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Forums > Submission Feedback > jerec's Tales of Vesperia review

This thread is in response to a review for Tales of Vesperia on the Xbox 360. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: aschultz
Posted: September 09, 2009 (09:12 AM)
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Hey, Jerec. It's good to see you back with a review.

This is an enjoyable read, though it needs some red pen. Obviously, you were able to separate a lot of the important points from your original blog posting where you fleshed out ideas that might go into reviews, and I think that worked well on the whole.

I got a bit caught up in not understanding some of the Tales of Symphonia stuff, but I think it's reasonable to expect that, and it's probably payback for the reviews of mine you had to read during the tourney where you probably had no clue about MY games.

One big problem I've found with writing reviews of RPG's I enjoy is that my first draft can be cut 20%. I don't think I'm alone. It's too easy to repeat stuff you really like instead of just emphasizing it or leading up to it, or tying it into something else properly. You say "absolutely brilliant" twice and one can go--find a different way to say it. I don't think it adds anything to your description of the soundtrack, for instance. This sort of low-level stuff is where I start with my proofreading and I often need a couple of days to hash things out and be willing to delete stuff I thought had to say.

One other thing about individual words--the word "flawless" does feel like a cop-out, even used once. I'd be interested in seeing what your favorite part of the rendered world was. Does it repeat too much? From the screenshots I see a lot to say, and I think that an example or two--whether from them or from parts of the game not captured in the screenshots--would work well.

"Vesperia’s characters aren’t special."/"None of the other characters are anything special, either." ... and then you contradict this by discussing a rather interesting character named Karol. Perhaps the word you are looking for is flamboyant, or overdone, or something. Stuff like mentioning there are no big twists like everyone's from the same orphanage is a great poke at overdoing conventions, and that needs to stand out.

I'm going to throw out other random grammar-y stuff here, and maybe add more later. Someone who knows the game or its predecessor can comment on the accuracy better. I can only peg stuff that sounds right/wrong.

"But when she does - and then tries to hide the fact that she cares, made her character both amusing and likable." switches tense & maybe rewrite like "research. She becomes amusing and likable when she eventually warms to her companions but still hides it." would make things clearer. Maybe not like that, but a good observation clanks here. Plus, you start using hyphens here, and it spills to the next paragraph.

Also, it may be formulated, but I'd start with the story or a brief overview even if battle is the main pull for the game. Dropping Yuri in right away left me a bit confused. For instance, I realized the game was about orphans as player characters, but I think the review waited too long to mention that--even if Symphonia was about orphans, it's useful to know what's more of the same and what has changed in terms of characters or plots or your average player-character, and maybe even which characters are pulled over.

Finally the conclusion--"and each character handles differently, adding some variety" puts too much mustard on one sentence. Perhaps you can make a new sentence mentioning that replaying while focusing on another character provides a different strategic experience--using spells instead of weapons. It's one of those sentences where the reader can guess what you probably mean, but he shouldn't have to.

My principal said, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.'
I said 'I'm the one in the middle, you lousy drunk!'
-- Emo Phillips

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Author: jerec
Posted: September 09, 2009 (04:43 PM)
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Thanks. You didn't have to read it, but thank you for taking the time. You raise some very good points. I did feel it was a bit over written, and I definitely plan to cut it back a bit, and thanks to your suggestions, I know where to make some of the snips.

I didn't realise until after I'd posted the review that my graphics paragraph was pretty bad, and that sort of thing doesn't really fly anymore. I'll go back and add a bit of detail there.

And oh wow, I actually said that thing about the characters not being special (twice!) when they were kinda... well maybe it was the way the game treated the familiar archetypes that worked so well. I'll have to fix that up.

The orphans stuff is never explicitly stated in the game. It's just the absence of family and stuff that gives it a way. You make some good points, and I'll be sure to put them into effect.

All judging and no reviewing makes me kinda rusty. I had to turn off my inner judge just to get the thing written. :P

I can avoid death by not having a life.

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