Tales of Hearts

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Tales of Hearts
Tales of Hearts Anime Movie Edition Cover
Anime Movie Edition Cover
Developer(s) Namco Tales Studio (DS)
7th Chord (PSV)
Publisher(s) Namco Bandai
Director(s) Kazuhisa Oomi
Producer(s) Hideo Baba
Artist(s) Mutsumi Inomata
Composer(s) Motoi Sakuraba
Hiroshi Tamura
Shinji Tamura
Series Tales
Platform(s) Nintendo DS, PlayStation Vita, iOS
Release date(s) Nintendo DS
  • JP December 18, 2008
PlayStation Vita
  • JP March 7, 2013
iOS
Genre(s) Role-playing video game
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution 2 gigabit cartridge

Tales of Hearts (テイルズオブハーツ Teiruzu Obu Hātsu?) is the eleventh main series title in the Tales series for the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Vita. The initial DS version, released on December 18, 2008 in Japan, was made available in two versions, one with anime-style video scenes, and the other having Pixar-like 3D video scenes. While the video's featured different art styles, the two versions maintained the same story and gameplay. On March 7, 2013, a third version, a remake titled Tales of Hearts R, was released on the PlayStation Vita. In early 2014, it was announced that the Vita version would have an English language release in North America and Europe between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015. [1]

Gameplay[edit]

Tales of Hearts follows a similar gameplay structure to other titles in the series. The player visits various towns in which they can talk to various non-playable characters, buy items, and progress the story. The player also goes to dungeons, which contain various enemies, treasures, and puzzles, in which the Sorcerer's Ring, a recurring item in the series, may play a part in solving. After battles, the player acquires gald to buy various things, and experience points, which goes toward leveling up the party. When traveling between towns and dungeons, the player travels through the field map, which contains no enemies. While on the field map the player may go through "field dungeons", which do contain enemies. In both dungeons and field dungeons, enemies are visible, and can be engaged in battle when touched.

Recovery Stones replaces the common cooking system of the series. The recovery stone can be set to be used at various times during battle to recover HP, or for other effects. When the stone is used it consumes "Heal Energy", which can be recharged at a recovery stone shop, or in dungeons. At the shops the player can also pay to increase the number of effects that can be set to the stone, increase the amount of heal energy, or buy more effects that the recovery stone can use.

By going to accessory shops, the player can make different accessories through materials found throughout the game, all with different effects or benefits. Accessories can also be turned back into the materials used to create it for other uses.

Customization in the game is handled through the "Soma Build" system, through which the player upgrades the Soma (weapons) of the party and control their growth. The player can use raw materials found throughout the game to learn various abilities, or "Soma Skills" (of which there are four types: Parameter, Battle, Action, and Support), or to add various stat bonuses to a character.

When Soma Build is performed on a weapon enough times, the weapon can go through a process called "Soma Evolve", in which the Soma will take on a new form and name, and unlock new Soma Skills and stat bonuses.

Throughout the game there are various events in which the player can choose different options towards another character, called a "Soma Link". Through certain choices it will cause the outcomes of scenes to change, and the character may gain points towards their "Soma Link Value". Once it becomes high enough, the character can learn various skills.

By using Soma, the party can go into one's heart, called a "Spir Link". The person's mind is like a labyrinth, called a "Spir Maze", a place with various rare items and other things to find. There are chances to go into these during both the main scenario and with NPCs throughout the game.[4]

Battle system[edit]

Tales of Hearts uses the "Combination Aerial Linear Motion Battle System" and is played in completely real-time, with the player controlling one person and the others being controlled by the game's A.I. Despite the three person limitation, the player is still able to temporarily sub in non-active characters temporarily into battle as well. Instead of TP seen in other entries of the series, all party members have an "Emotional Gauge", or "EG". It is based on the CC system of Tales of Destiny, in that the player is free to create any chain of attacks, skills, or spells until the meter is depleted, and the meter automatically refills upon finishing the chain of moves.

Every party member also has a "Combination Gauge", or CG. Through any kind of actions, like skills, jumps, backsteps or even basic attacks, the gauge is increased. This gauge is consumed when the player calls a non-battle party member to battle to perform one of that character's attacks, or commands a battle party to do a move, this is called a "Connect Command". The player is also able to use unison attacks, by using a certain skill with the currently-controlled character and having another party member use another certain attack. The player also has the option of calling in characters from previous games in the series to use an attack.

Plot[edit]

Story[edit]

Zerom, monsters that eat individuals 'Spiria' (or 'hearts'), have spread around the world. Therefore weapons called 'Somas', were created in order to banish all Zerom. People who possess Somas manage to enter someone's Spir-Maze or Heart Maze. Amber Hearts, who happens to be the vessel for Richea Spodune, was in search of a Soma together with her brother, Jadeite Hearts. Along the way an enemy, Incarose assaults them, but they manage to escape to the sea. They are brought into a little village of Seeble, where they meet the protagonist, Kor Meteor. There Kor took care of both of them and introduced them to the Soma they are looking for.

During that time, Incarose makes an appearance once more; this time she manages to attack Amber and Kor's grandfather, Zeks. Since Kor has a Soma he intends to go within Amber's Spir Maze in order to cure her. But, the plan does not go well and Amber's Spiria ends up shattered into pieces and placed everywhere around the world. From there Kor's adventure of recovering Amber's Spiria shards begins. During that time Kor befriends several others and together has to overcome many obstacles and antagonists who are also looking for Spiria. During his travels, Kor discovers more and more about the world, Richea, Spiria, Zerom, etc.

Eventually, it is revealed that Creed Graphite, the ruler of Quartzia, was hidden away within Kor and is eventually drawn out by Incarose. The ancient defense system, Gardenia, is revived, though Creed is shocked at its nature. With the aid of Calcedony and his Spiria, Kor and the party are able to infiltrate Gardenia and defeat Creed, but through sacrifice. As a result, Gardenia is destroyed, and Creed and Flora are killed in the process.

Characters[edit]

Kor Meteor (シング・メテオライト Shingu Meteoraito?, Shing Meteoryte)
Japanese voice: Tetsuya Kakihara
A boy with a strong curiosity for the world, Kor lives with his grandfather Zeks in the town of Seeble. Because of his curiosity and personal inexperience, he lacks delicacy in his speech and conduct. He notices his mistakes, and is able to properly reflect upon them. He was given the Soma "Asteria" by his grandfather, passed down by their ancestors. After an attack by the sorceress Incarose, pieces of Kohaku's Spiria scatter across the world, removing her emotions, and his grandfather is killed, causing Kor to join Hisui and Kohaku in an effort to save her. His first name in Japanese is based on the Japanese words "shin" ( shin?) and "gu" ( gu?), which was intended to mean that he "is armed with a heart."[5] His first name in the localized version of Tales of Hearts R is based on the Latin root "cor" meaning "heart."

Kohaku Hearts (コハク・ハーツ Kohaku Hātsu?, Kohak Hearts)
Japanese Voice: Marina Inoue
A girl setting off from her home town for a certain reason, she comes to Seeble in need of Soma. Kor found her collapsed on the beach. She is the owner of the Soma Elrond, Kor's memento of his deceased mother. She is the daughter of Iola. As the story progresses, she eventually develops feelings for Kor.

Hisui Hearts (ヒスイ・ハーツ Hisui Hātsu?, Hisui Hearts)
Japanese voice: Masaya Matsukaze
Kohaku's older brother. Because he lost a relative when he was young, he has a strong sense to excessively try to protect his younger sister. He has a rough outward appearance and attempt to act suave and collected, but inside he has a stubborn heart and is rather hot-headed. He possesses the Soma "Gale Arc".

Ines Lorenz (イネス・ローレンツ Inesu Rōrentsu?)
Japanese voice: Shizuka Itō
A woman outside the norm with superhuman strength and a glamorous body. She is the manager of the transport shop "Every Day is a Peaceful Day" and is the sole employee of it as well. She gently smiles, though with no breaks in her speech and conduct. She possesses the Soma named "Folseus".

Beryl Benito (ベリル・ベニト Beriru Benito?)
Japanese voice: Saeko Chiba
A complex girl with a childish face and a short height, that basically ran away from her hometown in order to become the court painter. She has no aims and is indecisive, making her an uncooperative child. She possesses the Soma named "Thiers".

Kunzite (クンツァイト Kuntsaito?)
Japanese voice: Hozumi Gōda
A machine with a heart, he is a mechanical guardian knight that was operating more than 2000 years ago. Created to protect Lithia, he has a heartless-looking face and doesn't choose any means to reach that goal. He attacks Kor when they meet for the first time, since he thought he was a threat to Kohaku (Richea's vessel). He possesses the Soma "Vex".

Development[edit]

DS version[edit]

Tales of Hearts was officially revealed in V-Jump Magazine, alongside Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2. It was later shown at the 2008 Fiscal Year presentation for the series, where it was announced that it was the first game in the series for the DS that would be developed by Namco Tales Studio, to use both anime or CG for movie scenes.[6] In an interview with producer Hideo Baba, it was said that the game began development during Winter 2006, after the debugging of the PlayStation 2 remake of Tales of Destiny was completed. It was also revealed that the game was being developed by a new team, made up of members of both the Tales of Destiny (PS2) team and "Team Symphonia".[7] It was eventually announced that the anime and CG movies would be released in two separate editions, and would release on the same date.[8] It was confirmed at the "Tales of Festival 2008" that the game would be using a 2 Gigabit cartridge.[9] It was revealed that the preordered Anime Edition would include a Chat Drama DVD, while those who preordered the CG edition would receive a Visual and Original Soundtrack DVD, both DVDs also containing the first unveiling of the promotion video for the next mothership entry in the series, and information on a new project by Bandai Namco Games. On November 20, 2008, it was announced that the game's release would be delayed a week to December 18, 2008.

Vita version[edit]

A full remake for PlayStation Vita, called Tales of Hearts R, was revealed in Weekly Shōnen Jump in October 2012. The game features fully voiced dialogues and new events within the main scenario, two new fully playable party members, and complete 3D graphics. The battles now have a focus on jumping up and taking the fight to the air. It was released on March 7, 2013 in Japan. A limited edition, known as Tales of Hearts R: Link Edition, will also be released and will contain several Vita accessories, such as decals, a cleaning cloth, and a pouch. A preorder bonus for both versions of the game is a download code for a Vita app. The app has a Tales-themed clock as well as a short 2D RPG titled Tales of Hearts R: Infinite Evolve. The game will also see the introduction of two new playable characters in the story, one of which were not present in the original game. The two new playable characters are Calcedony Arkham and Galad Grinus (voiced by Hideo Ishikawa), Galad will have a role to play in the game's storyline despite not being present in the original. His name is based on the mineral gallite.

A demo was released on the Japanese PlayStation Store on December 25, 2012.

In April 2014, it was announced that Tales of Hearts R will receive an English localization.[10]

Music[edit]

The theme song, "Eien no Ashita" (永遠の明日?, "Eternal Tomorrow") is performed by Deen, who previously performed Tales of Destiny's theme song. The music of Tales of Hearts was composed by Motoi Sakuraba, Shinji Tamura, and Hiroshi Tamura. The Tales of Hearts Original Soundtrack was released on two compact discs by BMG Japan in 2008.

Track listing

Reception[edit]

Japanese gaming magazine Weekly Famitsu gave the game a 33 out of 40 based on the opinions of four reviewers. They noted that the battles are "plain fun" and that there is a "tonne of volume" to the game's story, but wished that the two versions of the game had more differences.[11] Tales of Hearts was the fourth best-selling game during its week of release in Japan at 141,610 copies.[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]