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Tales of News


Staff member
Following up on last week's early leak, Namco Bandai gathered the press in Tokyo today to formally unveil its lineup of Tales series games for the year 2009. As previously detailed, PS3, PSP and Wii are getting games in the series, to be joined by the latest Tales series anime adaptation.

The Wii game is the "mothership" game that was first announced last year. Now known as Tales of Graces, the game is an RPG in the classic Tales series style, featuring another take on the Linear Motion Battle system.

As detailed last week, players take control of 18-year-old Asbel Lhant. Namco Bandai still hasn't shared specifics on the story, but did clarify today that the game takes place in a world split into three kingdoms whose civilizations were built around some sort of material known as Eris.

The game's battle system is known as the "Style Shift Linera Motion Battle" system. The "Style Shift" part of the name comes from the fact that you can switch your characters between multiple stances during the fight. Combat also allows players to pivot around their targeted opponent like in a fighting game.

One note for those expecting some wacky Wiimote motion controls. The game will apparently be playable both with the Wiimote/nunchuck combo or with just the Classic Controller Pro. It's unclear if the Pro is required or if the standard Classic controller will work just as well.

Before Wii gets its second Tales game through Graces, PS3 get will get its first one through an updated port of Tales of Vesperia. As detailed last week, this update adds a new character, the pirate girl Patty Fleur.

Patty is voiced in the Japanese version by Chiwa Saito. The area of voice looks like a major point for the PS3 version, which apparently features twice as much voice as its Xbox 360 counterpart! Hopefully that doesn't mean the PS3 version's English release will arrive too far beyond the Japanese version!

The PS3 version also promises a number of other updates, including new scenarios and events. It will also have some form of tie-up with the Tales of Vesperia animated movie that was also announced next week.

Namco Bandai shared final details on that movie today. Fully titled "Tales of Vesperia The First Strike," the movie follows main character Yuri during his time as a member of the Imperial Knights prior to the start of the game. Outside of Yuri, a number of other characters will appear in the movie.

Production I.G. is producing the anime, with Kanta Kamei directing and Reiko Yoshida providing a script. A Japanese theatrical release is set for some time this year.

Back to the game side of things, Namco Bandai also shared solid details today on Tales of VS. As we detailed last week, this four player PSP fighter puts characters from past Tales games together on the battle field for a crossover fight. The game's combat system is based around the series' Linear Motion Battle System with 2D plane-based combat. Ground height and walls also apparently have an effect on battle.

VS looks like it's going to have a lot of depth for a fighter. In addition to 35 characters taken from 13 Tales games, the game features a fully voiced story mode that places the characters in four kingdoms. Production I.G. will be providing a new animated intro for the game.

The 2009 Tales fun kicks off in Japan with Tales of VS this summer, followed by Vesperia PS3 in the Fall, and Graces in the Winter.