The latest entry to the Tales of series released in Japan on September 8th 2011, bringing the series to an impressive thirteen titles. This latest entry, Tales of Xillia, will release in the US and European markets in early 2013. Tales of Xillia was the last game published by Namco Tales Studio before they dissolved into Namco Bandai Games in November 2011.
This iteration uses the Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System (DR-LMBS) allowing players to freely chain attacks and Artes (special abilities) to create chains of greater damage. Returning from previous titles such as Tales of Vesperia and Tales of the Abyss the use of Mystic Artes returns in the feature Overlimit. The anime style of Tales of Vesperia and the watercolor art direction of Tales of Graces do not return, they are instead replaced with a brand new viewpoint.
Tales of Xillia is the first of the flagship Tales of titles to utilize a behind-the-back viewpoint rather than the standard over-head view. This new view creates a greater sense of immersion and scale that the previous titles, giving a more lifelike experience. This new direction helped launch Tales of Xillia to officially hold the title of most pre-ordered Tales game ever with over 200,000 pre-orders, and eventually sold more than 740,000 copies in Japan.
At the 2012 New York Comic Con we sat down with Hideo Baba, designer of Tales of Xillia, to discuss some of their mechanics and how a heavily regarded Japanese RPG (JPRG) might be seen by a western audience. With such success in the Japanese market the developers at Namco Bandai are hopeful to increase western awareness.