Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology Hands-On

We fight some monsters and catch up with some old friends in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology.

Namco Bandai's "Tales" series of role-playing games have been popular for a number of years. They have been so popular that the series spawned a spin-off "Tales of the World" series, which, at least in Japan, has been successful in its own right. Now the series is poised to make its first appearance in North America with Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology for the PlayStation Portable. We spent some time with the handheld RPG at Namco Bandai's recent press event in San Francisco.

Radiant Mythology is the first Tales of the World game to make it to the US.

As soon as you start a new game in Radiant Mythology, you'll be asked to create a character and choose your gender. You'll also pick from numerous different faces, hairstyles, hair colors, skin tones, and voices. Then, you'll be asked to select a job for your character. There are four job classes to begin with (warrior, thief, priest, or mage), and a total of 10 jobs will be available to you later in the game. If you find that you don't like the job you picked, or you simply need to fill a void, you can change your class later in the game. Your previous job status won't transfer over to the new class, so you'll have to start from level one. However, you can always go back to the class you started in and your skill level will have remained where you left it.

Because we had limited time with the game and because it's a 30-hour RPG, we weren't able to find out much about the story, although we did learn a little bit. The World Tree is under attack by a monster called a devourer, and it summons a descender to save it. You just happen to be said descender. When you're summoned, you don't know anything about the world, but Mormo, the requisite cute flying creature helps you get acclimated as you begin your journey to save the world. But it won't just be you and Mormo on your quest because 19 characters from past Tales games make an appearance here. If you haven't played previous Tales games, don't worry; each character has a self-contained story, so you won't be lost. Reid, Rutee, and Archie are in the game, as well as Tear from Tales of the Abyss. Even characters from Japan-only versions have made the leap, so you'll be able to hear what Eugene sounds like with an English voice.

The main quest should take about 30 hours to clear, but there are plenty of side quests to tackle. We were told that taking on all of these extra quests would take "over a hundred hours." A basic quest starts with you heading into a town and meeting with your guild. Here, you're able to choose from multiple quests, such as going out and killing monsters, recovering lost items, or locating people. Once you've finished your assigned task, you return to the guild to receive your reward. You'll also earn fame for completing quests; the more fame you earn, the more quests you'll have available to you. You'll also be able to use items in your possession to create hundreds of new items. These items not only affect your character's attributes, but also his or her appearance, which is cool.

It might be on a handheld, but Radiant Mythology has as much content as many console RPGs.

We didn't tackle any quests, but we did spend some time running around Radiant Mythology's vast and colorful world. The action takes place from a third-person perspective, and you're able to see enemies as you move about, so you can avoid them if you're not feeling up for combat. Of course, that's not our style. When exploring a volcanic area with lots of red-hot lava, we quickly ran up to a foe and were sucked into battle. Combat takes place in real time, and you control the main character while the CPU controls the rest of your party members. While we racked up our combo meter by pounding on the large rock monster, Archie flew around on her broom and made life miserable for our foe, who quickly vanished. A later encounter with what appeared to be a cross between a bird and a dragon was similarly intense, and this time, we fiddled around with some of the settings for our CPU allies to see how much flexibility the battle system offered. We were able to set parameters for the artificial intelligence so that it would only attack certain enemies based on distance or type (there were other options too), and we were able to tell it to charge or hold its ground as well. This customization will almost certainly play a large role later in the game, but in our brief time with the game, our CPU party members more than held their own without our meddling.

Twenty minutes was nowhere near enough time to dig our teeth into a game like Radiant Mythology, but it was enough to give us a good idea of what to expect from the game when it's released this July. We'll hopefully have more information on the game as its release date approaches.

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23 comments
dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Finally a RPG where you can create your character. 8)

GoldMine516
GoldMine516

i wonder if there is a multiplayer in this games

Symphonia_Zelos
Symphonia_Zelos

does anyone know if you can play as other characters other than your custom one? cuz luke, lloyd, and tear are my favs :)

dragonwarlock77
dragonwarlock77

damn it, i should really get a psp... saw most of the ppl from ToS in it and now im really looking forward to this one

gamesurfer352
gamesurfer352

aw i want it now, but at least its three days before my birthday yay

ShirkDawg
ShirkDawg

If you liked Symphony you should try Abyss for PS2.

kobra_kaiden
kobra_kaiden

Ive only really played tales of symphonia, which is one of the best RPG ive ever played, so im looking up to playing this one!!

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

Looks good but I'll wait for the reviews first

xHINDERx
xHINDERx

I've only ever played Symphonia but that alone is one of the best games ever so i cant wait to play this one!:D

Canuck3000
Canuck3000

I just might get a PSP for this game.

xtiansk8
xtiansk8

Dude, that's just the same as Tales of Symphonia. But i mean, it has the same creator (NAMCO) so i was expecting it. It's still gonna be very cool game

sonictank
sonictank

i agree with yall this looks good im very excited to see all the tales charaters come together, should be intresting.

Shadow-Elite
Shadow-Elite

Blace_07: I doubt that. ToW will probably be better by far

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

I'm looking forward to this, and Brave Story.

AnFangs_Endes
AnFangs_Endes

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Axel-D
Axel-D

Rakuho: They're permanent, though a few of them aren't playable. Overall, it's tons of fun to level up though.

Blace_07
Blace_07

Shadow-Elite: It will only be the best RPG for the PSP until Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions comes out.

Rakuho
Rakuho

19 characters? are they going to permanent or leave later? in any case that's a lot of leveling up...

zeus_gb
zeus_gb

Hopefully this game is gonna be good.

Shadow-Elite
Shadow-Elite

I do believe this will be the best RPG for PSP