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Tales of Arise is a series rebirth that aims to offer ‘a highly immersive experience’

Mista

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Famitsu has published the first interview with Tales of Arise producer Yusuke Tomizawa following the game’s announcement, who shares new information on the upcoming revitalisation of the series.

Here are the notable tidbits:
  • The Tales of Arise project started long before Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition, which was announced one year ago.
  • As you might be able to tell from the video, this is a considerably challenging title, and when creating it we first had to take some time to rethink what the Tales Of series is and what it should be.
  • Our goal was “succession and evolution” while also confronting the traditions of the series.
  • As we were analyzing the main appeals of the Tales Of series, there were many parts that needed to evolve for the future. In order to maintain and expand the brand from here on out, we need to also attract the attention of young players. That being said, we are challenging ourselves to present something that dares to step back from the traditional conventions of the series in order to attract more players.
  • There will probably be some fans who only watch the trailer and feel a sense of uneasiness, but we had discussions regarding fundamental appeal of the Tales Of series and the points to carry over, and decided and planned our points of evolution based upon that. We will explain the details for each element at some point in the future.
  • With Tales of Arise, we cast away the dedicated engine we have used thus far. In order to realize rich lighting and atmosphere accompanied with unique, watercolor-like graphics and approachable character models, we based the game on Unreal Engine 4 while developing our own completely original shaders and the like.
  • The theme is to hopefully offer “a highly immersive experience.” As one representation of that, we are further enhancing things such as the performance and actions of the characters in order to have players feel as if, “this character lives in this world.” With that approach, we’re combining fields and characters depicted in a watercolor style, as well as increasing the body size of characters to look more human. We’re putting a particular amount of effort into motions. Like even if you turn around, the character will not instantly rotate—it’s more realistic in that the character will first twist their body before turning around.
  • Minoru Iwamoto, who works at Bandai Namco Studios, is the main character designer and head of art direction. This is the first mothership title in the series where both of those roles are filled by a single person. But because of that, there is a sense of unity in the game’s art in various respects. For example, by simultaneously working on both the world and costume designs, we can have a sense of unification even up to the cultural level. This is also part of the plan to offer “a highly immersive experience,” which is again the theme of this game.
  • For areas related to performance, such as a character’s facial animations or the camera work, we’re aiming for a level of 3D anime comparable to television and theater.
  • While it may appear that 2D anime is unnecessary with the upgrade to 3D anime, 2D anime is an important element of the Tales Of series, and plays a part in the great balance that is “succession and evolution.” While looking for a more effective utilization, we are designing the drama to be more exciting on both ends.
  • Development is being handled entirely by Bandai Namco Studios. Among our ranks are staff from Tales of Berseria, and some of them even worked on Tales of Phantasia. We have staff both new and old who love the series and are working on the game while discussing the “succession and evolution of tradition.”
  • The composer is still a secret, but will be introduced at a later time. We will have a theme song.
  • The planet on which the protagonist lives is Dahna, and the planet that floats in the sky above it is Rena. Dahna is a naturally rich planet, but is equivalent to the Middle Ages in cultural leve. Rena, on the other hand, is developed in science and magical arts, and invaded Dahna 300 years before the events of this game. With its overwhelming difference in power, Rena defeated and enslaved the people of Dahna. That has continued for 300 years, which is where our story begins.
  • The protagonist is from Dahna. How to over turn his people’s state of oppression is one direction the story takes. The protagonist’s armor and helmet are equipped due to his physical features. It should be noted that he has more than just his armor outfit, and will change to various costumes according to the situation.
  • The heroine is from Rena, and is a confident and attractive woman. With the power relationship between Dahna and Rena, she and the protagonist are not very good friends from the start. Their relationship begins in a setting where the people of Rena discriminate against the people of Dahna, and eventually leads to a great drama.
  • Battles are Tales-esque action battles against enemies and encounters. The theme here is to give new users the feeling of “an exhilarating battle.” We’re going for battles with more intuitive and speedier action that makes you think “this seems fun” just by looking at it.
  • In battle, you can unleash various actions according to the situation. There are also elements that raise skill level through long time use.
  • We’re upping the intimidation of enemy designs. This comes from the idea that “you should get a greater feeling of accomplishment from defeating an enemy.” While we also worry there some female players that dislike that, it is nevertheless important for RPG battles to evoke a sense of accomplishment when defeating an enemy.
  • That’s not to say that there won’t be cute-type enemies. It’s still a secret, but there is something like a mascot in this game.
  • The Tales Of series has many traditional elements, and the same can be said for action battles, but there are also dialogue scenes called skit and chat. Regarding those, we’re making each element while constantly having detailed discussions such as, “Why is that popular?” and “What kind of evolution do players want to see?”
  • We thought it was necessary to report on the team’s hard work and launched a blog to bring the series together. From here on we will communicate in detail via social media.
  • I can’t make any promises, but I would like to offer more opportunities to go hands-on with the game before release than we have before.
  • (Why did you choose the name Tales of Arise, when the “TOA” abbreviation is already attributed to Tales of the Abyss?) The code-name for this project was “Arise.” It is a word that came from the strong desire to revitalize to the series during development. After that, we discussed title ideas with our worldwide development and marketing staff, but everyone was in general agreement that “Arise,” the code-name that held our convictions, was the most appropriate title. So we decided that we should go with it to convey our enthusiasm for the series’ rebirth, even if we had to change the unspoken rule of the series’ abbreviation. Of course, it is also linked to the themes expressed in the story, and the word “Arise” adds to the sentiments of the protagonist and company who rise up to overturn their suppressive environment.
  • We want the abbreviation for this game to be “Arise” or “ToArise.”
  • I can’t say anything regarding the release date yet. While things are complete to a certain extent, there are still things that need to be brushed up, and there are many sections such as battles and drama parts that still need to be built.
 

Guileless

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I suspect most Tales fans are fairly traditionalist, but I like the visual direction in the trailer.
 

ethomaz

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Are they back to the awesomeness of 2D combat?

Combat was never good in Tale of after they move to 3D... too chaotic and uncontrolled.
 
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Punished Miku

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The visuals are a huge improvement. I hope the gameplay is just as new and different.
 

Alexa88

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Waited so long for this announcement, I liked everything about this trailer. Hopefully it'll have better level design than last few tales of games :D
 

Danjin44

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Visuals looks good, hope we get lengthy gameplay footage later on to see how the combat looks.
 
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Bonfires Down

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I'm glad they are using UE4 rather than spending years developing their own engine that wouldn't be half as good. Let's hope the gameplay and story can match the visuals.
 

Danjin44

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I'm glad they are using UE4 rather than spending years developing their own engine that wouldn't be half as good. Let's hope the gameplay and story can match the visuals.
We are starting see more Japanese developers using UE4 and using very interesting way.
 
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While we also worry there some female players that dislike that, it is nevertheless important for RPG battles to evoke a sense of accomplishment when defeating an enemy.

I'm not entirely sure why they said this. I didn't know women only played games that had cute characters or were easy to beat. Either way, I have enjoyed their previous games so I am looking forward to seeing what they do with ToArise especially with the new art direction and what they mean by making it a highly immersive experience.
 

Pejo

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I'm glad they are using UE4 rather than spending years developing their own engine that wouldn't be half as good. Let's hope the gameplay and story can match the visuals.
"Enjoy the latest Tales game in stunning HD, brought to life thanks to Unreal Engine 4, exclusively on the Epic Game Store!"

I agree though, it looks very nice.
 

Danjin44

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Is nice to see Bandai Namco still willing release some JRPG for Xbox, why cant Square do that with Dragon Quest.
 
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Vawn

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I keep thinking I should love every Tales game. Then I force myself to complete each one, bored to tears. I need to break the cycle.
 

Kagey K

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The cel shaded anime style was was brought me into the series, so I’m still not sure about the look, but I’d really love to see them take the game in a Witcher like direction for quests and workdbuilding.
 

TheDuskwalker

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I'm not entirely sure why they said this. I didn't know women only played games that had cute characters or were easy to beat. Either way, I have enjoyed their previous games so I am looking forward to seeing what they do with ToArise especially with the new art direction and what they mean by making it a highly immersive experience.
It's because Tales of series is very popular among females in Japan, and the Japanese polls for the series and events are very female dominated since they care more about story and characters than the gameplay unlike the male fans.
 
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pennythots

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I'm hopeful. Tales of Graces F was probably the worst in terms of story and character development but top tier in the gameplay department. Never played the newer ones past Xilia but as time goes on I've been generally less impressed with each game's story.
 

Danjin44

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The cel shaded anime style was was brought me into the series, so I’m still not sure about the look, but I’d really love to see them take the game in a Witcher like direction for quests and workdbuilding.
I would say for the visuals they kind of going same direction as Xenoblade 2, so I don't mind
 
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Belmonte

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I'm torn about the art style also. It is obviously well made, great graphics, but the colorful manga look was an important part of the appeal of the series for me. It feel unique and special. More than any series, Tales of made me feel like I was playing an anime.

That said, Tales of Arise seems very promising. Many reasons to be optimistic.
 
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Contica

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Very ready for the visual overhaul, Tales games have been bland copies of themselves for years now, it's about time for a change.
 

Hudo

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I hope that we get to see proper gameplay at this weekend's Tales Festival.
 

Jigsaah

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I've never played a game in this series. Are they connected in anyway? Same characters? Story continuity?

Are all the "Tales" games listed as "Tales of XYZ"? Sorry, fairly new to this.
 
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I've never played a game in this series. Are they connected in anyway? Same characters? Story continuity?

Are all the "Tales" games listed as "Tales of XYZ"? Sorry, fairly new to this.
Most of the games are their own game besides the ones that are sequels. The only two games that share the same universe is that Tales of Symphonia takes place 5,000 years before Phantasia and it's the same deal with Berseria and Zestiria I believe.
 

Kagey K

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I've never played a game in this series. Are they connected in anyway? Same characters? Story continuity?

Are all the "Tales" games listed as "Tales of XYZ"? Sorry, fairly new to this.
It’s mostly like Final Fantasy where each game has its own characters and stories, except for the occasional one that gets a sequel, and they very clearly have a 2 in thier title.

Edit: if you were interested in playing them Symphonia or Vesperia are probably your best starting points to get a feel for what the series is (used to be?) like.
 
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Fbh

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Seems like they used a lot of words to not really say much.
But the game is looking great. I'm looking forward to seeing a longer gameplay showing. It's nice seeing this franchise looking great for a change

I've never played a game in this series. Are they connected in anyway? Same characters? Story continuity?

Are all the "Tales" games listed as "Tales of XYZ"? Sorry, fairly new to this.

Similar to Final Fantasy.
Some games have direct sequel (like Xillia and Xillia 2) but for the most part each game is a new story with new characters and no connection to the previous ones.
This particular one isn't a sequel so you can jump in
 
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Seems like a great fresh reboot to the franchise! Going to be interesting to see how the fans of the series react to it. If positively, then perhaps other JRPGs will follow suit and do their own reboots, atleast visually speaking.
 

Jigsaah

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It’s mostly like Final Fantasy where each game has its own characters and stories, except for the occasional one that gets a sequel, and they very clearly have a 2 in thier title.

Edit: if you were interested in playing them Symphonia or Vesperia are probably your best starting points to get a feel for what the series is (used to be?) like.
Are Symphonia and Vesperia the "fan favorites"? I'd like to see the best the series has to offer so I would be tempted to play the others.
 

Kagey K

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Are Symphonia and Vesperia the "fan favorites"? I'd like to see the best the series has to offer so I would be tempted to play the others.
They are among the most highly regarded, yes. Vesperia just got a remaster for XB1/PS4/PC and is my personal fav.

Symphonia is a bit older and only on GameCube/PS3/PC.
 

Shouta

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Are Symphonia and Vesperia the "fan favorites"? I'd like to see the best the series has to offer so I would be tempted to play the others.

They're the most accessible here and well-liked by audiences here. There's a few that have been Japan only that are amazing though, particularly Tales of Destiny R.
 

MagnesG

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I have a minor complaint about the characters' face, a bit generic I thought for an anime face. Also I'm still not convinced about this entry being the highly immersive experience, every titles before 3D proves otherwise - mostly boring ass dungeons, certain overworld and towns, even the cringe banter is boring, and Zestiria's plot is flat out boring (although that was the lowest of the low). Nice graphics can only save so much for boring designs.
 
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blackjon24

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Silver Age: Tales of Phantasia - Tales of destiny

Golden Age: Tales of Symphonia - Tales of vesperia

Dark Ages: Graces -Berseria

Hoping for a return to form
 
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wipeout364

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I like the look of it, I have to admit though most Tales games leave me kind of disappointed. I don’t really like the combat systems and the stories are just ok.

I have to say the art and graphics of tales games were never really a problem for me but this does look cool.
 

Mista

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I keep thinking I should love every Tales game. Then I force myself to complete each one, bored to tears. I need to break the cycle.
You never enjoyed any Tales game? Please tell me the Tales Of you played
 

Vawn

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You never enjoyed any Tales game? Please tell me the Tales Of you played

Tales of Grace's, Tales of Xillia and Tales of Vesperia.

I found the stories and characters B-tier at best, making the endless dialog a real chore. I never found the gameplay very good either.

And I'm usually a huge JRPG fan.
 

Mista

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Tales of Grace's, Tales of Xillia and Tales of Vesperia.

I found the stories and characters B-tier at best, making the endless dialog a real chore. I never found the gameplay very good either.

And I'm usually a huge JRPG fan.
B-tier and you found it boring? Hmmm. Play Symphonia
 

Celcius

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Really looking forward to this and seeing the new direction they're going in.
Another thing I'm looking forward to that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere yet is the post-game cameo battle and seeing the old Tales of characters rendered in this new engine.
 

DragoonKain

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Excited for the first time since Vesperia. This is exactly what the series needed.