Posts tagged ‘Tales of Xillia’

09/26/2012

Tabula rasa*

by wfgodbold

First, XCOM: Enemy Unknown news:

It hits Oct. 9, which was probably old news to you if you cared.

The PC “demo” is up on Steam. It’s actually the tutorial, and is on rails for the first mission and part of the second.

You do get to experience enough of the game for it to give off that X-COM vibe, though, and I’ll definitely cash in gift certificates and various reward points to get it at launch.

Firaxis gave Game Trailers a new gameplay video, this time of a downed UFO mission. Unlike the other videos they’ve shown, this one is not in an urban environment.

Monolith Soft released the opening movie to Project X-Zone, their Super Robot Wars-esque mashup of SEGA, Capcom, and Namco characters. I would be all over this game if (1) I had a 3DS, and (2) Nintendo hadn’t made the 3DS region free. The licensing problems a game like this would cause pretty much nixes any chance of its release in the US.

Falcom is porting Trails in the Sky to PS3. I’m sure it will look great (since the original game was on the PC and supported high monitor resolutions), but I don’t know how many people in Japan are going to be willing to pay again for a game they’ve already bought once or twice before (PC, PSP, and now PS3). The Square-Enix business model focused on rereleasing your good old games to fund your crap new games will only get you so far.

Ufotable’s animation for Tales of Xillia 2 is just as good as everything else I’ve seen them animate. This preview video also has portions of Ayumi Hamasaki’s theme for the game.

Using his own logic, I could have the UN Secretary General shut up for “[humiliating] my values and beliefs” (i.e., free speech). The answer to bad speech is more speech. The idea that people or groups do not have any agency and are forced to dance to the whim of the speaker is reprehensible.

In the same vein, Posner** is a big fan of the heckler’s veto.

*No, not that SF MMO Lord British tried to make. It’s close enough to “tab clearing” for government work.

**No, not that Posner (though it is his son).

06/04/2012

Still busy.

by wfgodbold

So here are some links:

Namco’s next Tales of game is Tales of Xillia 2! I wasn’t expecting this at all (since only a few of the Tales of franchise have had actual sequels), and now I’m really looking forward to it.

There’s a Kickstarter page up for a new Tex Murphy adventure game! The only one in the series I played was The Pandora Directive, but it was pretty good (in spite of a few esoteric puzzles).

Good Old Games has the Ultima and Wing Commander games on sale (for another 6 hours) at half off. I played so much Wing Commander II back in the day. I had such a blast shooting down Kzinti Orions Catians Kilrathi. Once I had the computer properly configured, anyway (which was never trivial with Origin games).

I’m still pretty pressed for time (though it’s not as bad as I thought, since the law review write-on ends next Monday and not this Friday (like I originally thought)). Hopefully things will clear up by next week.

09/17/2011

No content today

by wfgodbold

Too busy finding out what happens next in Tales of Xillia!

I can quit whenever I want, I swear.

09/16/2011

Tales of Xillia impressions

by wfgodbold

I’ve finished the first part of the game (though I’ve no clue out of how many), and my party finally has all of the playable characters in it, so I thought I’d collect my thoughts.

First off, I got one of the first print copies; these included a Cless costume for Jude and a Stahn costume for Milla. My preorder was also early enough to get me a bonus cell phone strap dongle, which was Jude in the Cless costume (the other three possibilities were Milla in her Stahn costume, and both characters in their regular costumes).

When you start the game, you see a short anime intro for for Milla and then one for Jude; after those, you pick which you want to use as the main protagonist for this playthrough (when you get separated, your control reverts to that character, and you will miss out on various events that only happen to one or the other). I chose Jude, and after wandering around the medical school he’s a student at, I ran into Milla and followed her into the first dungeon.

Once you finish that dungeon, you’re done with the prologue, and the actual opening animation plays; depending on your chosen protagonist, you get either the Jude version or the Milla version.

The whole game looks gorgeous; Ufotable’s animation is excellent, and the in-engine graphics are extremely well-done. The environments are large and detailed.

The combat is a combination of Tales of Graces’s CC system (though in ToX, the points are called AC) and the more traditional Tales TP system; each attack, regardless of type, costs one AC to complete, and if it’s a special attack (an arte or a magic attack or whatever), it also costs TP. Regular melee attacks regen TP, and, depending on your skill selection, you can regen AC when you hit critically or dodge (you also regen full AC when you guard briefly, or after pausing in your attacks).

Instead of the overlimit gauge we’ve had in the past few games, system in ToX is conflated with what they call a Link Artes system; your character is joined to another in your party by an ephemeral blue line, and when the overlimit gauge has been filled 20% (and the icon is flashing), after an appropriate arte attack the two linked characters can combine their powers and do a linked attack (generally combining the attributes of the individual attacks). When the gauge is completely full, instead of just one linked attack, it’s possible to chain them; “chain chance” will flash on the screen just after the attack, and if you hit the button for a different arte (that has a link arte with the character you’re linked to), the pair will execute that linked arte without having to do the regular arte first. You can swap your linked partner on the fly with the D-pad, even during chains; if you time it right, you can get in four or five linked attacks before the gauge empties.

In addition to being able to change your linked partner during battle, you can also swap in characters who aren’t in the active party; by pushing R3 and the corresponding direction on the D-pad, one of your backup party members will take the place of an active one. This is a first for the Tales of series, I think.

The crafting system isn’t as extensive as it’s been in the past several games; it’s practically nonexistent, in fact. Instead of collecting raw materials and using those to upgrade various items, you use raw materials to upgrade shops, and those shops then sell new items (you can also spend money to upgrade the shops as well, but it’s a bit expensive; you get XP multipliers for shops, making it far easier to use items than gald).

So far, I’m very pleased with the game; it could be the best Tales of game yet!

The forums at NeoGAF have a long thread full of screenshots and gameplay information, if you’re interested.

07/28/2011

Wait, does this mean Tales of Xillia is set in New Jersey?

by wfgodbold

In one of the newest Tales of Xillia promo videos (H/T andriasang), erstwhile medical student-cum-protagonist Jude Mathis recalls his days in med school; in this flashback, a classmate asks him, “Are you sure it’s okay? Don’t you have training with Dr. House starting soon?”

That’s got to be a shout-out; I find it hard to believe they’re unaware of House

07/09/2011

I have no idea what Namco was thinking with the latest Tales of Xillia trailer

by wfgodbold

On the one hand, it shows just about every part of the game; we finally get to see some of the animated cutscenes (and ufotable did a very nice job), and we find out more about the game world and the burgeoning conflict between the two nations.

On the other hand, the in-engine cutscenes included in the trailer seem to give away some major plot points. It’s possible that the revelations regarding the true nature of Millia Maxwell are revealed to the player early in the game (and for that matter, if you’re familiar with how Maxwell has shown up in previous Tales of games, you can probably guess at her true nature); I won’t know for sure until I get my copy from NCSX.

It is looking like Tales of Xillia is going to tie into the world of Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Symphonia; the narrator at the beginning repeats the Edward D. Morrison quote from the first game, “If there is evil in this world, it lurks in the heart of Man.”

Andriasang has more info.

06/18/2011

Hey, it’s my blog…

by wfgodbold

And if I want to take a break from ranting about the economy, the militarization of the police, guns, and everything else to talk about Tales of Xillia, that’s my right!

The first commercial (images taken from andriasang)has hit the airwaves in Japan; with roughly 2.5 months to go until release, Namco’s doing what they can to build demand. They’re hyping the game as celebrating 15 years of Tales games.

It also plays up the preorder bonuses you get; a random of four keychains, several themes for the PS3, and DLC costumes for Jude and Millia (Cress for Jude, and Stahn for Millia).

They can’t show much in the 15s the commercial lasts, but we see anime shots of the party characters (presumably from the opening movie), and several battle clips.

The commercial ends with 「揺るぎなき信念が未来を切り開く」; “Unwavering conviction will clear the way to the future.”

Each Tales of game is a JRPG, but Namco makes up their own specific subgenre for each game; Tales of Xillia is an “RPG of Unwavering Convictions” (Phantasia was a “Legendary RPG,” Destiny was an “RPG of Destiny,” and Vesperia was an “RPG to Enforce ‘Justice'”).

06/03/2011

Jude’s Theme

by wfgodbold

While youtube claims that the following track is Jude’s theme, all we really know for sure is that it’s the background music that plays when you click on Jude Mathis on the Tales of Xillia official site.

It’s standard Tales of background music; though much improved over Motoi Sakuraba’s earlier work.

I, for one, can’t wait for the game to come out; the music and gameplay have improved every release, and this should be no exception.

Update: replaced the logo with the cover art.

06/02/2011

Looks like I was half right.

by wfgodbold

NCSX has started taking preorders for the Tales of Xillia PS3 bundle, and it’s $599.90, just like I figured it would be.

The standalone game, though, is only $98.90. They didn’t mark it up much at all.

Play Asia has priced the Japanese release at $94.90, but since they ship from Hong Kong instead of NYC, the shipping makes up the price difference.

However, there is still hope; unlike NCSX, Play Asia has also listed the Asia release, and it’s priced as a much cheaper $69.90. If it’s like most other Asia releases, it will still be in Japanese, but there might be a card included with Chinese and English instructions.

Play Asia also has created a page for the PS3 bundle, a page for the Famitsu DX Pack, and a page for the Kyun Character Pack, but they haven’t opened preorders for those items yet. NCSX has yet to create pages for those, or indicate that they will be accepting preorders for them.

Because of the nature of those two deluxe bundles, I imagine that they will be more expensive than usual; any time a premium package is released through an exclusive retailer, it drives the import price for that release through the roof. Instead of being able to buy the game at cost (like NCSX and Play Asia did for the standard release; it’s priced at approximately the converted yen price), they have to import it at retail price and then mark it up to recover their investment.

I’ll probably end up buying the standard release from NCSX; they’ve been very helpful in the past, and they’re good about shipping promptly. Good customer service is important!

05/28/2011

Mark your calendars and consider refinancing your mortgage…

by wfgodbold

Because September 8th is the official release date for Tales of Xillia (in Japan).

The game alone is priced at ¥8,379 (~$103 at current exchange rates); various special editions will set you back ¥12,980 (~$160), and the gorgeous special edition PS3 bundle will tip the scales at ¥37,980 (~$470). Going by past special editions, I imagine NCSX will markup the game to ~$120 or so, the special editions to ~$180, and the PS3 bundle to ~$600.

And yet, in spite of the exorbitant price, I still want the PS3 bundle.

I don’t have a problem; I can quit any time I want.

I just don’t want to quit.

As part of the festivities at the Tales of Festival 2011 (where this announcement took place), the first gameplay trailer for ToX was revealed:

Some people are rabid Final Fantasy fans; I’m more of a rabid Tales of fan, I guess.

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