Tales of Zestiria
At a pre-TGS showcase, Bandai Namco put its beloved Tales franchise on display. We played a Japanese build of the upcoming PS3 entry in the long-running franchise, Tales of Zestiria. Producer Hideo Baba also discussed a few elements of the game, providing a great introduction into the mysterious next iteration. Baba is still confident in the series and adamant on bringing stateside as many Tales entries as possible. In fact, when Zestiria was announced, it was confirmed as an international release. Perhaps, the days of waiting for localization news on Tales games is over (we hope).
Zestiria is already looking like a promising entry. Here’s everything we uncovered about the game based on hands-on time and Baba’s presentation.
- A key theme of Tales of Zestiria is right in its title: zest, meaning passion.
- Baba said this entry will return to the series’ classical roots, with a traditional fantasy and medieval setting. Baba points out that it’s been six years since a game has had a setting like this – the last being Tales of Vesperia.
- Zestiria definitely has a visual upgrade from the other PS3 iterations. The characters and world just look so much better. The lighting and shadows are noticeable.
- The protagonist is named Sorey and he has a childhood friend along for his journey named Mikleo.
- A common theme, like in most Tales’ games, is coexistence. This extends to Sorey and Mikleo’s friendship. Sorey is human, while Mikeleo isn’t. He’s a seraph.
- Since Sorey is friends with a seraph, he can use Mikleo’s power and transform in battle. So far, it looks much more complex than Ludger’s chromatus ability from Tales of Xillia.
- From what we played, it looked like Sorey had four different seraph allies, each with an elemental alignment that gave him access to different artes.
- When Sorey’s not transformed, his seraph ally is available on the battlefield to fight.Elemental weaknesses like we saw in the Tales of Xillia games will once again be important and can drastically speed up battles.
- Load times for battles and cutscenes have been greatly reduced. Baba spoke about the importance of giving the player seamless movement and keeping interruptions like load times to a minimum.
- You can talk to characters while on the field. Sometimes characters will even give you items they find.
- The backgrounds on the regular battles will reflect where you are in the world. Say you engaged an enemy right in front of a tower, the background won’t be a generic, stock field screen; it will actually reflect your place in the world, like the aforementioned tower.
- The fields aren’t as cluttered as they were in Tales of Xillia. You still stumble upon treasure chests and harvest plants, though.
- The game doesn’t have a U.S. release date yet, but it’s due to come out January 22 in Japan. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too much longer than that.
What information are you hoping Bandai Namco reveals next about the game?