Blog Archives

I’M BACK!!!

I have returned, Kweh!

I have returned, Kweh!

Greetings everyone, and welcome back to my esteemed blog.  It has been quite a number of months since my last post.  I have been very busy with the job search and seeking possibilities of returning to school.  I am very happy to say that I have not only acquired a new position, but I am also in the process of applying for school.

Now that the wheels are in motion, I am happy to get back to my favorite past time; that being sharing my insights and reviews with you.  I will be back on Wednesday 3/18 with my full review of Final Fantasy Type 0 HD.  Until then everyone, be safe, and happy gaming!

Tales of Xillia 2 Review: Take me back to Rieze Maxia

The new antagonists, Ludger and Elle

The new antagonists, Ludger and Elle

Welcome back everyone to my esteemed blog.  The crickets have been chirping quite a bit on the blogging front, but there are a couple of reasons for this.  First, my company recently had their annual meeting, which really took it out of me.  So, after the conclusion of that successful meeting, I took a few days off and just relaxed.  I also had to attend a wedding or two, which involved quite a bit of traveling.  Now fans can rejoice, for I have returned.  Let us begin.

Bandai Namco is best known for the Tales series.  Now they have brought us the direct sequel to Tales of Xillia.  Tales of Xillia 2 takes place one year after the events of the first game.  With the huge success of the first installment, does this sequel measure up to it’s predecessor?  Let’s review.

Graphics:  There isn’t much to be said about the graphics of Tales of Xillia 2, reason being, it looks exactly the same in and out.  The characters both new and returning still retain the same design and art direction, minus a few wardrobe and hair changes (it has been a year since the first game ).  Score:  8/10

A little of the new mixed with the old.

A little of the new mixed with the old.

Sound:  Tales of Xillia 2 brings back some familiar tunes along with some new tracks to spice up the roster.  Motoi Sakuraba brings his delicate touch back to what is already a great franchise.  The voice acting is done fairly well, with the original cast returning to compliment the new characters.  On a sad note to some, Teepo is back.  Ayumi Hamasaki brings her vocal talents back with the intro theme “Song 4 U.”  Fans of the first Xillia title soundtrack won’t be disappointed with this second dose of gaming music excellence.  Score:  8.5/10

Gameplay:  As with most Tales games, this is where it all comes together.  Tales of Xillia’s core gameplay is in the fighting system.  When you’re fighting monsters, it feels more like a fighting game and less of a “select your attack and wait” kind of game, which is pretty cliche in most JRPGs.

Outta my way!

Outta my way!

The story, which is excellent, picks up one year after the events of the first game.  There is a twist, you don’t get to play as two separate protagonists, instead you only have one hero, Ludger Kresnik.  I have to say, I was somewhat disappointed with Ludger as a protagonist.  Although his story involving his brother Julius is well plotted, his portrayal as the more often than not silent protagonist is very off-putting, and while you make selections on Ludger’s responses and choices-it feels bland all together.  Elle is the other protagonist, a non-playable character who is also a huge element of the story, although not being able to use her caused me to disassociate myself from her almost entirely.  I much preferred Jude and Milla.

Feature-2-TOX2

The story progresses smoothly, except for times when you are forced to pay off your ridiculously exorbitant debt.  This results in you having to sidetrack your mission to accomplish fetch and monster slaying quests.  Except for the “elite” monsters, I found the remaining quests to be very tedious.

Battle of the brothers!

Battle of the brothers!

The orb system has had an overhaul as well.  I was a huge fan of the “Illium Orb” system in the first Xillia game.  The new orb system called “Allium Orb” is something that I am not too fond of.  You equip each character with an orb that slowly levels up and earns you new and upgraded skills and artes.  Think of it as a Final Fantasy 6 esper system, but much more detailed.  The only downside to this system is that with everything going on in this game, you are forced to do some severe micromanaging.  To some this is ok, but for others, it can be somewhat of a burden.

Meet the new Allium Orb system.

Meet the new Allium Orb system.  I’m a fan of the japanese version, sorry folks.

One addition that I thought was an excellent touch is the character story lines.  This allows Ludger and Elle to go on separate quests with each of the original characters from the first game, thus learning more about that individual character and increasing the bond you have between them, and you can earn a costume accessory here and there.  Score: 9.0/10

Tales of Xillia 2 is an incredible story that brings this tale to a wonderful close.  Any Tales fan should definitely add this to their library.  One thing, if you never played the first Tales of Xillia, I would recommend playing that one first.  It helps bring events of the sequel to better light.  Thanks again for following my blog.  I am reviewing a niche title called Fairy Fencer F.  Stay tuned for my review coming soon.  Thanks everyone!

Final Score: 8.5/10

Ys Memories Of Celceta Review

celceta

Happy Holidays dear readers, and welcome back to my esteemed blog.  I must apologize for the hiatus but, I recently acquired a new position, and that combined with a somewhat lengthy commute makes my time for blogging scarce, but I am back and the blogging will go on.  

25 years ago, an action role playing franchise graced us with it’s presence.  Unfortunately, it debuted on the Turbo Duo CD, a great console that was too expensive at the time to own.  It was also competing with the already popular Zelda series, which is why this franchise never got the recognition it deserved.  Now the Vita get a taste of the Ys franchise with Ys: Memories of Celceta for the Playstation Vita console.  This is a reimagining of Ys IV: Dawn of Ys for the Turbo Duo CD, which never saw a North American release.  So, does this reimagining succeed in giving gamers what they want?  Let’s find out.

Graphics:  For being a Vita exclusive title, Ys Memories of Celceta delivers graphics that are good but still remain true to nostalgia.  The character sprites, animations and creatures are fairly robust, but still manage to keep a nostalgic look to it.  The world is vast however, there is little to interact with in this massive re-imagined world, which is somewhat of a disappointment.  Score: 7.5/10

ys-Memories-of-Celceta-02

Sound:  The Ys series has always been faithful to delivering a fantastic musical score, and Memories of Celceta does not disappoint.  Fans of Ys music will be having multiple eargasms listening to the amazing musical score.  Plus, for those of you who can shell out the extra bucks, the collector’s edition comes with a three disc soundtrack featuring three to four tracks from each of the Ys titles.  Score: 9/10

ys_celceta_no_jukai_import_image11

Gameplay:  The meat of the package in Ys Memories of Celceta comes from the combat.  From the moment you begin the game, you are instantly thrown into battle.  In this title, our protagonist Adol is suffering from amnesia, and begins a journey through Celceta to regain the memories he has lost.  The combat is pretty fast paced, and boss battles are epic.  The side-quest options consist of fetch quests or hunting a creature (some of which can be difficult if unprepared) and killing it.  You spend most of your time traversing through the world of Celceta while completing a quest that sadly tends to drag sometimes.  Voice acting is present but, they are so rare that the story suffers as a result.  Fortunately, the combat manages to keep the blood pumping enough to keep you from boredom.  Score: 9/10 

ys_121013_16001

Ys Memories of Celceta is a great addition to the already minimal selection of Vita exclusive RPGs.  Longtime fans, or if you’re seeking a new adventure, look no further than Ys. 

Final Score: 8.5/10

Tales of Graces F Review. A legend still stands strong

When the XBOX 36Image0 got an exclusive release of Tales of Vesperia a few years back, playstation fans felt cheated that PS3 never received an official Tales game.  Fear not tales fans, Namco has officially released Tales of Graces F for the Playstation 3 two weeks ago.  So does this title satisfy the needs of JRPG fans out there?  Read on to find out.

 

 

Graphics:  The graphics of graces are decently polished but not to the standards of fans who only look for polish in a game.  The character designs are of the best anime quality and the worlds although bland at times are still unique in their own way.  Score: 8/10

 

Sound:  The musical score of Tales of Graces is nothing to write home about.  Some tracks are catchy but a lot of the music sounds rather outdated at times.  I found tracks from the original Tales of Destiny more memorable thanTales of Graces.  Voiceovers are not too bad, but some of them can be hit or miss.  Score: 7/10

 

Gameplay:  This is where Tales of Graces shines strongest.  The battle system is intuitive and keeps you on your toes.  The multiplayer option makes it easy for anyone to join in the monster slaying action.  Lots of artes and skills to learn and use in combat.  Score: 9.5/10

 

Issues: In the beginning half of graces you will find yourself backtracking through similar areas a whole lot.  Besides this and the subpar soundtrack Tales of Graces is an overall solid JRPG.  Any fan who is in dire need of a classic JRPG should definitely add Tales of Graces to their library.  You won’t be disappointed.

Final Score: 8/10

Thanks for reading my blog and be sure to follow me.  Tune in next week when I review Silent Hill HD Collection.  Thanks.

Lucas