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E3 2013: Tales of Xillia

Posted on June 11, 2013 AT 12:00pm

Publisher Namco Bandai
Developer Namco Tales Studio
Platform PS3
Release Date 08.06.2013
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

Considering that the sequel, Tales of Xillia 2, has already been out in Japan for seven months, this one’s been a long time coming for North American fans of one of the last traditional Japanese RPG franchises still making a significant impact in the West. Tales of Xillia will be a bit of a different experience for these devotees, though, offering them a choice between two very different protagonists: hardened, serious warrior Milla Maxwell and naïve medical student Jude Mathis.

The Verdict

It’s always exceedingly difficult to judge an RPG based on a demoand that’s especially true with Tales, where so much of the appeal comes from the interplay between characters and exploring the expansive world. Based on the hourlong snippet I got to play, though, I’m impressed by how much of it’s already resonating with me. The battles are quick, action-packed affairs, and you can even link together two Artes between characters now. And while I’m a fan of the series in general, I’m a longtime eye-roller at the endless parade of dunderheaded Tales main characters we’ve seen over the years (outside of Tales of Vesperia‘s suitably badass Yuri Lowell), so the banter between Milla and Jude also made me grin—if you’d ever wanted to smack a dopey Tales pretty boy across the head, Milla’s your gal.

It’s also refreshing to finally get a female protagonist in a Tales game, and series producer Hideo Baba says his team took the creation of Milla seriously as part of the franchise’s 15th anniversary. ”We wanted to have a very strong character that players could look up to, adore, and really respect,” he reveals. “That’s why Milla was created as such as strong character.”

I’m confident the whole package will come together nicely here, but if nothing else, I’ve also gotta give Xillia props for allowing us to also finally play as a game character attending med school (well, outside of a Trauma Center title, at least!).

Andrew Fitch, Managing Editor
Andrew Fitch, a proud Japanese RPG and serial-comma enthusiast, has been attending E3 for more than a decade now. His least-proud moment? That time in 2004 when, suffering from utter exhaustion, he decided to take a break on the creepy, dilapidated—and possibly cursed—La-Z-Boy at Konami’s Silent Hill booth. Follow Andrew’s adventures in avoiding cursed furniture at his Twitter feed: @twittch. Meet the rest of the crew.

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