|Dev: Namco Bandai|
|Pub: Namco Bandai|
|Release: August 6, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Mild Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence|
RPG fans will notice that Tales of Xillia feels like it’s borrowing something from modern-day Final Fantasy games. The world map is pretty much done away with, opting instead for a seamless world connecting zone to zone. Players are given a mini-map that shows areas of interest in order to prevent them from being lost. Heck, even the level-up system has characters progressing from node to node on a web; it’s very similar to the Sphere Grid of Final Fantasy X or the Crystarium of Final Fantasy XIII. Also much like modern Final Fantasy games, Tales of Xillia is in love with its cutscenes, and there will be points where you’ll feel that you are watching the game more than playing it.
Luckily, the game is pretty enough to watch. The graphics of Tales of Xillia finally do this generation of consoles justice, unlike Vesperia, which came out too early to make the best use of the Xbox 360’s hardware, and Graces, which had to deal with the Wii’s limitations. The music distinctly feels like a classic Tales soundtrack, bringing back memories of Tales of Eternia, Tales of Destiny, and even Tales of Phantasia with its flutes and pipes mixed in with huge orchestral scores. Character models have finally grown up, straying away from the super-deformed, somewhat-chibi anime models of Vesperia and Graces, and environments are simply gorgeous; the camera sweeps around new locales as if to say, “Yeah, look at how magical and pretty this world is!”
Overall, Tales of Xillia feels like a blending of old and new Tales styles. It combines modern-day political Tales plots with the high-magic, fantasy, and wonky time travel of the Tales of yesteryear. If you are a Tales fan, then pick up Tales of Xillia today. Just don’t expect to play it with your standard four-person Tales party. If you aren’t a Tales fan and have no idea what I’m talking about, then pick up Tales of Xillia if you want to play a decent JRPG with an interesting battle system. It’s no Ni No Kuni, but it’s certainly one of the better JRPG titles to come out this console generation.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: August 6, 2013