GAMES - Review
10:00 - 10th November 2013, by Matt Kamen

Tales of Xillia

Anniversaries are for celebrating all that's come before, and while Tales of Xillia - marking Tales' 15th year - exemplifies the greatness of its forebears, it's laudable in its own right for the innovations it brings.

The story is, broadly, typical J-RPG fare, with a mismatched crew of heroes forced into a globetrotting quest to save twin worlds. Yet even here, Xillia has moments of inventiveness, chiefly through the characterisation of its two leads. Players can choose between trainee doctor, Jude Mathis, or spirit summoner Milla Maxwell, the plot diverging at times to focus on the chosen's experiences.

Xillia's battle system also refines Tales' signature speedy combat, introducing the ability to pair party members to unlock new abilities. There's a base complexity that may seem daunting, but each nuance is rolled out gently enough that players will soon be wading through monsters in lightning-fast encounters. Also noteworthy is the Lilium Orb web, an expansive but well-organised menu of Artes (character-specific magic or attacks) and stat-boosting Skills, allowing you to channel experience to chart character growth with ease.

With beautiful visuals - both in anime cut scenes and the CG in-game models - it's a treat for the eyes too. An easy recommendation for Tales fans new and old.

Tales of Xillia has been long-awaited by J-RPG fans, and the end result makes that wait worthwhile. Xillia offers a gorgeous world, intriguing characters and by far the best iteration of Tales' already fantastic battle system. The stuff anime gamers' dreams are made of.
SCORE: 5/5
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