With the newest title in the long-running Tales series, Tales of Xillia, Namco plans to shake things up a bit with one of the series’ defining features, its in-game skits.
Introduced to the series with Tales of Destiny (PS1), skits are conversations between the party members that play out visual novel-style, with talking anime portraits. Generally, the skits are geared more towards fleshing out the characters and providing occasional comic relief rather than giving hints about what to do next. This “classic” skit style will remain in Tales of Xillia, where it will be called “long chat.” This will be supplemented by “short chat”, which will consist of brief bits of conversation from the characters based on their surroundings and the situation while exploring.
In addition, Tales of Xillia will also feature “fighting chat”, where bits of conversation will play out during battle accompanied by non-animated portraits of the characters in out-of-the-way places on the screen. Full details on how “fighting chat” will work are not available, but it is known that fighting chat will come into play during character switches. Tales of Xillia will allow the player to switch out non-KO’d characters mid-battle, similar to Final Fantasy X.
Tales of Xillia is due to launch in Japan later this year, and is currently exclusive to the PS3. There is no word of a US release as of yet, although Tales of Graces was announced for North America back in February.