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Xenoblade Chronicles 2


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1 hour ago, Alexlotl said:

Just finished Chapter 7.

 

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Chapter 7 is a weird beast, asking for much greater effort from the player, but dishing out lots of rewarding character development in return.

 

As I’ve played it before I was ready for the big power nerf in Spirit Crucible Elpys, and while we died a few times (usually when getting mobbed by multiple enemies), it was good fun to think my way through. With blade combos largely off the table, I rejigged to emphasise driver combos, giving Rex Praxis (break), Agate (launch) and Roc (smash). The Poppies gave me Topple and Smash, and I mained Nia kitted out with Dromarch and Boreas (both break), and Ursula (launch), the latter fresh from her completed blade quest.

 

Maining Nia turned out to be necessary due to the massive amount of healing I required and the unreliable nature of the AI. Flipping between Dro-times and Boreas kept me topped up, then I’d keep Ursula in the bag for the 40% heal on switch and/or her launch art. Managed to find all the secrets and mop up all of the UMs!

 

Plot wise, I love Nia’s opening up in this chapter, probably the best arc/payoff in the game. I decided I’d carry it forward by using her blade form throughout the Cliffs of Morytha, but this area is legit hard, and I struggled to keep the party alive against some of the UMs with just the one source of healing. I ended up switching back to Driver Nia after the first Malos fight.

 

Anyway, in line with the suggestions of the architect (Takahashi), I’m going to stop the main game here and play through Torna: The Golden Country, then resume from Chapter 8. Apparently the plot content of Torna was supposed to sit here, before being cut from the main game to get it finished on schedule. I’ve never played Torna before, so I’m looking forward to learning more about Jin & Lora, not to mention Cole and Mikhail. 

Torna was great, played as much time in that as the main game, think between the two, I must have sunk nigh on 400 Hours !!!

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  • 7 months later...
  • 3 months later...
20 minutes ago, Ninja Doctor said:

So I’m 50 hours in and somewhere in chapter 6.  If I do the dlc after chapter 7, are all the controls and systems the same or will I have to relearn everything when I go back to the main story?

Every thing works the same if I remember correctly, but flipping heck, doing the DLC before finishing the main game ? I stuck 150+ Hours into the stand alone DLC ( I think, it was a LOT of hours though, as I went a bit crazy trying to beat all the special enemies etc ), XC3 needs to hurry up and shadow drop!!

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The combat system is quite different for the DLC, IMO - I find it quite unintuititve in comparison. To be honest, I'd press on and finish the main game them come back to it. That's from the perspective of someone who did exactly what you're planning in his second playthrough and stalled completely half-way through the DLC!

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10 minutes ago, Ninja Doctor said:

So, I’ve got to the point where Nia’s second ‘outfit’ gets unlocked. 
 

you really can’t play this around kids can you?

Erm... Poppi is going to blow your mind mate, by the time of the third upgrade!!

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  • 2 months later...

So now this is the second proper jrpg I've finished* (after 100ish hours) and once again I bloody loved it! I think I'll pop back to the first one and do the Future Connected dlc, then download Torna and do that then, with a bit of luck, the next Monolithsoft game should be right around the corner. They sure do know how to make a good rpg.

 

*XC1 was the first. 

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5 minutes ago, Professor Puzzles said:

So now this is the second proper jrpg I've finished* (after 100ish hours) and once again I bloody loved it! I think I'll pop back to the first one and do the Future Connected dlc, then download Torna and do that then, with a bit of luck, the next Monolithsoft game should be right around the corner. They sure do know how to make a good rpg.

 

*XC1 was the first. 


You really need to somehow try some old 16bit and 32bit ones. Those are by far the best. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 4-9, etc.

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I fear I’m nearing the end so I’ve gone off to farm blades and mop up side quests. I’m currently at:

Spoiler

Just met Klaus and off to go kick Malos’ ass once more. 
 

If Addam turns out to be Shulk I’m going to not be happy though. 

 

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Mannnnnn XC1 really got me good. I’m not even sure why, but it just clicked for me.

 

i think being able to handheld improved the game immensely. 
 

I’m now thinking of diving into XC2, just wondering what the general consensus is? Having read back a few pages, it sounds like the plot might be not quite as good, but the combat is better. 
 

 

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28 minutes ago, KRP said:

Mannnnnn XC1 really got me good. I’m not even sure why, but it just clicked for me.

 

i think being able to handheld improved the game immensely. 
 

I’m now thinking of diving into XC2, just wondering what the general consensus is? Having read back a few pages, it sounds like the plot might be not quite as good, but the combat is better. 
 

 

Personally, I think 2 is better, I put more hours into xc2 and started a new game plus, with xc1, once it was finished I was happy to put it down.

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If I'm any use for calibration, I loved XC1, loved XC2 even more, hated XCX.

 

XC2 picks up a few anime tropes that rubbed some terribly serious people the wrong way, and the gacha mechanics for blades are kind of frustrating if you're a completionist, but from another perspective are a fun randomiser ensuring each playthrough is different. Some blades are better than others, but they're all good.

 

I think XC2 actually has a better story, descending much less into Xenogears wibble at the end than XC1 did.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And done. 
 

So I could go back in and mop up side quests, try to get all blades etc or start new game plus but to be honest happy to move on now. After 105 hours I’ve still got Metroid Dread to start. Doki Doki Literature Club next though. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Recent geopoliical events have left me needing some comfort food gaming, so re-downloaded my archived XC2 DLC (3.3Gb!) and jumped back into Torna, which I'd abandoned at about the half-way point.

 

I've got to say I struggle to comprehend the battle system in Torna. Too much stuff happening at once, an issue I didn't have with XC1 or XC2. Re-reading all the tutorials made my eyes spin, so I just upgraded everyone's skills, accessories, aux cores and core chips and hit lots of buttons in battle. It did the job, but to contradict Shulk, I wasn't really feeling it. I hope XC3 goes with a simpler system - XC2 felt just right in terms of complexity, for me.

 

I will polish off Torna, as I'm finding the story interesting, but I'm not sure I'd bother chasing any of the postgame stuff. Keen to get back to the main story of XC2, TBH.

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  • 2 months later...

Right, that's my New Game + finished, last few hours were JUST as tear shedding as the first playthrough, I hate that this game makes me cry, but also love it for it, it's just wonderfully put together and now I am thinking of doing a Torna replaythrough, in time for XC 3 to arrive :) 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/03/2019 at 02:04, Sie said:

I've been holding off playing this game since getting it shortly after release but last week, I finally whipped the shrink wrap off and got stuck in. I've been looking forward to it for ages and its one of the reasons I picked up a Switch to begin with (as I enjoyed XC1 loads).

 

And honestly, having just watched the final credits roll, it's been a massive disappointment.

 

I've spoilered my ramblings below for length (and also because they contain some actual spoilers too).

 

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My biggest criticism is that everything takes too damn long to do. Like, everything. It's a mess of needless over-design and terrible menus, chock full of superfluous systems that have so many pointless extra steps in them for no real reason (eg. having to refine aux cores - why?). This is compounded by the decision of implementing a gacha system for party make-up which boils down to praying to the RNG gods for a decent combat team to work with. I mean, not only was I praying for rare blades to be pulled but also hoping I'd pull them on the "correct" driver to be of any significant use. And then if I got a load of shit (which was most of the time), I'd then have to sort through them all when I hit the max blade cap, release a load of them (more shitty menu navigation to release them, urgh), grind for more cores and do it all again. It was such a chore and a vapid time-sink. No amount of luck stacking or boosters seem to affect the outcome either - it was just pure RNG. Burning through stacks of cores took too much time as well. I had a real shit blade pool throughout most of the game sadly.


The combat system. I can see what they were going for having all those layered combo mechanics - driver combos, blade combos, fusion combos, chain attacks - but I didn't think any of it added any real depth or strategy because it was next to impossible to actually line all of it up reliably. Too many times did I try to employ a strategy and chase a particular combo set up only for my own party AI to sabotage it by not pulling their weight in setting up driver combos for example. If I didn't set up my own character's blades to pull off 2 or 3 of the steps in the combo manually with blade switching (which gimped my party set up elsewhere), those combos very rarely happened. Early on in the game, I was really excited to get stuck into all those layers but I just found I didn't have anywhere near the amount of control to actually make it all flow well. And its so slow, even with all the art cancelling and food buffs in the world, killing stuff of equal level went at a glacial place. I started to actively avoid fights during the latter half of the game for this reason. The combat just never clicked in the same way it did for me in XC1.

Field skills. A neat idea in theory but implemented in such a way that I grew to despise it. Every time I had to once again delve into shitty menus to swap out blades just to activate their field skills on something and then swap them all back again, I'd sigh in despair. It was even worse if I didn't have enough levels in a particular skill because then it became necessary to go grind some more bullshit somewhere to get them. Engaging in merc missions with regular blades to overcome this just became another irritating, tedious time-sink to wait on. The cardinal sin was when the game would gate main plot content behind this whole system! But not only that, the game didn't even unlock fields skills as and when I acquired them - I still had to open up the field skill chart of each blade to see them actually unlock! Why?! Just unlock them without the need to go through those damn menus again!

Then we have all the wasted systems in the game that just didn't really add anything interesting. The cloud tides, salvaging, town development, Poppi customisation (having to play a shitty mini game to do it). The game gave me no compelling reason to engage with any of it yet went out of its way to tutorialise it all as something significant. In fact it did this a lot - tutorials everywhere for things that I would never actually need to really use (not once did I do a "full burst") but worst of all, tutorials you couldn't ever see again. "Didn't quite understand this mechanic we're teaching you? Well touch shit because we're not teaching you again - go read a wiki". I laughed out loud when another one popped up in chapter 9!

The story. Well, the opening scene of the game really had me gripped, seeing that vast cloud sea and the introduction of Rex salvaging beneath it. I couldn't wait to get stuck in. What I wasn't prepared for was the dreadful, convoluted "waifu animé" nonsense I was about to be assaulted with. A solid 80 hours of sheer guff, full of empty-headed naive do-gooders spouting cloying platitudes and twee moralising with shit like "We'll beat them with the power of friendship!". Then there's the outright pervy shit from outta nowhere - no, I really don't need to see a close up of Pyra's arse of Mythra's ridiculously large breasts but the game sure as shit is gonna leer at them anyway! It was skeevy as fuck. And I've never known a story so reliant on deus ex machina - there was always some stupid, preposterous reason as to why the journey ending roadblock could be overcome (usually involving some sickly sweet camaraderie or realisation). It was just an endless torrent of ridiculous bollocks just to keep things going. I lost count of how many times I'd kick the shit out of an "unstoppable" opponent only for them to kick my arse and become unstoppable again in the cut scene afterwards (one of the story's biggest issues for me). On the plus side, I didn't find the voice acting all that bad and actually grew to like some of the characters a bit but I don't think I ever truly cared what happened to any of them. I'd have quite liked to have seen Tora thrown into a blender in fact.

 

Some of the environments were spectacular though and were a joy to run around in. I'm always amazed at the sheer scale Monolithsoft are able to pull off. Just a shame those last few areas felt like they'd been nicked from FFXIII.

 

So yeah, I vastly prefer the original game :lol:. Sorry to those who really enjoyed it! It just wasn't my bag despite really, really wanting to like it. Though I understand the DLC implements some fixes for a lot of the gripes I have with the XC2 so I might pick that up at some point (I sorta wished I had bought it before starting when I found that out).


Well I finally finished this a couple of days ago and tbh I am completely in agreement with Sie’s seminal ‘I just was not feeling it’ post. 
 

If I hadn’t loved XC1 so much, and wanted to play XC3, I would have thrown the towel in a while ago. I never, at any point, got over how ridiculously hot and horny the female character models were. It took me out of every cut scene almost instantly. The supposed relationship between Rex and Pyra is so sterile and simplistic that making it a core story beat leaves little scope for any emotional nuance. 
 

Tora and Poppi were also not good, which is shame as I actually liked the more limited Nopon interactions in XC1. I think they only S Grade characters were Nia (ready or Gormotti!) and Zeke. 
 

I even thought the music was better in XC1, although I think both suffer from the daytime music being just slightly too bombastic during the day (but being sick as fuck at night). 
 

My introduction to this series was also XC1 Definitive Edition, which did feel like a very refined version of the original e.g. it recognises that mini quest are ultimately fetch work, so once you get or kill x whatevers the quest completes straightaway, no need to return to the quest giver. I think XC1 also had a lot more NPCs to talk too, so you got a bit more indirect Storytelling that way. In comparison XC2 feels unrefined and overly fussy. 
 

I also simply preferred the concept of only exploring two, really big titans, rather multiple smaller ones. I never quite got the same feeling of scale in this one, it might have been cool if you could actually sail the Cloud Sea yourself. 

There were some good bits: Torigoth and Uraya absolutely rule. The combat is slightly improved, but unfortunately very poorly explained. I really enjoyed the more sci-fi leaning sections toward the end, and I wish the game could have focused on that a bit more. 

 

I’m going to have to take a break from the series for a while now, maybe pick up XC3 this time next year. Still hyped for it as it sounds like it takes XC1 as it’s inspiration. 

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