For the 10th anniversary of the Tales franchise in North America, Namco Bandai Games has announced that Tales of Vesperia for Xbox 360 and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World for Wii will be released in 2008. Along with the release of these two titles, Todd Thorson, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Namco Bandai Games America Inc. stated that Namco will be "supporting special anniversary-themed programs throughout the year to thank all the fans of the series for their dedication and enthusiasm."
Tales of Vesperia is a completely original entry into the Tales of series and will feature anime-style graphics as well as an upgraded battle system. People in the world rely on blastia, an ancient technology of mysterious power. Vesperia's story follows former knight Yuri as he learns the use of the magical blastia that have power of civilization. The game will also feature a new graphics engine along with character designs by Kosuke Fujishima. Combat offers a few new addtions, such as special attacks tied to individual weapons and new finishing moves that allow players to defeat enemies with a single attack. Players will also receive rare crafting items for executing finishing moves correctly.
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is a follow-up to the GameCube's Tales of Symphonia. Dawn picks up two years after the events of the original and follows two new characters, Emil Castagnier and Marta Lualdi. As these two venture out into the mysteriously ruined world, they will meet up with some of the cast from Tales of Symphonia, such as Lloyd and Colette. They also encounter Ratatosk, an entity claiming to be the lord of all monsters.
Dawn of the New World not only picks up where Tales of Symphonia left off, it also features a monster recruitment system that allows players to capture over 200 unique monsters to train and use in battle. Monsters can also be evolved into newer, stonger creatures through feeding and training. Dawn's real-time battle system allows for free range movement in all directions around the battlefield. Unison attacks and an elemental alignment system have been added as well. With a roster of characters from Tales of Symphonia and monsters caught in battle, tons of party combinations are possible.
No specific dates have been set for the release of these two titles, but the fact that both are coming to North America is news enough considering the number of Tales of games that have gone unreleased to date. RPGamer will bring you updates as soon as we have more information.