The Tales series has been a sometimes stranger to Nintendo consoles despite the popularity of Tales of Symphonia back in the GameCube days. Which makes it fantastic to see Tales of Vesperia appear on the Nintendo Switch alongside its Definitive Edition's release on other platforms.

Tales of Vesperia is a delightfully meaty RPG from one of the most popular RPG franchises around, and a game you shouldn't miss if you didn't manage to play it on the Xbox 360 or (weirdly) its Japanese-exclusive PS3 port. Here's everything we know so far about Tales of Vesperia's appearance on the Switch:

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What is Tales of Vesperia?

Tales of Vesperia is the tenth main series entry in the Tales of series of games by Bandai Namco and follows the story of an ex-soldier named Yuri Lowell and his guild, called Brave Vesperia. After meeting a noblewoman named Estelle while on a mission to capture a thief, he creates his own guild and eventually becomes entangled in a world-altering plot. The game is an RPG that was originally released in 2008 and is widely regarded as one of the best Tales games released.

The game consists of many staples from across the Tales series, including a sizeable cast of playable characters, a developed version of the series' linear motion battle system, and a large world to explore.

Do I need to have played other Tales games?

Not at all! Tales of Vesperia stands independently from the other Tales games in its story, though its mechanics will be familiar to anyone who has played other Tales games. Tales of Vesperia is a great place to jump in, especially as it will be the first Tales game released on the Nintendo Switch.

It does feature some cameos and references to past Tales games, which you might not grasp if you've never played before. However, the tutorial system is robust and will help you get into the swing of the series' unique battle system in no time.

How do I play Tales of Vesperia?

Tales of Vesperia essentially has two components. One of those is walking around the world, towns, and dungeons and investigating things inside them. Like any RPG, you can enter buildings, talk to NPCs, progress the story, find items, or discover secrets. Sometimes, you may get interrupted by a Skit that can be activated by pressing a button, which will show an optional conversation between characters in your party that offers insight on what's going on in the group at the moment.

The second component to gameplay is the battle system, which is triggered whenever a player touches an enemy on the overworld. The linear motion battle system takes place with four party members at a time, with the player controlling one previously selected. Like in a fighting game, you can move forward and back across a plane and attack enemies by pressing combinations of buttons. Every character has basic attacks they can use as well as mappable special, technical abilities they can put on a second button along with directional commands. This allows players to string together combos and use attacks quickly while blocking and dodging enemy attacks.

Each character can learn different moves, and different characters have different strengths and weaknesses, such as being swordsmen or healers or ranged attackers. The player can command others in the party to execute certain moves, or simply give the AI a preferred strategy and let them perform it without other guidance.

What's new in the Definitive Edition?

Tales of Vesperia's Definitive Edition features updated, HD graphics, new music tracks, and several other additions to the game.

It includes two characters that were only available in the PS3 version of the game previously: Patty Fleur and Flynn Scifo, who will join the party at pre-determined parts in the story and be entirely playable. In addition, there are a number of extra mini-games, bosses, and unreleased costume DLC interspersed throughout the game that we haven't gotten a glimpse of yet! It contains all content from the PS3, Japanese-exclusive version of the game.

Finally, it seems that several added cutscenes from earlier versions of the game have been given voice acting, though not always by members of the original voice cast. If you're using the Japanese language option you won't notice any issue, but if you're listening to English voice actors and things sound off, that's probably why. It shouldn't be too noticeable, though.

Can I play with a friend?

You can play with up to three friends! Tales of Vesperia allows three others to join the main player to participate in battles, each controlling a different party member. Attacks are mappable to the controller, so they can customize how they want to fight with their chosen character. However, there is no function allowing them to participate in the game outside of battles.

When can I play?

Tales of Vesperia is planned for launch on the Nintendo Switch on January 11, 2019, and will cost $49.99.

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Any questions about Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition?

If you're still not certain about whether or not to venture out with the crew of Brave Vesperia, put your questions in the comments and I'll answer them if I can.

Updated January 2019: Clarified bits about the battle system, added changes to voice acting in the English version.

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