Japan: 3D Tales of Hearts Do Not Want


The unusual decision to release the latest Tales RPG “Tales of Hearts” in two versions with drastically differing visual styles in the movies and packaging, one based on 3D computer graphics ala Final Fantasy, the other on classic Tales anime visuals, turned heads when it first came to light, particularly given the dubious choice of character designs in the 3D version.

Turned heads, much as a grisly traffic accident does. It does not seem the 3D version is selling well in Japan; second-hand sales reveal the 2D version is selling for 30% more than the 3D version. Some take this as a sign of the ill-advised nature of the  scheme…


You can see the two versions in comparison below, with both the OP and an early cutscene:


Scene 1:

Extra Scene:

Both 3D version and 2D version are now readily available, so checking yourself is a possibility.

Via Hachimaki.

Perhaps the 3D version really is the American edition after all?

Poll unavailable.

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    Comment by shirokiryuu
    11:22 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    3D's not bad at all according to the cutscenes. However some of the characters look pretty ridiculous in 3D (Green haired girl and knight armor guy). I think some of the character designs work better in the 2D.

    Avatar of maxchain
    Comment by maxchain
    10:51 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Maybe Namco Bandai's been waiting to see which version sells better to pick one for US release? I think I'm giving them too much credit, though--they'll have you believe we don't want anything to do with Tales that aren't of Symphonia or the World.

    Avatar of GodHatesFags
    Comment by cobretti
    11:26 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Final Fantasy looks like ass, why anyone would want to imitate that is beyond me. That being said, this doesn't look so bad, you can tell males from females, and the quality is remarkable for something that is going to be shown on such a tiny screen.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:03 06/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Damn, thats some pretty nice graphics and it pains me to choose the 2D version but the character designs just don't do it justice

    Avatar of Sorrior
    Comment by Sorrior
    01:59 06/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    both look interesting to me i'd probably get them both if they both saw a us release still can't read kanji so japanese version is a no go for now.

    Comment by Whorl
    04:08 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    3D movie edition sucked. I compared the two game's movies. CG models did not match the seiyuu's voices at all, not to mention the anime edition have more voices in their movies.

    Avatar of kebrus
    Comment by kebrus
    04:02 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i like both, differently though but with the same amounts of love ;)

    Comment by Neo X Alucard
    01:28 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hate followers. Think for you're self's people, at least give it a try. Aside from all that... As much as i love Anime, I getting sick of it (that goes for games too.)

    I'm gettin sick of the androgyny, the clichés (and they are constant), the whack ass off the wall character designs (which of corse the mindless masses just eat up), the oversexualised themes, ect, ect, ect... I could go on forever.

    Haveing said all that, the 2D is ok at best, the 3d is alright, and if it wasn't the Tales series no one would care.

    Avatar of Azure Xuchilbara
    Comment by Azure Xuchilbara
    04:20 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    They should bloody fix the 3D loli witch so she would ACTUALLY look loli like in the 2D version...

    Avatar of innocuous
    Comment by innocuous
    01:25 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol i actually like the 3d version better.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:03 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think the 3D actually looks really good. There are two issues I have with this, though:

    1. FMV Opening while playing Definitely Anime Theme Song...? That doesn't mesh well at all.
    2. And the gameplay's still the same, anime-inspired design... so suddenly switching over to the 3D realistic style for cutscenes doesn't mesh either.

    It's a shame. By themselves I like the 3d scenes better.

    Avatar of Zippydsmlee
    Comment by ZippyDSMlee
    14:24 27/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Uhg to much realism in the 3D designs can we turn the uncanny valley effect down some?

    In the end I don't care what ti looks like...but how badly they sloped together the game itself....

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:42 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If the 3d character designs were not so fugly, I have to admit I would probably pick that version. While the general color was darker, this only makes the spells and effects stand out much more, it's very visially appealing.

    But, 3d is just not Tales. And it makes even less sense to have 3d cut scenes when the game play looks more 2d, you have a real clash there.

    It is quite an interesting experiment. You know, 30% more sales is not really all that huge a difference. There could be other factors we don't even know about, like how much was it marketed that they would have 2 versions? and most importantly, how many copies of the 3d version did they print, were they equal in number? These are very important questions that need to be answered. If they did not advertise the 3d version much, then that 30% lead the anime version had is not impressive at all. Of course, you could also have a bunch of people who bought the game and had no idea that a different version even existed (because they don't read the package, they just pick it up because it is the new Tales.)

    Avatar of Azure Xuchilbara
    Comment by Azure Xuchilbara
    04:12 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I want my loli to ACTUALLY look like a loli...

    *salutes the 2D anime version*

    Avatar of fatimmortal
    Comment by fatimmortal
    10:15 21/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Has anyone noticed L in the first picture? The 2D version, that is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:24 21/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The 2D version looks way better. They should have used to money they wasted on the 3D version on the 2D version to give it even better animation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:54 03/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    3D KOREAN DRAMA STAR! hahaahahah

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:24 31/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    well i think it's a good thing they experimented. both of them seems to have been made with lots of time and attention. though, tales of just HAS to be 2d animation, or else it no longer becomes a tales game

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:03 26/11/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You know. The CG Version actually looks pretty good. If the anime version didn't exist I'd buy it. But since the anime version "does" exist, I'd have to say that the cg version loses this fight.

    Comment by raptor_cZn
    23:16 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    2D FTW!! 3D version is just bleh.

    Avatar of Azure Xuchilbara
    Comment by Azure Xuchilbara
    04:19 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    2D Loli FTW!! 3D loli version is just bleh...

    Comment by krolik
    15:02 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Can't help but prefer the 3D. The differences between the two may not pertain change of the game's story, but it just 'feels' more fleshed out in 3D. And damn the 2D just seems generic.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    14:48 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    2D hands down, the 3D just looks...not good, although it is on a hand-held nintendo system :P

    Avatar of Shuu
    Comment by Shuu
    03:05 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's just the movies, so the platform has nothing to do with it :p

    Comment by ButChi
    15:13 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think they should leave 3D to FF it doesn't feel right seeing tales in 3D.

    Comment by C.C.
    15:36 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They shouldn't step on Final Fantasy's territory since they are doing a good job in their own style. Watching the 3D is like watching Final Fantasy without the awesomeness and unique detail.

    Comment by Anim3Fr33K
    15:42 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    all this tales isnt right in 3D, wasnt all the PS2 tales games in 3D? Iv only played TotA on PS2 and it was in 3D, so i dont get all this hate for 3D, the art style of the 3DCG might not be to your tastes, but it dosent mean 3D is all bad. Ill probably get the roms of both versions and check it out.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:49 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    3d in this case does not mean gameplay will be 3d, the only difference between the 2 versions is 2d or 3d cinematics.

    Avatar of Exia
    Comment by exia
    15:38 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    the 3d version of the little blonde girl is fucking scary looking.

    Avatar of Azure Xuchilbara
    Comment by Azure Xuchilbara
    04:16 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    She does not look loli in the 3D version...

    2D is superior if it has cute lolis!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:32 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol, indeed. The only 3D character which imo looks ok is the silver-haired girl which resembles FF design a bit.

    On the other matter at hand, the 2D cover/poster doesn't make justice to the actual game cut-scenes, which are of doubtless quality. And the extra scene of the 2D version is way longer and elaborated.

    Avatar of basilio
    Comment by basilio
    21:43 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know; I think I'm gonna have nightmares about it now.

    Comment by Ino
    14:26 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's just the cutscenes/movies, so it's not that bad and I doubt it added much more cost. But I definitely prefer the anime styled one (didn't know Production I.G. did it). After watching it though, I want to play it!!! I can't read Japanese though, so the story would be tough to follow =(

    The main character in CG looks decent, but the rest are pretty horrible. The animation version I thought was more presentable and helped create the mood/atmosphere. The CG one looks less polished and more of a technical experiment than a proper accompaniment to the game. If they worked on it more I might give it another glance but as it stands I'd definitely take the animation version, 10 times out of 10.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:17 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    were those dragonballs?

    Comment by Avisch
    13:31 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    At first I went "Heh is 3D so bad?" and then I shut my mouth when I scrolled down and saw the 2nd image.

    Comment by kazemizuhi
    02:24 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, but did you watch the videos? While the poster image looks like garbage, the cinematics look a lot better in 3D.

    Comment by Olicon
    15:28 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think the cinematics looks that different in quality. But it just doesn't feel like a Tales game if it doesn't have anime cut scene for me.

    Avatar of stewie
    Comment by stewie
    13:19 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Definitely the anime version, I wouldn't have a problem with the 3d version if the characters design weren't so bad though :o, and it reminds me of Enchanted Arms ... *shudders*

    Comment by Spoony Bard
    13:38 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The 2d version is much better, but it's more a matter of personal taste. And now after watching those scenes, I really want that game. Good thing DS's are non-regional.

    Avatar of Azure Xuchilbara
    Comment by Azure Xuchilbara
    04:14 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Loli Witch is better in 2D than 3D...

    DFC is superior in 2D~

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    Comment by Tallgeese VI
    13:56 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Prefer the 2D Version.

    Avatar of relentlessflame
    Comment by relentlessflame
    14:00 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Perhaps the 3D version really is the American edition after all?"

    It sure looks that way. The 3D OP makes the world look sort of dark and dangerous, and emphasizes things like action, explosions, and special effects. It doesn't even really match the song, but that's a problem I expect would be resolved in an American release (where they're sure to put a dramatic orchestral piece in its place). It's very stereotypical "this is what American gamers want" sort of thinking (and actually, I'd be curious to see the sales figures in North America if they release both here too). The anime-style OP though makes the game look fun, bright, colourful, and almost cheery, and fits the sort of bright-sounding OP song. It's more like "let's go on a fun adventure together!" Even note how in the anime version he little girl does the cute little magical girl poses and winks -- conspicuously absent from the 3D version. The 3D OP is sort of like "this group is going to save the world"; definitely going for more of the Final Fantasy feel.

    And I have to say, this doesn't appear to be just a superficial change either. The direction of the cutscenes is totally different too, reflecting the style of the character designs and the "feel" they're going for with each look. It looks like they might have had a different director do each version. Plus, I have to admit that as ugly as those 3D character designs look in stills, they actually do look much better in motion. It's no wonder the Japanese packaging for the 3D version doesn't have any character designs on the front, but it's not so bad in-game, apparently.

    Anyway, if it were just a cheesy cash-in attempt or a lame attempt to play on the stereotypes of what Americans want, I'd definitely be more negative, but it looks like they actually gave some significant thought to both different approaches that's more than just applying a different skin to the characters. So, in that sense, it's sort of an interesting experiment. Like I said, I'd be really curious to see what happens if they put both versions on sale in North America and Europe.

    Avatar of TransistorGlamor
    Comment by ToastCrust
    15:45 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope they give comparative sales in NA a try too.

    I'd like to see the data too, actually. I don't think it's much of a secret that a large part of the Tales fanbase are big 2D lovers, but I wonder how much of a market it would add (or take away) if the game were totally 3D instead.

    Comment by J
    15:49 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The designs in both of them suck.

    Avatar of Azure Xuchilbara
    Comment by Azure Xuchilbara
    04:17 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Then make a better design and send it to Namco then~

    Comment by GFC
    20:13 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I like the 3D version a lot more.. Have no idea why most of you like the 2D version o.O

    Avatar of Tateha
    Comment by Tate
    18:59 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    both seem alright but it seems the production value leans in favor of the 3d. the 2d has more closeup shots and a brighter atmosphere so I prefer that more. If I really wanted to play a dark apocalyptic rpg there isn't exactly a shortage on the market. Sad but I do agree that that the 3d will be used for the American/europe release.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:52 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is why I can't play Final Fantasy anymore. Or any kind of fantasy RPG for that matter.

    Some idiot came up with a realistic graphics engine and now I can't play anything anime-styled anymore.

    Comment by kenjiharima
    22:54 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    2D damn it! Iam sick of 3D Tekken and FinalFantasy style faces and designs!!!

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    18:31 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The 3DCG is pretty impressive but I'd still prefer the 2D over the 3D anytime for Tales of Hearts.

    I guess Namco is trying to capture the american market with stereotypical way of thinking...

    Can't wait to see the sales figures when this gets released in the west.

    Avatar of eksuterru-kun
    Comment by eksuterru-kun
    18:38 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    why's the 3D one looks so odd o.O"
    some characters are fine but the rest don't seem to have any similarities to the 2D ones

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