In news that I knew about but was far too hung over from a company Christmas party to write about when it went live, Namco Bandai unveiled the next Tales of game on December 12. Tales of Zestiria will receive a worldwide PS3 launch and Namco Bandai envisions the game as a return to the series’ roots in fantasy.
Fantasy has always played a major role in the Tales franchise, as it has not strayed terribly far from a medieval setting throughout its run. Zestiria seems to take its setting to heart as the Namco Tales Studio is bringing dragons back to the forefront.
While the franchise has been known to release spinoffs, sequels and mash-ups to satiate its fanbase, Zestiria is primed to be the centerpiece of the Tales of 20th anniversary set to occur in 2015. Namco Bandai is bringing in all of the Tales of fan-favorites, including animation studio Ufotable and the series’ legendary foursome of character designers: famed manga artists Kosuke Fujishima (Ah! My Goddess) and Mutsumi Inomata (Windaria), and in-house designers Minoru Iwamoto (Legendia, Symphonia 2, Vesperia) and Daigo Okamura (Symphonia, Vesperia, Xillia).
I’m pretty psyched about Zestiria, especially after the success that Graces F and Xillia had recently. Namco Bandai is already using the HD collection of Tales of Symphonia as a kickstart for the 20th anniversary, so if Zestiria can keep up with its recent predecessors, it should be good.