Tales of Xillia starts with a lot of positives. A good story in a unique world where we are constantly learning new things and the characters are all great, with MVP honors going to Milla (the female lead) for both being able to act like an alien in human skin (which she is, you'll understand when you play the game) while also getting character development that makes her sympathetic.
The combat is great too. Its both chaotic and strategic and the linking system works great to make things even more chaotic and fun. There's a bit too much grinding but the story kept me engaged enough to not care. Also the Lillium Orb level up system is great too. To put it simply, its the Crystanium from Final Fantasy XIII done right.
At first, Tales of Xillia is truly a great game, an easy 9 and a must-buy for any Tales fan, until I got 31 hours in. 30 hours in there's a great twist that inspires a good character driven set-piece, but almost immediately after that, the story began to slowly fall apart.
Subplots were dropped with no warning at all and the game generated false tension by making other characters act like complete jerks for no reason. The final straw was when the story devolved into a worse version of the final parts of Tales of Symphonia. It felt like the game didn't get as much development time as it needed.
Overall its still a good JRPG and well worth the rent, but I would not recommend buying