ArtMediocre

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition (29th May)

Recommended Posts

It's even more disappointing a visual upgrade than I thought! They haven't even fully changed the character models! Just the faces and hands.  Also some donwgrades from the Wii version too (like the trees).

Very very disappointing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True... but it's still an overall upgrade at the very least.

From watching those videos, the only thing that concerns me a little bit, is that unless I'm imagining it, the audio seems to be quite low level... not a deal-breaker (just turn it up I suppose) but on the Switch I have noticed some games come out very quiet and you have to turn the volume up on the receiver significantly while others are loud at very low volume settings.

Just an observation... though I am hoping that Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition really is an upgrade in the audio department as the soundtrack is one of the best things about the entire game, especially the title theme, colony 9 and that now iconic theme which plays across Gaur Plains. :D

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's weird for me to comment regarding the resolution situation, because I haven't noticed it particularly in any of the gameplay I've seen for the game, and none of the reviews that I scanned through really seemed to pick up on it, and I really think it looks stellar, so it kind of blows to read how disappointed you are by it @Dcubed. I find screen-tearing, frame rate dips, and texture pop-in much more noticeable (boy do we see a lot of that with modern Square-Enix games... anywhooo), but maybe I'll notice the resolution situation when I dock my Switch after putting the game in. I certainly know that the Switch menu can look rough at times. 

I've seen some go completely overboard elsewhere acting like it's the end of the world, but I think it's a reasonable complaint at the end of the day, and if this is a result of the game being turned around so fast, I would have much rather they took a little longer with it. Unless they somehow knew that they were going to be a tentpole release in a pretty quiet pocket for the Switch a couple of years out, I'm not really sure how they can justify potentially rushing it out - and that's as someone who hasn't played the game before, and cannot wait to dig into it. Hopefully I continue to let it go over my head and don't notice it so I can enjoy the game :laughing:

And yeah, noticed similar issues with the Switch regarding that difference in volume from game to game, @S.C.G. Normally wouldn't pay it much mind or pick up on it, but have definitely noticed that I'm reaching for the remote on the odd occasion when I do change game because I'm suddenly waking everyone up in the early hours, or straining to hear some music after midday. Wonder why that could be? 

Also...my copy of the game got dispatched today :bouncy: would normally hope for it to arrive early, but given everything going on, I'll be just as happy to have it when I finish work on Friday. But please come before the start of the weekend. I'm in the mood for this adventure :grin:

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My copy got dispatched as well! Praise be to Amazon.

Regarding overall performance...I'm not impressed but I'm also not too disappointed. XC2 was hit and miss but overall I thought it looked gorgeous even at 720p, and so I wasn't expecting much from an even smaller team who were working on this. I hope their next game gets more focus though, although I appreciate that they have a lot of staff working on BOTW2.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still on the fence between this one and Bug Fables :D

Watched a video and the menu lag seems to be gone, which is huge for me.

I might get Xenoblade Chronicles: DE physical and just sell it if it's not for me and wait for a sale on Bug Fables to have less risk :D

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless the tracking information is not fully updated it looks like I won't be receiving my copy today 😔. It's made it as far as the local mail centre but not the delivery office.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regular copy just dropped through the letter box.

Enjoy your vinyl (?) for those who got the CE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No sign of my copy from Shopto. Had paid for Royal Mail signed for so can't even track it to see where it is. Still a chance it'll drop later but probably unlikely it'll hit its next day delivery window with the post having already come this morning. At least I've got my copy of Borderlands Legendary Collection so I can sit and wait for all of that to download.

Enjoy it for those who have it. And especially for those playing it for the first time, you're in for a great ride.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it turns out the tracking was not up to date, collectors edition get!:bouncy:

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And so it begins!

EZLoiOWWsAAUvyE?format=jpg&name=large

Probably won't put more than a few hours in today (working for the next few hours, then got some online play with some of the guys from work), but very much looking forward to playing through this for the first time, so you can guarantee I won't be doing much else this weekend! 

@Ganepark32 mine was also ordered from ShopTo (Royal Mail 48), came separately to my morning post weirdly enough. Hope yours turns up sooner rather than later! 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/05/2020 at 1:48 PM, drahkon said:

Still on the fence between this one and Bug Fables :D

Watched a video and the menu lag seems to be gone, which is huge for me.

I might get Xenoblade Chronicles: DE physical and just sell it if it's not for me and wait for a sale on Bug Fables to have less risk :D

Did you decide on either of these in the end? :D

It's a game related dilemma I can appreciate because Bug Fables looks like an incredible Paper Mario pseudo-sequel, with tonnes of its own charm and humour.

Whereas Xenoblade Chronicles is another easy sell because it's probably one of the best JRPG's of the past decade that I've only partially played.

I'm wondering if it's possible to play both in rotation :p although it might lead to getting burnt out on JRPG's... if that's possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, S.C.G said:

Did you decide on either of these in the end?

Yes, no, maybe, I don't know :p

Xenoblades is full price everywhere here but I found an offer for 45€ for a digital copy. This would be quite a risky investment, though, but might also push me to give it an even bigger chance :D

I've informed myself some more and I think I could enjoy this one...

Edit: Ordered a copy for 50 bucks. Have to wait a few days but it's better that way. I could easily resell it if I end up not enjoying it :) 

Edited by drahkon
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My collector's edition arrived on time, not started playing it yet because I was wrapping up some quests in Torna.

It's debuted at number one in the UK charts, selling double the numbers of the original Wii version. Hopefully it can get close to Xenoblade 2 in terms of total sales, would be a great achievement.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got this on Friday, previously only played about 10 hours of the sequel before getting distracted and then being completely disinterested in getting back into it for some reason (although I think I enjoyed it).

Put 10 hours into it already and loving it (bloody good job since I went for the collectors edition when it popped back up on shopto the other week)

The only thing about the graphics that's even slightly caught my eye, in a negative manner, is the pop in of the grass, which is also quite a laugh with it being at such a consistent distance. Then again I've been playing Nintendo consoles for my entire life so they're not usually something I'm all that snobby about

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Despite the game arriving on Friday, didn't start playing until yesterday afternoon. I'm now a bit over 16 hours in, if I recall about halfway through Chapter 7. I think that makes it pretty clear which side I'm going to be landing on, at least in my experience so far. 

The first few hours of the game I had a really hard time getting into it, honestly. I genuinely started questioning whether I was in the mood for a long haul JPRG at this time, and even questioned if I had perhaps made a mistake picking the game up, despite looking forward to it for so long. 

Those opening first few hours, especially that first hour in particular, are, honestly, almost overwhelming: a LOT of tutorials to read through; massive areas to explore (but almost dizzyingly so); quest markers absolutely everywhere; people of interest (green dots) to speak to, again, everywhere. It's a lot to take in. 

But a short smattering of story (and honestly, outside some exposition dumps, not too much going on outside of that one big thing that happens) later, and adjusting to the size of Colony 9 and the areas around it...and it all just clicks. I've completed 86 quests (including story quests) so far, admittedly missing a couple of timed ones (I've honestly just been following what I feel from moment to moment - that's mostly been exploring and doing side quests when and where possible, but there have been times where I've raced through an area too, knowing there are likely more side quests awaiting), but the way that quests and exploration is handled in this game is something I have come to quickly love. 

Experience for finding a new area. A treasure trove of experience for finding a secret area. A map which is simple to read (if a little confusing in terms of bridging levels at times), more than happy to lead you to directly to the next area to critical path the story, but is filled with exclamation marks to boot once you've stocked up on quests. You might not remember which quest you're taking that monster down or picking up that item for, but it's the perfect way to guide your wider exploration of the world and level up.

It hasn't felt like grinding once so far. The feedback loop of arrive at new settlement > talk to the locals, take on a load of side quests > explore the area and tackle a load of side quests, raking in items, EXP, materials, etc., is honestly one of the best I've encountered from the perspective of making you want to explore. I don't need these items, and I don't need this EXP, but it's on the way/just slightly off the beaten path, so I might as well check it out, and I would be grinding in a JRPG anyways. The UI is simple to navigate, and not having to make my way back to complete all of the side quests and being able to be told that I've completed them mid-fight is such a simple but respectful thing to do. That's without mentioning the generous checkpoints pushing you to explore, or how there aren't any traditional healing items (at least that I've come across yet) but instead your health regenerates insanely quick while exploring after a battle, and battles feel like they're in their own vacuum, like when a protagonist in an anime recovers from a fight in one episode to be back at it again against someone else in the next. And then there's jumping (or rather, falling a lot of the time!) and taking fall damage which quickly recovers, but balances out the adventuring of the world with the fact that this is a JRPG. 

The overwhelming amount of stuff to do and see, including the timed quests, actually has me going back on my typical JRPG approach of interacting with everyone and everything; I don't feel like the game is designed in a way which necessitates it. Having green dots for important NPC's to add to the affinity chart lowers my expectations in a way for conversations with NPC's who aren't designated them, which allows me to lower my expectations for the times that I do talk to them, and just enjoy the flavour they add to the world by being there and from what they say instead. Timed quests and doing some of the Colony 6 stuff I'm sure I'll do as I remember it and when I have the chance, but because there's so much going on anyways and I feel like I've somewhat resigned the typical JRPG approach of doing and seeing everything, I'm having a much more relaxed time. I think that approach has its time and place, for sure, but right now, in this game, I don't think it's necessary or that the game is trying to make you follow that, and I'm enjoying it all the more because of that. 

The sheer scale of the world that you can physically explore and the designated "zones" can be overwhelming, but they've also left me in total awe going "wow, wow, wow" like five different times. The first time was (this is very early, but there's an image and I wouldn't want to spoil this view for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, and mention some locations by name)...

Spoiler

...after making my way through Tephra Cave, I was met by the starry night sky and looked out at the eerie piercing red of the Mechonis' eyes, way off in the distance. It was pretty terrifying. I turned and started making my way up the start of the Bionis' Leg, but before turning the corner, the sun rose and I instinctively turned back around, to be met with this wonderful view of the towering giant. 

EZSTvDyUwAIX8qa?format=jpg&name=large

Absolutely incredible. My jaw dropped.

Gaur Plain and seeing the sword up above was the same. The abyssal depths of the Ether Mine. The trees at night in Satorl Marsh. The Bionis' Interior and Third Lung. The lush jungle and waterfalls of Makna Forest, and the ridiculous heights of Frontier Village. 

I've played my fair share of games now, but wow, the scale and design of this game's world has just left me in awe at so many points so far in a way I didn't even feel with Breath of the Wild. Even with those low resolutions being tossed around, I can't stop zooming the camera in to take photos of the environment once I've hidden the HUD - seriously, why isn't there a photo mode?! Anyway, there's a verticality to this game, as a JRPG, that I just haven't experienced before. I cannot wait to see what else there is to see! 

Also, quick shout outs to the monster triggers (sight, sound, and being attacked) and the amazing variety in uncapped monster levels. Makes the world that much more natural to explore when you know LV. 90 monsters line your path: you probably shouldn't be going that way just yet. In addition, I absolutely adore this soundtrack. I won't be looking up the OST to name tracks until I'm down with the game to save being spoiled, but seriously, the music combined with the scale and drama of some of these battles gives me chills. I love it.

And after those first few hours, once combat starts to click, it really does fall into place. Only real down side I've seen so far to it is, similar to Final Fantasy VII Remake when using a Limit Break, if an animation for the use of an Art is broken and you are staggered out of it or a status ailment is induced and, well, you've spent that Art. The problem I suppose is that it is almost impossible to predict that an enemy is about to inflict that on you mid-animation. I'll likely talk about my thoughts on the battles and their mechanics a bit more next time. 

But speaking of problems I have with the game, I do think there are a few technical hiccups that I've started picking up on. Nothing too crazy, but figure I'll mention them now and hopefully not have to mention them again in a future post: texture pop-in/sharpening in cutscenes and even in the Party menu (think it's much more forgiveable in the abundance of the open world); frame rate dips - most noticeable of mine so far have weirdly been happening in cutscenes; clipping - weapons and hair going through costumes (and even the floor!) in cutscenes can be tough to not be distracted by; and a few instances where the music is as loud as the conversation in some cutscenes. 

Finally, a few things I want to quickly note about some story stuff so far (very brief, but please don't respond and confirm/deny! More just for my own reference so I can look back and laugh :p):

Spoiler

- guessed Fiora wouldn't really be dead seeing as we didn't see a body (though I guess she was savagely ripped apart?) or have a funeral/farewell, and I'm guessing from silver-faced Mechon in those visions being a girl and having the same colour and length of hair as Fiora, that Silver Face will be Fiora, with some degree of amnesia/mind control/wipe taking place. 

- Dickson is 100% up to something, but I'm not quite sure what. Is he in league with the Mechon? Is there some secret about how he found Shulk that we've been shown not quite matching up with reality, such as him being the one who attacked Shulk's parents/team(/tribe?). Seems weird to me that the story seems to want you to think the Monado took them out, even though we know that anyone can wield it (but not master it, and potentially be damaged by overuse, like Dunban) and there doesn't seem to be much sign of a fight (blood, etc.) in the flashback. 

- I guess some of the Hom are having their souls/minds transferred to the Mechon with faces, but Xord reminded me a bit of that Mumkhar guy from the start. Hmm. At the very least, I'm guessing he has some tie to the Mechon and is still alive - I wonder if Dickson is perhaps aware of him being alive and is knowingly sending Shulk with the Monado to him? 

Anyways, those are my thoughts so far. In short, I'm very much enjoying it. Look forward to chipping away at it this week every night after work!

Edited by Julius
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In regards to doing every quest in Xenoblade, @Julius...

I know you aren't, but trust me on this. Don't bother, at least unless you plan on doing a second playthrough. You get a certain thing upon starting a second playthrough that you'll probably want for a 100% run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Urgh. My copy probably won't arrive before Friday :(

Thankfully I have Bug Fables to keep me busy :D

Keep them impressions coming, @Julius :peace:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should get this tomorrow :)

Any advice? Some of you know that I love to grind and get powerful early on. Tell me how to do that. :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, drahkon said:

I should get this tomorrow :)

Any advice? Some of you know that I love to grind and get powerful early on. Tell me how to do that. :p

I hope you enjoy playing this excellent JRPG. :D

Here are a few tips...

  • Talk to EVERYONE - Lots of NPC's will have sidequests for you which will get you rewards and help you in your quest for grinding.
  • Collect EVERYTHING - You'll see small orbs of light scattered around the area, these are items ranging from quest related to bugs & plants, which you'll get stamps for.
  • Go EVERYWHERE - Xenoblade Chronicles is a game which rewards exploration, it's worth exploring every inch of the map, you might find a few surprises.
  • Start off slow - Take on the lower level enemies first, maybe only go a level or two above you once you reach levels five to ten, increase from there, that should help.
  • Embrace the battle system - Fighting mechanics in this game seem to come more naturally in this game, it doesn't take long to get into once you've learnt the basics.

That's all I can think of right at the moment. :)

I've had my copy for a few days but I haven't started it because I know how much of an undertaking the first game is, but I do intend to start it soon, though I also am going to start playing Bug Fables so maybe not that soon, unless it really is possible to juggle both of these games. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that seeing as you'll be playing both, unless you've finished it already?

Edited by S.C.G
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, drahkon said:

I should get this tomorrow :)

Any advice? Some of you know that I love to grind and get powerful early on. Tell me how to do that. :p

My advice is don't bother. It is more efficient to level up later on stronger monsters. Plus there are humongous monsters even in the starter area, we're talking like Level 80 and above, that you won't be able to touch even if you grind early on.

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

My advice is don't bother.

tumblr_mb641bl1Iz1r1guvio1_500.gif

53 minutes ago, S.C.G said:

Here are a few tips...

Thanks :peace: The game is on its way. Should be here in an hour :D

54 minutes ago, S.C.G said:

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that seeing as you'll be playing both, unless you've finished it already?

Not even close to finishing it.

I'd say it's possible to play both, especially if you don't enable hard mode in Bug Fables. If you do, you might actually have to grind a bit (at least money) in order to even be able to make progress. In normal mode it's probably much easier to play for shorter sessions and accomplish more.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Two hours in.

Thoroughly enjoying it so far. :)

Two things I find a little annoying:

  • foliage pop-in is ridiculous
  • it would be great to see what exactly each stat does, e.g. Agility or Weight (unless there is a way to get the information and I just can't find it)
  • Edit: MAN, WHAT A BUNCH OF JOKERS. - couldn't he at least say wankers instead of jokers?

Other than that...no complaints. Battles are simple, but satisfying against monster at your level. I really hope it doesn't turn bad once chain attacks are introduced. That mechanic (among other things) ruined the sequel for me.

Characters are cliché as all hell, but it works. The story is a slow burner, as is tradition with JRPGs (and what can you expect after two hours) :D

So far, so good. Cautiously optimistic.

On 6/1/2020 at 2:29 AM, Julius said:

I've completed 86 quests

Where did you find this number?

Edited by drahkon
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, drahkon said:

Two hours in.

Thoroughly enjoying it so far. :)

Two things I find a little annoying:

  • foliage pop-in is ridiculous
  • it would be great to see what exactly each stat does, e.g. Agility or Weight (unless there is a way to get the information and I just can't find it)
  • Edit: MAN, WHAT A BUNCH OF JOKERS. - couldn't he at least say wankers instead of jokers?

Other than that...no complaints. Battles are simple, but satisfying against monster at your level. I really hope it doesn't turn bad once chain attacks are introduced. That mechanic (among other things) ruined the sequel for me.

Characters are cliché as all hell, but it works. The story is a slow burner, as is tradition with JRPGs (and what can you expect after two hours) :D

So far, so good. Cautiously optimistic.

Glad you're enjoying it!

Yeah that foliage pop-in is nothing to sneeze at, but if the limitation (at least during initial development for the Wii) in the way of realising these massive areas was the foliage, then I don't really mind. That being said I'm not sure if that limitation would still be as much a problem as this Switch remaster some 10 years later would make it seem... :laughing:

I don't feel like Chain Attacks sour the experience at all, but I'm over 25 hours in now and have only felt like it's really added to one or two particular boss battles not too long after it was introduced. In other battles...not so much. 

Quote

Where did you find this number?

I had to count :blank: 

Not sure why there isn't a count here like in other games, seems like it would just be a decent QoL improvement.

That and a Photo Mode. The scope of this game and some of the location design is mesmerising at times, so having to zoom the camera in, angle it so that I don't see the Monado on Shulk's back, and manually hide the HUD in Display Settings, take my screenshot, and then head back into Display Settings to manually display them all after is a bit of a pain. Not a big problem, but it would be nice if they updated it. 

Also, with regards to tips...

16 hours ago, drahkon said:

Any advice? Some of you know that I love to grind and get powerful early on. Tell me how to do that. :p

I feel like most have been covered, but with regards to grinding as someone who appreciates a good grind: the best way I think to gain experience, money, and explore in this game, is honestly through accepting and completing every side quest you can (or reasonably want to).

In a lot of cases you get much more experience and money completing quests when compared with just battling monsters, and it helps to structure the exploration of these massive areas as you follow the quest markers around, and you might find you come up against Unique Monsters which you might not have otherwise found, or they might take you into stretches of the map that you wouldn't have otherwise explored.

Following on from that, like @S.C.G touched on above, is how exploration in this game is great in that you're rewarded with EXP for finding new locations and landmarks, and a boatload of experience points when you find a Secret Area. It's a feedback loop which I'm really appreciating the design of, because it feeds into a natural loop for a JRPG (exploring and grinding) but on a pretty massive scale, and I'm surprised that (so far) I've found it to be as successful as I have.

The only issue I've come up a little is being overlevelled in this game isn't as enjoyable as being at the same level when compared with enemies. I've been following the above feedback loop and found myself 2-4 levels above nearby enemies, and I'm putting nearly as much thought or getting as much out of battles as I feel I was earlier in the game. And it's different I feel to most other JRPG's I've found myself overlevelled in in that in those games I felt like I was more powerful than my enemy with the numbers on screen, but unless you're visiting areas where there is a substantial difference in level, the power gap isn't nearly as noticeable as it might be in other games, and it's this weird middle ground. Boss fights and Unique Monsters are still something I'm having fun with, though. 

Other advice would be to not be afraid of running away from monsters you're underlevelled to take on or you feel you're getting destroyed by. One of the pop-ups early on in the game describe it as a valid tactic, and honestly, it really is. I've been doing my best to read the warnings when multiple enemies much higher in level than myself that aren't Unique Monsters turn up, and just earmarked those areas for exploration at a later time, and it's giving me something to look forward to if/when I return to those areas. 

Oh, and don't forget to invest in your Arts and try to buy Intermediate Arts Manuals where you can - this raises the level cap on Arts you purchase a manual for from 4 to 7. Most of the ones I've found so far have been in shops in settlements (the last tab in the store menu). 

Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts! :smile: 

Edited by Julius
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites