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GAME: Tales of Xillia


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Ultimatum



Joined: 03 Mar 2013
Posts: 153
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:06 pm Reply with quote
As someone that is finishing up Tales of Xillia (doing the sub events that opened up right before the final boss fight) and a longtime Tales fan, I have to respectfully disagree with most of this review. I'll agree that the ending seemed rushed and spoiler[Elimpios] was not fully explored, but I really enjoyed this game. It goes in my top three, under Abyss and Symphonia (I haven't played Vesperia yet).

We may have differing opinions in part because it seems you played Milla's side, and I played Jude's. While Milla's side seems to be different from the typical Tales game, Jude's is more the usual journey of discovery and character growth, in this case spoiler[learning what it means to be an adult].

I didn't think the characters were bland at all. Actually, I thought the group had the best chemistry I've seen in any game for a really long time. I loved those slow first fifteen or so hours of the group getting to know each other, cracking jokes--ones that actually made me chuckle--and exploring the world. Milla's growth from spoiler[callous, unearthly being to actual human that cares about her companions], from what I saw in Jude's side, was an interesting change, and one that was handled fairly well.

I enjoyed this game much more than Graces. While it changed some things up that I would have rather they had kept, like cooking, I felt that most of the changes went in a positive direction. I liked saving up Lilium Web points and then using them all at once to beef up HP or stamina before a difficult boss fight. I don't mind automatically giving skills or strength upon gaining a level, but the Lilium Web worked well. And if you really really can't stand the Web, you can just let the computer choose what spots it wants, so you're basically getting the skills the way Tales games used to, anyway. I see no problems here--and I'm speaking as someone that hated the FFX orb-web thing, where I realized 40 hours in that the reason I couldn't beat a boss was because I had made Tidus go down the wrong skill path.

The voices could be better, but as I got used toy them, I realized that they fit the characters. Milla sounds mature, like a true Lord of Spirits, Jude's voice is much more measured (the Japanese voice tended to go too high for my ears to take), Alvin's is perfect, and the rest really suit their roles.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I guess I had a lot to say about the game. I really enjoyed this more than many other games I've played recently. tHe cast was fun, the story was interesting, battle was fluid, the sub events were great for casting light on Xillia's main cast and side characters. The game's not without its flaws, but I would give it at the lowest an A-. I haven't enjoyed a game like that in a long time.
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Kerberous



Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 107
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:15 pm Reply with quote
Yep, it's a Tales game. Silly characters, silly plot and fun gameplay. I still like the series, but it feels like they're making the same game.
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Donpablo



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 117
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:45 pm Reply with quote
Ultimatum wrote:
As someone that is finishing up Tales of Xillia (doing the sub events that opened up right before the final boss fight) and a longtime Tales fan, I have to respectfully disagree with most of this review. I'll agree that the ending seemed rushed and spoiler[Elimpios] was not fully explored, but I really enjoyed this game. It goes in my top three, under Abyss and Symphonia (I haven't played Vesperia yet).

We may have differing opinions in part because it seems you played Milla's side, and I played Jude's. While Milla's side seems to be different from the typical Tales game, Jude's is more the usual journey of discovery and character growth, in this case spoiler[learning what it means to be an adult].

I didn't think the characters were bland at all. Actually, I thought the group had the best chemistry I've seen in any game for a really long time. I loved those slow first fifteen or so hours of the group getting to know each other, cracking jokes--ones that actually made me chuckle--and exploring the world. Milla's growth from spoiler[callous, unearthly being to actual human that cares about her companions], from what I saw in Jude's side, was an interesting change, and one that was handled fairly well.




I gotta agree with you there. I'm currently playing my first go around with Jude and have been enjoying this game very much. The whole cast is very fun to listen to which is something I rarely saw about many jrpg's I've played. I had no problem with the lilium grid system as it gave me a slight sense of choice in how I built my characters. And overall the combat has been very fun, experimenting with new Artes unlocks is always entertaining.
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HitokiriShadow



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 6251
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:49 pm Reply with quote
Review wrote:
Those four hours are where every bit of interesting plot development happens, where Milla's status as a god and creator is finally explored, and where the stakes are finally made clear. Coincidentally, the end is the only time the choice between Jude and Milla as main character even matters, and it matters in such a way that when you come back after two hours apart you find that you have missed two hours of crucial plot. Entire betrayals have happened and been resolved while you were away, and are only mentioned in tertiary skits, bits of random dialogue that usually detail what the characters last ate or what manner of breasts they enjoy.


My big problem with the game is the whole 2 character route thing. It really does not feel like it was originally intended to be that way and that Milla's route was added on as a bonus late in development. That end game section was particularly bad (and Milla's side of events there was dull) but earlier splits in the game tended to have the same problem: I felt like I was missing things by not seeing Jude's side of events but was getting nothing in return. I was also really, really irritated that spoiler[the game has a lengthy "must play as Jude, cannot play as Milla" section in Milla's route. And naturally, there is no such section that does the reverse. Of course, you couldn't just skip all of that without drastic changes, but that's part of why I'm pretty sure Milla's route was added in late in development. At the very least they could have not had the Ivar fight in Milla's route and instead had us seen things from her perspective.]

Frankly, Milla's role in the story made her a really bad character to do the 2 route thing with, because the story is one that relies on her knowing things that the player is not supposed to know until late in the story.

While the way the 2 character thing was handled greatly irritates me, I thought the actual story was pretty good (and certainly far better than Graces and Vesperia; I'm not sure exactly how I'd compare it to Abyss and Symphonia, but it's at least around their level), aside from some fairly minor issues near the end. With that said, I hope future games (pretty major spoilers) spoiler[ditch the two world thing, or go farther (three worlds!) or in drastically different directions (time travel!). Every game since Symphonia has had the two world thing in some capacity and this game in particular is reeeeeally similar to Symphonia.]

After Graces and Vesperia, I really don't mind a Tales game on the shorter side, intended or not. I think the lack of puzzles, other than a few box moving bits, was by design rather than lack of time, as they've played less and less of a role in each game since Symphonia. I don't even remember any in Vesperia, and the handful in Graces tended to be dull, uninspired and more of an irritation than anything else.


Ultimatum wrote:

We may have differing opinions in part because it seems you played Milla's side, and I played Jude's. While Milla's side seems to be different from the typical Tales game,


It's mostly the same, you are just clearly missing some things. In particular (MAJOR SPOILERS) spoiler[after Milla dies, she rejoins during the Maxwell fight and the player knows jack about what happened between those points. A skit after that gives a really brief summary/tease, and that's it. It pretty much assumes the player already saw it.] Pretty sure the only other differences are the very beginning of the game, Fort Gandala, and about two "chat with the party" scenes.

Ultimatum wrote:

The voices could be better, but as I got used toy them, I realized that they fit the characters. Milla sounds mature, like a true Lord of Spirits, Jude's voice is much more measured (the Japanese voice tended to go too high for my ears to take), Alvin's is perfect, and the rest really suit their roles.


Oh good, someone else who was okay with Milla's voice. I was beginning to think I was the only person who didn't think her voice was terrible. I thought it was fine. All of the main cast was fine, I think, aside from maybe a few of Elize's lines.

The only voice I hated was the Pinkist valleygirl. Thank god she only had about 4 lines, but I still wanted to gouge out her vocal chords.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4678
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:14 pm Reply with quote
It's like you couldn't find one positive thing to say about the game at all. Don't take it personally, but this was a very biased and poor review overall.

Take out all the key points of complaint and your thesis is basically: "I hate Tales games for being Tales games, C+."
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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 5142
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:18 pm Reply with quote
Ouch, that doesn't sound good for Milla's side. I was hoping her side would delve into new depths not seen in Jude's side, but the way you're saying that her side seems tacked on feels disappointing. Sad
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doctordoom85



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 2019
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:58 pm Reply with quote
At least going through Milla's side will be shorter since you can New Game Plus it after beating Jude's side.

Honestly, the reviewer just seems to not be that huge on Tales games which means his opinion isn't that important to me. Especially since Xillia's plot so far for me (up to where they're about to head to a fort) has been FAR more engaging than the snorefest of a "plot" we got in Graces F. And no, I'll gladly take the so-called "inoffensive" characters over the absolute mess of a character that is Cheria (and Asbel, who isn't really bad until near the end where he makes some VERY idiotic decisions). Having characters who are enjoyable but not necessarily striking is far better than having one (Cheria) who comes off as incredibly selfish and whiny.

The shop system doesn't make buying meaningless. Upgrading your equipment still improves your character regardless of what's available next. By the reviewer's logic, one should just tough it out and upgrade equipment in any RPG as little as possible simply because the next town's inventory will make buying stuff in the current town "meaningless".

I don't see how the new leveling system requires any more work than Graces F where you had to constantly assign new titles. At least in this one gaining levels is actually relevant to your character's growth.
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RyanSaotome



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 4210
Location: Towson, Maryland
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:02 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
It's only about thirty hours long even if you do a respectable amount of side quests,


Everyone says how short this game is, but I'm at 33 hour and still in Chapter 2. Maybe you just shouldn't rush and try to experience the game to its fullest? I'm enjoying it that way, even if the characters and story are a bit weak.

I'm going through Milla's story (since I'd rather not play as a generic harem protag guy) though. Maybe Judes story is better.


Last edited by RyanSaotome on Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Brimfyre



Joined: 06 Aug 2013
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:03 pm Reply with quote
Damn. I was on the fence about this game, but this has convinced me to hold off a bit. I've never been a fan of the Tales games so far, because of all the problems you mentioned, mostly the cliche character archetypes.

Most of the reviews have been glowing, but if it has all the problems you brought up are things I was worried about.
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Greed1914
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3567
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:03 pm Reply with quote
belvadeer wrote:
It's like you couldn't find one positive thing to say about the game at all. Don't take it personally, but this was a very biased and poor review overall.

Take out all the key points of complaint and your thesis is basically: "I hate Tales games for being Tales games, C+."


Saying it has "one of the best and most diverse" combat systems in the series sounds like a pretty positive thing, it's just that the rest of the game outweighed that aspect for this reviewer. Besides, all reviews are "biased" in some way since they are based on that particular individual's opinion. It would be just the same as if someone gushed about it simply for being a Tales game.
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Keonyn
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Joined: 25 May 2005
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Location: Coon Rapids, MN
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:21 pm Reply with quote
Just as most people reviewing a review are biased themselves, generally criticizing or praising the points based on whether the review fits their own perceptions. I hate all the "this review is bias" garbage since reviews are, at their core, bias. You're reviewing an art form, which is a medium that is pretty much entirely subjective. The point of a review is to convey ones thoughts and opinions on the subject in such a way that it is informative to someone reading it so that they can draw their own conclusion based on the authors praise and criticism. That praise and criticism is written out in such a way that the reader can determine whether they might determine if they agree or disagree with the reviewer and come to their own conclusion based on someone elses thoughts.

I swear, it's like people don't understand how this stuff works.
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glitteringloke



Joined: 18 Oct 2008
Posts: 160
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:54 pm Reply with quote
Since i'm half way through ToX2 (would be done but got distracted by the vita games) and have been an avid tales fan for years, I feel like I have some thoughts to share.

This review did feel like it was written by someone who hates tales games. Though, some of the things I also agree with. When I played this game almost 2 years ago, it felt painfully rushed. It feels like a lot is missing. My roommate and i started the english version last week and so far, comparing voices, I'm not really impressed. Milla (especially in battle) has been nothing but flat and Tipo makes me want to hit the mute button. I have yet to meet the rest of the party, but so far i'm really unimpressed with the dubbed voices.

I missed the cheesy dungeon puzzles. Costumes have only been a staple of the more recent 3D tales games, which does feel lacking here, but when you're used to the older 2D ones, you don't really care so much. The lack of a good bonus dungeon hurts. I don't feel like the cast got along as well as the graces "family." The story was a bit thin and i think what they should have done was make Milla's side available in NG+ so that you had to do Jude's part first. The ending is horrible if you don't know Jude's side (I did milla's first in Japanese)

One thing i disagree the most with in this review is comparing the battle system to ToG-f's battle system. it's closer to Vesperia's system with the CC system that Graces had (and go back further, it was in ToD2). In MY opinion, graces was a lot more fun to battle. Xillia co-op is difficult because if you link to someone that's playing with you, they lose control of their character. It's a bit broken in multiplayer :/
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Ultimatum



Joined: 03 Mar 2013
Posts: 153
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:05 pm Reply with quote
A review is indeed an opinion. There's no way around that.

Still, this whole review reads less like something that belongs on a commercial website and more like a blog post. It seems (to me) that the author was trying so hard to be clever and snarky that he forgot everything else. That works for people like Zac in the season previews, but not so much here. The whole thing just feels so amateurish, in my opinion.

I guess the review isn't really for people like me, that have already bought, (and as of ten minutes ago, finished) the game, so it doesn't affect me. I'd just like to say that I really enjoyed the game, and am looking forward to Xillia 2 in 2014.
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Raneth



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:32 pm Reply with quote
I've been wondering if I should play this one. I always think I'll like Tales games, and I usually do for the first 20 or so hours, and then I get bored. A shorter game sounds good to me.

It also sounds like you have some control over leveling, which sounds like fun. I always like seeing how far I can get with bad stats and bad equipment, so running my team into the ground, popping all the beads at once, and then winning sounds neat.
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HitokiriShadow



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 6251
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:38 pm Reply with quote
Raneth wrote:

It also sounds like you have some control over leveling, which sounds like fun. I always like seeing how far I can get with bad stats and bad equipment, so running my team into the ground, popping all the beads at once, and then winning sounds neat.


This game certainly makes it absurdly easy to attempt a "low level" challenge. No matter how much you actually level up, you won't get any stat increases at all until you spend the GP for them.
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