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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D - n3DS only


Jamie John
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Nice tip with following the story for a bit. I had a quick go of this yesterday and was killing rabbits and flies for quite a while, and knowing me I probably would have got tied up with side quests and exploring if I had carried on. I am going to finish Majora's Mask and Persona Q before I play it properly though.

It looks a bit rough, but that's to be expected I guess, and I wasn't keen on the voice acting, so I might switch that off and read the subtitles, but the soundtrack is gorgeous!

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I don't find the voice acting too bad. It's nice to hear an all British cast, and it beats the shit out of Bravely Default's voice acting, which was completely intolerable. It does sound a bit like an animated Cebeebies show at times, though, granted.

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I played it for a bit on the Wii, but it didn't really click. Then again, very little did on the Wii. Maybe better on the smaller screens? I find I have far more time for RPGs and slower paced games on handhelds compared to the big screen.

I'm very much of the same bent. I wasn't able to complete Persona 4 until I played the Vita version.

Is it possible to switch characters mid battle? Do you have any say in what the non-controlled characters do or is it fully automated?

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Is it possible to switch characters mid battle? Do you have any say in what the non-controlled characters do or is it fully automated?

on the wii you press ZL + d-pad direction to give commands iirc - I mainly used

- move to me

- attack my target

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Focus Attacks makes quite a difference - I basically use it all the time on the Wii. The AI generally won't use any AoE effect against a single enemy unless you issue that command, and some later characters actually won't attack at all, just hold back and use buffs. It also makes aggro management a lot easier.

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on the wii you press ZL + d-pad direction to give commands iirc - I mainly used

- move to me

- attack my target

I haven't had a tutorial for that yet so maybe I haven't unlocked it so far. I just went into some cave and got rushed by a giant caterpillar that jumped out of nowhere and scared me shitless.

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That bug's out apparently :)

It’s about the bug that made your characters weaker than their status screen showed. Your characters have an auto-attack, which ranges between two fixed points. For example: Shulk has an auto-attack power of 1200-1600 points, at least the status screen says that. But the bug didn’t make it possible to deal more damage then 1299, because it always just took the minimal possible damage and added 99 points to it. It was never possible to deal 1600 in that situation, only with critical attacks and special attacks.
The good news is that Xenoblade Chronicles 3D addresses this issue completely. Your characters can now dish out full damage with auto-attacks.
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I've just encountered gem crafting and it's a bit confusing. Is there any use for some of the crappy low-level gems I've made - can they be 'recycled' or should I just sell them?

It's worth crafting Agility, Ether and HP up gems in the early game, but little else. You'll get better gems from questing and completing the collectopedia (trading, too).

Later game, gem crafting is vital, and with new skills and high affinities, you can make perfect gems far better than any others in the game.

There's no recycling of old gems - one you start getting Level 2 crystals, L1 gems, crystals and cylinders are basically useless. Sell them if you want, but you'll rarely if ever want for money in Xenoblade.

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Are not many other people playing this, then?

Once you reach Gaur Plains (about 5 or so hours in) the game really opens up, getting-out-of-Midgar style, and becomes a lot more enjoyable. I was going along with it feeling a little underwhelmed until that point, but I spent two hours last night and a few hours this morning exploring the Bionis' leg area and I still haven't opened up all of the map. I thought I was doing well until I came across a whole new area full of these huge toadstool structures which was the same size of the area I'd just spent ages exploring. That was a great moment.

The sense of scale in the environment is pretty staggering, even on the 3DS's smaller screens. It reminds me of the multi-layered landscape in Shadow of the Colossus, except this time, far from being the barren, ruinous place you encountered in SotC, the environment is full of fauna for you to happily slaughter and items to hunt down to add to your collectopedia. Everything's seamless, too, with no loading times: you can just pick a point in the distance and head towards it, and everything just goes on and on until you get there (that is, unless you get run down by a massive triceratops, which is what happened to me, or killed by this huge troll thing that suddenly appears

if you kill one of its horses).

If anything, playing this is getting me more and more hyped for X and being able to explore similar, probably even bigger environments in all their HD glory.

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Make sure you know about quick travel - there are an amazing number of people on the GameFAQ's boards who play 60-70hrs into the game before discovering it exists.

Do you mean just selecting landmarks on the map to warp to, instead of back tracking? There's a tutorial about it so I'm not sure how you'd miss it.

I've just recruited Sharla, who seems to be a healer/white mage type. I'm currently playing as Shulk and so don't have any control over her actions. Later in the game, is a mechanic introduced that allows you to tell the non-controlled characters how to behave, or what specific arts to use? At the moment the automatic AI is enough to get by on (although Reyn doesn't always use his topple move when I want him to) but I can imagine some of the more complicated battles against tougher monsters are going to feel a bit simplistic or frustrating if you have to rely on the AI. There's nothing like FFXII's gambit system, then?

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As well as warping within a region from the quick map (minus button on the Wii - not sure how the controls map on the N3DS), you can also warp between regions by choosing the map off the menu and selecting region names. So you can warp directly from Gaur Plain back to the Gem Man at Colony 6, for example. I think it's this bit that people miss.

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No extra control over the AI, unfortunately - just the Focus Attacks, Attack at Will and Come to Me commands. Which arts you give them also makes a difference - it can be worth swapping arts (or removing them completely) when you hand a character over to the AI. Some pretty good Arts are sadly just not worth using with the AI, unless they've tweaked it for N3DS.

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Thanks for the info. Do you change which character you control between battles, then? I've just stuck with Shulk so far, letting Reyn go in first and draw all the aggro so I can do my side stab attacks and back slashes. I've used this same strategy for more or less every encounter and it hasn't really let me down so far.

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So what does the extra N3DS power do? I watched some videos but this is one butt-ugly game :wacko:

Aesthetically it's nothing to write home about, granted, but technically it's a very impressive game once you actually play it for a few hours: you can traverse absolutely huge open, diverse areas, full of NPCs, enemies and items, completely seamlessly, without any loading times or transitions whatsoever. When you get into battle there's no FF or Persona-style dissolve into combat: the battle interface simply pops up and you just go into fight mode, without a hitch. After the monsters are dead you collect your items and move on, with no tedious celebration animations or experience point screens. For all the information that's hurled at you once you go into battle, as well as the number of monsters that you can face simultaneously, the frame-rate is also surprisingly solid.

Imagine walking from the base of the Deku Tree to the summit of Death Mountain, but with no loading screens or transitions between the various areas, then multiply the time it takes you to make that journey and the distance travelled by ten, then imagine that Hyrule field is populated by hundreds of monsters, some of whom are ten or twenty times as big as you are, and who tend to move in packs, then imagine making that journey on a handheld console you're playing half a foot from your face, in bed, and in super-stable 3D.

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I guess. I've played the Wii version for a bit (which looked OK despite not being HD), but then this looks so jaggy and blurry at the same time that some stills look more like sick than a game. Seems like an ill fit to put a game of this scale with these ambitions on such a relatively weak platform. It gives me the same sense of wrong as some PS2 style games trying to squeeze down to the PSP like the GTA stories games back in the day. I was entertaining the thought of giving this a shot, but after watching those vids I'm completely put off by it.

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Imagine walking from the base of the Deku Tree to the summit of Death Mountain, but with no loading screens or transitions between the various areas, then multiply the time it takes you to make that journey and the distance travelled by ten, then imagine that Hyrule field is populated by hundreds of monsters, some of whom are ten or twenty times as big as you are, and who tend to move in packs, then imagine making that journey on a handheld console you're playing half a foot from your face, in bed, and in super-stable 3D.

Great illustration, thanks for that! Can't wait to finally receive my copy at the end of the week.

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I guess. I've played the Wii version for a bit (which looked OK despite not being HD), but then this looks so jaggy and blurry at the same time that some stills look more like sick than a game. Seems like an ill fit to put a game of this scale with these ambitions on such a relatively weak platform. It gives me the same sense of wrong as some PS2 style games trying to squeeze down to the PSP like the GTA stories games back in the day. I was entertaining the thought of giving this a shot, but after watching those vids I'm completely put off by it.

I've only been playing for relatively short amount of time and I'm enjoying it, but then I'm not that bothered by graphics if the gameplay's up to scratch, which is definitely the case with this (for the moment, at least). I often find I'm too immersed in the game world to notice its graphical shortcomings.

It's up to you, of course, but considering the original is frequently lauded and has popped up quite a few times in the recent Best Games Ever thread, I think you owe it to yourself to at least give it a try. Even if you don't like it you can sell it on again without making too much of a loss, I'd imagine.

What did you not like about the original? Do you still own it? If you didn't like the original, and this version's supposed to be inferior, then I can't see why you'd want to buy this. Then again, I find JRPGs infinitely more playable in handheld form.

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What did you not like about the original? Do you still own it? If you didn't like the original, and this version's supposed to be inferior, then I can't see why you'd want to buy this. Then again, I find JRPGs infinitely more playable in handheld form.

Wel, exactly the last bit you said. I can stomach JRPGs much better on a handheld as somehow that kind of grindy gameplay works better when chipping away at it 30 minutes here and there combined with longer sessions. When I'm at home playing on the big screen I just want the big popcorn stuff rather than the grinds.
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Thanks for the info. Do you change which character you control between battles, then? I've just stuck with Shulk so far, letting Reyn go in first and draw all the aggro so I can do my side stab attacks and back slashes. I've used this same strategy for more or less every encounter and it hasn't really let me down so far.

Yeah, I like to mix it up. There are a few reasons to do so:

  • Variety! Shulk's not that much fun to play compared to some of the others (Reyn is actually one of my favourites)
  • Gets you a good feel for how a character is supposed to be played, and lets you work out which arts to choose and level, and which Gems to use.
  • When accepting quests, people in the #2 and #3 slot will chip in, raising affinity with whoever is in the #1 slot. Mixing it up means that the affinity love gets shared out more evenly. I think this applies to some of the burst affinities too (the ones in battle), but I'm not sure.

However, I can offer one good reason not to - in the early game, particularly against Mechon, the best use of your chain attacks is often to Break/Topple/Daze, which means you need someone with Break in slot #1 (Shulk) and someone with Topple in slot #2 (Reyn). Later in the game, chain attacks are all about doing huge damage by combining same-colour arts and wildcard talent arts - nothing like Shulk's backslash with a 5 x multiplier behind it!

The other reason not to is that the AI isn't great with Shulk, being a bit too fond of Monado Buster in particular. But you'll get a character later that the AI's even worse with, so it's definitely worth mixing it up.

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