By Rolando . July 29, 2007 . 9:35pm
Back in December 16th of 2004, Namco released Tales of Rebirth, a Tales game that widely differed from Tales of Symphonia, on the Playstation 2 in Japan. What made Tales of Rebirth so different from Symphonia is how Rebirth somehow returned to the traditional linear motion battle system found in Phantasia, Destiny, Eternia, and Destiny II, and added something to the mix by including the 3-linear motion battle system in which characters could jump from one to another to attack enemies on the other planes or get on one plane to run towards an enemy's backside and attack him on the plane where he is. Tales of Rebirth also introduced the Force Gauge where TP is non-existent and skill usage is determined by the charge of each of the four diamonds within your controlled character's Force Gauge which so happen to correspond to the directional face button of each of the skills you've equipped to your character. Another really cool feature about Rebirth was the Enhance ability where after battles characters would earn Enhancement Points (EP) that could be used towards strengthening your characters' equipment, which made saving Gald a lot easier for you. Perhaps the coolest things about Tales of Rebirth were the Rush Gauge, where, when charged completely, a character's offense would increase dramatically at the expense of decreased defense and stats returned to normal when the gauge goes down, and the Secret Justice attacks which are basically double techs characters could perform with one another to unleash a massive attack and deal tons of damage to an enemy. Did I say too much?
Tales of Rebirth was never released here in the United States, sadly, and whether or not the PSP port will be released here is entirely up to Namco-Bandai. It'd be a shame, though, as this Tales really is a good Tales game that, while retaining a somewhat oldschool Tales charm, manages to reinvent the original formula and introduce a ton of good ideas that worked in your favor and made character customization fun. Past the break is the scan of Tales of Rebirth PSP from Famitsu magazine via Jeux-France and a video of the PS2 version's combat (fight with Tytree for those who want to know…not much of a spoiler) for those who've yet to witness the 3-linear motion battle system awesomeness.