Tales of Legendia E3 2005 Preshow Report

RPGs and fighting games collide in Namco's latest 'Tales' entry.

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Start out with a few dashes of Soul Calibur developers and add a sprinkle of Kill Bill Vol. 1 animators. Sounds like the recipe for a new hack-and-slash beat-'em-up, right? Not exactly. Instead, these are just two examples of the kinds of talent that are going into the development of the upcoming PlayStation 2 role-playing game Tales of Legendia. The game, the latest in Namco's long-running Tales franchise, will feature development talent culled from Namco's Soul Calibur line and character designs from artist Kazuto Nazakawa, who is best known in America for his animated sequences in Quentin Tarantino's grindhouse revenge opus.[QUERY: does that make sense to you?]

Namco's latest Tales RPG will boast some impressive talent.

The story in Tales of Legendia will revolve around Senel Coolidge, a young master of skills known as "eres," and his sister Shirley. Caught in the middle of an ocean on a small boat, they happen upon an island, just as their food is about to run out. Before long they realize the island is not an island at all, but rather a gigantic ship known as Legacy. Where did the massive ship come from and what secrets are hidden away on its decks, awaiting discovery? These are the mysteries you will explore in Tales of Legendia.

The game's 3D graphics feature traditional-looking anime-inspired characters, complete with the requisite spiky-haired protagonists. From the screenshots we've seen, the rich gameworld will feature ornately designed buildings and brightly colored environments to explore. Of course, the bread and butter of most RPGs are the combat system, and Tales of Legendia's so-called custom linear motion battle system should feel more akin to a fighting game than a traditional RPG battle system. Of course, it helps that the battles will be in real time, a decisive change from the "wait your turn"-style combat of most RPGs.

Hearkening back to classics such as Grandia in both the looks and combat departments, Tales of Legendia looks to bring a few new twists to a traditional genre. We'll have more on the game as details become available.

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