Tokyo Xanadu was the first Xanadu game that I ever had a chance to play, and like most JRPGS I’m unfamiliar with, I went into the game with very few expectations. I simply expected to play a game with decent gameplay, alright characters, and a passable story. What I ended up getting was a game that lacked any sort of originality, any likable characters, any interesting story, and any sort of rewarding gameplay. That is not to say that this game is outright bad; unfortunately, this game is so bland that it doesn’t even have the opportunity to be bad. In fact, I will go as far as to say that Tokyo Xanadu might be the blandest JRPG that I have played in about a decade, which really surprised me because this is the same studio that brings us the Legend of Heroes and Ys games.
The story of Tokyo Xanadu is so uninspired that I started to just lose interest during cutscenes about 20 hours or so into the game. I would just put down the VITA and leave the room or go grab something out of the fridge. Without getting into too many spoilers, Tokyo Xanadu takes place in a fictional city called “Morimiya City” and the story is centered around a group of high school students who team up to try to fight against a mysterious force called the “Eclipse.”
The Xanadu games use an action combat system mixed with dungeon crawling. Honestly, if I could compare the combat, it’s more fast paced, and more in depth Dark Cloud. You run around inside dungeons where you fight monsters by mashing attacks until monsters are dead. You have both melee and ranged attacks, as well as special abilities like super moves. It was about five hours into the game that I realized the gameplay is just button mashing as there is no real combo system, and as I said there are special abilities, but they are so unnecessary. One of the game’s attempts at depth is an element system where each enemy has an element and you can use characters who have a certain element to defeat it faster, but again, it’s not really necessary. The party size is three people, who you can switch around playing as on the fly; I pretty much just stuck with using the first three party members when I could, but you can mix and match to use whoever you were comfortable with. Not that it even matters, because the combat was the least of Tokyo Xanadu‘s problems.
Tokyo Xanadu was reviewed on PlayStation Vita with a code provided by the publisher.
Tokyo Xanadu feels shallow and lacks any sort of motivation. In a time when JRPGs are in the middle of a proper renaissance, there is nothing about Tokyo Xanadu that stands apart from any other game in the genre, or even past games from Falcom.
- Well Done Music
- Easy To Understand Mechanics
- Unlikable Characters
- Shallow Gameplay
- Slow Story Pacing