Namco has confirmed rumours that the next PS2 title in its Tales RPG series will be called Tales of Rebirth, and revealed that recent GameCube outing Tales of Symphonia will be ported to the PS2 as well. Both games should be out in Japan this year. But while Symphonia dabbled in 3D, Tales of Rebirth will be returning to a hand-drawn 2D style with gorgeous background visuals, as these early screenshots aptly demonstrate.
Tales of Rebirth's official Japanese website sheds a little more light on proceedings, though frankly not much. The hero of the game is one Veigue Lungberg, a swordsman raised by family friends in a cold and remote village after his parents died when he was very young. Mr. Lungberg will apparently follow in a long line of silent RPG heroes, although he does at least have an excuse for his uncommunicative demeanour - he lost his voice during a traumatic incident that took place a year prior to the events of the game.
We also know that the game takes place in a world occupied by an intellectual human-like race and a stronger, more physical non-human race, and, though they're at peace when the game begins, they share a history tainted by conflict, which looks set to re-emerge over the course of Lungberg's adventure.
The official site for the PS2 Tales of Symphonia, meanwhile, offers no news on any changes to the Cube RPG, although it does play host to a couple of screenshots. Namco seems to be warming to the idea of releasing Tales games in the West (in the States at the very least), so with any luck this is not the last we'll see of either title.