It was the annual Tales of Festival at the Yokohama Arena in Japan today with Tales of Festival 2014, and Bandai Namco had some interesting announcements for its latest Tales game, Tales of Zestiria.
A new rival character
The grey-haired, shirtless, pistol-wielding dude, Zabida (ザビーダ) is looking to be one of those reoccurring mid-boss battles throughout the story.
A new feature to Zestiria's combat is the ability for the main character, Slay, to temporarily fuse with a teammate to enter "Kamui" (神衣) mode and unleash to fancy kick-arse moves. This ability is limited to fusions between human and Tenzoku characters. (Tenzoku are a second humanoid race that will appear in Tales of Zestiria)
From the trailers that were shown, characters can seamlessly enter Kamui mode, do some flashy smack-down and immediately separate to continue battle. It looks pretty cool.
Theme song artist
Japanese artist, Superfly, has been chosen to sing the game's theme song.
A Tales of Zestiria TV special for Japan is also currently in the works. While the TV special won't be entirely animated, Japanese animation studio Ufotable is going to be working on whatever animation sequences that there will be. No specific date has been announced for the TV special, but Tales series producer, Hideo Baba stated that it would be in preparation for the game's release, so it will likely air shortly before the actual game comes out.
As for the game's release date...
No luck in that department. Bandai Namco made no announcements, and even though I managed to catch Baba and ask him directly, he was unable to divulge any information at this time. He did note that unfortunately, a simultaneous Japanese and international release was unlikely, due to the localisation process, and that one current issue for the dev team was to find a way to make the delay between the Japanese release and international release as short as possible.