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Tales of Xillia 2 Review: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

With its focus on the relentless regurgitation of content, Bandai Namco's latest RPG proves it's easy being green.

Review by Bob Mackey, .

Even though games have only grown cheaper and easier to obtain over the passing decades, there still persists a belief that every RPG needs to span at least 50 hours.

Outliers like Crimson Shroud, Costume Quest, and Child of Light have emerged in recent years to disprove this wrong-headed theory, but still, developers somehow feel obligated to have their RPGs meet this arbitrary criteria, lest they blaspheme an entire genre.

Tales of Xillia 2 suffers from this identity crisis. Even a huge publisher like Bandai-Namco doesn't have the resources to scrape together an entirely new installment each year, yet the series has become an annual event for its fanbase—an audience who presumably demands each sequel be just as long as the last. If Xillia 2 parceled out its content over the course of 20 hours, it wouldn't feel quite so desperate. Instead, it stoops to historic lows, buying time at every opportunity before revealing anything new.

If it's a Tales battle system, expect to see more numbers than you could possibly count.

This reluctance wouldn't seem so flagrant, of course, if the game's plot wasn't engineered to deliver excessive padding. Due to events at the beginning of Xillia 2, protagonist Ludger Kresnik finds himself several million in debt to the corporation seemingly in control of everything on the planet. This problem of Ludger's doesn't only serve to kick the story into motion—it also sets up a system which gates your progress. Those with bad credit have limitations placed on their travel, so an early plot point involves accumulating enough cash to make a payment, simply for the sake of moving on to the next town. Unfortunately, this bit of world-building doesn't seem to affect anyone other than your character, outside of a few throwaway comments from NPCs. The concept of a society suffering under the burden of mandatory economic stability could lead to some interesting avenues, but Xillia 2 wastes this opportunity completely, making the presence of the payment system feel absolutely artificial as a result.

At first, though, it doesn't seem all that bad. Xillia 2 provides plenty of quests to undergo for the sake of funding your coffers, and the large maps connecting centers of population hold plenty of resources, treasure, and monsters to fight. In the early stages of the game, the gating of progress feels natural: Simply doing any area's given quests usually provides enough money to make the next payment. I ended up getting lost during a few hours of aimless exploring, so I naturally assumed the money earned through random battles and resource-gathering would easily take care of the next few installments.

After making it to the next story bit, Xillia 2 gave me my next goal: I had to make a payment on my debt before the plot could continue chugging along. It was then I noticed this new amount was six figures in size, and all the old quests I'd completed before were back, waiting for me to undertake them again. Xillia 2 wasn't ready for me to move on until I killed another hour doing things I'd already done before.

And this reuse of content goes beyond Xillia 2's "paywall:" After a certain point in the game, Ludger is tasked with a primary mission that involves traveling to alternate dimensions and destroying the catalysts powering them. While this idea isn't inherently flawed, Xillia 2 uses it as a flimsy excuse to feed you old content in a ever-so-slightly-modified form. Remember that open field you spent the last 15 hours traipsing through? Well, now you have to go back there, except things are different colors—because it's an alternate dimension or something. Listen, you'll just have to take Xillia 2 on its word, since alternate takes on world so poorly defined might as well involve alternate hues and camera filters. Hill Valley this is not.

Say what you will about Xillia 2's stylish young people, but they're certainly bringing back suspenders and overcoats in a way your grandpa only dreamed of.

Xillia 2 could have been relatively painless if it didn't hold so much insecurity about its size. The story, while told through the medium of fluffy, trope-ridden anime, stays mostly inoffensive, even if the precocious child character loses a little something in the translation when she's played by a grown woman putting on a widdle baby voice. As always, the battle system remains Tales' biggest draw, and while it goes to great lengths to pretend it's full of nuance and choice, Xillia 2's combat is simple, button-mashing fun. In fact, the snappiness of the battle system only serves to throw the rest of the game's pacing in stark relief: When you jump in and out of a battle in less than ten seconds, you have to wonder how much better the experience could be if the rest of the game devoted the same respect to your time.

Ultimately, Tales of Xillia 2 is shameless. Beneath its light-hearted, anime-infused exterior beats a cold, calculating heart, bent on stretching the game's limited resources to their breaking point. And that's a shame, because Xillia 2 feels like one of the most modern takes on the series to date—it's clear RPG developers have learned a lot from the breakout success of the Persona series. But this modernization comes with some significant downsides: At its worst, Xillia 2 feels like a predatory free-to-play game, where you're simply waiting for a timer to expire before it permits you to have any fun. With the series' annualization, this approach might be the only way to make these games possible—but it certainly doesn't make them much fun.

The Nitty Gritty

  • Visuals: Colorful and gorgeous. After several iterations during the PS3 generation, Bandai-Namco really has a grasp on making these 2D character designs into convincing 3D models.
  • Sound: Unlike the bombast of past Tales' soundtracks, Xillia 2's is a lighter, jazzier affair. It's pleasant, but tends to get lost in the background.
  • Interface: Xillia 2 offers a wealth of options in combat, and while you never really have to experiment much, turning into a whirling dervish of death feels absolutely effortless.
  • Lasting appeal: There's a lot to do here. Unfortunately, most of it's served with a debilitating case of deja vu.

The Tales series definitely can't sustain annual installments, and Xillia 2 is proof. It's a 20-hour game in a 50-hour package, bloated to hell and back by a design engineered to recycle content. If you're interested in playing an installment of the Tales series, you deserve much better than this.

2 /5

Tales of Xillia 2 Review: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Bob Mackey With its focus on the relentless regurgitation of content, Bandai Namco's latest RPG proves it's easy being green. 2014-08-22T20:12:00-04:00 2 5

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Comments 44

  • Avatar for The-Fool #1 The-Fool 2 years ago
    Eh, I'll get it anyway, and enjoy it too, I imagine.

    I've been waiting so long, I doubt anything could curb my enthusiasm now.
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #2 VotesForCows 2 years ago
    The repetition you describe sounds terrible. I didn't enjoy the first one anyway, found it quite dull in the end. This sounds ten times worse.
    @Duskblayde You may well enjoy it, other sites seem to be rating it higher.
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  • Avatar for joseÁlamo #3 joseÁlamo 2 years ago
    The editor is a real hater of Tales of.
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  • Avatar for mobichan #4 mobichan 2 years ago
    So, I have not played a Tales games since the SNES/PS1. Is this the same Tales team that started as Wolfteam? Of is Xillia just another Namco team making a game that branches off from the original Tales games? It seems like the magic of the old games is fading away in these newer titles.
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  • Avatar for surielcruz50 #5 surielcruz50 2 years ago
    This review is based on HATE.Edited August 2014 by surielcruz50
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  • Avatar for kidgorilla #6 kidgorilla 2 years ago
    Jesus, internet. Come on.
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  • Avatar for Viewtifulzfo #7 Viewtifulzfo 2 years ago
    Pete Davison reviewed Tales of Xillia for USGamer, correct? I'm pretty sure you're going to get a different opinion, just by virtue of Mackey reviewing this.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #8 jeremy.parish 2 years ago
    @mobichan This is from Tales Studios, which has a connection to Wolfteam, but I've never seen any real indication of who from Wolfteam is still with Namco (if anyone).
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #9 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    "Xillia 2's combat is simple, button-mashing fun."

    Tales of review? Tales of review.

    The only part of this piece I find rejectable.
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  • Avatar for Hoolo #10 Hoolo 2 years ago
    I just read Pete's piece on the first Tales of Xillia, because @zacheryoliver89 reminded me that USGamer did, indeed, review that. After reading both reviews, I think it becomes clear that all people are different, and all reviews are different, too.

    What strikes me most is what our reviewers focus on. Pete's review of Xillia was about the underlying feel of the game, the characters, and how they are 'nakama'. Bob's review here is mostly about the gameplay. In fact, I, personally, find it sorely lacking in any kind of story element save the premise (you're in debt) and that you're going to different dimensions, apparently. But that's okay. Story reviews are good to see if the game seems interesting, but if the gameplay doesn't work, games become frustrating.

    I have no doubt that Bob loves RPGs as much as the next guy, and possibly even moreso. His Feature (Critique?) on The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky certainly shows that. But what we have also witnessed is that Bob doesn't hold back. The review for XBlaze Code: Embryo and the subsequent (sometimes heated) discussion and controversy are a prime example of that.

    If Bob says that the game makes use of fake longevity by forcing you to accumulate funds to unlock the next town or lift invisible plot walls, I'm sure that's truth. And if you have to grind an hour for those funds, I can believe that, because it's an RPG, and they've been known to do weirder things. I just wonder if there was something Bob missed that would have shortened the time for procuring the funds.

    I also wonder what Pete thinks of this game. Maybe his Moegamer has a review on it.Edited August 2014 by Hoolo
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  • Avatar for Arvis-Jaggamar #11 Arvis-Jaggamar 2 years ago
    This is, of course, a disappointing review. Especially considering the 5/5 Xillia 1 got from this same site.

    While what's described here sounds rather inexcusable, a 20-hour Tales game doesn't sound any better. It's good to have REAL story padded throughout a 50-hour game, but the actual reason RPGs need to be long is so you can acclimate yourself to the battle system slowly, giving you time to gradually develop more and more advanced tactics as you begin to get stronger and unlock new abilities. If this pacing feels rushed, the whole game can feel shallow and leave the player with an empty feeling at the end.

    -Arvis
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #12 Kat.Bailey 2 years ago
    I don't think it's necessarily fair to compare Bob's review of Tales of Xillia 2 with Pete's review with Xillia 1 because the games themselves are very different.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #13 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    You can always count on Bob to deliver controversial reviews. Keep fighting the fight my man.

    I'll say one thing though: As soon as I saw who did the review, I knew what was coming. I haven't played either of the Xillia games, but Pete's review of the first game was a really interesting read. There aren't many reviews that seek to break down the stories of these games and examine the character arcs with any sort of debt. When Bob blatantly treats the story in Xillia 2 like an afterthought, it's really disappointing, at least for me.

    But hey, maybe the story sucks and Bob is correct to dismiss it. I would just like a little more than simply stating "It's inoffensive" and "filled with anime tropes". I mean, what if I like anime tropes and clichés? It really leaves me with more questions than answers.

    I guess you want to avoid spoilers, but being vague is just as bad.
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  • Avatar for Alexeri #14 Alexeri 2 years ago
    @Arvis-Jaggamar Well, same site, but different reviewers. That is, different ways of living and undestanding games. That is, yours is a non-issue.
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  • Avatar for joelgruber52 #15 joelgruber52 2 years ago
    @mobichan Sort of. Wolfteam only did Phantasia, then split into tri-Ace and Namco Tales Studio. tri-Ace went on to make Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, etc. Namco Tales Studio made Tales of Destiny and Eternia, and then different teams within NTS worked on different projects and came to be known as Team Symphonia for the 3D branch and Team Destiny for the continuing 2D branch on the PS2 and handhelds, most of which never got NA release.

    These days the two Teams are basically working as one big team under the Namco Tales Studio name.
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  • Avatar for talesotaku #16 talesotaku 2 years ago
    @Hoolo As someone who actually played the game, no, this reviewer is dead wrong. Let me explain.

    First off, no, the first game was not about 'nakama'. The first game was about becoming your own person. The entire cast had something holding them down be it obsession with Milla or attachment to their pasts, and as the game progressed, each character were able to let go and move on. That is why the game ended as it did. That right away tells you these reviewers have little to no credibility because they don't even know what happens in the game.

    The story isn't 'you're in debt'. That is simply an ingame method of progressing the plot. The plot is in chapters and unlike other Tales games (and most other JRPGs in general) you don't have to continuously progress the story. The real bulk of the game is side missions and character quests where you learn more about certain characters in your party. Each time you complete a main story chapter, you can freely do whatever you want. When you want to progress, you pay off a portion of your debt. Oh, and the struggling to pay off your debt part? Obviously Bob didn't know what to do or was just interested in beating the game in under five hours. The game practically throws money at you where a real complaint is the game will nag at you to repay your debt when you get enough money. Not to mention, want to pay off the debt portion quickly? Defeat an Elite monster, and it will give you enough right off the bat. It's no different than 'defeat this boss to continue', just with a slight twist. Yes, by the way, that's the major thing he missed and he could have easily taken advantage of this system since he was obviously playing on easy mode if he was successfully button mashing.

    As for the repeated areas, a majority of the main story takes place in completely new areas, while mostly side missions and chara-quests take place in areas from the first game. Likewise, it is a SEQUEL, so the areas are meant to be the same for familiarity and because the world doesn't just change in a few years. The repeated worlds are not nearly as impacting as you'd think unless you walk into the game already being bias, as there is plenty of new things happening that capture your attention over how many trees are in the background.

    A lot of this review is spewed on complete hate for the game just because it's a sequel, when in reality, this game is not only leagues better than Xillia but the strongest addition to the series. Considering most other gaming websites have given this game a considerably higher score, how honestly can you people believe the one guy who gives it a poor score AND spreads false information about the game? It's like he barely played it, just getting frustrated at the debt system and wanting more mobile app games. Granted this is the same guy who claimed Shenmue killed Sega (because the defeat of Dreamcast at the hands of the PS1's superiority never happened, apparently), so his credibility is pretty zero.

    This site also tried to claimed that the Vita is making a comeback...how's that going, guys? :) Bias working out for you? Didn't think so. Keep being rarely visited for not only writing unnecessarily harsh but not even factually informative articles.
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  • Avatar for talesotaku #17 talesotaku 2 years ago
    @VotesForCows The repetitive is not in the main story, a majority of the main story happens in new areas. The character quests are part of the story but are not part of the main plot line. The main story is about 25 hours long. The side content is nearly twice as long, bringing the game up to around 40-50 hours if you choose to complete all of it. Likewise this content is completely optional.

    The story, while much shorter, is known as one of the best in the series for being heartbreaking, emotionally moving, and darkly impacting. Tales games aren't too known for their happy-go-lucky stories but ToX2 really takes the cake.

    The characters also behave very differently and have since matured from the first game, and the character quests are very interesting and involving. The choices you make in game also impact your affection with characters (alternatively getting rare items) and you can get special scenes with those characters and max affection allows you to link with characters in the ex-dungeon, which is necessary to do any damage. The ex-dungeon, though, is optional.

    The reviewer claims that the game stretches itself out but he's lying. You can easily pay off your debt if you want to progress by battling a single (optional) boss. It actually gets to a point where you'll have way more than enough money and they'll constantly call you to come pay off portions of it. You can fast travel in the game though, and are not forced to progress when you pay off your debt, so you can easily pay it off then go back to doing whatever you want in the free-mode.

    Just to make this clear, the story is in chapters, or missions, while in between chapters there is a free mode where you can grind or do side stuff.

    It's still up to you whether you want to buy the game, but you can still enjoy this game without enjoying the first (I know many who do), but I hope I cleared up any misconceptions made from this review.
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  • Avatar for mganai #18 mganai 2 years ago
    @Kat.Bailey This. I was thisclose to pulling the trigger before I read this review.
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  • Avatar for talesotaku #19 talesotaku 2 years ago
    @joelgruber52 Team Destiny and Symphonia actually merged I think for Graces F.
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  • Avatar for talesotaku #20 talesotaku 2 years ago
    @Arvis-Jaggamar More clarification for you guys.

    The game itself IS about 20-25 hours. The main story is pretty short. There is plenty of side content that you can do. It's completely optional, and if you completed all of it, it would probably take about 40-50 hours to complete, including the main story.

    You can easily beat just the main story in 25 hours, so the game is not actually 'fluffed' to be 50 hours. You can beat it in 20, put it away and never touch it again. Or you can have fun with the side content which are more character oriented than plot oriented. Debt holding you back? Go beat one of the Elite bosses, bam debt paid off. It's actually super easy to do.

    Go read actual reviews before forming an opinion.
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #21 jeffcorry 2 years ago
    Hey, I usually enjoy the stuff Bob writes...but this seems way off base. But...whatever. Everyone has their opinion. Thankfully I usually read the reviews for games I am interested on several different sites. Generally reviews are quite favorable for the game. I would suggest reading several site reviews before just accepting the opinion of a reviewer. Then it's possible to formulate your own (gasp!) opinion.
    Most reviews for this game so far are really positive. So...I guess we'll all just have to make our own judgment.
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  • Avatar for mobichan #22 mobichan 2 years ago
    @talesotaku "Granted this is the same guy who claimed Shenmue killed Sega (because the defeat of Dreamcast at the hands of the PS1's superiority never happened, apparently), so his credibility is pretty zero."

    Umm, Shenmue's debt did put a huge dent in Sega's bank account, resulting in serious financial strife. And the PS2 killed the Dreamcast... although I guess you could argue the PS1's success made the PS2 a hit at launch. But I digress...
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  • Avatar for azazelsan99 #23 azazelsan99 2 years ago
    USgamer review for Tales of Xillia 1: 5/5. Same recicled game, for this logic this game deserve the same score.Edited August 2014 by azazelsan99
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  • Avatar for azazelsan99 #24 azazelsan99 2 years ago
    Deleted August 2014 by azazelsan99
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  • Avatar for touchofkiel #25 touchofkiel 2 years ago
    Man, Tales diehards sure are some of the more sensitive fanboys around, eh?
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #26 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    @ZenRain

    No, it's more that's what the Easy mode does: make the game easy.

    Note also Tales are on the very, tragically short list of games that get difficulty mode tuning correctly instead of "+XX% increase in stats am hard" most do.

    There's also this comment in every Tales game as if its those horrible sluggish, kiddie-pool deep ARPGs that pollute shelves. I've decided to take a stand against that as it isn't in appreciation of even ToX2's midrange-for-the-series depth and quality as Tales games have a much, much higher execution level for gameplay than most other ARPGs and gives people the wrong idea about that gameplay.Edited August 2014 by SatelliteOfLove
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #27 VotesForCows 2 years ago
    @talesotaku@Kat.Bailey
    I bought ToX1 on the basis of Pete's review, and was tremendously disappointed. I found very little of merit in the game. Based on Bob's previous writing, I feel more confident in his assessment of this game.

    I think with reviewers in general, you can build up a sense of whether or not your interests are aligned, and use that to help your case.

    The problem with a lot of comments is that people expect objectivity from reviewers, which is literally impossible since every experience we have informs and is filtered by our personailty.
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  • Avatar for Arvis-Jaggamar #28 Arvis-Jaggamar 2 years ago
    @Alexeri Understood. I don't mean to make any personal accusations, but if you compare the two reviews it's pretty obvious that one is a labor of love and the other a labor of obligation.

    But honestly, "Negativity" is kinda Bob's MO: he's difficult to please (a "gaming hipster" is the term Kat just used on Twitter). In this particular review, though, the contrast between what's written in "The Nitty-Gritty" and the actual numerical score and summary is pretty humorous. He's pretty much saying "yeah, the game does basically everything well, but I still didn't like it, so... 2/5, don't buy it".

    I know the community on this site is still rather small and the writers have a comfortable level of contact with the readers, but I am surprised by all the downvotes for the one guy who has actually played the game and offered reasonable counterpoints to Bob's complaints. Despite his attacking tone (which merits the downvotes), if a reviewer got something wrong, I'd want to know about it. Especially if it was about a game I was seriously considering purchasing.

    The "reviews are opinions so deal" argument is rather shallow as well. When you put your opinion out there for the world to see, you have to expect that it will attract some discussion. And when your opinion is in the minority, especially among your peers (as Bob's is, in this case), then challenges to that opinion should be expected and addressed, not ignored/dismissed/downvoted as the case may be.
    It's the "X-Play Hates Crisis Core" syndrome. Everyone loved Crisis Core, but X-Play gave it a 2/5. In defense of this review score, Adam Sessler went on record as saying "Well, we didn't like it and it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks."
    Uh... yeah, I think majority opinion DOES matter.
    Especially when you're telling people whether they should or should not do something (in this case, play a silly game).

    -Arvis
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  • Avatar for bobservo #29 bobservo 2 years ago
    I won't respond to the negativity in this thread because I've done so every time I post a review with a low score, and honestly, it's just getting tiring. But if you want to simply have your opinion validated, plenty of other places exist on the Internet for this purpose. My job is to tell you the truth, and sometimes the truth isn't pretty. But I do want to address two notions about me I feel are unjustified.

    First of all, just because I give a Japanese-made game a low score, that doesn't mean I dislike Japanese games. In fact, I'd say I prefer Japanese games, not for their country of origin, but because Japanese developers tend to have a sense of design I prefer. Look at my recent coverage of Japanese games on the site and you'll see me glowing over Dark Souls II, Inazuma Eleven, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, 1001 Spikes, Bloodborne, Final Fantasy XIV, and many others. In fact, I felt obligated to add Evolve to my Best of E3 list because it was pretty much ALL Japanese games.

    And no, negativity isn't my M.O. Would you like to be stuck reviewing a game you know you're not going to like? It's hell. I usually choose the games I review out of genuine curiosity, or they're assigned to me because my editor knows I have an interest. I was honestly psyched to try out Xillia 2 because of everything I heard about the first one, and it severely disappointed me. It happens! There will be other Tales games, and the world will continue turning. Stop getting mad about video games.
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  • Avatar for bobservo #30 bobservo 2 years ago
    @ZenRain Religion? Community service? Psychotropic drugs? I don't have all the answers!
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #31 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    @ZenRain

    That's high level stuff (except Jude, who was borkened in 1, now nerfed). You're a skilled veteran, I'm a skilled veteran, you love the combat and its nuance, I love the combat and nuance, you have it set to Hard or tougher and stay there, I set it to Hard or tougher and stay there, almost every reviewer of Tales games DOESN'T.

    It's a blind spot for such a well-made combat series, and one that should be filled, and the endless repetition of that "button mashing" has long since crested the brink of endangering the public-at-large's perception of the combat quality.
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  • Avatar for orient #32 orient 2 years ago
    Firstly, I believe that games should always be judged on their own merits, but more than usual this sequel seems to be made specifically for fans of the original. They clearly expected to sell to a smaller audience this time round, hence the heavy regurgitation of assets. These "budget sequels" are becoming extremely common nowadays, which is great for established fans but kind of crappy for everybody else.
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  • Avatar for Arvis-Jaggamar #33 Arvis-Jaggamar 2 years ago
    @bobservo I think my post was more accusatory than I wanted it to be. Let me say all the things I failed to mention in my last post...

    Bob is a fantastic writer and, even though I'm still going to play Xillia 2 and fully expect to enjoy it, this review gripped me til the end. Which is unusual. I normally skim reviews and then look at the conclusion and score. A review like this one, to balance all the other positive reviews, can serve to temper the expectations of one such as myself who have already decided on a purchase. Now I can go into the experience with more balanced expectations.

    Bob does great work here on USGamer (even his most excoriating reviews are still fun reads) and I never meant to (nor am I qualified to) critique how well he does his job. If I had people posting comments like "FAIL" and such on my design work it would definitely have a negative impact on my job satisfaction. I would hate to think I did that to somebody else. Apologies. :(

    That being said:
    "My job is to tell you the truth, and sometimes the truth isn't pretty."
    SERIOUSLY!? Come on, man! :P

    -Arvis
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  • Avatar for bobservo #34 bobservo 2 years ago
    @lonecow It might blow your mind that I consider myself a critic, not a journalist.
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  • Avatar for bobservo #35 bobservo 2 years ago
    @lonecow Right, those are the types of reviews I like to write and read. Nothing is more tedious to me than reading a review that feels it has to evaluate every single aspect of a game in staggering detail. I'm way more interested in reading/writing an essay than I am an autopsy report.

    And I don't think you hate me! I just wanted to clear the air about certain things.
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  • Avatar for Wolfe-Wallace #36 Wolfe-Wallace 2 years ago
    If you liked the first one, you will like this one.
    That's all that needs to be said.
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  • Thanks for exposing this padding bullshit, I will thankfully avoid
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #38 jeffcorry 2 years ago
    @bobservo I think it is great that you posted what your really thought. I haven't played the game. I have read several different reviews. Perhaps I was surprised by your viewpoint, but that just it: It's your viewpoint and you have to be honest to what you really thought. I appreciate that honesty. I will probably pick this game up in a few months when the price has gone down. I will still pick it up (new-ish) and play it because I enjoy Tales games in general and want to support their localization.
    Speaking of Tales. I just finished Tales of the Abyss for the first time ever. It was pretty awesome. I thought the ending was great....cool. huh?
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #39 brionfoulke91 2 years ago
    @bobservo Bob, what about the inaccuracies pointed out in your review? You really focused on the supposed "padding" in the game in the form of paywalls, but based on what I'm reading from other people who played the game, that doesn't actually seem to be the case. Like the fact that there are optional boss monsters that will always allow you to get the money you need quickly. Did you just completely miss that?

    And I think this shows a danger in dwelling too much in particular details. It's not on "autopsy report" to be comprehensive with your review and talk about various aspects. That's what you SHOULD be doing, as a reviewer, IMO. Your job, ultimately, is to convey information about the game so that we can made an educated decision.

    Sorry if this comes off as harsh, Bob, because I like your work in general. Just wasn't a fan of this review.
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  • Avatar for touchofkiel #40 touchofkiel 2 years ago
    I do love Bob's editorial-style reviews, and I can agree with the general sentiment (haven't played the game), but I do get the sense that he was making an example out of this game. As in, many of the things you complain about are legitimate complaints for the genre as a whole (the genre being: straight JRPG), and since Tales is pretty much the poster child for "bog-standard JRPG" this game in particular got the brunt of his legitimate criticism.

    But hey, it's a JRPG! What's more, it's a Tales game! Saying it's full of padding and and fluff is like saying that potato chips are too salty; well, yeah, but that's sorta the point. (I know, it's a stupid metaphor... please don't throw that back in my face!)
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  • Avatar for bobservo #41 bobservo 2 years ago
    @brionfoulke91 For the record, the Polygon review addresses the same concerns I had. And these optional bosses would give me between 15-20% of my needed payment at any given time. Even when I cleared them all from the map, I still needed to take on additional sidequests to meet my payment amount.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #42 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    @bobservo Wait up. I just read your reply in the comments and it sounds like you didn't even play the first Xillia game. Is that the case or am I reading that wrong?

    I doubt I'll get an answer to this but I would like one.
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  • Avatar for bobservo #43 bobservo 2 years ago
    @Kuni-Nino No, but I did research on the first game for the sake of this review. If Namco didn't intended for Xillia 2 to be a stand-alone product (and therefore be evaluated as such), shouldn't they have made its content DLC?
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #44 Kuni-Nino 2 years ago
    @bobservo Thanks for responding. Really appreciate it.

    To answer your question, honestly, I don't know. When I see a '2' in the title, I assume that having played the first game is probably the best way to experience the second especially if the story is going to be making callbacks. Otherwise, what the hell are we doing playing a part two unless we want to miss out on key stuff? I haven't played either game so I don't know how it's handled but it sounds like a Final Fantasy X-2 approach where the world and locations are recycled yet the appeal for returning players is found in seeing how the characters and world have changed. I imagine the same is true for Xillia 2 but then again probably not. It's hard to tell from texts alone in the amount of reviews I've read.

    Anyways, this isn't supposed to be an indictment on your review Bob since I think you're a good reviewer. I'm just trying to reconcile my own feelings on Xillia because I've heard it has a really good cast of characters and Kimberly Wallace's review of Xillia 2 talked up the story of Xillia 2 pretty well. I think she mentions that fans of the first game would be satisfied by it and that's where my question comes from. That's a key part of the appeal right and yet the story is kind of glossed over in your review. The story is basically going to decide if I get this game or not to be quite honest. As someone who adores Vesperia and Symphonia but didn't like Abyss, I kind of wanted to see that comparison made.

    Anyways, I hope I'm not all over the place with my thoughts. I just want to be clear on where I'm coming from. Also, I made the decision that I'm going to buy these games hinging on the fact that I might love the characters enough to offset any problems I have with the game design.
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  • Avatar for レイ&#12 #45 レイ&#12 2 years ago
    worst game ever.i'm not getting it since xillia 1 had horrible combat controls
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