*This is a re-post since the original was scrapped after 1up.com was decommissioned.
*Updated last 08/08/2017*
Tales of Xillia: In the beginning
I Purchased Tales of Xillia last 08/25/2013 at Data Blitz in SM Cubao w/ the help of my sister since I still don’t have yet the funds to buy it using cash so owning it was only possible through the use of a credit card. Okay, that seems pathetic, but w/ her help I was able to get my hands on this game. Xillia will mark as the 13th mother ship title launched by Namco Tales studio although only a handful was localized in the U.S. Was the purchase worth it? Well, sort off…
My English is not so good tonight so pardon the inconsistencies. The game will let you choose to play either Milla or Jude. Both of them have their own pros and cons; Millia specializes on sword and magic attacks while Jude is good w/ healing and also w/ melee attacks. Either way, both heroes will cross paths during the course of the game. For me not to spoil too much on the story, Milla is on a mission to destroy a certain machine that is killing spirits on the world they live in. Jude happens to stumble on meeting Milla since he is looking for his professor who seems who has not yet returned after a couple of hours.
As for the game play, Tales of Xillia’s battles are real time and this time utilizes the Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System. Similar to Tales of the Abyss and Vesperia, you can go 360 degrees around the field during battles. Just like w/ Tales of Graces, any normal or special attacks you use will now cost AC or assault counter although special skills will still require TP or technical points for you to launch this so meaning to say, even if you have plenty of ACs at your disposal, you won’t still initiate the attack if you are lacking TP.
The good thing about this is that you can use the same skill over and over as long as you have AC’s and TP’s to spare. ACs will also replenish while guarding or just by doing nothing during battles like Tales of Graces but I still like the latter since it does not use any TP and just CC (chain capacity). One thing I noticed is that not all the characters can do the same things just like what you can do in Graces mainly back dashing, forward dashing and side steps so you will mostly rely on the free roam system for avoiding enemy attacks. You can no longer switch characters to command on the fly like Graces but the good thing about Xillia is that you can now have other party members on your reserves be switched during battles. During battles you can also link or partner w/ any of your party members who will in turn assist you in battles for additional effects (Milla can bind enemies making them unable to move for a brief moment or if you partner w/ Jude he will automatically heal you w/ any status ailments you will get).
The best thing about linking is that you can also combine skills w/ members you’ve linked to execute a more powerful coordinate attack. Some link artes can either heal all the party members during battle, others can hit multiple enemies, and some can also increase the attributes like defense and attack for a short period of time to all party members.
On the road
Xillia also has some places you can explore like small holes that usually houses goodies after going inside. You can also climb ledges and other places during the course of the game. Camera is a bit lazy and will not automatically work properly so you will consistently use the L1 button just to get the best view of the place you will go to. You can also use the right analog stick to check your surroundings but you mostly rely on the L1 button better. One thing about this game is that you can immediately go to the places you have already visited by just selecting it on the map so this will make it easier for you if you’re doing side quests that require you to go to different places just to complete it.
You can complete requests to NPCs found on the game w/ c will yield you w/ various rewards like money, items and attachments for you to decorate your characters. To be honest, Xillia surpasses not only the number of attachments found in both Vesperia and Graces, but also the fact that you can customize it to your liking like place the attachment on what part of the body, assign the color, have it resize, rotate it and so on. You can also increase the quality of the goods stores sell by donating money (or gald) or items found on the game.
The limited edition I was able to get includes an art book, soundtrack and DLC costumes for Jude and Milla. To be honest, I thought this Limited Edition can only be possible by buying it on online stores like Amazon.com or by hunting it on stores that actually has it since the real Limited Edition that I know of has a figurine statue/PVC of Milla Maxwell.
Unfortunately mine does not have the Limited edition Milla Maxwell statue or the actual instruction manual for some odd reason. I actually told this to the store people on Data Blitz and they responded on opening another copy of the game w/ the same exact result. I really dont care if it does not have the game manual to honest.
Although I still hold Tales of graces F in highest regard for its battle system, I think Xillia handles itself pretty good w/ its innovative Link artes system and exploration. Story wise, Xillia’s better compared to Graces for what I have observed. For those people who would like to play RPGs in real time or if you are a Tales fan, Xillia is a sure buy, that’s for sure!