Famitsu has opened up their own info site for Tales of Xillia 2. Here are translations on what they have up so far. The mini-site will be having info on the game, some excerpts from the Tales of Xillia -Before Episode- novel and the digest movies that summarize the story of the original Tales of Xillia.
So far, they have info and screenshots of the character CG development by one of the game's CG staff, Mr. Musha Masahiko and the first digest movie for Xillia 1.
As the story of the game is, the main goal for developing the Xillia 2 CG was to make it look more urban or modern.
As an example, for Ludger, who lives in the capital city of Elenpios, Trigraph. The CG team worked closely with character designer Daigo Okumura to make Ludger look to be in full form just standing there. Also, since Ludger transforms into his Corpse Shell mode in the game, the team really wanted the gap between his normal form and that to be really prominent. Though it was someone else within the group who mainly made Ludger's CG, Masahiko-san feels strongly about this work.
We then have Elle, the youngest heroine in the whole series so far. Masahiko-san specializes in the older, taller characters like Rowen, so Elle's was left in charge with someone who specializes in younger, shorter characters. The main aim was to make her this little girl with plump cheeks that exudes cuteness in a unique CG way somewhat different from the usual anime style. They're confident that everyone will love her introduction scene in the game, so look forward to it!
Lulu isn't really a mascot character, but more of just a cat. They had gathered many pictures of real cats from every angle as reference for Lulu and made him cute. Masahiko-san mentions that he too has a cat of his own, so they really gave it their all for this. Though Lulu can't talk nor participate in battle scenes like Tipo does, his chubby self was aimed to feel unique just being in event scenes. Even when Elle decides to play with him or take him, he'll always have this "Oh well, it can't be helped" face.
Jude and the others are also in this game. From one year ago, it seems the one whose image changed the most would probably be Elise's. From that just one year, it's not only her external appearance that's made to look more mature, but also her overall atmosphere. They think that Fujishima's quite obsessed with her, since he asked for various minor yet detailed amendments to her CG design when they did a cross check. Elise's design underwent the most number of changes and amendments, but the work was well worth it for them.
Aside from Elise, Jude was made to look more stylish and Alvin now has his beard. They're not that big of a change from their appearance a year ago, but they hope to deliver the depth of their change in both physical appearance and character properly.
With this game having the whole cast from the previous game, they aimed to not have Ludger and Elle overshadow them, nor did they want the previous party members outshine Ludger.
The first Tales of Xillia digest movie, "Maxwell's Journey", explains a bit about the world of Rieze Maxia and how Jude and Milla first met, along with how they meet the other party characters besides Leia. This might be spoilerish for those who want to wait for the localization.
Tales of Xillia 2 will be released in Japan on November 1, 2012. Pre-orders are now available at the following places. Be quick, pre-orders run out fast!
Tales of Xillia 2 JP Version - Play-Asia | CDJapan | Amiami | YesAsia
Tales of Xillia 2 Asia Version - Play-Asia
Tales of Xillia 2 Famitsu DX Pack - Play-Asia | CDJapan
Tales of Xillia 2 Lalabit Market Kyun Chara Pack - Play-Asia | CDJapan
Tales of Xillia 2 X Edition (w/ PS3 controller) - Play-Asia (all slots currently sold out, check again later) | YesAsia