Tales of Xillia 2 Review
Tales of Xillia 2 Box Art
System: PS3
Dev: Bandai Namco
Pub: Bandai Namco
Release: August 19, 2014
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence

The voice acting issues don't stop with Ludger, as Elle's performance is problematic as well. It's never easy hiring an adult to portray the voice of a child, but Elle's actor simply doesn't display the emotional range necessary for this difficult role. Elle is an innocent child with a bratty streak who goes through some serious trauma over the course of the game. Her English-language actor is good at Elle's mischievous side, but not as strong when it comes to sorrowful or otherwise emotional scenes, coming off as petulant when that doesn't seem to be the writing's intention. The rest of the cast cast has mostly strong performances, (I give particular kudos to Elize's actor for demonstrating the quick maturity that happens to young teenage girls) but it's a shame that the game's two central characters were fumbled.

Tales of Xillia 2 Screenshot

Graphical issues complete the problems that drag down the game. Most of its areas are completely recycled from the first game, and the improved quality of the few new areas is obvious. Poor old Reize Maxia from the original Xillia is looking a bit tired, especially since none of the major changes to Reize Maxian society are graphically depicted in the game. In addition, technical issues that weren't present in the first game have cropped up. Transitions from the environment to battle screens often hang for several long seconds, and character models in populated areas frequently fail to load until you're right next to them, creating a rather startling pop-in effect.

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In the end, Tales of Xillia 2 is most notable for its unusually dark storyline and strong character development. It's only truly worthwhile when played as a sequel, however, and is dragged down by poor design decisions. It's a quality 20-hour game that has been stretched out to an interminable 40-60 hours by filler content and mandatory grinding. As long as they're up for retreading ground and engaging in some very serious business, Tales super-fans will enjoy it. I'm not, however, comfortable recommending it to newcomers or to people with only a casual interest in the series. There's simply too much to wade through in order to get to the good stuff at the core.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: August 28, 2014

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
Xillia's world is lovely but looks a bit dated now, and Xillia 2 suffers from graphical load issues.
4.5
Control
The improved Xillia combat system is a blast to play, and Ludger is a one-man wrecking machine.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music is fine but largely recycled. Both new main characters suffer in the voice acting department.
2.5
Play Value
The main story and character storylines are compelling, but there is far too much boring and repetitive filler.
3.4
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • A Bleak World: A darker story and noir atmosphere awaits main characters Ludger and Elle as they must make hard choices and decisions that affect not only their own welfare but that of the world and people around them.
  • New and Returning Characters: Jude, Milla and the cast of original characters fates intertwine with Ludger and Elle and unfold in character stories that players experience to see how their favorite characters have progressed in the aftermath of the story told in the fi rst game.
  • The power of Choice: Decide how Ludger reacts to situations throughout the game changing the upcoming events and affecting his relationships with his companions, ultimately altering the course of the story.
  • Enhanced Battle System: The DR-LMBS (Double Raid Linear Motion Battle System) real-time battle system is improved and expanded with special battle abilities including the Weapon Swap system and Chromatus transformations.

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