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Review: Tokyo Xanadu (PS Vita)



Review: Tokyo Xanadu (PS Vita)


Tokyo Xanadu is a traditional jRPG action dealing with the topic of “urban legends” on the still-lively PS Vita. The game was created by a famous Japanese studio Nihon Falcom and although it does not bring much new to the genre, would you like to play a production that combines elements of such series as Persona, Legend of Heroes whether YS?

Share Tokyo Xanadu takes place in modern times, and more precisely in 2015. We move to one of the fictional suburbs of the Japanese capital, formerly a separate city of Morimiya City. As often happens in this type of productions, the main character is a high school student who lives alone, here named Kou Tokisaka. Fortunately, this time it is not an exaggerated figure, but a slightly gruff, but quite ordinary teenager, leading a normal social life, earning a modest pocket money in the evenings. One day, returning from work, he sees his classmate Asuka Hiiragi walking through a mysterious gate into an alternate world full of demons. This phenomenon, called Eclipse, is visible only to a select few, and Hiiragi belongs to the Nemesis organization that investigates the mysteries of these dark dimensions. When Kou’s friends fall victim to Eclipse, he too, wielding a magical weapon, has to fight alongside the girl.

Unlike other titles Falcom, the plot is not too fancy this time, but it is also difficult to find any weaknesses in it. Simply good artisanal work, although the story swells to borrowings from the Persona series and related titles. Of course, this should not be treated as a disadvantage, but it lacks a specific atmosphere or other distinguishing feature that would allow the story to stand out above what we already know from many other productions. Nevertheless, the twists are acceptable, the pace of the events is appropriate, and the main and side characters are also enjoyable despite the lack of originality on the subject. We can find here the counterparts of Chie and Kanji from People 4 or the almost male incarnation of Futaba z Persons 5. Oh, again, a group of high school students saving the world from evil forces will give us an interesting and pleasant adventure, although without fireworks or moments that could stay in our memory for longer. However, fans of the games of the aforementioned developer will be the most pleased, because a large number of flavors and references have been prepared for them.

As for the visual level, the game runs on the same engine as Dylogy The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel with cosmetic tweaks. Considering that we are dealing with a small screen, the graphics look pretty good. Morimiya offers a variety of richly detailed locations with equally well-designed 3D character models. Each of Morimiya’s districts has its own atmosphere, depicting Tokyo in miniature, from the representative shopping district to the relics of Western urbanism from the 1920s with quiet cafes and antique shops. There are also places with traditional wooden buildings. Of course, there is also a school building, with a layout known from other titles on a similar theme. It is a bit worse visited dungeons, which are often monotonous and empty, but I understand graphic designers who focused on the smoothness of fights rather than visual sensations. The monster slash itself may not be spectacular, but the animations of special attacks and other abilities make up for it. While the tooth of time is already creeping in, no one should turn their nose at the visuals.

When it comes to the sound, it’s hard to find fault here, apart from (again) lack of originality. All the melodies bring to mind series such as Person whether Legend of Heroes, but it’s hard to hear something characteristic only for Tokyo Xanadu. Even so, all the sounds are of high quality and are catchy, although JDK has created better pieces of music in their career. We hear the voices of the characters a lot and they are left in the Japanese original, but I have some objections to the English translation. Seemingly everything is fine, but when you read the text, you feel that it lacks a bit of life, which makes some of the dialogues sound simply numb.

The game consists of two different parts. The first is the exploration of the school and the city, during which we establish and improve relations with numerous friends, we perform as in Cold Steel commissioned main and side missions, and in the meantime we are getting ready for the upcoming battle. Then we also discover the most plot intricacies as well as the secrets and concerns of our friends. The second part is arcade clashes in the dungeons of the world known as “Underworld”. They are a bit like the struggles from the last installments of the YS series, so we run left and right, washing creatures from h**l. There is no big philosophy here – one button is for the normal attack, the other for the special attack. In addition, our characters can, after punching the appropriate stripes, use murderous combos or combined attacks.

You need to know that the main character takes two people to fight (one of them acts as a support), between whom he quickly switches when needed. Anyway, the game forces such changes, because the opponents are always sensitive to one of the elements that use the weapons of our characters, so frequent changes of soldiers are more than recommended. The battles are quick and a lot of fun, but the arcade fun model slightly lowers the level of challenge, so the game is compared to other productions Falcom it is quite easy. On the other hand, battles with giant bosses make up for this inconvenience. As for the development of heroes, in addition to the usual advancement through experience points, a modified ARCUS system from LoHs has been implemented, i.e. we push special gems and other rubbish found in dungeons to the mobile phone to increase our statistics. Moreover, Kou, a model Persons 3, has three virtues developed through his leisure decisions, and a certain level of them is necessary to bring up some of the events concerning our friends.

Tokyo Xanadu is a title intended mainly for fans of the company’s productions Falcom due to the multitude of references to their earlier productions. For others, it will be one of the many good, but not overwhelming jRPGs for PS Vita. Nevertheless, it is worth having the game in your collection, as long as you do not have more urgent purchases.