Hello again my wonderful readers! I hope you’re enjoying your April, and your otaku diet as well. Aside from Tales of Xillia 2, I finally beat Infamous: Second Son and am now getting to Batman: Arkham Knight, which is one of my favorite franchises (I’ve beaten the other three games). As I get along with Tales of Xillia 2, I’m hoping to come to its conclusion as I’m getting closer to finding the Land of Canaan and fighting the final boss. Of course, the game could pull a 180 on me and make go much longer, but it’s not like this series to do that so I’m not expecting it. I am not spending tons of time on the side quests like collecting cats, beating every job, or maxing out my skills.
One thing I did notice, though, is that every time a main quest or character side-quest is taken on, Ludger either needs support or lends a hand. You can usually choose to be rude and not support the character, but where’s the fun in that? This led me to see that Ludger can accomplish nothing alone. Since the beginning of the game, when you first meet up with Jude, the main character of the first game, you need help to progress. The other characters are a little reluctant to associate with Ludger, as they don’t know him, but as you assist them in their own personal problems, they warm up and consider you a part of their team.
Just as much as they join your party, you are joining theirs. Jude, Alvin, Elize, Leia and the others worked together to save both worlds from destruction, so they are allowing him to be part of their circle as he is allowing them in his own. Even though you have your own issues to deal with, like hunting down Julius or shutting down fractured dimensions, together is how they defeat every boss and solve every problem. No matter what they face, Ludger relies on his friends individually or all at once.
There are character chapters throughout the story that are optional. Every time you complete a main chapter, these sub-quests are available on the world map as an exclamation point. You join two other characters that cannot be swapped out for other ones, and you help them fix whatever they need. For example. one might be in search of a super rare doll for a friend, while another wants help in cooking or research. You don’t have to do any of these to finish the game, but you get to know the characters better, grow affinity with them which helps your relationships grow, and you get skills or items you can only earn that way.
Whenever I play JRPGs, everything has to do with several characters being in a party and acting like a small family. They eat, travel, fight, argue or fall in love with one another. Regardless of the franchise, this is a common theme, and I believe it’s because of its Japanese cultural roots. Here in America, it is highly emphasized to be an individual: grow your own business, start your own family and do everything that makes you happy. Those outside of this individualistic lifestyle live life thinking about the needs of others, whether it’s their school peers, company or immediate family. It’s not about you, but about them. There are pros and cons to both methods, of course, but the point is that Ludger can swing both ways. You can have him act very American (read: individualistic), or have him partake in the burdens of others.
Western RPGs are often all about the one (or two) man army, guns blazing, shooting first and asking questions later. Who cares about anyone else, because the protagonist has a job to do and he’s going to get it done no matter what comes his/her way. Tales of Xillia 2 can’t be won that way, nor fully enjoyed, since Ludger needs his friends. You link with them in battle, or dialogue with them throughout the journey, and just like real life, it would be boring to do everything alone. Personally, when I think about my own life, it’s pretty boring if I embark on a new quest alone. It can be a new job, finding a new church, traveling, going to a fun event or anything like that, I would prefer to be joined by friends and family during it all.
There are times when I like just being by myself, and playing video games is one (unless it’s a get-together with other gamers!) and reading a book is another. Even writing these articles, I prefer to be in a room where it’s quiet and comfortable. I don’t believe that people fit in purely being introverts or extroverts, as sometimes we want to be alone while other times we want to talk to others. Maybe it’s not face-to-face, but even if you’re communicating online or via text messages, it still counts as socializing. There are situations in our lives where we can’t get through it alone. God always has someone who will help us carry the load, give wisdom, money, or whatever it is we need. If I am ever stuck in an area in my life, I know that I need to start looking for guidance from others or resources to help, because I will never continue without it.
What situations have you needed others to aid you in? What did they do to support you and get you through it? It could have been a big or small situation, regardless, please share so we can all learn from it! God bless.