View Full Version : Starting the Tales Series

01-28-2016, 05:48 AM
So, thanks to the fantastic Pumpkin, she went and bought me my very first Tales game. It's Tales of Xillia, for the PS3. I've played some of it today, and I have to say the story is compelling so far.

I really loved the opening segment in the opening town of Fennmont. The town really looks ethereal with the spirit lamps lighting the place, which is under a cover of night due to the spirit weather. The events at the laboratory were interesting and actually slightly creepy, given the dark surroundings, the guards, and the fact that you're all alone with a new battle system.

Actually, on that topic, battles seem okay so far. I'm getting used to the rather fast paced nature, but the R1 button pauses time, allowing me to assess the situation. I've been using Jude as my leader pretty much exclusively, if only because he's very easy to use, and his innate skill seems very, very useful, especially early on. Dodging is tricky in such a fast game with so many characters on screen, but I'll get used to it. To be honest, rushing the enemy tends to get the job done. I'm sure that'll change though.

The main characters so far seem nice. Jude seems like a nice guy, while Milla has that sort 'new to the human world' vibe, which creates some light humour. That she's apparently the incarnation of the Lord of Spirits seems interesting. You'd expect her to have more power, but seemingly the four great spirits give her all she needed.

But my favourite character so far is probably Alvin. It helps that he has that lovable rogue mentality, with good looks and good clothes to boot. He really reminds me of Balthier, in a way. They even share the same scene of hoisting the main character by their stomach and taking them away from danger. He's voiced my Matthew Mercer too, who I like as a voice actor.

The Orb levelling system looks really amazing, actually. Rather simple, but with enough planning involved to make me feel involved. Characters obviously have certain proclivities: Alvin's a bruiser or a tank, depending, but there is some customisation there, which is nice.

Is there any obvious tips I should be looking out for that may help me out as I head towards Nia Khera?

01-28-2016, 01:40 PM
Which story are you doing? Keep in mind you can replay it with the other one and get different scenes. Milla is more overall story oriented while Jude is more character story oriented. Jude is pretty newbie friendly, I agree. He's also a great support character if you find someone else you like using. Try a bunch out and see how you like them. Elize is not super beginner friendly I found, but you might find her easier to use. I personally like Leia the most in terms of gameplay. The battle system gets easier the longer you play and it's fairly similar to others in the series, so if you play any of the other games afterwards, you should be able to get in the swing of things more quickly.

Alvin is easily my least favourite character, but I still feel for the guy. Tales writes good characters, I think. I also love the skits allowing for extra interaction.

Sell your loot to the shops! That's what they're there for. That way shops will sell you newer and better items. It took me a while to catch on to that my first playthrough and I know some others have had the same issue, not sure if you caught on already or not. Each shop also has an icon to indicate which ones will currently lead to more points, so pay attention to that too. I find it better to try and balance not dumping ALL of your loot at once, because you won't be able to keep up financially with everything being sold. I like to upgrade the shop by 1-3 levels every town. It gives me good weapons and stuff without being overwhelmed by having to buy too much

I hope you have fun :D How far in are you?

01-28-2016, 05:23 PM
I've been using the shop expansion quite a bit, and I've been trying to use only materials that confer a bonus boost, for efficiency. I'm going mainly with armour and weapons, for now, as they're probably more important.

The skits are entertaining, though I've learned there a 'use no gel' skit, so I've banned myself from using any. I'm not really struggling without them, and Jude's healing ability is ample, and he can just beat up the enemy for more TP. Actually, TP is rarely an issue, because I can just normal attack for more, and I have level restore to get me back to full.

I'm doing Jude's story. I prefer character development over story, and Jude is very beginner friendly to play with. I've switched over to Milla now as my leader, to see how she operates. Both her and Alvin have these 'hold circle for a move, unhold it for a different move' artes, which Jude doesn't really have. I'll get the hang of it. She appears to be somewhat of a magic knight, as her strength and intelligence seem on par, but she has several spells.

Oh, also, one achievement that I'm really proud of is that I beat the Girl in red at the laboratory! I'm not even sure you're supposed to beat her, given her damaging attacks. Jude's innate switch step skill meant I could pull off a few safe hits on her back by dodging her moves. Just rinse and repeat. I got a hit a few times, but with some health to spare, which caused me to level rather highly.

01-28-2016, 07:36 PM
I think the only thing we missed when I played through was the abilities you unlock you have to activate with AP. Not like we went through most of the game without them, but they are something we missed in the very beginning. And the game kind of does it automatically, but just in case it doesn't, linking up is a pretty good idea. Especially with Jude and Eliz, I forget who activates them, but they both have massive healing skills that hit a wide area in the battlefield. Super helpful in boss fights with multiple enemies where it gets hectic and hard to target heal enough people fast enough. So be prepared for that kinda thing. Link skills are generally really awesome to pull off regardless though. You'll find some really powerful and fun ones with experimentation

01-28-2016, 08:00 PM
The thing I love most about Xillia 2 so far (no spoilers) is that they made every arte while linked a potential link arte.

In Xillia, you have to think "OK, who am I linked with? And which of my artes do they have a compatible arte with so that we can use a link arte? And which button did I map that arte to?" In Xillia 2, it's exactly the same system except if you perform an arte and your partner doesn't have a compatible one, you get the chance to use a generic link attack. It's not as good as a proper linked arte, but its so much better than being stuck with a partner you don't have many artes in common with.

01-28-2016, 08:10 PM
Isn't Xillia 2 quite an odd one because the Tales games don't tend to have sequels.

01-28-2016, 08:12 PM
It's kinda like FF where a few have sequels, but most don't. Symphonia has a sequel, and Tales of Destiny does as well, I believe

02-19-2016, 08:10 PM
I've played some more at last! I've now just completed the Nia Khera segment. As expected, re-summoning the four doesn't work (because of course it wouldn't).

Alvin is behaving rather suspiciously, and I caught him out in a lie by going back and getting a sub-event with Ivar. Alvin claimed the villagers overpaid him so it is his sworn duty to rejoin the gang (which in itself is a shaky assessment). My chat with Ivar proves that Alvin didn't communicate with the villagers. So why is he tagging along? Hmm. I'm getting 'backstabber' vibes from him already. It's not exactly subtle. Still, I'm in love with his charm, so I'm hoping he gets a good redemption arc at some point. This is all assuming I'm correct about his backstabbing, but the game is making it too obvious.

I tried Milla for a bit. She's slightly harder to use, as holding down circle changes the arte. Not to mention her tier 2 arte spells have a much longer casting animation. Not that I use them that much anyway; they're both magic floor glyphs, which is really only useful for area control. That, and the time it takes to cast means I'm probably better off just free running away.

I also tried Alvin briefly, but to be honest the A.I plays Alvin just fine. He's a tanky bruiser, so I can just leave him be and slug a few hits. I'm playing with Jude, mainly. His artes are just simple, no charging required.

Honestly the hardest part is remembering which arte is mapped to which button. I'm finding myself having to open the menu mid-battle just to remind myself what's which. For obvious reasons, this is more frequent with Milla and Alvin. I'm doing my best to co-ordinate, though. Attacks which knock enemies into the air is often assigned to up, while healing or defensive moves are assigned to down. I'm only really starting to use the arte shortcuts. All in all, I'll get the hang of it... eventually.

One exciting thing that happened: I took a wrong turn and entered the Xagut Floodmeadows. The enemies there are way harder, but I managed to actually defeat an enemy, and the EXP was incredible. But yeah, I avoided that place afterwards, I barely scrapped through.

02-21-2016, 12:01 AM
Just a heads up, you'll eventually unlock the ability to hold a trigger and use the same buttons again for artes. Doubling the amount you have mapped to the joysticks :D It gets crazy, but yeah, if you keep your mapping consistent, it's not terrible

02-21-2016, 12:03 AM
I'm not going to spoil too much for you but let's just say that Alvin isn't as obvious as he seems. Almost none of the characters are, which is one of the reasons I love this game so much!

I am super happy you're enjoying it :D

02-21-2016, 07:54 PM
Another update! So I got Elize, after rescuing her from some horrific child abuse (that sadly isn't really touched upon much). Only Jude openly defends her from attack, which has lowered my estimates of Milla and Alvin somewhat.

We progressed onwards, and went through the Deepwood. Elize saved everyone's asses, and is basically meant to be a healer. She does have a few offensive moves, but I've put her Teepo to ON using a skill, so she's a more potent caster. We got to Sharilton, and I had enough Black Feathers to have way too many shortcuts to handle. I can barely cope with the initial eight. It's like a fightning game, really. So many button presses to remember, gah!

We got the cool old guy butler, and beside the odd skit where he becomes creepy towards Elize, he seems like a nice guy. He's also a great caster, and his splash attack is so effective. I've actually taken to playing as him more often, because playing keep away is more my style, launching attacks from afar. It makes the button presses easy to remember when I'm not also having to remember the guard and dodge buttons. I'm getting used to switching characters. Currently, I'm using Jude against faster enemies (like those green butterflies), and Rowen against large, tanky enemies (mainly because his artes will actually hit after casting). If I do have a complaint about using spirit artes, they do often take too much time to cast. Rock Trine takes forever sometimes.

So we went into Bermia Gorge and after much climbing, rescued everyone. I feel like the story is hotting up, and I'm about to go talk to Cline. I'm really enjoying it!

02-23-2016, 01:31 AM
Sorry to double-post, but oh my, is that both Ali Hillis and Liam O' Brien voice acting some villains? It's like the cast of FFXIII turned evil.

02-23-2016, 10:20 PM
I'm going to be interested to see who your favourite character is by the end of it. You should be getting Leia soon. She's my second favourite but favourite to use. She's pretty easy to use, she's quick, and she's also a good back up healer

02-24-2016, 12:27 AM
Leia is a great character. It's too bad she comes in so late in the story. But even then it's probably only like the halfway point or something. We plowed through that game in like a week, so it's hard to gauge properly

I think my favorite was Mila. She made some odd choices throughout, but something about her amused me and I always forgave her; similarly with Alvin. Too bad her voice actress got so much crap at the time for being too flat and lifeless or something. But I thought it suited her character perfectly

Also Rowen. Just Rowen. Greatest playable "old man" in my opinion

02-24-2016, 01:21 AM
You barely have to spoiler tag it; I can see it coming a mile away. So another update: Milla briefly turned into Cloud the wheelchair guy, and Jude carted her off to Leronde to round off the first chapter. Leia seems great. She's the ultimate support character, with buffs, healing and some decent attacks. She's basically a back-up everything.

Heading to Xian Du now. What percentage am I through the game now?

02-24-2016, 02:11 AM
maybe 1/3rd? idk.

or maybe 1/4

02-24-2016, 02:34 AM
Yeah it's between a third and a fourth like Mirage said, I think. It's a sizable game.

Yay Leia :jess: Leia and Elize, my two favourites, have some really great moments together later on

02-24-2016, 12:29 PM
Eh the last leg of the game is so crazy I can't remember how long it is. There's three really insane changes that completely change the game and I think they are done really well. And there is plenty of game to enjoy out of what they bring to the story rather than just an end game twist. You might be around the halfway point. I'm not sure. Though if it helps, my girlfriend and I beat it around 65 or 70 hours. Which I loved. There was so much game to enjoy. But almost every Tales game makes you feel like you're coming up on the end and then completely changes gears on you. Usually multiple times

Just checked the how long to beat website and apparently my clear time is on the completionist spectrum. Tells you how skewed my judgement of length is. So they are probably right. You're probably not actually near the halfway point. I just remember Leia coming really late. But apparently I took as long with the last half of the game as most people take with the whole thing

I don't think we did a bunch of grinding or side quests though. Never felt like we were padding or prolonging the experience. Just basically doing what we wanted and enjoyed the ride

Mr. Carnelian
03-12-2016, 10:44 PM
I just finished this game (Tales of Xilia) the other day, playing Milla's storyline. I really, really enjoyed it, a lot more than I was expecting to. The combat was fluid and engaging and the story had plenty of twists and turns to keep me interested. It was quite old-fashioned in some ways, and it definitely wheeled out some time-worn JRPG tropes, but it was always thoroughly charming with it.

If I had to pick a favourite character, I think I would probably have to go with Milla, although that likely has a lot to do with the fact that I spent more time with her than any of the other characters. The fact that she's pretty much my age might have something to do with it. I find it hard to take twelve and fifteen year old characters (i.e. Leia, Jude and Elize) entirely seriously. Most of all though, I'm a sucker for a strong female character. I know that her voice acting in the English-speaking version gets a lot of shtick, but I really don't think it's justified: her voice verged on the robotic at times, but that very much seemed to fit her character. No spoilers, but the ending for her was just right: I saw it coming from a long way off, but that didn't really matter because it suited her perfectly.

03-13-2016, 07:12 AM
I bought Tales of Symphonia collection a while ago. I got about ~4 hours into it and could scarcely believe how boring it was. It was also kind of difficult, but that was less of an issue. I have Tales of Xillia on my PS3, can anyone that's played both compare/contrast?

Ffamran mied Bunansa
03-14-2016, 05:24 AM
Likely no one will agree with me, but my favorite game in the series is Graces f. The combat system is just sublime. I also didn't hate the characters and story as much as most people do though.

03-14-2016, 05:44 PM
Mr. Carny raced ahead, I've just started Chapter Three after the battle of Fezebel Marsh. The game is definitely speeding up now, and getting much more serious. I'm loving it, and ToX 2 is definitely on a list to grab.

Aerial combat is still tricky to get the hang of, and I've still not got used to memorising all the different shortcuts for my artes. But I'm managing, so all's well! I've defeated two Devil Beasts at level 46~, which I'm very proud of. It involved a frantic case of stunlocking two of them with power hits by their weak element, combined with healing from Elize, who was utterly key in both battles. There were moments when I down to just Jude, but careful manoeuvring and item using saved me.

Honestly though, Elize's Nurse ability is so useful. I defeated the Harpy from Bermia Gorge, and the beast in the Vicalle Mines. I briefly attempted the one in Xagut Floodmeadow, but it is way too fast, and I fled.

03-14-2016, 05:51 PM
Hopefully you guys decide to try some of the other games in the series. The gameplay is rougher in most of them since they're older games, but the great character interactions and development and the plot twists are usually series staples.

Graces is a bit of a base breaker. Some people love what it does differently and others not so much

Mr. Carnelian
03-16-2016, 01:23 AM
Hopefully you guys decide to try some of the other games in the series. The gameplay is rougher in most of them since they're older games, but the great character interactions and development and the plot twists are usually series staples.

I think I probably will, as long as the gamplay isn't TOO much rougher. I don't want playing the game to be a total slog.

03-16-2016, 01:50 AM
You should probably avoid Symphonia then. It's tied for my favourite but it introduced the current battle system so it's very rough

03-16-2016, 10:33 PM
I remember playing Symphonia and my Mom thought angel feathers was a swear in the game because Collete was spamming it so much. :bigmsile: The thing with Symphonia is it takes a while for the plot to get good. Once you get to the Asgard human ranch it starts getting better. :p

I actually just picked up Xillia and I'm looking forward to it.