Revolurt's Import Review: Tales of Xillia 2 - "For the sake of the girl, will you destroy the world?"


Title: Tales of Xillia 2

Genre: JRPG

Platform: Playstation 3

Version: Asian Pacific

Release Date: November 1st, 2012

It's me again, that weirdo who did a review of the Japanese version of Xillia, I am back. So, with the western release, I hoped you guys enjoyed first Xillia as much as I did, because this time, we are reviewing it's apology sequel to the fans who were disappointed by the first game in Japan. God, I have so much to talk about when it comes to this game, both the good and the bad. Also, this review will only cover the things that are new and different from the first game, so if you want to read the first one first:

(Warning: this post contains minor spoilers of the first game)

(Also, I realize that there are many terminologies are changed during the localization. I will try my best to keep them in the forms you know, but forgive me if there are any changes in terminologies that I'm unaware of.)

First, let's watch the opening, because it's awesome. I watched the whole thing most of the time I started the game, except when I almost reach the end because I can't wait to see the ending.


The story takes place an year after the first game. With the Shell disappeared, both Rieze Maxia and Elympios are able to exist in harmony. However, as much as there are people who wish peace between the two, many opposition that leads to civil racial conflicts and terrorism still exist on both sides.

The story begins with Ludger Will Kresnik, a 20 year old ordinary young man who lives in Elympios. On his first day to his new job in the train station, he witness a 8 year old young girl, Elle Mel Marta, boarded the train that was attacked and hijacked by the terrorist organization Exodus, and went into the train attempts to rescue her. Ultimately, the train was crushed, with Ludger and Elle being heavily injured. The good news is Ludger and Elle were found and healed by a man named Readou, an employed agent from the famous Clanspia Inc. The bad news is he also tried to rip them off by having them to pay one million galds as the medical fee. And on top of that, Ludger is also being suspected by the police as a terrorist, due to the news has reported that the suspect who led the attack could possibly be Julius Will Kresnik, Ludger's brother.


As Ludger now has a huge debt on him while having the cops behind him, Clasnpia Inc.'s president Brisley invited Ludger and offered him a new and unusual job, to destroy the many parallel universes in order to save the real world, as a deal, Clanspia Inc. will also help him handle the cops and find his brother. Without a choice, Ludger accepted the offer, and slowly, discovered the truth behind the Kresnik and tasked with the many tough choices and sacrifices he have to make in order to save someone.

Well, let's say that they weren't joking when they say this will be the darkest Tales game. There are flaws, there are plot holes, and there are moments where they decided to put in out of nowhere just for the sake of being edgy, but for me, overall it is a very enjoyable and emotional story. It started off ordinary, but then later on it's just full of plot twists and mind blowing revelations every chapter. Just when you thought fighting Gaius in the first game is epic enough, the last chapter of Xillia 2 probably has one of the best pre-boss battle cutscene and final boss theme ever in the series. The story also gone through many things that are briefly mentioned in the first game, such as the Kresnik, as well as the conflicts between Rieze Maxia and Elympios citizens. There is a choice system (which I will talk about later) similar to the ones you see in western RPGs, and it works very well along with the game's story and it's theme as well. It's hard to discuss the game's story without spoiling (that's how many plot twists there are in the game), but Tales of Xillia 2 definitely get my approval for having the best story in the series.

Other than that, I also want to praise the character development of Elle. Damsel in distress is something that is super overly done, but rarely you see one that is as well handled as Elle, who is a very likable character and you will be emotional attached to through the story. And at the end, rather than winning her as a "prize", you really do feel like rescuing her is probably the biggest reward you will ever need, and you will do it with the any cost. Her voice acting is also great too (which I thought is a very important part of making the player being emotionally attached to her, let's hope the English dub won't fuck it up), the scene where she was crying is just heartbreaking.


If you have played the first game before, you will also like the fact that the previous protagonists are back, as well as how much they have growth and how different they have changed after adapting the culture in Elympios, especially Elize (Except for you, Alvin, I still can't get used to your new beard). Speaking of old characters, I think this game did a good job at not making the same mistake every other sequels have made, which is a story that focus more on the new characters and not letting the old characters stealing the spotlight from the new protagonist (yes, I'm looking at you, Symphonia).


Ludger the Half-assed Silent Protagonist

Yes, you read that right, introducing the first silent protagonist ever in the series, Ludger Will Kresnik, which I'm not too fond of. Now, don't get me wrong, I like Ludger as a character, and I like silent protagonist when the game is supposed to let you play as a certain character yourself for the immersion. With the choice system, the game does indeed have a certain degree of immersion you can find in western RPGs, but no thanks to the protagonist's silence. There are plenty of problems with Ludger being silent, the biggest one would be Ludger, despite being a silent protagonist, has the quality of a complete character.

You see, silent protagonist is not rare in JRPG, you see them in Persona, you see them in Chrono Trigger, you see them in Ys, and most of the time, you get the sense that you are the character yourself and you are viewing the story in the first person perspective. What Yu, Chrono and Adol have in common is that they don't have any, or at least minimum interaction with other characters and have you imagine their interactions yourself, since you are supposed to be the main character. Ludger doesn't give you that sense of "you being the protagonist". Throughout the game, he interacts and communicates with the others out of his own will, not yours, with a clear face expression to see what he is thinking, not what you are thinking, except he is doing it in the silent way, like nodding or sighing. There is no way that anyone can view the story without putting themselves in the third person perspective, especially when the character clearly has it's own personality. So at the end, what we have in here is not really a silent protagonist, but something more like a muted character who got left out the cutscenes and conversation. To make it worse, there are two scenes where Ludger actually speaks. It's like the game developers saying "yeah, we can make him talk, but we won't let him."


Honestly, I think the game can still works very well with choice system even if Ludger is voiced. In fact, I think the game can work even better if Ludger is voiced, since, one, Tales in most famous for it's character interaction like skits, and two, there are many emotional scenes can become even more emotional and dramatic if Ludger actually speaks like a normal human being would in the situation instead of just stay quiet the whole time because Baba won't let him, so in a way, the fact that he is a silent protagonist actually makes it kind of immersion breaking. Not to mention Ludger seems to be a very likable and a rare kind of character in the series if he can talk.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking, "but Rev! You can make him talk in the second playthrough by unlocking his voice in the grade shop!" Well yeah, if you get to see how it actually looks like in action, you probably won't care about it either. Basically you can unlock his voice in the second playthrough in the grade shop, but the only thing that changes is that now you have Ludger's voice narrating the dialogue options you choose. Other than that, he is still that muted guy got left out of the conversation, even in victory quotes.

Choices, Choices Everywhere

Now, Tales of Xillia 2 did something very interesting to choice system in the series, heck, in RPGs in general, not every choices you make will have an effect on the story. In fact, only less than five choices can change the story, the rest are pretty much just slice of life quotes. What it does change though, it's the cutscenes that follow or character's affection to Ludger. Sometimes, no matter which choice you make, you still can't change the result. It really makes you feel like you are making choices yourself, but in the same time it also makes you realize that you are just one guy, there are always something you can't change and results that you can never get, and nonetheless you have to move on, which helps to move the story as well since "choice" is also one of it's theme.

Another thing is that there is no such thing as "moral" within the choices. There are no right or wrong answers, it's just the choice you want to make, and the consequences that comes after, which really does help the player to pick whichever choices they truly mean, not picking choices for the in-game results or rewards.


And the last thing the choice system that did right, it's the choices themselves the developers what you to make. Sometimes they are quite brutal, going as far as letting you choose which person to save when you can save only one of the two. As mention above, the result doesn't change, but it really does a great job at putting you into the shoes of an extreme situation. You know how everyone think that JRPG heroes always make stupid choices? Well this game will make you realize that if it's you, you will probably make the same stupid choice as those stupid JRPG heroes do without ever regretting, which is definitely not something we have seen much in video games.

Play the Game at Your Own Pace

Unlike other games in the series, the game doesn't follow an adventure style gameplay, but rather, a mission based style. The story won't advance if you don't manually accept your next story mission, and you can pretty much do whatever you want within the limited area outside of missions. Ludger's debt isn't just a story device, but it's also part of the gameplay. Since Ludger is on heavy debt, the bank that gave him the loan put restriction on which location he can go until he pay back the money. In other word, if you want to continue to the next main mission, you have to pay a certain amount of your debt first. This system is pretty much a double edged sword, since it allows you to pick when you want to begin your next chapter and continue the story, but in the same time, you can only do it when you have enough money.


So, what you can do outside of the main missions? Well there is now a counter that lets you to accept side quests. This will be your main source of money outside of the main mission. Other than that, you will also have character side missions, which gave you more character developments about the 8 other playable characters you have seen in the first game, as well as raising the characters' affection to Ludger. You can also not do anything and just explore the areas that are currently available to you as much as you want. The good news is that money is not hard to earn in the game, so even if you are short of money for the next chapter, you will probably earn them after a while. The bad news is, well, there are more than one bad news about it.

Nova, Nova, Nova

So to make sure that you won't forget about your debt, everytime you have enough money for the next chapter, Nova will call you and remind you that you can pay now. Of course, you can choose not to pay for now, and she will call again sometimes when you have even more money. And then when the more money, her call will be more and more frequent, and this is where the nightmare begins, where everytime you have some more money, you will hear her call. Everytime.


While fitting to the story, this kind of kill the purpose of letting you play the game at your own pace, as well as taking the players' freedom away when they just want to do something else before the main chapters.

Social Lin... I Mean Friendship System

As previously mentioned, there are character affection and side missions. So what do they do? Well, they are kind of like Social Link from Persona 3 and 4. Through the game, there are sometimes choices that can raise Ludger's friendship point with the other characters (though they won't go down even if you pick the other choice, so pick whichever you like), the friendship between the 8 playable characters and Ludger will determine how many Link Artes they can perform with Ludger. Other than that, you can also raise friendship points by performing Link Artes or completing their side missions.

And speaking of the character side missions, they give you a more in dept character developments for the other 8 characters, especially when you have played the first game. If you have the played the first game, completing these quests are highly recommended, because they did a really good job at showing you how much the characters have changed and what they are up to after what had happened in the first game.

Recycled Assets

This time, the story mostly take place in Elympios, so naturally, you will expect more Elympios locations, right? Well, it does have four new towns, but other than that, a lot of them is the same location you have been already in the first game. Remembered I said about bad news on how you can explore the world as much as you want? Well the thing is that there isn't a place you haven't already explored in the first game, exploring them again is indeed something feels absolutely tedious. To make it worse, when you enter the alternative universes, the same location in the alternative universe count as a different location, which disabled the quick travel, so basically you have keep running on same field over and over again. Sometimes there are even several missions takee place on the same map, but in a different world, so yeah, have fun going through the same map again.

Ludger's Special Ability

If you have played the first game, you will know that each character has their own special ability. And when it comes to special ability, Ludger definitely takes the cake for having the most unique one. In case you didn't see the opening animation I posted up there or you didn't pay enough attention, Ludger doesn't have only one weapon, but three, which are the twin blade, dual pistol and hammer. Each of them are a different move and skill set, and you can switch them anytime you want in combat, or even link combos from different weapons together. Not only does that give you the opportunity to switch up your battle style depends on your enemies, it also makes Ludger probably one of the most useful character combat wise, since he literally has three times more Artes than the others, as well as some crazy amounts of Link Artes.


Other than that, as the descendant of the Kresnik, Ludger also has a special ability know as the Corpse Shell, which allows him to transform and become invincible for a certain amount of time, as well as granting him another different set of superior moves and Artes.



I know, it sounds like I'm trashing the game, but I'm not, and I will admit, I really can't express my thought properly about this game. But one thing I can tell you is that I enjoy it more than the first one, especially the story. It's a game that for every two steps forward it makes, it also takes one step backward. But nonetheless, it takes one step forward and make an even better game than the first one overall.


-Amazing and emotional story

-Likable new characters

-Old cast doesn't steal the spotlight

-Everything you love about the first game are still intact

-The freedom to choose when to continue the story

-Ludger's interesting unique ability, Corpse Shell is the most badass thing I have ever seen

-Interesting choice system

-Character side quests give you more development for the old characters you loved

-Sawashiro Miyuki, two of them!


-Some plot holes, and some part being edgy for the sake of edgy

-Recycled assets from the first game and tedious "backtracking"

-You have the freedom to do what you want, but there isn't much to do

-Half-assed silent protagonist

-Nova's phone call super combo

Oh yeah, remembered I said that the final boss has an epic cutscene and theme? Well, I can't show you the cutscene, but I can't show you the theme, so enjoy.