'Tales of Xillia' from Namco Bandai.
As early as Summer of this year, the next chapter in the long-standing Tales video game franchise releases in North America for the PlayStation 3. Titled Tales of Xillia, the game's release will mark 15 years of Tales games, which began in 2006 with Tales of Phantasia.
Available in Japan since late 2011, Tales of Xillia marks the first time in the franchise that there will be two main protagonist.
"Because we have two main characters, at the start of the game you're able to select one of them and when you select one of the characters you're able to see the world from their perspective," explained game producer Hideo Baba through a translator. "With the male character, you get to see the world through his persective; and with the female character it's the same as well."
Both characters progress through the same story, but the point of view of that story changes depending on which character the player chooses at the start of a new game.
"If you play through the game once, you can play through again with the other character and get a fuller experience," Baba continued.
Because there are two main characters, Tales of Xillia's battle system has been altered compared to previous Tales games. As the game's producer explains, Tales of Xillia's battle system is based upon the theme of working in pairs.
"So, we developed a system where characters can link together," said Baba. "By doing so, for example, if you're controlling the main character and you're attacking enemies while linked with another character, [that character] will actually go and flank the enemy you're fighting."
Flanking allows characters to deal extra damage with their attacks. Linking also has defensive benefits as linked characters can "back up" other characters, reducing battle damage they may receive.
In addition to twin protagonists and a revamped combat system, Tales of Xillia features a story about conviction and the follow-through of one's goals. Hideo Baba talks about this and more in his interview with News10's Game Guys, which runs for more than five minutes, where he also talks about the character he finds to be amongst his favorites in the game.