It’s taken me a long time to complete Tales of Xillia 2. I don’t think there was any particular reason other than I found it to be slightly repetitive. I thoroughly enjoyed playing the game, and I fully plan to complete all of the trophies, but after just grinding out Tales of Xillia, even the trophies are a little lack-lustre. There are barely any unique elements to it. Everything to do with the original cast you will have done before in the original game.
That said, I thought it was a nice sequel. I found it nice to revisit everyone and see what they had been up to. The additional cast members from the original game were a tad unexpected, but also showed how things can change in the coming years. Unlike the first one, which I found to be a rather surprising twisty plot, this one was very straight forward. There was maybe one surprise in the entire plot and, even then, I had a sneaky suspicion as to what it would be before the reveal occurred. The bosses were rather similar and the job system, unique and interesting at the start, became a chore by the end.
I’ve played a fair few of the Tales of series. I started out with Vespiria, which I struggled to wrap my head around at the time. Years later I played Graces, the Xillia, with plans to visit Symphonia before Zesiria comes out. As far as rankings go, I’ve found Xillia to be my favourite. Xillia 2 comes in just before Graces I think. I did love some elements of it, but whereas Xillia felt rather unique and kept me interested through practically all the trophy hunting, Xillia 2 has fallen slightly short. It ranks above Graces because the things I enjoyed the most about Xillia were still there (the artes, links etc.) and it had a less annoying story than Graces.
Although this entry seems to suggest that I’m unhappy with how this game is and it did take me a long time to finish the story, keep in mind that I still intend to platinum it. I only do that for games that I’ve enjoyed playing. I find that I want to see all the different endings (there’s five in total) as well as experience the end-game content. There’s trophies for doing all of the different battle titles, which have some unique gameplay elements that I’ve not tried out before. Who knows, maybe by going for 100% completion, I’ll end up finding something new about this game. I don’t doubt that as a possibility at all, there’s probably so much that I’ve not experienced.
In the end, if you enjoy the Tales of Series, you’ll enjoy this entry into it. If you’re new to the series then I’d recommend starting with Tales of Xillia as that’s still my favourite.