Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Xenoblade Chronicles: Initial Thoughts

Well we've spent about 20 hours with Xenoblade Chronicles and overall we're enjoying it. First up is that you can download twelve tracks for free when you register the game with Nintendo which is nice. Something for nothing (well, for £40 but hey). Is it one of the best jRPGs or even RPGs of this generation as many reviews have been claiming? Possibly, but there are a few gripes even very early in.

1) Sound Bites. The noises that your party makes during battle get repetitive very quickly. They start repeating after about one battle. I'm sure that as the party expands you'll get to hear some more lines but how did nobody spot that it is irritating to hear the same phrases over and over again? It is grating and somewhat undermines the fiction of the game unless your characters are supposed to have short term memory loss or a total lack of imagination when it comes to battle cries.

2) TITS. Currently, the best armour for the female in the party seems to be a pair of knickers. So in all the cutscenes she's trying to be serious but has essentially left the house underdressed. Quite how they provide the highest physical defence when the barely cover the lower half of the body is beyond me. The boob jiggle is a little bit too sensitive too. Still we cracked one out over the characters just in case.

3)Localisation. The localisation has been receiving some praise. Possibly just because it was localised in the first place rather than for the quality of the effort. There's something distinctly jarring about the English accents that unfortunately makes the game humorous when I don't think it is trying to be. The fact that the main protagonist and his best buddy sound not unlike Simon Pegg and Nick Frost makes it a little bit more acceptable. I turned the English voices off but then missed the comedic delivery so it is back on for the time being.

4) Shulk is a prick. Okay so he isn't as androgynous as tradition dictates but he is annoying. SPOILERS AHOY! He has the power to see in the future but the first twenty times he sees into the future he chooses not to tell the people involved that he sees that they might be in trouble or how they die or to avoid big spiders. For no good reason either. It's irking. JUST TELL THEM YOU MORON, YOU'VE GOT NOTHING TO LOSE.

These are minor gripes you understand. The rest of the game is pretty good, particularly the living breathing ecosystems you traverse through. Xenoblade Chronicles also manages to breath life into the long stale villager fetch quests but we'll cover that in a later post. The game also seems to take inspiration from all sorts of weird places rather than retread the tropes of more established RPGs including TGAM favourite Shadow of Memories, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, a splash of Monster Hunter and even Kingdom Hearts. Of course the story is total bobbins and the main character is a prick but you can't win them all.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I know exactly what you mean about the almost comedic value of the English localisation.

I actually really like it overall, but at first it was a little jarring, probably because I am just not used to hearing British voices in a video game and it took me back.