Interview: Hideo Baba on Tales of Xillia 2, localization, more
posted on 10.13.13 at 08:48 PM EDT by (@salromano)
We talk to the producer of Tales at Comic-Con in New York.

At Comic-Con in New York this weekend, we had the chance to sit down with Tales series’ producer Hideo Baba, there promoting the upcoming Tales of Xillia 2 and Tales of Symphonia Chronicles.

During our interview, Baba-san discusses Xillia 2‘s reason for creation and main character, Tales series localization efforts, Kickstarter, and more.

Read the full thing below.

Tales of Xillia is the third mothership Tales game to receive a sequel since the series started in 1995. What was it about Xillia that called for a sequel?

Baba: Tales of Xillia 1 is the 15th anniversary title. When we were developing Tales of Xillia, we didn’t have any plans to make a sequel. But the 15th anniversary is a special title, and we made a very detailed history set in the Tales of Xillia world. This includes many pieces not described in Tales of Xillia. So we decided to describe those pieces, not described in the first game, in Tales of Xillia 2. In Tales of Xillia, there are two worlds. The first world is Rieze Maxia, the world that acts as the main stage in Tales of Xillia. Then the second world, which is called Elympios, was not portrayed as deeply in Tales of Xillia 1, so we decided to make it the main stage in Tales of Xillia 2.

—Tell me a bit about the new protagonist of Tales of Xillia 2.

Baba: The new main character for Tales of Xillia 2 is Ludger—the guy at the center of that poster over there. The story will be developed from his perspective, and he will need to make many choices to proceed with the storyline. Originally, his character is not very unique or standing out, but players will act as Ludger himself, and by selecting so many choices, these activities will develop Ludger—depending on the choices the players selected.

—Outside of Tales of Xillia 2‘s choice element, which new element do you consider to be most significant?

Baba: It’s not a game mechanic, but the world setting in Tales of Xillia 2 is very different from all the previous titles. The world is a kind of modern and futuristic city. You can compare the previous games’ worlds as something of fantasy. But regarding the game mechanics, the battle system is based on the original Tales of Xillia, so you can use Link Artes, and such. But at the same time, Ludger can switch between weapons during battles. But I think the world it’s set in is the most significant change from the previous titles.

—Can you give me an update on the potential of Japanese voice-overs in Tales of Xillia 2?

Baba: We haven’t decided yet to include Japanese voice-overs in Tales of Xillia 2, because there are many problems with implementing it in the localized version. With Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, we can finally include Japanese voice-overs. But the original game was released 10 years ago, so it took a very long time do this. So it seems a bit difficult with Tales of Xillia 2.

—In Japan, you recently announced a slew of new Tales smartphone games. You’ve got Tales of Link, Tales of Bibliotheca, Tales of Phantasia, and just this week you released a Tales of Hearts R port. How important are smartphones becoming to the Tales series?

Baba: One of the biggest reasons why we release so many titles on iOS or Android is that these titles are not for the loyal users, but for the casual player who might have interest in the series, but hasn’t played the series before. These titles are easy to pick up. Regarding Tales of Phantasia, it has been released and ported to so many consoles and handhelds, and iOS was another opportunity.

—I’m sure you’ve heard of the #JRPGVita movement on Twitter. Many of these requests have been for the PS Vita Tales games. Are there any updates on their localization?

Baba: I have received so many requests about the PS Vita Tales of titles from fans. But, as of now, I don’t have any specific plans to release those titles in western countries.

—Have you ever considered platforms such as Kickstarter to fund localization?

Baba: As you know, the Tales of series is one of Namco Bandai Games’ most important franchises. Basically, we like to develop games within our own budgets. That said, we don’t have any plans to launch a Kickstarter and ask for money from the fans.

—Being the producer of the Tales series, your credentials largely consist of Tales games. But among them are Death by Degrees, the PlayStation 3 version of Eternal Sonata, and most recently Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow. Do you see yourself ever taking a break from Tales to create a non-Tales RPG?

Baba: When I started developing Eternal Sonata, I was excited to develop a new RPG, and I was glad to develop Blue Dragon with Sakaguchi-san. I really love RPGs, and I love the Tales of series, of course. But I have a kind of dream, not a plan, to develop an open-world RPG like Skyrim or Dragon’s Dogma—but I don’t have any specific plans.

—So you’re working on the next Tales game. You previously told me you’re sticking to PlayStation because that’s where the fan base is. Is it safe to expect the next Tales game on PlayStation 3, then? Or is it possible you’re trying out something on PlayStation 4?

Baba: As I said before in our previous interview, our basic strategy is to release Tales of titles on consoles that most of the users want to play on. So I cannot say the specific name of the console, but please… guess!

—Is the next game called Tales of Zestiria?

Baba: (Laughs) While developing the games, we come up with so many ideas for the title, but to use that title, we need to trademark it. That title is one of our ideas, but nothing has been decided yet regarding the title.

—I’d like your brief thoughts on next-generation consoles. Is there anything specific about PlayStation 4 or Xbox One that appeals to you?

Baba: We don’t have any specific plans to release titles on next-generation consoles. But the next-generation consoles have much higher specs, and there is much bigger potential with those consoles. In the future, the time will come to release a title on a next-generation console, so we are looking forward to seeing its potential.

—Any games coming to PlayStation 4 or Xbox One that you’re looking forward to?

Baba: Deep Down.

—You’ve previously said you want to shorten the gap between the latest Tales games’ Japanese and western release dates. You’re already showing this with Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, where the separation is just a few months. Do you see a future where completely new entries see the same treatment?

Baba: As you know, Japanese RPGs have a lot of text, so it always takes a very long time to not only localize Japanese to English, but to French, Italian, German, and the European languages. But I really understand that fans want to have the game as soon as possible after the Japanese release, so we are constantly looking at how to assign staff to shorten the gap between the Japanese and western releases. Usually, it takes one or a year and a half to release a western version title after the Japanese version releases. But we are really trying hard to shorten that gap.

—How do you plan to continue innovating the Tales series in the future? I’m sure you have many ideas in your head.

Baba: I think a good example is the battle system in the Tales of series. I really want to provide new gameplay experiences for fans in each title, so users can have some expectations on new battle systems in future titles. But while we keep tweaking the battle system, I want to keep thinking that the storyline and characters in the series are very important.

—What inspires you to create each Tales game?

Baba: My biggest purpose in developing new Tales games are to move fans with the storyline, and I hope the storyline and the characters can encourage the players.

—I guess what I’m trying to say is, is there something specific that inspires you to create the storylines you create?

[Editor’s Note: My audio cut off at this point, but Baba says he is inspired by Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Michael Ende’s Momo.]

—Are you saying these books inspired the latest title?

Baba: It’s not like there was a direct inspiration, but it influences my way of thinking, for example, when coming up with characters, the story, those concepts and keywords, and message I want to get across.

—Can you share a final message for the fans?

Baba: I’m really glad to come back to New York Comic-Con again, and I really had a good time with the fans at the panel last night. I’m really glad that so many fans come to New York Comic-Con to see me and have a really good time with the team. I’m impressed that at New York Comic-Con there are so many passionate fans and that the Tales of series is accepted by them. Over the next year, Tales of Symphonia Chronicles and Tales of Xillia 2 will be coming to North America, so I hope the fans can stay tuned.

—Thank you, Baba-san. It was great seeing you again!

Play-Asia
  • bicky

    Why no 3ds?

  • papermario

    I would love another 3ds tales. Tales of abyss on 3ds was the top selling version. Makes sense to me. Seems like every rpg released on 3ds does great numbers.

    SMT IV was the highest selling SMT main game
    bravely default is the top selling new Square rpg ip in 10+ years

    I dunno. I would like a second

    (Thanks guys for derailing this as always)

    • bloodiOS

      Tales ‘s fanbase has grown larger in comparison to how it was back in 2005, so it seems hardly fair to compare which version of Abyss sold better. Even then, Tales titles still sold more on the PS3, and so it would seem natural for Namco Bandai to focus on the system. Tales titles, at the moment, will most likely be profitable on the PS3 and so that’s exactly where Namco Tales Studio is going focus their resources on.

      • papermario

        Actually tales sold more on ds and 3ds than it ever sold on other platforms but I was not talking about those platforms

        • bloodiOS

          On DS? Maybe… 3DS? Nope!

          • papermario

            On 3ds yep. Look at the financials.

            • bloodiOS

              Yeah, right, they sold far more on the PS3 in Japan. There’s a reason why they focus on the PS3, if it sold better on the 3DS, they would’ve decided that’s where the fanbase is and focused on it instead.

              • papermario

                The 3ds has a larger install base in japan than the ps3 does. Those are the numbers I am looking at.

                • bloodiOS

                  But which one does more of the Tales fanbase lie in? The sales seem to suggest the PS3’s install base.

                  • papermario

                    I dont see why it has to be one or the other

                    • bloodiOS

                      I do. The install base that holds more of their fanbase is a safer bet for profitability. So if there’s a platform that they want to release a mothership title on, it’ll be the one where they will most likely be able to profit from.

                    • papermario

                      I dont. Tales has been successful as a series that goes everywhere.

                      The mother series has been basically half on nintendo

                    • bloodiOS

                      We are not talking about brands here and beside, those platforms are no longer active and it just so happen that the PS3 is currently where Tales games will most likely be profitable. Right now, it’s the safe zone for the Tales franchise. You can expect some casual titles for mobile devices to draw interest to series (like Baba said) or enhanced ports of older titles for handheld consoles but don’t be expecting mothership titles, which involve bigger budgets and higher risks, to venture outside the safe zone.

    • AdamBoy64

      If there was to be another Tales on 3DS, I think it’s too weak for a mainstream title, but you could port another game to it. But um… hmmm.. can’t really think what they’d do with it.
      Not being anti-3DS, as I own one, but yeah – anything they put on it would likely be a downgrade, which is probably a part of why they’d favour other systems.

      The reason Baba himself gives I’d say is the main reason though.

      • papermario

        Was DS too weak for a mainstream title? It got 2 of them.

        So no Its not an issue.

        I would rather have more 3ds tales than IOS tales.,

        He never said no 3ds tales

    • https://twitter.com/GaleGlory89 KiQun

      Looking at the input of Xillia, If Namco plan to improve the battle system of Tales of series, 3DS is a poor choice to have a mothership title on it.

      I can’t even imagine how to pull off all of 16 XIllia’s art on 3DS.

    • Elfyra

      I can see if they make Tales on 3DS since every platform got at least one title, but most Tales games released on non PlayStation platform got ported with more and better content on PlayStation.

      • AdamBoy64

        EDIT: Sorry Elfyra, and sorry mods – responded to the wrong comment.

    • Elvick

      Tales of the Abyss had performance issues on the 3DS.

      I’d rather not have any more on there.

      And Bravely Default is a unique case. Name something with that much effort put into it that they made in 10+ years which will easily appeal to every classic FF fan, which any other new IP they did wouldn’t do. (TWEWY)

      • AdamBoy64

        Oh man. That’s not good to hear about Abyss 3DS.
        Was it things like frame rate drops?

        • Elvick

          It was minor, but it was still annoying.

          It had frame rate drops on the field. Battles, dungeons and towns were fine, from what I remember.

      • papermario

        Actually it ran BETTER than on PS2. And sold better than the ps2 version too.

        More original rpgs are landing on 3ds than any other system

        • AdamBoy64

          At best, you could say it evened out – it was a visual downgrade, for sure, but it also cut down loading times.

          However, it also cut out multiplayer, which is a shame.

          And no, there’s no evidence supporting that it sold better on 3DS, because it didn’t.

          • papermario

            actually it did

            • AdamBoy64

              Well, if so, prove it then.
              The only evidence we have so far is that Abyss on the PS2 sold about 5x more copies than 3DS.

    • JonathanisPrimus

      Where are you getting your numbers from? Here are the Japanese sales figures for Abyss:

      [PS2] Tales of the Abyss – 556,465
      [PS2] Tales of the Abyss (PS2 The Best) – 157,752
      [3DS] Tales of the Abyss – 106,540

      http://garaph.info/gamesearch.php?titleenglish=%25Tales+of+the+Abyss%25&stte=0&titlejapanese=&platform=&stpl=0&publisher=&stpu=0&date1=&date2=&std=&price1=&price2=&sltd1=&sltd2=&gameid=&orderby=&res1=&res2=&opt=1

      Tell me, how is the 3DS version the top selling release?

      • papermario

        those numbers are VG chart numbers

        • JonathanisPrimus

          No they aren’t. They’re Famitsu numbers. If you want fake VGChartz numbers here: http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=Tales+of+the+Abyss

          You’ll notice that they’re different than what Garaph’s reporting. But your quick to assume VGChartz nonsense confirms to me you’re just a troll.

          • papermario

            Those arent famitsu numbers. And even if they were your comparing sales of abyss on a launch year to the ps2 5 years later. Comparitively sold more on 3ds

            • JonathanisPrimus

              Yes, because Japanese RPGs have shown a tendency to sell for years after their release. Especially ports of games available on other hardware. / s

              Oh, and by the way, ToA launched on 3DS in 2011. The game isn’t going to sell much more than what those numbers show.

              • papermario

                no they havent actuallky

                • JonathanisPrimus

                  The “/s” part of my comment meant sarcasm. Unless you’re Pokemon or Dragon Quest legs don’t exist for JRPGs.

  • new_tradition

    Great job getting such a high profile interview. Very informative ^^

  • bloodiOS

    Expect two more mothership Tales of for current-gen (namely PS3) before moving on to next-gen…

    • papermario

      lol no

      • bloodiOS

        *LOL* Wait and see.

        • papermario

          2? maybe 1

          • bloodiOS

            Given Baba’s attitude? Hard to say. I personally prefer that he freaking moves to next-gen now!

  • AdamBoy64

    Oh man. That was a great read.
    Thank you for posting it.

    EDIT: Oh, I can’t read, this is your interview with him.
    Wow, nice work guys.

  • Rafael Martines

    Well what I was hoping to listen… but at least Tales of Synphonia will have japanese audio :) bought :D

  • http://twitter.com/M_Demolish Demolish

    the line i dont like it is..

    ” Baba: i have received so many requests about the ps vita tales of titles from fans.but,as of now,i dont have any specific plans to release this titles in western countries.”

    i thought he will gonna said: i think i have plan for vita,But..U know fool iOS.

    • bloodiOS

      The Tales games on the Vita sold pretty bad, so I’m guessing not only Tales Studio but Namco Bandai as a whole is going to pretend that those games never existed and will simply focus on making games for the PS3 instead.

      • AdamBoy64

        Right. To get some localised portable Tales, someone just needs to take out the innards of a PS3 and build them into a portable handheld device with an LCD screen attached..

        That’s plausible… right?

        • bloodiOS

          …What the hell are you talking about?

          • AdamBoy64

            Lolz, yeah, I should have just said – someone making a handheld PS3.

            • bloodiOS

              That would be disastrous. No more CELL, in any shape for form, please.

      • Elvick

        So? They already had those games, we’ve never had them. While Hearts R is actually a vast difference from the DS, Innocence R wasn’t as large at all.

        And one could argue whether Hearts R is an improvement or downgrade.

        Either way, they already had those games.

        It wouldn’t be the first time a Japanese game sold more in the west, and honestly, I think those would have easily sold more in the west than in Japan. Despite the PS Vita’s lower sales in the west.

        Most people I know with one are JRPG fans, and everyone I know that wants one is waiting for games like Tales to buy one. And the highest rated game is a JRPG.

        • bloodiOS

          That’s not my point. I’m just saying that since those didn’t sell well so they were put on low priority for whatever. I’m not saying I like it, but simply don’t expect anything happening to them for quite sometimes.

        • Ladius

          Innocence R is a big improvement over the original game, not only because of the graphical update and the new characters and events but because of the revised battle system and completely new dungeons.

          If you played Innocence DS, you will probably remember how the dungeons were terrible sequences of the same rooms, and Namco and 7th Chord did well to revise that part because of the fans’ criticism.

      • JonathanisPrimus

        Tales Studio didn’t have much to do with those remakes. They were outsourced to 7th Chord, and NBGI clearly haven’t forgotten about them as if they did they wouldn’t have released Hearts R on iOS last week.

        • bloodiOS

          Either way, still under the management of NBGI. And I didn’t say forgotten, I say that they’ll pretend the Vita games don’t exist and the iOS port is the first sign of that. They don’t want anything to do with the Vita at the moment and it shows.

          • JonathanisPrimus

            NBGI has many games in development for Vita. They’re one of the platform’s leading supporters.

            • bloodiOS

              Well, I meant as far as the Tales series is concerned.

    • Ladius

      Even if they had plans for those games, he couldn’t announce them during a regular interview.

  • Wolf Star

    I can’t wait for Xillia 2 and Tales of Symphonia HD collection to come out ^^ Playstation is the best console for JRPG’s.

    • AdamBoy64

      Yeah, and we’ve got a stack of Tales games on PS3 now, it’s fantastic.

      • ogglock

        Too bad one of them isn’t localized here.

        Vesperia where are you?

        • https://twitter.com/GaleGlory89 KiQun

          Import – I did just that.

          • Wolf Star

            Agreed either import the game or wait until a miracle happens. There will be a new Tales game so I don’t think they will have time to localize Vesperia Ps3.

            • AdamBoy64

              Yeah, it’s.. well, it’s 5 years old now.

              • Wolf Star

                Yeah, I want something new :)

              • Elvick

                Yet people still ask about it. Thus, people clearly still want it.

                I still don’t know wtf they were thinking. SE brought out Star Ocean 4 and it’s awful by comparison. And had hardly any real new content added.

                While Vesperia was not only a better game overall, but a better ‘enhanced’ version. They should have just brought it at the time.

                *sigh*

                • AdamBoy64

                  Yeah, I think it would have been fantastic to see.

                  It’s about 3 years too late. Would have been a great title in 2010.

                  It’s been really great to see the titles we’ve got since then though.

                • kurosan9712

                  It was better only by content, however. If you didn’t know, the PS3 version of Vesperia was WORSE than 360 version in terms of graphics(the resolution for 360 is 1280×720, while PS3 resolution is 1280×576, and it’s quite well seen). The performance got worser too, from what I heard. Never cared about Vesperia enough to play the PS3 version, even though I can.
                  Here, have a comparison.
                  http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-tales-of-vesperia-showdown-blog-entry

                  • Elvick

                    What’s that have to do with anything?

                    Vesperia is the better game between Vesperia and Star Ocean 4. Doesn’t matter if the PS3 version isn’t as good as the 360 version.

                    Vesperia is free of terrible characters like this one. I’d play Vesperia with 10FPS instead of Star Ocean 4.

          • ogglock

            don’t understand moonspeak or moonrunes =/

            and playing a game with a guide that tells me what everyone is talking about doesn’t seem like a good way to play a game

      • Wolf Star

        I’m sticking with PS3/PS4.
        I’m really happy with JRPG games we are getting for localizing.

    • https://twitter.com/GaleGlory89 KiQun

      Precisely, the number of JRPG coming next year on Playstation platform is enough for an excuse to skip next-gen console…. for a while….

      • Wolf Star

        Agreed more JRPG games are coming to PS3 in 2014 and I’m really surprised more PS3 games are getting localized and soon PS4. Still I’m getting a Ps4 :)
        Meanwhile on Xbox 360/One- … nothing just shooters..

    • LunarHaven

      YES! I played Symphonia on Gamecube 4 times already XD But I am def gonna replay it at least 2 more times with the PS3 version!

  • kurosan9712

    Baba, just get me Team Destiny back in the work, and your house, family etcetc won’t get crushed under my inexorably advancing wall of ice.
    Seriously, I’m so tired of all those “-ia” ending titles, Xillia, Vesperia, Legendia etc. all of which were awful.
    Make me something like Graces or Destiny DC or Rebirth. I don’t care if you localize it then or not, I’ll still buy it. JUST.MAKE.IT.HAPPEN.

    • Souji Tendou

      This, SO much. I’m tired of team Symphonia games, their gameplay doesn’t improves a lot since Abyss. The 2 games that keep making me come back to Tales series are only Destiny DC and Rebirth. Oh god, those 2 games are beautiful.

      • http://twitter.com/kazumalynx Zero

        I really like the story in all of those games. Isn’t the story important, too?

        • LunarHaven

          I play the games mainly for the stories, I even loved Graces F’s story and that story seems to be hacked to death by most people :(

        • kurosan9712

          Seems you haven’t played Destiny DC and Rebirth, eh? The stories in there are a lot better than in any of Vesperia, Xillia, Symphonia etc. Rebirth is the one considered to have the best one by those who played it.
          Then again, Destiny DC is a remake of Destiny, just a lot better than Destiny itself. It however introduced a Lion Mode, in which player assumed the role of Lion Magnus, and saw through his way.

          I do understand people might have not played Rebirth and Destiny DC, because both are JPN only. Well, Rebirth is supposed to get a patch somewhere in the future, but it already has a good translation guide, line by line translation, I believe, so one doesn’t need to know japanese at all.
          Destiny DC doesn’t, however.

          • http://twitter.com/kazumalynx Zero

            I haven’t. If they ever bring to the west I will buy and play them.

            I read some of your other comments about Vesperia. I didn’t have any issues understanding the story, and I thought the characters did evolve and change. Like most Tales of games, lots of that is also found in skits and side material. Lots to read and such.

            I won’t sit here and say the story in Vesperia was incredibly complicated, but the Tales of stories are usually fairly easy to follow. For me, it’s about how the characters react and change with the story. Like with Vesperia, it was similar to Abyss with the bad guys. There really wasn’t a big evil bad guy in either game, lots of the antagonist felt like they were on the path of good, or the right path. Which kinda makes the player consider they might be on the wrong side. I think it does a good job in both of those games of not being clear cut.

            Quickly…

            In Vesperia, Duke believed his path was correct, it was only until the very end, after he experienced the passion from Yuri and co to stop him, that he decided to give them a chance. He wanted peace. That’s kinda what they showed at the end, he got peace, the world was changed without blastia. People had really started to depend on it for so many things in life. It made sense to me. I know I’m forgetting details that help explain it better, I haven’t played it since 2009 or 2010?

            Anyways, to wrap this up. I’m sure Destiny DC and Rebirth are great games. I might agree with you after playing them, I might consider them the best tales of games. On the other hand, I might not.

            The thing is, that’s just fine. We all have our own opinions. Our own taste. I think that’s important to remember.

            For example – Most FF fans tend to really love FF6 or FF7. Lots of fans bash on FF13. I’ve seen some people say 13 is their personal favorite FF. I don’t see anything wrong with that, they can like what they want. Like I said before, we all have our own opinions and taste in games. This applies to bigger franchises too.

            • kurosan9712

              I’d not hope for a port somewhere and localization…Bandai Namco kinda never cared to localize 2D tales after…Eternia? so the only chance, if you don’t know japanese like I do, is to wait until fans finish their patches(both Rebirth and Destiny Director’s Cut have a project to translate them into english, but…the progress is totally unknown, like with any fan translation). And the thing to consider as well is that those are Team Destiny’s games, ones that never got localized…after Destiny.

              Well, I never said that one cannot have his/her own opinion, and I never said someone’s is wrong. I just put it simply – Vesperia etc. were awful for me.
              I didn’t decide to flame someone who likes it(it’s a waste of time) or something. All of us see games in TOTALLY different lights, but there are people greatly affected by hype and others’ opinions, which is why a lot of people who are fans of Vesperia can’t even explain why do they like it. Sad but true.

        • Souji Tendou

          Of course, the story are important. But to me, J-RPGs story are only important for my 1st playthrough only. The only thing that makes me come back and playing more are the gameplay. And that’s actually the strong point about Tales series with their unique LMB system. But Team Symphonia progress are so effin slow, playing Xillia is like I’m just playing Abyss 2.0. (Heck, its even worse in some aspect, like how Hi-Ougis are useless, and the stupid Boss-get-outa-your-combo-burst system).

          • http://twitter.com/kazumalynx Zero

            I understand that. I suppose 2nd playthroughs and beyond are a different story for me. Of course, the gameplay is key here, and it’s key the first time around too. I tend to pick my favorite characters and play with them on new game plus, or my 2nd time around, etc.

            I suppose I’m pretty easy to please, I’m a completionist, so the goals of unlocking all the secrets the developers put in the game, etc. That stuff fuels me when I play a game again.

            I just enjoy both styles of combat, from both “Teams” making the Tales of games I suppose.

            I understand where your coming from though. ^^

    • http://twitter.com/kazumalynx Zero

      Tales of Vesperia = awful? I’m sorry, but I just can’t agree with that. No way. It’s one of my favorite games.

      What’s so bad about it if I might ask? If your simply calling it out because the battle system wasn’t as fast paced as Graces, etc… How does that makes it awful?

      • Elvick

        Overall, I agree. Vesperia is a great game.

        Battle system wise? It was not my cup of tea. I literally hated it until you get the final character, what’s her face (been awhile!). She was the only one who was fun for me to play.

        • http://twitter.com/kazumalynx Zero

          I didn’t think the battle system was that bad. Fair enough, everyone has a specific taste.

          • LunarHaven

            I think people underestimate Vesperia’s battle system by judging it on the first hours in the game. In my opinion that battle system starts to shine a little later in the game then it blows you away with depth and detail.

            • http://twitter.com/kazumalynx Zero

              I very much agree.

            • kurosan9712

              I played Vesperia until the end, trying to find at least ANYTHING I’d like. I found nothing, however.

              Characters were extremely annoying(especially Karol and Estelle, though others were just little better, and even my favorite Rita pissed me off around 48% of the game). I read a lot about Yuri being the best Tales of protagonist, but I felt nothing but hate towards him from start until the end, and that me having no prejudice towards him, as I didn’t know anything about Vesperia at that time. Oh god, and I hated Flynn, the hell you are a knight of justice, if you can’t understand what is REALLY just, and what is not, but is allowed by law.
              The characters also never really changed, there was little to none character growth at all. As Yuri was doing whatever he wanted – he continued so until the end. Same for Estelle and others. It was kinda like Symphonia, just a bit less idealistic. But only a bit. I also didn’t get why one of Vesperia fans was trying to prove me Yuri did some kind of self-sacrifice, when he totally knew what to do after he killed that noble – he left the kingdom(or was it Empire) and started a guild with others, it was a totally logical and easy to see way out. He wasn’t fond of it to start with, so he didn’t really lose anything.

              The battle system was very slow until the very end, and the fault for that lies on HP/TP system, which isn’t suited for 3D Tales of, as simple as that. One of the things I liked in Graces was the fast, very dynamic battle system. Well, not only in Graces, as CC originates from Tales of Destiny Director’s Cut, which is the best game the series has to offer gameplay-wise.

              Story was awfully boring, as it simply was…about nothing. Maybe I just never got into all that crap about people suffering(they lived their lives, had their jobs, not like they died of hunger, what kind of suffering is that?) under the government. Besides, the lives people in Vesperia lived are pretty NORMAL for a world around middle-ages or maybe a little further. All the crap about Duke and blastia was also pretty boring and illogical at times too. And the worst about Duke, the main antagonist – he didn’t even have a proper reason to do what he was doing. He was lead by his promise to his friend, and that’s all. Comparing that to Lambda’s reasons, or even reasons Emeraude had(well, she is a minor antagonist, but her reasons are MUCH better)
              Never found even ONE interesting moment for myself in Vesperia.
              The ending was also something I totally can’t understand – it was…simply nothing. The world ended up being without blastia, Duke didn’t die, and did anything really change? no, it didn’t, as far as my memory goes.
              If I compare it to Graces, or Rebirth, or even Destiny – Vesperia’s story sucks so much I don’t even know from which moment to describe it.

              Xillia was only a little better than Vesperia in my opinion – it at least had an interesting storyline, which I didn’t get bored of.
              However characters still sucked. Weakling(mentally) and total idiot – Jude as one of the main heroes. Mira, who is fixed on being Maxwell, and cannot let it go at some times, even when logically she should. I won’t comment on Arwin, he was both good and bad. Leia was annoying on a whole new level for an osananajimi-chara, can’t even find words for how much I hated her.
              Generally, the only character of Xillia I liked is Rowen, because he wasn’t an idiot as much as others, and was generally a good character.

              Battle system was around as awful as Vesperia’s but a little more dynamic, yes. Still didn’t reach Graces, yes. And it was REALLY unbalanced, if I compare it to Rebirth.

              It’s not like Graces or other games I mentioned are flawless, but the flaws are just less noticeable, or maybe I just could bear with them.

              • AdamBoy64

                Well, I haven’t played Xillia as of yet, but it’s interesting to read your thoughts about Vesperia.

                I wanted to share what I thought of it, hopefully this won’t end up too long-winded.

                I thought the storyline was pretty good up until, um – the big battle at the shrine of Zaude.

                The boss there at Zaude would have been a fantastic end boss. Man, he really fit the part.

                After that (the last third or so), the game had a pretty poor storyline. It was nearly as if they just hurried and tacked it on at the end.

                I have to agree about the end boss of the game. How he didn’t die at all – and at the end he was seen frolicking with animals of the forest. What on..?

                With the characters, I can relate. In terms of storyline, I hated Judith, like unbelievably. Everything about her. Hated.
                I really liked Yuri. He was sure of himself, but also had compassion for others. But he didn’t take crap. Man.

                Raven’s plot twist was great, but how he recovered from it was pretty sappy writing. (Personally, I think the story would have been a lot better had they killed him off.)

                (Emil would be my favourite Tales character of them all, if that explains anything..)
                In terms of battle, Karol was strong, but the speed penalty for him just seemed too extreme.
                Rita got way too powerful towards the end of the game. Game-breakingly powerful.

                (On an aside, for multiplayer, I wish the game had a second swordsmen – they’re always fun to play as).

                I really enjoyed Vesperia’s battle system. And really liked the skill system.

                I’ve seen faster battle systems (as in Abyss, and Symphonia 2), and slower ones (Symphonia and Vesperia) – and I guess I don’t really have a preference either way. Both are fantastic.

                The original Symphonia would still be my favourite battle system though. I thought it was fantastic, having no free run – I’ve never been a fan of it.

                Abyss is the next Tales game I’ll play through – maybe sometime next year. I’ve heard a few negative reports about Graces, but I’d like to play that sometime too.

              • LunarHaven

                :O Blasphemy from first word to last! lol

              • superlocke

                Can’t agree to any of this. Have played every Tales game from start to finish (Japanese and English) multiple times and can very comfortably say that while Graces’ battle system was great, it was at best on par with Vesperia’s. Vesperia’s was extremely deep and detailed and allowed for intense combos if your skill level allowed it.

                Graces’ story was very dull and fluff, IMO. Asbel suffers from much more horrible character tropes than Yuri ever did.

                A large portion of the sticking points you have on the titles are only opinion, and certainly not fact.

                I would say a much more accurate order of the best games in the series is more like:

                1. Tales of Destiny DC
                2 Tales of Vesperia
                3. Tales of the Abyss/Tales of Rebirth

                You are certainly entitled to your opinion – but just let the record show that I think you’re way off-base in your analysis, and the majority of tales’ fans would disagree with you.

            • Ladius

              Agreed, even if it’s a bit outdated compared to the latest 3D Tales it was really great when the game was released.

  • fireemblembeast

    Oh, I was just playing Abyss and Xillia. What a pleasant surprise! ^_^ Thanks
    I can’t wait for news on the next Tales of game.

  • kirby755

    Its finally our time to get Xillia 2 already! After watching the playthroughs throughout the months by gaming geniuses(OmegaEvolution and Master LL) I want to fully understand the complete story and not the gist of the cutscenes. That and being able to use the OP Badasses Gaius and Ludger.
    P.S. I want the AFRO attachments.

  • greg_67

    I have been hearing news from NYCC that a LE of Tales of Symphonia Chronicles is planned for North America similar to the one in Japan. http://www.shacknews.com/article/81546/tales-of-symphonia-chronicles-special-edition-announced

  • Elvick

    FFS, I want the PS Vita games. D: So bad.

    • JuhRo

      Tales of Hearts was awesome. Gonna try for my first Japanese platinum.. but yeah. I don’t know a lick of Japanese.. just looked up guides and translations. Might possibly do the same for Innocence.. but the gameplay in Tales of Hearts is so good….

    • Ladius

      I couldn’t agree more, one could hope the recent iOS port of Hearts R could make them consider a dual iOSVita localization in order to share the risks between multiple platform and having an higher userbase while still giving each audience a game tailored to their neeeds (personally I wouldn’t play a Tales game on a touch screen, but maybe some iOS users or Tales fans without a Vita wouldn’t be as picky).

    • superlocke

      Imported ToI:R here, even without the text it was a lot of fun. I’m not sure why they won’t bring those titles over, there is an existing english translation of the DS version… they could just buy that and get a nice head start on it.

      The Vita only has like 6 games anyways… it makes no sense NOT to.

      • Elvick

        I’m going to import both Vita games next year. I’ll have money to do it then. (hopefully)

        I just want to be able to actually enjoy the games in a language that I understand. ):

  • bloodiOS

    I’m waiting for the day when Abyss HD and Vesperia is bundled into a single collection and is also going to be brought to the West. Heh, who knows if it’ll ever happen.

    • https://twitter.com/GaleGlory89 KiQun

      An Anniversary pack for PS4 in 2018-2019 then? That’s bloody long to wait.

      • bloodiOS

        We should be glad it’ll even come at all.

    • superlocke

      I will buy 15 copies if they do this and also include the PS2 version of Destiny.

  • LunarHaven

    Platted Xillia, that was a blast, one of the best battle systems ever created. Can’t wait to get Xillia 2, since the ending of Xillia I’ve been very curious to see how Elympios look like farther into the land.

  • PrinceHeir

    thanks for the interview :D

    i hope they do include JPN audio in XIllia 2(and Xillia 1 via DLC) and future Tales series!!!!

  • zakou

    When playing Xillia i got to Elympios and looked at the map, most of the Tales of game are long so i expected Xillia to to be longer with more Elympios Locations.

    But they decided to show the rest of Elympios in Xillia 2, so for me Xillia 2 will be considered Tales of Xillia disc 2.

    Some may think “why disc 2, its has original new cast and so much new content”

    Well the old cast is back and alot of from XIllia 1 is back, just like FFXIII and FFXIII-2, i will call XIII-2 “Disc 2″ from XIII and Lightning Returns “Disc 3 of 3″ :P

    Since Graces F is one game it did include a lot just by adding the F word in it xD it didn’t need Tales of Graces 2. And the same goes from Tales of Vesperia US to Tales of Vesperia updates in the JP release with tons of new content, dungeons, artes, new mystic artes, new playable characters and tons of new stuff.

    Either way 2014 looks like another amazing gaming year, new tales, new FF, new playstation, maybe even FF15 in december 14?

    • superlocke

      Xillia 2 was totally made because of the complaints from Xillia 1 sucking/being too short in Japan lol so yeah I’m with you in thinking of Xillia 2 as Xillia Disc 2.

  • Diogo Branco

    i dont get why it not relese outside japan, just to a digital relese. its easier and evreyone will be happy to play the games

  • papermario

    At this point I would say a Tales on 3ds is just as likely as ps3.

    If They can put tales on IOS, they can put them anywhere with a high install base in Japan.

  • bldudas

    I love Tales of XIllia and can’t wait for Xillia 2. I want to know more about Elympios.
    Tales of Symphonia Chronicles HD looks great, too.

    And yes, please dual audio for all future Tales of games.

  • http://www.facebook.com/micheal.scott.315 Micheal Scott

    Baba your the best cant wait till next year :D

  • MK

    Couldn’t they at least release those iOS games in English?

  • Tails the Foxhound

    Ask him why they don’t release anything on the monster 3DS, oh wait it’s a Nintendo console. Nevermind that a bad port of Abyss almost outsold Vesperia 360.

  • superlocke

    Release Vesperia on PS3 first please, that’s really all anyone wants.