Feature

Ten Reasons To Get Excited For Tales of Xillia

by Kimberley Wallace on Jul 22, 2013 at 09:30 AM

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.

Exploration

The towns and world in Xillia tells their own story. The best part is engaging with NPCs and finding out their take on things. Also if you explore towns enough, you come across side quests. Some side quests are fetch quests, while others provide extra story moments. Looking around towns is worth it to unlock them, since they also provide extra money and items. Some of quests also contain great character development, like watching someone overcome her shyness. Also, roaming the field are tougher enemies just waiting to see if you have the chops to challenge them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Looting Abound

Part of what makes exploring so enthralling is the loot you find around the world. Think how the Dragon Quest games always have a hidden treasure chest that make trekking off the main path exciting, and this entry mimics that type of find. Xillia is packed with items to uncover. Treasure chests, bags, and even glints hidden the environment provide new supplies. As a bonus, materials found are used to upgrade shops for discounts and new stock. For those who revel in finding an awesome item that they need to equip instantly, like one that prevents all status ailments, you’re going to have a grand time exploring every nook and cranny.

Customization For Skills And Artes

Having a say in what skills and special attacks we prioritize for our characters to receive is ideal for strategizing. Each character’s Lilium Orb, a spiderweb of abilities and stat increases akin to Final Fantasy’s sphere grid, allows players to focus on what matters most. The nodes on each of the six sides reflect different stats like strength, vitality, or intelligence. Each node also contains artes and skills to unlock. It means every time you spend growth points, you’re prioritizing what your characters learn. It’s a puzzle, especially those who like to focus on min/maxing their attributes

Watching The Cast Grow

All the characters start out with their own insecurities and weaknesses. Watching them learn from other characters’ strength is a high point. For instance, take Milla, who starts out with a cold demeanor, part of her journey is learning from Jude’s kinder heart. Not only do the characters grow individually, but also together. As a party, they become more comfortable with each other; this also means they won’t always get along. Seeing them fight with one another and overcome their differences is all in a day’s work.

Dress Them Up With Silly Items

Think your characters could use more pizazz or look ridiculous? Have no fear, as there’s items to find around the world to alter to their appearance. Think Alvin would look extra cool with aviators? Couldn’t the adorable Elize use bunny ears? What about giving the elderly Rowan some horns? And that’s only a fraction of what you find. Seeing characters wear goofy getups during emotional scenes is one of my favorite things.  

Want more in Tales of Xillia? Check out our preview  and interview with producer Hideo Baba.