By Justin Guillou / December 10th, 2015
~This is the second part in our Xenoblade Memories and Visions series. Check out Part 1 written by Chris! I should also note that this editorial was actually written just before the game was released.~
We all know Xenoblade Chronicles X is out and I am beyond excited. See, the original Xenoblade Chronicles was an experience I will never forget and one that could not have come to me at a better time in my life. I was in my second year of college and struggling beyond belief. My classes were very demanding, leaving me little free time only to still get destroyed on tests, I gained a lot of weight, many of my classmates and friends dropped out of the major or the university altogether. Needless to say, my confidence and self esteem was at an all time low and I was really miserable. Somehow after lots of blood, sweat and tears, I managed to get through that year. Things did get better from then on and I eventually graduated. One of the things that motivated me was my preorder for Xenoblade. I often told myself towards the end of my sophomore year- “Alright Justin, this year was a disaster…get through it and you can spend the summer playing Xenoblade and start over”. Finally I turned on the Wii and put the disc in and was greeted to this title screen:
Me pressing start at this title screen was not just me beginning a new game, I was beginning a new journey. The story, while not as complex as the director’s previous work, kept me engaged for hours. A big reason for this was Shulk. For some reason Shulk felt very relatable, moreso than many JRPG mains I’ve had experience with. At times, it almost felt like I was watching a video game version of myself as I seem to share some of Shulk’s strengths and weaknesses and some of his experiences remind me of my own. No joke, that scene where Shulk screams “I’ll KILLL YOUUUU” really hit home the first time. I know Xenoblade Chronicles X is not as story oriented as the first one and of course the main character is created by the player, but I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. Hopefully the game will allow you to have enough pull in the environment that your avatar really does feel like you. All of the Xeno-games so far have settings that really captivated me and got me interested in the lore behind it all. I hope that Xenoblade Chronicles X continues that trend.
Another major reason the original Xenoblade was such a great experience for me was the environments, particularly the day/night transitions. My goodness, if you have not experienced a Satorl Marsh day-to-night transition you need to ASAP. Words can not describe how magical the experience is. Another great example is the Valak Mountain day-to-night transition. The music that gets played in these areas was so memorable I have been humming them ever since I first heard it. As for how Xenoblade Chronicles X can improve on this, I am hoping that they introduce even more interesting items to collect in the world so you have more incentive to just explore it. Being on the Wii U, I am expecting the day and night transitions to be even more beautiful and offer some truly incredible sights to behold. Even better, I hear there are some multiplayer elements. The only thing better than experiencing and discovering new landmarks is sharing the experience with someone else. I mean this time we get to fly around in robots! That was one of the few things the original game was missing! Needless to say I am beyond excited to pilot a Doll or Skell or whatever Nintendo wants to call them now.
To me the original Xenoblade was almost perfect or at least it was the kind of game that matched my tastes incredibly well. Of course nowadays I’m in a much better place than I was back when the original game came out so Xenoblade Chronicles X probably won’t have the same impact on me as the first game, but it is even half as good, it will still be a worthwhile experience. I can’t wait to play it, though unfortunately I may have to wait a bit longer since I decided to preorder the special edition and that is shipping late and being delivered a few days later….sigh.
MonolithNintendoRPGSkellXenoblade Chronicles X