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Tales of Xillia Coming to PS3, NAMCO BANDAI Answers Your Questions

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Jul 20, 2012 // Sr. Social Media Manager

Earlier this month, NAMCO BANDAI announced (via Twitter, no less), that they’d follow Tales of Graces f’s North American release with a Western version of Tales of Xillia.

Tales of Xillia

This PS3-exclusive RPG is a celebration of sorts for the Tales series of RPGs, which had been around for 15 years at the time of the game’s release in Japan. But rather than just rehash classic elements, the Tales team took some chances, crafting a new battle system and a more grown-up visual style. The result, according to Famitsu, is the best Tales game yet.

Last week, I had a chance to pose some questions (including some of your Twitter queries) to Tales series producer Hideo Baba. Here are his answers:

Jeff Rubenstein, PlayStation Blog: Tales of Graces f came to PS3, but Vesperia didn’t hit PS3 in North America. Now Tales of Xillia has been announced for North America. How do you determine which titles in the series get a an English-language conversion?

Hideo Baba, NAMCO BANDAI Studios Inc.: Given the current resources assigned to the Tales of series team, I am always trying to find ways to assign staff members to work on a Western localized title as well as a new game for Japan when possible. However, the team’s main objective is to create new titles for Japan first, and unfortunately staff resources are not always available. Moving forward, I would really like to assemble teams to release as many of the main Tales of games overseas as possible.

Tales of XilliaTales of Xillia

PSB: Tales of Graces f’s battle system was well loved. Talk about Tales of Xillia’s Double Raid Linear Motion Battle System. How does it compare? What is new?

HB: Our fans, as well as ourselves, are always searching for the next evolution in the unique real-time Tales of battle system. With Tales of Graces f we were able to design and adjust that battle system into something that was acclaimed by both gamers and the press alike. However we were not completely satisfied and felt that it could be taken a bit further. With that challenge in front of us we created the Double Raid Linear Motion Battle System for Tales of Xillia. There are two big new features with DR-LMBS. The first one allows players to link two characters’ artes, which utilizes the game’s setting of two leading characters; Jude and Milla. The second is the Linked Artes system, which is a cinematic attack performed by two characters in a flashy combo. In addition to the fast paced and exhilarating battles many fans loved in Tales of Graces f, players will now be able to enjoy real-time action battles with two united characters.

PSB: At the beginning you’ll choose between two characters. How does the game change depending on if you go with Milla or Jude?

HB: Depending on which character the player chooses at the beginning of the game they will experience various story sequences play out from the point of view of either of our main characters; Jude or Milla. The main, overall storyline does not change between either Jude or Milla, but to experience the full story players will have to play the game as both characters.

Tales of Xillia

PSB: Xillia is the best rated Tales of series ever in Japan; it received a 39/40 in Famitsu. What improvements have been made from Tales of Graces f that you think merited such critical acclaim?

HB: I believe the game was acclaimed because of its maturity as the 15th anniversary title in Japan. As I previously mentioned, we are always challenging ourselves to evolve the series and to develop each title that will surpass fan expectations from the last title. I think that these gameplay evolutions from game to game over the course of the past 15 years have helped the series earn its critical acclaim.

PSB: Artistically, Tales of Xillia is very different than the last few Tales games, featuring more “mature” character models. What audience is the story geared toward? Tales of Graces f felt aimed at a pretty young crowd.

HB: The main audience in Japan remains continues to be the core Tales of series fans. However, we know we need to acquire new fans while also keeping returning fans of the series invested in our new titles. The new character design is a big change for the series, and helps us attract new players without sacrificing the devoted Tales of fans. I think you may recognize Milla as a mature character in terms of her portrayal in the game. Our intentions with Milla, for example, is to create a woman with strong convictions that female players can aspire to be like when they grow up. Of course she is also portrayed to be adored by young men like Jude.

Tales of XilliaTales of Xillia

PSB: What was it like developing Tales of Xilia exclusively for PS3? Was it easier focusing on one platform?

HB: As I’ve mentioned before, the main market for the Tales of series is Japan, and the console highest in demand is the PlayStation 3. We’ll pursue the possibility of releasing titles on various hardware systems as the market changes, but for now we’ll develop the titles on PlayStation 3 to reach the most Japanese players as possible.

PSB: Tales of Xillia came out in Japan last year, but won’t drop in the West until next year. With this extra time, will the team provide any additions to the international version?

HB: I understand this concern well, but we consider the Japanese version of the game as a finished product and hope overseas fans can enjoy the game as it is. The same can be said for all the DLC content as well. There is no big change between the original Japanese version and the international version because we want to provide the same gameplay experience as much as possible between all regions.

//Add Your Own

124 Comments   5 Replies

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101

+ Sirus222 on July 21st, 2012 at 11:47 pm said:

@49 so from what I got from your post. You haven’t even played the game and only judging it from sawing it at your friend’s place? I got to disagree that Tales of Graces F was bad. I enjoyed it a whole lot more than I did Star Ocean: the last hope.(since you brought up Star Ocean). Had a blast playing through it with how awesome the gameplay was.

Anyway, totally excited that Tales of Xillia is finally getting a conformation that it’s getting released to NA/EU. Enjoyed every tales game that got localized from the PS2 era to the current gen.(well except for the handhelds since I don’t own the handhelds tales game outside of the psp one).


102

+ Elvick_ on July 22nd, 2012 at 1:23 am said:

@49: So… you’ve never played Graces ƒ? smh…

I can’t take Star Ocean series seriously after I *PLAYED* ;D Til the End of Time and that fail twist happened. Never mind the fact The Last Hope had one of the worst characters ever. Only redeeming factor of that game was gameplay.

How you can take Star Ocean seriously, but not Tales is beyond me. They’re similar in many ways.


103

+ Elvick_ on July 22nd, 2012 at 1:29 am said:

@87: Sales don’t equal quality. Never have, never will.

And Graces ƒ is not a terrible port.


104

+ Anicube on July 22nd, 2012 at 5:00 am said:

Hmm.. bout the JP dub.
If Hideo Baba really ment what he said…..

“There is no big change between the original Japanese version and the international version because we want to provide the same gameplay experience as much as possible between all regions.”

….. then the JP dub should be included, atleast I hope so ^^
Not every game needs a full English voiceover. The first thing I switch when I start an JRPG is -> english to JP dub
And i bet many many ppl do the same ^^


105

+ Frege on July 22nd, 2012 at 5:30 am said:

To put it simply, no Japanese voice track (plus English subtitles) equals me saving $60.

I skipped Grace F because I can’t stand the awkward English dubbing. I have other games to play.


106

+ GrayFox2510 on July 22nd, 2012 at 10:05 am said:

To those still hoping about Vesperia, I would just give up hope.
For one, last I checked, the main reason it never came over was because Microsoft had signed an exclusivity contract or something like that.
And even if that weren’t true, it’s been far too long. With these ‘limited resources’ they mention, I’d rather they be spent in the future games than the old one (this might be influenced because of the fact that I imported Vesperia [Finally, my years of studying Japanese paid off]).


107

+ Alucard-XII on July 22nd, 2012 at 1:26 pm said:

Hoping for Tales of Vesperia on PS3


108

+ ArchAngelMai on July 22nd, 2012 at 1:34 pm said:

@100 Elvick

I never said the port quality was crappy, I said it was crappy, as in the game, and it was, Metacritic and numerous fans of the series agree. That makes it a crappy game.

But I agree sales do not equal quality, FFXIII sold over 10 million copies and is regarded by many as one of the worse FF’s ever. Doesn’t help that 13-2 wasn’t much better, and that 13-3 will be announced Sep.1st….


109

+ Elvick_ on July 22nd, 2012 at 2:26 pm said:

@105: Guess you need to rethink your choice of words then. “You decided to bring the horrible port” That doesn’t mean “horrible game” in anyway. Means exactly what you typed.

lolmetacritic, FFXIII has an average of 83/100, which is only 4 more than Graces ƒ. 79/100 =/= a bad game in any way. Not that it matters. lolscores

And many people I’ve seen have enjoyed Graces ƒ. Myself included. Exploration may not be up to par for the series’ standards, but the gameplay is awesome and I found the story enjoyable. Was basically the opposite experience of Vesperia. With Vesperia I liked the characters off the bat, but hated the gameplay until you get the final character. Where as Graces ƒ, I loved the gameplay for everyone off the bat. Took awhile for me to warm up to the characters, Pascal being the most interesting one.

Play it for yourself, or not at all. Doesn’t matter, but don’t talk about the game like you’ve played it when you haven’t.


110

+ Elvick_ on July 22nd, 2012 at 2:33 pm said:

@103: That was retracted, because it was false.


111

+ CaptainJames99 on July 22nd, 2012 at 3:02 pm said:

I see a lot of extremist rants in here such as Sirus22 and others making a lot of unwarranted and unjustified personal attacks. I know its unlikely but if gaming & anime are to become more mainstream, or at least not be pushed out past the limits of the lunatic fringe things have got to change. This game, if indeed like graces F, has a lot of problems right at the starting gate. Rabid lunacy wont change that. It seems unlikely but Namco Bandai and others involved would be wise to address this. Further to that they should take an active role in communicating with the public instead putting out the odd interview or press release and letting the fanatics speak for them. I for one don’t want either gaming or anime become marginilized by either really bad production values or a relatively small handful of cranks.


112

+ jb_x105strike on July 22nd, 2012 at 3:39 pm said:

Any possibility of Tales PSP games being made compattible for PS Vita or new Tales games being released for PS Vita? The PSP games for Tales I see on the store aren’t Vita compattible yet and I’ld love to play them


113

+ ArchAngelMai on July 22nd, 2012 at 3:44 pm said:

@ 106
If you’re going to quote, at least quote correctly….
“You decided to bring the horrible port of ToGf instead of…”
I did not say ToG, I said ToGf.

Yes because if you and your peanut gallery like something, you then speak for the masses–don’t make me gag.

I made it through the first 5 exhausting hours, even if the voice acting wasn’t atrocious, I would still have quit from boredom. If a game takes that long/longer to get good, it’s not worth it.
Overall scores help you get a fair representation of something rather than just one opinion, which can never be true. As the saying goes–the story always sounds right till you hear the other side.

On a completely separate note, I love FFVI too, and Tina is awesome! I once did a CES play through at level 12 and broadcast it on YouTube, years later I was banned for Copyright infringement by SEGA of Japan–but that’s a whole different story.


114

+ ArchAngelMai on July 22nd, 2012 at 3:46 pm said:

@108
Unfortunately Japanese games and anime are losing popularity in America. It’s seems the obsession with Japanese culture peaked, and is now starting to decline. Plus it seems the quality of animation has definitely gone downhill, I haven’t found may interesting ones in the last few years sadly. Even Ghibli’s son doesn’t have the same Je ne sais quoi, that his father had.


115

+ Sirus222 on July 22nd, 2012 at 3:56 pm said:

@108
I don’t believe I did a personal attack on you or did a rant. I just thought it was odd that your saying a game is bad without you playing it.(well that’s what I got from reading your previous comment) I also add in my experiences with a franchise which you think in your opinion is better than tales.


116

+ Sirus222 on July 22nd, 2012 at 4:09 pm said:

@105
not sure about the metacritic and fans part of your comment. since in my personal experience, fans of the tales series enjoyed tales of graces F. And metacritic wise, Tales of Graces F got like the same score on metacritic that tales of vesperia did unless your saying that’s a bad games as well.(which I also disagree)


117

+ SquareSide on July 22nd, 2012 at 5:11 pm said:

I was holding out for this over Tales of Graces f. =]


118

+ OrochiRion on July 22nd, 2012 at 8:12 pm said:

Can we PLEASE Get Tales of Vesperia over here in the US? Or at LEAST with a European (english) release?
I made the worst mistake of mylife buying a 360 JUST for Vesperia, only to have the stupid thing RROD on me 7months afterwards.

Not to mention, some digital releases of some of the older Tales Of __ titles would be nice, so I can have them on my PS3/PSP/Vita
Like, Digital re-releases of the PS2 games would be AWESOME…and maybe a Tales of Symphonia HD collection too! OH The Possibilities!

But seriously, PLEASE bring ‘Vesperia out over here.
I REALLY do N O T want to get another 360 again just for 1 game.


119

+ wrightanthony on July 23rd, 2012 at 1:36 am said:

i cant wait and i was wondering if you guys could upload tales of the abyss and tales of legendia to th the ps2 classics on psn i would like to have those thanks :)


120

+ zZ-Valkyrie-Zz on July 23rd, 2012 at 3:38 am said:

Yay!


121

+ Jedah_PR on July 23rd, 2012 at 7:51 pm said:

This game needs to come out NOW!!!


122

+ CaptainJames99 on July 26th, 2012 at 2:44 pm said:

One last comment here and its directed at 2 groups. The trolls who are trying to defend the sloppily done games in this series. I don’t care if you keep screaming your absurdities or not. You have no effect in reality other than undermining the bad games with your idiotic rants.

The other group is those arguiing over whether these games should have english or force japanese only. That kind of thing is why anything anime related including games is relegated to a niche who’s fans are largely regarded as being in the group I just mentioned. It’s equally stupid as those arguing over movies vs books or debates about “art for arts sake”. I could give examples all day but you should get the point. The indesputible fact is english language in a game released in an english market is a no brainer. To do otherwise will guarantee these type of games will remain buried & ignored under a pile of nondescript shooters. The stinkers deserve that fat, but the gems that deserve it should get wider attention.


123

+ c_my_art_j on July 28th, 2012 at 1:35 pm said:

OrochiRion said “I But seriously, PLEASE bring ‘Vesperia out over here. I REALLY do N O T want to get another 360 again just for 1 game.” That’s exactly how I feel. I for one would still like this game on PS3, because of the new contents. I am grateful the Tales series is getting more recognition now, and I’m also glad we are getting Xillia next year. Thank you Hideo Baba. I still want the PS3 Vesperia over here. I’m ok with a digital release in the PS Store, if that’s what it comes to getting it released over here.


124

+ Sirus222 on August 3rd, 2012 at 2:35 pm said:

@122

I really fail how to see people who are defending TOGF are trolls. Especially coming from a person who have said to only watched the game and never played it. I’m fairly sure it’s called a difference of opinion.


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