Oh, Tales of Vesperia, how you mock us. You sit there, rather cheekily, with your lunatic achievements and preachy storyline. Your quirky combat system was not my cup of tea, but TG seemed to be enjoying you. But, we can still tell you’re laughing at him. Honestly, though, who could fault you for that? It’s his fault for not deciding to go for those intense achievements until halfway through his first playthrough. It’s also his fault for not realizing just how demanding a game in the Tales series can be. All I can say is thank kittens we got that second 360, or I wouldn’t have been able to get a game in edgewise.
TG decided not to follow any of the numerous guides available for Tales of Vesperia in the beginning. Because of this, he missed some crucial points in the beginning and had to put in way more grinding (grade farming separate of item synthesis item farming, separate of back-tracking to monster lens — all rather redundant) all after he completed the game than he should have needed to, and even now he has no idea what took so long. His first playthrough hit around 230 hours (that does include substantial pause times). He then ran through a second playthrough for title collection and a few other key things that he missed out on the first time through. This playthrough took around 25 hours (again, including pause times). Then he finished a third speed run and a final partial playthrough for the last of the achievements.
I do not have the dedication for an RPG of that magnitude (even if he did go about it all wrong). One playthrough of Eternal Sonata is usually enough for me to want a break from RPGs for a few months. The best part? He tells me he’s going to start Star Ocean: The Last Hope or restart Final Fantasy XIII next, because he’s going to miss Tales of Vesperia. Good luck with that, TG.