Review – Tales of Berseria

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Hard to explain the story of Tales of Berseria without spoiling it like the western trailer did. So let’s skip the details and just say that the heroine Velvet travels seeking vengeance against a man called Artorius, who happens to have been her stepbrother. Velevet and Artorius’s entwined fates take a great importance since she’s so determined to slaughter the man who’d come to be the older brother she’s never had.

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Tales of Berseria main topic is resentment and Velvet is the right incarnation of that. Transformed into a gôma (demon, former word to designate Tales of Zestiria’s hyôma), she manages to keep a human appearance, save her now ghostly black hand. That cursed arm allows her to eat onter gôma and humans, which she will do without faltering if it serves her purposes. Locked in a the highest security jail in the world, she’ll eventually escape thanks to the help of a Seirei (former name of Tales of Zestiria’s Tenzoku) called Shirizu.

It’s a personal thought, but the major problem I see in this latest Tales is that it struggles to go beyond the theme of vengeance : the main story has too few plot twists and doesn’t show moral values as strong as in past episodes. There’s no transcending the basic setting to go towards a more complex truth. The narrative is kinda even and didn’t always keep my interest on 70 hours of play.

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While the main story can disappoint in a whole, it is well structured despite the lack of major events in the first stages of the adventure. Tales of Berseria sets a few interesting secondary themes like child/parent relationship, focused on Eleanor. The young Templar has a major role in the story and will be at the center of the most emotional moments. She is the character representing principles and values, herself driven to cause irreparable harm while being tormented by her past.

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The other interesting aspect of the narrative is that it explains who Tales of Zestiria’s world (it takes place hundreds of years before the latter) was formed. It does it extremely well because it makes you experience the genesis of key-elements of the former in remarkable fashion. In particular, the birth of the Kamui was a powerful scene, maybe the climax of the game. You also come to witness the rise of the dôshi (the hero of the people, Sorey’s role in Tales of Zestiria) who is… Artorius himself! The “bad guy” of Tales of Berseria is actually the savior of the world because he’s nearly eradicated the gôma that threatened humans. Hero or not, Velvet’s hate will never falter against this man who took everything from her, and she doesn’t care if the whole world turns against her. This is the greatness of Tales of Berseria’s narrative : you actually fight against what you were in Tales of Zestiria. Good is evil, and evil is good. This clever point of view of the story is most interesting to experience.

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Cutscenes and the general direction support the narrative in a quite efficient way, but here again it’s towards the end that you’ll be really blown away. Some real time cutscenes are among the greatest in the series, like the duel between Rokurô and Shigure, or the final confrontation. The extreme precision with which battles are drawn is something you rarely find in JRPGs, at least not at this level of quality. Tales of Berseria also has I think more convincing villains than the previous game. The tokutô taimashi, the elite templars at the head of the seiryô (totalitarian Church founded by Artorius) are formidable opponents and have close ties with some of your characters. Those characters have a sort of powerful aura in them, a charisma not especially coming from their “wickedness” but more more in their strong beliefs and the honor they put in them.

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Your party won’t disappoint either, because as always BandaiNamco’s character design team makes an amazing work to describe and give an unforgettable personality to the heroes. It kinda came as a surprise, but the most fascinating characters has actually been Aizen : the lieutenant of the valorous pirates you’re journeying with is victim of a curse that makes him the most unlucky person in the world. Every time he casts his coin representing the goddess on one side and the reaper on the other side, he gets the reaper side! The famous skits of the series are of course back and they’re full of hilarious joke often related to his bad luck. Besides, the way he corresponds with Edna through letters is extremely fun too, but also touching when you know what fate awaits the brother and sister.

The battle system is a variant of the one seen in Tales of Zestiria : we’re still in real time and the action is still based on dodging. L1 is used to enter defensive state and trigger sidestepping and such, so as to replace yourself when attacking. By default, the character moves freely on the battle zone, so he can escape danger more easily. This time, X, Δ, O and all have one unique combo or magic. For example, Velvet performs a kick combo of fire element on O while while X makes her draws her hidden blade. Eleanor has a more hybrid attack style, composed with efficient spear combos and high-end magic. Note that you can modify all those combos anytime by inserting the skills you prefers to any of the buttons. You’re not even forced to stay on the same buttons : you can mix them to create further combo combinations.

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The general architecture of battle too is close to Zestiria’s. There’s something called Soul gauge divided between small blue spots that sets the number of hits you can chain. Above this number, the gauge turns red and you may get countered. You therefore have to keep a minimum «stock» of blows at all times. The maximum level of Soul can go up and down, which might be trouble for the player. You can get Soul points in the following cases : by stunning an enemy, destroying an enemy or picking a small blue square on the battle area (in this later case, they pop if an ally is KO or when you dodge). Precise and reactive players who will manage to keep a high level of Soul at all times and fully enjoy the fight. But if you have less good reflexes, the system is highly punitive.

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I’ve put some thinking into this all long my 72 hours of play, and I keep thinking that the system is not ideal, even more so if you compare to Zestiria or Xillia1&2. It’s certainly exhilarating when you have the upper hand in battle because chaining combos and Breaksoul feels dynamic and awesome, but at the same time it’s really unfair to the player if he makes mistakes because he finds himself lacking Soul. In such case, getting back in the fight is difficult and you often have to wait because you can perform long enough combos. The other downside is the boss battles : while you always have some chance to get back Soul against countless small enemies, it’s however quite rare against a solo boss, who by the way is resistant to stun. As a consequence, the boss fights, which are the pinnacle of any JRPG, here in Tales of Berseria actually are the less exciting ones. BGs are back and are still used to unleash the powerful Mystic Artes, but you need to perform Breaksoul to earn them. So no Soul → no Breaksoul → no Mystic Artes. Worse, you lose BGs when you are KO… a sad vicious circle that makes boss fights almost a chore.

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By pushing R2 longer, you can perform the Breaksoul I’ve been talking about. This is a special ability unique to each character and that adds some strategy to this Tales of. For example, Rokurô can launch a powerful counter after a successful guard on an enemy’s physical attack. Magilou is a nightmare for magical creatures because she can cancel and absorb magic from casting enemies, herself launching a magical counterattack too. Eleanor launches the enemy upwards to follow with an aerial combo. Breaksoul being able to break enemy guard, it is key to victory because opponents are highly liable to defend. Breaksoul also makes you recover HP and BG, but costs a Soul point. The tactical intend of this system is very clear and the swift character changing makes it quite relevant. Note that there sometimes is a second Breaksoul (like Eleanor’s), which heals you even more and allows for longer combos, then ultimately to the amazing 2nd Mystic Artes.

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Velvet will call the demon in her arm to steal a enemy skill. Similarly to Final Fantasy’s Blue Magic, the attack that Velvet will launch depends on the type of enemy encountered. The boss in the video gives a sort of cross-shaped blue flame whereas by «stealing» Ents, Velvet will scratch the ground violently, causing a mini-earthquake. Those powerful skills have cost : Velvet’s HP will gradually diminish when her black hand is deployed.

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The equipment menu is also much like in Tales of Zestiria, but the whole system has totally changed. Now the characters can learn passive skills from the pieces of equipment, provided they keep those on them long enough. Pretty much what you had in Final Fantasy IX for example. Upgrading equipment is a major part of Tales of Berseria’s gameplay : you can dismantle old gear to get raw materials and reinforce new weapons and armor. Each time you upgrade, the piece of equipment receive bonus stats, additional passive skills and greater Soul & BG upper limit.

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In terms of side content, Tales of Berseria has quite a lot in store. First thing, you can send your ship explore far waters. It can come back with new recipes, ingredients or even the much desired swimsuits for your characters. Those may not be extremely pretty compared to the DLC outfits, but at least they’re free. You can also earn “treasures” which are easter eggs to former Tales of games. That said, it’s less compelling than Tales of Zestiria’s “discoveries”.

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Tales of Berseria has a couple of poor mini-games, except for one : it’s a card game very much like the Japanese game koi-koi, made with cards representing former Tales of characters. You draw a card each turn, and you try to regroup them by game or by role. A quite interesting mini-game that reminds us of Tales of Vesperia and Tales of Xillia 2. Another optional event, “dangerous” battles (when you encounter two enemy symbols at once) sometimes lead to even more dangerous fight featuring rare monsters. The game also contains hidden islands interesting in one particular aspect : that’s the only place where you will be able to use your PS4 share. BandaiNamco unfortunately keeps that retarded mentality of denying player the ability of sharing their experience of the main story.

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Finally each character has his/her own sidequest in which you’ll have to revisit every town and every dungeon. Rokurô continues his quest for power by chasing powerful beasts, Magilou will organize comic performances, Laphicet tries to make a legendary elixir, Aizen is looking for present for Edna… More amazing still, Millia and Jude from Tales of Xillia will infiltrate Velvet’s world in a rather surprising form!

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Exploration is a little disappointment in Tales of Berseria. Level design is nothing special, and dungeons are significantly less interesting than Tales of Zestiria’s. Only one had you solve a real puzzle to advance, the only one that made exploration a little exciting. Graphically too, there’s no revolution in sight : still developing on PS3 at the same time, BandaiNamco keeps a worn out 3D engine. Characters still get beautiful models, animations and moves are precise and lively, but the environment around you looks mediocre at best. Dungeons in particular are seriously bland, and are direct copies of what we’ve seen in Tales of Zestiria. Only advantage of this new Tales of, teleport bottles can get you into town in a flash.

To conclude, still a fascinating Tales of to experience despite the somewhat flattish main story. Scenario structure, direction, cutscenes, characters and sidequests enrich the game experience more than enough to spend long hours of play. I still consider it a little less good than Tales of Zestiria because the battle system is not perfect and exploring not as interesting.

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A look back at some E3 2016 videos

Fate Tamamo

Nier Automata (PS4)

Not such a good a trailer, because it’s ill-paced somewhat. That said it does show a bit of exploration. Which surprised me to be honest, I thought that it would be a «corridor» game of sorts. I was obviously wrong about that. There are a few seconds of battle, but very valuable seconds! It’s ultra fast, super thrilling, you have to dodge countless stuff, the boss design is wild and… well, please this release quickly, SE.

Battlefield 1 (PS4/XB1/PC)

As usual another masterpiece of a trailer from DICE. Immediately in the flames of war by the scene inside the tank, Battlefield 1 is showing off its dream-like 3D engine to make World War more real than any documentary. The violence and the fury of combat is breathtaking . It was by far the best-looking game of E3, and the choice of a lesser known era really gives the sensation to experience something new.

Fate Extella (PS4/PSVita)

Although I only know the Fate IP by watching Ilya, this new beat’em all by Marvelous has my interest for the extraordinary quality of the action. The number of foes is seriously impressive, more than in any Warriors game. The combos are quite flashy and lavish in their colors and large moves.

Tales of Berseria (PS4/PC)

My hypometer rose a bit further after this trailer. The narrative seems very dark and you can sense strong hatred and rivalries already : two things that generally lead to great JRPGs. Velvet is such a awesome character, Namco’s Lighting I’d daresay since she seems to have every possible quality you’d expect from a female lead, including a well-chosen voice actress. The general design split between holy, darkness and burlesque makes a great artistic touch even though the 3D engine looks quite worn off.

Gravity Daze 2 (PS4)

Despite my anger towards the fact that it’s not coming to Vita, I have to admit that Gravity Daze 2 looks more beautiful and richer each passing day on home console. This trailer show how much SCEJ is serious about this : the town is extremely lively, full of colors and the particle effects get sharper each time the game is shown. It’s pretty that it looks exactly like a live comic. I thought the kinda vintage music was very clever too. The framerate does show some weaknesses so we’ll have to wait for a future build, but I think I can can at last put my frustration behind me.

Review – Tales of Zestiria

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Not so easy to come after super great RPGs like Tales of Xillia 1&2. Even more difficult to come after having made the headlines of scandal sheets. It will be therefore necessary to be through-fully objective to appreciate Tales of Zestiria in its true self.

Zestiria’s storyline is not that complex. With this episode, the series is back to an old-fashioned narrative like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest back in the day. Fire/Water/Earth/Wind temples are also back to the party, a truly sensitive tribute to the RPGs of the 90’s/2000’s. The world of Zestiria is divided, as always, between to separate location and tribes. The human world is dying, plagued by illness, conspiration and war. The Tenzoku, eternal spirits, have long given up on humans and live hidden on the top of the world. Sorey, only human to live among the Tenzoku, will eventually go back to his native land following his random encounter with princess Alicia. He will become the “Sheperd”, legendary warrior who appear once a generation to drive off evil and bring peace.

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Despite relying on a worn-out opposition between Good and Evil, Tales of Zestiria achieves a great narrative thanks to a genius direction, contrary to competing RPGs that sacrifice that aspect to artificially expand their surface and length. Tales of Zestiria also renews its interest by a flurry of mini-stories often dark and pretty hard because purposely avoiding happy end. The game is in this way quite mature and shows the dark side of human society without unnecessary optimism. On the other hand, this latest installment entertains as much as ever by its comical cut-scenes, Edna probably being the mood maker of the year. This gothic lolita Tenzoku keeps teasing her comrades in an always hilarious fashion.

Nevertheless, Tales of Zestiria kinda lacks clarity in its story in general : too conceptual, it might lose the player in its late stages. But this is not the biggest issue because early in the game, the story ousts an important character to be replaced by another. This is a big blunder of porducer Hideo Baba, because the transition is extremely awkward. You feel like a second game is put onto the first one. A malaise hardly fixed by the (free) DLC chapter which is everything but fascinating story-wise.

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In terms of gameplay, it’s once again a success. Your team is composed of Sorey, Rose and 4 Tenzoku. You can play each of them alone in a system close to Tales of Graces F : combos of 3 or 4 successive skills at the end of which you can add a magic spell. The big thing is that the longer the combo, the quicker you can launch the magic. This drives the player into taking risks in shifting all the time between magic and physical attacks. It’s actually the same system as Tales of Graces F, but 20 times faster! More than ever, battles relies on dexterity and dodging. All the pleasure involves seeking the small opening in the massive enemy attacks. 2 tenths of second before, it’s too early, 2 tenths of second after, you’re dead. It’s even more intense than before, because the player is required to be 120% focused to cope with the high speed and the short decision time. Big drawback though, the camera goes totally wild indoors and very often makes you blind. It doesn’t ruin the game in a whole, but it’s definitely frustrating.

Sorey and Rose can merge with one of the Tenzoku and take an angel-like form gifted with the powers of the Tenzoku‘s element. Combining forces with Laila provides a giant fire blade while Mikurio gives its partner a water bow, etc. This form, called Kamui, is a lot more powerful than an individual character and can be used by consuming BG (blast gauge points, which gradually regenerate). On the other hand, it reduces the number of characters on the field and thus your possibilities of support. Furthermore, the defeat of a Kamui leaves both characters KO, so you have to be extra-careful. Better designed than others, Tales of Zestiria features a truly efficient healing system aimed at ensuring a rapid flow of battle. The Kamui has a personal healing spell (but it costs one BG) but more importantly, Sorey and Rose can be resurrected as long as there’s at least one Tenzoku with BG. Eternal spirits, the Tenzoku revive themselves naturally after sometimes in the back. You can therefore stay in battle in seamless fashion if you’re nimble enough to avoid the enemy’s formidable offensive, life bottles and other healing items having nearly become… obsolete!

A Kamui must use its BG wisely. Adding the above mentioned healing spell, it has two offensive capabilities after the base combo. The first one is an additional blow far more powerful than average (1BG), the second one being no other than the famous 秘奥義, supreme attack that can do tens of thousands HP damage! Each individual character has its own, but a a far lesser scale. The Kamui are extremely enjoyable : any of its attacks is impressive to play and to watch. Let’s also stress that Tales of Zestiria benefits from an amazing sound environment. In a Kamui for example, both characters speak at theme same time and it gives a tremendous to the action. Japanese budding is no less good and the soundtrack is beautiful. Town music is very entertaining and dungeon themes are even better. The battle theme Zavida the Exile is one of the best I’ve heard this year.

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I keep seeing the word “open-world” associated to Tales of Zestiria… No, the series does NOT jump in the open world trend with this episode. We have to stop thinking there’s an open world every time we see a hectare of grass! It’s no more open world than Xillia, Vesperia, Symphonia or any other for that matters. The progression is pretty classic with areas unlocked one after another. It is even fairly linear at the beginning, nearly upsetting because the mini-map showing every little objective can’t be deactivated. Fortunately, later the game stops pointing the way and gives only hints to complete the sidequests, which are not side content since you have to clear all of them. Dungeons are quite large and complex : two of them nearly toasted my brain. The inventory system is deep and hooking : every weapon, armor or accessory have passive skills attached to them, and combination of skills provide more skills. You can also merge equipments at the smith’s, it’s endless if you go through it with precision. Another good point for Zestiria’s gameplay which has both variety and quality.

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Only the PS3 version is available in Japan and I wonder why : this old-gen version lacks polish and textures aren’t good. You can even see pixelation on the characters if you’re close to the screen! Xillia’s 3D engine is clearly derelict at this point. Even though the design of some towns are plains are cool, it’s rare to impressed by Zestiria’s graphics. The game actually focuses on the main characters, whose animation is flawless and lively, which guarantees attractive battle action and nice cut-scenes. I’ve had a hard time playing without my PS4share, all the more difficult that the screencap option via the XMB of the PS3 has vanished without any reason.

Tales of Zestiria’s case show that people and observers need some hindsight before jumping to conclusions. Because beyond the dramatic headlines and the senseless contempt, you find rich JRPG, well-designed and bearer of amazing battle system.

Most anticipated games for 2015

Dragon Quest Heroes (PS4)

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After years of low ambition, the Dragon Quest series is finally back on Playstation with a beat’em-all developed by no other than Omega Force. First DQ boasting actual technical prowess since DQVIII, Dragon Quest Heroes ressucitates heroes of the past on PS4 on a most stunning fashion. Another important thing, DQ will talk to you for the first time and the presence of renowned voice actors for this spin-off is a small revolution. And as (almost) always in this type of game, online coop’ will make it even more enjoyable.

Senran Kagura Estival Versus (PSVita/PS4)

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Difficult to stay in one place given the growing hype at each new series of screenshots. It is now clear that producer Takaki intends to use as much power he can from the PS4, not simply upscale the 3D engine from Shinobi Versus. The alpha version of Estival Versus is already a lot more expressive than Shinobi Versus. Add to this several new characters, more narrative and a multiplayer mode up to 10 fighters, and you easily find out what I will do first when I set foot in Japan in April.

Hyperdimension Neptune V-II (PS4)

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With great remakes and yummy spin-off we waited, but now is the time to enter the following of the canon story of Hyperdimension Neptune on PS4. That said, numerous articles in the Dengeki didn’t reveal much, except the downright kawaii goddess form of Uzume, absolute opposite of her cool behavior in human form.

Bloodborne (PS4)

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Is it really necessary to further introduce Bloodborne? Everything or so has been said on this PS4 exclusive that makes the entire world shiver. This action game and its oppressing atmosphere lets us expect hours of bloody pleasure in the dark.

Metal Gear Solid V (PS4)

Ground Zeroes didn’t tell as much as I expected in terms of story. We’re therefore more or less still at the starting point today. We do know however that The Phantom Pain will be considerably larger an richer than any Metal Gear to date, which reason enough to be impatient.

Tales of Zestiria (PS3)

Can Zestiria make the revolution like Xillia did before him? There’s hoping that, but it will be difficult and I’m waiting for Zesty rather placidly, just for Edna actually.

Makai Trillion (PSVita)

Definitely my most anticipated Vita game this year. The character design is absolutely unbeatable, 3D modeling excellent, storyline wack as I like them… Screens of the UI recently surfaced in the Dengeki and let imagine a new type of gameplay mixing dating and time managment.

Final Fantasy XV (PS4)

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I’m waiting for FFXV in both hope and anguish. Bad news (only Noctis playable, no female party member) cast a shadow on the impressive trailers, the gorgeous graphics and its immense-looking world. I don’t know how this will end, but it will be interesting to see how the situation evolves.

Also on my shopping list : Final Fantasy Type-0 (PS4), Great Ace Attorney (3DS), Sword Art Online Lost Song (PSVita), God Eater 2 Rage Burst (PS4), Grim Fandango (PSVita), Dead of Alive Last Round (PS4), The Division (PS4), Xenoblade Cross (WiiU), IA/VT Colourful (PSVita) and Fairy Fencer F Advent Dark Force (PS4).

Review – Tales of Xillia 2

Following the tremendous success of Tales of Xillia in Japan, Namco just couldn’t miss the opportunity to make a direct sequel. Thus, the game re-uses a lot of the existing assets (3D engine, backgrounds, character animations). But with Tales of Xillia as basis, Tales of Xillia 2 (ToX2) is on good track and tackles the difficult mission to outshine its predecessor.

ToX2 follows the story of Ludger, a cook thrown into a terrorist attack. During this unexpected event, he will meet Dr. Jude and a little girl asking him to lead her to the land of Canaan so as to find her father. More than a mere sequel, the scenario of ToX2 takes a totally different path, ToX events being only hinted at during sidequests. Therefore, ToX2 looks as new as would be a brand new entry in the series, with rather bizarre additions on the top of it.

Unlucky as always, our poor Ludger quickly ends up indebted. One of your objectives at the beginning of the game will be to lower your debt level. Let’s be honest here, that’s wasn’t interesting in any way : there is no time limit or anything that would put pressure on you and give some intensity to the whole thing. It would have been a plus if the player was perfectly free to reimburse when he wants, also with a little more impact on the story than unlocking new zones. Not only that, but it ends up being nearly as annoying as paying back credit in real life. The girl from the bank asks you money every 5 minutes, sometimes after every fight or every screen or when you find 2 gald on the ground. No big consequence on the general quality of the game, but that’s definitely something we could have done without.

That won’t ruin the pleasure to dive in Xillia’s universe one more time, and especially what has proven to be the most dynamic, the most spectacular, the most intuitive battle system of the series. I could tell you more about it, but it’s all written here. So let’s speak of what changed. First of all, Ludger is played very differently from the other characters : he can equip 3 types of weapons (pistols, hammer and blades) and switch between them in the fight simply by pressing button. The logic is that beyond traditional elemental strengths/ weaknesses, the kind of weapon you’re attacking with has an influence on the efficiency of your assault. That said, I’m not very comfortable with this system because it makes joint attacks harder to trigger. Besides, Ludger has the immense advantage of being able to transform and become more several times more powerful and invincible for a few seconds. This capacity of his is controlled by a gauge that fills fairly quickly, so don’t hold back using it.

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I must stress that Gaius and Myuse come to be playable characters in this sequel. Not only were they likable «villains», but they are also incredibly fun to play. Gaius, who reminds me lot of Sephiroth with its long katana, uses a lot of counters and Myuse has to ability to teleport herself behind enemies. Special attacks have been reinforced a lot, so all this brings a breath of fresh air to combat. You can switch between your characters in a fight, but the game decides on your party in main chapters, which is lame. The difficulty can still be switched anytime too, for maximum comfort.

The side parts have been re-tought and enriched. There’s now a clear separation between guild quests (hunting, items to fetch, Giganto monsters, NPC errands) and all your party members’ stories, which are divided in several episodes. Those long parallel scenarios that progress throughout the whole game, give more depth to Xillia’s characters and are different enough from the main story to provide some change of pace. Add to this mini games like searching for all the cats in the game (that you can later use to fetch items, see gameplay video above) and poker like in Tales of Vesperia. There’s even more to do than in Tales of Xillia, which lasted me 70h. A shame every quest is centralized and guided though, it’s more fun when you discover them on the go like in Xillia 1. Also, I was annoyed by the fact that trophy challenges have been made 3 times longer. ToX trophies already weren’t short to obtain, but now it’s become a real pain.

It’s in story-telling that ToX2 completely trenscends its predecessor. While ToX coud feel flat (at least in the first half), ToX2 takes great care in spreading mysteries and keeping suspense at every possible level. The story brings constantly new surprises and number of scenes are as stunning as in Xenoblade for example. The music takes the best of ToX while adding very good melodies, is used in the best possible way. Ludger has no personality of his own (he doesn’t tell anything), which is a deliberate choice to have the player decide on story branches. Even if most of choices you make a little more importance than improving your friend level with your companions, at the end of the game they will decide on which epilogue you will get. The final scene is so emotionally packed that I threw a controller across the room for the first time in my life : I had chosen the «bad» end.

Excluding the indebtment delirium that you’ll forget about very quickly, Tales of Xillia 2 as every quality of a great JRPG. By adding what Xillia lacked when Xillia itself was already exceptional, it easily ranks among the best JRPGs of the PS3 generation, if not at the top of it.

Those are the E3 2014 games you need to see

No Man's Sky

Project Diva F 2nd (PSVita/PS3)

Already confirmed for the West, Project Diva 2nd is in Sega’s luggage for this E3 2014. Without many big Japanese games on the showfloor, Hatsune Miku will only shine more in this episode coming just after the monumental Project Diva F. The game is composed of a half of returning songs from Project Diva 2nd remade with the extraordinary elegance, charm and dynamism that marks the F arch, and half of new entrants some of which are downright masterpieces (Yubikiri, Meteo and Ni Soku Hokô being the greatest imo). I’ve already finished it and even if it’s quite more complicated in its general approach, it comes easily in my top 3 games of this first half of 2014.

No Man’s Sky (PS4)

Clearly the most exciting and impressive title of this E3. No Man’s Sky makes you want to dive into it right away after this trailer and its awesome music. In this indy game developed by only 4 people, you start from a random place in a distant galaxy, and have to pioneer the land while at the same time being drawn in galactic war. Obviously inspired by Star Wars, No Man’s Sky will have players starting in different locations so that the odyssey is never the same.  

Tales of Hearts R (PSVita)

You asked for it? Namco did it. The second Tales of of the PSVita comes to our shores in winter 2015. I played the demo and the gameplay has definitely been modernized compared to older Tales, but graphics appear just decent. A little known Tales of to discover.

Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3)

I can tell you about Tales of Xillia 2 since I finished last year. And I’ll tell you this : the gigantic content, the dense story, the dark atmosphere, the awesome characters, the always neat battle system, the multiple endings, the heartbraking emotions make it one of the top JRPGs of last generation.

Final Fantasy Type-0 (PS4/X1)

SquareEnix waited two entire days before announcing it. I was believing so much in it that I had made it my dearest E3 wish. On Tuesday afternoon I begun to lose hope, the I could sense the dark side growing inside myself, but the fateful tweet came! Atypical Final Fantasy that I had the chance to play on PSP, Type-0 was unbalanced but its great qualities became beautiful memories with time. And with it being remade/remastered for PS4 and XboxOne, those little drawbacks might well be fixed.