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Tales of Symphonia photo
Tales of Symphonia

There's already a fix for Tales of Symphonia's bad PC port

You can always count on Durante
Feb 02
// Jordan Devore
Tales of Symphonia released on Steam this week, and buyer beware -- you're in for a scare. Bandai Namco's PC version is based on the PS3 port of the PS2 port of the cherished 2003 GameCube title, and even by modest standards,...
Tales of Berseria photo
Tales of Berseria

Namco Bandai shares new details for Tales of Berseria

Also, new character overviews
Jan 04
// Chris Carter
Tales of Berseria is still a ways off (it doesn't even have a release date in Japan yet, though a localization has been confirmed), but that hasn't stopped Namco Bandai from sharing some new information. Apparently the theme ...
Tales of Symphonia photo
Tales of Symphonia

Tales of Symphonia coming to PC in February

Free if you preordered Tales of Zestiria
Dec 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Tales of Symphonia is coming to Steam on February 2, Bandai Namco announced today. The GameCube classic will be available free to anyone who pre-ordered Tales of Zestiria via Steam prior to its October launch, though there's ...
Not PS3 photo
Not PS3

Tales of Berseria is coming to PS4 and PC in the west

First woman-led Tales tale
Dec 21
// Steven Hansen
Bandai Namco's Tales of Berseria was announced in the middle of this year for PS3 and PS4 in Japan. That has since received a 2016 launch date in Japan. Today, the company confirmed its plan to bring the newest Tales of game...

Review: Tales of Zestiria

Oct 20 // Chris Carter
Tales of Zestiria (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Bandai Namco Studios, tri-CrescendoPublisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentMSRP: $49.99 (PC, PS3), $59.99 (PS4)Released: January 22, 2015 (JP), October 16, 2015 (EU) October 20, 2015 (US) If you've played a Tales game before, you pretty much know what to expect. This is still very much a hero's journey affair, with the main character Sorey embarking upon an epic quest to become a Shepard and save the world. This is complicated by two warring nations, the evil Heldaf, and the Hellion -- monsters created out of pure evil energy. Along the way Sorey will conscript new companions into his crew, including his childhood friend Mikleo. For the most part, the story stays on point and doesn't stray from its primary goal of a fantasy epic. Just when you think it's starting to get crazy with the juxtaposition of humans and the heavenly Seraphim race, Zestiria quickly grounds things with Sorey as a tether, who was raised by the latter but is still a human. It's all very straight-forward, partially to a fault, and is easy to follow. Zestiria houses a stable of interesting, memorable characters, but they don't necessarily grow over time. Sorey also sports a bit of a drab persona, but again, it helps that he's at least likable. As you may have heard, Zestiria has generated a fair bit of controversy over in Japan when it was released earlier this year. The crux of the issue stems from a character named Alisha, who was heavily promoted before the game's release, and then relegated to a side character that wasn't in most of the game -- and later sold as DLC. The games producer even apologized for it. This in no way effects the review, but it's something to be aware of in case you might have heard something negative about Zestiria in the past. Ultimately, I'm ok with this being Sorey's tale. When it comes to exploration, Zestiria walks a fine line between open environments and too many linear dungeon-like settings. It's actually more open than both Xillia games, but don't get the impression that they're as sprawling as say, Xenoblade Chronicles. I'm ok with this compromise though, as the developers have stuffed a ton of secrets into the game's universe, including monoliths that grant you information, and cute hidden creatures called Normin that grant you rewards the the effort of finding them. The concise focus also helps make the dungeons less of a slog, and allows them focus more on a centralized theme or puzzle element. [embed]316377:60788:0[/embed] Combat is easily the most meaningful advancement Zestiria has made, however. It's now a lot more action-oriented, and relies on SC (spirit chain) energy, which adds a new strategic element to the mix. At first players will start off with just 4-hit combos, which are essentially a mash session, but the game quickly ramps up into something much more interesting. For starters, your attacks get stronger as you expend SC, but unloading all of it will leave you vulnerable. To recharge SC you'll have to guard or stay idle, leaving you open to attack. It's interesting, as sometimes you'll want to go all out on a foe if they're stunned or if you're attempting to finish them off, but it can completely backfire. It's a nice risk-reward system that's present in every fight, not just boss encounters. Other advanced arts like quickstepping (dodging) come into play on a constant basis. Oh, and certain characters can actually fuse, Dragon Ball style, with Seraphim companions to supercharge their abilities, which is just as fun as it sounds. Everything having to do with character customization is supercharged this time around, actually. Players can stack skills for each party member to make them stronger, or diversify their elemental loadouts to create new skills. There's also a host of meta-abilities like snack preparation and discovery, which recharge party member's health bars and present icons on the minimap respectively. You can even further augment characters with abilities like auto-guard, and alter your AI's strategic tendencies when you're not in control. They really went all-out when it comes to the game's core mechanics. Like most Tales games, Zestiria has a beautiful art style in tow, with plenty of bright colors and endearing character designs. It has its limitations however, as it is a PS3 game at heart, and longshots typically don't have the same impact. Also, the camera angle is insufferable at times, especially indoors, and can't be easily manipulated. Thankfully dual audio comes standard with the western release, and both the dub and sub are well done. You can also alter the battle difficulty at any time, lengthy combo input windows, utilize fast-travel, skip cutscenes, and even skip individual lines of dialogue. Oh, and players can save anywhere with a quick save system, which is convenient. Tales of Zestiria plays by the book in a lot of ways, particularly when it comes to its cast and narrative. But it's still a great entry into the series, and a welcome return for old fans, especially as far as the battle system is concerned. In fact, it's even inspired me to go back and finish both Xillia titles -- that's the magic of the Tales series at work. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Tales of Zestiria review photo
A tale of two Shepherds
My history with the Tales series is sort of akin to an on again, off again relationship. I was introduced to Phantasia by way of a friend's import copy, and immediately fell in love. After that I only dabbled in a f...

Deals photo

25% off Star Wars Battlefront PC deal closes in as beta ends

Will totally sell gazillion copies
Oct 14
// Dealzon
Nine million strong was the verdict in the Star Wars Battlefront beta test weekend. By all accounts, the beta seems to be well received as the Internet was flooded with videos/gifs aplenty. Green Man Gaming must have received the memo because during an unannounced sale, it's headlining Battlefront as the deal to grab for the season.
Tales of Zestiria photo
Tales of Zestiria

Tales of Zestiria has a mountain of DLC waiting for you

A new chapter, but mainly bikinis
Oct 12
// Joe Parlock
Bandai Namco has announced a landslide of DLC for the upcoming Tales of Zestiria, which doesn’t release until October 16. Fortunately, some of that upcoming DLC is free for a limited time, but other bits aren’t. F...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco might be localizing Tales of Link

Trademark filed in Europe
Aug 09
// Kyle MacGregor
As spotted by Gematsu, Bandai Namco filed a European trademark for Tales of Link last week. The free-to-play role-playing game launched on iOS and Android devices in early 2014, but only in the Japanese market. Given the publ...
Tales of Symphonia photo
Tales of Symphonia

Tales of Symphonia HD coming to PC

Get some Symphonia in you
Jul 02
// Laura Kate Dale
Hey, do you like Tales of Symphonia? Wish it were available on your PC in HD? Are you now holding your breath, reading and hoping I'm not messing with your emotions? Fear not, Tales of Symphonia HD is coming to Steam next yea...
Tales of Berseria PS4 photo
Tales of Berseria PS4

First look at Tales of Berseria in action

Just a quick peek
Jun 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Bandai Namco just released the first footage of Tales of Berseria in motion, showing off a range of environments, including a tropical coastal locale, a temperate forest, and snow-coated cityscape. The publisher still hasn't...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

Tales of Zestiria officially confirmed for PS4, PC

Coming in October
Jun 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Bandai Namco's worst kept secret is now officially official. Today, the publisher confirmed the rumors are indeed true. Yes, Tales of Zestiria is in development for PlayStation 4 and PC. Alongside the previously announced Pla...
Tales photo

Tales of Zestiria producer is sorry that he caused you to worry about the series

More at Tales of Festival
May 05
// Chris Carter
There's been a bit of buzz recently with Tales of Zestiria possibly coming to the PC and PS4 in addition to its confirmed PS3 release later this year, but not everyone is happy with the current state of the series. Produ...
Tales of Zestiria PS4 photo
Tales of Zestiria PS4

Another retail listing hints at Tales of Zestiria on PS4

Currently only slated on PS3
May 04
// Chris Carter
Tales of Zestiria is coming to the PS3 later this year -- I've played it, it's looking good. But while I can confirm that the PS3 version exists, there have been rumors floating around of a PS4 and PC release, the former of w...

Tales of Zestiria tops Japanese Charts, Kirby tanks

Kirby finally has a reason to be angry
Jan 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Tales of Zestiria was the best-selling game in Japan last week, netting over 340,000 sales in its domestic debut, according to data compiled by Media Create. For reference, here's how previous entries in the series fared in t...
Zestiria photo

Tales of Zestiria will read your previous PS3 Tales save data

For cute rewards
Jan 12
// Chris Carter
Tales of Zestiria is launching on January 22nd in Japan, and it will likely arrive at some point in 2015 for the rest of the world. Fans will be excited to know that the latest iteration will read save data from previous titl...

Review: Tales of Hearts R

Nov 11 // Kyle MacGregor
Tales of Hearts R (PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita)Developer: Bandai NamcoPublisher: Bandai NamcoReleased: November 11, 2014 (NA), November 14, 2014 (EU)MRSP: $39.99 Tales of Hearts R, true to form, is a familiar experience. It contains all the trappings one might expect of the series, never doing anything particularly new or unexpected, save perhaps the elegant transition to PlayStation Vita. The narrative, though not without its twists and turns, most likely will not surprise you. It centers around a young woman Kohaku, who is attacked by a witch, shattering her Spiria -- the manifestation of her heart and soul -- and scattering her emotions to the winds. The task falls to Kor Meteor, a sheltered boy from a small village, Kohaku's brother Hisui, and an increasingly large company of friends to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Of course, the witch has a darker purpose than merely attacking a single damsel, and the fetch quest snowballs into a matter of global importance. [embed]283289:56283:0[/embed] Much of the world is afflicted with a condition called "despir," which causes a myriad of emotional issues. These run the gamut from simple depression to giving people sociopathic urges to commit mass murder. Regardless of how severe the malady, saving the day usually involves travelling inside an afflicted person's soul and fighting their inner demons. Literally.  The story itself is a slow burn, taking several hours for the plot to meander much of anywhere and for cast members to exhibit anything more than well-worn tropey mannerisms. The most troubling character in this regard is Kohaku, who, robbed of her emotions, is effectively rendered an automaton for much of the game, one reliant on a bunch of squabbling men to protect and save her. It gets better, though. Innes Lorenzen, who runs a courier business called Wanderlust, is a highlight. A multidimensional entrepreneur, she sells magical weapons to groups in exchange for their indentured servitude. Then there are all these vignettes between story sequences -- little lighthearted asides to the main story where the characters are fleshed out and act like actual people, rather than clear-cut archetypes. Battle is the highlight of the experience, of course. Tales games always have marvelous combat, and Hearts is no exception. The battle system is both action-heavy and strategic, asking players to delve into the fray while also managing the party on a macro level. Encounters are random, with battles taking place in isolated arenas where you field up to four party members at a time. This time around, Bandai Namco has implemented a system where successive hits can stun an enemy, allowing you to launch them into the air. There, foes can be juggled with standard melee attacks and artes (spells) until such a time as you see fit to slam them back into the earth. It can be quite fun. As always, there are a vast number of ways to customize your party. Once a character levels up, you get to allocate statistics and further tailor them to particular roles with various passive abilities on top of their weapons, armor, and palette of artes.  [embed]283289:56278:0[/embed] The actual enemies you'll be fighting along the way look uninspired, as do many of the game's dungeons. While there isn't much to actually explore in Tales of Hearts' massive world, there are a handful of secrets to find should you wish to wander off the beaten path. The towns themselves have a lot of character, which managed to be surprisingly inventive on occasion. My favorite of the bunch was a city built on islands in the middle of a lake, though the village built around a communal Japanese bath house had its charms as well. The least enchanting aspect of the experience is the collection of puzzles strewn about the dungeons, which are banal speed bumps at best and exasperating road blocks to progress at worst. These chores are in no way mentally stimulating and seem to exist merely to pad out the length of the experience. The localization may be an issue for some, as Bandai Namco opted to forego an English dub and just subtitle the game with the original Japanese voice work. While I personally didn't find it to be a point of contention, having the option to choose is always preferable. Tales of Hearts R isn't going to shatter anyone's perceptions of the genre. But it isn't trying to do that either. It's a solid, traditional experience that should satisfy fans of classic JRPGs.
Tales of Hearts review photo
This old flame still burns
The Tales series may not have the same cachet in the West as do other prominent role-playing game franchises, but its renown is definitely on the rise. Bandai Namco has expressed more confidence in the franchise in recent yea...


Tales of Hearts R works just fine with PlayStation TV

Kick back
Oct 14
// Dale North
Vita game Tales of Hearts R works with PS TV, says Bandai Namco. This means you can enjoy the portable title on your larger TV screen.  Duh, you say? PS TV has what are basically the Vita's innards, and it is compatible ...

Tales of Zestiria's combat is fast and furious

Sep 19 // Elliot Gay
There were two separate demo options for Tales of Zestiria at this year's TGS. Visitors could choose from the "Scenario Mode," which went through a chunk of the story before culminating with a boss fight, or the "Battle Mode," which dropped players in a wide open field and allowed for limited exploration and combat until time ran out. I figured "Battle Mode" would give me the most bang for my metaphorical buck, and was immediately given control of the protagonist, Sorey. As I ran around the field looking for treasure and perhaps some secret locations, I noticed that one of my party members, the lance-wielding Alisha, trailed behind me while occasionally commenting on our surroundings. I was instantly reminded of older SNES and PSX RPGs in which your entire party would follow behind you like a party line of sorts. The first thing I noticed upon spinning the camera around was how wide open the main area was. Unlike Tales of Xillia and its sequel, there were no large walls closing me in on either side. Even more surprising, the whole plain was filled with hills going every which way. It seems like a small inclusion, but when you're spending a not insignificant amount of time running between towns and dungeons, any kind of variation helps. Additionally, I found multiple ruin-like areas littered across the field, giving me reason to explore and deviate off the beaten path. I don't know if this sort of thing will be commonplace in the final game, but I certainly hope that's the case.  Combat still takes place in a closed off arena, but one of the bigger differences in Tales of Zestiria is the way battle transitions are handled. As soon as the player character makes contact with an enemy, the game loads in the rest of the mob and immediately goes into action mode on the field. No more cutting to a different screen; a small, but important step toward making the world feel seamless. It's not as smooth as it could be, but it works. In combat, rather than utilizing an MP system for the various artes, Tales of Zestiria takes a page from Tales of Graces' book, using a recharging bar that fills up as you fight. It rewards smart players who link combos together and utilize the side step mechanic to dodge enemies and stagger them. Much like in Graces, you'll be zipping around enemies and taking more chances so that you can fill up your meter faster. With a system as robust as this, I'm sure I barely touched on the intricacies of combo'ing, but there's only so much I can see in a ten minute chunk of time. As always, folks who want to just press buttons and look cool can do it as much as they please. For those who seek a more technical experience, Zestiria looks like it should satisfy. The biggest change, which I unfortunately wasn't able to explore too deeply, is the brand new Armitization system. When activated, Sorey can fuse with one of the Seraph's in his party to become a single powerful being with a brand new array of artes and physical attacks. In the demo, I tried fusing with Edna and Lailah. The former uses powerful Earth-based moves, so when fused, Sorey had giant glove-like weapons equipped that did heavy damage to most of the enemies I bumped into. Fusing with Lailah resulted in a magic heavy character that mostly stood away from the front lines to deal damage. Activating Armitization was as simple as tapping the L1 button in combat. Reversing the process takes another press of the same button. It's not at all complicated to use, though I suspect some of the more hardcore Tales fans will be putting together crazy combos. I'm looking forward to getting more hands on time with the game come Japanese release this January.
Tales of Zestiria preview photo
Rolling hills and clashing swords
Ask most Tales fans what game has their absolute favorite version of the Linear Motion Battle System (LMBS), and you're likely to get a wide variety of answers. Some prefer the 2D combat from the Tales of Destiny PS2 remake a...

Tales of Zestiria footage photo
Tales of Zestiria footage

Offscreen Tales of Zestiria footage shows rolling hills and fierce battles

It also looks like a Tales game
Sep 19
// Elliot Gay
I had the chance to go hands on with the latest in Bandai Namco's flagship RPG series, Tales of Zestiria. I came away from the demo feeling pretty excited for the fast paced combat, but I also managed to get a couple of offs...
Tales of Zestiria photo
Tales of Zestiria

Namco gives us a nice long look at Tales of Zestiria

All the children are insane, waiting for the summer rain, yeah
Sep 17
// Kyle MacGregor
Tales of Zestiria is on display at Tokyo Game Show this week, but those of us not cavorting around Japan will have to settle for this extended peek at the forthcoming role-playing game. Bandai Namco aims to release Tales of Zestiria in Japan on January 22, 2015. No word yet on when exactly the publisher plans to localize the PS3 title for western audiences, though.
Tales of Phantasia photo
Tales of Phantasia

Oh good, Namco is shutting down Tales of Phantasia

Jul 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Tales of Phantasia only just arrived on the iOS App Store this year, but Bandai Namco is already pulling the plug on the mobile role-playing game. The publisher announced plans to "cease distribution" of the title. That ...
Tales of Hearts PS Vita photo
Tales of Hearts PS Vita

Tales of Hearts R coming to PS Vita this November

Playable at Anime Expo in Los Angeles this week
Jul 02
// Kyle MacGregor
Tales of Hearts R is coming to North America on November 11 and across Europe starting November 14. It will have Japanese voice-over with EFIGS subtitles, Bandai Namco announced at Japan Expo in Paris, France today. The PlayS...
Tales: Reve Unitia photo
Tales: Reve Unitia

The Tales of the World: Reve Unitia box art is as gorgeous as expected

The game looks pretty cool, too
Jun 21
// Brittany Vincent
Tales of the World: Reve Unitia is an awesome-looking tactical Tales game, and its official Japanese box art looks just as swanky as the game does. For the uninitiated, Reve Unitia is a strategy role-playing game that include...
Tales of the World photo
Tales of the World

First look at Tales of the World: Reve Unitia on 3DS

SRPG targets October release in Japan
Jun 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Bandai Namco showcased the first trailer for Tales of the World: Reve Unitia this weekend at the Tales Festival in Yokohama, Japan. And now you can take a peek for yourself. Reve Unitia is a strategy role-playing game featuring an assortment of characters from the Tales franchise. It's coming to Nintendo 3DS in Japan on October 23. No word on any plans for a western release.
Tales of Zestiria trailer photo
Tales of Zestiria trailer

New Tales of Zestiria trailer looks and sounds lovely

Now in HD and even zestier than before!
May 01
// Kyle MacGregor
This past weekend, Bandai Namco gave us another look at Tales of Zestiria from the Niconico Chokaigi live event in Chiba, Japan. As exciting as the new footage was though, the video quality wasn't exactly the best....

Tales of Zestiria Amazon placeholder gets me all excited

And then bummed out
Apr 29
// Dale North
We know by now that when Amazon puts up a listing for a game early, it's probably just a placeholder. There's one up now for Tales of Zestiria -- yes, already! It's the English version, priced at $59.96 (price is also likely ...
Tales of Zestiria trailer photo
Tales of Zestiria trailer

Namco brings the drama in latest Tales of Zestiria trailer

Apr 26
// Kyle MacGregor
I'm drowning in Tales games. And I kind of love it. There are definitely worse ways to die. Tales of Xillia was amazing, and its sequel is right around the corner. The Symphonia games look lovely in HD. And Tales of Hearts R...

Tales of Xillia 2 coming west this August, collector's edition detailed

Apr 22 // Steven Hansen
Xillia 2 has an inverted structure from the first, set mostly in the less magical Olympios one year after the first game. It's centered around the badly dressed 20 year old Ludger Kresnik and the 8 year old Elle who, in a bit of reverse The Last of Us, saw her father gunned down in front of her. This is all reflective of what is meant to be a darker story focusing on player choice. The point of view is always Ludger's and throughout the story you'll be tasked with making binary choices (mapped to L1 and R1) that affect how certain scenes play out, Ludger's relationship with party characters, and the end of the game.  We were treated to a cutscene where Ludger's brother, Julius, who works for a spurious company, tries to kill you and you have to choose between forcefully stopping him or reasoning with him. The some weird stuff went down where Elle's amulet started glowing and drilled itself into Ludger's head and he got weird face tattoos and monster hands. What is it with anime and face tattoos? It also follows the gaming-wide conflation of grittiness and maturity. "We changed the atmosphere to be a bit darker compared to the previous Tales of Xillia. In [the first game], the target audience is teenagers, 15-18, but for Tales of Xillia 2 our target audience is those who are older than 20 years old so we wanted to make a bit more mature and darker atmosphere." Ludger's crazy transformation is eventually represented in Xillia 2's "Cross Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System," as he can transform and wreck house in his powerful monster form. There's also a real-time weapon swap system allowing for Ludger to swap between dual blades, a sledgehammer and dual pistols. Linking to characters allows for support attacks -- linked artes -- which are dependent on character affinity, which can change based on choices made during cutscenes. It took Xillia two and half years to release in the west after its Japanese release. Xillia 2 has a 15 month difference. Next year's Tales of Zestiria should be ready three to six months after its Japanese release. Congratualtions, Tales fans. Namco realized you want to play its games and will be working harder to get them to you in a timely manner.
Tales of Xillia 2 preview photo
Embracing a binary choice system
We knew Tales of Xillia 2 would be coming to the Americas before the first Tales of Xillia came out, but now we have a date, along with a bulky collector's edition. You can get your hands on the PS3 RPG on August 19 in North ...

Tales of Heart R photo
Tales of Heart R

Hideo Baba confirms Tales of Hearts R for Western release

A tale of too many awesome Tales games
Apr 18
// Brittany Vincent
Ready for more Tales games to invade your backlog? Who isn't, right? Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched, because Tales series producer Hideo Baba has just confirmed that the PlayStation Vita Tales entry Tales of ...
Tales of the World photo
Tales of the World

Tales of the World: Reve Unitia announced for 3DS

In Japan
Apr 02
// Chris Carter
Are you a Tales fan? Well you're in luck, as a strategy-centric 3DS iteration has been announced, titled Tales of the World: Reve Unitia. The only real details we have so far is that it will include a number of popu...

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