Sony PlayStation 3
ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 4.0 stars
It's not surprising that traditional Japanese role-playing games gave way to action RPGs when the majority of video game development moved from Japan to the U.S., but I didn't expect JRPGs to almost die out. Fortunately, there's been a resurgence in the last year, and "Tales of Xillia" stands out as one of the best of the bunch!
Right from the start, players are given the choice to play as a mysterious and powerful girl named Milla or a medical student named Jude. Both characters follow the same storyline, so the point of view is the main difference. Basically, they meet during a crisis and together they must destroy a secret weapon before the Kingdom of Rashagul starts an all-out war.
Aside from the main story quests, players are free to accept a wide variety of optional quests in each town they encounter. Some may require the player to fetch food or other items while others task players with defeating certain enemies. They don't stray much from standard RPG quests, but they do offer nice rewards and help characters gain new levels.
One cool idea is how donating extra items acquired throughout the adventure to the same shop will upgrade it to offer new items. I also like how I get to choose which stats, as well as which skills, are upgraded when I gain a new level.
Combat works like most JRPGs in that players control one character while the A.I. controls the other three allies as they fight enemies. Each character gets one attack, or they can be linked together for powerful combo attacks that differ with the characters being used. As a result, it's fun to explore which combo attacks are best suited against certain enemies.
Both newcomers and fans of traditional RPGs will enjoy playing "Tales of Xillia"'Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians'