The Tales series have proven time and time again to be very solid JRPG’s. While they share very similar play styles to each other, the good storie telling, great art work and engaging combat are some of the things that make the game fluid enough to come back to. Tales of Xillia is no different and while veterans will feel right at home, new comers will feel like they have been playing the series for a long time.
From the moment you start the game it gives you an option to pick one of two heroes. One Jude Mathis, a young doctor apprentice and Milla Maxwell, a mystical being with supernatural abilities. While not diving into the full story, choosing one over the gives you differences while playing. Whether it be cutscenes, items, side quests and how people react to you. To accomplish everything you’d want to will need to be played through at least twice., once with each character. While you may be thinking this would be a mundane task, it actually gives you room to not cram everything you need to or stress out that you did complete the game at 100% the first time (it actually won’t happen).
With each character that was uncovered in the main story seemed to be very rich in their backstory and have a sense of purpose to the ultimate goal at hand. Each one also unique in their use in combat as well.
Their are a couple of things that set this Tales game apart from the others. First is how they arranged your skills, when you level up you a point to use on a skill tree that resembles a smaller version of Final Fantasy X’s skill grid. Most of these skill up your max HP, attack power etc. but depending on what to place your orbs will give you an actual skill that can be used in combat.
Combat in the game is in typical Tales fashion but does have some new tricks up its sleeve. Apart from previous games it now has linking attacks and combo attacks. You can basically flank enemies in battle putting one character in front and one behind to stagger an them. A meeter bar will now raise in correlation and when filled can be used to strike an enemy with simultaneous characters for a devastating attack. Their are many pieces to combat and to beginners it might seem a bit overwhelming since this isn’t a traditional turned based combat system but once familiar, combat is fast and fluid.
Considering this is essentially a two year old game, just making its way to the west now it still holds up graphically as the cell shaded art style is not something used very often. It also is smiler to the fully animated cutscenes through the game.
While this isn’t the best Tales game out there (Tales of Vesperia being my favorite) this is a solid addition to the series, especially the characters brought to life in the world. We’re actually a bit surprised that this is only coming to the west now and that Tales games hasn’t been available on more platforms as before but none the less its worth spending the solid 30-40 hours to complete the game and the 20 just as much to come back and get everything else. If your a veteran to the series or an RPG fan in general then you’ll want to play an instant classic like this.