Round about this time last year, I reviewed Tales of Xillia. I thoroughly enjoyed it, awarding it a very solid, and deserved 8/10. Those who follow my reviews and news here at NGB will know that I am a huge JRPG fan, so you can imagine my excitement when I got the chance to review the sequel, Tales of Xillia 2. Would Tales of Xillia 2 a worth sequel to one of the best JRPG’s on the market? Read my full review to find out!
Game: Tales of Xillia 2
Developer: Bandai Namco
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Im always wary when it comes down to sequels, especially in the JRPG genre. I’ve played many where the story isn’t as good and grasping, leaving me feel quite deflated overall. Bandai Namco, once again however, have struck gold with the sequel, gripping me in Tales of Xillia 2, just as much as Tales of Xillia did. This time around, you no longer have control over Jude Mathis, this time having a new protagonist to control, Ludger Kresnik. I hate to read reviews that spoil the story completely, so you will be glad to hear that their will be no spoilers from me. Again, without spoiling anything, you run into a little girl, named Elle Marta. Together, Ludger and Elle start on an adventure to get to the notorious, Land of Cannon, a land where any wish can be granted. What is really good about the story in Tales of Xillia 2, is the fact that you make choices this time around, giving you the feeling that your really impacting the course of the story along the way. It is a little, but very good move from the developers, and made me feel more part of the story than I ever did in the original. Missing the likes of Jude, Milla and Rowen already? No problem as Bandai Namco have brilliantly incorporated them all in to the story line, making sure that no stone is unturned, in each character’s development in terms of how each character has evolved since Tales of Xillia.
There seems to be a common tone, visually, with the Tales of series and again, Tales of Xillia 2 follows on the fantastic trend. I would say I was a bit disappointed however, and that is because almost all of the towns, dungeons and enemies you fight in Tales of Xillia, seems to have been brought over from Tales of Xilla. That’s not a bad thing at all, but I would of saw a lot more towns added etc. The character have also been brought over from Tales of Xillia, visually wise, with only a couple have minor touches added on to them.
Again, Tales of Xillia 2 follows on from Tales of Xillia in this department, without really adding much to it. As I said in the original review, It certainly did the job for what I was looking for and expecting from a JRPG, and again, it is more of the same here with Tales of Xillia 2.
Tales of Xillia was one of the most enjoyable JRPG’s I have played, gameplay wise. I hate to be a broken record in this review, but again,it is more of the same with Tales of Xillia 2, which is absolutely fantastic if you ask me. There have been some minor, yet telling touches to the battling system, and it certainly gives out a better experience than the first. One of the main changes is that you can now transform into a highly-charged, super powered version of yourself. If you like Dragon Ball Z, then yeah, it is a bit like going to the Super Sayan stage!. However, that’s not to mean you can change form permanently, as you have to work up the meter in order to change, and even when you do, you only have a limited amount of time to deal out as much punishment as you can. What is also good about Tales of Xillia 2 is that in the battle, you (Ludger) is equipped with 3 different battle techniques. You can change these on the fly in battle, and certainly in the main bosses, it is great to have more than one style at your disposal.
As in Tales of Xillia, Tales of Xillia 2 still offers players the chance to build up their skills as they level up, but the grid style system has now been completely replaced by a better, elemental orb system. With this system, players can collect orbs from battle, which in turn gives them better, upgraded skills, for which you can equip and use in game. Linking attacks also remain in Tales of Xillia 2, letting you deal out a devastating attack on your enemy, with the help of one of your team mates. There is a new meter based system for this, with each level gradually giving out a stronger attack. When you first start the game, you are handed a massive 20 million loan, in which you pay off in installments between each chapter. I will say that I wasn’t to keen on this at all, because any money that I earned in game, had to go towards paying off an installment on my loan that I had no choice of having from the start!. There are a number of ways of getting money however, with jobs becoming available in every town, needing you to deliver an item or defeat a number of enemies.
Tales of Xillia easily has more than 15 hours of story-based content attached to it. That’s not to add on the nunber of jobs, sub-character stories and numerous side quests available, which will take the number mentioned up a hell of a lot. Skits also return, allowing you to learn more about the characters along the way. Whilst most are optional, it is a great way to understand the back-story of each character, even if you haven’t played the first. These also add on more game time, meaning that Tales of Xillia 2 gives out a JRPG that will keep you occupied for a very long time.
Tales of Xillia 2 took everything good from the first, and built on it. ‘Introducing new characters in with the old, brings out an even better story than the first. With the battle system also gaining numerous key tweaks, Tales of Xillia 2 offers a more complete JRPG experience. Whether you have played the first or not, Tales of Xillia 2 is a must!