Namco RPG fans can satisfy a little more of their Tales of Symphonia hunger now, as Namco of Japan has released a few more tidbits about the upcoming GameCube game.
Tales of Symphonia will feature a new 3D battle system dubbed the "Multi-Line Linear Motion Battle System" (ML-LMBS), but fans of the original series need not fret. ML-LMBS is essentially a 3D version of Tales' classic "Active Linear Motion" battle system with multiple planes of fighting. The player now targets enemies with the use of a battle cursor. Additionally, Namco has released information on three new characters to join the three existing ones. First is Shinha, a 19-year-old assassin who specializes in using charms. She spends the game chasing Collet, but fails to assassinate her target repeatedly due to her clumsy nature. Second is Refill Sage, the 23-year-old elder sister of Genius Sage and Lloyd Irving's teacher. As you can probably guess from her name, she specializes in magic. Finally, Kratos Aurion is a shady 28-year-old mercenary who has been hired to protect Collet.
With the game's release so close, this new spurt of information is a relieving sign that Namco is on track with the project. Tales of Symphonia is still planned for a July release in Japan, with a release sometime thereafter in North America.