In general, the game's music is considered much better than Xillia's, giving a more epic feel to it.
Base-Breaking Character: Fractured Milla is massively split between those who like her, and those who really dislike her.
Milla herself, again, and split into two camps. One camp says she has improved a lot compared to Xillia, the second says she's just as bad as before.
Ludger being a Heroic Mime also caused a split between those who like it, and those who greatly dislike it. There's a third party that like it, but hate that he does not talk the lines out unless you do a New Game+.
Gaius becoming king of Reize Maxia as well being playable has made some fans angry considering he was the Final Boss in the orignal game.
The first fight with Rideaux comes off as this, especially after the brutally hard boss fights against Chronos and Catalyst Muzét immediately beforehand. He's utterly pathetic in comparison to those two, but it's probably intentional, as finally getting to smash his Jerkass face in is a huge Catharsis Factor, with the only possible challenge being a fairly high damage output, speed and frequently causing Bleed status which can be easily circumvented.
Several of the Character Episode bosses also count as they're not as hard as the main story bosses.
Broken Base: The games existance is one. Is it a lazily designed game with a story that suffers from too much Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, or is it a good sequel that is Darker and Edgier while addressing many complaints about the first game and thus is a better game for it? A smaller group exist that like the changes, but dislike that the game is a full priced game, when it comes across as basically an expansion pack.
Captain Obvious Reveal: Elle being Ludger's (future) daughter is made very obvious from the beginning, but is not actually revealed to the party, until very late into the game.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Due to the sheer difficulty of the game, you are more or less required to use Elize for her multi group healing.
Also, despite bosses having weaknessess, you'll more often or not rely on Ludger's hammer due to the combo potential of it, as well as the Link Arte Pillar arte.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: To some players, who think that the Darker and Edgier atmosphere of this game went too far, compared to Xillia. One of the first things to happen in the game, is a train being hijacked by terrorists, everyone on-board being killed and said train being smashed into the newly opened Oscore Plant station. Then the protagonist's brother is officially listed as one of the terrorists, the protagonist himself gets put under fire for this, too, and has a huge debt to pay off, as well. The fact that the story quickly devolves into the Multiverse idea and it's the protagonist's job to enter these Fractured Dimension and destroy them, so that the Prime Dimension can continue to exist, one of these dimensions including an insane version of the protagonist, who killed majority of the party members, and the protagonist (as well as Elle) being close to turning into Divergence Crystals themselves, doesn't help.
Disappointing Last Level: The Land of Canaan, while technically not very long, is incredibly obnoxious to navigate, forcing the player to go through a maze of disappearing platforms and walkways that all look nearly identical on top of being so thin that fighting the montsers there is almost unavoidable. The battles themselves aren't all that hard, but it gets annoying very fast.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Rollo. Lots of people love the fat cat. The fact that Rollo is part of a Link arte takes this even further.
Xillia 2 has no party traitor, until you realize that in the bad end Ludger is the traitor.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In a small sidequest, Gaius names Leia's mother as the only person on his list of people he hopes to never have to fight. He really should have included Ludger in that list.
To make things worse, he's terrified of Sonia Rolando because she describes how she would break him physically. In Elle's fractured dimension he's bedridden and can't even stand, and it's heavily implied to have been caused by that dimension's Ludger.
Teepo remarking that Muzet used to be a psychopath was funny at first, but becomes much less so as her character quests show how isolated she feels because the rest of the party still doesn't trust her.
Harsher in Hindsight: As if the violently protective behavior of Victor, and prime Ludger if you choose wasn't scary and tragic enough, the World Guidance book reveals that Ludger's mother Claudia, who was trying to hide Ludger's existence from Spirius, tried to kill a thirteen year-old Julius when he discovered them by pure chance and she mistakenly thought he was going to take Ludger from her. What makes this sadder is that when Julius came to care for Ludger, he was inadvertently upholding Claudia's wishes that her son wouldn't be involved in the Origin Trial like her late sister, who was Julius' mother.
Ludger's Chew Toy status throughout the game is a great source of amusement for players, even to those who don't like him as the Heroic Mime. Make no mistake though: the burdens, putdowns, and awful truths he has to take on do take a toll on him. On following playthroughs of the game, especially when the Ludger's Voice option is enabled, it's much easier to notice the clues that his mental stability is falling apart in a nonhumorous and downright tragic fashion, especially in later chapters. Some of the drastic choices he's able to makes (choosing Julius/Elle over saving the world, or sacrificing his life to what may be a Fate Worse than Death) make a lot more sense.
Nova's cheerful attitude towards the matter of Luger's debt and her attempts to keep things light start to make a lot of sense once you hear one of the NPCs Duval mention how common suicides by train are because a lot of them couldn't handle the pressure that came with having so much dept. Nova probably fears this might happen to Luger.
The costumes based on other characters from the Tales of series when combined with different character skins allow...interesting◊ combos
Carrying over from the previous game, one NPC, Catt, is a needy cat-lover with 100 pet cats, and acts almost exactly the same way Rowen described cat-lovers in the previous game.
Ho Yay: Several Skits with Jude and Ludger involve one complimenting the other, giving a compliment back and both blushing silently for the remainder of the skit. And the previous game's amount of Ho Yay between Jude and the male party members hasn't lessened any, either.
Jerkass Woobie: Alternate Milla is a very unpleasant woman. But the fact remains that her entire world was destroyed, no one seems to be bothered by it, and she's surrounded by people who she believes see her as a cheap substitute for the Milla they know, and she's right to a degree, at least at first. In the end, she's either abandoned so Elle can be saved and the "real" Milla brought back, or she willingly sacrifices herself for those same reasons.
Never Live It Down: Jude and his tethering with spirits. Muzét brings it up a few times, especially in skits. And one of the fractured dimensions has an oddly-gay-acting Aska imply that he and Jude had been tethering a few times.
The Teepo that authorities find in Elle's Dimension, the poor guy's been torn to shreds, burnt and seemingly drowned and his eyes are completely empty. Another NPC mentions finding the corpses of the X1 cast, shot, stabbed and worse still.
The first few times Ludger (unwittingly) transforms into his Chromatus. The first time, Ludger is flat-out yelling while his body seems to be moving on its own, ultimately spearing an unlucky soldier through the chest. The second time goes the whole nine yards, thrusting pieces of light onto him before the final one attaches to its head... in a manner heavily reminiscent of drilling into his skull (Ludger screaming the whole while, as the rest of his body jerks throughout the transformation).
Player Punch: Milla's death. Especially if Ludger chooses to immediately sacrifice her so he can save Elle instead; the look on Milla's face as Ludger lets go of her hand is heartbreaking.
The entirity of Chapter 12. You find a dimension that seems like a Good Future for the Xillia universe... except the entire cast was brutally murdered. And as you keep going, it becomes obvious who the culprit was: Ludger. But THEN you find out this world's Ludger, is Elle's father. Not an alternate version of him, her actual father. And he's the Catalyst, so you have to kill him. But there's a much deeper punch here, when you realise Ludger killing the rest of the party and becoming Victor is the game's Bad Ending... and you, the player, have to bring it about yourself if you want 100% Completion. In other words, it's a rare gameplay example of a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
Being forced to kill Julius, who may have been The Rival but was still a loving brother to Ludger and an overall decent guy. You can be excused for choosing to save him instead.
A more minor example, but from Gaius' sidequests, you have him (as Erston) befriend a group of youths from Elympios, and they're pretty much the first real friends he's ever made. Then one of them murders someone. And it was Kyle, the guy who seemed the nicest too. Players will assume he'd been framed, but no, he's actually guilty. It comes as a shock after you've spent several sidequests getting to trust him.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: If a character was disliked in Xillia, there's a good chance they were redeemed in the eyes of at least some players.
Jude for his Milla obsession being hugely toned down and actually having a story arc dedicated to him that doesn't reduce him to a Satellite Character.
Milla for not being shilled as much and her conflict with Elle. It helped that she looked much better compared to the other Milla and that the voice direction for Milla was handled much better well. For starters, the slight lisp that she had in the first game is completely gone now.
Alvin for his sincere attempts to atone for his previous behavior as well as being an extremely funny gadfly.
Ivar, who has gone from Milla's handmaid to an employee of the Spirius Corporation. He's a lot more relaxed in this game and some fans actually wished he was playable.
Romantic Plot Tumor: In Jude's character arc, the fourth and fifth Chapter are really, really heavy on the shipping with Milla, including stammering, blushing and overall scenes that one would expect to see in a romance harem manga. It comes off very suddenly and takes over what was his arc: a way to make Spyrite technology work. While he does advance in that aspect, the fact that one has to go through scene after scene of Jude and Milla making awkward 'romantic' moments just makes it painful to go through with it and takes away Jude's development for players that don't like their romance.
Rooting for the Empire: Some people sympathize with Exodus's attacks against the government considering the government is allying with the country ruled by Gaius.
Strangled by the Red String: In the Good Ending, Ludger and Lara Mel Marta. It feels like the only reason those two will end up together, is to have Elle.
Strawman Has a Point: Exodus is commonly considered terrorists without a cause but they are actively fighting against a king that nearly tried to wipe out Elympios out in the first game (through immediate means or otherwise). It's hard not to see their accusations of favoring Rieze Maxia as justified. Less so in the English version.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Fractured Milla joins your party during the half-point of the game. Fractured Milla comes from a world where she completed her mission years ago and worked alongside Muzét, which could leave some amazing banter between Fractured Milla and the prime dimension's Muzét, maybe even go into detail how she managed her mission so early and wondering whether she could have done the same as prime dimension's Milla, when learning about the schism being dispelled and the two worlds living together. But aside from some short banter in one skit or a one-off mention of not liking how the two worlds interact, Fractured Milla does not do much beyond being angry over her world disappearing. The only purpose she ends up serving is to pointlessly sacrifice herself in the final third of the game, to bring Prime Milla into your party and leaving a minor, but quickly forgotten tension between Elle and Milla.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Chapter 10 introduces the ruins of a hyper-advanced ancient civilization and its Obliviously Evil AI protector, essentially confirms each dimension has its own version of Spirius that destroys other dimensions because they believe theirs is the Prime one, hints that there are alternate versions of the party on the exact same quest as the prime one, and shows there may be a way of saving people whose dimensions are destroyed (by storing them as data). Absolutely none of this is ever brought up again, leaving most of the chapter to feel like a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment.
Leia is an interesting case in that she hasn't really got worse since the first game, but changes to other characters made her less useful than she used to be. In the first game, she was probably the best physical Combat Medic of the party, and was important due to several party members having no healing at all, and being one of the few members with Resurrection. Now that every character has at least one healing skill, Leia still can't cure status effects, and Muzet and Elize have Resurrection, there's suddenly a lot less reason to use her. To make things worse, she's Out of Focus for most of the main plot, the few story fights she is involved in make you wish you had Elize instead and her sidequest arc is the least combat-related of the party, giving her few chances to truly shine. Becomes Harsher in Hindsight when you remember she had fears of being The Load in the previous game.
Alt Milla lacks the ability to use Milla's Summon Spirts. This makes her a chore using, since it means she can't heal like the others can now and removes Milla's biggest strength. Really the only reason you'll use her is so when the real Milla comes back, she'd caught up to everyone, which is unnecessary due to Leaked Experience. She also doesn't have a Mystic Arte.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Alternate Milla strikes this way to some players, as her brash, Jerkass attitude makes it hard to feel for the character when she talks about her issues. It doesn't help that the original Milla was arguably Rescued from the Scrappy Heap for some western players, and it's also hard to feel sorry for Alternate Milla when she calls Ludger a world destroyer like he enjoys doing it and fails to keep in mind that Ludger has to destroy the fractured worlds or else the real one will be destroyed. While Alt Milla being upset is justified, her lack of Character Development over the issue, combined with her whining more and more about her existence makes it a bit hard for some to sympathize with her past a certain point.
To those that don't like her, Elle can come across this way. While she's certainly a young girl and in a world she doesn't know well, her acting like a Bratty Half-Pint to everyone who isn't Ludger or Alternate Milla, doesn't give her a lot of sympathy points. Even late in the game, after she watches as the party, and specifically Ludger, kill her father who was a divergence crystal and she has a grief-stricken moment of refusing to tolerate Ludger, even if he's the prime dimension version of her father, she's not sympathetic for very long.
Win Back the Crowd: Some fans who hated how Vesperia and its successors were much Lighter and Softer than the games made in the previous generation days very much enjoyed how mercilessly dark Xillia 2 could get.
Woolseyism: There's a rabbit-like doll that is extremely popular among Rieze Maxian and Elympian children alike that was originally called "Banish" in the Japanese version. A bit of an odd name for a cute bunny doll, wouldn't you think? The English translators must have thought so as well, because it's called "Bunnykins" instead in their localization.
WTH, Costuming Department?: Jude's new outfit has a pair of red pants, with a darker red fabric on the inside. At first glance, it's easy to think he has wet himself.