If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like remasters and re-releases you should probably watch out – this one’s coming less than a year after the game’s initial release! Tokyo Xanadu was a pretty decent action-RPG that was let down by its place on the ever-aging PS Vita. With Tokyo Xanadu eX+, it’s found a new home on the PlayStation 4 and Steam and these environs prove to be quite a bit more hospitable.
The basic idea remains the same as the original version: Kou is your everyday high school student who gets drawn into a secret world of clandestine societies and supernatural events. The Earth we know is being pervaded by the Eclipse, a mysterious phenomenon that draws people into another dimension where they’re set upon by monsters known as Greed; only Wielders of magic weapons called Soul Devices are able to fight the Greed and stop the Eclipse. It’s up to Kou, his classmate Asuka (who’s secretly a member of a secret society called Nemesis) and others that join up along the way to keep their friends, their town and the world safe from the Eclipse.
If that sounds somewhat similar to Persona, you’ve got the idea! The two titles have a lot in common; that’s not surprising given the many Persona clones that have popped up since Persona 3 took off like wildfire. New to this version of Tokyo Xanadu are side chapters featuring White Shroud, a mysterious character with their own motivations that goes through different dungeons and adventures from the main cast. These are a great touch, allowing players a taste of a more powerful character long before they’re able to raise their main cast to such heights.
Gameplay-wise there have been a few tweaks here and there, generally making Tokyo Xanadu eX+ a more difficult experience than the original release. There’s still a significant focus on matching your characters to foes’ elemental weaknesses to deal the most damage and get the most loot possible. Further, there are new EX Skills that are useful for taking out large numbers of targets at once. Success in combat yields money and materials that can be used to improve characters via an upgrade system that owes a lot to the Trials series of Falcom RPGs. The gameplay and combat benefit greatly from the improved framerate on PS4 as well; it feels like this was a game made for 60FPS.
That’s the most significant graphical upgrade as well, though don’t take that as a criticism – the improved, smoother framerate makes every aspect of this game much more pleasant. Tokyo Xanadu fares well with on its new platform, though as before, Falcom fans will notice reused assets from previous Falcom title Trails of Cold Steel. Asset reuse isn’t the end of the world or anything and the cohesive style used throughout the game ensures that this is a visual treat.
If you haven’t played Tokyo Xanadu yet then there’s no question that this is the version you want. Fans of the more modern Ys games in particular shouldn’t miss Tokyo Xanadu eX+ – it’s clearly got plenty of love and polish baked in. This improved release means that you’re able to focus on that rather than the Vita’s questionable framerate. That’s a drastic step up all around.