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Namco Bandai Outlines Tales Plans

"Tales With" is this year's theme as PS3 and PSP see new Tales series titles.


Namco bandai held its annual "Tales of" media briefing in Tokyo today, outlining this year's plans for the RPG series. As reported earlier at this site, those plans include the series' 15th anniversary title for PlayStation 3.

Taking the stage at today's event, Tales Studio general manager Makoto Yoshidumi announced the theme of this year's series to be "Tales With," written in English. Past yearly themes combined Japanese words, suggesting such things as "expanded progress" in 2009 and "crossing challenge" in 2007. This year's theme is meant to mean that the development staff wants to make their games with game players, press, distributors, retailers and other related parties.

The first new Tales game in this year's lineup of titles is one that was announced long ago. Tales of Phantasia Narikiri Dungeon X will see PSP release on the 5th. This title includes remakes of Game Boy Color's Tales of Phantasia Narikiri Dungeon and a remake of the very original Tales game, 1995's Super Famicom Tales of Phantasia.

Producer Ryuji Oda spoke about this game. He revealed plans for post-release passwords to unlock in-game costumes. Additionally, Namco Bandai is readying three separate soundtracks for the game. You can see pictures of the soundtrack jackets at Famitsu.com. The jackets are meant to line up to form a single illustration.

The next entry to follow Narikiri Dungeon X will also be a remake. Namco Bandai is remaking Tales of Graces for PlayStation 3 as Tales of Graces F. The "F" stands for Future.

Producer Hideo Baba spoke about this one. F will retain all the content of the Wii original, but will add a new after story chapter whose name can translate to "Lineage to the Future." Through this volume, set half a year after the end of the original, players will be able to get a clearer understanding of some of the story's lingering mysteries. Namco Bandai appears to be putting quite a bit of effort into this part of the game, as it features a voice script 3/4 the length of the full Graces script.

Other features include additional costumes, updated HD visuals, and additional combat skills. Slides shown at the event suggested that other new features will make it into the game as well. You can see sample images of the new costumes at Impress Watch.

PS3 owners will get a shot at Tales of Graces this Winter. A promotional video was shown at the event and will be available on PlayStation Store later this month.

The series will return to PSP following Graces. Set for release some time in 2011, PSP will get Tales of the World Radiant Mythology 3, the system's third Tales of the World title.

The new version will feature over 80 characters, of which 76 will be playable. Most notable in the bunch is Tales of Graces main character Asbel.

The characters will all have newly recorded voices, and you'll be able to customize them more freely than ever with additional parts and even the ability to adjust height and weight. The game's dungeons will have puzzle components. Namco Bandai is also upping the technology with a much demanded data install feature.

For those who've yet to play Radiant Mythology 2, Namco Bandai also announced that a budget version of this will be released on September 29, priced ¥2,800.

Those with save data from Radiant Mythology 2 or the original Radiant Mythology will get bonuses when playing Radiant Mythology 3. Namco Bandai is even readying bonuses for Narikiri Dungeon X owners.

The big announcement of the event came last, with Baba sharing first preliminary details on PS3's "Next Tales of" game. Namco Bandai considers this to be the Tales series 15th anniversary title. You can read preliminary details on this game in this flash report.

Concept art for the new PS3 title.

Other developments announced at the event included plans for two Tales series books to commemorate the series' 15th anniversary. One is tentatively titled "Tales of Chronicle" and will cover the history of the series, with story and character information. The other is tentatively titled "Mutsumi Inomata Tales of Image Collection 2004-2010" and will feature series artwork from 2004 and and beyond. Both books are due for release this winter.

Joining these announcements, Namco Bandai opened various official sites. You can browse the sites via these links:

For images of the press conference see Impress Watch and Famitsu.com.

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