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Q&A With Tales of Producer Hideo Baba-San

Tales of Xillia 2 is out this Friday and my review is live, which you can read here. Bandai Namco also gave me the chance to participate in a Q&A session with the producer (and genius, may I say!) of the Tales of series, Mr Hideo Baba-San.  Hideo gives us his thoughts on the future of Tales of, as well as whether he has had thoughts about bringing Tales of to the PlayStation 4.

Q1. Thank you very much for taking your time to answer our questions. Tales of Xillia seemed to get quite a mixed bag of feedback, what main things did you try and improve upon in Tales of Xillia 2?

We always create the story with a strong theme and messaging throughout each title of the series and this time as the theme of the story we took the keyword “choice” into importance. What was most challenging was to clearly portray the importance of this word by putting in the keyword “choice” within the gameplay.

In addition, as for the battle system that is the characteristic of the series, we have challenged in creating a new gameplay that was never put in before such as the main character changing weapons and transforming.

Q2. Have you thought about bringing the Tales of series onto next-gen consoles?

When considering the development of the series’ future, that choice may not be completely zero, but at this timing, we are choosing the hardware that we believe the most number of customers will be able to play, so we do not have plans to develop on the next-gen consoles at this stage.

Q3. The Tales of series has been about now for a number of years. How long do you think the series can go on for?

It is a series that has been continuing for about 20years, and I believe it will continue as long as there are “many customers” worldwide in the future. However, there are business policies as a company, so we do not have a promised future depending on the series’ situation.

Q4. What has been your personal favorite Tales of game in the series?

We are always asked this question, but it is difficult since I have been developing each title with strong feelings. But if I were to choose only one within all, it would be the first instalment, Fantasia. “Coexistence” which is important to portray in the story of Tales of, the battle system, the plot not just simply being right or wrong, it’s the title that created the basis of the series we have today. Whenever I’m troubled or hesitant, I always think going back to the roots of Fantasia and in that means as well, Fantasia is very important.

Q5. Tales of Symphonia is regarded by most to be one of the finest Tales of titles around. Would you like to revisit that story again in the future?

It is a fact that Symphonia has been perceived very well overseas, but there are no plans to have ideas creating another story in the world of Symphonia.

Q6. Do you look at other JRPG competitors when thinking about what to include in the next Tales of title?

Generally, I do not refer to other JRPGs. Having its unique evolution and portrayal is important to Tales of and it is our premise to propose a unique gam for the world that we portray and the gameplay. Personally I play many games, and whenever I spot that another title has already put in the idea that I was wanting and planning to use next, I give up with that idea.

Massive thanks once again to Hideo Baba-San and Bandai Namco in allowing me to send over some questions.

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