lorekai here, continuing on my talks of Tales of games. Also just as a heads up for anyone who hasn’t played Abyss or Xillia there are some spoilers here.
Usually when you find a game going for practically nothing at the bottom of a clearance rack, it’s not a good sign. However when I played this game for the first time, 7 hours later, with a very angry battery light on my PSP, I still wanted to play more. It’s a great game, the story, while predictable, is well presented, keeping it interesting, and the characters are likeable, if a little bit cliché at times. My only real complaint about it is that once you get used the battle system, combat becomes very dull, repetitive and easy. However with shorter playing sessions that problem is somewhat amended. This game’s soundtrack is another weak point, it isn’t bad, however it lacks memorability and despite playing the game earlier today I struggle to think of any of the music in it. Despite all this I would definitely recommend giving this game a try, it’s well worth it.
This game and the next game on the list rank pretty much equally to me, the only reason this game is lower is that it contains my least favourite character in all of the Tales of games I’ve played, Anise Tatlin. She plays both the child and the traitor roles in the main cast, and while her motivations are reasonable, her character as a whole just annoys me greatly, even her voice is annoying. Aside from Anise, the rest of the game is fantastic, the story is interesting with some truly memorable moments, though the final segment just seem a bit clumsily tacked on. The battle system is pretty good, though initially it seems unnecessarily complicated, and the soundtrack contains some of my favourite pieces from the series.
My first impression of this game was one of pleasant surprise, solely from the fact that Jude doesn’t use a sword. I actually stopped playing for a moment to try to think of any other main male protagonists in a jrpg that don’t use a sword, I struggled to think of any. I also liked that he was a medical student, though I wish they’d played off of it more during the game. Characters are one of Xillia’s strongest assets and take what would have been a decent game to a truly wonderful one. There is not a single character I dislike, though it’d be nice if Alvin stopped betraying everyone for a moment, and their motivations and actions all seem very human and believable. The story is great, as while it initially looks quite predictable, it manages to take unexpected turns at just the right points and it kept me wondering about what would happen next. The only thing that stopped this game from being higher on my list is the lack on dungeons, there were some, but they seemed more like token efforts, compared to the puzzles that I’d come to expect of the series. This game is definitely worth picking up though, it has some truly beautiful environments and the battle system is a lot of fun, also as the most recent game in the series it should be easy to find.
Thanks for reading, next week I’ll be finishing this off and talking about my favourite games in the series, though I suspect that most people will be able to guess what they are. Thanks again!