Sunday, August 1, 2010

Namco Bandai - Bring Us the Tales Games We Deserve

I've always been a fan of the Tales series. Call it a guilty pleasure of mine, but there is just something oh-so-addicting about the series. I've had games I literally couldn't put down come from the Tales series. Heck, I had to have a friend of mine hide Abyss from me during finals week of college. Now, on to my point, since the PS2/Gamecube era (and even then that's when the trouble was starting), what have we seen from the Tales series? Poor choices.

I guess many will argue it started with Legendia. Now, I didn't find Legendia as horrid as most people (if you got past the whole Shirley crap, there were interesting characters that had a lot of charm), but it definitely wasn't the best Tales game. The whole Senel in love with his *annoying* "sister", probably wasn't the best plot point to release into the American market. Needless to say, Tales of Rebirth would have been the better choice over Legendia. We're all pretty bitter about missing out on Rebirth. There's no doubt in my mind, that almost any Tales fan who had the choice would gladly have taken Rebirth over Legendia if given the choice. Between this and not getting Symphonia on the PS2, the trouble started brewing.

Now since then we've seen Tales of Vesperia, which is a decent game, but by no means my favorite Tales game. It didn't have the ability to captivate me and the charm that comes with most Tales games was absent. And don't get me started on Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, which was more than cringe-worthy. Symphonia is such a loved Tales game and that's the follow up we get? And while, Radiant Mythology had its fun moments, it won't win any awards.

So, what the heck happened? Sigh...More poor choices.

Let's talk more about Vesperia. It was at least decent and while Japan saw a PS3 release of it, it was absent from other regions on the PS3. Why don't you just stake the Tales series in the heart and not give PS3 owners a chance to play it? I know there are other games that never made it past Japan (mainly all of the DS releases - grrr), I'd really like to play Tales of Hearts. Namco Bandai, seriously? In this market, especially for RPGs, handhelds are where it's at. What missed opportunities. Fans want to play Tales games, but how can we stand by when we are constantly getting the worst of the Tales games or getting nothing at all?

Recently, three new Tales games were announced: Tales of Graces PS3, an untitled new Tales game for PS3, and Radiant Mythology 3 for PSP. And while part of me was happy to hear the series was still releasing new games, I can't get excited. Why? I'm not sure we'll see any of these games outside of Japan. Radiant Mythology 3 is a definite no - we never saw two and I also agree that this isn't quite the series that needs to be brought over. The two games I most want from this list is the two PS3 games. If I don't see either one, I will be pissed. I want both, but I know how this works: we all get excited at new games being announced and then we never see them. Namco Bandai, do your fans a favor and mend the wounds of your past mistakes and give us the games we deserve. It's so sad that I can't get my hopes up about this announcement. It's sad that your fans just know not to put any faith or stock into you bringing over these games. You can either revive the Tales series or just continue to let it flounder until fans finally just accept that it's sunk and move on to a new series.

For those Tales fans needing something to play in the mean time - I suggest Arc Rise Fantasia. It may not be a Tales game, but it feels like one, a fun addictive JRPG, that will begin to remind you that we need to hold the Tales series to a higher standard.

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