Graphics:
7.6
Gameplay:
8.2
Sound:
7.8
Control:
8.1
Replay Value:
8.5
Overall Rating:
8.0
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Namco Bandai
Developer:
Namco Bandai
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
RPG
Release Date:
August 6, 2013


It took a while, but Tales of Xillia is finally here to appease long-time JRPG fans in the US. It launched in Japan nearly two years ago but good things come to those who wait. While the latest Tales adventure to find its way stateside isn’t the best series entry we’ve ever seen, it’s still a solid, enjoyable, in-depth role-playing experience that captures many of the elements fans crave. It looks a little dated, the combat mechanic isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t have a world map. Still, it has a ton of charm and lots of great content for RPG lovers.

As I said, the game won’t blow you away with photorealistic visuals. The franchise has never been recognized as one that pushes the graphical envelope and of course, it’s a couple years old, too. That being said, so much of this presentation is really quite beautiful; even those who don’t like anime would appreciate the high level of quality. Detail isn’t especially amazing, but there’s a particular cleanliness to every line and angle, and the highlight is the excellent world design. There’s some pop-in, which can be annoying, but the palette is wonderfully pleasing to the eye.

The sound category benefits from a pretty, diverse soundtrack that accentuates the attractive world, and several strong voice performances. It’s unfortunate that so many Japanese games this generation have suffered from subpar acting, but Xillia offers plenty of accomplished performances. I don’t think Milla is very good at all, but so many of the other characters sound great. Plus, you’ve got a bevy of satisfactory special effects that accompany your battles, and there’s a good balance between the appealing music and the background effects. Technically, the game won’t blow you away, but it’s more than competent.

Let’s not forget that one of the reasons JRPG fans love their genre is because the stories can often be memorable. They’re not always the focus, but a strong narrative makes any JRPG all the more worth playing. I can’t say Tales of Xillia features a professionally crafted plot with fantastic writing, because I still say the script writers are simply behind the quality curve of the industry. However, this is an interesting story, with several compelling characters, decent pacing, and even a few twists and turns. I won’t say any more than that (no JRPG fan would forgive me, I’m sure), but I still need to offer a proper summary of main events: