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Tales Producer: Japanese Devs "Going Back To Their Roots"

Maybe it's what they should've been doing all along.

Many old-school fans of Japanese video games (JRPGs in particular) have lamented the seemingly ceaseless drive of Japanese studios to attempt to "Westernize" their products. This has led to major disappointments and missteps.

But these days, some Japanese designers have passed on that idea and are returning to their roots. At least that's what Namco Bandai producer Hideo Baba sees; the guy who has helped bring you some great Tales games says Japanese developers have started to see the light:

"I feel like a lot of Japanese developers, especially ourselves, we've really taken an effort to go back to our roots. We look at what we started with and what we're good at, and we really tried to make an effort to strengthen what our foundations are."

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, a highly anticipated JRPG from Level-5 that launches today, is an example of Baba's theory. As for the Tales franchise, that has always stayed true to its Japanese roots:

"With regards to the Tales franchise, we've never made an effort to 'westernize' it. We feel that Western developers are good at certain things, while Japanese developers are good at other things. Rather than us trying to copy Western developers, we really try to look within ourselves and try to improve ourselves. The Tales franchise has been a personal struggle to better ourselves and the franchise."

Now if only Square Enix had adopted this viewpoint at the start of this generation. Just imagine what we'd have by now; just imagine the potential greatness of the Final Fantasy XIII games. Oh, it's almost too painful to think about... But at least some developers are starting to realize that they should stick to their guns.

Tags: namco bandai, tales games, tales of xillia, japanese games, gaming industry

1/21/2013 9:39:12 PM John Shepard

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Comments (15 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 10:14:01 PM
Reply

That statement literally made me feel a bit warm and fuzzy inside. I hope it's true that others are willing to take up the mantle of the past and bring it into the future. If there were enough of them, I'd stop buying western games brand new just to support the Japanese ones straight away.

Let's not forget about the Suikoden revival movement on Facebook! We can do it if we band together to support Ni No Kuni and Tales of Xillia, and of course keep those Lightning Returns sales below 1 million.

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xenris
Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 10:17:31 PM
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I think this is smart. We need more diversity. We need crazy Japanese styled games now more than ever.

With the over saturation of rehashes and grey brown shooters we need the kind of crazy wacky games that the Japanese come up with.

Not that nothing good has come out lately but it seems things are trying to distill into a single formula of having just a little RPG elements, just a bit of strategy and a whole lot of explosions, guns and shooting.

I hope more devs embrace their roots. It would only benefit the industry

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 1:33:55 AM
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Still waiting for Xillia!!!!!
You already got one purchase here Namco!!!
And next stop, XILLIA 2!!!


I recently bought a copy of WKCII, man I gotta say, it's the one true JRPG on the PS3.

Still haven't gone online though, am I missing out something big if I don't?

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shadowscorpio
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 @ 1:49:37 AM

WKC2 is a great jrpg. Its definitely one people are going jump into later and ask, "Why in the heck didn't I play this sooner ?"

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 4:49:13 AM
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You guys want more jrpgs, I want a new Katamari. That's the most crazy japanese I've played, and truly enjoyed every second of it.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 10:44:37 AM

Everybody wants a new Katamari. They're not human if they don't. ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 2:04:36 PM

I like it when people touch my katamari

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Ludakriss
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 5:18:50 AM
Reply

*sigh* a waiting game it is then...

I sincerely hope that teaser depicting Star Ocean in CGI is going to come to fruition. Enjoyed the 4th one, I did.

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Draguss
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 6:54:08 AM
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After reading so many articles where japanese devs kept mentioning western appeal, this honestly made me feel rather tingly inside.

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MRSUCCESS
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 8:52:56 AM
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I say if it's not broken why fix it? I purchased Ni no Kuni this past Friday and I played it for a bit and I felt the same heart warming feeling when I played Dragon Quest Vlll and Dark Cloud 2. Unfortunately I won't be able to continue playing it until I complete Far Cry 3 which is a long game if you do all the side quests and collect of the items on the island >_>

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Douchebaguette
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 3:07:09 PM
Reply

Yes! I'm so proud of them, I actually bookmarked this page. Glad to see the recovery.

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Clamedeus
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 3:47:03 PM
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I feel embarrassed to say this. But I believe I just squealed like a schoolgirl right now.

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DIsmael85
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 @ 10:34:15 PM
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To celebrate this news I am playing Ni No Kuni. Who else has picked up this beautiful looking JRPG?

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shadowscorpio
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 @ 1:52:15 AM

It shall be mine this Friday !

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shadowscorpio
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 @ 1:58:58 AM
Reply

The Tales series have always stuck to their roots. This gen it seems like jrpg japanese devs have ventured outside of what they normally produce. Namco Bandai was one of the elite jrpg devs during the ps2 era. I sincerely hope all japanese devs follow suit . Looking at you Square Enix.

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