Although the word leaked last week on April Fool's Day, today Namco Bandai dropped lots of official news in Japan regarding the Tales of series. There's a new Wii Tales of game on the way, a new PSP title, a PlayStation 3 port of Tales of Vesperia and even a new Tales of anime movie. All of this, of course, is only official in Japan, so don't get too excited just yet. Still, here are the details, revealed at a Japanese press conference:
Tales of Graces for the Wii will be released in Japan this winter. According to Namco, it's a "flagship" Tales of game. The theme is "protection", and Graces will feature a different battle system and system screens from previous titles. The battle system is called "Style Shift Linear Motion Battle" system. Highlights: You can switch characters' battle stances in combat and you can pivot around your opponent, like you might in a fighting game. The game will be playable with motion controls and with Classic Controller Pro.
Mutsumi Inomata, known for her water-color depictions of big-eyed nymphs, as well as her character design on the Tales of games, will be back on for Tales of Graces.
The PS3 version of Tales of Vesperia promises a number of updates from the 360 version. Reportedly, the PS3 version features twice as much voice acting as its Xbox 360 counterpart. It also includes new scenarios and events.
As for the PSP Tales of game, Namco Bandai dropped word that Tales of VS, an action/fighting title for Sony's handheld, will feature 35 characters from the 13 Tales of games duking it out. The game will be out in Japan this summer, and is reportedly features 2D plane style fighting. The game also features a fully voiced story mode.
The final piece of Tales news is that the anime Tales of Vesperia The First Strike, will hit Japanese theaters later this year. Hopefully, all of these properties will make their way West, and the growing legions of people who dig Japanese RPG will be totally sated. No word yet on when, but, as always, as soon as I hear anything, I'll let you know.