solone's Xenoblade (Wii) review

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A beautiful game that every RPG fans should have a try

"When there's a half cup of water, how would you think about it? Half cup full? or half cup empty?" this line just pops out when I am writing this review, a question once asked by an old man.

I have never expected that I would have the chance to play this game, until Operation Rainfall appeared. That was an unusual event in the gaming industry but I wish there will be more similar events in the future, especially after they gave me the chance to play Xenoblade Chronicles. Well done sir, for making this game localized. For years I didn't do any game reviews and I decided to do it again, and picking up this game for the first review is well, at least, a good idea I think. To make it short, Xenoblade Chronicles is a game that everyone should give a try, even though it is really expensive (no kidding, but I am so glad that I still bought it back there for a hundred bucks).

Though the game might seem a bit classic at the first glance (yes, it is in a sword and magic world as usual), there is actually something new in both the settings and story. The whole world is indeed the corpses of two giants in the game. The story starts by Shulk decides to kill all the Mechons on the other giant, in order to take revenge for the death of his friend, Fiora. And a big story that last for 50 hours begins.

Xenoblade Chronicles has the biggest content I have ever seen. It took me 65 hours to beat the game and I haven't even fully explored the world map. The view is stunning and I literally did spend hours just looking around. There are more than 400 side quests in the game and it is likely you need to spend more than 200 hours to complete the whole game. The game did make some adjustments for the new game plus and I believe the second play through would be enjoyable. This is a game that you can really play for months. Also, thanks to a group of 6 composers, this game has a remarkable sound track. Even more, the voice act in the English version is decent, which is rare.

One aspect that I really like about the game is the way how they integrate the background setting of the story into the game. Shulk's weapon, the Monado, has the ability of seeing the future but could not harm human. It turns out not only in story cut scenes, but they happen in battles as well. Yes, you could see the coming attacks in 10 seconds later and there is a list of " quest items in the future " in the catalog (there was an awkward moment that the Monado damages all turned into zero in battles because the enemies are human).

And it is exactly because it integrated so perfectly, Xenoblade Chronicle stands out from the others. In this game the battle part, the story part and the other parts are all interconnected. Even in fighting monsters in the field or in cut scenes, you can still always see the giant far away from the screen or see a small bit of future time by time. It is like the game is keep reminding you that you are playing not any other game, but Xenoblade Chronicles (it is unique and the experience is not replaceable by any other games).

Truth to be told, there are some obvious flaws in the game. The AI that controls the other two team members in battles is problematic. The AI problem could be frustrating ( just imagine the healer got the timing wrong and the tank is not doing his job) and somehow I believe it is worse than FF13. There are also frame rate drops when there is a big group of enemies. What makes it worse is that there are some action button that requires exact timing, and the unstable frame rate could really make it impossible to get it. And there is another question bugging me all the time, why a game like this is not in HD? (man, there are so many beautiful areas in the game, if only if they are in HD.....)

Moreover, the battle system isn't deep at all, it is likely you would be using the same tactic for the most of the game, perhaps the entire game. And gosh, I believe Shulk's (the main character) skill set didn't have any changes in the whole game ( just having more buffing skills time by time). Somehow I think Shulk is the most boring character in battles, but the battle style of Melia is quite creative on the other hand.

"Half cup ................full...........I guess?" I answered uncertainly

"Glad you said so, cause that means you are looking at what you have, instead of what you don't have" he smiled.

Looking back to the game as a whole, the game is not perfect, but for what it offers, it is supreme. I could hardly name any game that could reach to such standard. I still remember the warmth I felt for the ending of the game (exactly the song 'beyond the sky' starts to play). If there is a trend or requirement for me pick a word to describe a game, I would pick stylish for Persona 3, great or epic for Mass Effect 2, and beautiful is definitely the word for Xenoblade Chronicle.

I mean, just look at the main menu of the game, the whole thing is so beautiful and it is beyond words that can fully describe it,

"And that's why I will always be a gamer ", well said sir.

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