Four new Tales RPGs

Remakes and newcomers.

Clearly not interested in kicking its heels and waiting for the next-generation, Namco Bandai announced four new Tales RPG titles at a press conference in Tokyo this week, IGN reports - and three of them are for the PlayStation Portable.

That said, a couple of them are remakes, so let's start there. The first, on PS2, is a remake of Tales of Destiny in full 3D, due out this winter. The PlayStation 1 original's battle system is being replaced, and there will be rewritten dialogue for the main story.

Meanwhile, Tales of Phantasia, only just released on GBA in Europe, will also appear on PSP as Tales of Phantasia: Full Voice Edition - the centrepiece of which is obviously full voice acting. You can also expect all of the bonuses found in the GBA and PS1 versions, the ability to save and load anywhere, and a grading system that hands out bonuses based on the rank you receive when you finish the game. It's due out on September 7th in Japan.

Arguably a bit more interesting are the original games - Tales of Destiny 2 for PSP, due out before the end of March 2007, which looks set to extend one of the series' more popular stories, and Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology, also for PSP, which is due out this winter.

Details on the former are scant, but we know plenty about the latter. The plot's fairly standard fare (demons attacking townsfolk, hero emerges from the ranks - or in this case from a life-giving tree - to stop them, joined by allies including a young resistance-fighting girl with amnesia), and Namco Bandai says the game will make use of the Flex Range Linear Motion Battle System (crikey), better known as The One They Used In Tales Of The Abyss. Along with all that, you'll have a decent amount of control over what your character looks and even sounds like, and your choice of profession at the start of the game (fighter, etc.) will determine the sorts of quests you're subsequently sent on.

Good news for Tales fans then, although it's worth pointing out that Europe's lagging a bit behind on the Tales front - we've had Tales of Eternia (PSP) and Phantasia (GBA), but we're still waiting on Tales of Legendia (PS2), which came out in the US nearly a year ago, and Tales of the Abyss, due out over there this summer, hasn't yet been confirmed for Europe either.

In other words, don't expect to hear much about these for a little while at least. In the meantime, though, you might want to check out Tales of Symphonia, which came out on GameCube in late 2004 - and remains one of that system's best RPGs.

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