Tales of Vesperia – The First Strike Review – B+

As a fan of the Tales series I was looking forward to this movie, and was not disappointed. Production IG decided to toss out the plot of the game and make a prequel, with Yuri and Flynn’s adventures in the knights before the start of the game. It worked out quite well, with a story that could conclude in a single movie but has plenty of room for sequels. I’m curious how faithful the sequels will be to the game plot though – especially those two twins, they were never in the game at all but were two of the main characters in this movie. Perhaps we can look forward to an untimely demise?

The characters are great and well developed, which is unsurprising since they have great material from the game to work with. The characters and their interactions are really the strong point of the Tales games- all those side dialogs as you’re walking around through the overworld make for some great development. I wish more RPG makers would realize that this is what makes a great game and not fancy graphics and fast-paced real time battle systems (*cough* *cough* FFXIII).

This is animal abuse!

But back to the movie – my only issue with the characters was that I couldn’t tell the two twins apart. I didn’t realize their physical differences until the captain pointed it out. As a unit though they worked well. And baby Repede was so cute! Also, Yuri looked less feminine than I remember him being in the game. I think it’s because he’s wearing his knight uniform instead of that low-cut shirt. We can probably look forward to his fashion sense degrading in the next movie.

Now THIS is more like it! More of this in the next movie, please?
Don't underestimate the power... of reading!

The plot of the movie was fairly typical – man vs. nature (evil monster in castle), the villagers band together to defeat it, the monster’s master is revealed to be the evil sorceror. But I didn’t mind, it’s typical because it’s proven to work. The movie is light-hearted and doesn’t take itself too seriously, with humorous, well spread out jokes.

  • Plot / Script – 8 / 10 – A typical fantasy plot, but done well.
  • Characters – 9 / 10 – It’s Tales.
  • Production  – 10 / 10 – It’s a movie by Production IG, what do you expect? The CG for the monster in the castle was only a little bit out of place
  • Overall – B+

How it would be Worse Better under Director Draggle – More Rita. Also more people who mistook Yuri for a girl.

Recommendations – Tales of Phantasia, Miyazaki movies, Book of Bantorra

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