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  3. Why is Xenoblade X still celebrated by Monolith?

User Info: swordDude

swordDude
2 months ago#141
ZeroXraven posted...
Even if you think it's the worst in the trilogy, I don't see how you could think it's a bad game by any stretch of the imagination if you like the other two.

if the story and characters are really important.

it's kinda easy to see how one might not like X, because in those 2 aspects alone it's pretty lacking.

(edited 2 months ago)

User Info: BakonBitz

BakonBitz
2 months ago#142
LamuseWelkar posted...
Man, these threads are always a little disheartening to me, because I realize my opinions are unpopular, which means the games/mechanics I like are less likely to be used.

X is one of my favorite games of all time. The weirdest thing is I can't quite articulate why. The main story is intriguing, but not that great, and never gets resolved. I'm actually not a huge fan of the combat, either, though I did enjoy coming up with builds. Hell, I even made a post on the XCX board years ago asking how people would like it to be an action RPG (like hack and slash/TPS), and had a few people tell me how I was a piece of s*** and stupid and didn't understand combat (seriously, the response was pretty ridiculous lol).

But somehow, it was just f***ing fun. Something about the premise and the setting just speaks to the little kid in me.

Same, although to me I really enjoyed the combat too. Mostly the ground combat since things got so fast-paced. You nuke stuff with Skells but the cooldown for Arts is so long I'd rather be on foot, lol.

Also, Xenoblade X with action-RPG elements is a really cool idea, so I suggest looking at Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis coming soon. It's a multiplayer open-world action RPG that looks straight up inspired by Xenoblade X in its aesthetics and world design. It's also free-to-play (though the localized version only seems to be releasing on PC and Xbox consoles...)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASYF0c4NfsI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbQCZ2j5nZE

I wouldn't mind Xenoblade X taking a more action-centric approach, btw. I had that idea too when I saw some of the cutscenes involving Skells. Just saying we have a good alternative for it in the horizon.
Game collection: http://www.backloggery.com/bakonbitz
Gaming channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwVQm69J7bGScbv3_50C0dA
(edited 2 months ago)

User Info: Metastase

Metastase
2 months ago#143
xeno_x-blade20 posted...
I find your sentiments and thoughts on what constitutes a masterpiece interesting, and I can get behind some of the aspects you prioritize.

For me, a masterpiece constitutes a game that excels in all of its aspects, including the story, gameplay, world, music, etc.. It doesn't necessarily have to be the most unique thing compared to other competition, but as long as the execution of all of its elements are fantastic IMO, then I can consider it a masterpiece. XBC is something I'd personally call a masterpiece because I felt it well-executed and nailed all of its aspects for me. I love the combat, the world, the exploration, the story, the characters, and the music for a package that feels fantastic all the way through, even if I think the later games improve on or nail certain aspects better than XBC did.

That's what makes XCX a difficult case for me; it has the world, sidequests, exploration, combat, and overall gameplay down as the best in the series IMO, and it's some of the most fun I've had in a game, but the story just isn't there. I understand it wasn't their primary focus for the game, but it doesn't take away the fact that a story does exist in the game and it isn't all that great. As you state, I do think the well-crafted world in XCX is something to be praised for and celebrated, but for me personally, the debate about it being a full-blown masterpiece is a shaky one. I'd at least call it a masterpiece as far as its world design and exploration goes.

From a consumer perspective I get why you feel this way. But we have to remember that not all things are created equal so every man hour and budget thrown at 1 feature also means something else won't be as polished, every game ever created needs to prioritize what the creators think matter the most for that particular project. After all, we wouldn't judge TETRIS for its story right?

And just to clarify, I'm not saying each game should be judged based solely on how well it executed its intended experiences. Because, as they say, the medium is the message and in the case of games, interactivity and interesting decisions should weight higher since those are the idiosyncratic qualities of games compared to things other medium can do better. This is why I don't judge XCX and Xenogears equally even though they are exact opposites, with the former prioritizing gameplay and the latter doing the opposite in favor of its story. To me that's the distinction as far as games are concerned: XCX advanced the idiosyncratic qualities of the medium in previously unknown ways whereas Xenogears, no matter how good its story is, did not, and its story could have been delivered (and perhaps much better) through other medium like a novel.

So you see? It's not that originality or uniqueness/novelty is a requirement for a game masterpiece per se, it's the fact that the medium does not exist in a vacuum and as such, all products under its umbrella have the solemn duty to promote and push forward the idiosyncratic qualities of the medium otherwise the medium could cease to have a distinct reason to exist tomorrow.

This is not a matter of our preferences either. Even if we personally prefer a more balanced approach between story and gameplay, only the latter justify the existence of the medium. That's the context we have to take into account when appraising a potential masterpiece here, the context of games.

I understand it wasn't their primary focus for the game, but it doesn't take away the fact that a story does exist in the game and it isn't all that great.

This is a great point and something I've thought about a lot over the years.

Since we already know perfection is not possible, that all masterpieces also have flaws is a given. If you take Chrono Trigger for example and add up all of its extremely tiny flaws like typos, the uninitialized flag at Millennial Fair (for the Trial scene later), Epoch soft locks, Grandfather Paradox explanation (which is cool, but BS storywise) etc... that would amount to something close to 5% of the game in relation to its approximate 20~25 completion hours. Well, the garbage main plot in XCX and its associated bad sound mixing is also almost exactly that % in relation to its content. So is it really less of a masterpiece because of this?

I don't think the garbage main plot is the actual problem. The real issue is the player's limited event horizon and how the game creates narrative/story expectations of a certain quality on the player and then fail to deliver. In other words, the player can't possibly know beforehand if the main story is garbage or not and the presentation make it seem like it's something worth paying attention to when in fact it's not.

At a 1st glance this seems like a much worse issue compared to CT's minor imperfections however, unlike CT, we can actually cutscene skip this bad 5% in XCX. On top of that, the player's limited event horizon is only a justifiable excuse up to a point. After seeing the cartoony aliens with bad voice acting and Tatsu food jokes/cutscenes for the 2nd time, if you don't start skipping them I'm sorry but that's on you man. The new, bad expectation bar has been set so the responsibility for engagement in the bad content is on the player from that point on. Worst case scenario is the player still watching them out of fear of not understanding the context for the game/out of false hope that it goes anywhere but as mentioned even then it's only roughly 5% of the game's content AND has an in-game fix due to being skippable for replays and such. In comparison, no matter how much you cringe at Lucca's G. Paradox explanation in CT, there is no avoiding the flaw.

Personally, there are a LOT of subjective things in XCX (and Xenoblade in general) I don't like. I dislike the art style (too generic for me). I dislike at least half of XCX's music, including some of the open field ones. I don't particularly enjoy Xeno combat systems either, XCX included. And obviously the main plot is garbage. Now add the fact that I was never a fan of most open world games and by 2016 I was extremely burnt out on them and it's easy to imagine I would hate XCX.

And yet, despite all of this, the only logical conclusion I can reach is that XCX is a masterpiece. Over the years I kept finding more and more things I don't like about the game but this conclusion didn't move an inch. As it turns out, the best soccer dribbler the world has ever seen wasn't the most athletic, tall, strong, most fit, technical, or the one who had the best control and execution over all aspects of his body and both legs. It was a tiny man with dysfunctional and twisted legs, one bigger than the other from birth, who couldn't even walk straight without being funny but changed the history of the sport forever. I personally don't think the status of XCX as a masterpiece is disputable at all, even for those who don't like the game for various understandable reasons. And frankly, I'd be much more interested in seeing other devs take what they think XCX did best and try to do better (because Monolith isn't in a good position to do so). If they dare, that is.

User Info: BladePenguin

BladePenguin
2 months ago#144
dirkac posted...
I wasn't talking about the base game, but Future Connected, should've specified there.
How so?
Only thing that really changed was Chain Attacks.

User Info: OskarXCI

OskarXCI
2 months ago#145
Black sheep? Didn't Xenoblade 2 and Torna have a worse critical reception than X? XC2 sold better on Switch sure but what game didn't? The majority of the Wii U ports have performed better on Switch than the original versions.

GoodyBoo posted...
If anything Xenoblade 1 and 2 are the weird ones out. X feels more like a Xeno game.

Adding to this, Xenoblade 1 was developed with a different title before being changed to having the Xeno prefix. X look and feel like an old Xeno game even though the game is heavily gameplay focused as opposed to being more linear story focused. It has the same art style as the original Xenogears. XC2 comes off as a Tales game and all the shounen anime characteristics that goes along with it.

Big follower of Monolith Soft, Vanillaware, Platinum Games, Nihon Falcom among others.

User Info: Willians

Willians
2 months ago#146
I will ignore the silly question of the topic and some of the repplies to just point out that Elma looks badass in this artwork! And for a sec looks like she is going to grab the Monado and the Aegis, even saw a great fanart about this lol.

User Info: LunalaLazuli

LunalaLazuli
2 months ago#147
Willians posted...
And for a sec looks like she is going to grab the Monado and the Aegis, even saw a great fanart about this lol.
Now I'm curious about the art
"I won't hesitate... If an enemy appears in front of me, I will destroy it!" ~ Zero

User Info: Willians

Willians
1 month ago#148
LunalaLazuli posted...
Now I'm curious about the art
So, I tried to find the one I saw but could not. But today I saw another one on Twitter and recalled your comment, so here it goes!

https://mobile.twitter.com/AruveinX/status/1301288497056276481

User Info: HopesPeak

HopesPeak
3 weeks ago#149
How is XBX the Black Sheep? If anything it just seems that XB1 fans hate every game in the series except XB1. Which is funny, coz it's the only Blade game that I don't like. I have 160 hours into XB DE, and I did complete everything but I was disappointed with just how shallow XB1's gameplay is.

I hated XB2 for the first 80 hours (I have over 280 hours in XB2. 300+ if you include Torna.) but it's one of those games that get way better after you beat it due to how it finally opens up the rest of the gameplay mechanics to you. I really don't understand why the hell Eye of Shining Justice, Elma's Overdrive, Shulk's monado were all locked until you beat the game. It's not they make the game any easier, and you'll still get your ass kicked in BOC. It's just that you actually have a fighting chance with those extra modes. Not to mention the extra blades that get unlocked after completion such as T-elos from Xenosaga.



Because X is significantly better than 1 or 2. Especially 2. It's only a black sheep amongst the strange breed of Xeno fan that only likes the -blade games.
Yeah I can understand that. I had zero interests in these games as a Xenogears fan myself except for XBX. Upon playing Xenoblade 2 though, I can't help but see plenty of allusions to Xenogears with Xenoblade 2's plot. Especially when you race up the World Tree, which is actually a skyscraper from the ruins of an Earth metropolis. A lot of XB2's endgame plot, reminded me of content from Xenogears Disc 2.

I was hoping that Xenoblade 1 would have a similar level of Xenogears-like sci fi to it by its endgame, but it doesn't at all. You don't even find out the sci fi nature of the Xenoblade 1 setting until after you beat the game. Even then, it's not even elaborated on until Xenoblade 2's final three chapters. Xenoblade 2 actually tries to connect the entire series together through the Conduit/ Zohar. Playing Xenoblade 2 from Xenogear is actually a easy transition to make due to how much in common the two plots share with each other. The main differences is that God is a chill guy in XB2 and the Miang character's role was split in two between Malos & Mythra (who's like Elly & Miang.)

User Info: HopesPeak

HopesPeak
3 weeks ago#150
OskarXCI posted...
Black sheep? Didn't Xenoblade 2 and Torna have a worse critical reception than X? XC2 sold better on Switch sure but what game didn't? The majority of the Wii U ports have performed better on Switch than the original versions.

Adding to this, Xenoblade 1 was developed with a different title before being changed to having the Xeno prefix. X look and feel like an old Xeno game even though the game is heavily gameplay focused as opposed to being more linear story focused. It has the same art style as the original Xenogears. XC2 comes off as a Tales game and all the shounen anime characteristics that goes along with it.

All of the Xeno games are shonen except for the Xenosaga trilogy. It really pisses me off how gamers are so stuck up and look down on XB2 coz they really hate shonen anime, as if the product they're playing weren't inherently shonen animu to begin with. It's as if you people completely ignore how Evangeiion influenced Xenogears is, and that's one of the most popular shonen anime of all time.

I think that the final three chapters of XB2 wouldn't work at all, were XB2 grim throughout the entire game. I like how most of XB2 has a seemingly light hearted tone, but then sudden goes dark sci fi during the end game. It's what made the game stand out for me.
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