Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Tales of Xillia

Preview: Treading familiar ground with Tales of Xillia

3:30 PM on 01.21.2013 // Steven Hansen

Oh, right. It's pronounced 'Ecks-illy-uh.' I was wondering, too.

At the advent of Namco Bandai’s press event last week, we were treated to a cozy little presentation, the highlight of which was Tales of Xillia producer Hideo Baba talking a bit about the new game, through a translator, and then showing off . This was mainly the highlight because of Baba’s meticulously maintained hair, earnest smile, and plushy he carried around with him throughout the afternoon, but the bits with videogames were definitely a part, too.

Tales of Xillia came out in Japan in fall of 2011. Its sequel came out in November of last year. So we’re a little behind the curve, us folks stationed in other parts of the world. Still, there were some who didn’t even expect Xillia to leave Japan, yet last week I played an English build of what is the thirteenth iteration of the venerable Tales series

Tales of Xillia (PlayStation 3)
Developer: Namco Tales Studio
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release: 2013

I was a bit surprised by just how familiar Xillia felt. I’ve not invested any substantial amount of time into a Tales game since Tales of Symphonia, but the action-based battle system felt eerily similar. Of course, undoubtedly I’ve missed nuances and wrinkles in the interim, a more recent one of which differentiates Xillia’s combat from past iterations in the series. The ability to link up with a party member on the fly -- the two remaining, AI-controlled allies will automatically pair off with one another -- adds the potential for massive damage and extended combos.

A simple press of the trigger at the behest of an on-screen prompt launches you into some cool cooperative moves and each pairing has different special Artes, like the possibility of instantly reviving a downed partner. Meanwhile, the standard, fast-paced Tales battle system remains present. You beat up on various fantasy creatures using Artes with cool special effects, or regular attacks. The hands-on portion of Xillia was restricted to flitting about a rather plain, woodsy area, testing out the combat system on enemies that I had a clear competitive advantage over. A few times my foes fell before I could test out my link Artes.

So, the combat is Tales-esque, as to be expected, but there are a few more curveballs. To begin, Xillia features two main characters -- a male and a female -- from different character designers in the series. Adding to this duality is a world which spirits and humans cohabitate, which is reflected in other aesthetic elements with high contrast and the like. There’s also a concerted move away from chibi characters; the bits we were shown had a hint more realism to go along with the behind-the-back, 360-degree camera movement.

Supposedly, the two main characters are meant to add replay value, allowing you to play through the story again, but from a different perspective. In the case of Milla, the 20-year-old female main character, it’s supposedly the perspective of “a strong female character with really strong convictions,” whatever that might mean. In the video shown where the two main characters first cross paths, she was icy as heck towards Jude, her counterpart, so maybe that’s what it means?

The phrase “strong female character” is so vacuous that it doesn’t conjure much beyond flat archetypes and I’m not quite sure how her presence is something new and out of the team’s comfort zone, as was suggested, but we can only hope the stories and characters are good because that’s a bit of a necessary portion for JRPGs to knock out of the park.

Otherwise, I have nothing new to report. Demos of JRPGs are inherently weird. The build was probably over-leveled for the area I was in, and even so, it was sort of early on in the game and the arsenal was a bit wanting; all there was to check out, hands-on, was the cool linking effects and animations. Here’s hoping the narrative pans out. Oh, and if it sells well, there’s a good chance Xillia 2 will make its way over. Eventually.

Photo Gallery: (10 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dtoidsteven Tips
Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Tales of Xillia

  Aug 11

Get nostalgic with this Tales series video retrospective

A brief look at one of the best JRPG franchises ever

  Apr 11

Tales of Xillia Collector's Edition doesn't hold back

Collector's Edition includes figure, music CD, and book

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Cittadini di Twitter

Cblogs of 11/29/15 + Scott Pilgrim You Nefarious Swine!

Sexism in video games culture: social science says it’s real

How YOU can save DOAX3 (with diagrams)

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 2

Backward Compatibility Is More Important Than Ever (Maybe)

My beef with Sony

It's beginning to look a lot like censorship.

Solar Pony Django's Review on: Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
What the hell happened to Arcade racing games?
abangherbal avatarabangherbal
silahkan kunjungi juga
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Red from Transistor has joined Indivisible! many thanks to Supergiant Games for their support to this game.
JBroXNari99 avatarJBroXNari99
Does anyone know if Advent of Indies is happening this year? I looked it up today and didn't find any updates on their Twitter since January.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I brought that cake I made into work and it disappeared fast. Maybe if I lose my job I can just make a living selling cakes on the end of my street.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
My review-in-progress of Just Cause 3: Explosions - good. Grappling hook - good. Flying - good. Driving - an abomination. 8/10.
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
Well, ugh, this is awkward. A year ago I wrote a cblog about cool indie games coming in 2015, and not a single one of them has been released :/
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I was happy to have never spoiled myself the final boss of Splatoon's campaign. That was one of the best boss fights ever and I absolutely love the credits track. So relaxing. [youtube][/youtube]
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Today's kids will never know the struggle of putting an encyclopedia on top of an NES Max to auto-buy 99 potions before heading into Terra Cavern
CblogRecaps avatarCblogRecaps
Sometimes, on more dreary days, I make a smiley face with sliced-pickle eyes and bacon grin in my lunch-burger. It fills me up all the same, but I feel a warm sense of accomplishment, achievement and satisfaction on top of it.
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube][/youtube] Isn't this the greatest thing ever?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Well, my Bloggers Wanted post is up, but it timetraveled back to Sunday behind Zetta's blog or will only post two days from now otherwise. Mrgrgr.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Yeah I still can't take the new Batman and Superman seriously, Batman just looks so stupid with his cowl lol.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
This near final build of Nuclear Throne is going to bring back my eye twitch.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
When I was a lad, I loved this game something fierce. [img][/img] Anyone else ever play the tie in Small Soldiers games? Maybe it's nostalgia, but I remember them being not too bad.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Finally got my surface pro 3. Holy shit I love this little guy. And Windows 10 is better than I thought.
Putting more effort into iOS game review than African American history book report. This is not what Dr. King died for. Or maybe he did, I wouldn't know because I'm not doing the book report. Wha-hey!!
Lawman avatarLawman
More info and footage on that cancelled first-person THQ Avengers game is shown. The heartache's still real.
Archelon avatarArchelon
DailyFloze avatarDailyFloze
So just dropping in, just finished my first hands on with the new Bloodborne DLC..... in one word...Potatoes!!? #theoldhunters #dropitlikeitsyarnham #aintnothinglikeafromsoftwarething
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -