In September of last year, during the Tokyo Game Show, Namco Bandai released an iOS port of their classic 1995 RPG Tales of Phantasia to the Japanese App Store. The game was entirely in Japanese, but it seemed like an English language version was in the cards, and indeed just today Tales of Phantasia [Free] has landed in the US and Canadian App Stores with full English language support.

Now, Tales of Phantasia is the first in a line of many, many more games in the "Tales of" series, but this isn't exactly the same game you remember from nearly twenty years ago. First off, it's a free-to-play game now. While the game claims you can play from start to finish without having to purchase anything, IAPs are available which offer "cheats" like reviving after death. If you're just looking to play through the game as originally intended it doesn't sound like the IAPs will be intrusive, though. A larger problem for many gamers is that Tales of Phantasia requires a constant internet connection to play, a very strange requirement for a strictly single-player game.

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It's not all bad though, as this version of Tales of Phantasia does include full voice acting for cutscenes and additional animation, hinting that it's probably a port of the 2006 PSP remake rather than the Super Famicom original. I never played the original Tales of Phantasia, but I love me some 16-bit era RPG'ing, so I'm looking forward to downloading this new iOS version and giving it a spin. Hopefully the seemingly negative aspects won't detract from the game, but at the very least Tales of Phantasia is free to download and try for yourself so you might as well check it out.

Currently, it appears that Tales of Phantasia is only available in Japan, Canada and the US, but if you happen to spot it in your own country's App Store let us know in the comments below or in our forums.

  • octopus

    This was a good game once. I do not know and I cannot realize why do Japanese companies mistreat good old games from time to time.
    I’m glad that emulators still exist.

    • nullstorm

      This is a free port. Free. It's not exactly mistreated. They're GIVING you the game... if they want to monetize some stuff like in-battle raises, that's fine.

  • headchem

    If it's not an MMO and it doesn't work in Airplane mode, it's a bug. I hope they can fix this bug, though, because I'd like to give them my money...

    • Ava1on

      It's free...

      • headchem

        Well, I look pretty silly now...

  • Hero Killer Id

    Love the tales series I hope they keep up these releases. Would love to see Destiny and Eternia. Also DRAGON QUEST please!

    • VA1N

      I would love to see a Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior release on the iOS.

    • James M Wallace

      Eternia (known in NA as ToD II) is my second-ranked absolute favorite. As much as I don't like the always-on connection requirement for this game, if they port the PSP version of Eternia using the same crippling method I'd DL it without question.

      I've never played the original ToD, so I'll give this one a look. I do have a reliable connection at home and uni has a really strong signal, so I guess I can live with the connection requirement. I want to see how the linear motion battle system evolved from ToD, ToE up to ToL (Legendia [PS2] is my absolute favorite).

  • Earth Vs. Me

    If it's free to play and requires an internet connection, it means the publisher's leeching your phone's processor. Download at your own risk.

    • curtisrshideler

      Yup, that's gotta be it. There's no way I'm downloading this if it won't run in airplane mode. That just encourages emulation over paying for a legitimate game. Seems super fishy.

  • Cheeseball

    Having an active internet connection requirement is really stupid, especially since ToP is a single-player RPG. How do they expect WiFi-only iPads and iPod Touch users to play anywhere they like? How about cellular users who are stuck in low-signal areas?

    Namco-Bandai needs to stop fucking around. I would've easily paid $4.99 to $9.99 for this if it didn't have this restriction.

  • smiffee666

    not out in Europe?!? just my luck, loved eternia on psp racked up some hours and had this on gba micro (that i gave to my friends son who subsequently lost it) GUTTED : ((

  • VA1N

    The Tales series is one of my favorite RPG series. I'm interested in seeing how exactly it plays on an iOS device so I'll be picking it up this afternoon for sure.

  • John Park

    Lags like crazy on iPhone4 but it also says its optimized for iPhone4S and up so i can't really complain. I'll come back to it when I have a future phone like an iPhone5.

    • Kajillion123

      Also lags on iPad.

      • James M Wallace

        Which iPad? From the iTunes Store it lists iPad mini as one of the recommended devices, and I'm planning to pick up the 2013 model (Retina). Has anyone with the iPad mini w/ Retina Display tested this out?

  • Kajillion123

    I'm 10 minutes in and they already translated the main character's last name as Alvein and Albane. I wonder if Ragnarok is still called Kangaroo?

  • Kajillion123

    The opening video is grainy and pixelated as hell and the game requires an internet connection? Is it streaming?

    • 61050

      this has to be one of the dumbest things ive heard all day, and then i realize you might actually be correct because i can think of exactly zero legit reasons for a net connection to be a requirement. pretty sure i wasnt required to log onto aol 2.0 back when the translation patch for the snes rom came out, lol.

  • apgeorge69

    Is this some elaborate Japanese scheme to mine bit coins using our iPhones?

  • Amano Jacu

    Not available here in spain, I'll have to wait for it. And the internet connection is possibly required so you can feel the urge to buy IAP anytime you play...

  • Jak Constantine

    Stupid of Konami not to release this is Europe. One of the reasons they're losing money.

  • Tom Tjarks

    I'm gonna go with 'WTH does this need an internet connection for?' and 'Daily login boosts for playing reguarly?' NamcoBandai, I would have happily paid five or ten dollars to get a basic port of this game from the PSP version that I could just sit down and play whenever. This added on cruft is unnecessary and just complicates playing a classic game.