PS3 Previews: Tales of Xillia 2 Preview

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Tales of Xillia 2 Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA 2014

Publisher:

Namco Bandai

Developer:

Namco Bandai

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

RPG

Release Date:

August 19, 2014

Tales of Xillia was a godsend for Japanese role-playing game fans everywhere. It included many of the features these passionate followers crave, and they’re hoping to get another gem when the sequel arrives. It will launch in North America for the PlayStation 3 some time later this year and ideally, those fans will receive something familiar yet refreshing. The familiar part is a given, as the developers don’t wish to alienate their fanbase, but new gameplay elements will make an appearance. Whether or not they’re improvements…well, that’ll be up to you.

The story is more surreal this time around, which could prove immensely interesting. See, there are parallel universes that are expanding rapidly and dangerously, thus creating a divergent timeline. Your job is to entire these individual pocket universes, locate the cause of the problem, and eliminate it. Of course, what you’re essentially doing is destroying other worlds just to save your own, a moral dilemma the characters face throughout the adventure. It certainly sounds promising but whenever you start fiddling around with the concepts of time and space, things can get a little muddled.

Here’s hoping the writers produce a script that isn’t too ridiculously transparent, and manages to simultaneously question and inspire. As for combat, franchise fans will recognize the battle mechanic, but there are a host of additions and tweaks. For instance, enemies will now have weapon weaknesses (in the first game, they only had magical weaknesses). This means that some foes will be more resistant to swords than hammers and vice versa, so you’ll have to continually assess your opponents. The cool part is that the protagonist, Ludger, can actually switch weapons on the fly when engaged in battle.

Unfortunately, the other characters can’t, which means Ludger may be your only salvation if you’re ill-equipped for a particular encounter. This may have a direct impact on the overall balance, as players may see no benefit to using any other character. Don’t forget that Ludger is also the only fighter that can use the new “limit-break” style setup. Once the gauge fills, Ludger transforms into something completely insane and he deals crazy damage, which ought to come in handy for tougher enemies. Still, once again, this begs the question: “Why would we ever use any other character in combat?”

Maybe they’ll have individual skills and abilities we’ll want to access manually, I don’t know. I know it’ll be important to forge solid relationships with your allies; this can be accomplished by making the right choices during dialogue sequences. The freedom of choice can be found in just about every video game these days, and hardcore RPG fans usually appreciate the option. That being said, JRPG fanatics are often very traditional and if too many choices are deemed superfluous, it will feel like an unnecessary and tacked-on feature. Still, I’d rather be optimistic.

One last feature to mention: At the start of the game, you’re saddled with a $20 million debt that you must pay off. After a set amount of time passes, you need to ante up, so you need to save your bucks. Depending on how the developers approach this, it could end up being a worthwhile addition to the adventure, or it could wind up being outrageously annoying; i.e., grinding and drudgery just to earn money that’s going to be taken away, anyway. This all being said, I applaud new ideas because without ‘em, we’ll get the legions of cynics going, “I’ve already played this before!”

Tales of Xillia won our illustrious Role-Playing Game of the Year in 2013. Will the sequel have a shot at the title…?

2/26/2014 Ben Dutka

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Comments (32 posts)

ethird1
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:31:14 PM
Reply

I should really get around to beating the first one. :)

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:31:41 PM
Reply

I bought the first one after a few of you guys recommend me the game. Have yet to play it however. So let's see how I like this series.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:32:08 PM

Why haven't you played it? Be honest.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:59:36 PM

Well I wouldn't use the first game from ages ago to tell you if you would like the new games, they've evolved.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:07:01 PM

I'm talking about Tales of Xillia. I haven't played it because I don't have a lot of time. First I need to work on a few of my uncompleted games before I tackle a JRPG of this magnitude. It will help me stay focused on it and get more enjoyment out of it.

What's the completion average time for Tales of Xillia?

I think it was you, World, who suggested this game and so I bought it because I was feeling like playing a JRPG.

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Banky A
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:32:21 PM

You can do it in 30-50 hours. Took me ~100 for Platinum and I enjoyed every minute. Tales of Graces f on the other hand... Plat almost there but is a roller coaster.

Xillia was my first Tales game (Day One Edition) and boy did they leave a good impression on me for their future.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:33:50 PM

oh lol I thought you literally meant like the PS1 game. Yeah I probably did recommend it. It's gonna be around 60 hours completion time. Don't despair though, it's very user friendly and you can take your sweet time going all over the world doing whatever you want as you advance the story. It doesn't lock you into like 4 hour play sessions or anything, I sometimes just did bits and pieces at a time.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:31:47 PM
Reply

There is going to be a wave of awesome RPGs for the PS3 in the next few years. This being one of them. I think it's hilarious that you start the game $20 million in debt!

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:13:36 PM

I am really looking forward to The Withcher 3 and Shadow of Mordor. For some reason, after playing Skyrim, I crave some J/RPG's. I wasn't a big fan of them. I didn't really play J/RPG's other than Pokemon, and maybe a few games such as Mass Effect which is a 3rd person shooter with RPG elements, amirite?

However, I still don't understand the fuzz FF gets.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:28:53 PM

I'm looking forward to the Witcher3 as well. After enjoying the first two on PC (no PS3 version) I'll be playing the 3rd on the PS4.

FYI none of the RPGs you listed are JRPGs, except FF and you evidently don't like it...

Check out Suikoden or Wild Arms. For me personally Final Fantasy is the "creme de la creme" of RPGs, well minus the entire XIII series.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:52:28 PM

I meant to say either JRPG's or 'slash' / RPG's.

I do believe that Ni No Kuni is $7 for PS+ members at the moment. I could buy it for that price and add it to the backlog... I doubt I'll see it so cheap again. Is that game worth it?

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 12:27:33 AM

Yes it is definitely worth it. Especially since you've mentioned you enjoy Pokemon. It's worth the full price or the savings you get from plus.

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Underdog15
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 1:06:19 AM

I bought Ni No Kuni at full price. I never regretted it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:01:19 PM
Reply

Yeah I'll be ready whenever this comes, loved Xillia 1. Tomorrow Tales of Symphonia HD collection comes to my door so hopefully I can play on Friday. That's 2 games so maybe when I'm done with them Xillia 2 will be out.

Plus I just bought Enchanted Arms on a lark, kinda neat and I'm glad it has Japanese voices.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:13:17 PM

I just bought Enchanted Arms for $16 off Ebay. Glad you mentioned it. I've been on an Ebay kick as of late.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:15:19 PM

It's impossible to play and finish games nowadays since there are so many of them to choose from. How gaming has grown.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:30:32 PM

I finish a vast majority of the games I start playing. That way when I get around to playing another game its price has dropped. I have friends that buy everything brand new Day1 and a year later the game is still in the plastic because of the overflow. That's a waste of money.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 10:11:15 AM

That's why I'm gonna try to control myself this generation. Instead of having game in plastic though I started them up out of excitement, wasn't blown away, and then shelved them until months went by. Wasn't necessary.

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Banky A
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:36:55 PM
Reply

Day 1 baby D1P

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Banky A
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:40:21 PM

This is the one game I have to get this year above all else.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:45:25 PM

Wait...what?!

What about Titanfall?!

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Banky A
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:55:10 PM

Oooooh yaaa of course booked the Collector's for PC :')

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Killa Tequilla
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 12:01:03 AM

The one with the really big Titan Mech? That thing costs more than $200!!! If you have that much money, help a brother out at times like this, man!

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Banky A
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 12:07:22 AM

just jokes?!

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 12:28:12 AM

LOL, nice Banky

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Draguss
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:42:22 PM
Reply

“Why would we ever use any other character in combat?” Fairly normal in Tales games, from what I can tell. Graces F is the only one I've played that felt like all the characters were meant for the player to use.

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Banky A
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 11:54:08 PM

Really? I only ever used 80% Asbel, 10% Hubert, 10% Richard role-playing-doll.

I liked to use all six in Xillia because they had their specific abilities especially Milla, Alvin and Rowen. Even when you weren't directly controlling them you were linked to one which meant you used them! Now that I think about it, it was pretty genius.

Wow Milla made it an action game, Alvin felt like a true tank and Rowen was the ultimate ranger forrealz that old dog was the truth with his arcane.

I guess that makes us opposites... and rivals.
//love

//Graces is good too. 7500 Eleth so far, almost there. I hate Cheria and Pascal. Malik and Richard's speed-casts feel much more satisfying with their A-Artes.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 10:14:07 AM

I like to stick with one so I don't get confused but I'm glad they let you be anyone, I'm sure I'd play as everyone if I had a youthful brain.

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Draguss
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 5:31:20 PM

I mostly used Asbel too, but whenever I tried someone else it felt like they'd been well designed to keep the player engaged without loosing out on the action. Unlike say, using Elize in Xillia or Jade in Abyss.

It's not like you can't use any other characters in the other games, but there are always a couple that are obviously the one's the devs meant for you to use and at least one or two that are just better left to the AI.

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homura
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 2:47:54 AM
Reply

I'm into Xillia these days. Playing it on hard mode. Boss battles are epic. My playtime is already about 57 hrs, so I think I'm close to the end. Great game. Looking forward to Xillia 2.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 4:15:11 AM
Reply

well have fun with that i'll be busy on rachet nexus cos i'm almost bk to Uni now so my free time is about to evaporate very quicky it'll be only games on the weekend when i'm tired

happy gaming =)

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Banky A
Thursday, February 27, 2014 @ 4:41:43 AM

Which uni you at brother?

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