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Xeno-Shame
Editorial by 
Editor
January 25, 2014, 22:29:43
 
Hail to thee, O Xenoblade!
The game we all hold dear
For thou art full of countless quests
And treasures, hopes and cheer

A game we all saw to the end
The story now complete
We sing your praises far and wide
You truly are elite.


Wait, did I say we have all beaten the game? *cough*
Well, I did pour around thirty hours into it. That's about the length of an average Zelda game, so I definitely got my money's worth, right? RIGHT?

The truth is, I love Xenoblade. I was one of the people who imported the game from Europe back before the rainfall operated on it, officially birthing it from Gamestop's North American womb.
Heck, I even possibly gave North America its first Reyn Time reference in the form of comic GOLD. A reference I knew would fall on deaf ears, yet one that was important to all of humanity.

GOLD, I tells ya!

Yes, I loved Xenoblade so much that I even championed it on the 22nd episode of the Negative World Podcast. I had nothing but wonderful things to say about the game. The huge, exploration-heavy Japanese RPG. The wonder of wonders. The miracle of miracles!

This is where the game is kept in my house.

Unfortunately, not long after my stellar performance on the Podcast, Shulk and company came across a humongous, vertical forest city populated by little bouncy anime mascots. That's when the sheer enormity of the game made my mind snap. That was when the Dark Times began. THAT was when I stopped playing Xenoblade Chronicles.

This photo was taken the exact instant I stopped playing.

Over the time that followed, I have often been reminded of my failure to continue the game. Due to this failure, I have secretly hoped that Monolith Soft's upcoming Wii U game, X isn't a direct sequel to Xenoblade! How awful is that?
Similarly, if you were to take a look at my 3DS Puzzle Swap collection, you will notice that the Xenoblade Puzzle hasn't been given much love. Yes, I gave more attention to the Concentration Training puzzle, and I have never touched that game in my life.

I still ended up with more pieces than I had hoped for. Seen here, with Prawn Mario.

This is my cry for help. A few days ago I attempted the impossible: To return to a giant JRPG after a two year respite. I now have no clue how the fighting mechanics work, though I once recall having mastery over all of its intricacies. Now I simply mash the buttons and hope for success. From mastery to mashery.

I must admit, I forgot some other things about the game...

What have I done? Has the sheer immensity of this game been its downfall in my eyes? That same immensity that once had me shouting from the rooftops?
I yearn to play this game again, and I'm willing to bet there are a few others in the same boat. I dare not start the game anew since I am still quite familiar with the story, and I don't have the time to devote to retreading old ground. I simply require a refresher course on the game's battle mechanics. I am ready for that course!

Who shall join me?

I pledge to beat you, Xenoblade!
I shall right an awful wrong
Two years of ignoring you
Is simply far too long.

I shall give your rightful due
This is an honest vow
Never before has it been
Such Reyn time as is now.

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Posted: 01/25/14, 22:29:43  - Edited by 
 on: 01/25/14, 22:28:01    
 
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
 
@Smerd It may also be an area where it was harder to do within the limitations of the Wii. Since the Wii U is a much more powerful system, hopefully we'll have things like a bestiary and unlimited inventory space.

Speaking of, I'd also like to see a journal similar to the ones found in the Tales series games. Since RPGs are so lengthy and generally repetitive, I usually end up taking breaks for weeks at a time. Having some sort of synopsis would help me remember where I was going and what I was doing. The little story memos help a bit, but they don't explain the motivations of the characters and other such stuff.


Posted by 
 on: 01/29/14, 01:59:07
@Mop it up
I agree there. To be sure I was aware of everyone's motivations and such, a week or so ago I read the story synopsis posted on the Xenoblade Wiki. I was careful to only read to the point I was at, so it really helped me after my two year hiatus.

A in-game journal would have been much better though.


Posted by 
 on: 01/29/14, 02:17:53  - Edited by 
 on: 01/29/14, 02:18:35
X has the option to make massive improvements to the game and truly make it to be an unstoppable force for GOTY, but they need to do it. Beastiary is the first step to that. Questing would be so much easier with one and would make doing quests way more fun. I also have a few qualms about the combat, but that is more lack of combat features than technical flaws.


Posted by 
 on: 01/29/14, 02:21:05
@Mop it up@ploot@Pokefreak911
Yeah I agree with almost everything - I to had to go to the Xeno wiki after a 5 month hiatus (playing The Last Story from beginning to end) with Xenoblade.

However, I'm not 100% sure that it could have been space limitations for a beastiary on the Wii - DS/GCN Tales games have had all that + a journal. I'm sure they could have fit one of those features in..

But regardless - all it really hurt was the flow of the game during sidequests and made it more difficult for gamers who have lives outside of the game world.

Yep - they must fix those issues in "X". I was so happy to play Xenoblade on this side of the planet that I happilly overlooked these minor, but important game features.


Posted by 
 on: 01/29/14, 05:16:58
@Smerd
Considering how technically impressive Xenoblade is for a Wii game it very much could have been a space issue, but we don't really know unless we decompile the data to have a look at how much the graphics and cutscenes take up.

Also, I am still shocked at how good this game looks.


Posted by 
 on: 01/29/14, 05:19:43
@Smerd Tales games aren't quite as large as Xenoblade. A bestiary requires a lot of text, especially for a game as large as Xenoblade, and it'd be even more data if they wanted to fancy it up with pictures or something. I think space was an issue because I recall hearing about some trouble with the localisation where there wasn't much space to fit in the English voice acting along with the original Japanese voices. If that is true, then the game is about topped out on space.


Posted by 
 on: 01/29/14, 22:00:07
@Mop it up
According to this article, Xenoblade was 5.98GB on an 8.54GB disc, but if that's the size of the PAL/NA version, maybe the JP version was on a fully crammed 4.7GB disc and there wasn't room for anything else?

It would probably have been a pretty big effort, even if it would have fit on the disc, so I suppose that would have cost a little bit too. There are about 700 different types of enemies, practically all of those can belong to one of five different levels, they can drop three kinds of chests, all of which can contain a number of different objects, so there would be craploads of variables and information to sort and arrange in the beastiary. Then we have their home regions, the weather/time of day when they appear, and lots of other stuff.


Posted by 
 on: 01/29/14, 22:25:53
@r_hjort After looking around a bit, it seems you're correct that the Japanese version of Xenoblade is a single-layer disc, and it's just the other versions with the added English voices that are dual-layered. But, I don't think it'd be a problem for them to have used a dual-layer disc if they needed/wanted more space, so it's probably more what was earlier suggested, that they simply didn't have enough time to include a bestiary and spent their time focused on other aspects of the game.

Thinking some more, I wonder if the small amount of RAM was an issue. If the system couldn't load up the entire bestiary all at once and had to take a second or two to load each page/monster listing individually, that'd have been a little annoying. It may not sound like much, but those seconds would really add up when flipping through the thing.


Posted by 
 on: 01/29/14, 23:29:07
@Mop it up
I never considered RAM (since I don't know a whole lot about the Wii's RAM situation), but maybe that could have contributed to it depending on how they wanted to pull off the beastiary. Sounds plausible to me.


Posted by 
 on: 01/30/14, 00:23:09
@r_hjort

You sound very knowledgeable, hjort! I'm going to nominate you as NW's Xenoblade Beastiary Crafter.

YES.


Posted by 
 on: 01/30/14, 00:25:32
@Mr_Mustache
Just goes to show, if you say anything with enough confidence, people will buy it.

Seriously though, I wish I knew half as much about the game as I try to make it sound. I have a friend who was working on compiling everything there is to know about all the frickin' gems (and possible items and enemies too) on a website, but I don't know how far she got with that. I also don't know how she could find compiling all that stuff fun.


Posted by 
 on: 01/30/14, 00:38:21
@r_hjort

Surely there is a guide somewhere on the internet, no? There has to be..

I've tried to make my own help things before. They're kinda fun!

For Monster Hunter 3 U, I used 0 online help whatsoever. I know that some people looked stuff up while we were playing (like, how to get a certain drop, or whatever), but I never personally did that, and I never suggested it to other people. We learned what we learned by fighting / discovering / sharing. Good freakin' times. As much of NW as we had on there, I even thirst for more. Its a shame that the people who chose NOT to get that game (for whatever reason) chose not to. Explaining to someone in Chat yesterday, "you've completely missed the entire initial burst of the game, and you will never get that back." (NinSage just joined up, and we carried him through nearly every Quest he had to do. I guess he liked that aspect, but he didn't "take any lumps," or really "learn" anything in the process. My 600+ hours and an additional 300+ on the Wii -- which NinSage also had done, so I get that -- allowed me to learn enemy movements, work out timing, etc.) The initial burst for that first month or two where everyone is just coming up together, wearing hand-me-down Leather Armor or *gasp!*, the 2nd worst armor in the game, haha, and each monster seems like a REAL task -- invaluable. Wouldn't trade that stuff for anything. Helping out NinSage, we were dropping guys in less than 5 minutes who previously threatened to take us to the Time Limit and kill us a few times each and every encounter.


EDIT- Oh! Your friend; yeah, you've got to be of a certain mindset to find stuff like that fun. What kind of work does she do? Something monotonous (like me), perhaps?


Posted by 
 on: 01/30/14, 00:51:11  - Edited by 
 on: 01/30/14, 00:52:15
@Mr_Mustache
There's a Xenoblade wiki that seems pretty good. In fact, it's where I went to figure out roughly how many enemies there are in the game.

I never use FAQs, guides or wikis while playing though, 'cause I want to get that feeling of accomplishment that comes with figuring stuff out yourself. Like what you describe with Monster Hunter, that was what gaming used to be like, and I kind of miss that. I mean, it's obviously good that people who need help to enjoy their games can get that easily from the interwebs instead of having to send in letters to Nintendo magazines and wait for months to get a reply, but nothing beats sitting down and learning the ins and outs of a game with friends.

Monster Hunter has seemed awesome in some ways, but I didn't get it since I knew I had to sink so much time into it, and prioritized other games that I knew I had to play, like Xenoblade.

My friend doesn't have a job due to various health problems, so maybe she likes doing that sort of thing just to have something to do other than sit by the computer or TV. Dunno.


Posted by 
 on: 01/30/14, 12:10:34
@r_hjort

Truly, the internet ruined a lot of things. Wrestling was probably damaged THE MOST, but videogames are right up there. Remember sharing stories on the playground about Zelda? Or that wicked awesome screenshot in Nintendo Power? I know its kind of the same thing..but it kinda isn't. I don't know.

I think thats what I liked about ZombiU so much; I didn't get any out of game help, but the stuff that -kinda- helped me was graffiti here and there, which is essentially you (or Roy) saying "yo Rob, watch out for the guys around this corner...and a safehouse is just beyond there" Pretty darn cool.

Ah, sorry about your friend. I can promise you that stuff like that is great busywork though. My big NCAA Project is the 2005 game, but the 2004 game preceded that (with not nearly as much detail)..which I did in 3 months when I was out of work. 2005 game while working? 8 (EIGHT) YEARS.


Posted by 
 on: 01/30/14, 23:23:39
Beat Xenoblade last night. Little disappointed by the ending but it was still good. Now to grind up to 100%.


Posted by 
 on: 01/31/14, 01:16:32
@Pokefreak911

What level was your team at? What was your team? I guess spoiler tag them though.


Posted by 
 on: 01/31/14, 01:22:19
@DrFinkelstein
I used Shulk, Dunban and Fiora. They were at 92, 90 and 91 respectively. Boss was a walk in the park with them at those levels though so don't level up that high.


Posted by 
 on: 01/31/14, 02:08:08
I just realized that there's a collectopedia. I easily received a billion gems by filling it out for the areas I've visited.

This game, man... THIS GAME.


Posted by 
 on: 01/31/14, 09:27:39
@ploot
The collectopedia is sweet, and you can get tons of great stuff filling it out, but at times you can get good stuff using collectibles in sidequests and trades as well, so fill it out responsibly with the stuff that is the hardest to come by.

EDIT: I'm not saying you necessarily have to choose between filling out the collectopedia or get the other things, but you know, just be aware that some of the stuff is really rare.

@Mr_Mustache
Quack! Eight years?! I don't think I've done anything for that long. Anything that hasn't transformed into something else entirely over time, anyway.


Posted by 
 on: 01/31/14, 12:17:50  - Edited by 
 on: 01/31/14, 13:18:38
@r_hjort
Sidequests have always been my priority and always will be. It's just funny that I discovered the collectopedia after 40+ hours of playing.
I'm sure the game mentions it way earlier, but somehow I missed it.


Posted by 
 on: 01/31/14, 22:28:27
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