Japan: 3D Tales of Hearts Do Not Want

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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…

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

OP:

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 id=”72″]

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56 Comments

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.)

  • 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.

  • shirokiryuu says:

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Neo X Alucard says:

    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.

  • *sigh*
    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Azure Xuchilbara says:

      Hell yeah, the armored guy reminded me of DW…

      He’s the only one that looks bad-ass in 3D…

      The rest (especially the loli witch) do not fit…

      2D loli witches for me!!!

  • haha! quite a predicament! the opening vid in the 2d one was way better, but with the cutscene, the 3d one was the obvious choice in terms of both quality and presentation. going on designs alone, though, as I likely would, I’d pick the 2D.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • relentlessflame says:

    “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.