Tales of Vesperia: First Strike Review
Released by: FUNimation Entertainment
Runtime: 110 Minutes
Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike is the prequel to the popular Xbox 360 RPG. The movie focuses on the back story between Yuri and Flynn. The story revolves around Yuri’s earlier days as a Knight in training with Flynn and the two are assigned to investigate the mysterious disturbance of the world’s Aer. Aer is the world’s source of energy that powers many tools, equipment, and magic spells used for both battle and daily life.
The problem with the world’s Aer is it is causing the monsters to run rampant and mad with rage. Yuri and Flynn undertake the mission to discover the truth behind the problem and along the way meet cameos of characters from the Tales of Vesperia RPG title, that appear throughout the film. The story’s narrative and plot development unfolds well and viewers do not need to play the video game to understand what is going on. I have personally experienced Tales of Vesperia RPG firsthand, and I think fans of the “Tales of” series will enjoy the movie more because of the familiarity that the animated feature presents.
Aside from the new cast of characters introduced in the movie, which adds to the comic relief of the film, Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike meshes the CGI and 2D style animation beautifully. The character designs and environmental backdrops flesh out the animated stills and contributes to the personalities of the characters through their interactions with each other. The magic spells invoked through the blastia cores and Aer distribution will appeal to modern viewers that wish to see a fantasy story blast onto the scene with a flashy look.
But the flashy visuals are not the only appealing feature that the movie displays. The voice acting does not disappoint. Fans of the original video game may notice some changes to the cast, through the use of different voice actors, but the actors and actresses do an exceptional job in conveying the characters’ personality traits.
The film’s Blu-Ray/DVD release from FUNimation Entertainment does not have a lot of extras, unfortunately. But, since I
am a movie lover in general, my favorite feature is the previews. FUNimation provides enough trailers to some of their newer titles that gives anime fans a taste of what is to come and what has already been released by the company. In my personal opinion, the company’s decision to distribute the newer anime releases with Blu-Ray and DVD discs included in one package is an absolute win. The company realizes that the market on the western hemisphere is struggling in sales, but FUNimation has become the powerhouse of anime distribution through their effective marketing strategy of combining the two formats.
Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike will have much more appeal and sales for fans of the “Tales of’ series, especially video game enthusiasts that have played the RPG originally. This movie adaptation to the franchise is not the first of its kind in the series. I recommend anyone that has genuine interest in the series itself to buy a copy of the movie and follow-up the experience by playing the game.
Overall: 3.5 / 5
Pros: Prequel to the RPG released on XBOX 360, Good characterization, Great visuals!
Cons: The story’s pace can be a little slow at times.