Game Commentary: Tokyo Xanadu eX+

Tokyo Xanadu eX+ is the second game of Nihon Falcom that I've played. I know, I'm pretty slow but hey, they've only recently begun their remasters and ports. Coming off from the wonderfully fantastic Trails of Cold Steel, I was salivating for more of that wholesome-cliche-highschool-JRPG goodness that Falcom seems to understand and deliver on. I cannot say I was disappointed when Tokyo Xanadu eX+ popped into view. I didn't actually know this was coming out so soon but I bought it a day after it did come out (when I found out it was released).

Tokyo Xanadu eX+ is a remaster of the original Tokyo Xanadu with added side stories, playable characters, items and quests and even an extra story arc. Of course, to me, it doesn't matter. It feels different and new regardless but much like Trails, I believe it's quite fortunate for me to be experiencing the better version from the get-go rather than the original.

There are two parts to this game; the highschool gameplay and the dungeon crawling. The highschool gameplay portion plays exactly like Trails with the game giving you time to explore all the side characters and stores and spend 'free time' slot points to interact with the more involving characters of the story. Doing so will boost their capabilities in combat but also allow you to learn more about them. The glossary is again another similar feature with cooking and reading being a constant activity that you'd have to engage in.

The combat gameplay of the game takes place in real time, making it a real time action game. You have dedicated attack, dodge, jump and skill buttons that all intertwine to create a rather upbeat combat style. Initially, the difficulty was a little challenging but not long after, you should be able to browse right through with the right tactical decisions. It takes a bit of time but the combat stays simple throughout, which isn't necessarily a bad thing considering the fun lies in having an active battle system that is both engaging and breathable all the way.

Upgrading characters in the game involves placing gems into slots that are unique to each character which, again, I believe is a staple of Falcom what with Trails having the exact same, albeit better, type of progression system. You get a special sort of skill upgrade system in addition but it isn't too unique to matter too much.

Personally, I would say that the cast of Tokyo Xanadu are not as memorable as those from Trails. This can be attributed to the fact that Tokyo Xanadu features fewer characters with more archetypes whereas Trails feature more characters with fewer archetypes. Whether or not that holds water truly depends on the player but for me, a character like Ryouta add too little to matter and sometimes, the characters feel like caricatures from an anime I've already watched. This detracts from the immersion as when I played Trails, I never once saw anything out of that world; I was utterly absorbed.

That being said however, the main cast holds quite strongly together and well, if you know Falcom, get ready to receive that fuzzy feeling once you finish the game!

In conclusion, I enjoyed my time with Tokyo Xanadu! I very much doubt this isn't part of a series (Xanadu in itself is a Falcom series of its own but I believe Tokyo Xanadu is a reboot/spiritual successor to that series) and only time will show us the next thing Falcom has in store for us. I just hope they'll rush the next few Trails remasters first!

I apologise for comparing this to Trails constantly but it really is too similar to not compare and with the amount of easter eggs in this (like the the ability to play Blade), you can't blame me! Also, for me, Trails is the magnum opus of Falcom and what I want out of their other games would be similar to what I got out of Trails.

Also, we get Towa Kokonoe instead of Towa Herschel! Truly, this is Falcom's answer to Cid


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