Tales of Xillia, which has been a huge hit in Japan, finally arrives in the States. And while the game doesn't hit all the marks it should, it delivers exciting combat, a colorfully vibrant world to explore and a story dominated by two compelling leads.
Jude is a student learning to master new skills, and Milla is a once-all- powerful being whose powers were stripped away. They quickly forge a bond that continues throughout the game. Gamers reap the rewards of seeing their stories through to the conclusion, but a plot glitch hampers the overall effect. You must choose between Jude and Milla as to whose story you want to focus on -- meaning, to see how events unfold for the other, a replay of the entire game would be required.
Controlling one character while the three others in the party are controlled by artificial intelligence works well. Rather than coming off like gnats swarming around the battlefield, here the allies actually perform useful tasks like stringing together attacks, healing party members and generally making life difficult (and short) for enemies.
The cut scenes and interactions, combined with excellent combat encounters, all join with other elements to make Tales of Xillia an engrossing experience. It doesn't exceed the hype this franchise has engendered over the years, but anyone with a hankering to dive into a rich story will find satisfaction here.
RATING T for Teen
PLOT This Japanese import is a tale of two unlikely heroes.
DETAILS PlayStation 3, $59.99
BOTTOM LINE Little gets lost in translation