[Post-mortem] Xenoblade Chronicles X

  • Hey Allies!

    I'm trying a new thread concept I'm calling "Post-mortem", where we can discuss a specific game several months after its release (meaning by now most of us have had the chance to play through it) and share our impressions, what we liked/didn't like.

    I'm approaching the end of Xenoblade Chronicles X and I'm pretty divided!

    I think it does open-world very, very well. The fact that enemies have their levels clearly displayed, colour-coded even, immediately makes it clear whether you should try to engage them or not. The fact that some will ignore you, or only attack if they spot/hear you, allows you to enter areas where you shouldn't be at this level, which makes for very fun and tense stealth situations. The freedom of movement, high jump, and so on also let you reach high places by "climbing" cliffs. It gives a very rewarding feeling when you sneak past level 60 enemies just to grab a treasure or install a data probe. Exploration is also encouraged by the fact that you never lose any progress when you die, apart from respawning a bit further back, so you can always give it a shot!

    The world design itself is great, I appreciate the fact that they didn't go for the obvious forest/snow/lava levels (although Cauldros is pretty much a lava level, but not just!). There are so many gorgeous vistas, and every place feels very organic and realistic, yet still always very alien too. The fantasy of being humans stranded on an unknown planet is very well translated.

    The story is alright, haven't reached the end yet (starting chapter 11) but I don't expect anything mind-blowing at this point. There's a lot of characters, but it feels like half of them could have been cut in order to further develop the others. The writing can be very very dry at times, and surprisingly funny once in a while. I particularly liked Lin a lot, and her dynamic with Tatsu works really well in some cases (but is very cringy in others).

    I hate the visuals for the characters though, there's a lack of detail that feels off. The alien characters like L, Celica, or the Wrothians have awesome designs, and the humans like Elma or Lin are super bland. The contrast between the two is pretty disturbing.

    As for the gameplay, I'm a bit torn. I guess I'm not hardcore enough to appreciate the systems, for me it's too complex, too broad. I still can't figure out what my character stats concretely do, and simply use "Equip strongest gear" to equip my characters because I have no clue which one is best. There's just too much choice, and it paralyses me. I'm sure there are people who love to dive into those numbers for hours and compare them and come up with great combos, and I do too to some extent, but that one's going a bit too far for me. The good thing is, I still made it so far without understanding half of the game mechanics! In a way, I'm guessing the real meat of the game only becomes available after finishing the main story, and for completionists the post-game is longer than the story.

    But I'm pretty sure I'll stop once the credits roll, I can't afford to spend another 100 hours playing this with the backlog I have.

    So all in all, it was a great experience, it's a very, very impressive piece of work (it feels almost wasted on the Wii U). But it definitely won't enter my JRPG hall of fame. It's a game I admire, appreciate, but don't love.

    How about you? How was your experience with the game like, and how do you reflect back on it?

  • I finished it and never looked back at it.

    I didn't enjoy the story, the mechs while being a hyped new feature was a pain in the ass to get and felt a little too gamebreaking to me.

    I'll just make a list:

    • Story blah
    • Plot predictable
    • Class system bad
    • Characters blah
    • Music irritating (Uh uh...yeeeeah, uh uh)
    • Combat I could take it or leave it since not much changed from the old Xenoblade
    • Graphics were fine
    • Requiring a huge amount of storage for downloads to cut down on loading wasn't all that great of an idea
    • No compelling reason to do all the side content/post game most of it was ridiculous fetch quests with an unneccessary amount of backtracking
    • Money/Material making mechanics (Data probes) were just awful and poorly explained
    • Wanted to kill tatsu
    • Main source of conflict was just too cliche
    • Ending wasn't fulfilling or cathartic, not impactful in any way.
    • Couldn't kill tatsu

    I'm probably more harsh about it since I was looking forward to it so much, worse since I never really had "That" game I needed to own a Wii-U for and this could've easily been out on the original Wii.

    But coming from a Xenogears/XenoSaga perspective it just doesn't stack up to that legacy, even the other Xenoblade was a much better game in every aspect that Xenoblade Chronicles X tried to expand upon.

    That said, if you take everything this game attempted to do, give it another year of development and put it on any OTHER next-gen console and I guarantee you this would've been a much better game. It had all the right ideas, it just needed to cut out what wasn't necessary and refine everything else a bit more.

  • it was fun to play and it felt the closest thing to phantasy star ive played in a long time however , the story was garbage the characters were all walking tropes the mechs were fun . the game is worse then its predecesors in every way but still a solid 7/10 from me

  • Finally finished it last night. 90 hours. Damn.

    The crazy thing is, I started to enjoy it more and more as I neared the end, because I finally started to grasp all the features and game mechanics (this game is insanely huge). So I almost want to keep playing now, and do all the extra content I still miss... but nah, time to move on!

    I also really enjoyed the story in the last chapter, if it had been that personal and exciting the entire time, it would have placed the game up there in my top JRPGs of all time. That post-credits plot twist was intriguing too, if they're actually planning a sequel for the NX, I think I'll be game! But as it is, I don't think this one will leave an everlasting emotional memory.

    Still, I'm very impressed by the scope of this game, the devs did an amazing job on this one!

    @ZyloWolfBane I agree the music in NLA is grating, although it grew on me, probably just the repetition effect. But the tunes in areas like Oblivia or Sylvalum are beautiful, both atmospheric and epic, I thought they added a lot to the game.
    And yes, Tatsu could be funny once in a while, but he was wayyy too present. Those "Let's cook him" jokes got tired very quickly, and had no business in the last cutscene in the middle of all these dramatic revelations. I guess that's Japanese storytelling, that's also why we love it!

  • its great, but ultimately xenoblade wii was a lot better. everything that didnt land quite right in x wasnt present in the original. the world in x was great though. mech combat could have been deeper, the story could have been more fleshed out (and finished, that ending was bs)

  • @ZyloWolfBane the combats pretty different from the original. and i personally loved the class system. everything else i more or less agree with.