I'm a huge JRPG fan and with the rerelease of tales of vesperia on the horizon, along with a new tales game being announced I'm starting to feel the hype. The tales series has been around since the 90's and although every person probably has their own preference the series has been through many up's and downs. Here's a brief history on the Tale's series and the people behind it.
Wolfteam was founded in 1986, they created the games Sol-Feace and Hiouden: Mamono-tachi tono Chikai, but they sold fairly poorly. The companies programmer Yoshiharu Gotanda wanted to find another publisher for his new idea "Tales Phantasia". Eventually the company struck a contract with Namco.
Namco however insisted that the game be renamed "Tales of Phantasia" along with various other game changes which forced some of the initial staff for the game leave and form... Tri-Ace. Eventually they were restaffed and soon dissolved completely into Bandai Namco, Wolfteam would now be known as "Namco Tales Studio". Now before i go more into the history of the company, lets talk about the games released before the change.
The first "Tales Of" game, showcased the LMBS (Linear Motion Battle System) which was not a common feature at the time. In this you must take down the sorcerer king Dhao's which has you traveling back and forth throughout time. It released for the Super Famicom but later released for the PS1, GBA and mobile phones and even the app store.
The second of the series (and the first later released in NA) , it featured a slightly enhanced version of the LMBS. You could deal more damage with combos, Special attacks which used TP, and a overall improvement in the speed of the system. In this game you play as Stahn, a young boy who gets a little ahead of himself and ends up sneaking onto a ship. Which eventually leads to a wild turn of events. This title released for PS1 but soon a remake was made for the PS2. The PS2 version featured 3D environment, remade sprites, and of course a vast improvement for the LMBS.
Fifth and another very well received Tales game. The game was mainly 3D. It introduced new features like Ex Gems/Skills, which could be swapped in and out (Strike or Technical) and could even change the moves the characters learn. Grade, which accumulated throughout the game and could be used for a new game plus. Unison Attack which allowed your party to combine different techs together in a huge attack (if you combine certain ones with certain characters you may even be treated to a even more powerful attack). You play as Lloyd, whos bestfriend Colette must go on the "Journey Of Regeneration" which would restore the worlds mana. It initially released for the Gamecube, and soon released for the PS2, PS3 and PC.
The sixth and only released and Japan, this one was a lot different from the path the others took. It only had a side long view, and you fast traveled instead of traveling. You play as Veigue, a orphan whos parents died a long time ago.
The seventh and somewhat akin to Tales Of Rebirth, It also has a side view. The common LMBS system was made more akin to fighting games once again. You play as Senel, a young martial artist who ends up washed up on a island with a close friend.
The eighth in the series and released in 2005, this game reverted back to the old LMBS system. It even featured multiplayer co-op battles and this game finally introduced free run. It was rereleased for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011.
The ninth and released for the Nintendo DS. It's very similar to past titles and features the "Dimension Stride LMBS", you only used 3 characters in battle though which is a slight difference. The game was later remade for the PSVita in 2012, and had a few tweaks. (including 4 characters in battle)
The 10th and originally released exclusively for the Xbox 360. It's noted that work began on this title in 2005 although it did not see any light until 2008. It holds on too many of the new features from past games, and adds its own twist with the Evolved Flex LMBS. The game takes place in Terca Lumireis, whom are reliant on "blastias" which are known as a crystal version of a past race. You play as Yuri, a old member of the imperial knights. When the reservoir in the city has some issues, Yuri trys fixing the problem which leads to a wild turn of events. It later released for the PS3 in Japan, and featured a new character! The game is also being remade for a later release later this year on the Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC. The movie Tales Of Vesperia: First Strike, goes over a bit of the history between Yuri and the knights.
The 11th and released for handhelds once again. This one once against changed the LMBS to be more like a fighting game, and had more gimmicks for the DS. It was later rereleased for the PSVita, like Innocence.
The 12th and originally released for the Wii in Japan. It was later ported to the PS3 in 2012 as Tales Of Graces F. You play as Absel Lhant who gets adopted into the Oswell family.
The 13th and last title under the "Tales Studio" name. It released for the PS3 in 2011, but didn't see a release in NA until 2013. It was supposedly the most preordered Tales Of Game, and it received fairly neutral praise.
The 15th and released in 2015, this title returned to the more.. Normal roots for the Tales series. A lot of the past developers actually returned to work on this title. You play as Sorrey, whom is blessed by the Seraphim the neutralizing force in the land. Despite the approach to the game it was bashed because of the story and skill system.
The 16th and latest title in the mothership series. It's a prequel to Zesteria but received a lot more praise. You play as Velvet, a young sweet woman turned bad. After a crazy turn of events she becomes imprisoned by the people she loved. This was one of the highest praised titles released in the latter years.
It's reported that another Tales title is in the works, but its clear that the series may not be going away for a while. Be sure to check out the Tales Of Vesperia remake, i personally recommend it especially because a lot of people actually never had a chance to play the game because of its exclusivity
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