On second thought, let’s not play Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It is a silly game.

13 hours into Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which is a good time for a break. The first of many such breaks, if my record with the original is anything to go by. It’s good that I waited 13 hours before posting because now I have a better handle on the battle system and controls. Now I can write something more positive and fun.

Why a break, then? Two reasons. One, I’m starting to enjoy the system but the story is just…………….. ….. yeah. And the cutscenes are way too long and pointless. Xenosaga-level.

In fact the direct trigger for the break was when I found myself skipping a post-boss cutscene that just wouldn’t end. I didn’t mean to skip, but before I knew it I had subconsciously pressed the buttons. As a result, I have no idea how Rex and his team ended up all buddy-buddy with the guys at the Garfont camp. All I know is it’s a bad sign when you find yourself skipping story scenes this early in a game’s life. Hence time to take a break and recover my movie-watching capacity.

The second reason for the break is because I want to spend the 9th-14th grinding up two FLB Fimbuls in Granblue Fantasy. Granblue Fans are already familiar with this special form of torture. Those who don’t know are better off not knowing. Either way the less said the better.

Regular Xenoblading activities will resume in a week or two. In the meantime I’m not sure whether I should give my thoughts on XC2 or not. It hasn’t been long since I started and I only just found my feet, so my opinion is bound to change as I go along. I guess it can’t hurt to note a few things that stood out to me (mild spoilers below).

Geh. I just spoiled myself a bit.

Let’s start on a positive note: Bright, happy colors! And a great soundtrack too. And the battle system is starting to get interesting with all these combos and arts and blades and affinities and on and on. It’s very promising so far.

My biggest problem with Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and the reason why I can put it down so easily is that the whole map is drawn for you at the start. I was looking forward to swimming and climbing for hours to get all the maps filled out only to find out 90% of the work has been done for me already. I’m still interested and motivated, but it’s gone from a Must Play to a Sure I Guess now.

Btw, just because the map is available doesn’t mean it’s actually useful. If anything, it makes it easier to get lost because now it’s really difficult to tell where you’ve already been vs. where you have yet to go. It’s faster to count the times when I didn’t get hopelessly lost on my way somewhere than the times I did.

The hero Rex is yet another plucky, feeble-brained hero who dares all things and believes all things just because a pretty girl told him so. Seeing as the JRPG industry couldn’t exist without these fine, gullible fellows, I don’t want to be too hard on Rex-Rex but… He’s even dumber than the usual examples. Not only does he not question anything Pyra says or does but he won’t allow anyone else to do so either. Have it your way, lover boy. Just don’t come crying to me about how she tricked you or hid the truth further down the line.

Minor nitpick: If you’re hiding from some unsavory dudes and you have distinctive looks, maybe you should disguise yourself? Not just once in a while but all the time? Or does that make too much sense, Pyra?

I hate that thing RPGs do where we beat the boss resoundly in battle but in the cutscene afterwards everyone’s on the ground panting, “Huff, huff, they’re too strong! We can’t take them!” I WAS TAKING THEM! Didn’t you see me taking them? Where do you think all this EXP came from?! GRRRHHKGKKK! It’s not just one boss, it’s almost all the bosses I’ve fought so far. Why do you think I started skipping the movies?

It’s really funny how the gameplay works against the story when you’re supposed to be trapped or on the run but you can warp out at any time and go rest, do sidequests, level up, anything you want. The story is all like “How do we break out of here?” then five seconds later Rex and co. are at the mall getting some burgers and restocking, then another five seconds later: “We’ll never get out of this dungeon!” XDDD

I understand why Monolith designed the game that way, because otherwise you might get stuck on boss fights. I experienced it myself in an early battle when Rex was only level 6 or so. Dead in 30 seconds, never knew what hit me. A quick trip to the inn to level up and readjust my accessories after respawning and I went right back to the battlefield where the bosses were kindly waiting for me. It was an easy fight this time so yeah, I get why they made that option available. It’s still silly, though.

I was all fired up to do lots of sidequests but each one is so lengthy and the rewards are so poor that I’ve put them on hold for now. “Get me X” -> “Okay, now get me Y” -> “I forgot, I need Z too” -> “Oops, my A is broken, I need someone to fix it.” The quest doesn’t end until you’ve done every chore they had on their To Do List that day. Lazy wretches.

Welp, that’s enough for the early thoughts on Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Sometime this weekend I hope to find the time to do a few more La Corda d’Oro 2 routes and start Atelier Totori Plus. I haven’t forgotten about Tokyo Xanadu eX+ either, but I’m okay on the ARPG front for now so I’m kicking it down the road to March. See you guys next week!

6 thoughts on “On second thought, let’s not play Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It is a silly game.

  1. Leleco says:

    Push it further. The story itself isnt bad. Everything else character related is super terrible and you probably just saw that regrettable H2h in Uraya which made you want to squeeze the life out of a kitten. The game gets more fun and more options will be added to the combat… i have a feeling you will like the gachaesque aspect of the whole blade deal. Also, if you ever feel like playing splatoon or boomberman jus say the word ;D.

    • Kina says:

      Okay! I’m terrible at action games though, so I’ve never looked into those.
      I hear XC2’s story gets better and the cutscenes get shorter and less frequent from chapter 4 onwards (har har, someone ran out of budget~) so that’s something to look forward to.
      I don’t mind the randomness of the core crystals at all, but I do want them to hurry up with the update that skips the animation. I’m looking forward to getting some of the rare blades. They look interesting.

  2. Christna Heng says:

    Just found your blog!
    I wonder but have you played Xenoblade Chronicles X?
    I’m new to the series and I remember playing that and being extremely disappointed in it, not a bad game in itself but the ending is a huge slap to the face since it just stops (there will certainly be a sequel to this) and they spoiled the whole game through trailers and the music is surprisingly few inbetween it feels like the same tracks are being played.

    Would you still recommend picking this up, even if the story isn’t up to par.
    I can’t imagine it being worse than XCX since most of that game’s plot has to be done by side quests and through reading expositions.

    • Kina says:

      I haven’t played XCX, unfortunately. I couldn’t justify buying a Wii U just for one game.
      That “trailers spoil the whole game” phenomenon is why I avoid watching trailers as much as possible these days.

      If you’re new to the series and already have a Switch, get this game. The combat is smoother and easier to follow, the game is much prettier and more colorful and I am assured that the story is not bad at all and actually ends conclusively. The gorgeous graphics and great soundtrack alone would be enough for me to recommend this game. However since I haven’t finished it myself I can’t push it very strongly.

      What I have finished and do recommend if you have a Wii is the original Xenoblade. I like it more than XC2 so far because you actually get to explore the map. Plus the maps are smaller = it’s harder to get lost. If you don’t like open world games you might not like it but if you do then it’s great.

      The cast is older so it doesn’t have the same kiddy/cutesy feel and wacky anime humor – may or may not be a good thing depending on your tastes. The story isn’t too bad but the pacing is poor. There are a number of slow moments when nothing seems to be happening at all. But in the end everything is wrapped up and most plotholes are closed, no need to look up FAQs or wikis to get the full story.

      TL;DR – If you have a Switch, get XC2. It’s gorgeous and fun to play. If you have a Wii, get XC first. It’s not quite as gorgeous but features more exploration and the main character is not a girl-crazy thirteen-year old.

      • ogopogo says:

        Can’t say I’m surprised you weren’t enjoying the overly long cut scenes with waaay too much emphasis on feels. Even though I’ve put 180+ hours into XC2 and mostly completed everything the game has to offer, I honestly can’t say whether it was worth it in the end or not.

        Personally, I found both the original XC and XCX to be much more enjoyable in the long run. While it’s true, X’s ending too have made me rage to the point where I was considering never buying another Monolith Soft game until they actually finish the god damn story in X, I’ve come to accept X’s ending as it is now I’ve more time to think about what it all means. On the other hand, I don’t feel like my issues with 2’s story will just resolve themselves upon further reflection. And when it comes to everything else in the game: gameplay, UI, music, graphic etc, it felt like 2 is honestly a step backward in everything except for the graphic. What I will say about XC2 though, is there are actually a lot of comedy scenes that worked and genuinely made me laugh out loud, however, the fact some of them are locked behind RNG gacha and some people might never even see those parts of the game just makes me really sad.

        • Kina says:

          Eep! 180 hours… I have seen my future, and it fills me with terror.😨
          Without spoiling, was X’s ending one of those “Just stops in the middle wherever” kind of endings? Or is it one of those that wraps up the immediate problems but leaves some unanswered questions for the future? I want to play it pretty badly but I need my games to end properly.

          I like a good laugh as much as the next person, and at 180 hours I’ll be writing a LOT of Xenoblade 2 posts so if something really funny happens I’ll be sure to report it. So far the only “funny” stuff I’ve seen is Nia getting angry because the Wanted poster… uh wait, I’d better not spoil for fans who haven’t played it yet. But it’s a lot of “supposed to be funny” humor, is what I’m driving at.

          Anyway, we’ll see how things turn out.

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