Famitsu this week features an eight-page spread on Tales of Zestiria, introducing new characters Baltro and Maltran, as well as new gameplay details.
Bartlow (voiced by Yutaka Nakano) oversees both the bureaucracy and cabinet ministers of the Highland Kingdom. Because the kingdom’s real political power now lies within its bureaucracy, with royalty and aristocrats becoming increasingly figurative, Bartlow is the essence of its leadership. He is cautious of Sorey and his friends.
Maltran (voiced by Mami Koyama) is a woman knight from the Highland Kingdom known as “The Blue Valkyrie.” She taught Alisha to wield a spear from an early age, and is is the one person who’s always supported Alisha from behind the scenes. She serves as both an instructing knight and military adviser. Not only is she Alisha’s teacher, but she is also admired by her. Maltran’s fame extends even to the enemy empire of Laurence.
“Real Map Battles” are one of Tales of Zestiria‘s new battle features. It allows fights to unfold on the same map players run across and explore, rather than transition into a separate arena like previous entries. The topography and obstacles present vary depending on location. Fighting in a watery area, for instance, will see characters splashing about as they run around the battlefield.
There is also a new “Map Action” system. With this, players can use Family of Heaven characters’ magic to pull off special actions on the field while exploring, which can be used to clear obstacles, move to different locations up ahead instantaneously, erecting barriers that make it difficult to be seen by enemies, and so on. Naturally, new paths in areas that have been previously visited can be opened in this manner once the right party member is present later on in the game. This also influences battles in that hitting enemy symbols on the field with good timing bestows advantages once fighting commences.
Party members will also accompany the player on the field this time around. They can be talked to, triggering a wide variety of conversations. Some are incidental, not unlike skits, but some also contain important information that’s worth paying attention to.
Here’s the rest of what’s new:
- The interlude cutscenes are almost complete. Right now, they’re focusing all their attention on the opening movie.
- Edna is much older than Mikleo and calls him by “Mikleo Boy.”
- Lailah obtained a power beyond her natural ability by imposing a special pledge upon herself. But when the subject of the pledge is brought up, she’s quick to cover up any of the specifics. The rules that she has to follow as a result of the pledge seemingly relate to her past in some way.
- The color white to Family of Heaven characters has special connotations, denoting an air of nobility and refinement.
- Dezel has his reasons for obscuring his eyes with his hat, as well as why his heart hasn’t become impure despite his goals. Similarly, Zaveid has ulterior motives for continuing his work in hunting down the Hyouma.
Tales of Zestiria is in development for PlayStation 3.
Story by Sal Romano and Thomas James.