News & Updates

Game Content

All

News

Features

Community

Interviews

Media

0

Tales of Xillia Combat Preview Part 2

XilliaPS3 by Alex

This week, we’ve got the second part of our Tales of Xillia combat preview to share with you! Part 2 details Link Artes, Overlimit mode, and Mystic Artes. First up, let’s talk a bit about Link Artes in Tales of Xillia.

Tales of Xillia tells the story of Jude Mathis, an intelligent medical student studying at the hospital in the metropolitan city of Fennmont, and Milla Maxwell, a mysterious woman who is capable of summoning all types of elemental sprits. Players will be able to choose either of the two protagonists when they begin adventuring through the world of Rieze Maxia, a land where humans and spirits live together in peace. Together with the help of a diverse cast of characters, Jude and Milla's paths intersect as they set off on a quest to stop the kingdom of Rashugal from draining the world of all of its mana.

Read More
0

Tales of Xillia Combat Preview Part 1

XilliaPS3 by Alex

The RPG genre is filled with games that attempt to approach combat in new and interesting ways. Throughout the years, the Tales series has consistently created many of these unique battle systems. Tales of Xillia, releasing this summer in the US and EU is no exception. Today we’d like to give you a preview of the new system introduced in Tales of Xillia.

Tales of Xillia tells the story of Jude Mathis, an intelligent medical student studying at the hospital in the metropolitan city of Fennmont, and Milla Maxwell, a mysterious woman who is capable of summoning all types of elemental sprits. Players will be able to choose either of the two protagonists when they begin adventuring through the world of Rieze Maxia, a land where humans and spirits live together in peace. Together with the help of a diverse cast of characters, Jude and Milla's paths intersect as they set off on a quest to stop the kingdom of Rashugal from draining the world of all of its mana.

Read More
0

Namco Bandai Finally Learning From Their Mistakes

Graces fPS3Musings by Shawn

For those who have followed Namco Bandai over the last few years, it's clear that the company has had a number of issues it's had to work out. One of the biggest was found in an earnings report last February, where the company reported a staggering $129.5 million loss, far from the $93.8 million gain they had hoped to achieve. This forced them to launch a "group restart plan" which cut 630 of the company's paid employees, among other changes.

To try to fix this issue, they switched to a more "Western" focus to regain profitability, publishing titles such as Splatterhouse, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom. The first was a revival of the 1988 beat-em-up, while the latter two were titles that were modeled after games such as ICO and Heavenly Sword. None of the titles did as well as the publisher hoped, even with Enslaved's massive ad campaign (although according to an interview in MCV, Enslaved has done well enough to warrant a sequel despite its lackluster sales).

Last month, Namco Bandai announced via an interview with Bloomberg that they would be scaling down development of their games in the West and would move the bulk of the work back to Japan. As expected, this caused people to wonder if the publisher would be returning to one of their more "Japanese" franchises: Tales. This continued when Namco Bandai's new community manager, Richard Bantegui, reached out to Tales fans via posting on the company's official Facebook page and his personal Twitter account, at times mentioning phrases such as "future", a seemingly obvious reference to the f in Tales of Graces f. This possibility became even more valid once the company released a teaser website, which when solved directed users to another teaser website, which initially had an image which clearly showed the Tales of Graces f logo when inverted, but has since become much more distorted with various other Namco properties appearing throughout the week.

Keep on reading to see more of our analysis.

Read More
0

Don't Only Expect Tales of Graces PS3 In The West

Graces fGracesPS3Wii by Shawn

The last Tales release in North America was Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World on November 11, 2008. Since then, Western fans of the long-running Japanese RPG series have heard little to nothing from Namco Bandai. Following the release of Dawn of the New World, there's been a number of unsettling signs, such as Peter Garza, the localization manager for Tales beginning with Tales of Symphonia for the Nintendo GameCube, leaving the company and the recent layoffs of personnel in their North American branches.

When the PS3 port of Tales of Vesperia was announced last April, many hopes were dashed when rumors about a possible localization came and went. Although there were no localization rumors for the Wii version of Tales of Graces, fans of the series were still left wondering what the future of the series would be in the West, as two of the mainline console games in the franchise had been passed over.

With Tales of Graces now on the PS3, thanks to the recent release of Tales of Graces f, many have been left wondering which version Namco Bandai would release in the West. For those who analyze the port, there's a likely chance that Namco Bandai might have other plans, namely a Wii version of Tales of Graces f. There are some reports (such as this one, although the validity of the article is in question) that this exact idea might happen, more or less. So what is the likelihood this outcome could become reality?

Keep on reading to see the rest of the article.

Read More
0

PS3: It Only Does Tales

PS3PSP by Shawn

When Namco Bandai revealed in late July that they were bringing not just the newest Tales title to the PS3, but a port of the recently-released Tales of Graces to the console as well, with nary another platform in sight. Many were left wondering what this meant for the series, which since Tales of the Abyss has been jumping around from platform to platform with its mothership titles. If you follow the sales figures however, it starts to become very clear what Namco Bandai's aims are and what effect they have on both the Eastern and Western releases of the games.

Sales Figures, Namco Bandai, Japan The data for the above graph comes from our Tales Studio's Debt: What It Means For The Series article, which was garnered from the raw sales figures given out by Namco Bandai for Japan-only sales. While many might be drawn to the severe dip following Tales of the Abyss, the issues started long before that.

The first game in the series, Tales of Phantasia on the Super Famicom (Super NES in the West), sold a respectable 550,000 copies, which at the time was quite impressive. The quality of the game alongside the inclusion of vocals, which hadn't been tried on the system on that scale until then, was a key factor in the staggering sales of Tales of Destiny on the PlayStation, which was just shy of a million copies sold at 900,000. While the next two titles in the series, Tales of Eternia and Tales of Destiny 2, didn't approach the same level (one could attribute Destiny's astronomical sales to a fluke), they sold more than Phantasia's total sales.

Read more of our analysis in the full story.

Read More
0

The Future Of Tales Is In The West (Part 2)

MusingsGraces fGracesVesperiaPS3X360Wii by Shawn

In yesterday's first part of this article, we detailed the recent events surrounding Namco Bandai's postings on Namco Games's Facebook wall and the misconceptions surrounding comments that it would be incredibly easy for the company to release the PS3 port of Tales of Vesperia. This second part details what both sides can do to help release more Tales games in the west.

What Namco Bandai needs to realize with the Tales series is that while it might not be as big of a juggernaut as other RPGs such as Final Fantasy or the company's very own Tekken franchise, there is a very passionate fan base, much like the fan bases for Atlus's Shin Megami Tensei and NIS America's Disgaea franchises.

The company also needs to realize that part of the lackluster sales can be attributed to two factors: release dates and fan outreach. One such example of the former would be Tales of the Abyss's release in North America. Namco Bandai released the title mere weeks before Final Fantasy XII and had little-to-no advertising, with only a few websites having advertisements for the game, compared to Square Enix's mammoth advertising for the their title. With Square Enix pushing out a limited edition version of Final Fantasy XII, many gamers were forced to pick one of the two and many forgoed picking up Tales of the Abyss if they happened to noticed it. The lackluster sales that followed only helped to push the game to the back of the store, furthering hampering its sales.

Keep on reading for more of the second part of the article.

Read More
0

The Future Of Tales Is In The West (Part 1)

MusingsGraces fGracesVesperiaPS3X360Wii by Shawn

Late last month Namco Bandai's Japanese branch revealed a series of new Tales games, one of which being Tales of Graces f, a PS3 port of the original Wii version which includes a plethora of new additions and updates. After a small number of fans posted on Namco Games, the branch of the company responsible for causal mobile and PC releases, the company posted the following response on their wall:

Firstly, thank you all for your excitement around the series. We also love the series here at Namco of America and are working with our Japan counterparts to determine if we'll see US releases for these games. Unfortunately, we don't currently have any plans to bring Tales of Graces to the US. If this changes, we'll let you know as soon as we can!

For those who follow the series and the company, Namco Bandai has normally disregarded fan responses to the Tales series, so to have the company acknowledge the fans, let alone comment on talking to their Japanese branch, which has control over what titles the North American branch can and cannot publish, was a welcome sign indeed. Shortly after this announcement, a petition on PlayStation.Blog Share for Sony to help localize both the PS3 and PSP Tales titles was posted, along with a plethora of wall posts on the Facebook wall which totaled over 300 in just a few days time.

Keep on reading for more information, as well as details for how to let Namco Bandai hear your voice on the matter.

Read More
0

Tales Studio's Debt: What It Means For The Series

MusingsPS3X360WiiPSPDS by Shawn

For those who have been following the Tales news as of late, you likely already know that Namco Tales Studio is in severe debt, barely covering their short-term debts and with long term debts almost four times their current reserves. With all this uncertainty, one question naturally comes to mind --- how will this affect the series from here on out?

According to their balance sheets, Namco Tales Studio's current assets plus their fixed assets are around 6.6 million, with their current liabilities just barely below that amount at 6.5 million Yen. While this might not sound all that bad considering the current lackluster state of RPGs in this next-gen era, the long-term liabilities and the shareholder stakes in the company are around 22-23 million --- almost 400% of what Namco Tales Studio could pay. In effect, if the shareholders were to all cash out at this moment, it would effectively "kill" the developer four times over. While this kind of debt can be expected from a start-up company, it is quite shocking for a long-running company to amass this amount of debt.

It is important to note that after 2006 Namco Bandai fully owns the studio after buying the remaining shares from Telnet Japan, so some of these debts could have been passed on from Namco Bandai to hide some of their own debt, which was widely reported when the publisher announced they would be restructuring the company as well as decreasing its workforce.

More analysis after the jump.

Read More
Page 1 of 1
  • First
  • Previous
  • Next
  • Last