walking in a slow, wide arc back towards the baddie we wanted to kill. We hammered a few more buttons, trying to get our badass to do something, but by the time we accidentally triggered the Overlimit and brought up the battle menu three times, the fight was over.

A few fights later and we mostly had the controls figured out (including Free Run, which made evading enemy attacks much easier). Alas, our newfound knowledge wasn’t enough to beat the demo boss, whose ass-bruising attacks left us wondering if he’d be this hard to beat when the final game comes out. And if just now you want to accuse us of being pansies, back off - the demo guy and like five other journalists got their asses destroyed several times before we were able to beat the demo boss.

There’s no official word on when the demo will be available on Xbox Live - but the unofficial mutters of the PR guy suggest we can expect it (or one just like it) to hit sometime betweenmidand late summer. In the meantime, feast your eyes on somenew screenshotsand clear a space on the shelf. Tales of Vesperia looks like it’s going to deserve a place right next to Eternal Sonata, if not slightly ahead of it as the Xbox 360’s most gorgeous RPG ever.

Apr 16, 2008