Uk fans eagerly await the fast approaching release date of Tales of Xillia 2, though die hard Tale of fans would argue not soon enough. After watching the trailer and footage at MCM London Expo my mind was ablaze with questions about the new concept of the game and style. Then Namco Bandai kindly invited me to play the game at the preview event, more questions regarding the limited edition box set and characters needed to be answers so I went to the father of the series himself Mr Hideo Baba.
Aisha Anime: Most of the 'Tales of' games have a light feel to it, 'Tales of Xillia 2' definitely differs from that, what was the thinking behind the new dark feel?
Baba-san: The key word and the message described in Tales of Xillia2 is “choice”. Throughout the storyline, the main character, Ludger has to destroy the fractured dimensions (alternative universes) to protect the prime dimension (real universe). It is important element to describe the feeling of immortality that Ludger has to destroy the fractured dimensions even though there are people happily living there. In order to describe this more effectively, we introduced dark and serious way of world’s expression rather than bright atmosphere.
Aisha Anime: Do you think the games appeal to a more female audience? I only ask as the limited edition set includes a Pocket watch compact mirror XD
Baba-san: We develop a game on the assumption that lots of users will play it, so I would like both male and female users to have interests. However, when considering the items for the Collector’s Edition, I would like to include “a pocket watch” that is a key item in the story line of Tales of Xillia 2 by reflecting its design to a useful item and I decided to include the compact mirror with the design of the pocket watch. Of course, in addition to the Pocket Watch Compact Mirror, there are many items included in the Collector’s Edition such as a figure, art book and original sound track, so I believe everyone can enjoy them regardless of sex.
Your question is actually interesting. Usually I don’t carry a compact mirror in my daily life, so I think there is no wonder if some people think hmm, this is for female users…? but I would be happy if everyone could enjoy that item looking at the design of the actual in-game pocket watch.
Aisha Anime: Rollo has proven to be a very popular character. Would you consider making him a playable character in the future?
Baba-san: Interesting question again! Rollo is a mascot character who is loved by lots of users because of his cute appearance but I don’t consider any specific game like where he is a main character to go on the adventure in the huge world and he is worried and grows up while going through conflicts and finally confronts an infamous boss cat.
That’s unlike him, and it is like him that he always feels relaxed in warm sunshine. He would not like to explore (laugh)
Aisha Anime: People are very torn between subbed and dubbed. Will the next series of 'Tales of...' games be in Dual Audio?
Baba-san: I have received lots of requests on this. Some want to play the game with voice overs in their mother language to understand the content in detail and some wants to play it with the original Japanese voice overs instead of dubbing. There are lots of both requests. As of now, I have not decided to include dual audio so nothing has been decided yet.
Aisha Anime: What do think is the most unique feature of 'Tales of Xillia' 2?
Baba-san: There are lots of game features I would like to recommend but if I need to pick up just one that I would like to recommend most, it would be choice system that enables users to develop the storyline by keeping making choices. In the history of Tales of series, there was no title in which players themselves could make choices in the gameplay. Moreover, “choice” is also the theme of the storyline and it is deeply reflected in the scenario, so please pay attention to it when playing Tales of Xillia 2.
Aisha Anime: Lastly who is your favourite character from 'Tales of Xillia' and why?
Baba-san: This is a difficult question. I love all the characters as we created them from the scratch. Even if you asked me to pick up one favourite character from all over the series, my answer would be same. Hmm…. if I need to pick up just one character from Xillia… well I would like to say it is Rowen. Perhaps he is not an extremely popular character but I like him because he has matured atmosphere established by lots of experiences and he warmly watch and lead young people. He is like my battler working in my house (laugh).