Tales of Rebirth

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Tales of Rebirth
Torcover.jpg
Developer(s) Namco Tales Studio
Publisher(s) Namco
Designer(s) Mutsumi Inomata (character)
Composer(s) Motoi Sakuraba
Shinji Tamura
Series Tales
Platform(s) PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable
Release date(s)
  • JP December 16, 2004 (PS2)
  • JP March 19, 2008 (PSP)
Genre(s) Role-playing video game
Mode(s) Single-player, 1-4 (with multitap) in battle mode
Distribution 1 × DVD-ROM, 1 × UMD

Tales of Rebirth (テイルズ オブ リバース Teiruzu Obu Ribāsu?) is a Japanese role-playing video game published for the PlayStation 2. It is the sixth main entry of Namco's Tales series of video games. The game was developed by Namco Tales Studio and published by Namco. The game was released for the PlayStation 2 on December 16, 2004, and then later re-released on the PlayStation Portable on March 19, 2008. Neither versions of the game were released in any English-speaking countries.

Gameplay[edit]

Tales of Rebirth has four main modes of play: menu, town, dungeon, and battle screens. At the menu screen, the player changes various parameters concerning the characters in his or her party; maximum party size is six. Functions include changing equipment, assigning character skills, defining battle strategy, and using items. Additionally, the player can make use of the cooking system from the menu screen. A typical town screen consists of static non-player characters that the player can interact with in order to gather information, trade items, provide additional character development, or advance the plot. Safe zones that are free of conflict with the enemy, cities provide valuable merchant and inn services where the player can obtain new equipment or heal all available characters. Dungeon screens are enemy territory subject to random battles, and usually these areas must be traversed in order to reach the next boss encounter as dictated by the game's script. When the player enters combat, Rebirth transitions abruptly to the battle screen(system); groups of hostile units must be annihilated in order to receive valuable items and experience, but escape without reward is also a tactical option. Since bosses are of fixed difficulty and must be cleared, holding the difficulty setting constant, story progression becomes increasingly difficult as escape is used more frequently.

"Skits" can be triggered by the player under certain story-based conditions in the town and dungeon screens. A skit involves animated images of the main characters accompanied by voice acting as they discuss issues pertinent to recent plot development. This feature has become a defining characteristic of the Tales series, with each game presenting hundreds of skits; listening to skits is almost always optional, however.

Cooking has become another subsystem endemic to the Tales methodology, and the system has presented itself in some fashion in every main series game; Tales of Rebirth is no exception. As the player learns new recipes from city inhabitants, an increasingly varied selection of dishes can be prepared once after every battle. Preparing a particular dish can heal the party or temporarily improve characters, for example. As such, cooking is one of the primary methods of healing, along with item use and in-game skills.

Battle system[edit]

Veigue attacks with Genryuuzan (幻龍斬?) in battle; the characteristic lines of the "Three-line Linear Motion Battle System" are visible.

Rebirth breaks extensively from the series with a new take on the Linear Motion Battle System, the "Three-Line Linear Motion" system. The player's characters and enemies are placed on three different planes and the player has the ability to switch between these planes during battle. This system makes pre-battle positioning of party members on the three different planes critical to success. Two possible options are to place party members on different lines or to stack all characters on the same line, which makes battles more closely resemble those of previous Tales games that in effect only had one line or plane. Commands are executed in real-time, and attacks usually only affect opponents in the same plane as the attacker. Physical skills are instantly performed, but magic spells are delayed due to the required casting time. The player is rewarded "grade" upon completion of each combat based on battle performance and efficiency, where total acquired grade can be used to purchase special enhancements in the "grade shop" after the game is completed. The system also includes unique "Secret Justice" moves, analogous to the hi-ougi concept of previous Tales entries, which are extremely powerful attacks triggered by an attacking character and a supporting character. Due to the power of these techniques, they can only be infrequently performed under very specific conditions.

A new "Force Gauge" replaces the Technical Points, or TP, of the previous Tales games that were used to limit use of artes in battle. Tales of Rebirth lets the player assign four skills to the four directions of the directional pad. In battle, skills have a recovery time that is directly related to the strength of the skill. The Force Gauge is a set of four diamond-shaped marks near the character's portrait in battle, where each diamond corresponds to the recovery time remaining on each of the skills assigned to the four-way directional pad. The "Rush Gauge", which measures a character's emotional levels during battle, is located in the lower left corner of the screen during combat. As the gauge fills up during battle, a character's offensive power will increase at the cost of decreased defense; healing spells become less effective as well.

Another feature added to Rebirth to improve the Linear Motion Battle System is styled "Enhance". After victory in battle, the player will receive "Enhance Points" (EP) that can be used to improve weapons and armor. EP can be used to improve basic parameters of equipment, such as attack and defense, and unlock latent added effects; some of these added effects include double damage and protection against status effects. Finally, enhanced features from one piece of equipment can be transferred to another.

Plot[edit]

Story[edit]

Veigue Lungberg lives in a small village, Sulz, located in the cold, yet beautiful northern region. While he has never stepped foot outside of the village, he feels he has no choice to leave after his familiar surroundings and family, including Veigue himself, come under attack from a mysterious outside military force.

Setting[edit]

Tales of Rebirth is set in a world where humans (called Humas) and Gajumas (beast people) coexist in relative peace. In ancient times, both races joined forces to found the kingdom of Karegia. At the age of 60, the Gajuma king Ladras Lindblum (ラドラス・リンドブロム?), who has wisely governed the kingdom for years, gradually weakens and dies a mysterious death. On the day of his death chaos breaks out in the kingdom, and since then people refer to this day as "The Day of Ladras' Fall". His daughter Agarte Lindblum (アガーテ・リンドブロム?), the only remaining blood relative and heir to the throne, takes over as queen. She is advised by Zilva Madigan (ジルバ・マディガン?). The latter is often referred to as the princess, due to her close ties to the imperial family. The game later dives deep into issues of racism which was the result of the work of Hiramatsu Masaki, who wrote most of the main scenario. He sites his trip to Yugoslavia, where ethnic strife is predominant, as an inspiration for the story.[1]

Characters[edit]

Veigue Lungberg (ヴェイグ・リュングベル Veigu Ryunguberu?) is the protagonist of Tales of Rebirth. An orphan whose parents died when he was young, Veigue has been raised by the family of Claire Bennett. Veigue is cold, unsociable, and withdrawn, but when he is with Claire he softens. Veigue wields a sword and uses the Force of Ice. Voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama.

Claire Bennett (クレア・ベネット Kurea Benetto?) is the heroine of the game; her family took Veigue in when he was a child. She rarely left her village of Sulz before the initial events of the game. Her focus on the positive traits of others, good heart, and optimism have earned her respect and admiration in the local community. Claire does not use Force. Voiced by Mio Yasuda.

Mao (マオ Mao?) is a boy without memory traveling with the imposing Gajuma warrior Eugene Gallardo, who Mao views as a father figure. He uses elemental techniques and two tonfas as his weapons. Mao uses the Force of Fire. Voiced by Akeno Watanabe.

Eugene Gallardo (ユージーン・ガラルド Yūjīn Gararudo?), a powerful spear-wielding Gajuma warrior, is an ex-commander of the Karegia Kingdom. Eugene uses the Force of Steel. Voiced by Unsho Ishizuka.

Annie Barrs (アニー・バース Anī Bāsu?), a girl who hates Gajumas, uses a staff as her weapon to cast support magic. Annie uses the Force of Rain. Voiced by Akiko Yajima.

Tytree Crowe (ティトレイ・クロウ Titorei Kurou?) is a worker in Petjanandka who cares deeply for his big sister and has grand ideals regarding racial equality. Hotblooded Tytree uses a hand crossbow and martial arts in combat. Tytree uses the Force of Wood. Voiced by Kappei Yamaguchi.

Hilda Rhambling (ヒルダ・ランブリング Hiruda Ranburingu?) is a beautiful but cold fortune teller. She is revealed to be a half Huma, half Gajuma. Hilda attacks with magic cards in battle and uses the Force of Lightning. Voiced by Sayaka Ohara.

Agarte Lindblum (アガーテ・リンドブロム Agāte Rindoburomu?) is the daughter of the late king Ladras Lindblum; she is heir to the throne of Karegia by blood. Voiced by Emi Shinohara.

Milhaust Selkirk (ミルハウスト・セルカーク Miruhausuto Serukāku?) is a military leader and general of the Karegian kingdom, and a good friend of Eugene. Despite standing on the antagonistic side, Milhaust is usually amiable and rarely attacks the group on a whim, and at times lends his hand to help the team. Voiced by Shin-ichiro Miki.

Development[edit]

Tales of Rebirth was officially announced in April 2004,[2] a week after the game's title and existence had been leaked to the public early after a story from Jump magazine was made available a week early due to being mistakenly being shipped early.[3] In July, Namco announced that people who pre-ordered Tales of Symphonia for the PlayStation 2 would receive a bonus disc featuring footage from an early build of Tales of Rebirth, upon purchasing Symphonia in September.[4] The same footage, along with a playable build of the game was present at the Tokyo Game Show in the same month.[5] The game was released on the PlayStation 2 on December 16, 2004.[6]

In Japan, Tales games typically contain a second subtitled, referred to as a "characteristic genre name" . The subtitle for Tales of Rebirth roughly translates to is RPG Where You Will Be Reborn (君が生まれ変わるRPG Kimi ga umarekawaru RPG?).

In July 2004, IGN reported that Tales of Rebirth was a likely candidate for an English localization in North America due to the high reception and sales of Tales of Symphonia in North America for the Nintendo GameCube, however, this did not materialize.[7]

Music[edit]

The music for Tales of Rebirth was co-operatively composed by Motoi Sakuraba, Shinji Tamura, Isao Kadowaki, and Shuji Ikegami; the soundtrack for Tales of Rebirth was released on four Compact Discs by Namco in Japan on January 26, 2005. The game's anime introductory video is accompanied by the song "Good Night" by the band Every Little Thing.[6]

Reception[edit]

Reception for the game was generally positive. Siliconera praised the game's ability to straddle the line between old and new, stating "...this Tales really is a good Tales game that, while retaining a somewhat oldschool Tales charm, manages to reinvent the original formula and introduce a ton of good ideas that worked in your favor and made character customization fun."[8] It received a 32 (8/8/8/8) from Famitsu.[9]

As of the end of 2007, the game had sold over 605,000 copies,[10] a moderately high number for the series, but below their internal forecasts, with an initial shipment of 800,000 sent to stores for launch day alone.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 『テイルズ オブ リバース 公式コンプリートガイド』466ページより
  2. ^ April 12, 2004 9:48AM PDT (2006-10-17). "Official new Tales titles sites online". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  3. ^ April 8, 2004 1:33PM PDT (2004-07-13). "Namco readying two new Tales titles". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  4. ^ "See Tales of Rebirth Early". IGN. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  5. ^ "TGS 2004: Tales of Rebirth Hands-On". IGN. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  6. ^ a b "Tales of Rebirth Early Impressions". IGN. 2004-12-16. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  7. ^ "PS2 Confidential: Case File #2". IGN. 2004-07-16. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  8. ^ Rolando . July 29, 2007 . 9:35pm (2007-07-29). "Tales of Rebirth PSP Scan: 2D Still Rocks". Siliconera. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  9. ^ "Famitsu - a history of 'Tales' review scores | GoNintendo - What are YOU waiting for?". GoNintendo. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  10. ^ "RPGFan News - Tales Series Sales Top 10 Million Mark". Rpgfan.com. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  11. ^ "Tales Headed For Big Sales". IGN. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 

External links[edit]