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The Tales Games We Missed

These days I'm pleasantly surprised by the steady Tales releases in North America. For a period during the PS2 and PS3 era, I questioned how Bandai Namco felt about the series' potential in the U.S. market. We saw poor localization decisions, like bringing over Tales of Legendia as opposed to localizing Tales of Destiny 2 (the direct to sequel to the PS1 title that debuted the series in North America, not Tales of Eternia).  And while Japan was getting entries on a regular basis, Western fans have dealt with larger release gaps and even missing games altogether.

Now it feels like the series is gaining more consistency in the U.S. market – the majority of the entries are reaching our hands. We haven't missed a mainline entry since 2008's Tales of Hearts, and that's being rectified with the Vita remake already confirmed for North America. Bandai Namco may be righting some of its Tales wrongs, but here are some entries that never graced our shores. Who knows? Maybe Bandai Namco can find a way to bring some of these over with remakes or HD collections.

Note: This list does not include mobile or online iterations.

Tales of Destiny 2


Japan release: November 28, 2002

This one may cause some confusion. Bandai Namco localized a game they called Tales of Destiny 2, but the game's actual name is Tales of Eternia. Eternia has no ties or direct connections to Tales of Destiny's plot, so it was a bizarre move. Supposedly it was done for brand recognition in the U.S, because it was only the second Tales game released in the North America. Unfortunately, giving it that name complicated matters. An actual sequel to Tales of Destiny debuted a few years later in Japan, aptly titled Tales of Destiny 2. Bandai Namco never brought it over, thus leaving English-speaking fans without the complete arc.

Tales of Destiny 2 continued the plot 18 years into the future, centering on Kyle Dunamis, the son of Stahn and Rutee, characters from the first game. Tales of Destiny 2 not only hit PS2, but also had a PlayStation Portable version about five years later. And yet, North American audiences still haven't experienced the fourth entry in the Tales series. What would be nice? A collection featuring Tales of Destiny and Tales of Destiny 2 so fans can see the story play out in its entirety.

Tales of Rebirth


Japan release: December 16, 2004

Tales of Rebirth is another PS2 entry we missed. It stars Veigue Lungberg, a young lad who never stepped outside of his village until a military attack threatens the life of his family, forcing him to look for answers by exploring the world. The linear motion battle system that the franchise uses is still intact here, but in Rebirth, character placement becomes more important as three different planes are available for party member placement. You can shift around your strategy by placing all party members on one line for an ultimate battle force, or split them up to target multiple enemies. This sixth entry in the franchise received good critical reception and sold well in Japan, even if it was a little under Bandai Namco's extremely hopeful expectations. Like Tales of Destiny 2, the game was ported to the PlayStation Portable a few years later.

Tales of Innocence


Japan Release:  December 6, 2007

Tales of Innocence is the ninth mainline entry and first released on DS. Much like Tales of Hearts, a remake later made its way to the PlayStation Vita, which gives it a glimmer of hope of coming here, despite being the older of the two. I'm betting if Tales of Hearts sells well, Bandai Namco might seize the opportunity. Tales of Innocence involves people suddenly getting interesting powers and others fearing them for it. If someone with a special power is spotted, they must be captured per the law. Obviously, this causes a lot of panic and division between those with and without powers. Things take an interesting turn when the main character, Ruca, who is as ordinary as can be – merely a quiet son of a merchant – discovers he, too, possesses a special power.

Up next: Spin-offs that aren't strictly RPGs...

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