Almost twenty years ago, a developer called Wolf Team started what, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated series of all time. Shortly after their first game, Tales of Phantasia, they became Namco Tales Studios, the masterminds behind this incredible series. With a small, though dedicated, fan-base in both the US and the UK, and a strong following in France and Japan, the Tales series has been steadily keeping afloat in the world of current gen and new gen consoles where JRPGs don’t do particularly well. It’s not to say that we haven’t gotten a lot of titles. We’ve gotten Tales of Eternia, Tales of Destiny, Tales of Symphonia, Tales of Vesperia, Tales of Graces F, and a few others. On August 6th, Namco Bandai and Namco Tales Studio will be releasing Tales of Xillia in the US, and to encourage them to localize more games in the series we need to show them that we care.
Storyline: According to Namco Bandai, “Tales of Xillia draws players into the grand adventures of Jude Mathis, a clever medical student attending school in the capital city, and Milla Maxwell, a mysterious woman accompanied by four unseen beings. In a tale that can be experienced and played through either the perspective of Jude or Milla, the two heroes’ paths fatefully intertwine as they learn that the kingdom of Rashugal has been willfully experimenting with a powerful device that has effectively been draining the mana from the world. Faced with the realization that continued experiments would result in dangerous ramifications, Milla and Jude join forces to bring back peace and restoration to a dying world in a perilous journey that will test their courage and conviction.” Sounds promising, right?
Gameplay: Like with most games in the Tales series, there’s a unique battle system for the game. In this game, the Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System, or DR-LiMBS, which allows the player(s) to freely chain regular attacks as well as TP-consuming artes (which are special skills like “Beast” or “First Aid” that appear in all Tales games). Also, Overlimit, something that was part of Tales of Vesperia and Tales of the Abyss, allows for the player(s) to use Mystic Artes (which are advanced level artes that can be used after meeting certain battle requirements). Also, it’ll be the first mothership title (mothership titles are the games in the main series like Tales of the Abyss, Tales of Vesperia, Tales of Symphonia, and so on) to have a behind-the-back viewpoint instead of an over-head view point.
Collector’s Edition Bonus: I don’t know about anyone else, but special editions, especially when they’re collector’s editions, are always enticing. With this game, for $99.99, you’ll get the game, special box art, a 100-page art booklet, a 8.5” figure of Milla Maxwell, and the game soundtrack.
Two things to note: This is the highest rated game in the series, receiving a 39/40 from Famitsu. It’s the highest selling game in the series, in Japan, since Tales of Destiny 2 (which came out in 2002. So that’s a huge accomplishment!). And if all of that isn’t convincing enough, get the game so you can make this fanboy a very happy person who will forever be in your debt. And you don’t want to disappoint this fanboy, right? Right?
So remember everyone, August 6th, 2013! Mark it on your calendars! You won’t be disappointed.