Tales of Xillia 2 – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developers: Bandai Namco
Publishers: Bandai Namco
Platform: PS3

Tales of Xillia 2 – Review

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9.6
Good: Great storyline, superb graphics and soundtracks
Bad: Dind't really find any
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We’ve had the chance to review Tales of Xillia and a year after the release, it is time for the sequel. The question that popped in my mind was if this game would bring anything new. I was surprised to discover that there were refreshing elements at hand.

Tales of Xillia 2 header Story

Since this is a sequel, the game will continue after the latest events in Tales of Xillia. This means that there are spoilers for the people that didn’t finish the first game yet. I don’t like spoilers myself, so I will try to keep them at minimum during this section. The game takes place a year after the previous game. You’ll be playing as Ludger Kresnik (yes, you’ve read the name right). Our protagonist is a nice young man that is trying to get a job in the Spirius Corporation. This isn’t something for wussies since you’ll need to be an excellent fighter and have a good strategic mind. The examination is led by his brother, Julius Kresnik. Due to circumstances, you will have to find another job. On your first day, there is a special celebration train that’s leaving at the station you’re working. Things go bad though and you’ll meet the little girl Elle Mel Marta. Since she’s in danger, you will have to choose what to do and this is when the adventure starts. Be prepared to encounter new people and old familiar faces!

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Graphics

The graphics in Tales of Xillia 2 seem a lot smoother, thus they’re amazing! The main character has his own style and the rest of the team seem to have had a make-over. This is not a bad thing though since they’ve grown older. Each characters still has unique visual characteristics which make them stand out against the crowd and define their personalities a bit. Tales of Xillia 2 revisits places that you’ve discovered in the previous game, so you might have some good memories about these places. The environments outside the cities have different settings and their own feeling. Some of the settings are very colourful, while others might feel quite grim. In any way, everything is very detailed. The cutscenes were beautiful in Tales of Xillia and they’re still breath-taking. It still feels like you’re watching a part of an anime series. Sound Tales of Xillia 2 has several soundtracks, which are mostly  connected to a specific spot or event. Buzzing cities get cheery and light tunes, while the fighting areas get a more gloomy track. It still is a delight to hear these tunes, since they’re really well made. It is clear that some of the voices have matured, just like the visual representation. This is really great, since you reconnect and sympathize with the matured version. The synchronization between voice and visual voicing seems better than in its predecessor.

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Gameplay

Tales of Xillia 2 is an RPG with similarities with the predecessor, but also packing some new elements as well. There is a main storyline and there are several character-related stories which are optional but makes the game that more fun. The game has two mayor “modes”, namely the field map and the battle screen. You can roam freely in the field map, as this contains both cities and outskirts.  The battle screen is accessed when you touch a monster. This will take you to a smaller area in which you have to fight your foe. The fighting mechanics didn’t change that much than the previous game. The Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System is still used and you will have to use  AC (Assault Counter) and/or TP (Technical Points) when you want to attack. The AC stands for the number of combo’s you can perform,  which is reduced by one par attack and restores when you aren’t doing anything. TP is used, together with AC,  to perform “artes”.  Artes are magical spells, both beneficial as harmful. There are different control modes during battle as well. When a character is on auto mode, it will attack and guard on its own. Semi-auto means that the character will move to the right distance, but someone will have to push the buttons to attack or defend. On this matter, linking with others is still very useful.  Depending with who you link with, you gain certain perks. It’s necessary to keep this in mind, since this can be your way to victory. Strategy is very important in this game.

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Linking with another character will provide you with the possibility to perform Linked artes. The gauge is visible at the left side of the screen. This meter will fill up if you perform attacks or artes. There are five segments which you will need to fill before you can achieve “over limit”. This gives you the opportunity to perform several Linked artes without any costs. The game will provide you with certain weapons as well. Each enemy is resistant against certain attacks, like melee or ranged. It is a great idea to try them all until you find your enemies’ weakness. If your enemy resist your attacks, it will do less damage and your opponent will have the chance to counter-attack. Your characters can equip several things as well, like headgear, armor and accessories. There are also attachments available that are implemented to give your characters a nice look. You can also change the appearance of every character, namely their hair and clothes. These upgrades are acquired by doing the personal character-related storylines. There aren’t any Lillium Orbs anymore because they were replaced by Allium Orbs. These orbs work with extractors. These extractors are fuelled with Elemental Ore that you get as loot after battles or that you can find in the cities or outskirts. Levelling extractors will give you artes or skills. These skills need SP or Skill Points if you want to activate them. When you learn a new skill, your total (of points) is increased by half the amount of points needed to activate the new skill. Another way to improve the amount of SP is by defeating certain enemies quite a lot. This is different for each character.

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It has to be said, money or “Gald” will be a big issue in Tales of Xillia 2. You can gain Gald by killing monsters,  fulfilling several jobs or taking care of “elite monsters”. These monsters are rare, giant mobs that are really hard to kill, but will make you rich. Another way to get an income is by selling items to the shop.  These items can be found in cities or in the outskirts at the gathering points or loot bags. Gathering points are shiny sparkles, while loot bags are jute sacks. These points will be registered on your map and will be restocked when you leave the area. The developers didn’t forget the skits as well. Skits are small events with several characters and can occur while you’re in the field map. These events are more important than in the previous game. The developers added the possibility to give the game your own twist by picking an answer on certain situations. This addition and the skits are important to befriend your teammates and receive items or gain access to their personal storyline. Another new aspect is the Kitty Dispatch. Yes, you’ve read it right. Be prepared to play with kitties!

Conclusion

Tales of Xillia 2 is a sequel, like the title implies. This game is an RPG with some old and refreshing elements. It is very nice to see how everything turned out and it is a delight to follow this storyline. The graphics are superb and the finishing touch are the amazing soundtracks. The game will keep you busy for several hours, although that this isn’t a bad thing.

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Chun-Li
Chun-Li


Faster than lightning

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