In the past, I have played various Japanese RPGs such as Final Fantasy and Pokémon (excluding the Atelier games I played recently). Of course, there is one other RPG series that is popular with the Anime fandom and it’s the Tales of Series. (Image Source)
Before my sister played one of these games, I never heard about them since it’s not as popular compared to Final Fantasy. I think this is mostly because Namco outright refuses to localize most of the games for some reason (the same reason I had to import a copy of Idolmaster 2 just to play it). Even so, I only saw my sister play Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World on the Wii and it had one of the most annoying male lead characters ever since his personality reminds me of Hope from Final Fantasy XIII. Yeah, it’s probably not the best game to get into that series, but it got better when I start playing the PS3 games.
Just last Christmas, I got a copy of Tales of Graces f and I was impressed by it. It took improvements from previous Tales of games such as the roads that connect to different cities that Tales of Hearts introduced along with a fun action battle system seen in any RPG. While the story has it’s clichés of saving the world from evil and places so much emphasis on friendship, I enjoyed it for the most part despite not finishing it.
This of course brings us to Tales of Hearts, which never got a localized release. Since I own a Playstation Vita, I became interested in buying the remake of this game since it looked gorgeous and it looked as if Namco is putting a lot of effort into it. Apparently, this remake takes everything 2D and remakes it into a 3D game. Not only that, it contains additional Anime scenes done by Production IG (which worked on several notable shows, including that infamous Bread show) while adding one more playable character to the roster. Once I heard about this release, I’m totally hyped up for this game since I already know a good amount of Japanese to have a basic understanding of the story.
As for the demo, I played a bit of it last night and it plays exactly like any 3D Tales games that are currently available. Since I played Graces before, I noticed a few differences. The new battle system goes back to using TP, so you don’t have to wait in order to launch an attack or use special moves. However, any special moves you use will drain TP, which doesn’t replenish unless you win the battle or use items (unless I’m wrong). Also, you can move anywhere on the field and not be locked onto one enemy at a given time. However, there is one difference that sets this remake apart from other recent 3D Tales games, the battles will occur randomly. It can get annoying at times as I might want to avoid battling, but this will definitely make level grinding a lot easier.
Aside from the battle system, I was pretty impressed by the demo and I can’t wait for the game’s release, which is about two weeks away. The graphics just looks gorgeous thanks to the Vita’s graphic capabilities. Most importantly, the text is manual advance, so this game can be useful if you are studying Japanese. I look forward to playing it once my preorder gets shipped and arrives at my house. So, look forward for a review of this game once I beaten it. ¶