Tales of Xillia's August 6 release date is on the horizon, so what better way to get excited than share what you can anticipate for the next entry.

A Mature Tale

Xillia features a more mature cast than previous entries, allowing the writers to tackle more difficult subject matter. Not only do the issues feel darker and more realistic, but the cast as a whole feels more apt to take on the challenge of stopping a war. Even the youngest cast member, Elize, deals with complex issues and the harsh realities of the world well before she should ever have to. Not to mention, the tale makes it more than just about a war, but also about the motivations behind people protecting their own and losing their grip on what’s humane.

Two Playable Protagonists

This entry has two selectable protagonists that are different as night and day. Milla, a spirit summoner, takes charge of situations, while Jude, a medical student, prefers to stay in the background. The narrative separates both characters at different points, so it will be interesting to experience events from two different eyes and see if their disparate views bring a new dimension to the narrative.

Skits Galore

Skits have always been a main attraction for Tales, and this entry has them popping up left and right. The skits can be as simple as adding more meat to the plot, or as silly as the group teasing one another. In addition to the main skits that are available as you advance the story, you can also unlock sub-event skits. Sometimes these are about the towns and people you encounter; others add more backstory to characters. For instance, did Jude have time for friends at medical school? And if that’s not enough skits for you, there’s also an etc. category that usually contain more of the comical ones.

A Refined Battle System

Tales' smooth action battle system, reminiscent of a fighting game, is alive and well. This time around the developers worked on linking plenty of elements and focused on you teaming up with other characters to get battle advantages and special pair-up attacks. Blocking, quick-steps, and jumping can help you out during the course of battle while you balance regular attacks with using artes (special attacks/magic). Get ready to show those baddies who’s the boss.

Intense Boss Battles

A highlight of any Tales game is those boss battles that make you work for victory. Not to mention, you get awarded extra bonuses at the end of fights depending on your time and largest combo. Working toward getting a great time and chaining up as many attacks possible is tough in itself, but brace yourself for bosses who dare you to take advantage of every avenue possible. Let them attack you from behind or neglect to defend, and the cost is grave. Of course, this also means that when you outsmart these bosses and truly punish them, it’s all the more rewarding.