I was lucky enough to get this today. I'm really in the mood to play it! I have some thoughts based on my first 10 minutes or so of gameplay, but I'll give it some more time before I detail them. Kind of a mixed bag for me in some areas. Not the game itself, but moreso this version. I can see things that will excited some and some things that will rub people the wrong way. Still, this is absolutely one of my favorite games of all time and I'm excited to jump into it again. Right out the gate, this game feels like it gets out of your way a bit more and just lets you jump into the gameplay.
Ok well that was a fast three plus hours. I love this game - I was shocked it came on time as my works set edition was coming by mail. Wow what a package. Art book is grand - definitely worth it.
Three things hit me immediately as I played through the first two chapters:
The graphics - they look great - although not the sharpest and I feel some fans may be disappointed but I couldn’t care less. I haven’t played in hand held mode yet but X2 never bothered me so I don’t expect this one to. The character models of the main cast are so much better - I’m so glad they did that.
The Music / sound options. YES. :)
The quests; holy shit - this is so much better. I completed so many quests so quickly in Colony 9. I can never play the original version again. This game is worth it just for this alone. I would have liked the new UI to include one feature though- to have a “equip best possible” option for each character. It would make equipping your characters and tweaking things a lot faster.
So I've played Xenoblade X and Xenoblade 2, but this is my first time with X1. I put in about 4 hours today and it's a lot of fun! It looks... okay, but the story and gameplay are pretty great. I do miss some of the battle complexity in X2, but this one at least makes more sense in the beginning. I look forward to getting deeper!
@Cubed777Echoes my thoughts as well. Some aspects of this being a "remake" are a bit overblown. Some parts have been remade while others definitely seem lifted almost directly from the Wii original. Still, using the maps, getting and completing sidequests...all of that stuff is SO much better.
The only thing I'm finding myself wishing is a dedicated button to bring me to the fast travel map. It's not hard to get into the "Area Maps" section of the menu, but having one button to just take me there would be preferred.
Here's a question: did the original have the yellow dotted line that took you to your next objective? I'm pretty sure it did, but I couldn't remember if this was a new thing. I know it DEFINITELY wasn't in XC2 because of how much I got lost in that game.
This is my PSA, and maybe it won't apply to everyone, but I do recommend turning off the quest path in the options if you've never played this game before. For me, this game is all about exploring the huge worlds and learning your way around them. Half the fun is getting lost and getting into trouble fighting enemies you're not ready for. Whenever I have the quest path turned on, I feel like I do way too much looking at my minimap instead of taking in the world around me.
That being said, I know that a lot of people might just want to get to the point. The quest path is certainly helpful when it comes to tracking certain NPCs, so I think it can be great for sidequests. For instance, an "!" on the map might be kind of deceptive, because you have to go in some roundabout way to find an NPC.
Anyway, just my two cents. I don't remember it being too confusing as to getting to your next destination in this game. The game will still have your red flag marker on the map. I don't remember the map being nearly as difficult to work with as in Xenoblade 2.
I actually can understand not liking the new faces. I think they're an upgrade, but I'm also kind of used to seeing Shulk in Smash and XC2. I can understand not liking it.
I WILL say this - I feel like the map system is like 10x easier to use now. NPCs aren't blipping into reality, and finding/finishing sidequests doesn't seem like as much of a chore. Does that mean I don't just mash the A button through their conversations? No, but it's very very user friendly.
That being said, I still think there are a couple of ways they could've made the UI even better. Equipping gear is still a little bit weird. I love that that you can sort gear by "Most Recent" or "Highest Phys Def", but I think you could do that in the original game. It would be nice if the game grayed out gear if a character wasn't able to use it.
Still loving this game! I'm at level 27 right now and am about to head to Satori Marsh. Again, the quality of life that the new interface provides is just great. Finding and completing sidequests is much more manageable.
I will say this though. The graphics are definitely a cleaned up version of the original, but really only to an extent. There are times where I see that things look noticeably better than the original, but others where I'm thinking..."They really couldn't have touched this up more?" I'm usually thinking this in regards to texture work on costumes or textures on the background. They're definitely like...PS2 vibe, which is unfortunate since the rest of the game is so good.
The fact that graphics issues don't bring this game down more for me is a testament to how well the rest of it is out together. The game really does have a great feedback loop. The only thing I ever find myself thinking is that I wish there was a sprint button. Some areas probably spread out the fast travel points farther than I'd like.
Still, very excited to put more time into this one.
Just an update on my progress! I'm currently heading to Prison Island soon. There are just SO many sidequests to tackle. I LOVE this game, and it's one of my favorites of all time, but I think it's when you really start to grind out the sidequests that this game's cracks start to show a little. Couple things I've observed:
1.) This game really needs an option to run faster. Maybe there's an option that I'm missing? But look at an area like Alcamoth - it's like...this HUGE empty space. I guess people live there, kind of? But people are just spaced out in this giant courtyard and it takes FOREVER to walk to them! Some of these sidequests literally just have you playing "he said she said" with the NPCs, and you're just walking around these huge areas. It's very tedious.
2.) One thing I didn't grasp when originally playing this game on the Wii: When you talk to a named NPC (like Kenny Rohan or Paola or whoever), this updates the affinity chart for a certain area. EVEN if they don't have a quest for you. It seems that even just TALKING to them, even if they don't have a quest, helps your affinity, so it can open up new missions and dialogue chains. HOWEVER, the game doesn't specify to you who you HAVEN'T talked to. All named NPC's are green dots on your map, whether you've spoken to them or not. I'm 25 hours into this game and just spoke with a couple people in Colony 9 for the FIRST time. I thought I had talked to everyone already??
3.) Sidequests that don't open up until later in the game, but still offer terrible rewards: Here's one thing I don't get. You'll get a sidequest, but you can't complete it right away because the sidequest can only be completed in an area you haven't been to. By the time you complete this sidequest (which you may have been holding onto for a WHILE), the reward is completely meaningless. You might get some money out of it, but any gear you get is long outdated. You would think that these rewards would actually be the best ones in the game, since the mission takes so much longer. Also, if you managed to complete it on the earlier side, you'd get some sweet gear. I'm thinking particularly of this one sidequest where you had to collect someone's missing belongings. I thought it would offer some sweet reward since the mission was such a "slow burn", but it wound up being like any other mission.
4.) Colony 6: Doing Colony 6's missions kind of sucks. I went into it thinking it was going to be a cool city building sidequest, but here's the problem: They don't really tell you how to find anything. Which is COOL...but also NOT cool. Every other mission in the game puts exclamation points on your map. Okay, so maybe this whole sidequest is just supposed to be tougher. Let's work it out....You look at Juju's hints to see how to get certain items. Usually you can piece things together yourself. Certain materials can probably be grabbed from defeating certain enemies, certain named flowers can be grabbed in certain spots, cool. But then the game wants you to find something like a "Dark Grape." Only you haven't encountered this collectible at all! Juju tells you that you can find out about this collectible by talking to people in the colony....only you totally can't. I walked around Colony 6 a TON of times, at different times of the day, and no one mentioned ANYTHING about a Dark Grape. No one even had it in their inventory to trade. So, I completed some other sidequests to expand other parts of Colony 6. Maybe this will allow people to trade more items, and maybe I'll find a Dark Grape that way. Nope! So, unfortunately I have to Google the answer. The Dark Grape can be found in...Tephra Cave? Seriously? OR you can find an NPC in Colony NINE to trade for it. What?? And it's only at THIS point that I realize that I can just use the Affinity Chart to see EVERY NPC'S TRADABLE ITEMS. UGH. What a huge chunk of wasted time.
But NOW what this means, is that Colony 6's sidequests turn into 3 phases:
1.) Talking to named and non-named NPCs to see if they tell me where a Collectible can be found. 2.) Looking through the Affinity Chart of EVERY area to see if anyone can trade for a Collectible. 3.) Browsing the Collectipedia to see if I've actually stumbled upon a Collectible already, and either sold it or submitted it to the Collectipedia.
So my advice through all this? Don't sell shit. The game tries to tell you that you really only the items with the exclamation points on them are important, but I haven't found this to be true. Don't sell ANYTHING. The money you make from sidequests is more than enough. Collectibles will be more valuable to you if you:
1.) Keep them in hopes that Colony 6 or another sidequest might make use of them. 2.) Commit them to the Collectipedia to get rewards or achievements. 3.) Allow party members to gift each other to increase their affinity with one another (I didn't even know you could DO this in the first Xenoblade!).
There are some things this game does REALLY well, but it can become very difficult to navigate all these sidequests.