Tales of Zestiria Shows Off Its New Enemy Encounter System

By Sato . July 30, 2014 . 9:00am


For the first time in the series, Tales of Zestiria will have battles that take place on the same spot you’re standing, instead of transitioning to a separate arena. Bandai Namco gives us a better idea of how it works in their latest video for the game. (Via: Game Jouhou)



As shown in the video, the “Real Map Battle” system lets you fight on the same ground you encounter the enemies. This also includes, trees, rocks, and other obstacles that were originally there, as well.


For this reason, you’ll have to think twice about where you fight at times, especially when you find yourself in narrow areas in dungeons or hallways.


Additionally, it looks like the areas with possible map action features, where Heavenly Tribe characters can interact with using their elemental actions, give Sorey a “???” symbol above his head when one’s nearby.


Tales of Zestiria is in development for PlayStation 3.

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  • Anewme…Again

    I like that, but at this point they might as well just have done an action style combat systems.

    The 2-3 seconds lost before each combat seem like such a waste of times.

    • KingGunblader

      I don’t mind the pre-battle part, but hopefully they can clean up the post-battle transition. It’s kind of jarring to the see the battle start without whoosing away to another screen, only to do just that when the fight is over.

      • mojack411

        That was my thought exactly. The post battle screen just seems to take away from the fluidity that the developers seem to be shooting for here.

  • KingGunblader

    This is already the best looking Tales of I’ve ever seen. Love the battle theme too.

  • lackofstyle

    like others i was worried that the environments looked a bit empty in the older screen shots, but looking at this now, it looks like there will probably be more variety to the fields so that’s good. other than that, the camera looks kinda wonky but since you can probably move it, its probably a non-issue

  • samsneeze

    I’m getting heavy Golden Sun vibes from that map theme. At least the soundtrack seems like it’ll be alright. Can’t say much about the characters and combat, though.

  • Crevox

    Only problem I see right now is the camera. It’s really zoomed in and all the characters/enemies are super close together.

    • Romored

      I guess you can configure it like in almost all the other Tales games.

      • Crevox

        Even then, if the positions of the enemies and characters start this way every fight, it’s just going to turn into an AoE fest. A lot of Tales games already have this imbalance (especially later ones) that AoE is extremely potent, but in this one you don’t even have to gather the mobs at the moment, can just start the fight and start AoEing.

        It could be because of the area they’re in (the winding path), but many areas in Tales games are like this, so it’s worrying.

        • Ladius

          It’s probably just a matter of changing formation, or maybe it has to do with the area where the battle was triggered. It makes sense to have the party in a cramped formation if you start a fight in a tight space, for instance.

  • HeavenlyHostess

    I am kind of irritated to see Sorey as the only real playable character. There were no videos or pictures whatsoever, showing another character being playable. Well, at least I haven’t seen any… Still, I am a little worried about that…

    • mojack411

      I HIGHLY doubt that Sorey will be the only playable character. We haven’t really gotten a real trailer of the game yet. The little fottage we have seen are two nico nico videos that hardly seem official. It would be suicidal to have one playable character in a Tales game so I’m sure we’ll see the other ones once we start getting actual trailers.

      • Ridho Siregar

        yeah, I even didn’t know that I can control the other party member in ToTA until I re-explored that Myu forest (what is it again?) and unintentionally found the required flag item.

        • mojack411

          Oh yeah that stupid S-Flag lol. The one thing that annoyed me in that game. Otherwise Abyss is still my favorite Tales.

          • HeavenlyHostess

            I hope you are right! Because I reeealy like everything so far.

          • raymk

            He is right, you could always pick another character in all the tales of games, even the first tales of phantasy on snes.

          • HeavenlyHostess

            Yep, I know, but this Tales of makes many things differently… Its just me, I guess^^

          • But the S-Flag doesn’t change who you control, it only changes who the field character is.
            You can control characters right from the get go in Abyss by changing them to Slot 1, but you don’t get the Moon Selector (which lets you change characters mid-battle) until after you get Natalia and speak to the mentor in Baticul.

    • Multiple trailers shown various characters playable so…

      • HeavenlyHostess

        They did? ok^^

  • Kintaro

    day one buy, played xillia and vesperia on ps3 and I dare to say that right now the tales series are my favorite rpg’s, these games never disappoint, great characters, story and fun battle system

  • Alphabet Soup

    I am really excited for this game and happy with the Tales staff. They are trying new things, including targeting complaints people have about JRPGs (instantiated battles, for example) and I feel like a lot of the changes have worked without losing the charm of the series. You still get end battle quotes here.

  • I don’t really think they picked the best footage to show off how fighting on the world map will affect combat. None of the characters or enemies even moved during the fights beyond using their attacks

  • ShinNeoGranzon

    Anyone know why the health and tp bars seem to be separated into 4 sections?

    • Triplicity

      25%, 50%, 75%? Seems just stylistic to me, unless there’s battle mechanics that rely on those thresholds.

    • Derek

      that bar is not HP bar, the HP is always a number
      hp is the number above the 2 bars

      • ShinNeoGranzon

        I somehow didn’t notice the numbers, thanks for pointing them out. Still raises the question of what the orange and blue bars are and why they are segmented.

        • Derek

          well, this game has a lot of graces vibe…
          but there are apparently 3 accumulative patterns:
          overlimit (in case it exists, not like xillia)
          tp (as always)
          and MAYBE how you fuse with another character (you might have to use certain amount of.. that… in order to fuse for certain time)

          one of them is, for sure, Tp, but since it has no numbers, it might as well act as Hearts DS, hence one of the bars

          the second one could either be the overlimit gauge, or something related to the fuse ability

  • Kai2591

    Beautiful :)
    This should make battles a lot quicker. Though that short battle ‘report’ after each battle where the characters line up is kinda awkward, but no big deal.

    The map looks nice too; even has cloud shadows (does it have changing weather system?), but can’t really judge completely as the video only shows a little at low resolution..

  • Ridho Siregar

    why is Alisha following Sorey around while the others don’t?

  • mojack411

    Huh, I was expecting something like Xenoblade Chronicles. It’s kinda weird how it actually shows a bunch of enemies popping out from the single overworld enemy.

    And as much as I’ve always loved the Tales post-battle quotes, I can’t help but feel like they and the results screen take away from the fluidity that the developers are trying to shoot for here.

  • Cheesy12

    Does anyone else miss the cel shaded visuals that Vesperia had? I felt it looked a lot cleaner and pretty, whereas Tales of Xillia and Zestiria have that muddy look.

    • Fronkhead

      I do! Both (GC) Symphonia and Vesperia are the only two 3D Tales games that do soft and traditional cel shading which made environments look almost dreamy.

      Since then the games have indeed had this muddy look to them, particularly characters which lack the cel shaded outlines and lighting (Abyss is the worst offender). Though I think Zestiria is a step in the right direction at least, it has a wider colour palette too.

      I mentioned GC Symphonia specifically because that had a soft blur and depth of field filters over the visuals which lent them a really nice watercolour painted look. The PS3 “HD” remake removes this and it zoomed in the visuals to make it 16:9, making environments look downright ugly (the zoom in itself and move to HD makes all the textures look bad too)

      • KingGunblader

        I was really disappointed with the way the PS3 port turned out. I wasn’t expecting aFinal Fantasy X/X-2 level of polish, but it could have been a lot better.

        • Fronkhead

          Same. I picked it up for a fiver as it was on sale to try it out and was shocked at how it was ported over. I heard about it being half the framerate but the issues stretch further than that, with the aforementioned inferior and zoomed in visuals, changing the game’s look for the worse and making you see less on screen, laggy input response (even the menus would lag), worse control (Lloyd seems to turn in steps now rather than the full 360 degrees, and it no longer feels great to move about, merely acceptable).

          And then there’s the small things: Namco applied a tonne of post processing to the anime cutscenes and OPs, lending them a really horrible merged fuzzy look. They probably did this to make them look “HD” but they honestly look way better in 480p upscaled anyway.

          Symphonia Wii was a more successful port, though it never looked as nice as the first game anyway.

      • Yeah the Symphonia HD port really ruined the artistic look of the original. I really miss them thick black outlines.

      • Zoozbuh

        Yeah I ONLY played the PS3 version of the game, and while I loved the game itself, I wouldn’t say it looked good by any stretch. Some games just aren’t meant to be blown up to HD resolution + they removed the outlines and didn’t put much effort into the port, so that kinda sucked.

    • Depends. Playing Vesperia right now and I love the colors, yes, but the body animations and facial expressions are waaaay inferior to Zestiria’s.
      I almost laughed when Estelle shaked hands with Yuri and her hand clipped through his.

      • Cheesy12

        Animation has certainly improved in later games, but you can have nice animations with celshaded visuals too.

        • Yes, I think they should use Vesperia’s color filters and the improved modelling and animations from the newer games.

          …Actually to be honest I’d like CyberConnect2 to make a Tales game given how Naruto HD games are just beautiful to look at.

          • Kroz

            That is what i always thought too. vesperia had great colors everything popped. Cyberconnect2 could make an awesome looking tales game. they work with namco often for the Naruto games why not tales?

            I mean lets all stop and think of how awesome the mystic artes would look!

          • I’ve been saying that for years now!
            Maybe next game, my friend.

    • aizen310

      Xillia, Graces and even this game are cel-shaded too, but with a different cel-shading style.

      That being said, I think an anime game should always gotta have true, anime-like cel-shading. Like ToVesperia, Bleach: Soul Resurrección or Naruto Storm games.

    • KingGunblader

      I’m a big fan of the style in this game. I’ll admit it is kind of dark, but the colours are great, and I love the characters that are as close to ‘realistic proportions’ as anime characters are going to get.

      It’s the next logical step from Xillia 2 really.

    • Ladius

      I think Zestiria is a nice improvement over Xillia, and Xillia was already far ahead Vesperia in terms of modeling, animations and cutscenes, not to mention having a free camera.

      Some people may prioritize Vesperia’s look, but I think the series has been progressing steadily even if obviously it can’t be compared to high budget AAA franchises

      • aizen310

        I think when people says, they like ToV visual’s more, they think of the cel-shading itself, not the stiff movements or the lower poly models. Zestiria should easily have graphics like Naruto Storm or Bleach: SR, and still using higher poly models or more advanced animations like we saw in ToV.

        In all honesty, PS3 Tales games (even the 3D PS2 ones) are looking like DBZ Budokai 1 for PS2. An anime game deserves cel-shading.

    • awat

      Everyone has his/her liking in the graphical thingy field, ToV has great animeish visuals similar to Naruto games like some here stated But come on to always get the same i mean for every Tales of. game to have the same style would be really boring in my opinion so this dark feel the change of the contrast to make it oily dark LOL sorry for my bad english but Yes it would be kinda boring so they did a good job in the way they made Xillia1/Xillia2, and ToZ is very similar to Xillia graphically so Lets hope they make the next mothership.Tales. more colorful , Change is good at times :)

      • aizen310

        Umm… so you say, having the same graphics are boring. Then you say if we’d had another game with ToV-like cel-shading, that would be boring. Then you say, we get a game with the same graphics as Xillia, and it’s awesome. You’re contradicting yourself.

        Yes, change is good at times. Changes that are make sense. Like giving an anime styled game anime-like appearences. Anime-like, and not generic CGI or photorealistic manga-like graphics. Sadly, Graces, Symphonia 2, Xillia 1 and 2, and this Zestiria are all looking painstakingly bland.

        • awat

          Na mate, i mean like for the next game to be like vesperia again as in for the change thing, ToV is still my favourite game on the PS3 ! and my favourite tales of on the ps3, most fave. is Destiny tho.
          i welcome all type of tales games, cause its my favourite series :) as long as we get them in english im cool , been playin lots of the series in jp only ,these days playin ToIR in jp ! no choice buddy its “Tales” i will play them in whatever language.

          • aizen310

            Oh. Sorry then.

  • Fronkhead

    Sounds great, though it will certainly mean the end of silky smooth 60fps battles with the slick response to combat they brought with them. In past Tales games this generation battles have been 60fps whilst exploration segments have been 30fps, and this game’s more open world is certainly going to be 30fps (or lower).

    Though the bigger test will be whether Namco can come up with a memorable open world rather than something which is forgettable and looks randomly generated (which is something Xenoblade pulled off extremely well, with each segment of its world having distinctive features and landmarks). I don’t have my hopes held high after witnessing Xillia’s map designs…

    • raymk

      Are any of the tales world maps memorable? None of them are to me, they are all pretty forgetful.

      • Fronkhead

        That’s a point, I don’t remember any of them either. And while games like Graces adopted a Pokemon-esque “routes” system it wasn’t as masterfully done as the intertwined maps of the first four Pokemon generations’ games.

      • Eternia’s is. What with all you can do around with different Van Eltia modes and all the hidden caves.

        • Fronkhead

          While it’s been way too long since I played it I do still remember bits of the world map, which is saying something. Particularly one of the towns situated on an island and also Celestia’s train tracks (er, was that right?)

    • Ladius

      I don’t think this is necessarily true. While the transition between exploration and battles is really smooth it’s still there, and they could very well use it to switch fps considering battle arenas are far smaller than the whole map in which they’re set.

  • MarilynGAmis

    As shown in the video, the “Real Map Battle” system lets you fight on the same ground you encounter the enemies. This also includes, trees, rocks, and other obstacles that were originally there, as well. http://ur1.ca/hvhaa

  • Jadfish

    Sounds super cool in concept, but I think the camera is too zoomed in on what your character is targeting. I would want a better overview of the battle, but if they allow some camera options or camera controls I can totally work with it. It looks great.

    • k.b.a.

      That battle looked like a mess but I like this idea for the random encounters. Ffxii meets okmi.

    • What 3D tales game hasn’t had camera options as of late? It’s like a staple of the LMBS .

    • Ladius

      Considering Tales games usually have options to change the camera angle, I think this shouldn’t be an issue. Some previous screenshots already showed a different camera angle, I think.

  • Kroz

    good stuff, I just hope the multiplayer doesn’t take a hit like it did in Xillia

    • KingGunblader

      Multiplayer in the Xillia games sucked because of the linking system. All things considered this should be at least a little better.

      • I’m worried though about the Divine/Human system limiting playability again like the link system…
        Though this time we have Udo working on the battle system. Guy worked on some of the best battle systems to date (Destiny 2, Rebirth, Destiny R and Graces)

        I think it’s a safe bet it should all be ok battle-wise

        • Kroz

          If the fusing system happens to have the same problem as the inking system in xillia then I think 2 players is the only option and you can only play as sorey and alicia

        • KingGunblader

          Hopefully players 2-4 can play as whoever they want, and if they need to combine then the player controlling the human character takes the lead until they separate again. I think something like that could work.

  • KrazyBean

    Huh, so it’s not like Xenoblade Chronicles were the amount of enemies you see on the field are the actual amount you fight. Here they just clone themselves. Also the post battle transition is a bit jarring, pre-battle transition is fine though.

    Combat looks a lot like Graces.

    • RagingTiger44

      I thought it’d be something along those lines as well. The way you initiate combat sort of reminds me of Rogue Galaxy on the PS2.

  • I. Can’t. Wait. The battles look great and so do the environments. Day 1 for me =^_^=

  • Izzeltrioum

    People, this is tales, not just another MMO from the bunch.

    Some people still see Xenoblade as the future of jrpg design. IT IS NOT. By these standards we can claim that FF XIV is the most innovative jrpg out there. Just as Kiseki evolved the traditional turn-based formula, Tales just evolved Transition-to-combat formula. It’s still nice to see some archaic rpg design here. They still don’t ditch dedicated battle zones in favour of 100% action like Dark Souls, Dragon’s Dogma, Skyrim, and such,

    And remember Nico NIco’s stream’s fps are waay lower than the actual output, so let’s just wait for an official HD footage from Bamco themselves (and still youtube halves everything to 30fps).

    Aside from that, I think they could’ve shown a more wide-open area to show seamless combat. And not to mention this has the potential to be the very best from Udo’s, and from the entire genre itself (at least for action rpgs).

    But those messages are text-only (Wait nevermind I hear voices)? Bummer. Hope there’s some voiced ones too. And, uuh, hope plot is solid and consistent at best. And enemies actually cloning themselves? Well, that’s weird as I’d expect some variety, as I don’t see a wolf cloning into an Axebeak or eggbear. Makes me think if enemies will fuse as well.

    • kao

      knowing the tales series and its battle systems, something like this is more or less what I was expecting from their “seamless map battle transition” claims. But it seem like a lot of people were expecting it to look like some kinda live mmo(pretty much xenoblade chronicles) but i actually like how it looks so far. I never understood why many see xenoblade as the new innovative jrpg standard when it just feels like another grinding mmo.

      I just hope that the fields for battle can get a little bigger(adjust camera angle) since it looks pretty cramped up with all the enemies and allies shuffling in that small space..

      • Egil

        you dont need to grind in xenoblade, you just need good tactics

        • Giordan

          you do have to grind a bit in Xenoblade, dude.

          • Egil

            exactly but its not focused in grindind, you dont even have to grind to lvl 99 to fight the superbosses

    • darke

      I’m not quite sure how it can be ‘evolving’ the transition-to-combat formula (in the Tales series, sure, but not for JRPGs in general); not-transitioning to a battle-arena is a rare thing in a JRPG, but it’s not unheard of.

  • Kornelious

    Just as I expected! It looks really cool and kinda reminds me of Crisis Core or Rouge Galaxy :)

    My only gripe with it is that the area you battle in seems kind of small (Though that could just be because they didn’t give them a chance to spread out) And I wonder how things like Free-Running and the battle border will work into this.

    Either way this is definitely gonna rival or even surpass my love for Xillia with all these new innovations, I can’t wait! :D

  • Revorse

    Looking good. Sakuraba better bring his A game this time around. I wanna love every track that I hear.

    • Zoozbuh

      Sakuraba is an AWFUL composer to be honest. I don’t think I’ve liked or remembered a single instrumental song in the last 3 Tales games I’ve played… Even in this clip, the music sounds VERY similar to bgm from Tales of Xillia, as if they just changed a few notes here and there.

      I would go as far as to say the music is my least favourite thing about Tales games. Sorry, don’t mind me going on a random rant.

  • Yan Zhao

    Love the transition, its pretty smooth.

  • They’re gonna have to smooth out the in-battle camera. It’s kind of horrendous. Otherwise, lookin’ good.

  • Suriel Cruz

    Yes.! From environment to game play, this game is so far AMAZING.

  • Wow.This actually looks pretty cool ;) End battle transition could be more smooth though.

  • uyjulian

    The transitions are a bit jarring.
    Here’s my suggestions:
    1. pan the camera back when the main character jumps back
    2. don’t go to a black screen after battle, just move the character to the right place, pan the camera to the end, then pan it back to what it was before battle.


    Reminds me of transition in Breath of Fire III. Looks great, also game itself looks amazing!

  • Ric Vazquez

    Nice change for the battle system Tales games have.

  • Donatetimo

    I think the camera is a little bit too close,other then that nice change.

  • while it does look leagues better than the other tales of games (IMO) the part at the end of the fight were they all just stand there aside from one of em that does a pose or whatever just seems a little….. out of place. I know they did it in the others but….. it goes from being fluent to a sudden stop.

    • s07195

      It’s…in development, so I’m pretty sure they will at least strike a pose or have the special battle endings like in previous games.

  • s07195

    Wow, some of those Japanese comments are downright toxic. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised…?

  • Zoozbuh

    It’s great to see the almost seamless transtition into battle, while keeping the battle system Tales is known for. The only thing which bothers me is how sparse and dull the environments seem, AGAIN. It was a problem in Tales of Xillia (large, barren landscapes which may as well be copy-pasted from one another). It makes going through those areas a chore for me :(

  • Theob Vious Choice

    I wish they’d bring back the traditional map screen, can’t get used to the Post Xillia linear garbage. I’m glad they didn’t revert to the DoTNW/Graces map screens but I kind of hate the Xillia one about as much, if not more since there literally is no world map. I like the old school map that died with Vesperia it seems.

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