Main image
11th September
2011
written by Splash

Title: Tales of Xillia
Console: PS3
Genre: Action RPG, Fantasy
Language: Japanese
Company: Namco
Summary: 100% Platinum Trophy in around 100 hours.

And in the far future I will probably then bother with a third replay to re-enjoy the story with max grade.

Various light spoilers in the reviews, but as usual I stay away from any major spoilers. Ffff, I ship Jude/Milla so hard. /shy バリボー\^ω^/

Story: 8. It was good but could’ve been SO much better. The story definitely could have elaborated in the 2nd half of the story. It jumped into Gaius focus WAYYYY too soon imo. more on this later.
Characters: 9. When I first started this game, I thought Sugita Tomokazu’s character would make the entire game for me just because it’s Sugitan. XD But Jude and Milla easily ended up being my ultimate winners. I do really like the rest of the cast. Elise will definitely grow up to be a gorgeous woman~

But yeah~ I was VERY familiar with Yonaga Tsubasa and Sawashiro Miyuki’s roles before this, but this is the first time I’ve really crushed on them. XD;;;
Graphics: 9.5. This score is mostly for the anime cutscenes. XDDD
I actually really didn’t like how the graphics looked in the trailer aside from the pretty colors and details. I didn’t like the jagged edges on people’s hair, etc. Graces F and Vesperia were just so much softer and appealing. It’s not as bad after you get used to it though, and still muchhh better than *cough* Star Ocean PS3.

It could be my imagination, but they use more softeners with the full cutscenes towards the end, and the ending is fully animated, which kind of surprised me. Compared to Vesperia and Graces F which had only small sections animated, Xillia had quite a satisfactory amount of animation for the end. Thank you ufotable!

The anime cutscenes naturally have the best animation I’ve seen in any of the games thus far. Production IG just doesn’t stand a chance against the detail ufotable put into this, which is a shame since I know IG could just do better >_>;

Back to the 3D graphics. I do have to say though… lol wtf all the seaports look the f’ing boring same. It’s even more awkward that they’re the exact same on the other “world” when the rest of the architecture is so different.

Sound: 9. A lot of Chinese-inspired music ^^;;; Wonder how much on purpose that is. The jazz towards the end was a bit refreshing in a good way, and the final stage music pieces were epic, as expected. XD; Haven’t come across anything particularly addictive though. The school theme from the DLC school costume is nice, but you have to pay extra to get that DLC.

Oh, but Ayu’s theme for the game? Win.
Gameplay: 8. Link system is pretty good.
Why does the manual lie about jumping only in manual mode, I don’t know.

I am a bit disappointed that the sounds are even more repetitive than they are in Vesperia and Graces F even at the post-game stage. I don’t need the characters to constantly tell me when they’re going to heal me, just DO it. And I also don’t need partners constantly telling me to guard them when I’m busy with someone else. The system is built to have two pairs to handle multiple enemies, yet the AI does a terrible job at coordinating with each other. There are times when the other pair don’t even DO anything, or they’re just very terrible battlers in general. Vesperia and Graces F had much better AI.

Also, the engine isn’t optimized enough to handle a great number of enemies in one field. It lags when too many special effects and enemies are on, and the gameplay gets really slow at times when that happens. Kind of fail. :x

And only one set of Hi-Ougi? Blasphemy for the PS3 Tales standard. XD; Graces F spoiled me with all the pretty 4-tier blast calibers. And Malik even had an extra one. MALIK BEAM FTW.

Those are my main complaints so far, I might have more later…! XD

As for fun points… hmmm, Jude’s Shouha Majinken is such a game-breaker. www Milla’s post-game ougi is pretty darn strong too, but Jude’s is really so easy. Post-game is the reason people say to not play as Jude and Milla if you think the battles are too easy. Or really, just don’t use those ougi. But then bosses on unknown level become virtually impossible unless you use the Jude-Milla combo. Mostly it’s just attuning to the fact that the rest of the characters are much less developed in capability for long-running combos, which makes the whole battle system much less appealing.

Replay Value: 6. Using this section to rant about the lack of post-game content. XD;

But seriously, only one post-game dungeon and it’s like a dumbed down version of the Vesperia bonus dungeon? Holy lameness? It’s also totally boring and filled with monsters with REALLY annoying battle styles.

I mean the last boss in the Xillia dungeon is a GOOD challenge, but it’s still literally only one post-game boss (and its shadow clones). Vesperia’s Labyrinth of Memories was a lot more interesting and it offered all sorts of fun boss battles along the way. Not to mention Vesperia also has the bonus dungeon/tower Tarqaron.

And of course it doesn’t even get near the fun I have with the 10 exclusive bosses in Graces F’s Zoon Cage.

Yet ANOTHER complaint, level 99 being the max? What happened to awesome high numbers like 250, 255 etc? Not that the number matters so much, but it’s so EASY to max out the levels in this title. 99 doesn’t even feel complete, what happened to 100 at least? XD; This point is kind of trifling, but it’s still another careless move they made imo.

So… WTF is with the backwards progression in post-game content??? This cries a renewed edition of the game so badly, I can’t even. D8;;;

At this rate, the only value in replaying the game at this rate is to enjoy a few grade shop upgrades and then try out the story of the other character side that you didn’t play for the first run.

more later.
Overall: 9. I LOVE the characters (cough pairing), but I think this is the weakest of the current 3 PS3 Tales titles available, despite being the latest installment.
Lots of complaints going around that people feel that the story is incomplete, the grade system maxes at 10,000 no matter what (can’t get all the decent boosts EVER), and that the other PS3 titles were just more worthwhile. I’m inclined to agree, no matter how much I love the main pair.

Still, this game is tonsss of fun and was worth how much I paid for it imo (I got the less expensive Asian version with preorder costume bonuses, but no mascot :< ~). My main wish for the future would be that the graphics, characters, cutscenes at a significant step above the other PS3 Tales provides a new standard instead of just treating us for an anniversary piece. >_>; Although they’ll probably go back to Production IG for the next piece, eh.

A note about Famitsu’s score (39/40) for this title, while Graces F gets 37 and Vesperia gets 35, is totally backwards imo and Famitsu’s habit of doing scores more relevant to the “atmosphere at the time” instead of looking at the full picture is a REALLY bad way of doing things. Vesperia and Graces F PS3 will stand the test of time sooo much more than this title as it stands.

If they ever do a Director’s Cut version for Xillia (I think it’s a real toss up whether they will or not), I will succumb to the marketing tact and get it. I actually want them to make it for these characters… XD;
While they’re at it, improve the battle system with more hi-ougi, fill in certain gaps in the story, and add in PLENTY MORE post-game content, and I will be a graciously satisfied customer. And I would also succumb to giving that version the full 10.

*edit 8/14* Finally finished up my Milla play and gotten the 100% platinum trophy, around 100 hours plus a lot of dawdling around. XD;
So development for the announced Xillia 2 is “in its final stages” by this date. While it’s a sequel and not a “Director’s Cut”, this could potentially be even BETTER depending on how much content and fun is in this sequel. I’ve had it long preordered already and I’m looking forward to it!

Most useful wiki I use XD
Wiki
livedoor wiki | grade shop
maps

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9 Comments

  1. rain
    30/09/2011

    I think despite the complaints, Xillia is treating me as a pretty solid game so far. I think people are just going to complain anyway, and I think comparing it with Vesperia is a little off, especially since how fundamentally Xillia is. (Though I agree with you on character development, Xillia focused too much on the two powerhouse protagonists while Vesperia fleshed out some of my favourite characters nicely, such as Raven and Judith).

    Sea ports are definitely a yawn. I first thought I went back to the very first port you arrive after fleeing the capital on one occasion. >>;

    As for sound, I think it’s a nice break from Sakuraba’s usual Tales Of fantasy RPG music. Most of the towns and cities in La Shugall are styled after oriental inspirations; I’m sure it was a choice on the director’s part.

    Seconded for animation – ufotable did a wonderful job. I cried when I saw Graces’ clunky, awkward animation cutscenes. Compared to the beautiful blend of hand-drawn animation and computer graphics (Especially that scene when Gaius was leading his army to war), the hand-drawn animation was definitely superb and looked like it belonged with the CG effects.

    Jumping has been pretty easy for me on Semi-Auto actually, I just have some trouble trying to back-step versus Jumping because holding on Square and tilting the joystick slightly upwards makes me jump when I want to backstep. v_v

    As for graphics, the hair is slightly sharper than the softness of Vesperia (lol @ the constant soft light glows in Vesperia) which made it somewhat awkward, but I didn’t mind it too much. I also noticed they placed in “stray hairs” by CGing thin lines of colour but it was a bit too overdone since I find myself staring at their hair instead of paying attention to the cutscenes…

    Oh lol me, sorry for this rambling reply. \T^T/ Whose story did you start on first?

  2. 01/10/2011

    LOL the manual says it’s only available in manual mode, but I see what you mean with the semi-auto. wtf o_O;
    On Jude’s! the jp wikis suggest Jude first to enjoy the story more.

  3. 07/10/2011

    I have to agree that the characters are probably the best thing in the game (I LOVE ALL OF THEM *△* I’ve never loved every single playable character in a video game this much before~), but the game itself…idk why I still like Vesperia better..? And umm I think the trophies ain’t so hard to get, but the grades are. And even though I haven’t finished the game yet, I’m feel sorta disappointed with the rumored cruel grade shop. Too many goodies to be left behind ╥﹏╥

    And I can never tell which seaport that I’m at. They totally look the same D; /foreverlost/

    I love love love the game regardless! but ahhh it could’ve been better.. :(

  4. 07/10/2011

    mmth agree so hard XDDD Yes, it could’ve been better T___T; Which is really the main reason why I end up hoping they’ll make an “enhanced” version in the future. With these characters, I especially hope so!!!! And need more Jude/Milla *RUNS*
    I am figuring out that some of the grade shop upgrades can be sacrificed altogether (like I don’t think I’ll bother to carry over levels ever, I’d rather have the 1 cost skill thing XD and seeing if I can go without some of the other carry overs that can be regained easily like gald) so maybe I will try my next playthrough after I reach a certain point without getting to 10000. Maybe I’ll just set up an extra save file just with the skits unlocked too (3000 grade), lolol. And try unlocking them on my own in the meantime. The “hate gummi” chat can only be triggered if you never use gummi up to when you reach Shan Du apparently. XD;
    But ee, enjoy the story then <3 ~

  5. 07/10/2011

    NEED MOAR JUDE/MILLA TOO RIGHT HERE *RUNS WUTH YOU* XD

    I was thinking to carry over half levels since I don’t want to wait too long to get artes. XD; I’ve kinda made a list of what I really really want to get from the grade shop and I think I’m gonna need 9500 grades~ ;_; Do you know where we can get grades aside from titles? Does the battle difficulty matter?

    Oh wow I’ll never get that “hate gummi” skit, I always forgot to turn of the auto item.. X_X So I’m gonna set up an extra save file just like you~ :p

    Did you see the “ミュゼとミラ” skit, Splash? I’m curious of what they’re talking about yet I can’t really understand them alskhfspoahfd >_<

  6. 09/10/2011

    I’ve started putting the characters all on auto for the party battle arena in Shan Du and doing other things while it goes. XD That at least grinds some of the grades, and I’m up to over 6000 now~
    I haven’t noticed a difference with the battle difficulty unfortunately (In Graces F it changes up the bonuses a lot)

    Since Muse was low on Mana, she asked Jude to help her restore it and Jude was like “okay sure”. Apparently it’s supposed to mean something more when spirits get mana from humans, but even Jude doesn’t really get why and neither are we supposed to get why too, lol. Milla said “I didn’t know you were that kind of guy, Jude D8” and ran off, and Jude was like “SOMEONE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME”

  7. 19/10/2011

    Long time no visit you. And I didn’t know you like Tales. You had to tell me before!

    Did you say that there are performance flaws in overcrowded battles? D-: In Graces for Wii it happens too, specially when the scenario is very detailed. But alas, I just blamed the Wii.

    Thank you for the looong report. I bought a PS2 some months ago mainly to play its Tales issues. I’m hoping to play all the franchise by order, despite my low Japanese level (in translation guides I trust). Someday I will need a PS3, also. -.-
    Do you complain about repetitive voices? Play Destiny 2, if you haven’t.

    Well, it’s a pleasure to read you again. As Emperor Wakamoto said: aitemu nazo tsukaten ja neeeee!!!!

  8. 19/10/2011

    hihi~~ oh god yeah the Wii DEFINITELY has performance issues, I’ve had it in other 3-d games too ^^; Graces F never lagged in the PS3 version!
    But Xillia has it realllly bad for some reason, and it just gets a bit painful when there are like 4 bosses on the screen. The thing is sometimes it even happens with even fewer enemies, all because of the special effects and junk. I’m reading that the engine likely wasn’t optimized properly since they didn’t have enough time before making the anniversary deadline. Sadness.
    I played Destiny 2 (PSP version) but oh I didn’t write a review for it yet!! To be honest I haven’t played it full from start to finish yet (I played about 2/3 of it then tried out a save file for the final boss), but that’s one I should really get back to sometime and write for. XD; I liked the button combination mashing for spell casting. It suffered from a little repetitiveness from what I remembered but I could tolerate it.

    I say this, but I also just ordered Tales of Abyss 3DS so that will probably be my next Tales review ^^;;;;;;;

    OH LOL Wakamoto~ Rouen (the old man) has the costume, you can see the vid here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDRjfsYxloA

  9. 20/10/2011

    Button combination mashing? Do you mean the Combo Command accessory? It existed since the first Phantasia (SNES). Back then it was useful, when you couldn’t change skills during battle.

    They hurried to finish Xillia in time? Then yes, await for a Director’s Cut, or some huge update patch. Just like some recent shooters. You buy it full of bugs, and you have to wait for their patches. … Well. Metroid Other M has a bug, too. And Tales of Graces too. Namdai had to replace discs, and all (luckily mine was already updated). It’s a pity, but Hasters gonna Haste.

    Abyss will fall upon my hands, too. It will surely be the only one port I will buy for 3DS.
    And yes, I already saw BarbaRouen in action. And I LOL’d. More or less like here: http://youtu.be/lgWO-TTn2Yk
    But I still can’t relate Milla with Dhaos. :-S Does she fire lasers?

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