Thoughts on Tales of Vesperia: First Strike
Unlike other people who probably watched this film with prior expectations due to their very own gameplay and experience (since I assume that the main target audience of the film are the fans), I (un)fortunately do not own the console necessary to play this one so I’d say I pretty much liked the movie as a solid, stand-alone film, assuming you have never played the game itself before, or if you want it already as is, as well as if you didn’t touch the game after. But, I made a blunder… since I decided to follow the game too.
Since I’m quite familiar to the Tales of series, as I have played both Phantasia and Abyss (not Symphonia) maybe you can’t really say that I’m empty handed in terms of what to expect. Either way, I think it pretty much didn’t work out because Vesperia easily outdid my expectations based on my benchmark, which is Abyss.
I actually preferred a chronological experience of the series so I watched it based on which happened first, which is why I watched the film first since it is said to be the prequel of the game. If I followed the order of the release, playing the game should have come first.
I did say I don’t own a Xbox360 so to make it possible for me to continue exploring Terca Lumireis, I watched instead KaddyGamer’s playthroughs in YouTube which, I say, really ate up a lot of my precious time since I approximately watched 300 of his videos. I absolutely think this is a wiser move than to buy the game and the console since it is known that the game has been published as well for PS3 along with additional extras. (Yes, I’m one of those who are hoping that the PS3 version be localized. Note: I also don’t have PS3 but I’ll be very willing to buy one if this game gets localized in the future)
Before watching Kaddy’s playthrough, you won’t really figure out that much whether Flynn and Yuri really are friends based from the film since the two like to put salt on each other’s wounds and most of the time, you can only hear them arguing and throwing snarky remarks at each other. They even emphasized how the two of them merely grew up from the same place – no more, no less. Although I guess this kind of bickering is just common between friends, you would clearly see the connection between the two whenever they are fighting using their swords.
The idea of the backstory for Flynn’s behavior in relation to his father was just so-so since it irritated me so much whenever I see Flynn reasoning out why his father died, blah blah. After watching Kaddy’s playthrough, I don’t really get it though why they had to add that backstory to Flynn since his character is already fine as it is. I don’t think he needs that kind of background to explain his decision to join the knights.
Speaking of joining the knights, when the reason for Yuri and Flynn’s act of joining the knights was asked by the twins, I was quite confused why the two didn’t had a consensus in their answer since I really thought, based from the game that the two decided to join the knights together in their hopes to change the system. Meanwhile, in the film Flynn was even surprised to see Yuri enlisting himself.
The thing which really caught my attention at almost an instant was the scene with Rita, although this is during watching the gameplay already. Compared to when I watched the playthrough, Rita doesn’t know that much yet about aer krenes before Duke explained it to the party. I was puzzled when I watched the playthrough since I expected Rita to already possess the vast knowledge about aer krenes, in support to all that she said and advised the Nylen Corps from the film. Why is it that she’s only starting to investigate them in the game. What I also found odd was that how come there was a very light start for Vesperia? Considering the tragedy that befell near Shizontania, I don’t really think it was appropriate that Yuri himself, who experienced it on first hand, didn’t really bother that much after such phenomenon. He was just bothered once again when there’s already the issue of the Adephagos. Also, there’s just this me who was expecting Yuri to have some sort of reaction to aer krenes, such as remembering the events in First Strike during the gameplay. But there’s no such thing – which pretty much made me think that the film wasn’t really a planned prelude but an accessory to the story, except for, which was the only grounded fact from the movie, the backstory of Yuri’s bodhi blastia.
PS. Mint, sorry for trolling you if you expected a gameplay review XD. (That will wait until we hear the news for PS3 localization *crosses fingers*)
image credits: pixiv user あゆみ