How did Tales of Xillia 2 do in some big-name website reviews? Pretty great, actually.
Starting this off with IGN, Tales of Xillia 2 receives an 8.0. Though Xillia 2 is visually pretty much the same as Tales of Xillia, IGN mentions that the game is a whole new game on its own, with dozens of features to keep you playing for a while longer than you thought you would.
GameTrailers gives the game a 7.6, praising the game's expansive, branching story and intense combat, but again points out the virtually no change in terms of graphics. They seem to have enjoyed the game's narrative more than anything else.
The people over at PushSquare gives the game an 8/10. To directly quote them, "Several unnecessary complexities may hold the sequel back for some, but the strong story, engaging battle system, and brilliant character development should appeal to both casual and hardcore JRPG fans alike."
Metro UK gives the game a measly 5/10, pointing out that the game has too much recycled content from Xillia, the debt mechanic being nothing but irritating, progression being more linear and character customization being more simplified (the Allium Orb, I believe). They still praise the game for having one of the best battle systems across other JRPGs, though.
EuroGamer gives Xillia 2 a 7/10. To quote, "It's not an essential sequel, but it has bags of charm, a fascinating combat system and a storyline that manages to feel noticeably different to its genre peers. But it's also constructed and paced in such a way that its best features take too long to become apparent or are buried underneath mindless busywork. If you played through Tales of Xillia, this is an interesting but rather lumpy postscript to that adventure, but if you've never played a Tales game, this isn't the one to start with."
So far, Tales of Xillia 2 is doing pretty good with reviews across the board. Most of the reviews question the need to make Ludger "mute" during the first playthrough when his voices could have just been added on the get go.
Are you guys enjoying your copies of Xillia 2, as well?