I thought if I had one sword my power would be 100. But if I have two swords then my power would be 200, right?
For the longest time, the Tales of series of RPGs has had a checkered history with Namco-Bandai. You never knew if the series would ever see a Western release ever again, so you could imagine my suprise with the announcement of not only Tales of Xillia coming stateside but the announced remastered 10th anniversary version of Tales of Symphonia. What’s inside? Let’s find out.
Fans of the Tales series always had long delays and uncertain fates for their series. Last year was a stroke of sheer luck with the release of Tales of Graces f. If the US was going to get a game brought over, it would be the first edition of the game with minimal fanfare and a short print, and if a superior director’s cut version for the Playstation was on the horizon, tough luck. The fact that we didn’t get Tales of Graces for the Wii, but got the better PS3 version instead was already a great boon, and it looked like Namco-Bandai was learning. During last fall’s New York ComicCon, Namco-Bandai announced Tales of Xillia for a US release this August. The fact that the title has been liberated from limbo is a great deal of progress and the fact that the US release will include artbooks, OSTs, and DLC costume shows Namco-Bandai cut nothing from us.
However, the big change from precedence is the release of Tales of Symphonia: Chronicles (Tales of Symphonia: Unisonist Pack in Japan). The original release of ToS on the Gamecube was for the west, an big introduction to the Tales series for fans so this proper HD re-release is big news that calls on lots of old nostalgia. The PS3 edition will also include Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World, the more mixed reception sequel released on the Wii some time ago. While the Japanese release is confirmed to contain lots of extra bonuses like a light novel and figurines, I’m personally just glad we’re getting the collection in the first place. It’s been ten years since the game’s release in Japan, so now new fans can pick it up, and I’m sure it will do at least well in the US given its popularity in the series.
The Tales series hails back to a different time of RPGs. It’s not your Mass Effect or your Elder Scrolls but it does have its charm from probably most of our teenage and preteen days, so while it’s not a giant open world with dark gritty elements, perhaps it’s something different for our next generation of gamers for better or for worse. I, for one, look forward to continuing the family tradition I have with my younger siblings of playing the most recent Tales game together, but this time with a touch of fond memories. Join me next time when I teach you how to cook mabo curry.
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