Review - Tales of Xillia
Namco Bandai has graced us with another Tales game, this time centered around the adventures of a young medical student-turned-boxer, Jude, and his friend Milla, a spirit-wielder. If you have your JRPG checklist ready, just go ahead and check all the boxes. You have your fundamental JRPG blueprint here with Tales of Xillia: an overworld littered with hidden treasures, a loot system and numbers flying everywhere. Oh, and it wouldn’t be a JRPG without those long, brain-melting conversations about "growing up" and "friendship." The recipe still works, but it tastes old.
As you begin the game, you are given an option to play through the story as Jude or Milla, offering a different view of the story while simultaneously giving you a reason to play through a second time. Much like the other Tales games, the main focus here is on gameplay--the fighting, specifically. After touching an enemy on the world map, the screen shifts to the battlefield. The fighting is in real-time, so there's no waiting for your turn here. You control one character as your teammates battle it out by using a set strategy you've given them. As your build up combos with basic attacks, you can consume TP to use special moves or "artes" to give you an edge in the fight. Along with the set strategies you give them, you can Link with your partners to share Health and unlock special moves with each specific ally, giving you a huge amount of diversity in battle. Every character can be involved in a fight at any time. I found it very refreshing to be playing an JRPG where I didn't have to go to a menu before a fight and change my line-up. The fighting is fluid and visually rewarding. With a vast amount of skills and spells, an in-depth grid-like leveling system (reminiscent of FFX) makes up what I'd say is some of the best JRPG fighting I've experienced to this day. Although slow and simple at first, after reaching the halfway point of the game the difficulty takes a sharp rise and the game really starts to pick up speed.
Where this game takes a huge hit in the face has to be its terrible story. This overdone and ridiculously clichéd "Tale" is drowning in lazy, uninspired writing. If you've played any JRPG, you have already experienced everything this story has to offer. Like I said before, this game is about the fighting, but having to eat a big bowl of stupid before each opportunity to fight becomes grating around the 20 hour mark. The voice-acting is actually pretty good for the genre, which is the story's only saving grace thankfully, because there's a ton of it. Thousands of lines of dialogue played out in Brady Bunch-style windows with the characters engaging in conversations about what they’re doing, or equipping, or sex…etc. It's actually pretty impressive to see how well the character dialogue goes along with where you are and what you're doing at any given time.
The game came to the US quite a while after its initial release in Japan and the graphics can vouch for that. The game looks clean and well-polished, but the environments and characters seem dated and the details of which are often inconsistent. Unfortunately, there are moments of very noticeable frame-rate loss during fights against large numbers of foes. The main character design isn't very appealing, but the monster design is very well done and the abundance of magic effects during combat are highly detailed and colorful. The game is rewarding and has a lot of achievements and titles to snatch along with an abundance of weapons and armor so you never feel like you plateau.
So if you are looking for a good way to scratch your JRPG itch these days, look no further. Tales of Xillia provides you with all the necessities for a 40-plus hour romp through the big, buggy eyed world of perverted teenage angst and saving the planet. Having decent end-game content and a nice little coliseum (an essential JRPG feature), you'll find plenty of things to do once the story is over. Although the story is far from original, the gameplay is intricate and addicting. While you may feel right at home playing through Tales of Xillia if you are a fan of the genre, you won’t be able to escape the feeling that you’ve done this before. For everyone else, this game is simple fun but nothing special.
Being a multi-generational gamer, Daniel Galvan has been spreading his love for videogames for as long as he can remember. Whether onstage or off, he always seems to use games as a means of social unification amongst his peers. As a man of the people, Daniel strives to assist you with that sixty bucks in your pocket, understanding how easy it is to be tempted by hype. He's RPG aficionado with a loud mouth, proclaiming his disdain for chest-high walls and your favorite game. He's unafraid to call the kettle bad; and in a world where a nine hour ride through fantasy land costs almost a hundred dollars a ticket, it's important to have someone on your side.
Daniel Galvan? Who is dis foo? Can't say I've seen a review by him before, but then again, I haven't seen a ScrewAttack review in a while, I think Ni No Kuni was the last one.
Figured as much. I've played Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Vesperia and I love the dialogue between the characters.
I completely disagree with much of this review. This game was extremely fun and addicting(if not a bit too short funny enough since this is a long game). Fans of RPGs will love this, no doubt.
okay sounds good ill definitely get it then, $220 is brutal
Quite honestly the actual writing itself (writing being what the characters say rather than the overarching plot which is what this reviewer seems to call the writing) is quite excellently done.
"Where this game takes a huge hit in the face has to be its terrible story. This overdone and ridiculously clichéd "Tale" is drowning in lazy, uninspired writing. If you've played any JRPG, you have already experienced everything this story has to offer." And what of those who have never played any game in the "Tales of" series or any other JRPG? This explains nothing to them. Also, you say the story is like, "eating a big bowl of stupid ". How is the game's story stupid? I've never played it so I've only got your word to go on and to say a story is stupid is not much to go on. "Oh, and it wouldn’t be a JRPG without those long, brain-melting conversations about growing up and friendship." So this game has no other themes to or issues to offer? Or is this the only part of the story you decided to focus on because you are tired of hearing it? I admit that's cliched, but is the execution of it cliched and unimaginative or is it done differently? I think this review needs work. It goes into great detail about why the fighting aspect is great and you give a rather bold claim in saying that this game and other "Tales of" games are only about the fighting. But when it comes time to explain why a JRPG isn't about the story and why you dislike it, you give next to nothing and instead give us a cliched argument: "Tales of Xillia provides you with all the necessities for a 40-plus hour romp through the big, buggy eyed world of perverted teenage angst and saving the planet." If you are going to review a game, then please go into as much detail about the good and bad parts as much as you did with the fighting portion. And after reading other reviews, I can see that you haven't touched on a lot of parts of this game.
Sorry, this comment was not meant to be put here.
I think what's more important is that we see what's wrong with the review more so then his opinion. People are going to have opinions about everything and if you're a critic then I think you should try to craft your opinion in a unique way that shows the good and the bad aspects of the game. He goes into one aspect of why the game is good but neglects to explain why he thinks that the game is is at a 6 when others have given it an 8 or above. He just says that he doesn't like the story and uses some adjectives to go into how much he dislikes it (without backing it up) and compares it to other JRPG stories to explain why he thinks it's bad which does nothing if you disagree with that opinion or if you haven't played any JRPGs.
tales is far better than final fantasy. also, if you think 90$ is bad, try to buy a game in saudi arabia. the game costs 220 for every game.
oh, my bad.
I have to disagree severely with the concept of "fighting" being the "Tales of" series focal point. Because the general idea of the system can be seen in other games as well.
It's, for me at least, major point is always the characters and interactions. Fighting is fun, sure, but Star Ocean and several other games offer the same general style of combat. But the random "moments of life" dialogue that sprout up within the game? Priceless. The skits are the strongest part, followed closely by the usually smooth and great gameplay..
Take Tales of Graces, for instance. A character in the game, at first glance, isn't exactly appealing. He's cold, serious and tactical. His weapon is a little odd sure, but otherwise nothing seems all that unique or interesting. Through skits though, you find out he has taken great measures to hide the fact his weapon and fighting style are based off a favorite series of comic books of his, and that he has an obsession with the universes version of "Power Rangers" that can be rather scary.
It adds more depth to the characters, and it encourages exploration. You wouldn't see all of these skits if you just went from A-to-B. And some of the zanier ones tend to be in out-of-the-way places that you might not think of checking again after the first time through them.
The worst part of this review though, and a MAJOR misstep, is the utter lack of acknowledgement to the customization of characters in the game. You'll find items that can be placed on the characters for visual effect, and not only that but also resize, recolor, and position them as you like on them. Its not exactly something you see recently in these kind of games, but it'll even carry over through most, if not all, cutscenes in the game rendered in-engine.
It kind of does. If we unanimously agree a review to be wrong, then it's our duty to post so in the comments to let people see the overwhelming support it has so they don't miss an otherwise awesome game.
Why the hell did this guy get chosen to review this game?
This review is crap. Tales games are NOT about fighting, its about the story/adventure. Most of the dialogue he had a problem with can be skipped if the player wants to, heck the pop up conversations are triggered manually so if you don't like them, don't watch them. You want to play a game for its fighting, go play a fighting game. You play a RPG for its story.
most of these reviews from either screwattack or ign are mainly done by people who either play the game for 5 minutes or arent fans of rpg's in general and have no idea what they are talking about, the responses alone are evident since No one agrees with the review. im no bad guy here, im not starting no rage war. and yes maybe idiot was too strong a word. but come on, it could have been SOO much worse. and im not gonna go there
He just has his own opinion which, if you look at most of the mature people in this community, totally disagree with him in every aspect. No need for name calling. Nothing constructive comes from it.
I'm a sucker for the Tales series.
Ever since Final Fantasy dropped the ball with XIII, I've made this my go-to RPG series.
keep in mind that just because he didn't like it as much as the rest of us, it was just his opinion and not fact. as long as we liked the game, it doesn't really matter what the review said
Yep, only real difference is the combat. Most FF's are turn-based while Tales has real-time combat similar to that of a fighting game.
This game was fantastic in my opinion the lowest score I would give this game is an 8 the highest is a 9.5.