The Playstation 3. Even though it's successor is out now, it seems the console isn't ready to die just yet – particularly if you're a fan of role-playing games. In fact, much like 2013, 2014 looks set to be another bumper year for fans of the genre, with the likes of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster. There's also Tales of Symphonia Chronicles and Tales of Xillia 2 to come – and for fans of the colourful, anime-like series there's even more news, as the next installment, Tales of Zestiria, will be making it's way to western PS3s, although probably not for a year or two at least.
Perhaps following in the footsteps of Tales of Xillia, it seems Tales of Zestiria will give you a choice of protagonists to play as – the female knight/princess Alicia and the optimistic ruin-explorer bloke, somewhat oddly known as Slay. Whilst we know comparatively little about Slay, it seems the fair Alicia is a princess who's not afraid of getting her hands dirty, and, as the last in a long line of successors to the throne, spends most of her time travelling the land of Greenwood as a knight, righting wrongs as she goes. Rumours suggest the story is a fairly typical tale of one kingdom getting too big for their boots and trying to take over the other, with Slay, Alicia and co caught in the middle, although there's been no official reveals as of yet.
The game promises to be more rooted in more traditional magic and fantasy, with dragons playing a large part in the story – although whether they're with you or against you remains to be seen. Namco Bandai are also being pretty cagey about the 'new' battle system, although we aren't expecting a massive departure from the norm. The Tales games have always stuck to their trademark, if oddly named 'Linear Motion Battle System', which is simply a fancy way of saying you mash the attack button to beat up your enemies, periodically guarding and spamming special/magical attacks. Each new game in the series tweaks things slightly, giving you the ability to perform team attacks in Xillia or making your attacks stronger in Tales of the Abyss by performing them in concentrated elemental circles on the ground (yes, it was as confusing as it sounds), and Zestiria promises an “evolved form” of the current battle system, although how exactly it'll "evolve" remains to be seen.
Currently in development for the Playstation 3 and due out in Japan some time in 2015, series producer Hideo Baba has already confirmed that Tales of Zestiria will be coming to the west as well, although when that will be, we're not entirely sure. Considering the games tend to take around two years to translate we'd be surprised if we see it before 2017, well after the Playstation 4 has taken over from it's predecessor – unless we're looking at a simultaneous 2015 worldwide release of course. It's not all doom and gloom though, as the remastered double-whammy collection Tales of Symphonia Chronicles is due out on the 28th February this year and the follow-up Tales of Xillia 2 due sometime towards the end of 2014.