Namco Tales StudioGenre:
March 6, 2006 Written by:
Since the early 90’s, RPGS have become a vast and epic series in North America. Games like Final Fantasy put players in a surreal and foreign place that many gamers have never dreamed of. Soon after, many other RPGS began popping up making the genre more popular than ever. Now the Japanese classic Tales of Phantasia is coming to America. Will Namco’s strive for perfection be re-ignited with this remake? Join me as we take a closer look…
Tales of Phantasia is the first installment to the epic “Tales” series. First hitting Japan on the SNES is 1995, this game set the level for the sequels to come including Tales of Symphonia , Tales of Legendia, and numerous other games in the series. Tales of Symphonia alone sold over 350,000 copies and counting after its 2004 debut on the Gamecube.
Now most RPG fanatics out there have probably imported the game already and know the story, but for those who don’t it goes like this. Cless Alvein is a seventeen year old boy who lives in a small town named Totus. Things kick in when Cless and Chester (one of his friends) head out in search of an adventure. When they return home, they find out a great tragedy has became of their once called home and they must set out on an epic adventure that will be heard all around the land.
After the story, one of the first things you will probably notice will be the action system. The “Linear Motion” battle system is much different than most RPGS. Instead of moving in lines and patterns then taking turns using commands, you will be given complete control of Cless. Using the forward and back (left and right) buttons, you will be able to move him forwards and backwards giving complete control. You will also be able to dish out regular attacks as well as some special signature moves as well. All of which will take place a battle-like platform. Very different from your common everyday RPG.
As you progress through the game, you will also be able to learn no attacks and strengthen the old ones. Punches, uppercuts, and jabs are just some of the moves able to be mixed into combos and upgraded to their maximum potential. This really mixes RPG with fighting styles for an all-out mix that only Namco could produce.
Numerous enemies also are out in this land. As you move through the vast areas, you will be confronted with mystic and ravenous creatures along with warriors and even animals. To show what I mean, one of the first bosses is a bear-like creature that is basically out to rip you to pieces. Bosses like these are spread out through the game and it will take more to destroy them than the normal creatures much like any other game. These magical and mystical enemies are clearly something that makes this game so interesting and epic.
Besides enemies, comrades will also be there to help you. You will be teamed up with two computer ran companions that will battle with you in your quest. Now be forewarned…the computers will do some of the stupidest things that will result in basic suicide, so look out and be prepared to take the battles on your own.
Visually the game looks pretty nifty. The 16-bit style graphics really will take you back to the days of the SNES easily. The epic lands are so interesting to see and for the time, they are absolutely breath taking. The designs and details are also pretty cool to look at when you think about it. They may not seem like much today, but back then, it was state of the art and top notch.
Anime design also plays a big part in ToP. The anime like close ups and cutscene like clips are really interesting to see. Namco is definitely going to the next level with this game and as of now, it looks really convincing. Visually, this game looks absolutely great.
A really cool thing is ToP offers exclusive sound. It’s really something hearing all this yelling and dialogue coming straight out of a Gameboy Advanced cartridge. Their are some pretty cool voiceovers that makes the game seem so realistic yet so farfetched. Also, a very amazing symphony sticks in for some outstanding background music.
Overall, Tales of Phantasia looks like a very promising game. Many RPG fans are in for a treat with this title. The fighting game like style offers gamers with a unique twist that can easily go down as a classic. Be sure to look out for this title as it hits stores on March 6th.
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