Little Ways That Xenoblade Has Impressed Me

I've been playing a considerable amount of Xenoblade this year. It's fair to say I'm a little addicted to it. While there's plenty of positive things to say about the major parts of the game (graphics, sound, the combat, etc.), there seem to be an incalculable amount of smaller design improvements that it's making to slightly hoary JRPG trappings, going some way towards bringing the genre to the 2010s. Some of the following items wouldn't be out of place in many modern Western games perhaps, but it's refreshing to see in a genre I find myself becoming an apologist for more and more as the years go on.

I should also say that Xenoblade isn't perfect, in spite of how adulatory this list comes off as. It's as occasionally interminable as any large-scale MMO-but-not game like Monster Hunter or FFXII and the lack of HD for such an attractive game would probably irk anyone who seriously cares about that sort of thing. But man, if I haven't fallen for it hard. I hope this convinces a few of you fence-sitters to try it out when it arrives in the States in a few months' time.

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