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Xbox Game Pass is getting this award-nominated RPG very soon

Xbox recently announced which games would be added to Xbox Game Pass for the month of Oct. 2020. One of the most exciting is a critically-acclaimed and award-nominated JRPG, Tales of Vesperia

The popular Tales of series launched back in 1995 with the landmark Super Famicom title Tales of Phantasia. Over the years, the franchise has developed into a sprawling series of spin-offs and adaptations into other media. Through it all, the series has remained notable for its groundbreaking combat mechanic known as the Linear Motion Battle System. Enemy encounters in the Tales of series switch to more of a side view perspective, becoming something more akin to a fighting game.

Tales of Vesperia, released in 2008, would expand upon the Linear Motion Battle System, introducing its unique Evolved Flex Range Linear Motion Battle System. This new system allowed for more mid-air attacks and gave characters (and players) more options for stopping villains right in their tracks. Some gamers have found this particular combat system to be a little more difficult to master, if not downright clunky, but the Evolved Flex Range Linear Motion Battle System still has a great number of fans.

The story of Tales of Vesperia is set on a world called Terca Lumireis. A war has broken out over the control of blastia, an energy source that can create everything from force fields and healing items to deadly weapons. Naturally, some bad people want to get their hands on all of the world's blastia, which is where the heroic Yuri Lowell comes in. Yuri is a former soldier who forms a group called Brave Vesperia for one overarching mission: to protect the blastia from those who would misuse it.

At the time of its release, Tales of Vesperia was embraced by fans and critics alike as a unique entry in the JRPG genre. IGN's Ryan Geddes called Tales of Vesperia "a strong anime-style Japanese RPG with a wide-ranging story, compelling characters and an intense real-time battle system that keeps you on your toes." Tales of Vesperia would go on to be nominated for awards from multiple gaming publications. GameSpot felt that it had one of the best stories of any game released that year, while IGN nominated it as one of the year's best RPGs.

In the years since Tales of Vesperia's release, the game's popularity has led to it receiving multiple adaptations in various media. An anime prequel, Tales of Vesperia: First Strike, was released the year after the game. There have also been multiple volumes of manga produced that have expanded on the story of Tales of Vesperia. The world of this game is one that fans have enjoyed returning to, time and time again.

Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition was released to mark the tenth anniversary of the game. Not only did the graphics get an overhaul, but all-new dialogue was recorded for the game, resulting in a much fuller experience than before. This unfortunately led to Troy Baker (who many gamers may recognize as the voice of Jonesy from Fortnite) not being asked to reprise his role as Yuri. The voice acting wasn't the only thing to change between North American releases.

 As explained by Kotaku's Mike Fahey, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition also included extra content and characters that were not present in the original release of the game. The core gameplay was left mostly untouched, with the developers only focusing on the aspects of the game that they felt could be improved. The result, according to Fahey, is that "Western fans of the Tales series get an excellent reason to replay an outstanding game ... The old stuff holds up. The new stuff is icing on the cake."

Reviews for the Definitive Edition have been pretty positive across the board. In a review of the PS4 version, Push Square's Robert Ramsey noted how incredible it was that the game still held up. Ramsey concluded, "[Tales of Vesperia is] a borderline classic Japanese RPG, and one that still holds up in 2019 thanks to a great cast of characters and some finely poised action."

As exciting as it is for Game Pass users to get one of the most beloved JRPGs of the last 20 years, that's not all they can look forward to. Although Tales of Vesperia is probably enough to keep gamers busy for quite some time, several other critically-acclaimed games are coming to consoles via Game Pass in October. These include ScourgeBringer, a post-apocalyptic roguelite, and Katana Zero, a time-bending 2D action title. Fans of all kinds of science fiction and fantasy action will have plenty to be excited about this month's Game Pass additions. 

If you don't have Game Pass, now might be the best time to look into it. Xbox CEO Phil Spencer announced during this summer's Xbox Games Showcase that all first-party Xbox exclusives will also be coming to the subscription service on launch day.