Twenty Years of Tales:
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Tales Of series, Bandai Namco is preparing the world for Tales of Zestiria, the 15th mothership title!
As this famous franchise continues to move forward, Zestiria takes a nod at the past by returning to the high fantasy roots of first Tales of games, and will forge new ground while keeping many classic elements that fans have seen over the years. It is quite possible that this title may potentially be the most robust and established Tales of title yet!
Zestiria takes place on the continent of Greenwood, and is divided between two warring empires. The story follows Sorey, a passionate young man empowered by a mystical race known as the Tenzoku - aka "Heavenly People." With their help, Sorey travels to free Greenwood. Like all Tales Of games, there is always an underlying theme; this time it is about "Sekai o tentō jōnetsu" - lighting the world with passion!
Baba-San and the Zest for Exploration and Adventure:
A huge departure from the previous Tales of games, Zestiria will be the first of the titles to have an open world-style layout; this dramatic shift is due to Producer Hideo Baba's desire to change the direction of exploration - as in previous titles, he compared this to "moving along a highway."
During exploration in the vast new world of Greenwood, players can access new areas with companion specific powers such as slicking through minor obstacles, smashing through large obstacles, stealth style gameplay, teleportation, and even interacting with lights and the environement. As well, depending on which character is selected to accompany Sorey, specfic skits and story-relevant conversations can happen; it goes without saying that all skits are done with full voice work and all characters on the map will have full-body representation once again.
The Fusionic Chain Linear Motion Battle System (LMB):
For the first time ever, the famous real-time battle system of the Tales of games also receives an update; players will now engage enemies on the map, as opposed to the previous field to battle scene style of other titles. As such, strategic thinking will be important, as the environment has been mentioned to affect the results of battle.
Battles will take place with a maximum of four party members against a denizen of foes, and if things get too overwhelming, there is a new ability in which human characters can fuse with the Tenzoku, producing a hybrid form with new abilities and stats, depending on the combination.
All Star Team + World Wide Release?
Aside from the experience of Team Leader Hideo Baba, other big industry names who are working on this project are Kosuke Fujishima, Mutsumi Inomata and Diago Okumura for character and art design, Tatsuro Udo battle programmer who worked on Tales of Graces, Ufotable for the anime cutscenes, and co-composed music by Go Shiina and Motoi Sakuraba, both of whom are musical staples for many famous games. What's most exciting is that all of these are veterans to the Tales Of series, and this reunion forms a dream team for Tales of fans.
With that being said, it was only recently revealed that Tales of Zestiria will be out on Janurary 22nd, 2015 for Japan. But it has been rumored that because it's the 20th anniversary, Bandai Namco is looking at a worldwide release!
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