Namco Bandai has been churning out a long line of classic JRPG games for its Tales of... series. The next installment to land on the PS3, Tales of Xillia, is making its way over to American gamers' shores this summer.
Here's the top 10 facts you need to know about the game's development, plot, Japanese release, sequel and more.
1. The Game Was Officially Announced in 2010
After the development of Tales of Hearts came to a close, Tales of Xillia was immediately put into development and production. The JRPG received an official announcement by its publisher, Namco Bandai Games, on August 2, 2010. The game was soon unveiled to December 25, 2010 by one of the largest Japanese gaming publications (Weekly Shonen Jump). The game's cast of main playable characters were then revealed to followers of the game from January 2011 till April 2011 in Japan. The North American and European versions of the game were announced as officially being localized on July 6, 2012 by Namco Bandai.
2. The Plot's Theme is "RPG of Unwavering Convictions"
Tales of Xillia's main plot threading revolves around one central theme - "RPG of Unwavering Convictions." Here's the offical plot synopsis from the game's Wiki page:
The game is set in Liese Maxia, a world where humans and monsters coexist with spirits. The spirits support human civilization by granting wishes, such as the ability to channel mana as Spirit Power, and in turn are protected by those wishes. The most powerful of these spirits is a being called Maxwell, though its true nature is unknown. In Liese Maxia, there are two main countries vying for supremacy. La Shugall is an empire with a long history whose free use of Spirit Power has granted it incredible majesty and prosperity. A Jule is a developing country whose power is derived from the control of monsters and the might of its military.
Jude Mathis is a young medical student studying in Il Fan, the capital of La Shugall. After a large number of patients are admitted to his hospital following a failed Spirit Arte at a military base, he decides to investigate the cause and meets Milla Maxwell, a mysterious girl who is investigating the recent deaths of a number of spirits. Inside the base they discover a terrible secret and are forced to flee, pursued by La Shugall's military. Milla discovers that she has lost the ability to summon spirits, and the two are only saved thanks to the intervention of Alvin, a wandering mercenary. Safe for now, the three of them decide to travel to the shrine Milla claims she originated from in order to redo a ritual that will help Milla regain her lost powers. On their way, they meet Elise Lutus and Rowen J. llbert, who join their party. Stopping by Jude's hometown of Lu Rondo, they meet Jude's childhood friend, Leia Rolando, an apprentice nurse. She joins them to search for a valuable ore that is needed to cure a particular sickness within the town.
3. The Battle System is Known as the "Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System"
The Tales of... series is known for its active battle system, which allows you to move around the battlefield with a single character and attack without having to bring up a menu. The battle engine being used for this entry is called the "Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System." When an enemy encounter begins, four characters head into battle. The player takes control of one of those characters while the rest of the party gets controlled by the games' A.I. The player can alter the behavior of the A.I. controlled members of the party before battle, which can help turn the tide during increasingly tougher fights. Players have the option of selecting other characters to use during battle as well. Check out the gameplay video above from IGN to get a demonstration of these mechanics in action.
4. Official Manga Adaptations Have Been Created for the Game
Four separate manga adaptations for the game have been produced. The four total adaptations and their titles can be seen below:
- Tales of Xillia Yonkoma Kings
- Tales of Xillia Comic Anthology
- Tales of Xillia Side: Jude
- Tales of Xillia Side: Milla
5. This is The 13th Core Tales of... Release
Tales of Xillia stands as the 13th main game in the Tales of... series. Check out the full list of the series main entries below:
- Tales of Phantasia
- Tales of Destiny
- Tales of Eternia
- Tales of Destiny 2
- Tales of Symphonia
- Tales of Rebirth
- Tales of Legendia
- Tales of the Abyss
- Tales of Innocence
- Tales of Vesperia
- Tales of Hearts
- Tales of Graces
- Tales of Xillia
- Tales of Xillia 2
6. Its Already Out in Japan; Localized Versions Are Coming This August
Tales of Xillia came out in Japan two years ago on September 8, 2011. As for the North American and European versions of the game, they're set to hit stores on these official dates - August 6, 2013 (NA) and August 9, 2013 (EU).
7. The Game Has Received A Great Response in Japan
Xillia has received a mostly positive response in Japan since release. Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu graded the game with a 39/40, which was given because of the JRPG's graphics, player accessibility and fast-paced battle system. It broke the record for most pre-orders for the entire series, plus is sold over half a million copies in its first week of sales.
8. The Limited Edition is Up for Pre-Orders
A Limited Edition of Tales of Xillia is now up for pre-order. This $60 version of the title comes with the following items (description courtesy of GameStop):
- Tales of Xillia game software
- Exclusive Collectible Character Profile Booklet
- Tales of Xillia Music CD
- Two DLC Costumes
9. A Collector's Edition is Also Available
For those fans who are willing to throw down a few extra bucks, a Collector's Edition of the game is also up for pre-order. Here's GameStop's details on this grand package:
- Limited Edition Packing
- Tales of Xillia Game Software
- The Art of Tales of Xillia
- Limited Edition Milla Figure
- Special Music Selection CD
- Classic Tales of Costume DLC
10. A Sequel to This Game Has Already Been Released in Japan
The US/UK are finally getting the first Tales of Xillia. But it turns out Japan already has the sequel to the game. Tales of Xillia 2 released in Japan on November 1, 2012. This entry's central theme is as follows - "An RPG where your choices spin the future." Check out gameplay footage of the title above.