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SG Gaming Info’s 2013 Game of the Year

On December 11, 2013 by Aaron Meehan

It has being a great year for gamers with so many wonderful games, but what game will take home the crown of SG Gaming Info’s 2013 Game of the Year?

When it comes to games there are three major categories that I look at: story, characters and combat. Does the game have an interesting and engaging story, are the characters fleshed out and/or developed throughout the game, and does the combat feel intuitive, easy to pick up but difficult to master. This year, so many games have either ticked nearly all the boxes, with the likes of The Last of Us, Assassin’s Creed IV and Beyond: Two Souls. Some games like Call of Duty: Ghosts and Time and Eternity have only managed to only tick one or failed to even tick any.

Now before I announce my game of the year I want to point out that games that I have not played will not be in contention. This includes: Grand Theft Auto 5 and Bioshock Infinite.

SG Gaming Info’s game of the year is

Namco Bandai Games’ PlayStation 3 exclusive Tales of Xillia

Tales of Xillia description

Tales of Xillia follows Jude Mathis, a clever medical student attending school in the capital city, and Milla Maxwell, a mysterious woman accompanied by four unseen beings. Players will be able to choose either Jude or Milla at the outset of their adventure through the world of Rieze Maxia, where humans and spirits live together in harmony. The kingdom of Rashugal has been experimenting with a powerful source that led to draining the mana from the world. Realizing the harm it is inflicting on the world, Jude and Milla set off on a journey to destroy it and restore the mana back to the world.

The reason why Tales of Xillia is my game of the year is quite simple. It ticked all the boxes. It had an interesting and engaging story, well developed characters and a smooth flowing combat.

The game’s story is engaging as the story sucks you into this world where humans and spirits co-exist, and where war could breakout at any moment. The game does a great job of pulling you in and keeping you interested as the story throws up little hints of something greater. I can’t think of any other game that made me go “well this is the final boss I guess I’m done”, and then be proven wrong as the story slowly gives answers to the hints they gave you. Also, at the start of the game you have choice of playing the game through Milla’s or Jude’s perspective. At first you won’t notice a difference between the two perspectives, but there are times when Milla and Jude are separated, and it is at these points you learn and see something unique to the character you picked.

The game’s characters are well developed. When you play the game you feel as if you are growing up with them as they face challenges. When Milla loses the power of the four great spirits you get to see this all powerful character become weak and struggle against what could be considered mundane tasks for a person like her. Even enemies get development, with Gaius who is described to be this evil ruler who wants war being developed into a person who is in fact a caring ruler who does what he does for the sake of his people. What makes the characters great is they aren’t just one dimensional, they aren’t all outright good or outright evil, while some can be put into those boxes, a good number of them are grey, doing what they have to do because they believe their actions are correct.

Lastly there is the combat. Before playing the game I had feared that the combat would be dull and repetitive just like in some other JRPGs, but Tales of Xillia proved me wrong. At first glance the action focused battle system called “Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System” seems a bit over welling with numerous options including artes attacks, linked artes attacks, and the ability to have limited control over an AI controlled character. But all this works surprisingly well with you being able to link up with the press of a button and getting an AI to perform a specific action with the flick of the right analogue stick. Tales of Xillia’s combat is all about speed, it doesn’t like to slow you down by making you go through menus, it makes everything a simple button push away.

These are the three main reasons why Tales of Xillia is my game of the year.

To all those worked on Tales of Xillia, congratulations you made a brilliant game.

If you are interested in buying or learning more about Tales of Xillia, visit http://www.uk.namcobandaigames.eu/product/tales-of-xillia/playstation-3.

Author: Aaron Meehan

Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.

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