Tales of Hearts R is lost in translation (PS Vita review)

tales-of-hearts-R-ps-vita-03As a fan of the Tales series, it is great to see Bandai Namco Games putting a bigger focus on bringing more titles over to the West. While Tales of Hearts R is a great addition to the series, it seems Bandai Namco Games gave the job of translating the game to the wrong people, which includes name changes and very odd phrases.

Tales of Hearts R takes place in a world where the Xerom monsters inflict a strange disease called Despir that feeds off a person’s Spiria. To combat this, strong warriors known as Somatics use a powerful tool called Soma that is born from strong hearts and wills. They dive into a person’s Spiria and fight off the dark plague in order to save them; however, when a young boy named Kor is given his grandfather’s Soma, things go wrong.

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The game is fun on so many levels. I found the story a bit odd since it’s about Kor developing feelings for Kohaku, a young girl he meets who spends a good portion of the game nearly emotionless. The game is pretty linear when it comes dungeons but the “Aerial Chase Linear Motion Battle System” is by far the best part of the game which allows you to knock an opponent in the air and chase them down with the help of an ally. This results in a button mashing style gameplay and can activate a powerful finisher. You can freely run around the battlefield, select which characters you play as from a nice sized cast and explore the world of Organica.

Leveling up in Hearts R is a little more interactive than other Tales titles. As you level up you can customize your Spiria core to improve your characters attacks, stats and unlock new arts and abilities in battle.

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As a fan of the Tales series myself, I’m pretty happy to see that Bandai Namco Games made the effort to release the game in the West. However, the game suffers from some terrible translations, with one line coming out as “my nipples are weak?” along with many other head-scratching lines and name changes.

I actually enjoyed that this is the first Tales of game that used the original Japanese voices, and would love to see that in future versions. Featuring anime cutscenes and a really solid soundtrack, the game is very solid and probably one of the best versions of the linear battle system that the Tales series known for (aside from the pretty bad translations). This is definitely a game to sit back and enjoy on your Vita or PlayStation TV.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms 

NR 4 Atoms - B

Tales of Hearts R
Developer:  Bandai Namco Games
Publisher:  Tales Studios & 7th Chord
System: PlayStation Vita
Price: $39.99
Available: 11/11/ 2014

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