Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A history of "Tales Of" mothership titles

The first mothership title of Namco's Tales of series, Tales of Phantasia, was launched in Japan for the Super Famicom on the 15th of December, 1995. 2015 marks the 20th year of Bandai Namco's iconic Tales of series. What might not be a better way than rediscovering the list of Tales of's mothership titles. Take note, THE mothership titles because they have strong importance in the history of the Tales franchise.

Tales of 20 years celebration
(Courtesy: BNEI)

Tales of Phantasia - This is probably the forefather of Namco's Tales franchise and the one of the most iconic JRPGs of all time. Phantasia centers on the story of a young man named Cress, who lives in the village of Toltus, and while he was hunting with his pal Chester, strange things are happening through time and space and it's up to Cress to find out. One of the most hallmarks in this game that sets the template in future Tales titles is the Linear Motion Battle, which is somewhat less complicating and very clever. In the SFC version, Flexible Voice Driver's implied to deliver high-quality voiceovers, which is very unheard of in a Super Famicom but it works.

Tales of Destiny - After the success of Tales of Phantasia, the producers of the franchise decided to make another Tales game, only this time on the original Sony PlayStation. Called Tales of Destiny, it ventures on the story of Stahn Aileron, who encounters a mysterious sword that triggers series of cataclysmic events and he sets off on a journey along with his allies in the quest to uncover the secrets of an ancient civilization. This game was launched in Japan on the PSX on the 23rd of December, 1997, with a remastered PS2 version followed on the 30th of November, 2006.

Tales of Eternia - The dawn of the 21st century deserves the dawn of the next Tales and launched on the PSX on November 30, 2000 (with a PSP version followed five years later), Tales of Eternia ventures on the story of Reid, Farah, and other valiant heroes as they venture out from the village of Rasheans to uncharted territories in order to avert a prophesized cataclysm. Following the game, there was an anime version of the said game aired on the 8th of January, 2001.

Tales of Destiny 2 - Sequel to the 1997 PSX game, it's the first Tales game made for the Playstation 2. Launched in the 28th November 2002 (with a PSP version followed on the 15th of February, 2007) the sequel takes 18 years after the events of the original Tales of Destiny. It now revolves on a story of a young boy named Kyle Dunamis as he set off to a journey to make new friends, solve mysteries, and in due course, prevent world chaos. This game comes with an improved Linear Motion Battle System with added Trust and Tactical features.

Tales of Symphonia - Probably known to be one of the most iconic of all the Tales games, Tales of Symphonia features an innovative battle system with numerous special attacks, spells, and combos, it also comes with a customizable growth system which allows you to change your fighting style and alter the storyline according to the character's relationships. Aside from the battles, there's also a wide variety of minigames and side quests for added gameplay value. As Lloyd Irving, Colette Brunel, and Genis Sage, they must venture out to reveal the prophecy of the Chosen One that will spell salvation in a dying village on Sylvarant, team up with iconic allies, and avert the cataclysm plotted by evil forces. We love the characters in this installment, especially Refill (Raine) Sage, Sheena Fujibayashi, Presea Combatir (one who's doing the iconic Klonoa catchphrase), Regal Bryant, and more importantly, Zelos Wilder. The Gamecube version was launched on the 29th of August, 2003 while a PS2 version was launched a year later. It was included in the Unisonant Pack for the PS3 in 2013, in honor of Symphonia's 10th anniversary. Aside from that, there's even an anime series titled "Tales of Symphonia: The Animation" as well.

Tales of Rebirth - One of the most dramatic installment of the Tales series, Set in the world where humans and beasts live in harmony, Rebirth centers on the story of Veigue Lungberg as he is one of the characters possessed by the Force from the fallen King and work together with a handful of allies as the story progresses in order to prevent further threats to the kingdom of Karegia by a primordial destructive force. The PS2 version was launched in the 16th of December, 2004, while the PSP version was launched on the 19th of March, 2005.

Tales of Legendia - Continuing on the Tales action on the PS2, Tales of Legendia centers on the role of Senel Coolidge as he explores the mystery of the giant mysterious ship he encountered alongside his sister. This game features a more dynamic approach to the LMBS, called X-LMBS, which allows the player to fight enemies like a fighting game. This game was launched on the 25th of August, 2005.

Tales of the Abyss - Tales of the Abyss is known to be one of the most enjoyable Tales game on the PS2. The story revolves on a young aristocrat named Luke fon Fabre. After being kidnapped seven years ago, he returns to his family with no memories of him. However, he was thrown into the outside world to become one of the Oracle Knights, served to protect the prophecy known as the Score. Choices play a crucial part in this game. Do the story right, you'll get a good ending. But get it wrong, you might end up on a horrid bad ending. The game was launched on the 15th of December, 2005, about the same date when the Tales series celebrated its 10th year. Talk about a birthday gift, per se?

Tales of Innocence - This is the first Tales game launched on the Nintendo DS, Innocence centers on a young boy named Luca Mildan, the reincarnation of the Sensus general Asura, his quest is to awaken his hidden supernatural powers to protect his friends and put a stop to Regnum's military insurgence. This game was launched for the DS on the 6th of December, 2007, following with the updated version called Tales of Innocence R for the PS Vita on the 26th of January, 2012.

Tales of Symphonia: Ratatosk no Kishi - Sequel to the original Symphonia game, Ratatosk no Kishi (Dawn of the New World) centers on two main characters Emil Castagnier and Marta Lualdi as they're seeking redemption from their darkest pasts after a cataclysmic regeneration of the world while uncovering the secrets of the Summon Spirit Ratatosk. One of our favorite part in this sequel is the Monster Pacts where enemy monsters you've encounter or fought may have a chance to join you. This cool feature really turn the battle to your favor if you get it right and have adequate strengths your monsters had. This game was launched on the Wii on the 26th of June, 2008, and it was included in the Tales of Symphonia Unisonant Pack for the PS3 on 2013.

Tales of Hearts - Of course with Tales of Innocence on the DS is a proven hit, there's another Tales DS game offered a year later, known as Tales of Hearts. As a young boy named Shing Meteorite (Kor Meteor), his encounter with Kohaku and Hisui spiralled his life and upon saving her at the cost of her Spiria, he must venture on the quest to restore Kohaku's Spiria and in due course, avert the cataclysm The DS version offers two different versions; a CG movie version and an Anime movie version. Both were launched on the DS in the 18th of December, 2008. Just like Innocence, there's a PS Vita remastered version, called Tales of Hearts R, launched on the 7th of March, 2013.

Tales of Vesperia - Love it or hate it, this is the first Tales title made for the XBOX 360 and it pushed the Tales franchise even further with greater storyline, greater graphics, an updated LMBS, and memorable cast of characters. The story centers on a former knight named Yuri Lowell as he delves on a mysterious plot to gain control of the magical devices that will spell salvation or doom to the world reliant on the ancient technology known as the blastia. The XBOX 360 version launched on the 7th of August, 2008 with a PS3 version followed on the 17th of September, 2009. To keep the mania going in, there was a feature length film titled Tales of Vesperia ~The First Strike~, shown in theaters the same year the PS3 version was launched.

Tales of Graces - Set on the planet of Efinea, Tales of Graces centers on a young man named Asbel Lhant as he was drawn in a conflict between rival factions vying for world domination. With the help of his childhood friends and a mysterious girl named Sophie, they must work together to put an end to the meaningless conflict and bring back peace to their home planet. This game was launched on the Wii on the 10th of December, 2009, with a reloaded version for the PS3, titled Tales of Graces f, launched on the 2nd of December, 2010, packed with added extras.

Tales of Xillia - Two sides, one story. Tales of Xillia allows players choose between the story of Jude Mathis, a medical student, and Milla Maxwell, a mysterious woman accompanied by the Four Great Spirits. Whichever character you choose, your quest on a world where humans and spirits live in harmony begins and as you meet new friends, fought tough enemies, and solving puzzles, you are closer to uncover the secrets of an ancient civilization. This game was launched on the PS3 on the 8th of September, 2011.

Tales of Xillia 2 - Set after the events of the original Xillia, this sequel centers on a young cook named Ludger Kresnik who wants to follow his brother's footsteps and work as an agent of Spirius Corporation. However, his encounter with a young girl named Elle Marta, who tries to reunite her father at the Land of Canaan, changes everything. This game was launched on the PS3 on the 1st of November, 2012.

Tales of Zestiria - This is the latest installment of the Tales franchise and the biggest birthday present in celebration of the Tales franchise' 20th year. It was launched on the PS3 console on the 22nd of January, 2015. Amazingly, Tales of Zestiria is a hybrid game because not only it has the main game on it but also comes with the complete TV mini-series of the same title, serving as the taste of what lies ahead of the main character Sorey and his allies on their epic journey to save the world from an imminent threat, so you can experience the dramatic storyline that you can expect once you start the game and go on an epic journey as Sorey and his friends.

The battle system has been evolved from the past Tales of games and now, TOZ features a brand new "Fusonic Chain - Linear Motion Battle System (LMBS)" which gives the series' real-time battle system a whole new overhaul and features a gauge that allows characters free battle to their heart's content and effects such as healing and blowing away enemies are usable. Also, this battle system comes with the brand new "Kamui" feature and don't tell them what that is because this feature lets Sorey join forces with Heavenly Beings such as Lailah, changing his form and unleash a barrage of powers to blow away the opposition. Now this is a strategic work players need to master if they want to survive the battlefield.

Aside from new ways to battle, there are other ways to do on foot as well. You can engage in a chat sequence (which is kinda like the skit part from past titles), clear obstacles, accessorize your characters with new outfits and accessories, engage in optional subevents, test your battle skills on the colosseum, and so much more. There are so much to do while you're taking a break on the main quest or if you need a little boost on what lies ahead.

Tales of Berseria - Coming soon this 2016 on the PS3 and PS4 consoles, the upcoming chapter of the Tales franchise sees a break of tradition because for the first time in Tales history, it now centers on a female protagonist in the form of Velvet.

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