Capcom has announced a card-battle RPG called Tale of Bells for PlayStation, to be released June 1st in Japan. The player will adventure in a Japanese-style fantasy landscape, collecting cards and meeting famous characters from fables. The final objective of the game is to collect the seven bells scattered across the land.
The main character of Tale of Bells is Suzumaru, the son of god. He drops the seven bells into the human world after playing with them, and is forced to go on a quest to bring them back. Suzumaru can talk to animals, and can also tell what people are thinking just by looking at them. This will be shown by icons on top of people's heads, which will describe simple ideas. This will help Suzumaru in deciding who to talk to for help or initiating card battles.
Card battles are simple to learn, but take time to master. Cards are divided into three "battle cards" (which will show stats) and one "assistance card". At the beginning of a battle, four cards will be given out. The player will first use an assistance card, followed by battle cards. By repeating this process, the character with life left wins. To further complicate the process, battle cards will be divided into fire, water and wood elements. The basic rule is that water beats fire, and fire beats wood.
To collect cards, Suzumaru will have to go through mini-quests. For example, by digging a hole in the ground, he will find a bone. Give the bone to a dog, and it will dig a spot, where Suzumaru will find a card to use in battle. Apart from cards, many useful items can be found through this quest method.
Tale of Bells with its addictive collection aspect should please fans of Pokémon, but due to its culture-specific nature (i.e. it's too Japanese), a US version at present is unlikely. However, as more news trickles out, RPGamer will be there to report more on it.