Badass Female Lead, Ahoy!

Before I start with my take on Tales of Xillia thus far, I have decided to split this review into two parts. The first will be paragraphs upon paragraphs of review containing a bit of spoilers on the plot. The second will be a tl;dr version with minimalist spoilers. So, If you would like to read the tl;dr version, please click the following link/picture. Oh, and I should warn you that I am not an English major. So while I get accustomed to writing again, please excuse my grammar. However, my spelling should be okay :D.

Click for No Spoiler Section!

Click for No Spoiler Section!

So, to start out, I want to say that this is the first Tales game that I have played in true HD. I have a copy of Tales of Vesperia for the 360, but when I had my 360, I only had Component Cable inputs on my Television. This comes into play with how I play all my video games for the first time. Before starting the game, I always wait a few minutes on the start screen to take a look at the movie that usually plays. However, often times games that are played for the first time, now a days, automatically throw you directly into the game. Luckily, the game started with a nice introductory video.

In this video, I was briefly introduced to the two main characters. The first bit of the movie appeared to be in a dimly lit temple. Here, Milla Maxwell, the female protagonist, is seen seemingly talking to herself about how the spirits are disappearing. For those of you out there who are not familiar with the Tales series, “spirits” refer to the guardian deities of the world. Sometimes, these spirits can be used as summons. As Milla’s part of the intro movie is finishing, she walks is seen walking out of the temple and four guardian spirits appear in the background. (for the Tales fans, Efreet, Undine, Gnome, and Sylph.

After a brief fade out, I am introduced to the male lead, Jude Mathis. From the looks of things, Jude is a student, and he is rushing out of his class bumping and apologizing into a lot of students. Unlike Milla’s introduction, I did not learn much from this. Once Jude’s short introduction was finished, a character selection screen was brought up on the screen. Unlike all the previous Tales games, you are allowed to pick your main protagonist. I am unsure how this will affect the story, but I know it will somehow. Before I let you all know who I chose, Here is a picture of both Protagonists. and the introduction sentence each was given during the selection screen.

“A mysterious young woman accompanied by four unseen beings. She comes across as calm, collected, and wise beyond her years.”

” A kind, clever medical student who left home to attend school in the capital city. Poised to graduate, Jude is eager to find his purpose in life.”

I decided to choose Milla, since most of the Tales protagonists end up being male. It should be nice to have a female lead for once.

From the start of Milla’s story, I already know that I made the correct choice. The opening scene shows Milla appearing in a city aqueduct. There, she is seen by Jude, by chance. Wondering why she is wondering around, Jude tries to question her. Milla warns him to be quiet, but Jude just cannot. Thus, Milla uses her powers to form an aqua bubble around Jude’s head. Unable to breathe, Jude is almost drowned. Right before he is about to pass out, Milla releases the summoned water and ask Jude, “Will you be quiet now?”. Coughing and gagging, Jude obliges, but before Milla continues on with the conversation, she says “Can you cough a little less loudly?”

At this point, I want to go ahead and complement the composers. The musical scores in this first area were amazing and added to the creepy vibe of the area.

The first few battles in the area comprise of tutorials to get acquainted with the Tales battle system. For you veteran Tales players, you know how this works. For you others, the maps in Tales games are littered with enemies. Touching said enemies starts a battle (aka non-random battles). Unlike many JRPGs, the Tales series uses a real-time battle system instead of the traditional turn based norm. Characters in battles can move in 3 dimensions, and can also attack and defend. Depending on how and where characters attack or are attacked depends on the damage given/taken. ((As a side note, Free Run is automatically given to you from the start, so it is not considered a skill or ability in this game :D).

Attacks in the Tales games are divided into two basic types, normal and artes. Normal attacks are less powerful, but do not consume energy. Artes are more powerful, but consume energy. Artes are also normally divided into two basic kinds, charge(spells) and instant. However, Tales of Xillia has added an extra layer to this. Charge attacks now also have an added layer. If you hold the artes button down, charge attacks actually charge, but if you just tap the button, charge attacks now have an instant attack associated with them. (The charge is more powerful). I am unsure how this affects already instant artes.

Another new feature in Tales of Xillia is a Grid Sphere(FFX) system where you spend GP in order to increase your stats. However, unlike FFX, this grid is laid out in a Spider Web. Each intersection of the spider web have spheres which increase stats. After you connect a quadrilateral, you will obtain a new skill. As an example of the web grid system, see the photo below.

Grid System

I played a bit more into Milla’s story, but I will try and not spoil much more. So far, the game’s mechanics are looking great. The grid sphere system is definitely a plus in my book. The short and long artes are also an improvement; it gives casters a little bit more depth. I have yet to find any real negatives, but I am still under that mass delusion of playing a new Tales game. I will try to shed a bit of light on the games shortcomings (if any) in my next post.

Spoiler Free Section:

  1. Intro Video: HD FMV looked amazing.
  2. Main Protagonists: Milla and Jude.
  3. You get to choose which protagonist will be the main character of the story.
  4. I chose Milla.
  5. Milla is a badass.
  6. New Tales of Xillia Features: Web Grid System and Alternative to charged artes.
  7. No negatives so far.

Time Played: 1 Hour

Enjoy this crappy unboxing video I made of the CE :D.


And So It Begins…

Welcome one and all!

It’s hard to believe in this era where the personal blog has become a social norm, that a person such as myself would yet to actually have one. However, today, that has all changed.

Of course, you could be thinking to yourself, “yayayaya get on with it — what will you be blogging about?”. Well for all of you out there who cannot wait, or guess from the name, I will be blogging about gaming — mostly video games, but maybe some board or card games as well! *GASP*. For those of you who know me, which should be everyone at the moment, you already know that I am an avid console and PC gamer. I thrive on playing games and would probably die if I was thrust into a world without them (well maybe just be really bored).

In order to get a better understanding of what I plan to do here, I thought I would write out and answer some basic questions.

1. What do you plan on doing here?

To put it briefly, I plan on using this blog as a record of the games I play along with my review of the game as I go along, followed by a final review at the end to sum up the entire experience. Of course, I will also have smaller posts (such as this one) detailing some basic stuff in my life.

2. What games do you like to play?

I play a lot of JRPGS (Japanese Role Playing Games), Platformers, Puzzle, RPGs, Simulation, and Strategy games.
I am not really a huge fan of FPS (First Person Shooters), but I do play them occasionally.

3. What is your favorite game(s)?

  • Tales of Symphonia
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Portal

4. What consoles do you currently use? (In no particular order)

  • Nintendo 3DS
  • Playstation 3
  • Wii U
  • Playstation 4 (Soon)

((Sorry XBOX fanpeople, my 360 broke and I will not get the ONE))

5. What consoles do you own?

  • Playstation 1
  • Playstation 2
  • Playstation 3
  • Playstation Portable
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Nintendo Gamecube
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Nintendo Wii U
  • Nintendo DS
  • Nintendo 3DS

6. Do you PC game as well?

  • Yes

7. What are the specs on your PC?

  • Case: NZXT Phantom
  • Mobo: Asus Crosshair IV Formula
  • PSU: Corsair GS800
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4×4)
  • CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 975 Processor
  • CPU Cooler: Corsair H80
  • GPU: Radeon HD 6870
  • OS: Windows 7

8. What games can we expect to see in the near future?

  • Tales of Xillia (PS3) and Pikmin 3 (Wii U) will be the next games I playthrough.

9. Should we expect spoilers?

This is hard to say, most likely YES, but I will try and limit them to basic spoilers, but if I do end up releasing major plot spoilers, you will be forewarned.

10. Will you take requests on games to play?

  • Sure, why not?

11. Will you be streaming any of your gameplay?

This is a tough question to answer for certain. I do have a twitch account I used to use, but since COMCAST (THE DEVIL) put a data cap on internet usage, I stopped streaming. As an alternative, I may pre-record videos of gameplay and post them though; OR, I may take my PS3 to my University and steal their internets xD.

If you have stayed with me so far and read over the above questions, you now how a small idea of what I am going to try and do here. I only hope you stick with me to read about some of the awesome games I play. Who knows, you may even want to pick up the game for yourself or maybe even pass on it.

Please feel welcome to post your comments on anything and everything I post on this blog :D.

PS: Since Tales of Xillia comes out in the U.S. tomorrow, here is an awesome video and screenshot!

Milla casting some sort of spell.