AC Weigh-In: January to February 2020 - Moving Forward For The New Year

Sorry for the delay!

Here are our two cents on what's in store for Tales for the year 2020.

Sorry for the delay! For January to February, we combined the questions to bring you a more in-depth experience. For this month, we have the following reactors:

For this month, we have the following reactors:

a745
Head Admin,
Site Designer,
Founder
DimensionSlip
Admin,
News & Content Writer,
Backend Support
Ecargmura (Grace)
Content Writer
Flamzeron
News Writer
8ro (Hachiro)
News Writer,
Mobile Reporter
Amy
Content Writer
Khayyaam
Content Writer,
Social Media
Caphi
News Writer,
Content Writer
Snapp1eApp1e
Patron - Consul Praeto
Returner7
Patron - Consul Praetor

What is your opinion on the new game categorization that the Series is trying to implement and how does this affect your impression on the different games? (Refer to here)

a745

I actually find it simpler at the same time more confusing? Motherships before had always held the title of the games wherein there's more "bulk" or more meat in it? Like if I will play a mothership, I know I'm expecting an all distinct story with a diverse cast and a really long playtime. For escorts, I expect it to be, well, for fan service. That's a bias I built up over the years though, so I guess I just need some time to adjust.
DimensionSlip I think it's a way better manner of distinguishing titles from one another and more relevant to gamers as of now.
Grace I think the new categorization is implemented for organization. Let's face it, Tales series LOVES crossover games. They have WAYYYYY too many crossover games (Rays, Radiant Mythology, etc). I think that with the new categorization, Tales series is trying to evolve with the new generation.
Flamzeron Seemed pretty random to me. I'd wager Yusuke Tomizawa is trying to make a change that will symbolize his status as the new general manager for the Tales series. Otherwise, I don't see any reason to change the way the games are categorized. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. If they want to switch things up a little, that's all well and good! Sometimes it pays to keep standards fresh. It's certainly more clear as to what games fit into what category at this point. Looking back, I suppose Banda Namco could have been all "Yeah, sorry, this game isn't worthy of being a Mothership title" with any given release. I'm not saying they would, but the idea is out there. Going forward, where the title fits will be even more cut and dry.
8ro 'Necessary'? No. But it is a good decision in my opinion. Now personally... I don't know? To be honest i'd just leave the series without any official categorization. Every title is every title~
Amy I like it! Terms like "mothership" and "escort" have always seemed a little confusing for newcomers. Heck, I remember being confused by it the first time I encountered the terms years ago. "Original" and "crossover" are way easier for everyone to understand right from the start. And now it doesn't feel like certain games (Dawn of the New World and Tales of the Tempest especially) are being deliberately treated as like second class Tales games.
Khayyaam Personally, I don't think it changes much of anything right now. The fact of the matter is, we've been using the mothership/escort designation, and such a designation fits with common usage of mainstream/spin-offs, for such a long time that I think it's ok to look at the games up until this point as mothership/escort. Going forward, however, it'll change a lot, both in how we look at new games and how old games get treated in terms of representation.
Caphi We don't have a whole article on it so I might as well take the opportunity to tell the readers a secret. According to the official Tales blog, the new categorization isn't hard and fast, since different crossover games take different approaches to their crossover. It even points out that Crestoria, an original story that features legacy characters, could go in either camp.
Snapp1eApp1e I like the new system. I think it's good that the company is trying to streamline the entire franchise and make it easy and comprehensive for both old fans and newcomers looking to get into the series. At the very least, it will reduce the confusions around some of the sequel and spin off games we have gotten over the years and where they stand.
Returner7 I guess it's simpler that the previous system at least. I hope this means that they intend to spend more time making fewer higher quality "Original" titles.

Do you think that having the new game categorizations is necessary? Would you personally have done it differently?

a745

I personally would have maintained the names Mothership and Escorts and just gave more concrete guidelines for them. i.e. put back Tempest and put Dawn of the New World under Mothership.
DimensionSlip I think it is necessary and a good way of moving on with the times.
Grace I think it is necessary because it finally ends the long debate of Tempest and DotNW being "actual" Tales games or not. For me, I would have the same mindset as Bamco and would categorize the games as such.
Flamzeron I don't think it was entirely necessary, though it is nice having both Tales of the Tempest and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World be mainline Tales games now instead of being considered spinoffs. At this time, there doesn't seem to be any result of this change, but who knows?
8ro Hopefully we can get LOTS of Arise info to make up for these months of silence. If Crestoria isn't out until then, count it in too.
I would LOVE to see re-releases/remakes/remasters of course, even if that's highly unlikely.Everyone know that Tales really needs those re-releases, most of the game are really difficult to access nowadays and some weren't even released in the west. Bamco should really focus on expanding the series with this.
Amy I definitely think it's important to make the series more accessible for newcomers by reducing the amount of special fandom terms they need to learn. "TOArise" and "original" are a lot easier to figure out than "TOA" and "mothership," after all. I don't think I would have done it differently.
Khayyaam I don't see it necessary, personally. On the one hand, it's really nice that games like Tales of The Tempest finally get respect as Original titles, on the other hand, I think it'll just add confusion when people start considering future games as mainline titles or spin-offs regardless of, and in addition to the new categories. Personally I would have kept the catchy name of mothership and escort, and moved some titles like Tempest around in them.
Caphi

Even ignoring Tempest, the logic behind what was an Escort title was never quite clear. Destiny 2 and Xillia 2 were Mothership, but they don't deserve it especially more than Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. Plus, both cameos in Mothership titles and features in crossover games have included characters from Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon, Tempest, and Symphonia: Dawn with no fuss. And Tales of Breaker was nearly in Rays!

That said, I think Crestoria deserves its own category (some kind of neo-Tales of Mobile), since its stated intent is to start a new category anyway.

Snapp1eApp1e I don't know that is was necessary, but now that they have done it, I am okay with how they did it. I don't think I would make any alterations to the categorizations in place. They categorizations make sense and are easy to follow for new fans and veterans of the series.
Returner7 From a marketing standpoint maybe, the concept of "Original" and "Crossover" titles are certainly more self explanatory than "Mothership" and "Escort" titles. I would have personally made the distinction between "Mainline" and "Spinoff" titles instead to allow more critical leeway for smaller experimental titles under the "Spinoff" category.

It seems we're getting a lot of surprises for the 25th anniversary. One event to point out is during Tales of Festival. What exactly are you expecting for the upcoming Festival given that it's focusing on the Series' 25th anniversary? What would you like to see?

a745

A release date on Arise, at least! And the opening movie, and the opening song, and the characters, etc. Of course, I'm not expecting any game announcement anytime soon. And by this time I hope Crestoria's out, jeez. It's been delayed too long. I'm also hoping for a new escort... oops, "crossover" title that's on consoles, hopefully. Is it too early for a PS5 title? Definitely, I think. But you never know with Bamco. Also, I'm still waiting for my Eternia or Legendia remake, Bamco! (I will continue to hope shut up)
DimensionSlip More remake announcements are on the way, I feel. I'm personally hoping for an Abyss remaster and an Abyss anniversary party event similar to that of Vesperia and Graces.
Grace Perhaps, more footage of Crestoria and Arise. Maybe even invite the voice cast of both games to the event.
Flamzeron I'm expecting a big celebration with snacks, drinks, and fun times, haha! In all seriousness, I think a live stream is in order. There should be a presentation on the history of the series that will lead up to an epic new trailer for Tales of Arise. I imagine a fun skit with various characters will also be performed at the event. And then some music could be played by some bands like Flow or DEEN or... A big reveal that Hironobu Kageyama is doing the theme song for Arise. Dude, could you imagine? That would be the most epic Tales opening theme of all time!
8ro Heh, better not expect anything different from previous years i guess. I'm sure we'll be getting tons of merch and that's it. Hopefully there is cute plushies for me to empty my wallet over~
We'll sure be getting another Tour or stuff like that, nothing that really matter to fans overseas.
The dream would be getting the Concert in the west once again.(Also, they really should make the Festival more 'worldwide' already -- you know, still in japan and focused on them, but something more like FFXIV live events with english streams and stuff like that. Not gonna happen anytime soon, though.)
Amy Lots of fun 25th anniversary merchandise, I'm sure. Honestly, I'm not sure what to expect beyond that, so anything else will be a pleasant surprise.
Khayyaam I have no clue what to expect! I can't know. It's hard to know what they're cooking up. It could be anything, big or small, so I'll just wait patiently. That said, I'd love some sort of port, collection or remake of older games, particularly 2D titles... the one I want most is Tales of Destiny Chronicles- packaging Destiny 1, 2 and the remake of 1 together like Symphonia chronicles did.
Caphi Ideally, I'd have expected to see more focus on the milestone anniversary series (Phantasia, Abyss, Xillia, and Zestiria), but I think the Festival cast is decided mostly by availability of the talent and the theme is written to fit whoever's there.
Snapp1eApp1e Since it's a big anniversary, I would like to see representation or just a small celebration of every game in the series. I am not expecting like full casts or anything, but maybe a giant video montage of great or memorable moments from every game in the series so far. It's a big anniversary and I think that every game in the series should be represented and celebrated in some way.
Returner7 I expect to see more details on future Tales titles, maybe more Switch releases and an anime series. I would like to see them release anniversary collections/compilations that include some of the titles that never got a western release, maybe a PS2 era collection including Rebirth, a portables collection including Innocence R, or maybe even Xillia + 2 on PS4/PC???

Even the Tales of Orchestra Concert is celebrating the Series 25th Anniversary. Aside from the Festival and the Concert, what other events do you think or hope Bandai Namco has in store for its fans?

a745

I'm not really expecting a lot in terms of events aside from those already announced. I guess, another Tales of Tour. If we're talking global though, I seriously hope the Western branches would also consider celebrating the 25th anniversary with its own events, even if just online.
DimensionSlip As I said in the previous question, an Abyss anniversary party event would be great! I'm also looking forward to anything they might do for Xillia, though that might be reserved for next year.
Grace This is just wishful thinking, but another anime adaptation of any Tales games of their choosing. I feel like an anniversary celebration calls forth a big project like an anime adaptation. I dunno. I just feel it.
Flamzeron That's a difficult one for me. Most of what I want would likely not happen unless the planets aligned, but some sort of event with a lot of goodies would be nice. Something that everyone around the world could participate in though. What I really want is the more stuff part. Perhaps most of the older Tales games be put on digital services like Steam (at least the ones not already on there) for others to play? POr maybe a giant Tales remaster collection for PS4? Or maybe they'll finally listen to me and make articulated Tales action figures? I really hope so.
8ro I hope so, but also don't want to put my hopes too high. It's a different director and approach, so i don't know have a clue how it will turn out. The lack of information recently doesn't help, for sure.
Amy No idea, I just really hope they release a 25th anniversary orchestra CD. I've been really sad that they haven't released CDs for the last few Tales of Orchestra concerts. I listen to my 20th anniversary concert CD all the time!
Khayyaam I feel like a festival and a concert kind of covers everything. The merch, goodies, music, costumes and voice actors are all there... There's not much else I can think of in terms of exciting events. I just hope it's as fun as it usually is!
Caphi A thing like Tales of Houseboat but they go to space.
Snapp1eApp1e I hope that they have some sort of big release party planned for Arise. It is the 25th anniversary, so I think a big party celebrating Tales of Arise would be cool to kinda think the fans for their support so far and launch their new game with a lot of momentum.
Returner7 Surprise events coinciding with major western conventions like PAX, E3, Anime Expo, etc. Maybe announcements on Nintendo Directs, or PlayStaiton Showcases.

Lastly - Tales of Arise. When do you think the game is coming out, and do you believe that it will live up to the name as the Series' 25th Anniversary title?

a745

December 31, 2020. LOL just kidding. But from what we've seen (from what little we've seen) it sure feels like it'll live up to the name, but I worry since the next gen consoles are coming in fast so I feel like they've only managed to attempt perfecting a game for the current platforms when their eras are already being overlapped by the incoming ones. But eh, as long as it's a good game, let's go!
DimensionSlip Given the lack of news, I think it might come out after Tales of Festival. I also have high hopes for it and think it would live up to its name.
Grace Yes. As times passes, technology advances. As technology advances, the world evolves. When the world evolves, people develop things that becomes more advanced. Because of that, video games have evolved over time. I'm excited to see what Arise will bring us since it is pretty much the evolution of the franchise and the new generation.
Flamzeron Probably winter 2020 at the earliest. Something tells me we won't be seeing much of it for a while. And as for if I think it'll live up to the name of being the 25th Anniversary title... Ask me again after the aforementioned winter 2020 and I'll let you know.
8ro Yes. As times passes, technology advances. As technology advances, the world evolves. When the world evolves, people develop things that becomes more advanced. Because of that, video games have evolved over time. I'm excited to see what Arise will bring us since it is pretty much the evolution of the franchise and the new generation.
Amy Probably late 2020? Maybe early 2021? I'm a little skeptical of their release dates since we still don't know when Crestoria is really releasing, haha... I'm optimistic that it will live up to expectations though. I think it will approach its role as an anniversary title differently than Zestiria though. Whereas Zestiria tried to return to the series' roots in some ways, I think Arise will be trying to be really different and a sort of trailblazer for future Tales games.
Khayyaam I actually feel like the game just might come out in the winter of 2020. Info is so scarce, so it's hard to say. As to whether it lives up to its name? This may sound a little harsh, but "yes." I put that in quotations because I feel like the expectation of an anniversary title is that it ends up getting rushed to meet the release, which happened to the japanese ps2 version of Abyss as well as to Xillia and arguably Zestiria... I hope it doesn't happen, but it feels like a regular occurence at this point.
Caphi By the 25th anniversary itself, but hopefully not too far before. (We were all baffled by Zestiria coming out in January, 11 full months before the 20th, until that turned out to be the announcement of Berseria.) If they actually released it on December 15th, I wouldn't be too surprised or disappointed.
Snapp1eApp1e Well considering we haven't gotten any news on the title so far, I am thinking we get a late fall release. Maybe November or December? I would have thought August would have been a good date, but we haven't gotten any hype or on the series so far, so I would think August would be too early, eve though a lot of NA tales titles have been released in August. I'm thinking we get a lot of news and a release date at the Tales festival in June (maybe E3?!?!?!) with a release date in November.
Returner7 I think August 2020. I am optimistic that it will live up to the "Series' 25th Anniversary" title since they have seemingly taken their time with Arise much more so than in the recent past.

Any suggestions for next month, or anything that you want to respond to? Feel free to share them in the comments below~

Image Credits:

Tales of Arise
Tales of AriseTales of Arise is the latest upcoming mothership title of the Tales of Series which was first announced during Microsoft’s Press Conference in E3 2019. The game will be released for the PS4, Xbox One and PC Digital next year 2020 worldwide. The game features use of the Unreal Engine 4 and animated scenes by ufotable.

Info Page | News | Gallery | Official Website (US) | Official Website (JP)

a745
About a745 1539 Articles
A745 (or Abby, as most people call her) is the founder of Abyssal Chronicles. She is currently a doctor, but that doesn't stop her from showing her love for the Tales of Series. She loves potato chips. A lot.