RV Game Reviews: Tales of Xillia 2




As some of my recent posts may have hinted at, I’ve been playing through Tales of Xillia 2.  This week, I finally finished the main story of the game, clocking in about 90 hours of playtime.  Though the game is several years old, I feel it is still worth reviewing for those who haven’t played the game yet.  Before I begin with my review, I wish to note two things.  One, this review will be comparative to the first game, as the first game bares heavy relevance to this one.  As such, there is some bias to consider in that regard.  Secondly, I want to issue the standard reminder that the points made in this review are mine alone.  If you disagree with them, that’s perfectly okay and to each his own.

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Games and Writing the Silent Protagonist



One of the stranger polarizing issues I’ve come across in the game community is silent protagonists.  Some people love them and think they add to the immersion.  The player is not forced into a character’s dialogue choices, and they can feel more like they are the character due to the silence.  Other people hate them.  They often view it as a developer being lazy, and they also believe that it makes a character very flat since they have no real personality without dialogue to convey it.

This being the case, indie devs and homebrew devs may find themselves in an odd situation.  Should they risk people’s ire and make a silent protagonist, or should they risk a different people’s ire and have their character have spoken dialogue?  This can be a crucial decision when handling the writing of a game.  However, it is my opinion that what matters more is the protagonist is written and executed well, regardless of whether or not they’re silent.  Thus, today I would like to bring to you three questions you can ask yourself before you decide to make your protagonist silent or not.  These will prioritize the quality of the story versus other factors.

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Mechanics Transparency: Tales of Xillia Edition

Twice before on this blog I have discussed having transparent mechanics in games being a good thing.  The first time I addressed GUIs and how they functioned in Subnautica.  In the second post, I addressed the use of enemy waves in Dragon Age II.  Today, I would like to revisit this topic with a different series and specific topic nuance: leveling in Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2.

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