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.
So Walmart had this for $10 and it's time for me to finally beat this game. Apparently I stopped where 90% of Xenoblade players stop--that big ol' forest--and it's time to see this adventure through to the end. On we go~
Today I ran around for a couple hours, grabbing things, fighting other things, and doing some sidequests. About to get the batteries so I'm still very early in. The main party's character models sure do look great, although I wish the lip-synching was on par with stuff like DQXI. The environments still manage to impress me in size and scale. I particularly like how Colony 9 really feels like a secure base carved into the middle of an enormous mountain. Grabbing materials is slightly shallow and doesn't approach the level of environmental interaction in something like BotW, but for a game that came out in 2011 or whatever it's actually rather well-done. It's big but not obscenely so, and the environment feels both natural and designed.
I'm already slightly overwhelmed by all the systems in place, but I think I'll remember most of it as I go. Looking forward to getting further!
@Secret_Tunnel That's where I stopped as well. The middle of the game can be kind of a slog because there's a lot of new characters, exposition, and feels like your forward momentum dies down a bit. Up until then, your whole focus is to get to Prison Island or wherever, so there's a "Lord of the Rings" esque journey that you're on, where you're traversing through all these different areas. Once you hit a certain story beat, I think things really do pick back up again.
Man, it must be said: the environments in this game are awesome. Like, genuinely instilling a sense of awe in me. The way you can step out onto the Bionis's Leg and gaze up into the sky to see this absurdly huge deity looming above. Barely making out the outline of it in thunderstorms (outside of the occasional thunderclap that reminds you how small you are), seeing the creepy Mechonis's eyes glowing in the distance at night, spotting Colony 9 and the world's ocean literally miles below you from certain vantage points. There's a serious sense of vertigo in Xenoblade.
There are numerous good qualities, but that's the best thing about the game, really. Plus, the environments themselves straddle the line between natural and alien/artistic. Even its wide sweeping fields are peppered with interesting landmarks, otherworldly shapes and unusual crags which give them a lot of personality compared to many open-world titles. The story, cast and battle system are all solid enough but the views and vistas are really this game's secret weapon.
It's been a long time since I played this, but I don't recall having trouble with a forest area. What is the name of it, and what's the problem with it that causes players to hang up the game?
Best RPG from Japan? That would probably be something on the Super Nintendo, but Xenoblade is likely the best RPG since the SNES, and likely still is today. I'm not sure what else would even be in contention for me. Dragon Quest VIII I s'pose, and probably DQ XI if I ever get around to it. Not sure what else...
Mm, I'm not quite in love with it. I do love the views! But the action-oriented battle system has always felt a little janky and spammy to me. It's kinda fun to position myself when I'm Shulk, but otherwise I'm really just spamming every Art possible because why not? My favorite character to play as is--surprisingly--Sharla! Her mixture of healing moves, buffs, and moderate attacks/debuffs actually makes the game feel more like a turn-based JRPG to me, which is my jam.
The music is great though. Pairs well with the environments. Drink it in!
My favorite recent JRPGs are Octopath Traveler and the superlative Dragon Quest XI, which I've been obsessed with since a year and a half ago. In fact, I've been wanting to do a comprehensive review of that game on this site for some time.
@TriforceBun Yeah, Shulk may be the least interesting character to use. My fave was I believe the sixth character to join, name of Melia, since she has more to manage, though part of that is also because the AI is terrible with her. On that note I wish this game had at least local multiplayer, like "Tales of" games.
One of my fave elements of games is exploration, so that's a part of why games like Xenoblade speak to me.