I have been waiting quite a while to review this game. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a RPG game I did a post on WAY back when it was first announced. Now I have the game (and beaten the main story) so I decided to share my thoughts on it. Oh and a quick heads up for families: WARNING!!! This game contains instances of giant robot violence and mild language (the game is rated T for Teen by the way).
I was holding off on reviewing this game because I have said, this game is a little bit more mature than most of the games I play (But nowhere near as mature/adult themed as say, Bayonetta or Call of Duty).
Before we begin let's start off with the premise.
Once upon a time too alien races went to war against each other. They decided to have their big showdown DIRECTLY ABOVE THE EARTH. Those too aliens somehow managed to blow up the Earth, but the human race survives thanks to several Noah's Ark style spaceships that launched from every major center of population on the planet. Our story follows the crew of the White Whale, which crash landed on a planet called Mira (because we're STUCK ON A WHOLE DIFFERENT PLANET!).
You get your own *mecha in this game!
I would like to say that this game is actually a spiritual sequel to another game called Xenoblade Chronicles. This game uses an improved version of that game's combat and X's over-world is, according to the creator of both games, 5x larger! According to everyone that has played the game this is the LARGEST game EVER MADE. The original game has better memes though :^)
Original Xenoblade memes
And now for X memes.
This is the only Xenoblade X meme I could find :S
While I did enjoy the game and still enjoy it, this game did have a few problems that bug me. The one that bugs me the most? The enemy placement.
Normally the enemies themselves are something that never bug me. So why do these enemies bug me? Because of the absurd (in a bad way) level inconsistencies. You can literally see a group of level 5 spiders standing next to a level 90 gorilla/dinosaur thing. I've actually seen people praise the game for this feature as it "makes the world feel alive" but I would rather have more consistent levels among enemies, but I don't like getting one-shot by a level 70+ optional super-boss that they put in the tutorial place. I am not kidding. The starting continent, titled Primordia, has LOTS of super bosses that can easily kill in a matter of seconds. So your only option is to run way or sneak around them (mostly the latter)
Nopon are adorable!
I am well aware that inconsistent enemies levels means you COULD grind EXP (which stands for Excutio- Er I mean, Experience Points) to increase your LV (which stands for Level of Violenc- Oops I mean, Level!). But I would rather have it so that Primordia's enemies are levels 1-10, the next continent's enemies are level 11-20, and so forth.
I have noticed this game is very gear dependent. Your stats do increase when you level up, but armor and weapons are where the meat of your power comes from. And that brings me to my favorite feature and EVERY RPG game needs to start doing this. Fashion gear. Don't like how your armor looks but it gives you an amazing stat boost? Worry not! Fashion Gear lets you wear anything you want without altering your stats. So if you wanted to you could keep yourself in the default armor while wearing a bulky suit of armor. You get the stats of the bulky outfit but it LOOKS like your wearing the default outfit! Convenient!
Boring Normal Dude Vs Cool Lightsaber Dude!
Anyway, let's move on from that bad note. Ignoring the bad enemy consistencies, the actual design of almost every enemy is quite cool. And Tyrant names. Tyrants are extra strong versions of normal enemies. Unlike regular enemies which have generic names (Blatta, Cancor, etc) Tyrants have individual names followed by an adjective. These range from intimidating (Telethia the End-bringer!) to hilarious (Sheldon the Dentally Challenged!).
Speaking of designs...
This game is so pretty!
On another note, the combat in this game is interesting. Regular attacks are completely automatic as long as you are within range. Meanwhile, you manually select stronger attacks, called Arts in the game, from a little hot-bar, all while moving in real time. In fact some Arts do more damage from certain positions (e.g. Back Slash deals double damage from behind).
NOTE: This is a screen shot of the Japanese version.
One of the coolest things about this game is that you can create your own character! Almost nothing is permanent with the exception of the name. You can customize the hair style, hair color, height, gender, pupil shape and eye color, skin tone, scarring (to make your character look like a kick-butt bounty hunter or something), tattoos (that range from absurdly epic to absurdly girly) and voice (oddly enough your character is full voiced during combat but doesn't speak at all during cinematics), Furthermore you can choose one of three classes (which branch off into two more classes each) that determines your character's play style. I like how they organized all the classes in order of easiest to use to hardest to use. The one I recommend for beginners is the Striker to Samurai Gunner/Shield Trooper class, while Commando to Winged Viper (most epic name for a class ever)/Partisan Eagle is more for intermediate players and finally, Enforcer = Psycorruptor/Blast Fencer is for experts. Don't like how your class plays? you can change it any time you want!
On the topic of the story, the game only has twelve main story missions while having close to a hundred side missions. Something bizarre is that you cannot continue the main story unless a specific side mission is completed, explore a certain percentage of the five continents, or both. I do not have a problem with the exploration ones, but it makes you wonder why you have to do side missions first, since they are mandatory they might as well make those side missions story missions in and of themselves. Furthermore, side missions are divided into three types. Basic (generic fetch/kill quests), Normal (can be best described as an manga style story arc centered around characters you wouldn't meet otherwise) and Affinity (reveals more about the origins of certain Party Members)
You also get your own robot/mecha called a Skell (Doll if you are playing the Japanese version), and trust me, you are going to want to get one as quickly as possible, because quite frankly, they are overpowered.
However in true RPG fashion you get multiple party members (a grand total of 16 party members, technically 17 but the last one has a BAD time at the end :P). So casting spoilers to the side I will tell you about two really important Party Members and on of my personal favorites.
First, the two important party members.
Elma! The main heroine of Xenoblade Chronicles X (they establish early on that you are just along for the ride), Elma was at one time a soldier back on Earth. She possesses incredible fighting skills and shoots bad guys in the face in the middle of their evil boast (I'm not kidding, she really did shoot one of the major villains in the face right in the middle of their evil boast). However, an optional conversation you can have with her reveals that although she has incredible fighting skills, she is terrible at everything else.
Random fun fact! Some people wanted her in Smash Bros. But that gun-slinging witch won the Ballot. Although I think Elma would have been better because she has dual guns AND swords at the same time and actually looks cool. That and **Ghost Walker is OP!!!
And the other character that plays a big role in the story is...
Lao! You remember that I said that one of the party members has a bad time at the end of the story? Well... Yeah. Anyway, Lao comes with a sniper rifle, so he has good long range attacks. I've seen that a lot of people are annoyed with a plot twist later on in the story because of #LaoLogic. I was going to make a joke about how Lao's eyes look like the Rinnegan (Not to be confused with Sharingan) from the Naruto franchise, but decided not to because we already used that joke with Corrin's Sharingan.
Anyway, moving on from these two mega important party members, I will share some info on my personal favorite.
L! Yes. His name is literally the letter L. L is an alien who learned the English language in the most hilarious way possible. Remember the Noah's Ark style space ships I mentioned? Well the Library section of the White Whale crashed close to where he lives and he read every book in that library. And the best part is this guy is the embodiment of funny, since he gets most proverbs and metaphors wrong. And now, a montage of L's best moments
"It isn't over 'till the fat baby sinks..." "Fight the fires with fire!" "It's a horse-eat-horse world..." "I'm walking on the Ninth Cloud!" "Cripple them! Phazaow!" "We'll gladly let you in one ear and out the other!" "Three in a row! Now move in for the krill!" "This number...has been disconnected..."
I am surprised everything about this guy didn't become a dank meme yet. DO IT INTERNET!! JUST DO IT!!
The hub world of NLA (New Los Angeles) is not
the most exciting place, is it?
And the final thing I will say is the music... Well it's not bad. It's just hard to take seriously (one of the songs literally has "we're stuck on a whole different planet" as lyrics). Although there are some stand out songs in the soundtrack (Sylvalum day theme, Wier Fligen, Uncontrollable, and Don't Worry are my favorite songs in the game). I'm going be that guy and point out that Xenoblade Chronicles X's entire OST is nothing compared to any single song from Undertale. Yes, I know it's unfair but SOMEBODY had to do it.
Overall, I give this game a 8/10. The music isn't bad, but not crazy fantastic. It's good. The Story is mostly good but the ending is kind of anticlimactic (There's something about this planet!). And am I the only person who played the game and actually LIKED ***Tatsu!? *locks himself in Tatsu hater proof shelter* And I LOVE the fashion gear because I am that guy that dresses my character in RPG's to look cool while completely ignoring the function of the outfit. Er, at least when I was a kid. Now I dress for fashion AND function!
*- Mecha. A genre of science fiction starring humanoid robots that are controlled by humans. The more you Know! *twinkle*
**- Ghost Walker is one Elma's best Arts. It grants Decoy, which basically makes it so you auto-dodge all attacks for a few seconds. You can increase the duration of the Art by upgrading it. Someone discovered that with the right build you can spam Ghost Walker indefinitely making you almost completely invincible. Because of this, lots of people don't like using Ghost Walker because it's "easy mode". The More you Know! *double twinkle*
***- Tatsu is a character in the game. He is not playable, but he is technically a Party Member as he joins your team as a guest during the story. Once you beat the game, however, you can ditch him. But why would you? He's a pink rabbit dude with swirly glasses!
As you can tell I really like making "the more you know!" jokes.