Hello everyone I’ve spent around two full weeks on Tales of Xillia 2 so I’m ready to review it!
I spent around 40 hours on the first Tales of Xillia on the PS3 and I was amazed by how great it was, it honestly blew me away. I felt a strong connection with every character in the party from the first Tales of Xillia, so I was happy when I picked up a copy of Tales of XIllia 2 since every major character from the first Tales of Xillia returns! I was also happy that Xillia 2 shows you where every character has ended up. For example, in Tales of Xillia 1, Alvin was always struggling to be an honest man, and he would always turn around and betray everyone, but in Xillia 2 he is making a huge effort towards being an honest businessman. I won’t go into too much detail because I honestly don’t want to spoil the game for anyone who still hasn’t played it.
Tales of Xillia 2 takes place in the same areas of the first Xillia game, so you’ll be exploring Rieze Maxia and Elympios. In the first game both Rieze maxia and Elympios were separated by the schism, which acted as a barrier between both worlds. Most of the characters from the first game make a return in Xillia 2, so that includes Milla, Jude, Alvin, Rowen, Elize, Leia, Gaius and Muzét. In Tales of Xillia 2 you play as Ludger Kresnik. I was a little let down when I saw that he was a mostly silent protagonist, throughout the game I really wanted him to speak more, he isn’t totally silent or anything, but for the most part he just says short things like “okay” “yeah” among a few other short phrases. The fact that Ludger doesn’t speak is a huge complaint among a lot of people, but in my personal opinion it didn’t bother me very much, yes I wanted him to speak, but I’ve also played other games that have a silent protagonist, and I didn’t mind it very much. Anyway for anyone out there that prefers to have a protagonist that actually speaks, well don’t worry, if you beat the game once, on your new game plus, you can enable Ludger to speak. I’m a little confused as to why they didn’t just make that an option from the start.
Anyway, on your journey through Rieze Maxia and Elympios you will have an extra partner, her name is Elle, Ludger meets her very early on in the game, I won’t spoil her back story or anything, just play the game to find out how Ludger and Elle meet. I would also like to take the time to point out one of my biggest complaints about Tales of Xillia 2, the debt system. Early on within the game, you will be tasked with paying back a massive 19 million dollar debt, this is done by making installment payments on your debt, which gets annoying fast, for one big reason the debt menu constantly pops up on its own, you can be on a quest or just walking around the field hunting monsters, and out of no where the menu pops up with Nova from the bank that slapped you with the 19 million dollar debt. At first you make small payments, but as you advance further and further within the game, you will have to pay larger sums of gald. The main reason that the debt system got on my nerves so much was because, sometimes I needed the gald to upgrade my weapons, or to buy health items for my party, but thanks Ludger’s massive debt, I had to skip on upgrades at times. Near the end of Tales of Xillia 2, you won’t be required to pay back your loan, but this happens too late in the game, so its pretty much pointless.
The story in Tales of Xillia 2 is handled a little differently when compared to the first game, in the first Xillia game you had the option as either player as Milla or Jude, but in Xillia 2 you only have one option, and that’s Ludger. When taking on the main story in Xillia 2 or just doing a side quest, Ludger will be given two options in a conversation, depending on what you choose, the conversation will slightly change, you can also make choices in the same way, I found it to be a great addition to the game and I really enjoyed it. You can also build your affinity to certain characters in your party depending on certain conversation options that you choose, building your affinity with the characters will unlock new items.
Something I think fans will greatly appreciate in Tales of Xillia 2 is the combat system, which for the most part remains the same from Xillia 1, which in my opinion is a good thing because the combat engine used in Xillia was simply amazing, it was my favorite part of the game to its credit Tales of Xillia 2 does change certain things with the combat system, for one Ludger wields three different weapons in combat. The first weapon that Ludger wields is a pair of dual blades, the second weapon is a hammer and the last weapon is dual pistols. Each of these weapons has its own unique set of Artes tied to them, which really adds a lot to the game since certain enemies are weapon to certain weapons, you will constantly find yourself switching between them all to stay effective during combat, and I just want to add that they are all a ton of fun to use. The combat in Xillia 2 is amazing, but I do have a complaint about the level up system in this game, in the first Xillia you had a system called the lilium orb, which in my honest opinion was a much more effective way at leveling up your characters, so that they could learn now abilities. In Tales of Xillia 2 you have the allium orb, which I was a little confused about at first, when you open up the allium orb menu, you can equip different elements, depending on which one you use, you will slowly unlock new abilities and artes, so you don’t have to do much of anything at all, you can just set it and forget it, which is boring because when you level up, you don’t have to do anything now.
Tales of Xillia 2 also adds a new system to the game, its called “contracts” every time you go into a town, you can walk up to the contracts board, and choose which contracts you want to take on, these may range anywhere from killing a certain amount of monster or gathering a certain amount of items. After you finish a contract you turn it in, and you get rewarded with gald and points. You can also hunt elite monsters in Xillia 2, these monsters are powerful and they are a great challenge, after you take one down, you will gain a massive amount of gald. I overall really enjoyed these additions to Tales of Xillia 2, and I feel like they added a great amount of things to do within the game. Another feature is kitty dispatch, you can send your cat out to gather materials in certain locations, on top of that you can also gather more cats which can be found around the world, each cat has its own ability, and the more cats you have, the faster your cat will return. I always want to mention that the anime style cut scenes within Tales of Xillia 2 look amazing! I just wish the game had more of these, I would gladly watch them all. I do want to point out that in battles the frame rate does tend to slow down a lot, this was also the case with the first game, and I really wish they fixed it in Tales of Xillia.
In closing I just want to say that I had great overall experience with Tales of Xillia 2, I don’t have very many complaints about it. I will say that I was very dissatisfied with the good and true endings in the game, I feel like they could have done a much better job, and the true ending made me feel like they were setting up for a Tales of Xillia 3, but I doubt that will ever happen. Anyway my final verdict on Tales of Xillia 2 is a 8.5 out of 10.