I feel like it opens up about the amount of the first game, but not as much as X. You are at the most linear part right now, though. And I was surprised how long they made the opening that linear feel with this one, too. It went on for quite a while before opening up. (I can't remember how long XB1 did that, but I guess it was also a bit before they opened things up there...)
Anyway, it will feel like a giant world much more once you leave the initial two places. Or even just are better suited to exploring the second (first main) area. Initially if you leave the beaten path you will get wrecked, but that changes once your team starts to come together.
EDIT: Without spoilering things, I would say this one feels less connected as a world than the past two. You do a lot of sailing from one area to another, rather than walking, so that makes it feel like a big world but not ONE big world (landmass) so much as a lot of big areas set adrift to explore. Which is fine, but a little different.
@J.K. Riki Hmm, I'm on the first big titan and they just mentioned the next thing to do is pass through a big field to get to a city or something, so maybe this is where it starts to open up. The area so far has basically just been a single path.
I was wondering how the big open worlds would work considering the game starts off very closed... literally just a tiny little space in a sea of clouds. But I guess the titans are the way they handle that.
I started playing X the other night. I'm trying to like it, but the character models are bugging me for some reason, especially the one I chose for myself. He looks soooo empty. I'm considering deleting the file and starting over since I'm only an hour in.
You probably should, since you will be looking at that character for hours and hours and hours. It would be worth it. I think I did that as well, originally had some soulless looking guy and changed it to a far better looking girl character which made the experience a lot better. (Though X is still the weakest of the three games, in my view.)
I think part of my problem with the character is that his expression NEVER CHANGES (at least so far). He just stands there looking blank and bored. Then again, Monolith has always been crap at character models.
I suppose I kind of expected this but it's a tad annoying that they haven't really worked on some of the worst parts of the quest system much.
Sometimes I get quests where I'm supposed to find someone who is missing... and then there are instantly guide arrows pointing to them with the distance. The funniest one was "hide and seek" which isn't so much hide and seek as follow the arrows directly to the NPCs.
The flipside is that there are still a bunch of "find 8 of this random items somewhere in the world but they could be anywhere" type quests.
I feel like both of these would have been fixed with marking out the general area to look in on the map instead of direct arrows or nothing. I KNOW X did general area stuff sometimes, forget if the original did.
And of course there are still a lot of quests that are like... get deep into them just to find out you are WAY underleveled to finish them at the moment. I really don't see why they do this, just don't have the quests unlock until I am at a high enough level, or have them unlocked but with a suggested level or something.
But again, kind of expected this, so it's not a huge shock or anything. Just kind of a small disappointment that they didn't polish this up a bit more.
Otherwise I'm still really enjoying it. The game has opened up a ton since my last post. I can barely get anywhere in the main quest, I keep picking up side quests then finding more side quests in the midst of my side quests!
So I'm like 20 hours in, really liking it, it's a good summer break game.
I'm confused about a few things though...
A. Those spots on the map where you can like... create a waterspout or this or that, but you need certain characters to be proficient at certain things to do it... how exactly do you get those levels up? Do they just happen naturally over time or should I be doing specific things to get specific proficiencies up?!
B. What the heck do pouch items do?! I have no idea how that whole system works.
C. Still a bit confused how the elemental combos work. At first I just thought using ANY special move of the next element needed would work, but that doesn't seem to be the case? Only certain special moves?!
D. I was introduced to the "foresight" thing in the middle of a battle and then... it didn't come up in the rest of that battle nor any of the (smaller) battles since. To be fair that was fairly recent but like, why introduce it and then it's not a regular thing now? What's up with that?! Do I have to do anything specific to trigger it?
E. What is the heart to heart system in this game like? Because aside from the single one they used to introduce the system, I haven't found any others in my 10ish hours of play since. They seemed more common in the other games?
Probably more but whatever, that's enough for now. Love these games but they always introduce so many different systems it gets confusing!
I must be nearing the end of this game, I'm pretty high up in the world tree and I checked a FAQ quick and it looks like there isn't really much more to do in the main game?
Which feels weird. My current time is 74 hours, which is long enough sure, but both other Xenoblade games I spent like 120+ hours in. I just didn't seem to stumble upon as many sidequests in this one, not sure if there just AREN'T as many or I just wasn't finding them? That's not necessarily a BAD thing (X almost had too many, it was overwhelming) but it does make it feel a bit less meaty next to the others.
Plus a lot of the sidequests I do have unlocked are ones where I'm stuck because I'm not high enough at various elements of the field system. I still have like 10 or so in my list I can't really progress on right now, and may never get around to finishing.
I'll probably just get right up near the END end, then go try to finish up whatever sidequests I can, maybe knock around a few areas and see what else I can do before ending this game, but I probably won't do too much more. It's a fun game but it felt like it had too many barriers to enjoying exploring and doing the sidequests and exploring and doing the sidequests are kind of the meat of Xenoblade to me.
I'm basically just talking to myself now but whatever.
Finished! My final time was... around 110 hours. Did I really play 35 hours in the last 8 days or so? That doesn't seem quite right, that's like 4 or 5 hours a day, I don't have that kind of time!. Mind you about 5 of those hours was just me leaving the system on while not playing to get Merc missions finished.
BUT, obviously a lot of that was playing, so I found more to do after all! I think this game definitely has a lot of content, it just seems to lock a lot of it behind Merc missions, field skills, having specific blades, etc. Wish it was a bit more straightforward in how you get some of the side stuff moving forward.
Anyway, I don't have a whole lot to add to conversations. Overall my feelings are about what they were above... it's a good sequel, probably around the level of X (though for very different reasons, better story, worse exploration, etc.), not as good as the original. Though at this point for me there feels to be diminishing returns a bit. I kind of hope Monolith tries something new next instead of jumping into yet another Xenoblade right away.
Congrats on finishing it - I have far too many RPGs in my backlog. I need to get back to it. It’s still the most popular game according to my Switch log but Tales/ octopath traveler/ FFX and Fire emblem have all distracted me. Gotta focus !