Now that I've spent some time--not as much as I'd have liked, mind you, but surely more than enough--with Xenoblade Chronicles, I thought I'd share a few thoughts about my experiences with this long-in-coming Wii release thus far.
Sp, in this post, as I'm sure you've already gathered from the headline above, I'll talk about the five things I'm currently loving about this Monolith Soft-developed RPG. Tomorrow's post, on the other hand, will detail five things I'm not loving about the game at the moment.
With that said, here are the things that have me grinning ear to ear like the Cheshire Cat whenever I play Xenoblade Chronicles:
1. Its vast, open world--Of all the things that Xenoblade Chronicles' makers promised to gamers, this is the one that excited me the most before I got my hands on a copy. And now that I've not only accomplished that task but taken the game for a spin, so to speak, as well? I'm even more excited--mainly because there's so much to explore.
2. Being able to jump, instantly, to any place you've visited before--Sure, such a feature isn't the most realistic--especially in a game that doesn't try to explain it away with some made-up, sci-fi mumbo jumbo--but, boy, is it ever appreciated by yours truly. I mean, I love running through Xenoblade Chronicles' fields and ruins as much as the next guy or gal, but sometimes I just want to twitch my nose like Samantha on Bewitched and magically appear at my intended destination, you know? Thank you, folks at Monolith Soft, for making that happen in this game.
3. The seemingly-never-ending number of side quests--You can't take a step in Xenoblade Chronicles without someone asking you to find or fetch something for them. Such "fetch quests" usually involve killing a specific beast, or a specific set of beasts, but not always. (Some simply require you to nab a few of those floating blue orbs that are seemingly everywhere.) I'm guessing that annoys some gamers, but I adore it. It helps, of course, that each completed quest earns you some sort of swag, but I'd probably do a lot of them even if that weren't the case.
4. You died? No biggie!--I've played the original, NES version of Final Fantasy many times over, so I'm well used to the frustrations that often are par for the course in most Japanese RPGs. One of said frustrations that I'm overly used to is the one that involves saving at an inn, wandering away from the inn to explore the nearby wilderness, doing so for an hour or two and then dying and being taken back to the aforementioned inn--without any of the experience points, money or loot I gained along the way in tow. That antiquated convention has been tossed out the window in Xenoblade Chronicles, which simply transports players, as they existed in the seconds before their demise, to the most recently visited landmark.
5. The more-than-likely-in-my-head sexual tension between the game's protagonist, Shulk, and his best bud, Reyn--OK, so this one is a bit of a stretch. And, honestly, I'd much rather imagine that strapping hunk of man, Dunban, in a compromising position with, well, anyone (yes, even Riki), than imagine dorky Shulk and dopey Reyn gettin' it on. Still, I can't help but sense some sort of blossoming "bromance," at least, between these two boyhood chums...
Now that I've said my piece, what do all of you say? What are your favorite aspects of this open-world RPG--assuming you've had a chance to play it?
See also: Previous Xenoblade Chronicles posts