Release: September 2nd 2011
Available in: Europe, South Africa, Russia (apparently also New Zealand and Australia)
- Alternative cover (as voted by fans)
- Limited edition includes a red Classic Controller Pro
- Preorder and receive one of three posters which include an electronic autograph of Tetsuya Takahashi (may depend on your country, will not be available in all countries)
Is it any good?
Originally Posted by Bebpo
+In addition to the normal choosing of commands, positioning and party member interaction make it more interactive than FFXII and thus more fun.
+Chain attack system is great. Connecting the same color attack increases damage exponentially, while tumbling an enemy opens up opportunity. Interesting decision choices.
+Tumble, paralyze, aura systems are great and lead to a lot of interesting battles.
+Every character is totally unique. Exact opposite of FFXII. By endgame no character is even remotely alike. All have their uses. All are fun to main as.
+Over 100 optional boss battles. Some are quite challenging and require good strategies, others are pushovers. Some just depend on what level you are when you fight them. But there's enough of them throughout, that you'll always have exciting fights with good rewards.
+No punishment for death gives an incentive to push yourself and try to fight anything you think you can. If you die, you simply start at last warp point and don't lose anything.
-3 party feels too limiting. Especially since so few spell types crossover. Someone is hit with poison? If you don't have the 1 character with cure status, you just gotta wait it out which is annoying. At times you are basically required to keep Shulk in your party and then you're limited even further to only 2 open slots. 4 person party would've gone a long way.
-AI is not terrible and you do have some control over it, but at the end of the day your AI partners will not play their characters as efficiently as you would have, which can be a bit annoying.
-Always auto-attacking while in battle. This is built into the system and so defenses are built around it occasionally. But sometimes you just want to NOT ATTACK so you don't trigger the counters, but you can't. >_<
+Great dungeon/field designs. Really intricate places with tons of secrets to reward those who explore. Lots of variety.
+Awesome weather effects. Every area has unique weather at random parts of the day.
+Gorgeous day/night cycle with music that fades nicely between night and day. Some areas become completely different during the night than they are during the day.
+One of the best endgames ever. As you go through your adventure you come across many monsters or places you can't fight or access. Endgame is going back and doing everything you couldn't during the main game. Very rewarding and pretty long.
+Quick travel and the ability to adjust time is awesome
+Save anywhere is fantastic and needs to be in more jrpgs
+400 optional quests. Some with neat stories. Some with great rewards
+Hundreds of unique named NPCs with their own stories that play out as you become more involved in the towns/cities by doing their quests
+Skill trees and borrowing skills from other trees is a good dynamic that provides lots and lots of passive skills. Some very good.
+Good amount of hidden things. Hidden skill trees, hidden attacks, hidden extensions of normal attacks, Ultimate weapons, Hidden areas, hidden npcs, etc...
+Gem crafting is neat and gems are very useful.
+Loot is alright. You get lots of it, but 75% of things in the game are useless
+Almost nothing important is missable. The few quests that are give you fair warning although they don't tell you when they expire.
+Character relation system is neat. Good rewards for building it up between characters.
-Some quests with rare drop grinds which are the worst thing ever invented. The only times I truly hated playing XB was spending 20-30 mins grinding an enemy for drops.
-Towns are sometimes too big with not enough quick travel landmarks. So when you're running quests there's a ton of in-town running back and forth to talk to people.
-Running speed is a bit slow for the size of the areas. Even with gems that boost running speed, it's capped at 125% for no reason. Should have at least uncapped it to 200% on new game+
-NPCs can be a pain to find without a guide of where everyone is at what time. Since every town has a day/night cycle you have to check the entire towns (which are huge) twice when looking for quests.
-Limited inventory SUCKS. Especially because you're constantly bombarded with items. Almost every time you kill an enemy (95%?) they leave a treasure with like 3-4 items each. Most of it junk. But just because it's fast (and because you can't compare it to your current equip) you click "take all" and move on. This means you fill up your inventories quick and often have to sell stuff to make room.
-Comparing equipment is really tedious. Especially if you ever think about buying from a shop.
-Character relation system between characters grows way to slowly. After 120 hours with everything done, you'll still only have about 50% of the relations maxed out. Growth needed to be at least twice as fast.
-Wish the game had field treasure chests as another way to reward players for exploring
-No beastiary. Inexcusable for a game like this that requires drops all the time.
-Because of no beastiary and the amount of named npcs you often have to find (and sometimes the unclear quest intructions), XB is a "wiki or die" game when trying to 100% it. Without some sort of a guide it'd be near impossible to do everything on the first run.
+Very interesting plot set in a very unique world.
+Great pacing, exciting cutscenes, mysteries, foreshadowing, twists
+Smart writing. You will not find a more intelligently written rpg this gen. The game avoids most cliches and stereotypes and at no point will you roll your eyes or have to deal with stupid characters acting idiotically. The characters (even the lead) are all intelligent people and act accordingly.
+Good length. Story size is probably about the size of two of the Xenosaga games combined. Smaller in scope and length than Xenogears though.
+Satisfying tale from start to finish. The story is great from the start and never dips even once before the end credits roll. A grand adventure.
+Good cast. Everyone is likeable, no one is generic game/anime stereotype. Character depth doesn't go as deep as something like Xenosaga.
+ or - depending on what you want. XB's story is great and cinematic, but it's not melodramatic like XG/XS/FF/KH. You will not get white room speeches with piano green grass playing. I think this is the biggest change from Takahashi's previous works. XB is not any more mainstream or less ambitious than XG/XS. The story is just as original and creative and well told, it's just that Takahashi has moved away from trying to pull the emotional strings of his audience and make melodrama. Instead it's simply a story where things happen and you enjoy them and watch the story unfold.
+Good character design
+Visibile equipment is pretty varied and has some real cool designs
+Nice range of tunes that are incorporated very well into the gameplay and cutscene
+Great voice acting
-Wii image quality drags things down a bit
+Large game; takes at least 60-70 hours first time. If you plan to do everything, you're looking at ~120 hours first time.
+New game+ is great. Almost everything carries over.
-Game clock stops at 99:59. Really dumb for a huge game like this
While there might be a decent amount of small negatives spread throughout the title, the fact of the matter is that in the face of the giant adventure that Xenoblade presents, they're all minor issues that only pick away at the greatness of the experience Xenoblade gives. Anyone willing to invest the time to explore the world of Xenoblade will find that it's populated with hundreds of creatures, quests, characters, bosses, and hidden tales. All which add to up to a truly satisfying console rpg experience unlike any other out there.
Without the budget/time issues that caused the 2nd disc of Xenogears, or the production issues that caused Xenosaga Ep2, Xenoblade feels like the first time Takahashi has been able to give the game experience he wanted from start to finish without resistance blocking his way. And if this is the kind of experience that Takahashi wants to give, then I can only look forward immensely to whatever he creates next.
The three years Monolith Soft spent creating Xenoblade feel truly justified by the end product. As the best game in their resume to date, and the best rpg on a Nintendo system since Chrono Trigger, Xenoblade stands as a proud example of how great rpgs are made.