Anime intro added
   Tales of Phantasia was perhaps the Super Nintendo's finest RPG hour: 48 megabits of gaming bliss, it was the largest SNES cartridge ever created. The graphics were lush and colorful; the sound and music, astounding. Some songs actually had lyrics! Solid gameplay and an epic plot tied together what was many players' favorite RPG.

   Many Japanese players, that is. Tales of Phantasia, sadly, never found its way to U.S. shores. But after the Japanese success of the PSX sequel, Tales of Destiny, Namco is porting the first game to the PlayStation -- with enhancements. Tales of Phantasia is similar in many ways to its sequel. The graphics, music, and battle system will all familiar. But this isn't a bad thing by any means; Tales of Phantasia was a large, complex RPG ahead of its time in many ways.

   One gripe many gamers had with Tales of Destiny was the lack of a decent color palette -- colors were drab, resembling the kind of image you'd see on the SNES. According to Yas Noguchi of Namco, Tales of Phantasia's development team is now taking full advantage of a more advanced palette. Namco is also adding an anime intro to the port -- the original cartridge might have been 48 megabits, but even that can't hold video. Other changes include a fully polygonal overworld (instead of the pseudo-mode-7 of Tales of Destiny), character CG, and enhanced character artwork and biographies on the status screen. Dungeons and towns are still in two-dimensions, ableit with the aforementioned improved palette. Namco is also adding more voices throughout; both battles and overworld travel are enhanced by extra character speech.

   Tales of Destiny is an old-school, highly-polished RPG sleeper hit. If Destiny sells well enough, Phantasia stands a good chance of being translated. Hopefully, this enhanced "prequel" will be given the same chance to succeed on these shores.

Preview by Andrew Vestal.
Tales of Phantasia
Developer Namco
Publisher Namco
Genre Traditional RPG
Medium CD (1)
Platform Sony Playstation
Release Date  12.23.98
12 screenshots
5 main characters
Three packing shots