Tales of Xillia (Hands-On) (PlayStation 3) Preview

By Joshua Callum Jeffery 21.08.2013

Review for Tales of Xillia (Hands-On) on PlayStation 3

Earlier this month, PS3 owners across Europe were finally able to get stuck into Namco's new Tales series entry for the first time. While it took a while to get across the pond, big games like the Tales RPGs can give even seasoned gamers plenty to get on with until the next entry comes along, and it seems like Tales of Xillia is little different.

As Tales Studio's second real foray into the world of HD gaming, Tales of Xillia makes strides to bring the franchise forward once again while unfortunately being marred by its deadlines. By now, fans of the series expect the battle system to become even more fun and clever with each instalment and they wouldn't be wrong, but that also isn't the extent of Xillia's evolutions. While the battle system is now even faster and more fluid than Tales of Vesperia's, it has also taken a cue or two from Tales of Graces' ingenious combat making it feel like once again the battle system is trying something new whilst also improving on Tales battle systems of yesteryear in every way it can. The Skills and Artes are changed up too, and this time they are integrated into a system called Lilium Orb, allowing the player to influence character stat and ability growth.

Tales of Xillia introduces the ability to choose the main protagonist, and while it's unclear if this system will remain for future entries, it's an interesting idea that adds a little more replay value to the game, and, yes, finishing one side means the other can be played in the Tales series' ever-exciting "New Game+" feature. Needless to say, the protagonists - Jude and Milla - get plenty of focus and development, regardless of who is chosen as the main at the start, but this does give the player some different perspectives in certain scenes, as well as extra incentive to finish that New Game+ file.

Screenshot for Tales of Xillia (Hands-On) on PlayStation 3

Other new features include hopping up and down small ledges, sometimes making it easier to travel back to the beginning of a tall mountain or leading to hidden chests and spoils, and the ability to quick-travel by pressing the right-stick. This quick-travel is especially useful for tracking down the Tales series' infamous masses of side-quests, which are now easier than ever to discover due to NPCs having a noticeable green "!" above their heads if they have sidequesty goodness. Missing side-quests is no longer as big a worry as they once were thanks to this, though not all side-quests are progressed with NPCs, so it's best to stay attentive regardless.

Story and character-development also hits a new high early on in Tales of Xillia, with a little less cliché in return for characters and worlds that grow more believably than the series is used to - the main characters especially. Unfortunately, while quality is high, it's not as content-packed as Tales fans have come to expect. The game's nature sometimes seems rushed with occasional slowdown in battles so far and a lack of other cameos, Easter eggs and other secrets hidden in most Tales games. Perhaps it will develop further into the adventure, or maybe Tales of Xillia 2 will fill in those disappointing blanks when it hits Western shores in 2014.

Screenshot for Tales of Xillia (Hands-On) on PlayStation 3

Final Thoughts

Despite its shortcomings, from early impressions Tales of Xillia is definitely as key an entry to the Tales series of RPGs as any other, and those who enjoy the series' staple real-time battles look like they can't go wrong with this one. If it's still hard to decide if Tales of Xillia is a must-buy, pop back soon for Cubed3's full review!

Developer

Bandai Namco

Publisher

Namco Bandai

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Sounds great so far! Thanks for the update, SL...and I'm looking forward to the final verdict from Cubed3's other SL, SirLink! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Adam Riley said:
Sounds great so far! Thanks for the update, SL...and I'm looking forward to the final verdict from Cubed3's other SL, SirLink! Smilie

No probs! As always when it comes to Tales games, once I get into it it's hard to pull myself out! I think I'll be playing this one for a long time as well, and I'm already super hyped for Xillia 2 after hearing it's supposed to be even better. Smilie

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

What's been the reaction from others you know have played it? The last one I properly sunk my teeth into was probably the Innocence translation on DS!

SirLink, have you finished the game?

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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