There once was a time when Tales fans could get away with claiming that their series was horribly underrepresented on the JRPG scene. Yes, back in the days of the PlayStation, not a lot of people knew what Tales of Phantasia or Tales of Destiny were. Nowadays, though, you can’t blink an eye without another game being released in English or a new game being announced in Japan.
Tales is everywhere, and it’s the most prolific RPG series on Earth with multiple releases every year. Thanks to this new standing in the world, the franchise has been able to rack up over 16 million copies in sales since it first launched 20 years ago. A good portion of those figures definitely stems from the last decade, ever since Tales of Symphonia brought the franchise to everyone’s attention.
I’m still mixed when it comes to the Tales games. Whenever I try to start one, I get a good chunk of the way in before losing interest. On the flip side, I still love Tales of Symphonia, and I would rather work my way backwards into getting at the series’ roots, thinking that might boost my appreciation for the modern games.
Because of this huge hole in my knowledge, I think Bandai Namco is going about celebrating the 20th anniversary in the wrong way. A new game is always important, but mobile spin-offs and animes are not what should be celebrated on an important birthday like this. The actual history of the franchise is what should be thrown into the spotlight! I think that there is a huge missed opportunity here in collecting those older, more obscure games into an affordable package.
Steam, PlayStation Network, whatever floats your boat, Bandai Namco! I’m not interested in an anime delivering more Tales of Zestiria filler. The game has enough as it is! I want to conveniently try out the older games!