Tales of Hearts R Review


Those who follow my reviews will know that I am an RPG-aholic, with the Tales of series being one of my favorites in the genre. Another Tales of title has been given a western release, this time it being Tales of Hearts R.  With most of the Tales of games being on the PlayStation 3, I was very interested to see how a Tales of title would fare on the PS Vita. Can this portable Tales of title hold up with the others? Read my full review below to find out!

Game: Tales of Hearts R
Developer: Bandai Namco
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Reviewed on:











As always with RPG’s, (in this sense, JRPGs), every good game in this genre is backed up by a wonderful story, gripping the players from start to finish. I have had the privilege to have played quite of the few Tales of titles in the series, all offering great stories along the way. That is down to the legend that is Hideo Baba, creator of the series. My admiration for Hideo Baba has gone to new levels after playing Tales of Hearts R. Even though it is on the PS Vita, Tales of Hearts R produces a story worthy of the series in every way, pulling me in right from the very start. We hate spoilers here at NGB and we certainly won’t do that, but just to set you off, the story revolves around young teenager, Kor Meteor. Kor is the grandson of a  famous somatic, (those who possess special powers). Kor meets a young girl and her brother, and accidentally causes her central core spiria to shatter into many pieces. Kor, along with Kohaku and Hisui, must travel the world of Celland in order to retrieve all the shards of Kohaku’s spiria, in order to giver her back her full personality. As I have previously said, this story will grip you from start to finish, and even on the PS Vita, is one title in the series that I will always go back to in fondness.


Visually, Tales of Hearts R does not look as good as some of the others in the series, but that is to be expected really on the PS Vita. That being said, it still looks very nice on the Vita’s OLED screen. The anime style looks decent enough, with cut scenes being one of the highlights that visually show off Tales of Hearts R. The monsters throughout the game do look quite odd though visually, as I would of liked a bit more attention given to them in order to make the game shine that bit more.


Now this is quite a strange one to review, and I’ll tell you exactly why. When you play through the game, the developers have left the entire voice sound in the narrative Japanese. Whether this was left on purpose by Hideo Baba, I’m not sure, but I get the feeling that hearing the voices in Japanese all the way through the game will certainly put people off. It is a bit of a gripe at first, but I quickly got used to it, and with the English subtitles on hand on the bottom, it didn’t really put me off at all. If any DLC was to come out for Tales of Hearts R, I would love them to bring a pack with English voices, as it would just add to the experience, and let you understand the developers that bit more. Everything else is what you would come to expect from a Tales of title, and fits in well with the overall tone.


Tales of Hearts R’s gameplay fundamentals offers a fun, yet deep experience. If you are a newcomer to the Tales of series, then I would very much recommend Tales of Hearts R as the first one to to try, because of how easy it is to pick up. The leveling up system is certainly a highlight of the game, with players building up there Soma’s, enhancing different skills along the way. There are 5 different attributes each Soma can possess, and it is then up to the user how they develop them accordingly. You develop your Soma by the use of Soma Points, which can be obtained through battles and leveling up.

What is good about Tales of Hearts R. is that you don’t really have to grind too much. I have played many ‘grid-fest-‘ RPGs, where all you seem to be doing is battling. Luckily, the game’s length means you can level up at a steady pace, enjoying the story and locations along the way. The battle system is one that veteran fans of the series will come to expect, but that is no bad thing. There is little to discourage you from battles, giving battles a sense of fun and freedom, two factors that I crave when playing through games of this genre. Of course, players have their standard attacks, and their more powerful ‘artes’ at their disposal. Strategies of your party can also be set, with healing characters backing off to make sure your party’s HP is always aty a high percentage. Tales of Hearts R is not a JRPG that offers a different experience to that of it’s predecessors, but for me, that is what makes me love it that bit more. If the formula works, why change it?


This section is one of the strengths of Tales of Hearts R. Tales of Hearts R will keep you busy, depending on how long you play, for absolutely ages. There is easily 30+ hours of story content here, not even adding in the number of side quests there are. If you want a JRPG, with depth, then Tales of Hearts R is the only way to go.


Tales of Hearts R offers everything that I love about the Tales of series. I would say it is perfection, but the absence of English voice overs does bring it down a tiny bit. If you are on long plane journey’s, train journey’s, or even just bored on the coach with a few hours spare, then Tales of Hearts R will certainly tide you over and more. Congratulations on another stellar title, Hideo Baba!


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