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  2. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
  3. Just finished it. Some thoughts... (SPOILERS)

User Info: shurryy

shurryy
1 month ago#1
Spoilers Ahoy. Rambles too.

Started out a fan.Ended up disappointed and sleepy.

Didn't know what to think of the gameplay... Positioning took some time to get used to but exploring between partymembers was fun, for a time. This game seems to be trying what FFXII did, except I think that game did it better. Started noticing that the AI is kinda garbage, the more complex characters really didn't use abilities that would've saved the fight, which just made me miss manual control over them. Melia was by far the most fun to play out of all of them, but conversely she was also probably the worst partymember to have AI controlled. God she was useless hands-free. The constant "Pauses" due to the "Visions" were also really grating on me towards the end. Yes, I get it, you are about to use a goddamn attack.Just let me play, you don't have to pause for 5 seconds every 30 seconds.

Can't really keep a coherent thought right now, so I'll leave with the Gameplay being serviceable. On an individual basis, every character was somewhat fun to play... But the party gameplay was really bad, so it doesn't exactly balance out in the games favor, but it didn't make me quit at least.

Storywise... I really liked the start, it had a solid first impression.

I mean, a neat little town suddenly assaulted by what appears to be sentient machines that kills off a good portion of the civil populace AND The supposed generic love-interest in a BRUTAL display, that sets the MC on a blind quest for vengeance? Yeah... Color me intrigued and you definitely have my interest. Not sure how I felt about the whole seeing the future thing, but I could easily overlook that because this track seemed to have promise for a good while. Reyn isn't exactly special but he's fairly harmless. Dunban is interesting as a mentor figure for the group and a combat veteran with scars both mental and physical. Sharla being much in the same boat (probably enjoyed her arc the most). You get the idea. Game stayed pretty good for a long while.

Started noticing things that bugged me though.

Machines are not actually thinking machines with their own reasons for fighting, but puppets, and some are piloted by people? That's lame. Takes any stakes out of it. Don't really enjoy stories where you are fighting marionettes, and even less so when petty humans are piloting them, which all of them aside from 2 were. I enjoyed the prospect of fighting machines whose intentions were potentially alien to us, I thought they were different, but nope... Turns out they were just lead by a man on a revenge-quest of his own with little room for compromise, who employs really petty easy to justify killing-off (except for 1) humans to pilot them... The only compromising factor being the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP. "Oh I was trying to commit genocide against your kind this entire time, but the solid ass-kicking you just gave me and refusing to kill me afterwards totally changed my mind despite having my thoughts of revenge consume my thoughts for the last millenia. My sister was trying to change my mind for a long time and she couldn't do it, but you strangers and your solid ass-kicking totally get me!"

I think I am too old for this delivery.

Aaaaaand things wen't downhill from there. We're back into familiar tracks I have rolled along for 20 years now. Que the mustache twirling god-complex villains. Que their incessant monologuing. Que the power of friendship speech. Don't mind me I'll go sleep in the corner till the game starts playing again... The only twist I kinda liked was Shulk getting shot by a supposed ally, and that character I liked from beginning to end. RIP Mustache-man...

So yeah. Not impressed by the story. Strong start. Ends with very cliche tropes that I've grown very tired off. It's not for me.

Some Characters are charming though.

Riki, Melia, Dunban and Sharla are my favorite characters, not to play as necessarily.. Just as people.

Riki is just lovable. Not much character development given, but he is charming to me. Riki can perceive things the others can't, which caused some really touching moments throughout the story. Not much to say otherwise, but I cherish his company and input despite how much I usually hate obvious comic-relief characters. I guess I find Nopon adorable little buggers, kinda like seals.

Sharla is a tough woman. Signs up early as a medic, learns to shoot and fight Mechon early on, defends her colony along with her family and friends, sees said colony and friends completely DECIMATED, her lover going MIA, and was about to lose her brother if not for Shulk and co. I didn't rebuild colony 6 although I was tempted to because of her, but I didn't enjoy the game enough towards the end to go through with that.

Now Dunban is cool. A combat veteran who carries both physical scars and mental ones, doesn't seem to hold him back although imagine his capabiltiies if he had his full faculties in order. A very decent mentor character for the group who can distinguish when it's right to interfere in other people's affairs, and when it isn't (culturally speaking). Seems very aware of how socities actually work and isn't blindly doing the right thing as many other JRPG story tropes. He also had some really interesting clashes with former comrades turned villain, and I was for the most part completely on-board with his ideas, as opposed to Shulks, who was quickly degenrating into a mopey shounen protagonist. Not a fan of his choice of weaponry, but as a person Dunban is great.

Melia was the most fun to play, mechanically. She loses at pretty much every turn yet pushes on despite it. First her Father goes, then her people is scattered in the wind, no idea what happened to her kingdom or her role as Empress, I assume she lost that too, she also can't win romantically and resigns herself to being supportive (although I have no idea what she sees in Shulk), but despite much of that she has everyone back at multiple points in the story, especially towards the end, much more so than the actual leads of the group. She's a solid support character. I also liked her story-arc, although it feels unfinished. Never found out what happened to her kingdom at the end, but I didn't play FC yet and that probably answers it... I am not at all inclined to play it, didn't really enjoy the ending enough.

The rest I really didn't care for, which isn't necessarily entirely negative.

Shulk started out strong, but he really started grating on me, and his fate was sealed when he decided sparing everyone he fought against for his own selfish ideals, even the guy who killed his supposed love-interest. Doesn't have much of a stand-out personality.

Speaking of the love-interest, I liked her better as a motivation for Shulk's revenge. She turned into his literal motivation for the quest mid-way through the story, and honestly that stuff just grates my gears. A pet-peeve I have is that Death is of no consequence, again (unrelated to this game). Hell; permanent body-modification is no consequence! screw consequences amirite?! Let's all just be happy and eat and sleep for the rest of our lives! ... I guess I can sum this up by saying I preferred her dead. She really doesn't have much in terms of personality... Kind of like Shulk.

Reyn is harmless. He had some fun interactions and had a pretty comfy spot in my party-composition, but as a character he is just... Harmless. Didn't find much to like about him, didn't find enough to hate on him. He's a good guy, I guess.

So yeah. If people enjoy standard somewhat classic-feeling JRPG's stories, I'd recommend it.
If people are primarily looking for gameplay or something unusual storywise, despite how the beginning chapters had me fooled; I wouldn't recommend it.
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: BloodMoon7

BloodMoon7
1 month ago#2
Well Egil didn't hate Shulk and wasn't trying to take revenge on him, he was just the dude who ended up with the Monado and Egil saw him as a threat. Of course Zanza did in fact come out of Shulk as predicted so Egil's concerns weren't entirely unfounded, but for one moment he thought things might be different. At least that's how I saw it.

But otherwise pretty much how I felt and I've completed two playthroughs now. I will probably get attacked for this but I came in with high expectations seeing how I kept hearing about this game but in the end it was just "ok". I'm not saying as bad, maybe it was great 10 years ago.
I just want to restore this world back to the natural. Bring order to this broken reality. To the way it should have been, all those many years ago.
(edited 1 month ago)
#3
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User Info: shababboss

shababboss
4 weeks ago#4
shurryy posted...
Now Dunban is cool. A combat veteran who carries both physical scars and mental ones, doesn't seem to hold him back although imagine his capabiltiies if he had his full faculties in order. A very decent mentor character for the group who can distinguish when it's right to interfere in other people's affairs, and when it isn't (culturally speaking). Seems very aware of how socities actually work and isn't blindly doing the right thing as many other JRPG story tropes. He also had some really interesting clashes with former comrades turned villain, and I was for the most part completely on-board with his ideas, as opposed to Shulks, who was quickly degenrating into a mopey shounen protagonist. Not a fan of his choice of weaponry, but as a person Dunban is great.

But see, this is why this game is my all time favorite. Dunban's character is so f***ing great that he carries the entire game for me (not that it isn't great already).
Even though Shulk is the protagonist, the game also heavily revolves around Dunban. Only at the final act, Shulk becomes center of attention. Other than that is pretty much Dunban leading them on. This game has become one of my GOATs just for him honestly.

But did you just condemn his choice of weaponry? Bruh everyone knows Katana is only reserved for the most prestige jrpg characters, and he wields that s*** one handed lol

User Info: TeslaCoi1

TeslaCoi1
4 weeks ago#5
Yeah, honestly, out of everything he said, that bothered me more than anything. Like who doesn't like katanas!? XD In fact, I'm still annoyed how only 2 of Dunban's weapon skins are katanas, while the rest are swords I would never pick to replace those katanas...

User Info: The_Abhorrent

The_Abhorrent
4 weeks ago#6
shurryy posted...
Started noticing things that bugged me though.

Machines are not actually thinking machines with their own reasons for fighting, but puppets, and some are piloted by people? That's lame. Takes any stakes out of it. Don't really enjoy stories where you are fighting marionettes, and even less so when petty humans are piloting them, which all of them aside from 2 were. I enjoyed the prospect of fighting machines whose intentions were potentially alien to us, I thought they were different, but nope... Turns out they were just lead by a man on a revenge-quest of his own with little room for compromise, who employs really petty easy to justify killing-off (except for 1) humans to pilot them... The only compromising factor being the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP. "Oh I was trying to commit genocide against your kind this entire time, but the solid ass-kicking you just gave me and refusing to kill me afterwards totally changed my mind despite having my thoughts of revenge consume my thoughts for the last millenia. My sister was trying to change my mind for a long time and she couldn't do it, but you strangers and your solid ass-kicking totally get me!"

I think I am too old for this delivery.

Aaaaaand things wen't downhill from there. We're back into familiar tracks I have rolled along for 20 years now. Que the mustache twirling god-complex villains. Que their incessant monologuing. Que the power of friendship speech. Don't mind me I'll go sleep in the corner till the game starts playing again... The only twist I kinda liked was Shulk getting shot by a supposed ally, and that character I liked from beginning to end. RIP Mustache-man...

So yeah. Not impressed by the story. Strong start. Ends with very cliche tropes that I've grown very tired off. It's not for me.

While this game actually isn't known for the level of depth seen in Monolith Soft's other works (all of the other Xeno titles), it seems you missed a bit of the nuance that was on display (more on that below). Still, much of the praise doesn't really come from the plot being novel or sophisticated; it mostly comes from how well-done and well-paced it is.

Now, as for what it looks like you missed...

  • The game is considered a master-class in foreshadowing, and not because of the visions into the future. Most of the good foreshadowing is more subtle and less direct.
  • Zanza is possessing Shulk up until the very moment he appears in the Mechonis Core, and Dickson outright declares this... but you have to be sharp to pick-up the details. One early example is shortly after the attack on Colony 9, just before you leave and Shulk is talking to Reyn. Shulk notes that it's like there's two people in his head, one saying he should listen to Dunban's advice... and the other saying he should seek his revenge against the Mechon. The second person, the one who is constantly driving Shulk to revenge, is Zanza the whole time. While Shulk still has enmity towards the Mechon (and especially Metal Face), he never actually wanted revenge; that was just Zanza asserting his influence. And if you want to go a bit further, a strong underlying theme for much of the game is the futility of the cycle of revenge.
  • Dickson is actually a subtle manipulator throughout the whole game, and makes several allusions which implies he's not entirely a good guy. At the start of the game, he's pushing Shulk to go outside more not just for his general health & fitness... but so he can be in better shape to wield the Monado. He calls Dunban "beast" not so much as a friendly nickname, but because he thinks Dunban is a mere beast (as in "lower lifeform") to him... and he shrugs off being impaled during the opening cutscene. Usually the scene that tips people off is that his moment of regret when you reach the end of Satorl Marsh.
  • Alvis is walking foreshadowing, as befitting the "true creator" of the world; he even shows up (as only a voice) during one of Shulk's dreams before appearing in person, which is well in advance of meeting "Zanza" in his giant form. Once you know that, you can look at his actually fairly numerous interactions with Shulk -- especially the one-on-one conversations -- and take note that he's actually leading Shulk to be in the position to ultimately usurp Zanza at the end of the game.


The more you dive into it, the more details you start to pick-up. Quite a few people actually figure out the plot in advance because the foreshadowing is so copious throughout.

shurryy posted...
Never found out what happened to her kingdom at the end, but I didn't play FC yet and that probably answers it...

To put it simply, yes. FC is where the ending to that particular story is.

shurryy posted...
A pet-peeve I have is that Death is of no consequence, again (unrelated to this game). Hell; permanent body-modification is no consequence! screw consequences amirite?! Let's all just be happy and eat and sleep for the rest of our lives!

A bit of a story behind this one.

Seven regaining her old body in the game's ending is from a piece of cut content I believe, there's a story out there which explains they found something that would restore her... but it would take six months, if I recall correctly. It does make it appear rather suddenly in the ending without much explanation, can't deny that.

Still, I'd make the argument that everything except the ending cutscene actually plays it out as if she couldn't go back... it's actually a major part of her story arc in the later sections of the game, along with the imminent sense that she's actually living on borrowed time (particularly after the Mechonis Core). She actually tells Shulk to leave her behind shortly after arriving on the Fallen Arm, and she's all but asking Melia to take care of Shulk (strongly implying she won't be able to) when he's unconscious at Colony 6 after the events of Mechonis Core.

... but yeah, the lack of anything in-game explaining how she got her body back for the ending is a bit jarring even if the answer exists elsewhere.
He who isn't afraid to stand by his ideals...
Isn't afraid to stand alone.
(edited 4 weeks ago)

User Info: avenue20

avenue20
4 weeks ago#7
some things from this game remind me of Xenosaga.

Both Enemy Faction didn't affected by Normal Weapon, so they need Monado Enchant, Hilbert Effect.

Both Shulk and Shion lovers died and later turns out to be alive and siding with the enemy faction.

Some random guy who died early and turn out to be enemies (Lieutenant Virgil and Mumkhar).

some characters probably take inspiration from Xenosaga.

Dunban and Jin Uzuki are quite similar
Alvis and Chaos also quite similar

the main villain is also had same goal
(edited 4 weeks ago)
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