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All-action chases away slow start; Games.

Byline: MARTIN SMITH

TALES OF VESPERIA. pounds 44.99 - X360 MOST of us have done it. Bought a game, played for a mere couple of minutes and then thrown it into the cupboard in disgust, never to be played again.

To my eternal shame, the fabulous Fable original was given this treatment by the, cough, font of all gaming knowledge.

Whoops. And Tales of Vesperia very nearly followed the same route but, luckily for me, the England cricket team have ensured my patience is nowadays my strongest virtue.

A twee and slightly sickly start provides instant doubts to the game's quality and appeal. Fallout 3 it isn't.

However these quickly disappear as you're thrown into an epic tale of adventure, fusing the traditional style RPG with all-action battle systems.

You take up the role of Yuri at the start of the game as the plot begins at a snail's pace before snowballing into a joyful ride of gaming glory.

The Tales series has been around for longer than I've been shaving, but the latest addition to the series certainly looks good.

True, the battle control system can prove to be tricky to master but, once that's been achieved, Tales does offer a comprehensive in-depth tactical experience.

And, yes, the cheesiness of the game - reflective of the Japanese style RPG genre - can grate at times but it's certainly not enough to plunge this title into the cupboard of doom.

Or even anywhere near it.

Bravo. ZUMA. PS3 - pounds 6.99. Available from PSN. ZUMA is very much part of the ever-increasing trend of pick-up-and-play puzzle games - and it fares rather well in spite of some obvious limitations.

You're faced with the challenge of firing a cannon into a line of multi-coloured balls. If your cannon ball matches the colour of the balls hit, they disappear.

Dissolve the line, complete the level. Simple.

Zuma's aesthetics and presentation are somewhat limited, but the addictive element ensures that such deficiencies can be quickly overlooked.

Review by Jack Minall, 14.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 31, 2009
Words:335
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