Toonzone had some hands-on time with Tales of Hearts R for the PS Vita at the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC2014). The game was originally released as Tales of Hearts in Japan for the Nintendo DS back in 2008. It was remade for the PS Vita in Japan last year and is finally making its way stateside.
In Tales of Hearts R the young hero, Kor Meteor, is bequeathed a special weapon called a Soma after he’s found to possess strong Spiria. Spiria is the embodiment of mind and soul, and the source of all life. Kor meets Kohaku Hearts, a woman who has had a spell placed on her by a sorceress. As he attempts to lift the spell, Kohaku’s Spiria Core is shattered and scattered throughout the world. Kor and Kohaku must set out on a journey to put the Spiria Core back together.
The original Tales of Hearts on the DS used a mix of 2D character sprites and 3D backgrounds. Tales of Hearts R is fully 3D. I thought it looked good on the Vita. If you’re a sprite person, you might disagree. Here are a couple of screenshots comparing similar scenes in the original DS and PS Vita remake.
Those familiar with other entries in the “Tales of” series will be able to jump right into its linear motion battle system. One of the combat gameplay additions that sets “Hearts R” apart from other “Tales of” games is the ability to engage in an Aerial Chase. This allows the player to engage in aerial battles. If you haven’t played other games in the series, the controls are fairly intuitive. I can’t imagine it’d take you very long at all to get a really good handle on it.
As part of the demo, we fought a boss battle not too far into the game. The animation was fluid. The menu was easily accessible. You can use it to access items and artes. Switching between characters is a cinch. Also, the giant sandworm above put up a good fight. Thumbs up, here. We’ll be checking out the full game when it’s released.
Tales of Hearts R is a direct port from the Japanese version. The original Japanese voice overs will be carried over. The only major difference mentioned during the demo was that some of the names had been changed for the American version.