Xenoblade X Day 1 Impressions

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This game is awesome!

Granted I’ve only played the game for roughly 4 to 5 hours yesterday and I haven’t even piloted a Doll yet, but I am loving it so far! I have virtually avoided everything in regards to the game up to its release. If I am really hyped for a game I always do it that way. Of course this can lead to some big disappointments down the line (cough horrible graces battle system in zestiria cough), but when it isn’t disappointing it’s just so much more awesome to experience 100% of the game first hand. To cut this love letter short, it’s awesome, Awesome, AWESOME!

Minor graphical fluffy annoyances

While the Wii U is the most powerful console of the last gen, the game isn’t up to par with current gen titles graphically. Actually, what is the Wii U really? Is it last gen? Current gen? Somewhere inbetween gen? Same as with the original Wii, “somewhere inbetween gen” seems the most accurate. I shall shorten it to SWIBG… I doubt that it will catch on. There are a lot of graphical issues to be had of course, as vast and beautiful as the landscapes are, you have a lot of assets pop up out of nowhere. The frame rate dips every so often and detexturising to save processing power, happens too early in most cases. It’s not a pretty sight if something of that beauty and size gets detexturised right in front of your eyes, downgraded to the levels of a 3DS game. Motion blur is also another aspect that Monolith doesn’t seem too comfortable with. They just added an offset, not very blurry, silhouette to the characters and solely rely on the camera movement to create the effect of motion blur… well, it didn’t work. You can clearly see the second, translucent, character model that sits offset about 15% to the actual character. Then there’s lip sync, sigh, this is on par with Dreamcast games. You can sing the Dreamcast hymns of awesomeness all day long, but one thing you’ll never hear would be how great the lip syncing was on that console. Ok, it’s not that bad with Xenoblade X, but it shouldn’t have gone through QA like that. Who knows, maybe the lip sync is meant for English? Considering how a lot of the conversations are very detailed and can get a bit snoozy, as with all Xeno games, it’s distracting to not have voice and lips match. Very distracting in fact.

Create your Avatar

I like silent protagonists, especially when you’re constantly required to give your input and see how the people around you react to your response. I love being able to name my character, I love being able to choose the gender of the protagonist. I love how you have completely different voice sets that give the character a sort of personality you can identify with. I could keep going with points that I love about this set up, but in short, I love the fact that I don’t have to play with some unrelatable idiot the developer thinks I should identify myself with. This was also one of the main reasons that initially made me buy Fire Emblem Kakusei. Ok, one more time, I absolutely love it!

Graphics don’t matter

I have nothing else to complain about so far. These are all graphical issues in a pretty laid back RPG where pin point precision isn’t required. This means those issues are all irrelevant when it comes to actual gameplay. If you thought the landscapes of Xenoblade where huge and mesmerizing, then you haven’t seen squat yet. It doesn’t matter where you go, you can see further and further into the distance. The fact that you can swim now, gives it all an even bigger feel. The lack of invisible walls means, that you can still fall off cliffs though, which I love as much now as I did in Xenoblade on Wii. Switching between blade and projectile weapons works amazingly well. With a bit of timing you can minimize downtime between attacks significantly. For example: switch to blade during the reload period of your gun and then switching back to your gun after one or two blade swipes. I’ve also already seen monster with levels of 80 and above and of course I ran into them immediately, for scientific purposes… well, I don’t know what happened, but I spawned at my last probe point immediately after. Pleasure and pain! Oh there’s one more universal thing which I am really fond of; playing in bed! This is a Wii U game after all and the Gamepad is in full effect here. If you’re playing on the screen your Wii U is connected to, your gamepad will serve as a map and can be used as a to touch-to-quick-travel hub (this is the most amazingly implemented quick travel system I’ve ever seen). You can also hit the button in the bottom right of your Gamepad screen and have the action be transferred to your Gamepad instead. What I like most about this is the fact, that while you’re playing on your connected screen, you don’t have a mirror image glaring at you the whole time, a very annoying issue I had with both Bayonetta games and Project Zero for Wii U.

This last part is more of a bonus for myself, but considering the nature of the game and its dialogue, I am actually expanding my vocabulary a lot as well. There have been numerous terms already that I had to look up on my Japanese dictionary on my phone. Always nice if you can convince yourself that you’re learning something while playing video games, isn’t it? 😛

Oh, the 10GB day 1 DLC is maybe a bit excessive as well.

See you next time!

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sasa

I play games and stuff!

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