First Impressions - Xenoblade Chronicles X

Available on Wii U

The Game
Twenty hours in and this game is one of my favorites of the year. This game is HUGE and exploring it is a lot of fun. The game has a great opening as Earth is caught in the middle of a war between two alien races, with the Earth paying the price. Your ship, one of the few to actually get off of the planet before it blows crash lands on the planet of Mira and from there your story begins. If you have played Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii, then you understand the basics of the combat and how the game works. Everything in the game has been expanded upon and improved in my opinion. Graphically, I think that the game is beautiful. However, there are some elements that look fairly generic. For example, some parts of New LA, the game's hub/base looks like they were from a PS2 game. Once you go outside and into the wilds of Mira that's where the games visuals are simply amazing. The environments are varied and contain different elements that make each area unique. Whether it is the types of indigens/monsters or the terrain that you will have to traverse. Monolith Soft have done an excellent job on the design and making the game feel like it is brimming with alien life.

The Gameplay/Combat
When the game starts you have to create your character. Here's where playing the original Xenoblade on Wii comes in handy. That is the combat system. It is a very deep system with a lot of customization options all depending on your choices that you make during the game. A little bit after you get into NLA you will be presented with several different divisions that you can join. You will need to pay attention to the division that you join as there are certain perks and benefits are given to your character depending on what division you decide to go with. I am going through this gameplay as a member of the Interceptor division. Mainly so that I can get in the face of indigens/monsters and kill them with reckless abandon. Now combat wise the game has an action rpg type feel to it. In this game leveling is important and you will spend quite some time grinding as some bosses are ridiculous. On the gameworld it is not surprising to see a level 55 indigen walking right next to a level 10. Be advised if you try and target a monster that is close to your level while a higher level monster is near you run the risk of having that high level monster join the fight. Just keep that in mind. There are also monsters that you will have to tangle with called Tyrants. Tyrants can come in at different levels but will have a crown next to their name. As of this posting I have fought about eight Tyrant class monsters and I have beaten five of them. Oh and did I mention you will die a lot in this game because you will. Here is one of the ways I died, I was in the middle of a side quest when an level 81 Tyrant jumps down from a mountain type rock surface. Needless to say I died in one hit. At the time I was at level 10, I find it fun and somewhat crazy how that can happen. So yes, sometimes I am paranoid when I do missions just to make sure I avoid Tyrants. Besides story missions there is plenty to do in game. There are a plethora of side quests, affinity missions, and story missions to go around, there is always something to do on Mira.

The Soundtrack
The soundtrack to this game is amazing. I have heard some critics complain about the music saying that it isn't very good. I can not disagree with them more. The music is amazing in game. Also the music changes when the atmosphere changes i.e. changes from day to night, sunny to rainy to thunderstorm. Also each different continent has its own theme as well. The regular battle music changes whether you are fighting regular enemies, bosses, or Tyrants. If you have varied musical tastes I can't see how you could see a problem with the music. On the voice acting front, its not bad. The voice acting is done well in my opinion.

The Wrap Up
Twenty hours in and I am starting to think that this may be my personal game of the year. There is just so much to love and there is a lot of content to keep you busy for a while. I haven't gotten my Skell license yet but as soon as I do I will do another impression of that aspect of the game. If you have a Wii U and have a love for RPGs especially science fiction ones than this game should be in your gaming library.

Gameplay Vid

Images courtesy of Wii U Image Share
Gameplay courtesy of Jay's Game Cafe

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