By popular (well, relatively speaking) request, it’s time for us to take a look at Tales of Xillia 2, the newest Western release in Bandai Namco’s long-running Tales of series.
I absolutely adored the original Tales of Xillia, as my original review over at my former stomping grounds of USgamer will attest. While the game had a few flaws here and there — most notably with some fairly bland environments in between the more lavishly detailed cities and villages you encountered in your journey around the game world — I came away from the experience thoroughly satisfied that it was one of the best Japanese role-playing games I had played for a long time.
Moreover, it was also one of the most inclusive JRPGs I’d had the pleasure of experiencing in recent memory, too. In other words, those who dislike the more fanservice-heavy direction some JRPGs have taken in the last couple of hardware generations could find plenty to enjoy in Tales of Xillia without having to worry about whether or not someone would walk in on them looking at anime panties. (Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that in itself, either, mind you — but that’s a topic for a whole other day that we won’t get into for now.)
As such, then, I was unsurprised to witness a certain degree of dismay in the comments section of USgamer’s recent, post-Pete Tales of Xillia 2 review, in which reviewer Bob Mackey hammered the new game with a 2/5 rating: a stark contrast to the 5/5 I gave the original. I’m not here to criticise Mackey, his review or his approach to critiquing the game — different strokes for different folks and all that — but it will probably not surprise you, darling readers, to learn that my opinion on the early hours of Tales of Xillia 2 does not, so far, appear to coincide with Mackey’s take. In fact, I rather like it.
I like it so much, in fact, that I’m going to spend the next week picking at it a little piece at a time for your reading pleasure. And where better to start, then, than with my aforementioned first impressions of the new game?
Continue reading Tales of Xillia 2: Some First Impressions