Tales of Xillia Review
It’s been a long time coming, but it seems that we now have a Tales of Xillia available for Western gamers to enjoy. While the wait may have been unbearable for some, it is quite obvious that a lot of players have accepted that the long wait was well worth the trouble.
The game itself has been lauded quite a bit in Japan for its great content which is not really surprising considering the ever growing popularity of the Tales series. Of course, this may also have a lot to do with the game’s two storylines, great new graphics, a third-person style of play and features the team effort of big names like Symphonia who have made quite a name for themselves after writing Tales of Symphonia, Tales of the Abyss and Tales of Vesperia and Destiny who were responsible for Tales of Vesperia, Rebirth and Graces.
So is this really one of the biggest and best entries of Tales series. Well, for a lot of gamers, especially from those in Japan, it is definitely a yes. However, for quite a few others, the game also has its lackluster and often disappointing side as well considering its drawbacks. Nonetheless, despite what the game may lack, it still proves to be time and time again worth the money and experience.
This time, this particular aspect of the Tales series takes place in the world of Rise Maxia, an alternate world where humans coexist with spirits and other supernatural creatures. Of course, this is due to the fact that both humans and spirits have a symbiotic relationship wherein spirits feed on the mana produced by humans and, in return, allow humans to be able to use their magic. However, overuse of this otherwise benevolent boon can have consequences of its own if one isn’t careful.
The game’s story focuses on the grand conflict between kingdomsAujOule and Rashugal with each being quite paranoid over the other. Somewhere amid the turmoil is a medical student by the name of Jude Mathis who takes notice that spirits are becoming harder and harder to channel and it turns out that somewhere in the world, humans are being farmed for their mana, a truly ghastly fate for those involved.
At the same time, Milla Maxwell, a powerful spirit in her own right, goes on her own quest to discover the man-made contraption that is causing the world its grief. Soon enough, she encounters Jude and their fates are soon entangled. With the looming threat of a great and terrible war, things get even more complicated for the two characters.
It should be noted that the game is made more successful thanks to the fact that its characters are well fleshed out as opposed to the more generic fantasy plots like that of those found in Final Fantasy. For instance, do note that the characters develop as the plot advances with the heroes learning valuable life lessons because of them. It isn’t a typical “stop evil” plot but one that features the protagonists learning new things because of their willingness to save their world.
Some of the more disappointing elements of the game however involve the subpar voice acting and often unnecessary and inappropriate pauses during animation. While many in the Tales series do indeed have interesting characters, Tales of Xillia does not possess the same set of interesting characters that the other games with some having almost entirely nonsensical motivations like Leia. Nonetheless, the main characters at least become quite endearing as you play on as they develop into truly heroic but pragmatic characters in the end.
One of the chief attractions of the game is of course its gameplay which allows players to beat the crap out of enemies on their adventures as well as the existence of chain combos that allow for even more epic smackdowns of baddies. The fact that the battles themselves play in real time should be a real treat for players as it just adds to the excitement and the overall awesome attacks that just seem almost surreal. Then there is the link system that allows multiple characters to unleash combined attacks on unsuspecting foes and clobbering them into oblivion.
Indeed, it is Tales of Xillia’s gameplay that easily makes any of the characterization disadvantages seem entirely trivial and easily overlooked. However, when compared to other games in the Tales series, it’s not really surprising that it generally lacks the special something that can be found in just about all the other entries. Examples include a general lack of extra or hidden dungeons, the plethora of sidequests and much more are often the reason why some have found Tales of Xillia rather disappointing. One can also note that there are only four unlockable costumes for the characters whereas the others had even more.
While the Tales of Xillia is indeed worth the experience, it still somewhat compares poorly with other games in the Tales series. The improvements made to the graphics and gameplay however are notably maximized and the two storylines to be followed are quite interesting with Jude and Milia. Overall, while it may be frowned upon by veterans of the Tales series, newcomers might find it very enjoyable and worth every penny.
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