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Tales of Xillia 2 Review


There is no denying that there are a lot of JRPG's out there, a huge back catalogue of greats and not so greats annually bolstered by more and more sequels and spin-offs, the majority of which tend to follow a similar pattern, usually involving an amnesiac character and mystical powers and whilst the original Tales of Xillia was no different it also introduced us to one of the best battle mechanics round in an RPG and a solid and enjoyable cast, rightfully making it one of the more memorable role playing games of recent times.

Though some time has passed since its original release, Tales of Xillia 2 finally gets a release date this side of the pond, sporting full translations and the same great storytelling as the previous game; however something seems amiss this time around.



In Tales of Xillia 2 you play as Ludger Will Kresnik, a young man that possesses a latent ability to traverse to alternate dimensions. Though totally unaware of these powers until a catastrophic train wreck, these powers catch the attention of the Department of Other Dimensions Affairs, causing him to be hired by them to repay his debt following the train crash and travel to fractured dimensions to destroy them. However along the way Ludger will bump into an assortment of mysterious characters and learn the truth surrounding his employers and what he has been asked to do.

Even though this is set in the same world as Tales of Xillia there is no real reason to have played the first game as even with nods and cameos from old characters the game handles the story well enough that it is not essential. A strong point of this game series is that Bandai Namco Games have made this very accessible to the majority of gamers, as a common problem with JRPG’s is that the story can often drag on a little too much with over extended cut scenes or talking heads sending you to sleep. Tales of Xillia has overcome this by rather than just letting you sit back there are often points of interjection where you are asked for an answer, some you can take your time answering whereas others are timed, forcing your hand to a quick answer. This optional extra level of interactivity also reaches into the field mode where you can choose to talk to all of the local inhabitants to get a feel for the world and this even extends to the talking heads moments, with you able to opt in to watching them, each adding even more depth to the characters you meet along the way, or if you rather just get the main story moving, ignore them.

As mentioned earlier the battle system in Tales of Xillia was a triumph and in its sequel it is more or less the same, though it has had some minor adjustments making it not as deep as the previous title. Rather than a turn based affair common with JRPG’s Xillia has real time combat, the game transporting you to a small arena where you have direct control Ludger, moving, jumping and dodging attacks. Rather than letting you spam the attack button you have a counter that limits your attacks, though you are never waiting long before your next attack as it recharges quite quickly. Aside from making sure you are fighting and defending there is also a lot more going on during a battle like keeping an eye on the many gauges that open more special moves and also commanding any allies who join you in battle, linking together with the friendly combatants who then can work in unison with you, defending and healing as well as joining in on the more powerful linked Artes attacks.



As a whole the battle and management systems are still very rewarding though even with tutorials running through the story it can feel a bit daunting at the start with so much thrown at you. Fans of the first game will however note a few changes, like the use of Orbs to unlock more special moves for each character, as thanks to the events of the first game they have changed to Allium Orbs that unlock pre-set specials over time for each character.

Tales of Xillia 2 is another example of making JRPG’s more accessible whilst not losing what makes them so entertaining, offering loads of specials to unlock and characters to find plus plenty more once the game has been completed. Ardent fans of the first game may feel a little disappointed with just how similar at times this game is to the previous title but somehow lacking in certain modes but overall it is still a very enjoyable game and a worthy sequel.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS3)

Pros

+ Looks great with various in game and anime cut scenes.
+ The real time action is one of the JRPG’s best.

Cons

- The first few hours are a real struggle as there are loads to take on board.
- Unlocking new areas later in the game can become a chore.

Edited On 03 Sep, 2014

Comments
( 9 )
JoeToots's avatar
JoeToots 2 years ago
why does that guy have a lightbulb for a head?
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Code Geass costumes, lol. I have to disagree that there is no need to play the original. Sure you don't have to play it to enjoy the characters and story (hell it might add to the mystery that way) but I really enjoyed seeing how each character moved beyond each of their hardships (or didn't) and watching the relationships develop further
PrometheusFan's avatar
PrometheusFan 2 years ago
Only about halfway through the game so far, but it's good... if lazy in the way pretty much every location so far is recycled from the first game and the playable characters are the same as the first game as well, save for the new main character alone. Combat is still good fun at least, even if the Cromatus ability makes boss fights obscenely easy on normal difficulty.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Gaius and Muzet weren't playable in the first game. What chapter you on? I found the game started to kick into gear around Chapter 11
PrometheusFan's avatar
PrometheusFan 2 years ago
Chapter 8 or 9 I think (About 25 hours in, so I assumed that was most of the way through). Hadn't gotten to the point where either of those characters joined me yet... you're lucky that the costume DLC on the store pretty much spoiled that they would be at some point for me already though.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
The opening spoiled that, as did the pic on the top of the page spoil Muzet. Yeah I would say you are about halfway. It took me about 45 hours to get to the post-game content. This post-game is one of the most challenging of all Tales of games
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Just noticed Gaius is in the second pic as well
PrometheusFan's avatar
PrometheusFan 2 years ago
lol, I can't actually see most pics on Shopto from my work computer so I didn't see them :)
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Fair enough. I won't tell you when they join, how about that? Piss me off and I will tell you. I HOLD ALL THE POWER!!!!

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