Reviews

Xenoblade Chronicles X (Part 2)

Posted on April 21, 2016 at 4:25 PM



The same rules apply for Skell Combat, unless you are in cockpit mode (which is activated randomly, You don't control when you enter it) once you use up all your arts you have to wait till they recharge again. If you can get the TP (tension Points) gauge up to 3000 you can enter Overdrive both in and out of your skell during combat, in Overdrive your arts recharge much faster and your attack power is also doubled. It lasts a short time so use it wisely, especially in boss fights.




Skells, Weapons, Armour, all these things are important and you can't get them without cash. While the main source of getting credits in the game is by way of missions there is another way, research probes. Frontier Nav is a system in the game used to explore planet Mira, it works by planting probes in FN Sites across all the continents then these probes send back data about the area they are planted in. They are many different types of probes, the most common ones you get are Research (they generate revenue), Mining (they mine miranium), and Basic (simply just basic probes). There are other types of probes they are less common but just as important as regular probes, they are Booster (increases the functionality and output of adjacent probes) Storage (increases the amount of miranium you can store), Duplicator (copies the functions of nearby probes and Battle ( these have a variety of effects like enhancing damage or giving resistance to certain types of attacks). Probes are gained by completing missions, quests, and other tasks.


As you will have guessed in order to make more money you need to plant more research probes, but there is a downside; for every research probe you plant it will decrease output of your mining probes. You will need to find a balance between the two when you are planting them. Luckily planted probes can be switched out allowing you to experiment with different probe layouts.



 

Xenoblade also includes online play but like most of the game it has its own twist. From the menu you have three options to choose Lifehold Squads (Single Player), Conquest Squads (Multiplayer) and Friend Squads (Play with friends). If you choose Conquest squads you are put into a room with 32 other players but it's not what you think. It doesn't work like Dark Souls or GTAV or even Monster Hunter, you really don't have any way to directly communicate with other players save for a menu of gestures. You won't see player controlled avatars walking around and browsing the world , the only way you get to actually play with anyone is through Squad Tasks and missions. Pretty straight forward Squad tasks and Missions are objectives for player to achieve before time runs out, missions unlike Tasks usually have specific requirements before they can be taken on. While you won't see player controlled avatars exploring around the world, you will most often find player Avatars hanging out randomly all throughout the world. Yes these are Player Avatars but they are like a shadow of the player as they are not controlled by the player who created them. Their main purpose is for scouting. Say you're in a tough spot and squad members the game gives you are not quite working out you can recruit or "Scout" these Player Avatars to become member of your squad. Of course this costs money and Scouted players will stay with you only thirty minutes, you cannot customise them in any way or save them for later. They same thing can happen with your avatar should you choose to do so.


Prior to the games release four Data packs were made available on the Nintendo Eshop, these optional packs made load times for specific portions of the game faster. IF you wanted skells to load faster, or the environment to come up quicker than you could download the Skell and basic pack. Downloading all four data packs would require 10 gigs of space. All DLC for the game comes already pre-installed in the North American version of the game. As expected Off tv Play is included in the game.




Graphically Xenoblade Chronicles X's environments are the biggest, most beautiful environments ive seen in WiiU game. Many times while playing through the game i thoughts to myself "Man that would make a great desk top back ground." In indegens too looks stunning, it was cool to get up close to the big ones and see all the little details on their skin. I found the characters to be lacking and they seemed almost last gen in their appearance, but for me thats really no big deal. Xenoblade is a massive game, one of the biggest on WiiU so I would expect some visuals to not be up to snuff. Gameplay wise, prepare to be lost for many many hours. The learning curve on this game is steep to say the least. I consider myself an advanced gamer as I've been playing games my whole life but Xenoblade really threw me for a loop. Two Months........Two months it took me to really understand this game. If you are familiar with JRGP's or played the original Xenoblade Game on Wii then you should feel right at home here. The game can be played with the WiiU Gamepad Pro or the WiiU gamepad.




Xenoblade being the massive game it is does have a few problems though the first being Load times. I know Data Packs were released prior to the games release but I've had my WiiU since launch there's no way I could've downloaded all the Data packs in order to improve the load times. The game starts up fine but you will notice (assuming you only have the basic pack installed) that textures for your armour, skells, vehicles indigens the ground etc will be blurry till they have a chance to load up, and this can range anywhere between a few seconds to almost two minutes. I also wasn't a fan of the games multiplayer, its 2015 and there is no voice chat and really no way to communicate with other players,, not even text. I found that to be a real peeve as I'm 24 years old I'm sick of Nintendo babying me. It's for these reasons (and others) gamers ditched the Wii in favour of the PS3 and 360, and it dosent seem like Nintendo has learned. No interaction with players makes even the multiplayer still feel lonely.


I also hated the fact that on some quests there would be high level indigens in your path stopping you from progressing, and not like a few levels higher im talking twenty to thirty levels higher than you. And it's not like you could fight them as they would take you out in one hit, the same goes for trying to run from them too. The game has this annoying thing where you could be in a cave running from a high level indigen and their attacks will go through multiple walls and still hit you. Sometimes it felt like the game was punishing me for exploring it. I want to explore, I want to finish my mission don't put high level indigens in my way.




My biggest peeve though is the fact that there is alot this game does not explain to you. An example of this is the fetch quests, say the game tells you to go out and collect five items, it will tell you the items and what continent they are on and nothing else. No general location where they are located on the continent, it won't tell you if these items spawn at a specific time, or even if they are a common or rare item. I will just tell you to go out and find them. The continents in this game are huge and no direction means you can spend hours upon hours searching for a specific item across the whole continent only to find out that they spawn at night time. Fetch quests in this game really annoyed the hell out of me and only didI them if I absolutely had to. Most of the time if I could I would use my reward points to purchase items. It was for this reason I stopped playing the game for weeks and almost returned it. Be prepared to game Gamefaqs open on your computer whenever you play. I'm not saying to Spoon feed me but a little direction would be nice. Lastly some the games soundtracks are rage inducingly annoying, specifically The Night and Day New L.A. music, the music that plays where you fly your Skell, and some of the really cheesy music that plays during cut scenes. I know this is sort of like a Japanese thing but it's just one of the reasons I don't play JRPG's




Now don't take this to mean that I didn't enjoy this game, in fact once I got a hang of the mechanics of the battle systems and how everything generally works I had a blast playing it. I love to explore in video games (mainly because I can't in real life, I live in a city) and Xenoblades Massive World allows for hours of exploring and discovering new areas. Sometimes I like to sit and watch some of the more peaceful indigens go about their day grazing in the fields or running in packs. The environment really feels alive and i appreciate the developers for taking the time to create this world. While some of the music is unbearable most of the soundtrack was epic with massive sweeping orchestral pieces, and low key electronic tracks thrown into the mix. One of my favorite tracks in the game is the one that plays over the main menu as its like it mentally prepares you for the game. The soundtrack was excellent. 


This isn't a game for everyone, but if i could give some advice id would say give it a try, it's worth it. I know the learning curve is steep but like Monster Hunter once you get the hang of it, it is such a rewarding experience. Xenoblade Chronicles X gets a solid 9.0 out of 10.









Categories: Wii/WiiU Reviews

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