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Tales of Hearts R is Shaping Up To Be The Definitive Version of the Game

Illustration for article titled emTales of Hearts R/em is Shaping Up To Be The Definitive Version of the Game
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After the success of Tales of Innocence R in Japan, Bandai-Namco is moving another of last generation's portable titles over to the PlayStation Vita—this time in the form of Tales of Hearts R. Today at Jump Festa 2013, Kotaku East was able to spend some time with the first playable demo of this Tales series remake.


Like Tales of Innocence R, the first thing you notice about Tales of Hearts R is that it is a complete remake from the ground up. The chibi-style sprites are gone and replaced with 3D models reminiscent of the console games in the series. The environments as well have gotten a complete overhaul both in and out of battle.

The section of the game I was able to play was only a few minutes in length. After a short four-panel conversation—which is now, like the entire main story of the game, fully voiced—you move your party through a cathedral where you are randomly attacked by soldiers. The demo ends after you reach the area above the organ and fight a boss battle against a beautiful woman and a man with a bazooka.

Illustration for article titled emTales of Hearts R/em is Shaping Up To Be The Definitive Version of the Game

The demo, while short, showed off the battle system quite nicely. Much like the controls of Tales of Innocence R, free movement is controlled via the left thumbstick while special attacks are mapped to the D-pad and/or right thumbstick. Other than that, it's played exactly like its console big brothers, using the same basic style of 3D combat present in the series since Tales of Symphonia back on the GameCube.

In the end, Tales of Hearts R looks great on the Vita and plays well to boot. And with its graphical additions and voice acting—not to mention the inclusion of a new playable character—Tales of Hearts R is shaping up to be the definitive version of this game.

Tales of Hearts R will be released on March 7, 2013, in Japan. There is currently no word on an international release.

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And now THIS is something we should have gotten back on the DS (you know, the original version of the game). And we should have gotten Innocence. And Innocence R. And both versions of Destiny Remake. And Rebirth PSP. And Rebirth PS2. Tempest eh....not so much.

With the dearth of software on the Vita it's not like the US would turn their games down. Innocence R and Hearts R would both be welcomes with open arms. Anything that makes the Vita look to be as good for RPGs as the PSP turned out to be.

The battle system really isn't that much like Symphonia's though aside from having movement and slashing.