Friday, May 11, 2012

Five things I don't love about Xenoblade Chronicles (thus far)

So, yesterday I yammered on about the five things that make me clap like a seal (that's a good thing, for those of you who aren't schooled in the ways of these fin-footed mammals) whenever I play Xenoblade Chronicles. Today, as promised, I'm going to yammer on about five aspects of this game that make me a sad panda. (Don't worry, that's the last of my zoologically-themed bon mots--in this post, at least.)

1. Too much information--And by "too much information," I don't mean that I'm finding myself turned off by Shulk's constant comments about that time he mistook Sharla's soup pot for a bedpan (or was it the other way around?). No, what I mean is that, at the moment anyway, this game is throwing way too details in my general direction. There are "arts," gems, quests, maps, floating blue orbs ... ack!  Granted, some of this is sure to be less stress-inducing after I've spent a bit more time with the game, but right now I'm feeling overwhelmed.

2. Just say no to wonky cameras--Xenoblade Chronicles' camera is fine--more than fine, really--while you're sneaking through Tephra Cave or skipping (if only!) amongst the tall grass that covers Gaur Plain. Engage in battle with a number of monsters--or even a single one, if it's large enough--though, and you'll see why I'm calling it "wonky." Thankfully, it's only mildly irritated--and inconvenienced--me thus far. And who knows? Maybe I'll eventually become so adept at the game's controls that readjusting the camera during especially heated moments won't be such a challenge.

3. Why does it look like everyone's melting?--Anyone who has heard anything about this game likely has heard that, at times, it is a sight to behold. Sadly, those times do not extend to Xenoblade Chronicles' cut scenes. That's because the folks at Monolith Soft often choose to zoom in on their in-game models during said cut scenes--and, well, let's just say that the models in question, which look fine from afar, shouldn't plan on winning any beauty pageants.

4. Wait, what do you mean, 'See you around'?--Few things anger me more while playing an RPG than having someone leave my party and take all of their hard-earned equipment along with them. In such cases, why isn't said party member's swag automatically added to your inventory? I'll never know, I guess. Anyway, you'd think that in a game like Xenoblade Chronicles, which does so many things right (such as allowing you to save pretty much anywhere and letting you jump to any previously-visited location with just the press of a button) would do this right, too. Unfortunately, it doesn't.

5. If only there were more hours in a day--My biggest complaint about Xenoblade Chronicles has nothing to do with the game itself. Rather, it has to do with my inability to play it as much as I'd like. Honestly, I could put four or more hours into this puppy a day if given the chance. As it is, I'm only able to spend a few hours a week with it--if I'm lucky. I have a feeling that either means I'll be playing this title for a long, long time or I'll lose interest well before I ever encounter the end credits.

See also: 'Five things I love about Xenoblade Chronicles (thus far)'


diaglyph said...

Hmm I don't remember losing gear when a member left...
What did you lose?
I don't think I was too worried as I got plenty of other stuff along the way to make up for it.

Point #3 - yea it can be a little distracting at times when seeing their faces - its like their make up has melted or something LOL
In The Last Story the faces are much more detailed (during cutscenes) but the environs are a little less detailed (and less epic in size).

#2 - yes I fought with the camera at times, especially against tall creatures cos the camera would suddenly go off at a weird angle to try and compensate for the large target. And yes you'll come to grips with the camera control, it's not as hard as you think :) BUT it is a little annoying (I don't think games will ever have the PERFECT camera in a 3D game, probably not until we get real holodecks LOL)

warp said...

Yup. Especially 1 & 2. I would've snapped the disc in half if I didn't have the Classic Controller Pro to adjust that damn camera.

Bryan Ochalla said...

It happens early in the game, Igor. I don't want to say more so that I don't spoil anyone else's fun. Anyway, it wasn't the biggest deal in the world, but it still kind of pissed me off. There's no reason for that to occur in RPGs, IMO. If a character is going to leave your party and possibly not return (or not return for some time), their equipment, etc., should be added to your inventory.

BTW, Igor, do you use a classic controller to play this game, or do you go with the Wii remote + nunchuck option? I've been going with the latter, but I've heard using the classic controller makes it easier to control the camera.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey warp! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has a problem with all of the information in this game. Luckily, it seems you can ignore a lot of it if you want. As for using a classic controller to adjust the camera -- I may have to invest in one soon. Trying to control the camera using both the remote and the nunchuck is not fun :(

diaglyph said...

I started with the nunchuk+wiimote combo. I do have classic controller and tried that, but hated using it, I found it clunky! I prefer the nunchuk+wiimote combo as I can rest both hands in my lap when playing, where with the classic controller both hands are closer together. I also got used to the controls by the time I tried classic controller, and I wasn't finding it difficult to adjust the camera with the nunchuk+wiimote (funnily enough, opposite was true for me when it came to play Last Story, classic controller makes that game much easier to control/play).

On losing/regaining chars (it happens again later in the game if I remember correctly): I don't remember losing gear/gems when a person left? Tho that could just be my bad memory on that aspect LOL I don't think I ever felt I lost something "important".

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Igor! Sorry I've taken so long to respond to your latest comment -- it's been a busy weekend here. Sadly, I haven't played any Xenoblade. Tomorrow I will, though!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this game's various control methods. I'll probably stick with wiimote + nunchuck for now, since I find it mostly acceptable. Plus, I'm too cheap and lazy to go get a classic controller.

Of course, I'm also one of those gamers who prefers to use only the wiimote whenever possible (either turned on its side, NES-style, or held like a remote control, a la Animal Crossing, etc.).

As for losing characters and their gear: I'm pretty sure I lost gear when a certain character left my party early in the game, but I can't be certain of that. The gear that may or may have not been lost definitely wasn't anything important, though, so I probably should just get over it. That said, I'm hopeful it doesn't happen again!

diaglyph said...

Tsk tsk! And you call yourself a gamer?
You should be calling yourself the The Gay Guy :p (I kid I kid!)

Like I've said before, you'll get used to the controls soon enough :) Don't worry.

I think at one point some other character leaves, but they come back. So don't worry.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

I'm SO with you on the party members disappearing and taking stuff with them. That's SO obnoxious!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Well, Igor, when it's nice in Seattle (read: sunny and warm) you have to make use of it, and that's what I did this weekend. We had friends over for drinks and appetizers on Saturday afternoon (which meant I was cleaning all morning), and on Sunday I played tennis and cleaned up after the little soiree we had had the day before. So, no time for Xenoblade.

I am going to play it a bit today, though, since I have a little lull in my work.

Thanks for warning me about another character leaving. I'll try to notice at that point if their gear is added to my inventory or if they take it with them -- although it sounds like it won't matter in that case...

Bryan Ochalla said...

Yeah, that happens in the Final Fantasy games quite a bit, doesn't it, Justin? I HATE it! Grrrrrrr...

diaglyph said...

Now you sound even less like a gamer!
Sport?! Really?! (LOL :p )

Yea I'm pretty sure you don't really lose much (and I think its stuff specific to that character anyway). And its temporary, they come back so no real loss ;)

But in general, yeah its annoying. Gear should always get stripped when a character leaves.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ha! Yes, I can see your point, Igor. Gamers aren't known for enjoying sports (although tennis is the only one I like) or working out, etc. :P

I didn't actually get around to playing any Xenoblade today, BTW. Tomorrow, though, for sure! (Yes, I'm a terrible gamer.)