Or as i like to call it.
Tales of Alvin.... cause he's the best character in my opinion.
So.... first things first.... i wont be spoiling anything till i get to the end of this post cause i havea fan theory i wanna talk about and it involves spoilers from this game as well as another tales of game.
Second thing.... wow this game was longer then i thought it would be...
Assuming tales of games are around 30-40 hours.... i assumed that since this one has two stories it would be 20-30 hour campaigns.... 30 at the most.
Granted i could just be going super slow but i don't feel like i am.
Third, I picked Jude first and from what i can gather it is the better of the two stories.... which isn;t hard cause Milla is kinda.......... flat.
Tales of Xillia is the story of the lord of spirits, doing her best to make sure humans don't destroy themselves with power and the ordinary boy who's live is changed by a fate encounter.
Again i can really only talk about Jude's story cause it's all i've played and unless i just blast through the Atelier games before i can get more games for my ps3 i doubt i'll be playing Milla any time soon...
not cause i dislike her or anything just.... for a game with multiple stories it's really long... i wasn't rushing at all and i still ended up with a time of 36:29
and while my second playthrough would probably be closer to 25-30 cause of all the stuff you can carry over... thats a lot of time to put into the game when i have others games i wanna play. (other potentially long games i may add)
But yeah i enjoyed Jude's story... the arc of going from completely ordinary (though genius smarts), to sucked into a situation out of his control to choosing his own way to deal with things is a good one....
but seriously why wasn't Alvin the main character instead.
he has the most interesting arc and the most chances for having reasons to break up the party.... i can only really think of 2 or 3 parts where Jude and Milla were completely seperate..... yet i can thing of at least 10 when the mercenary leaves the group for reasons that make sense.
not to mention that [huge major big spoilers] would give him a different perspective then all the other characters.
yes i got tired of them trusting him after Sudden and inevitable betrayal number 5 but again that plays into his overall arc.... also thats not a spoiler, the way he's introduced is shady and everything he does it shady... he's the guy who you know is going to sell you out the first chance he gets...and the second.... and the tenth.... but still way more interesting the both Milla and Jude.
Still i really did enjoy the game and i know a lot of people didn't care about the story but i thought it was pretty decent. It was better then my least fav tales of game so thats good in my books.
was it as good as vesperia? no
did it make me cry? no but it did make me laugh a lot.
but it wasn't bad..... some of the names were stupid though... Spirex and Spyrites... i dunno smacks of trying too hard.
The combat system was okay... it's incredibly complex and deep while at the same time you can win every match by mashing X or O.... as you encounter things new tutorials pop up that range from "yeah no kidding" to "wait what?"
Mostly the one thing that tripped me up was trying to figure out how to use Mystic arts because i didn't realize what attack i had to use first to activate it.
The orby leveling up thing...... yeah that didn't need to be there.... i mean i appreciate it.... making jude as fast and starong as possible right off the bat was a nice touch but honestly.... i'd rather they just level up my character for me and let me add stuff with the herbs that boost stats.
on that note wow there were a lot of Red [herb] treasure boxes and that was a bit surprising to me... hell if you get black features you can trade them for blue [herb]s and yeah.... it was just a bit easy to abuse cause they hand out the black feathers like candy.
actually there is just a lot of stuff.... lots of customization (lets just say by the end everyone had angel wings and Jude and Alvin got some glasses) lots of loot lots of treasure lots of glittery check me points... the world is littered with them and you could spend hours just trying to collect everything.
I especially like the purple box things that al almost all hidden in plain sight and it was just neat to see a box and know you're probably going to get something to change how your character looks.
there are a lot of sidequests which i accepted but barely did any of them.... i'm not the side questing type.... there are also a lot of Sub-quests which are character specific side quests and any time one of those popped up i would drop everything and go see cause again... the characters were the best part of this and learning more about them (especially Alvin and Rowen) was a nice touch.
So yeah.... i liked it.... it's not my fav tales of but it's better then some others.
Characters, mostly besides the main but the main characters get a chance to shine too... my fav character design is Leia... if i had more confidence i would cosplay that outfit.... so cute.
length... if you want a long game that you have to play twice to get everything out of this is your title.
Fun battle system and rarely feels cheap
The not so good:
most of the music sucks.... like..... really sucks.
theres on track in the last area that is great.... but that doens;t make up for echoy jazzy(ish) noise or Sinister sounded crap i don't wanna listen to for more then a min.
Also, and this is true of all the tales of games... including my fav.... there are so many "okay well if you go to this place you can get more plot" points and every time.... every single time my reaction is a resounding "mmkay but where is that? i have like... 3 places i could go right now.... which one will get me to plot?" and it's especially bad right when you start with Jude cause fenmont is massive and you have to find your way around it like right off the bat.... every tales of game does this and i really wish there was just some kind of hint marker so you know that you are heading towards or away from plot progression. sometimes i wanna explore.... sometimes i just wanna get to the next thing... not a fan of guessing where i need to go next since my character would actually know.
I personally do not want to replay cause of length... i think the game may have been better with just one story instead of two.
The sequel comes out soon... so thats nice... i would get the special edition but that price? nope... pass.
if you like tales of games and have been on the fence about Xillia give it a shot.... but start with Jude.... i have heard multiple times that it's more interesting and i believe it.
Now who's up for me rambling about things i know aren't the case but it's fun to look at anyways!
[Spoiler filled fan theory time]
So... Tales of Phantasia... if i haven't mentioned is my fav of the entire series... it's the first and really only JRPG i have completed.... i got every spell, every summon, every little secret and i even got everyone [except chester but i don't count him in the SNES ver] to level 99.
is it the best in the series? no probably not but it is special to me so it'll probably always be my fav.
The game opens with a quote... it's the first thing you see when you turn the game on.
"If there is evil in this world, it lurks in the heart of man"
This one line sets up the theme of the entire game perfectly even if you wont really see it till the very end.
so when Xillia started up and starts with "everything was peaceful and good and happy and wonderful and nothing bad" i had to chuckle to myself. "boy we sure have come a long way from the phantasia quote.
my snarkiness was rewarded with the very next line being "but maybe if there was evil it would probably lurk in the heart of man"
so after a good laugh i started to think. "wouldn't it be funny if this was connected to Phantasia? [and i guess symphonia too but.... focusing on phantasia]"
But you know what.... it really does feel like a sequel.... like many years past phantasia we have come to this. maybe the nods are just cause it's an anniversary game (i'm 99% sure that is the reason it's so closely related to phantasia but fan theories are fun) but there are a few similarities i have a hard time overlooking.
Maxwell was a summon you got in phantasia, he is an old man who is sitting on something with a book and a staff.
He is ONLY in phantasia.... he never appeared in any other game until Xillia.... and one of his features could hint to the passage of time between the two games.
Same thing... volt only appeared in phantasia and symphonia (and legendia but he looks 100% different and i'm pretty sure the series has deemed it not canon so for my argument lets just focus) it's just a bit odd to bring back summons that haven't been used in the series for such a long time.
so the main character in Tales of Phantasia is Cless Alvein and you have a character who has a name that pretty much sounds exactly the same (especially if you pronounce it by Katakana [Arubein vs Arubin]) Granted alvin has another name but still...
4. the tree.
So this is a stretch but fan theories are built on stretches.
In symphonia they spend the game trying to uh.....
ok side talk a second... even though i play symphonia more recently i didn't like it so i don't remember much... unlike phantasia which i played almost 15 years ago and remember every moment.
anyways i remember that you are doing something to help martel and in the process giving the tree a name/planting the sapling? i really don't remember.
In phantasia which despite coming out first is way later then Symphonia... the tree is dying because of the use of a weapon that drains mana from the world and the tree is the source of all mana.
uh.... major phantasia spoilers
So Dhaos seems to be showing an interest in this tree, he is a god like being who can travel through time and has been trying to kill humans for as long as they can remember. he gets sealed... the freed and then it's up to us to stop him from doing anything to the tree and killing people.
except.... he's not trying to do anything to the tree.... when mint Heals the tree not only does he appear but he does everything he can to help her.
we find out later but yeah.... important bit is god like being on a mission to save his connected and yet manaless world.
in xillia theres a tree on the save screen.....
i told you it was a bit of a stretch.
5. Two worlds.
Phantasia, Symphonia and Xillia all have two worlds that are both connected/hidden/ mirrors of society and mana.
in symphonia both sides have mana though one it more technologically advanced.
in phantasia one side has mana in the past but in the present it's all gone since the tree is dying.... the other is a dying world with no mana since they also need that same tree to survive.
in Xillia one is full of people who can use magic [like if the tree were healed] and the other has killed all the spirits that they has and is slowing dying if they don't replenish their mana.
another stretch.... Pantasia and symphonia both have games that happen shortly after them... this one does too... is there and abyss or vesperia sequel? no.... just saying.
Again i don't actually think Xillia is in the same world as Phantasia or Symphonia but it's fun to think "what if they are"
and thats all i got.... may come back and change some things if i ever play Milla's campaign... but it's unlikely.