Been thinking about this for a bit, just figured I would write something quick and post it.

I must say, I would consider myself a Final Fantasy fanboy. My PSP could almost be called a portable Final Fantasy machine, with UMD versions of Final Fantasy 1, 2 and tactics, and PSN versions of Final Fantasy 5-9. That said, besides the older games, I have purchases a single Final Fantasy game this generation, with the intention to eventually pick up Final Fantasy 13-2 at a later date for dirt cheap.

Instead, if I had to say an RPG series this generation has taken the spot Final Fantasy used to hold, I would say it's Namco's Tales series. As of today, I have purchased three games from the series this generation, Tales of Vesperia, Graces f, and Xillia, with the intention of purchasing two more at the least before the generation is completely shut down, Tales of Xillia 2 and Symphonia Collection.

Up until this generation, releases of the Tales series outside of Japan have been kind of spotty. The first game was released on the Super Famicom, and never had an official release outside of Japan until a remake for the Gameboy Advance. Between that time and this generation, localization has been kinda spotty, with a decent number of games never officially leaving Japan.

This generation seems to have changed that. An Xbox 360 exclusive, Tales of Vesperia was released in 2008. There was later a PS3 version with a new character and extra content thrown in, but the game was complete as it was on the 360, and it did reach other shores. In addition, to me it seemed like a worthy addition to the Tales series.

Originally a Wii exclusive, Tales of Graces was released in Japan in 2009, but three years later in 2012 an upgraded version called Tales of Graces f was released for the PS3 in the US and Europe. This one shook me up a bit, to me it certainly felt like certain parts of the game were for a lack of a better term, but once I got into the game a little bit I realized it wasn't bad at all. I would consider it the weakest game in the series that I have played so far, but still an entertaining game in general.


This summer saw the release of Tales of Xillia. Coming into this game so soon after playing Graces f kinda threw me for a loop, it played a lot more like Vesperia and it took some getting used to. That said, it had an interesting setup where the story followed one of two protagonists, and certain sections were different depending on who you chose at the beginning of the game. Personally I don't think they went far enough with this, I think it would have been nice to have half of each of the two playthroughs be unique while only sharing the half the playthrough with the other. Overall, I thought it was a damn good game.

In addition to those three games above, unless things change sometime in the next year, 2014 will see the release of Tales of Xillia 2 and Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. Xillia 2 was released about a year ago in Japan, and is making it's way overseas next year. Hopefully it is just as fun as the other Tales games this gen. Symphonia Chronicles is a re-release of two games that had previously been released outside of Japan, one of which might be considered last gen since it was on the Wii. I lumped it in here just to make things easier.

The localization of Tales games have been pretty spotty. The first game in the series I ever played was the DeJap translation of Tales of Phantasia back before the Playstation 2 was even released. Localization times still need a little work, it would be nice if localization was worked on in conjunction with development so we didn't have to wait several years, but hopefully any more games in the Tales series will follow the model of this generation and get releases outside of Japan even if we have to wait a while for them.


*Edit: As pointed out, as happy as I am for Namco translating the games I mentioned, they have been kinda weak on the portable side. I changed the title to reflect that*