Namco Bandai has birthed quite a few Tales games since the series' first, Tales of Phantasia, was published more than ten years ago. Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology for the PSP is the latest in the series, and Namco Bandai has confirmed that we will be seeing this title in North America this summer.
The Devourer has come from another planet to destroy the land of Terresia. Terresia's creator and protector, the World Tree, is wasting away from the Devourer's attacks. Using what is left of its strength, the World Tree summons its only hope for survival to wage war against the creature threatening life itself.
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology is a new installment from the successful Tales series. Though it is a standalone title, with its own story and world to explore, Tales of the World does welcome back characters from previous Tales games. Expect characters like Chester, Leon, Reid, Senel, Rain, and more to make appearances. Something to note that is completely new to the series is that players will be starting the game by creating their own character, and not using a pre-made Tales character as the main hero. For fans of less linear gameplay, Tales of the World is considered to have the highest amount of freedom in the series. Players will have the opportunity to re-explore dungeons to search out more powerful and rare items as the game progresses.
The battle system used in this game is the same Flex Range LM Battle System used from Tales of the Abyss, and the Unison Attacks used come from Tales of Symphonia. Unlike the usual turn-based system you often see, Tales of the World uses an active battle system. Players are able to roam the battle field and plan the strategies and positions of their characters and teammates to maximize the outcome of each battle. Multiplayer battle is not available in this title, but according to an interview with IGN, Namco Bandai hopes this may change next time around. "We have considered including this feature in our next installment if the chance for a sequel exist."
Some changes to the current Japanese version have been made for its North American release. Infrastructure support will not be available in the NA version. However, gameplay has been further tuned for the game's overseas trip. Players will earn Grade Points in battle which will allow them to purchase special items and equipment, and the variety of item drops from monsters has increased. The level of difficulty of each monster has been tweaked to match the rate of items dropped as well.
Tales of the World was in development for over two years before being introduced to Japanese consumers. When asked by IGN if other PSP Tales titles may see the light of day in North America in the future, Namco Bandai gave a hopeful response. "Although I do not have details as to whether other PSP Tales titles will be reaching the shores of the US at this point, I can say that such possibilities do indeed exist."
"I believe the core component to making the Tales series a great one is the unique and unforgettable characters," Namco Bandai said when asked what makes the Tales games so different. "Even more so, it is the overall balance of an epic storyline combined with the fact that it is an RPG with an exciting active battle system all at once. It is the combination and the unique balance of these elements that make this series stand out from other RPGs."