With the North American release of Tales of Symphonia on the horizon, Namco has released some new information to heighten the anticipation for the upcoming GameCube title.
In battle, players can interrupt the actions of AI-controlled characters with "hotkey" shortcuts and force them to execute certain attacks. This function is particularly useful in creating extensive special combination attacks. Tales of Symphonia also includes a multiplayer option, which can be turned off or on at any time. Each GameCube controller port corresponds to the four characters in battle.
In a recent interview with GameDAILY, Nao Higo of Namco Hometek discussed various aspects of the game, including a few changes for the North American version. The cooking system, according to Higo, allows players to heal their characters immediately after battles. This is especially useful for consecutive battles when characters cannot recover by other means between altercations. Certain dishes can boost character attributes, like attack and defense, in addition to recovering HP and TP. Each character has his or her own ingredients to contribute to the dishes, and their unique likes and dislikes determine the effect of a dish on them.
Higo revealed that Tales of Symphonia includes over ten thousand lines of voiced dialogue and over three hundred face skits. Voices are in English only, as Japanese voice-overs were removed from the game due to space limitations. Jokes were changed for clarity in the North American version, and some of Zelos's dialogue was altered because of his vulgarity. Higo promised that Zelos's personality would still shine through.
Higo said in the interview that Namco hopes to create a strong Tales fanbase in North America so that it can bring over more games in the series. Namco is currently focusing on bringing the GameCube version to North America on July 13. Plans to bring the PS2 version across the Pacific have not been announced.
In related news, the PlayStation 2 version of Tales of Symphonia will ship in Japan on September 22. It will include a preview trailer for Tales of Rebirth and special art for Tales of Symphonia.