Bandai Namco Talks Tales
04.06.09 - 9:25 PM

We've already known about the existence of Tales of VS, Tales of Graces and the PlayStation 3 release of Tales of Vesperia since last week, but today Bandai Namco Games officially announced the three titles at its company headquarters in Tokyo. The Wii-based Tales of Graces is developed by the Tales Studio team behind the PlayStation 2 version of Tales of Destiny. Tales of Graces is their first 3D title. As previously mentioned, the game's main theme will be "to protect", specifically protect one's beliefs and loved ones in chaotic times. The world of protagonist Asbel Lhant is dominated by three rivaling countries. Asbel is a young swordsman with a strong sense of justice. The new mothership (main series) installment will employ what its developers refer to as style shift linear motion battle system (SS LMB). This system will allow the player to freely switch between multiple attack styles in response to an altered battle situation. Due to enhanced freedom of movement (now 360 degrees), an attack followed by an enemy encounter might turn into a fight reminiscent of a Soul Calibur bout.

Moreover, Nintendo's upcoming Classic Controller PRO will be supported by the game. Last but not least, the game's main theme will be announced during this year's Tales of Festival in June. Tales of Graces is currently set to ship to Japanese retailers sometime in winter.

Tales of VS for PlayStation Portable is set to feature 35 playable characters. While there is no complete list yet, the developers revealed that those characters were taken from 13 titles. Tales of VS's battle system is based on the series linear motion battle system. In addition to the attacks, skills and techniques seen in the various Tales games, the use of walls and multiple levels will decide the outcome of a battle. That being said, Tales of VS will also include RPG elements, e.g. stats customization based on grade points obtained after a victorious battle. The game will feature a (single-player) story mode complete with an original scenario. Multiplayer modes were not discussed yet. The game's main theme will be performed by J-Pop combo Girl Next Door. Tales of VS will go on sale in Japan this summer.

Compared to last year's Xbox 360 release, the PlayStation 3 version of Tales of Vesperia will feature a new character, new event scenes and sub-scenarios as well as full voice acting. These additions/enhancements are apparently not the only exclusive features of the new release, though. Last but not least, a first promotional trailer will arrive at the PlayStation Store later this month. Tales of Vesperia for PlayStation 3 will be released in Japan this summer.

Chris Winkler