Developer: Namco Tales Studio
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Tales of Xillia – Review
If you like humans, spirits, a too-powerful-to-be-good weapon and a good storyline, then Tales of Xillia is your game. Let this RPG from the Tales series take you on a journey to save the spirits.
The Tales series are well-known for their amazing and profound storylines and this title is another confirmation of this fact.
To understand the present situation, it’s important that you know the past. The world consists of humans and spirits and two thousand years ago, the humans developed a power source. This power source, called the ‘Spyrix’, used the surrounding spirits to produce power. The spirit Maxwell wanted to do something about this and created a rebel group. This group contained spirits and humans who were capable of using mana. They worked together and erected a barrier around a large part of the country to protect the spirits and to escape from the influence of the Spyrix. The isolated land is now known as Rieze Maxia and the outer part as Elympios.
In the present, Rieze Maxia is ruled by two major countries: Rashugal and Auj Oule. They seem to live in harmony, but when you advance in the game, you might notice otherwise. The game revolves around two main characters: Jude Mathis and Milla Maxwell. As you can guess, Milla Maxwell is the spirit that changed the world and is now called the Lord of Spirits. This title has some perks as well, but you can discover those yourself. Her, or rather his job, is to protect the spirits from human influences or activities. When there is suspicious activity in a military research facility, he/she decides to take a look. Jude has his own reasons to enter the military facility, as he is looking for his missing professor. Fate brings them together and they discover that there is a Spyrix-powered weapon called the Lance of Kresnik being build. They use this weapon to defeat Jude and Milla but they can escape. As I don’t want to spoil too much, you’ll have to find out the effects of this battle and the rest of their adventure for yourself.
The graphics in Tales of Xillia are amazingly well done. The characters all have their unique visual characteristics and although it might be a bit over the top sometimes, it fits the game.
The different environmental settings are very colourful and every detail fit that type of setting. A dark wood is filled with creeping bugs, while the seaside has clear blue water and some crabs crawling in the sun.
Another thing worth mentioning is the available cutscenes. They are top-notch and it feels like you’re watching an anime episode. Job well done!
There are several soundtracks provided in Tales of Xillia and they are mostly linked to one specific place of event. The battle music is always the same music, which makes fighting a bit dull. Boss fights have a more bombastic soundtrack so you know it is the real deal. Although the music is bound to places, the quality is really good and is suitable for that specific area. Darker spots get more tragic background music, while a stroll at the sea gets a nice and cheery song.
The voices all fit their respective character and they give an extra dimension to the game. Although the synchronization between voice and the visual voicing isn’t that timed, it doesn’t really affect the joy of watching and listening to cutscenes or small events.
Tales of Xillia is a RPG that revolves around the two main characters: Jude and Milla. The player gets the opportunity to choose one of these protagonists before starting the game. Each character has their own storyline, so the hardcore RPG-fans get the chance to view the two sides of this marvellous tale.
This game is played in two different environments: the field map and the battle screen. The field map is a 3D area in which players can roam freely. This can be in cities or in the monster-infested connections between them.
The famous skits are back again as well. Skits are small events that can occur while you’re in the field map. These events are mostly side-information or character development but are fun to watch. These skits are animated character portraits with subtitles and voice acting.
The field map contains several loot locations that are worth searching for. You can find loot in treasure chests, loot bags or loot spots. Treasure chests are the well-known chests and you can only open these once in the game. The loot bags look like bags (duh) and you can open these several times during the game. You’ll need to leave the area and then return to find some new treasure. Both the treasure chests and the loot bags are mostly found in outside towns. The loot spots are shiny dots and they can be found in cities or in the field. These can be looted several times as well and there are a LOT of spots so it’s worth it revisiting places to find new goodies.
These loot items can be sold or can be used to expand the different shops. Tales of Xillia uses an Expand-system in which the player can choose to donate Gald or items so the different shops are capable of upgrading so they can provide more useful items. Lootsies all the way!
The battle screen is also in 3D and represents the current area you’re fighting in. The game uses the Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System in battles. The player is responsible for the character he’s fighting with but it’s possible to switch between the other characters if necessary. Your battle comrades are controlled by AI with an instruction set you can determine beforehand. This is a good way to think about the battles and how everyone should react on certain events like low health.
Another important note is ‘linked combat’. Characters can work together and perform special, unified attacks. The linked partners also look out for each other and protect them from rear-attacks.
Of course, if you want to use normal attacks or skills, you’ll need AC and TP. AC or Assault Counter is the number of skills or actions a character can perform. Using attacks brings the AC down but it recharges over time. If you want to use skills, you’ll need TP or Technical Points. These can be refilled by using items or just by using normal attacks.
The last thing I want to mention is the World map. Of course every game has one, but you now get the option to fast-travel to known places which is very convenient.
Tales of Xillia is another game in the Tales series and yet it’s another refreshing paradise for RPG-fans. Both the graphics and sound are magnificent and the profound storyline is too good to be true. The gameplay is smooth and the nice twists or additions are very nice. If you liked the previous titles, you’ll sure like this one!