Nothing screams and sets fantasy ablaze like dragons, and Tales of Zestiria plans to use this fantasy classic.
Namco Bandai recently announced the next game in the nearly 20-year-old Tales of franchise. Tales of Zestiria will be all about dragons as the series looks to more traditional fantasy elements.
Tales of Zestiria's story will involve dragons in some way, possibly featuring as an important and central plot element. Producer Hideo Baba said during the reveal that dragons symbolize fantasy, so the team wants to focus on the mythical creature for the upcoming Tales game. A dragon is depicted in the game's logo. This will be the first game in the series to strongly focus on dragons.
The next Tales of game will have some new kind of battle system, most similar to Tales of Graces, released on PS3 in the West, in which players could rotate around opponents and balanced attacks around a character's attack gauge that increased or decreased depending on the actions taken (as opposed to the use of "technical points" used in other games in the series). Baba said he will announce more details concerning the battle system later, but he noted the team took fans' feedback to heart when designing the battles.
Four character designers are collaborating for Zestiria: Mutsumi Inomata (Tales of Graces), Kosuke Fujishima (Tales of Symphonia), Daigo Okumura (Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World), and Jin Iwamoto (Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology). So far two characters have been revealed.
Dragons certainly are a piece of the fantasy genre everyone recognizes. From The Hobbit to Dragon Age to Skyrim, dragons symbolize power and wisdom. Even so, no two dragons are portrayed the same. Exploration is common in these sort of stories, and Baba said the team will be focusing more on exploration in this game than in previous Tales games.
Tales of Zestiria is currently in development for the PS3. With a few other great RPGs set to release for PS3, there are still reasons to hold onto the console of the previous generation.
Update: Namco Bandai announced it will localize the game for both North America and Europe.