Consider last week's Tales of Hearts R localization rumor official after a leaked video announcement from Hideo Babe, Tales series Producer, has found its way online. In the video Hideo comments how in 2013 he attended many fan events across the world and heard how excited everyone was for a Tales of Hearts localization. With the release of Tales of Hearts R on the Vita in October 2013, a western localization was now a viable option.
The rumors started last week when GameStop put up a retail listing for Tales of Hearts on the PS Vita. Costing $39.99, the listing was in line with what we'd expect if Tales of Hearts R was brought overseas. Of course, the listing quickly disappeared and no official word was heard from Namco Bandai. Technically official word from Namco Bandai is still unheard, but it's hard to discount the announcement directly from the game's Producer in what's clearly a video meant for marketing.
Tales of Hearts R, when compared to the original Tales of Hearts on the DS, is a radically different experience. Visuals have been updated from 2D to 3D, all characters are now fully voiced, there are two additional characters that can join the party, and even the main storyline was extended. Basically, it's everything a Tales fan could want from the experience. Now all we need is a special edition PS Vita package to go along with the game's release.
Expect Tales of Hearts R to be released on the PS Vita this winter. While that's a year since the PS Vita update's release in Japan, and over six years away from the original launch on Nintendo DS, at least it's being localized at all. Please Namco Bandai, could you prioritize your RPG localizations a little more? We promise to be supportive! I swear! We'll start with Zestiria!
Thanks for the tip, Fauve!