Tokyo Xanadu eX+, for those who missed out on the PlayStation Vita version of the game, feels like Nihon Falcom’s reaction to the popularity of the Persona series. It places people in a modern city with high schoolers who suddenly get Soul Devise abilities that allow them to investigate Eclipse Incidents that open portals to a place called the Other World. This essentially transformers them into Ys-like dungeons where people actively attack opponents and rely on combos and elements to take advantage of enemies. It is quite a detailed game and we get to see a group of amateur heroes grow into protectors. But there is one character who is already established. That is the White Shroud.
Since Tokyo Xanadu eX+ has just come out today, I will be avoiding spoilers about White Shroud’s identity. But in the original Tokyo Xanadu, he is this legendary figure. I like to think of him as the Tuxedo Mask of the game. You know he must be capable and competent, because he is a Soul Devise user who has been protecting Morimiya City all by himself. Considering the game always sends you into Eclipse Gates with partners, it is telling that this hero is capable of handling things on his own. Yet, you know he must also be someone you know, because that is how these games work.
You get the opportunity to play through White Shroud’s first side story rather quickly. After beating Tokyo Xanadu eX+’s first boss with Kou and Asuka, it is possible to pursue this other, brief path. There are six of these side stories, by the way, and White Shroud gets two. He also eventually becomes playable in the After-Story. We follow White Shroud on April 18, 2015 at 12:25am. He is at the hospital. He finds his way inside to investigate and search for an Eclipse Gate. While you can hear his voice, it is slightly muffled to obscure his identity. Even though we are used to see him as important, this is a moment where he is unsure, so we can see he is just as human as the other characters.
What is really nice about having this as the first side story, and so early, is that it gives you a feeling of power. In the first dungeon, we are as in the dark as Kou is. We are not quite sure of ourselves yet. But by having access to White Shroud in this segment, we get an early taste of what things will eventually be like in Tokyo Xanadu eX+. His holy sword, Alka Regus, is incredibly strong. It is connected to the Light element, something only he possesses. There is no need to switch to another character to exploit core weaknesses, because the only thing it is not effective against is darkness. He even has a number of wonderful skills, like the ranged arrows, that really make him a well-rounded, initial character for people to find their footing with in the game.
It also gives us hints of what is really happening in the world. We are more in the dark in the original Tokyo Xanadu. While the first side story for White Shroud is quite short, it does give us new insight into what is happening. Gravitas is leant to events that suggests we will get more involved in the world’s events. And, even though he seems so established and strong otherwise, here we see that he can have moments where he does not know everything either. It humanizes him, but still keeps him this strong icon that is absolutely more adept than we are.
I feel like it makes Tokyo Xanadu eX+ stronger. By seeing this hero so early on and having a better idea of what he and experienced Soul Devise users are capable of, we get to see what to expect as we grow as players. We get hints at things to come. It is a nice and satisfying taste of another side of Morimiya City’s story.
Tokyo Xanadu eX+ will come to the PlayStation 4 and PC on December 8, 2017.