I finally finished Tales of Vesperia today and all I can say is wow. It's rare that a game or any story gives me that feeling at the end. That desire to continue to live in this world and with these characters a little longer. The world and the characters are the two aspects of it that really stuck out to me.
It features one of the best cast of characters I've seen in a game. Each character is fully realised with their own motivations and personality. At points, I could predict what a specific character's reaction would be. That's a sign of great character development. The chemistry between the cast is also amazingly well done. You feel the relationships with them grow and evolve over time.
The world of the game is filled with a variety of cities, towns, and environments. And you get to slowly explore it all along the way. Too many games drop you in the middle of a world with little direction. It's great for some but I prefer a curated experience. There's so much depth that can be created by taking you on a guided tour through a world.
Video games are often looked at as mindless fun but there are so many that are achievements on an artistic level. Games like this offer stories and characters on par with great novels and movies. And you get to be a part of the experience. What's not to love?