Some things never really change. Sharks, for example, have existed for millions of years. These creatures have witnessed the birth and extinction of countless species. They endure as time ceaselessly marches forward. A constant in an ever-changing world, they remain the spitting image of ancestors that once patrolled the oceans at a time when dinosaurs walked the earth.
Like sharks, the Japanese role-playing game is essentially a living fossil. The venerable genre has seen others rise from the primordial soup, evolve, wither, and perish. A product of a bygone age, the JRPG still remains very much akin to its early paradigms.
The Tales series epitomizes this abstraction. Refreshingly old-fashioned, the franchise continues to tiptoe toward perfection while many of its peers struggle to reinvent themselves. Tales of Xillia stays true to its roots, providing a largely traditional experience with some unique twists.