Last week, Namco Bandai Games announced its lineup for the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo. Of the titles being featured, a good number of them are role-playing, with a few of those being from some of the company's more well-known franchises.
.hack//G.U. Vol.1: Rebirth (PlayStation 2, Fall 2006)
The latest entry into the .hack series, this installment takes place a few years after the events of the first game series. The game follows the story of a new character named Haseo as he attempts to take revenge on a mysterious Player Killer known as Tri-Edge. Much like the last series, players will interact with both the virtual and the real worlds through email, chats, and new video news clips to help them unravel the secrets of the popular MMORPG now known as 'The World: R2'.
Hellgate: London (PC, TBA)
In Hellgate: London the player creates their own character to complete quests and battles through hordes of demons to advance through experience levels and branching skill paths. A flexible skill and spell system, customizable appearances and a variety of randomly generated equipment allows players to create their own unique experience.
Mage Knight Apocalypse (PC, Summer 2006)
In Mage Knight Apocalypse a select group of heroes must defeat the Apocalypse Dragon, a seemingly unstoppable five-headed monstrosity that has been summoned by the forces of Chaos. Five character classes can be selected and customized with weapons, armor and abilities. Players will also be able to engage in multiplayer missions and play through multiple alternate scenarios.
Tales of the Abyss (PlayStation 2, Fall 2006)
Tales of the Abyss puts players in the role of Luke fon Fabre, sole heir to a family of aristocrats who was kidnapped several years ago, the shock leaving him with no memories of his life before. Suddenly thrown into the outside world, Luke will have to learn who will be his friends, and who already are his enemies. Tales of the Abyss will feature the Flexible Motion Battle System where the player controls characters in a free-roaming battlefield.
The Legend of Heroes 2: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch (PSP, June 2006)
The Legend of Heroes series makes another appearance on the PSP. In this game, players embark on a pilgrimage to find 5 shrines in Tirasweel, and discover a mystery left behind by a mysterious witch. Enemies appear on the world map instead of random battles. They can gauge the player's strength and will run if they sense the player is stronger than they are.
Xenosaga: Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra (PlayStation 2, Fall 2006)
A year after the events of Episode II, Shion has resigned her post at Vector Industries after realizing that the company is deeply connected to the cause of the Gnosis phenomenon. She has since joined forces with Scientia, an underground organization, in order to unveil Vector's true objectives. Players will experience an updated battle system combining aspects of the first two games, while introducing the new Break system.
With the show only days away, it's unlikely any other news concerning these titles will be heard before then. We'll be sure to learn more about these games, as well as potential others, as the week progresses.