• Zestevez

    Yeah. I’m very impressed with what they did with this.

  • Demeanor

    It’s so nice to understand all skills at a glance, the SP screen was kind of a nightmare in the Japanese version XD At first I thought the areas between locations were too big, but now I find myself having random battles for the fun of it, plus trying to get long combos and practicing the finer points of the battle system, so things balance out nicely. Also, lover as I am of the original VA I quite like the eng dub, and I agree with those saying that Milla’s slight lisp gives her a certain charm.

  • mojack411

    God. Freaking. Dammit. I need a PS3 or the PS4 needs to come out so I could buy this and so many other PS3 games digitally. This is PAINFUL not being able to play. Tales of the Abyss is definitely my favorite Tales game as well and if this beats it… Ohhhhhhhh man,

    • Pyrotek85

      Have they announced backward compatibility for the PS4? Last I heard it wouldn’t be able to, though they said they might be able to stream games in the future. It’s not a matter of the discs or anything, it uses a different cpu architecture so a digital purchase wouldn’t work any better.

      • mojack411

        I thought that it wasn’t backwards compatible with discs but they it would be through digital purchases of the PSN store.

        • Zeik56

          Digital games still require the hardware to exist. If the system is not capable of emulating the games then it can’t play games off the PSN either, unless they rerelease them as PS4 compatible versions, like the HD releases on PS3, but that seems doubtful.

          • Pyrotek85

            Gah beat me to it lol

        • Pyrotek85

          The medium isn’t relevant, after all the BD player can read Blurays (and DVDs, but PS2 games aren’t compatible except for early models with additional hardware built in). The PS4 can read PS3 discs just fine since they’re bother Blurays, but since the cpu architecture is different the games are programmed in different languages.

      • SiliconNooB

        No native backwards compatibility as such, but Sony have mentioned that PS4 owners will eventually be able to stream PS3 games through Gakai.

  • http://denpanosekai.blogspot.com denpanosekai

    Great review marred by bizarre PS3 fangirlism at the end. What do you mean with “our exclusive”???

    Having just finished Tales of Graces F, I’m not sure how I’ll react to the loss of CC. Best damn RPG fighting system yet, better than Grandia’s (I said it!!!)

    You didn’t mention anything about titles either. I also quite enjoyed their implementation in Graces. Same deal here?

    • http://alboreo.tumblr.com Alboreo

      It’s not the same as Graces. Instead of giving skills/bonuses, titles simply add to your Grade point total. At least, as far as I’ve seen that’s all they do.

      • http://denpanosekai.blogspot.com denpanosekai

        That’s a bummer. I loved equipping titles.

      • Aqua King

        The titles in this game felt like just more achievements. I feel earning the titles does not add to the game, and is really the only thing that has disappointed me in this great entry to the series.

    • Radiosity

      CC is still there, you just need TP to continue combos now. Which is annoying as hell after Graces. Not having to break the flow of combat to recharge TP was fantastic, and not needing to constantly exit dungeons/areas to stock up on Gummies was also excellent. Real shame they brought TP back for this one.

      • http://denpanosekai.blogspot.com denpanosekai

        oh man you’re bumming me out. I probably won’t play Xillia until the second one comes out then… just to make sure I’ll forget about Graces.

        • Radiosity

          Well, it’s not quite as bad as it seems, there is auto-item which means characters will lob a gummy at < X% HP/TP but you're still limited by the 15 max limit until newgame+.

          However, one plus point is the fast travel, you just hit R3 and pick a destination and can pick up new stock, then fast travel back to where you were before. If you're just grinding a field area this works well, but in a dungeon it's less useful, especially story-related areas where you might not be able to leave.

  • Tyler Beale

    I’ll add one more food for thought: Like Graces F, the DLC costumes are fucking expensive at $3/pop, which means about $30 for everything.

    Also, I can see that the battle system (minus the Linked Artes) went back to Vesperia for inspiration…

    And also like Graces F (and presumably Xillia 2 when it hits our shores next year), we’ll never get all those special costumes Japan got. I mean, if it’s because of licensing issues, Baba could at least say so, and why they didn’t work out.

    • MasterScrub

      IIRC Baba said we’re getting all the DLC Japan did, for Xillia 1 anyways.

      • Lynx

        I KNEW IT!
        I was wondering why I saw the “Special Thanks” section of the end credits with the Idolm@ster Project on it!

      • Tyler Beale

        Well, we’ve only had 1 Store update since ToX’s release, so I’ll give them a chance…

    • Yan Zhao

      DLC costumes for Graces F were FOUR dolalrs a pop, at least whenI played. Even worse lol.

  • riceisnice

    I heard they took out like all the puzzles that used to be a staple of the Tales series. Turning every dungeon into the monotonous walk-fest. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • lunarwhale

      They did for the most part (there’s some block pushing), but honestly I can’t say that I minded once I got over the initial “huh dungeons feel a little basic” hump. Thinking about it, Tales puzzles have always been piss easy and tend to pad out the dungeons more than anything else. Graces especially handled puzzles erroneously, what with the “turn the arrow to point to the door, but now it’s turned so that you have to press X THREE TIMES!” Call me impatient if you want, but I thought that they were an annoying waste of time and didn’t provide any challenge, barring the puzzle rooms in the optional desert dungeon.

      • Pyrotek85

        Yeah I never thought of them as puzzle dungeons so much as slightly maze like. Just a switch here and there and some backtracking to get around.

  • http://alboreo.tumblr.com Alboreo

    I haven’t completed the game yet, but I would go as far as to say that this is one of the most enjoyable JRPG experiences I’ve had in quite a while. The combat is a joy and the story (the character interactions in particular) is just delightful. I think it may be the only Tales game I’ve played where I don’t particularly dislike any of the characters at all.

    • Corey Schulz

      I feel the same way about the game! I’m around 1 hr. away from the end, and the only thing I didn’t really like was Milla’s handmaid, Ivar. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      • Tyler Beale

        EDIT: Oh wait, you said 1 hour until the END…I thought you said you were about 1 hour in. (I have about 12 or so recorded, where you fight 2 of Gaius’ knights not long after you meet him. Now I need to go level up so I can beat them…)

        Hehehe…Yeah, he can be an asshole.

        Milla: Ivar, I told you to go home!
        Ivar: ……. (He starts getting pissed)
        -Jude tries to kiss Milla, but she backs up not knowing what the hell he’s doing…-
        Milla: …?
        Then they (except Ivar) walk off.

        Ivar: FUCK YOU JUDE!!

        • Presea

          I heard that Jude really looked up to Milla, but I never knew he tried to kiss her. That sounds pretty amusing, I kinda wanna see that scene now… ah if only I had the game. ><'

          • Tyler Beale

            It’s not actually a scene…at least, as far as I know. I just made that up!

          • Presea

            Aw damn I thought it was real o3o; I’m rather gullible, whoops. ^^; At any rate, that would be an interesting scene if they put that in the game.

          • Bobby Jennings

            Something like that does happen…somewhat

        • Bobby Jennings

          Gotta fix them spoilers lol

          • Tyler Beale

            ….GODDAMMIT.

      • Lynx

        Oh boy. You’re going to love 2 then.

        • Bobby Jennings

          This right here.

        • Radiosity

          Ival is the least of 2′s problems however.

    • CrystalPulse

      Same here.

    • Carl Cheng

      Oddly enough, I feel the opposite. But I’m only 15 hours in but I just don’t feel particularly invested in any character or the story. Characters in other Tales games were more developed, at least at this point in their respective games. But I’ll still reserve some opinions in hopes it gets better.

  • Jesse

    “I can’t get over how thin Milla’s waist is. It’s barely thicker than one of her arms.”

    Yeah, Mutsumi Inomata, who designed Milla and some other characters, has a habit of drawing people REALLY skinny.

    • Razzlero

      Considering Milla has never eaten in her entire life before the game’s events it would be strange for her to be anything but thin…

      • RichyGaming

        I’d invite her to Foody Goody resturaunt. Time to get that sh1t fixed.

  • kaimo

    Abyss? The gold Standard? Really?

  • http://takopako.tumblr.com takopako

    Jenni is me. All of her opinions and experiences about this game…are mine as well. i loved tales of graces, but i feel like xillia is/was the next step in a Tales of the Abyss-centric direction. it is certainly my new favorite and i fear playing it too much, for beating it soon. lol. i just dont want this game to end!

  • Laith Rem

    Jude/Milla still don’t have that charm that Luke had as a main character. Also no Jade, no amazingness.

    I will give it that it is great and it does has that Abyss like quality.

    • http://vanilladice.deviantart.com/ Dice

      Well that’s a narrow perspective.

      • Laith Rem

        Still haven’t finished up so that’s why I have a narrow perspective.

    • Darkrise

      You might want to open yourself up a bit by not comparing different characters to each other and having a bias opinion since there’s no relation whatsoever apart from being in Tales of series.

  • Jordan Coleman

    Couldn’t disagree more honestly. Xilla is so far the most boring Tales I’ve played.

    The levels so far are bland looking as hell and the game so far is rather linear. Final Fantasy XIII may also be a linear corridor like X but, at least XIII’s places look cool. They have unique and cool artistry in them. So far the world in Xilla is uninspired blandness. Nothing has looked memorable are beyond whats been in any other Tales game. And somehow the game looks worse than Vesperia.

    Looking even more at the presentation, it’s obvious the Tales studio needs to hire someone who knows how to direct cutscenes as well, because jesus are they dry here and boring. Long pauses, little action, and just ametur directing. They are awful. Doesn’t help that characters like Milla sound awful in English. The English dub in general does nothing for me and for the most part is merely standard.

    The story is also usual Tale’s bullshit, which is fitting because quite honestly all these Tales games are tarting to blend together. They all look the same, take place in the same bland animu fantasy world, and have the same lame nature whatever story. It’s just getting boring. Tales is possibly the most static jrpg series. The play fine, but hell most of them are just starting to feel the same even in gamplay.

    • Lynx

      -So far the world in Xilla is uninspired blandness. Nothing has looked
      memorable are beyond whats been in any other Tales game. And somehow the game looks worse than Vesperia.

      How far are you, if I can ask? Once I got to the desert, I actually started to like the environments. (I know, right. A desert.)

      Also; it doesn’t look worse than Vesperia. They’re running on 2 different engines. The style is different but its not really fair comparing something that has fixed camera angles to player control and SD models to regular size models.

      • kaimo

        I’d say it’s fair. Vesperia was released years ago, and the simple cel shading render still holds up great. Abyss and all the games misguidedly aping it’s art direction look considerably aged by comparison thanks to Namco’s adherance to using normal mapping for the

      • Jordan Coleman

        I’m at Fort Gandala.

        Yes, I’m sure there’s technical differences. But I’m not sure why you can’t compare two games in a series espically when they are both in the same gen. It’s not even like Graces where it came out on a non-HD system. This is like saying I can’t say “I think Bioshock Infinite looks better then Last of Us” or make any graphics comparisons that many gamers will make when say it comes to talking about GOTY contenders or something. Even more so since they are part of the same series.

        So while I’m sure the technical differences and stylistic choices are different, just looking at the games with my eyes and going purely on what looks better. Well to me that’s Vesperia. Xilla looks rather ugly honestly.

        • Lynx

          -Xilla looks rather ugly honestly.

          I can see it since you’ve brought up the HD thing now. I like Xillia’s graphics personally. But yeah, I guess you’re right overall.

          -I’m at Fort Gandala.

          Early stuff is a little blah, I’ll admit, in terms of both city and area design. Some of the cities later on get pretty decent though.

      • http://vanilladice.deviantart.com/ Dice

        It does suck that nearly every character model, even main cast, has some pixelation on it. This is really apparent in character hair. The models just don’t seem that big.

        • Lynx

          They do manage to fix that in 2, from what I remember.

          That is, if I’m remembering right. Haven’t popped in 2 for a while.

        • Ni ~UNREAL BLACK THINGS~

          they need to start doing better animation direction too. most of the time the scenes are really weird with characters appearing ou of nowhere and leaving in the same way while you can see that the models don’t have a more fluid movimentation

    • Zeik56

      Sounds to me like this series isn’t for you. Maybe you should play something that suits your taste more.

      • Jordan Coleman

        Possibly, but I’m mostly a console/PC gamer so JRPGS are kind of rare. I liked Abyss a lot, back when it came out and found some good things in the other US Tales games.

        I’m no expert Tales fan. Just a casual one, I play them if they come out on things I have and that’s about it.

        I just feel the Tales games I blending together. I am interested in Xilla 2, because the world looks a bit more interesting and the story sounds different from the usual Tales.

        • meiam

          From what I understand Xilia 2 re-use most of the content from xilia (dungeon, down, monster, team member), apparently even the last dungeon is a re use.

        • Ni ~UNREAL BLACK THINGS~

          alot of Xillia dungeons and assets are reused in Xillia 2 don’t expect too much aside for the overall in the battle system and characters; And you’ll problaby hate the final dungeon.

    • http://vanilladice.deviantart.com/ Dice

      I agree with your overexaggerated analysis! Tales cutscenes though, have always been kind of ‘wooden’ and awkward. I don’t hate on it as much as find it kinda flawed and simple. Made worse since it’s supposed to mark a grand “15 anni”.

      I dislike the story for its heavy magical emphasis. It kinda gets old with Tales games using a “super source” of energy for power. Mana, Aer, Cryas, and now Spirit Artes that literally light up street lamps to flush toilets — f*** you science! MAGIC. Guess we can’t have a teenage doctor (other than Doogie Howser) without it though.

  • meiam

    Only part of the way in, but so far it kinda just feel like a good game but nothing more. I mean the combat has tons of stuff in it, but every fight can easily be won by just mashing attack (even at higher difficulty), the enemy just get pushed to the side of the arena (which are way too small) and then you can just hammer away and win without taking any damage, without even using the dual character feature, no need for dodge/block/running.

    Story wise it’s pretty normal, nothing out of the ordinary. You’re standard cast in your standard situation doing your standard joke and friendship and hope speech.

    My one problem is Milla voice which is insufferable, I honestly can’t say wether it’s the voice actress or the writing (I’m leaning writing).

    • Lynx

      -My one problem is Milla voice which is insufferable, I honestly can’t
      say wether it’s the voice actress or the writing (I’m leaning writing).

      the audio recording quality is kinda bad. The funny thing is it only affects Milla.

      • http://vanilladice.deviantart.com/ Dice

        I’m about 70% certain it’s the audio quality. With another 15% going to a bit of stiff acting, and the other 15% to maybe unnatural[?] writing.

      • SpecDotSign

        I think the “audio quality being bad” is the fact that her VA has a lisp. I love it. I think it’s charming and for whom Milla is supposed to be, I think her acting is spot on.

  • SS4Nels

    I’ll have to agree in that this has become my favorite Tales so far, followed by Abyss. I finished Jude’s story last night and now I’m working through Milla’s, and it’s just as fantastic ad Jude’s side.

    P.S. Milla <3 for life.

  • DesmaX

    “As upset as I was about Tales of Vesperia being a Xbox 360 exclusive in
    North America, having Tales of Xillia as our exclusive actually makes me
    feel better.”

    Oh, didn’t knew that you worked for Sony. That’s pretty cool

    Oh well, my copy is on the way, can’t wait to play this… I just hope the story is better than Graces f

  • http://vanilladice.deviantart.com/ Dice

    I think Abyss still had the better story and Graces had the better battle system. Xillia to me (and as a long standing Tales fan since the PSX days) has been too short, too easy, and featuring an incredibly overpowered linked artes system that means the difference in pulling *no* damage to *thousands* of it.

    We’re also without a lot of ‘Tales of’ staples and incredibly bland dungeons that can be summed up as running around a new area and jumping ledges (remember Syphonia’s trials and puzzles? The sorcerer’s ring?). Oh yeah, and the micromanaging of levels of the sphere gr— sorry, Lilium Orb can be fun. I guess.

    Fancy production values aside (and they ARE impressive, sort of), I’m looking forward to Xill2. This is a good start, but certainly faar from *my* favorite.
    But that’s my $0.02.

    • Warukyure

      I agree with what you said about Abyss’s better story and Graces’ better battle system (and significantly smarter AI).

      And the sorry state of puzzles in this game, and some of the recent tales games, pretty much limited to moving a box to reach a treasure chest. I sort of missed some of the puzzles in Phantasia now that you mention it.

      As for the Lilium Orb, its pretty nice actually, focus on stats that you think are more important first, and picking skills you want/think are more beneficial at the low levels/start of the game is pretty nice. By no means is it as extensive as Graces’ title system but it adds a nice touch of customization early on.

      • http://vanilladice.deviantart.com/ Dice

        I agree. I don’t really care for micromanaging the Lilium Orb (or FFX’s Sphere Grid or KH3D’s monsters, so just in general), and I wait a few levels before I bother with it.

        • Radiosity

          You do know that just pressing select lets the game spend the points on things you’ll find useful without needing to micromanage it, right?

    • lunarwhale

      I kinda agree on a lot of points here. Personally I liked where they were TRYING to go with the story, but at times it was executed so poorly, and so many developments with the characters felt unnatural or unfulfilled. Jude especially had about a thousand things going on with his growth that never actually amounted in anything.

      Also with the difficulty, I completely agree. I’m pretty sure they really just don’t know how to make LMBS challenging anymore. After Vesperia I had some hope, as the in-battle puzzle things, even if small, were really pretty neat, but Xillia’s idea of “challenge” boiled down to making bosses untouchable or giving them absurd attack ranges. The early boss that could fly out of range of all attacks and poison characters was especially horribly designed. It’s not challenge if it’s not doable – it came down to luck in that fight that the party members who weren’t linked to me would actually get out of the way of its attacks, and that the thing would actually come down and allow for any attacking to happen. To a lesser extent, this applies to the boss in the mines as well. What little challenge there is ends up just being cheap frustration.

    • Tiredman

      I agree with you. To me this is one of the worst Tales of games I have played. Not a bad game, but it just lacks the soul of a Tales of game with lack of fun optional content during the game, the insanely annoying dungeon, field and port layouts being boring and mostly the same. I keep thinking FF XIII everytime I go through another field because it is just like the dungeons in that game, and is one of the biggest problems with that game.

      Overall Xillia just lacks creativity and gripping characters. There is a lack of comedy that is found in the other games, lack of caring for the individual characters, and no character, other than maybe Alvin, in my book, really got fleshed out enough to make me give a damn.

  • HJ

    Actually, Milla’s route skips the entire beginning of chapter 4, so people who pick her route first will get a skit explaining a bunch of important events and character development whereas people playing Jude’s route will get to actually experience it. Milla’s route is definitely better experienced as the second playthrough.

  • ALfromHELLSING

    Tales of Xillia is hands down my favorite PS3 RPG , loving every minute of the game.

    Thank you Bamco for bringing this Gem from Japan here and with an epic Collector’s Edition too.

  • Carlos Escalante

    Still need to start the game….should I go with Milla or Jude? I would normally preffer Milla, but I heard Jude is better for some reason (will not play it twice).

    • SpecDotSign

      Jude’s story is better. He’s a character where you’ll notice his progression and maturity. Not saying that going with Milla is bad, she’s just odd and silly in an innocent way.

      • Carlos Escalante

        Thanks! Are there any specific side quests or stuff exclusive to each? Gosh, I really wanna play as Milla, but well, most people say Jude is the way to go.

        • SpecDotSign

          They each have story specific events and skits and stuff like that. Nothing major from what I’ve seen. But I’m also only about half way through the game. I’m sure things can change. As for your choice, just go with whom you really want to play with. I was at the character select screen for about 7 minutes trying to pick. I knew from reading reviews that Jude was the way to go, but looking at my Milla statue that came with the Collectors Edition tipped me over to choosing her. Mila = max waifu status in my book.

  • Zal_Yagun

    Ah. Xillia washes that bad taste Graces left in my system.
    At some point in playing graces F I remember screaming out “this is really stupid” and “its really bad” multiple times near the end. to near uncharted drakes fortune levels of hate. (Burning a new copy of it. After cracking the disc in half)

    Graces, even with a great combat system felt like a chore to play. Those dungeons are pretty bad.
    Xillia, started off odd and is pretty easy, is still a much enjoyable experience to watch and play.

    • http://vanilladice.deviantart.com/ Dice

      Graces dungeons had at least some semblance of puzzles or tasking. ….Xillia’s have nothing.

      I also hate posts that describe “this sucks” without really saying why. I don’t mind people saying they hate Graces battle system provided they can demonstrate why they feel that way. I personally thought it was one of the best. So I’m curious.

      • DesmaX

        To be fair, I’d rather have nothing than what Graces f had.

        That part where you had to go back to the beginning of a dungeon to get an item that let you get into another part of the dungeon, and then get back to the beginning…

        • Zal_Yagun

          Oh god. The research lab?

          I was hoping that my intuition was wrong and they weren’t audacious enough to make us walk back to the chargers.

          • DesmaX

            Oh, so you stopped playing there? Or did you find another way?

            Because, oh boy, it gets even worse after that. I’d much rather just have my JRPG’s with no puzzles in dungeons after that

          • Zal_Yagun

            Oh, I was determined to beat it, as I just bought xilla. The coccon was confusing and time consuming and shaft was the worst.

            Thought that control tower in FFXIII-2 was bad, but yeah, graces killed puzzles in Rpgs for me

      • Zal_Yagun

        I said graces combat is great. It was close to fighting game level of skill.

        Level design is what I hated, at the beginning I gotten use to the mundane layout, but near the end it was extremely aggravated figuring out where you are, and figuring out how to get back to that stupid item you needed.

        Though puzzles that actually have people ask me if they were purposely easy or if I turned down the difficulty on puzzles, shouldn’t be in any game.

        Graces had some really good design choices, but who ever led the level design spoiled the overall experience.

    • CirnoLakes

      I love the heck out of Tales of Graces, you should have given me that copy.

  • Bec66

    You know it’s funny but after looking at these posts its clear that Xillia is exactly what I thought it would be to the fans the FF13 of the series the fans seem to love or hate it.

    • Lynx

      That’s Tempest, actually.

      Wait, actually. Maybe Tempest would be the FF8?

      • http://vanilladice.deviantart.com/ Dice

        Tempest was just widely unloved. It was practically hoisted from “mothership” status to “spin-off” tier. FF8 has its lovers, Tempest gets loved by less than probably 1% of the community.

        I could have sworn import impression for Xill1 were mixed (seems like the love here is stronger or something), so I’m looking forward to the 2nd game (one more loved by those that have already had a go with it) and see how it goes from there. But I’m really ambivalent about this one, much like importers were.

        • SerendipityX

          Speaking of Tempest it got a full fan translation. XD

          • Pyrotek85

            Is it really as horrible as I hear? I’ve got this morbid curiosity so I’m tempted to give it a go at some point, especially now that it’s been translated.

          • Ni ~UNREAL BLACK THINGS~

            the game is called tales of ten hours for a reason (even if you can beat the game in 5-6 hours putting effort to make the game last longer)…

          • Pyrotek85

            Well at least I won’t waste too much time on it then lol

            Makes me wonder if they had a different team working on it or what.

      • Bec66

        Well I’ve never played Tempest so I can’t really say but from what I hear while Xillia is split while Tempest seemed to be hated much more universally.
        Really though I can understand the hate for 13 better, Xillia it seems a bit more exaggerated (But I guess that’s what I should expect from the Tales fan base at this point -_-)
        I will admit it those have a few issues Lacking in dungeon, cooking (Or rather none at all), and titles but really the combat (While not as good as Graces) is still fun plus it has great characters and probably my favorite Tales villain; I always thought that those elements were what made Tales games so enjoyable in the first place. Top that off with a pretty good story and plenty of side-quests I’d say that this is one of the best Tales games I’ve played.

    • CirnoLakes

      It’s nothing like Final Fantasy XIII for us, I think you’re looking at Milla and seeing Lightning.

      Xillia has some negative folks, every Tales does. But by and large Tales fans like it and the complaints about the game are radically different.

      And I wouldn’t say opinions are love or hate. While I basically “love” all Tales games, really. I’d put Xillia about dead center in terms of how I rate top Tales games. Not in the top 5, for me, but certainly not dead last.

  • Raltrios

    Sigh…I have my Collector’s Edition, but I DON’T HAVE A PS3.
    I need to get on that, stat.

    • fireguardiancoty

      At least you have it. :)

  • School Idol Addict

    I liked Xillia, but for me that was the most dissapointing Tales i have played…
    It wasn’t all bad though, i enjoyed the story much more then i did with Graces F, i didn’t like the story of Graces F at all.
    Combat system was pretty good, not as much as Grace F though imo.
    But other then that i didn’t really like anything else.

  • golden izanagi

    I really love the intro to this game I listen to it every time I turn on the game, but my favorite thing in any tales game I play are the skits my favorite one so far is the one where jude is having a fanboy moment about fighting alongside rowen a once renowned war hero turned butler (kinda reminds me of valkenhayn now that I think about it) and milla is a little irritated by this considering she is deity and that jude isn’t saying the same thing about her.

    • SpecDotSign

      lol. I thought I was the only one that let the intro run every time I boot up the game. Cheers!

  • darkfox1

    Aughhh I NEED this game!

  • NewestType

    X Box 360 Exclusive?

    • fireguardiancoty

      I’M LAUGHING SO HARD I CAN’T BREATHE!!

      • NewestType

        I was not really trying to make a joke. Just trying to point out an error in the editorial.

        • Ferrick

          tales of vesperia is xbox 360 exclusive In North America which is technically correct

          • NewestType

            I actually had no clue it was not released on PS3 in the US. I played the JP version and had just assumed it was released in the US. I appologize for the error.

          • Ferrick

            lol no probs

  • fireemblembeast

    I finished Milla’s side over a month ago (I imported) but since most people started as Jude and all the walkthroughs were for him I spoiled myself for a lot of stuff, so I kind of have almost nothing to look forward to…^_^; Whatever, I’ll give it a go! Then I’ll start my english version playthrough so I can fully understand the story, especially Milla’s side lol
    These tasks will likely take me the time until the release of the sequel, so I guess that’s good…I think.

  • Andar

    As a huge fan of the Tales series, and my favorite having been Abyss before playing this game, what stands out to me the most is the huge number of subtle changes that give you more freedom in playing the game. The story is linear, not that it’s anything new, but with the way shops, leveling, and exploring in general all work now, it’s a familiar yet different and exciting experience just to kind of wander about in the game. I especially enjoy hunting the pirate treasures and collecting black feathers. Just gives me a convincing reason to not breeze through each open area as fast as possible.

  • Ni ~UNREAL BLACK THINGS~

    Abyss still my favourite one with eternia getting the second place.
    The story in Xillia was meh imo. noithing special about it. just you typical old 26 episode anime (well, it was indeed better than Graces story but doing a story better than Graces isn’t difficult).
    The dungeons are beattiful but the explorantion isn’t all that good compared with say…symphonia, eternia and phantasia, these three got some awesome puzzles (it’s looks like the dungeons in this franchise are going the “just keep moving forward while you open some chests” route).
    The battle system is good but if the character is not named Jude or Milla they are almost forgotten in that department (the best battle system in tales franchise for me is easily the EBG of naridan X).
    Xillia is the XIII of tales. and while i liked XIII i disliked Xillia lol

    • http://vanilladice.deviantart.com/ Dice

      100%

  • Nightmare637

    so much Graces hate.
    am I the only one who enjoyed Graces?

    EDIT:lol even disqus hates Graces.

    failed to post three times.

    and yeah I prefer this to Abyss.

    • fayt255

      I really liked Graces a lot for me Graces had the best combat in the tales series. I have yet to finnish Xillia but enjoying it just as much as I did Graces.

    • DyLaN

      Watching a LP of Graces. I’m liking the cast a lot more after the “every1 hates Asbel” plase. Liking it so far.

      • CirnoLakes

        I hate and like some things about Asbel, I feel like I like some things about Asbel and hate others.

        What I had about Asbel is how obsesses with shivarly he is. It’s always “protect” this and “protect” that. He said outright sexist things as a child about not wanting a girl like Sophie to protect him.

        And while that went away, he still seems to have a bit of a paternalistic stereotypical shounen attitude. Aside from this, though, he’s a pretty enjoyable guy and I enough the “whole lotta’ caring” attitude. I don’t really blame him for most of the things he’s done.

        • DyLaN

          Let’s be honest, a lot of ppl acted tht way when they are a kid. I dunno whether does tht gets a free pass or not though.

    • MrTyrant

      I loved graces but not because of their protagonist, I loved it because of the others characters and the battle system.

      • CirnoLakes

        You know, I’m not usually that overly fond of any protagonist in any Tales game. I like the character development that Luke got in Tales of the Abyss. But I still don’t find him as a character I’m most amazingly fond of. I like other characters like Guy better, who has an out and out nice personality.

        That’s not to says I always hate Luke. I think his character development is fantastic and endearing. And while some hate later Luke, it’s Cheagle abusing, Tsundere, spoiled and unempathetic Luke that I can’t stand. And I actually rather like later Luke, despite the fact his personality is still certainly not perfect. I find it very refreshing when contrasted from old Luke and I rather like it. I just don’t happen to find him to be all that appealing. Just okay enough. Also, I have the unusual opinion of thinking more highly of Luke than Asch even though most people hate Luke and love Asch. After the character development, Luke grew a lot, especially by the end of the game, while Asch, by and large, was still emotionally stunted.

        Lloyd is definitely one of the protagonists I’m more fond of, though. He has a good attitude.

        • MrTyrant

          Im very fond to Stahn from Destiny though he isn anything special but reminds me a little to Gourry from Slayer. He act very stupid sometimes but it’s funny. I also linked Veigue from Rebirth a lot.

          I just finished Xillia and I can say that both Milla and Jude weren’t anything special to me. Although Milla has her moments (the awkward ones) and I welcomed a female main characters, in the last part they both got boring.

    • XiaomuArisu

      Grace is Awesome!
      Sophie Pascal FTW

      • CirnoLakes

        Good taste. Good taste.

        • XiaomuArisu

          You to,you to

    • fireguardiancoty

      Apparently it happens. New Tales game comes out, people say it’s the best game ever, hate on the previous title released, rinse and repeat for the next title.

      Just watch, people are gonna hate on this game next year because 2 came out.

      • Bec66

        Actually it seems more like someone has a favorite (Symphonia or Vesperia most commonly) then every other Tales game sucks because it doesn’t match the “Perfection” of their favorite tales game. No really how many posts have you seen on Tales based threads that are all like, “Symphonia/Vesperia are sooooooo much bettAr!”

      • CirnoLakes

        I don’t hate on any Tales games. Though my least favourite would be Tales of Innocence. Which I feel like I shouldn’t say because I don’t want people thinking people aren’t a fan of the game, it deserves a localization, especially the Vita version, which has lots more characters/content.

        Also, don’t most people like old Tales games better. Looking at the fandom, it would seem most people hold Tales of Symphonia as their favourite Tales game.

    • Anime10121

      I LOVED Graces battle system, but meh to the story, and meh to most of the characters besides Malik and Pascal ( Sophie was cool too). Even the opening sucked in Graces :( But like I said, the game was fun to play through, and it wasnt a “bad” game by any stretch. It just wasnt as good a package as some of the others…

      • CirnoLakes

        For me the characters are a package deal, like in most Tales games. I usually like some characters and not so much others. But because they’re a team of people that interact constantly, I grow to love all of them to a certain extent, because with all of the time they spend together, they’re like family. It’s hard to not like them all to some degree, because I grow to see them as a family. In particular the cast of Tales of Graces is like one big family.

        Though, my favourite characters from the party protagonist cast would have to be Sophie, Richard, and Pascal.

        • Anime10121

          I know what you mean, I usually feel the same about jRPG cast’s and I wish I could say the same, I normally can, but Graces cast was just horrible to me. There were a few standouts, but ESPECIALLY Asbel in particular, was just UGH. I generally like Tales casts, but this one time, they just fudged up…

          LOVED the battle system though.

    • vileBrenman

      Graces F is awesome Hubert x pascal

    • Ferrick

      i played graces and i gotta say, i liked the battle system and some characters, but i don’t really like the story that much

    • CirnoLakes

      Graces is a masterpiece. A glorious work of art. One of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Like many other Tales games. I absolutely love the story in Tales of Graces and have spend a ridiculous number of time in my life playing the game.

      It is an amazing, amazing work of art. I find the whole thing to be simply gorgeous, I love the characters, I love the story, I love the art, I love world and the locations and all of the things to do. I find Tales of Graces so beautiful that it gives shivers up my spine.

  • Wiccan1109

    Loved it. It has everything important that i enjoy in a Tales game and i couldn’t pick a favourite from any entry between Symphonia and this.

    It may have been rushed but we all knew that, they told us this a long time ago, there should be no surprise. X2 seems like the remedied most issues people had with the game (restrictions, combat, rushed features) and i have never been so excited for a tales installment after this. So grateful to Namco for deciding to give us these 2 games, for me its pretty much the last JRPG that consistently wows me no matter what they do.

    This game also has the most human and down to earth cast I’ve ever seen from the series so far. Although the plot is grand and a bit convoluted (like they all are really) the characters all suffer from very real problems related to self image, confidence, selfishness, conflict and depression. I’ve seen some really intense hate directed at them because heaven forbid, imperfect characters, but i have never related to a Tales cast so much. Watching them discover and deal with their flaws is one of the most engaging parts of this game, and often a trait that is reserved for only the main character or heroine.

  • https://twitter.com/GaleGlory89 KiQun

    A wonderful J-RPG of this gen. It may lack content and while I’m more into mature theme like MGS series, I still love every moment of this game while longing for the sequel to come sooner next year.

    In the mean time, I decide to import Tales of Vesperia PS3 while waiting for Tales of Symphonia Chronicles and Tales of Xillia 2 coming next year.

  • Alex Sargeant

    MY ENTIRE PARTY IS WEARING AVIATORS / 10

  • Bobby Jennings

    Seriously you guys are going to enjoy Xillia 2 even more than this one if you’re enjoying this one this much. Tales of Xillia 2 basically adds some fixes here and there, and the story gets even crazier(more mature as well.)

    • Ferrick

      Lulu, one of the best tales character ever =D

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      I know man. Hot springs make everything better! ;P

  • Katboy

    nice! will get this definitely! man I have A LOT of backlogged games!

  • Chim_era

    I really need it !!! Where is my pre-order? Amazon …… :(

    However I still have to finish abyss and the last one. I’m not that far away from the ending but with a job and college thrown in, I just can’t seem to get to it.
    Or maybe I just don’t like endings … which is so true :)

    I like beginnings though so where is my copy of Xillia, amazon?!

    • CirnoLakes

      My pre-order was actually late, too. I ran to the store that day and bought an extra copy just so I could play it on day one.

      I was lucky, GameStop had extra Limited Edition copies and sold me one even though I don’t think they’re supposed to. I hope you didn’t have to wait too much longer for your copy.

  • ZekeFreek

    Tales of Skrillex. GOTY.

    • CirnoLakes

      I don’t hear any dubstep in Tales of Xillia. Though there’s definitely some smooth Jazz. Which isn’t that common for Tales games.

      This is something like Tales of Mongolia.

  • http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/21421.html?type=4 Kashell

    Great article. “I can’t get over how thin Milla’s waist is. It’s barely thicker than one of her arms. Girl needs to pig out at some buffets.” I couldn’t agree more! Fierce ladies need to have fierce curves!

    • MrTyrant

      But she wasn’t eating well.

      • golden izanagi

        well she really wasn’t eating at all considering the spirits were helping her with those things.

        • MrTyrant

          Yeah I remember that she said something about Sylph being the one gathering nutrients to give her. Also she didn’t do any phisical training because the sprits where the one that did everything for her.

          Kind of funny how every question that one might have as a player got responded quickly with some skits. They even responded why she was dressed that way or why her hair is a mess.

          • golden izanagi

            I just wonder if the questions to what kind of books milla has been reading will be answered.

          • Nightmare637

            men and women beneath the sheets.
            I kid you not.

  • CrystalPulse

    Xillia is my first “Tales” game; can’t believe how much I’ve been missing out.

    • CirnoLakes

      Welcome aboard, the waters are great over here.

  • MrTyrant

    Xillia is one of the greatest Tales ever. I don’t know if its my favourite but its really close I have to finish it yet. I also playing SMT IV and Project x Zone, so I really can’t hold them all at the same time lol

    Good to see the animated skit being as cool as ever. Never lose that charm my “Tales”

  • Oversoul

    How could anyone trust someone who thought Abyss was good?
    Hooooly god that game sucked. It was objectively worse than Symphonia in every way

    • ChiffonCake

      >objectively
      Sure, you keep saying that.

      • Oversoul

        Three people who reply to say the same thing: nothing.

        Your taste doesn’t matter. Abyss was a bad game. I can say I thought Drake of the 99 Dragons was better than Bayonetta, but that wouldn’t make it true or mean anything, because when you measure them next to each other, one is objectively better.

        • ChiffonCake

          Again, sure, you keep saying that. But let me just add that it’ll accomplish nothing other than making you look like an idiot.

        • CirnoLakes

          >Your taste doesn’t matter.
          And yours does?

          Go ahead and try to explain why Tales of the Abyss is “objectively” a bad game. Because you’ve made awfully bold claims for someone who hasn’t given any evidence.

    • MrTyrant

      Your taste =/= facts

      First you have to realize the difference yourself.

    • Ferrick

      your opinion =/= everyone else

      how could anyone trust some numbskull who thought that just because they like something they can’t be trusted

      • Pyrotek85

        Agreed. It’d be more helpful if they said why they didn’t like Abyss, instead of ‘it sucks’.

    • CirnoLakes

      And this is what I talk about when I say that Tales of the Abyss is underrated. Some people seem to just REALLY hate it, and I don’t know why. Particularly Tales of Symphonia elitists.

      While Tales of Symphonia is certainly my favourite Tales game. Tales of the Abyss would get second place for me. It’s my second favourite Tales game. It’s really great, and deserves even more love than it has, even though it gets a lot of love. I consider Tales of the Abyss a true masterpiece among masterpieces(the Tales franchise in general).

      Abyss is a beautiful, beautiful, gorgeous, engaging game. And many people have fallen in love with the Tales franchise itself just because of Tales of the Abyss. I’ve met people who discovered Tales through Tales of the Abyss. And have forever become hardcore adoring fans of the franchise. And let me tell you, that’s for good reason. Tales of the Abyss is a marvelous game.

  • Anime10121

    “Tales of the Abyss the gold standard of the series”, Jenni, I already like you :P

    Im hoping I like Xillia that much too, as it looks great, (havent even got far enough in the game to hit my first battle yet :( ) and I’m really gonna delve in later this week! Look forward to seeing what the 15th anniversary Tales brought to the table :D

  • Crimson_Cloud

    Aah, still waiting for my copy. Damn I want to play this!!!

    The only Tales game that I didn’t finished is Graces F, with who I am still struggling. It started pretty good with nice mature theme but switched to naive and embarrassingly cliche one. The battle system is insanely fun but characters and story makes this ride unfortunately too boring for me… :/

  • PlayLife

    I do agree that Tales of the Abyss is one of the best “Tales of” and it was my first game from the series ( played on the 3DS ), Now I’m a fan of the series and played Vesperia,Graces F; just need to finish Project Cross Zone and Xillia is next.

  • golden izanagi

    the only thing so far I find annoying in this game is ivar millas “handmaid”, every time this guy appears my suppressed rage keeps boiling up in fact I just got past the scene in which you are traveling in the desert and he appears and rants on about he should be by millas side even though milla told him to stay in the village and protect it, of course during this scene before laughing my ass off at being ran over by a monster I was wishing to be able to go in my tv slap him across the head and tell him “hey dude I get that you want to protect your diety and all but she is in good hands she is traveling with a war hero renowned for his battle tactics, two martial artists with medical training, an experienced mercenary, and a girl with great magical abilities I think she will be fine now go home make sure the village is alright and secure and don’t blindly believe things from random carrier pigeons again.”

    • mike dickson

      question are u playing in hard mode and by chance did he wombo combo you when you are suppose to carry milla to fix her legs cause i could under stand the hate

      • MrSirFeatherFang

        wombo combo? lol I am interested… but I’m playing Dragon’s Crown right now :(

      • golden izanagi

        not that I remember (and no I’m not playing on hard mode) as I was too busy recovering from his bragging about his “handmaid” title.

  • the_rain

    I don’t usually watch tales skit, xillia is an exception.

    • Pyrotek85

      Really? I always enjoyed them, it was a nice way of adding background info on the characters without padding the game with unskippable events and cutscenes for those not interested.

    • CirnoLakes

      Skits are one of many reasons I’m addicted to the Tales franchise. I’m addicted to them in every Tales game that has them. They’re an amazing and underrated tradition that gets criticized too much from people who don’t “get” Tales.

      The things they do with skits would just be too difficult and too expensive with current levels of our technology. Tales doesn’t have the budget of some other game franchises(though I think it deserves it!), and anime CG, while it has come a long way, still isn’t a %100 perfected arte(see what I did there?).

      So in the meantime, not only do skits look gorgeous and fun in a way that the CG would have a difficult time pulling off. But they’re a cheap and reliable way of adding mountains of characterization content to games. It’s one of the reasons I feel that Tales games particularly excel at characterization. Because, though skits, they manage to put in multiple times more character interaction than most other Japanese RPGs do.

      Sure, they may not be a cutting edge way to do things. Lots of Japanese RPGs have low tech traditions. But those old conventions often get the job done. A good tool should be used, whether or not it is technologically undemanding. Skits are just amazing. And other Japanese RPG franchises would be improved by having them.

      Skits are one thing that is simply Tales magic.

  • Robgoro

    Xillia is a game that convinced me to hop into the Tales franchise – ordered up Symphonia and Abyss just for the occasion!

    • CirnoLakes

      Welcome aboard! I’m glad more people are discovering Tales. It’s well worth it and the franchise deserves more love and respect.

  • Celiacus

    I’ve been playing lots of this lately and it’s amazing. Let’s hope Tales of games gets here faster than this one, since we’ve been missing out for a long time. I recommend you all to get it and support this amazing series.

  • Ric Vazquez

    To put it simply, one of the best JRPG you will play in your lifetime.

  • Courtney Levi Osborn

    Just beat the game and post game dungeon and am finishing up getting the trophies on Jude’s side before I replay as Milla in a few months. About 60 hours into the game. IT IS AMAZING. Love the tales series and they hit the spot with this one.

  • Tiredman

    This game is a let down for me. It isn’t a bad game, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to the best of the Tales of franchise. This game shares too much in common with Final Fantasy 13 in its field layout and the ports all being the exact same was boring as can be. The character depth is lacking with only Alvin, in my opinion, getting the only good coverage of his background. The lack of comedy that is a staple of past Tales of games is sorely missed in this one. Teepo has his moments, but those are few and far between.

    The combat system is dull with no way to actively play in the battle other than hitting monsters. In graces at least you had to dodge, run around behind enemies, and had to plan attacks, and make your combo’s count. In Xillia the only fights that I have to dodge anything is the weapon beasts, and a majority of those fights I have done so far, well, most of the time I just eat the damage and heal up or rez up.

    Hate the store level up mechanic. It is very annoying, especially when you want a x3 multiplier and you are the kind of person who cant stand to waste items on a x2.

    This game is probably the worst Tales of game I ever played. Lack of depth in both gameplay and character backgrounds, lackluster map variety, and a boring level up mechanic just all add up to making certain areas take too long. Hard mode is annoying with me playing on the mode just before hard full time because hard itself just does not give enough benefit to make it worthwhile to play on that difficulty and put up with monsters that are just plain annoying to fight with the lackluster fighting system.

    Anyway, I will beat the game, it will stay in my collection, but I will play through Symphonia, Graces, Vesperia, and pretty much every other Tales of game before I get around to doing a run through Xillia again with Jude as my character.

    • MrTyrant

      “The character depth is lacking with only Alvin, in my opinion, getting the only good coverage of his background.”

      I remember baba saying that he was going to do a director cut but it seems he changed the idea when he decide to do Xillia 2 to cover most plotholes or lack of character development from the first version.

      • Tiredman

        I will be buying the second, I took a lot of abuse from Square Enix before I finally gave up on them, so I can handle a few bad Tales games. The only problem will be if the bad ones come in a row.

  • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

    The game has probably the most intricately user-convenient interfaces in any Tales games I’ve played. That’s more than enough for me to chalk it up as a like.

  • CirnoLakes

    While I do like Tales of Xillia, and am glad that it has strong fans. I’d rate Abyss more highly than Xillia. Abyss is a classic and a masterpiece that really resonates with me. Abyss is absolutely one of my favourite Tales games.

    I’m so glad that some people care so much about Tales of the Abyss, the game has rubbed some people the wrong way. Especially those who prefer Tales of Symphonia over Tales of the Abyss. I’ve heard some bad-talk of Abyss from Symphonia fans. But they’re both great.

    Personally, I’d rate Tales of Symphonia as my all time favourite Tales game, like many others. And Tales of the Abyss would get so much as second place. Both of those games are very, very close to my heart. I absolutely love both Tales of Symphonia and Tales of the Abyss. I could gush about Tales of the Abyss, which is strange, because I rarely do. And it’s my second favourite Tales game. I should talk more about how much I love Tales of the Abyss, rather than just Tales of Symphonia.

    While Tales of Xillia, I don’t think, I would even put in my top 5 of favourite Tales games. Though I do like it more than Tales of Innocence and a few others. Even not being in my top 5, it’s still Tales and it’s still amazing.

  • CirnoLakes

    I played Milla on my first playthrough as well. I really like the idea and I generally prefer playing as female protagonists anyway. And for Tales that’s certainly an improvement, Tales generally have male protagonists.

    Unfortunately I feel like Milla’s side isn’t as good to play through the first time as Jude. Jude’s story seems better tailored for first time players.

  • CirnoLakes

    I didn’t have a chance to comment on this article because I’ve been spending the past few weeks binging on Tales of Xillia. I’m over 100 hours into the game so far. And before December, I should have more than 300 hours clocked into the game.

    Tales of Xillia is a great game, and like most Tales games, it is worth spending all of that time being immersed in that world. I’m only here now because I can’t be at my PlayStation 3 right now. In some ways, I’m kind of glad I’ve had the chance, because I wouldn’t want this article to be too old before I started commenting on it. If I just kept plowing through the game, weeks into September without posting, this article would be really old by the time I started posting in it.

    -

    A few other things to say about this. Yes, logically, waiting until there are bonuses before donating materials to the shops makes the most logical sense. However, high point items arrive early in the game to the point that you can get high level in the shops anyway with a little grinding or hunting. And sometimes people just like focusing on a certain type of item. Me, for instance, I focused largely on getting powerful weapons first thing. It’s nice, but I think paying attention to the bonuses is a “to each their own” sort of thing.

    By the way, I really like the linking in this game. Ignorant people blame Tales of “being the same”. But it is changing all the time. And Xillia is a fantastic evolution of the battle system. I absolutely love linking and link artes. It reminds me of dual techs in Chrono Trigger, in fact I feel like maybe it’s possible they took a page out of Chrono Trigger when adding link artes to this game. After all, they took “New Game+” from Chrono Trigger. I love hitting the overlimit gauge, doing a couple chain artes, and then a Mystic Arte.

    • School Idol Addict

      Wow you sure are addicted to this game :P
      After my first playthrough i kind of got tired of this games, but i liked it enough that i have intention to at least platinum it later, but not right now maybe sometime later this year or next year since i won’t have much time to play that games for a whiles.
      As much as i love Tales games, GTAV and Pokemon is much more important to me and both games will take most of my free times for the next few months.

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