Xenoblade Chronicles 2


Has anybody started this or is planning to play it at some point?

I just started it. I have never played the previous episodes. The battle system is quite complex. Actually it took me the first 10 hours to understand something in the combos…
It has its defaults however it becomes addictive pretty quickly…

I actually started playing 1 recently, and I’m planning on playing 2 soon after. I’m really liking the first one so far.

The game has A LOT of pros and cons.

The artistic direction is beautiful, it keeps you wanting to pursue the adventure but in the same time it is plagued with a lot of painful and unnecessary mechanisms.

I actually loved this game.
130hours in already.

The more I play it, the more I think a modern Panzer Dragoon RPG could take from the battle system in this game.

In Saga, we were mainly passive while time was filling 3 gauges. But what if your actions would actually recharge some skills or gauges. And you could make spell combos?
I like how dynamic the battle system is. It seems to be a real time base combat but it’s actually based on timers.

Hey guys,
Has anybody played this game since my last post?
The next patch is coming next week and bringing cool content (especially New Game+).
I have taken the season pass as I finally realized this was one of my favorite games of 2017… which was not something I necessarily would have imagined during the first 10 hours in this game.

But anyway, one of the core most satisfying aspects of the game is its battle system.
I want to write a topic explaining how a remake of Saga or new Panzer Dragoon RPG could take inspiration from this…

To be honest I really enjoyed the first one: Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii. I loved the art direction, characters, voice acting, world, and story. I skipped Xenoblade Chronicles X on Wii U as I didn’t like the art direction.

When I saw Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for Switch, I was initially excited. But, I came to realize I wasn’t going to be able to stand the battle system for over 100 hours. I guess just standing in one spot circling the enemy and pressing timed buttons, wasn’t appealing to me for some reason. Also, the presentation/environmental graphics feel a bit “less” polished IMO…

I guess Panzer Dragoon Saga was more unique to me because it combined the rail shooting into an rpg hybrid that felt fresh. I might give Xenoblade Chronicles 2 a chance in the far off future but not right now…I’m more looking forward to Octopath Traveler at the moment…

I don’t know maybe I’ll give it a shot when I’m low on games to play; Ni No Kuni 2 is also coming out soon too…!

I’m not sure what you mean with ‘standing in one spot circling the enemy’. That’s basically the same ‘locked’ battle system used in many RPG, PDS included. Actually, you can aggro additional mobs if you are not careful. A bit like in some MMOs.

Now, it’s true that the battle system is based on pressing buttons. I knew nothing about this battle system before getting this game. At first, it felt a bit complicated to understand the different layers you have to understand.
But once you get it, it feels really satisfying. I mean that’s my personal feeling about it.

I initially saw all the defaults of this game: interface not very friendly, the map system and a lot of JRPG clichés situations during cut scenes, sexualized characters…
And yet, it turned out to become one of my favorite games of 2017. And actually, I might rank it even better than that.

The story becomes especially interesting in the second half of the game.

Well, what I mean is: it’s like you’re “watching” the battles more than you are interacting, imo. And some enemies take a long time to defeat, so you’ll be watching those battles for a long time while the characters automatically perform their actions over and over again. I guess pressing the timed buttons during these long battles, just isn’t appealing or interesting enough to me. Especially, considering I will be fighting for like 80% of the game…

Basically, it comes down to me not wanting to stare at the characters for long periods of time, while they automatically do their attacks. I guess, I was able to stomach the first Xenoblade’s battle system on Wii because I was more vested in that world and its characters. This game, not so much. I really loved the design/art direction, of the first game (Xenoblade Chronicles Wii) as some of the developers had worked on previous games such as:

Chrono Cross
Baten Kaitos, and
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

And you could really see the small little details within the textures and environments. The world/environments in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 feel a bit less polished. Although, that’s just me being artistically picky.

Panzer Dragoon saga was different because even though it was a bit similar to this, the battle system moved along at a faster pace (battles were over with fairly quickly and didn’t over stay their welcome) and felt more dynamic, since you could also shoot at the enemies.

So, in the end, the battle system is just too boring to me. Too, automated for my liking. But, I’m not completely turned off by the game as I might give it a chance at a later time…

In XC2, characters perform auto attack but that only gives the rhythm to the battle. Auto attacks count for very little in the actual damages done. Driver Arts will start to do damages, then combos and chains will be the real key to the win.
It’s hard to explain if you haven’t tried yourself.

What makes the difference is what/when you are going to launch your arts/combos/chains.
Auto attacks will never make you win the battle.

So to be clear, I have never felt more invested in a battle system, in a RPG.
If you want something that requires even more attention from the player, then it will probably be a live action based RPG game.

Now, the battle can be long when you start but your stuff, your level, your affinity with your blades will also make a huge difference in how fast you take ennemies down.

I know it can be misleading if you watch battles from youtube but I strongly recommend trying the game yourself.

In Saga (which is still my favorite game), the battle was dynamic, but it was interrupted every time you scrolled through spells, pausing the game. And most of the time, you were doing the same moves.

So that’s what I am discussing in the topic I opened. I’m not saying a Saga remake or new PD RPG should borrow the whole system but a little bit of it could maybe make it even more dynamic.
Example: in Saga when shooting with your gun. Once you have targeted the weak spot, you could have a press button action that would allow you to make more or less damage (a multiplier). You would feel even more involved in the battle.
That’s one of the thing I found a little bit ‘light’ in Panzer Dragoon Saga. The battle system was easy to understand and… easy to master. It didn’t offer too much challenge.
In XC2, well you can still try to get a record, make a bigger chain attack. And I can guarantee you that when you’ve finished the game, and when you are trying to break your record, you are not staring at your heroes, you are trying to perform the best moves to beat your record. And that requires a lot of attention, you are not watching a film at all. And when you succeed, it feels really satisfying.

I’m about 50 hours into XB1 now and most of the way through the game. I bought 2 as well but haven’t even cracked the seal on it yet. I want to finish the first one before getting into it. I really enjoy a lot of what I played so far, but the battle system and some mechanics really had to grow on me. I do think there’s some silly pointless overdone mechanics (gem crafting), and a lot of unnecessary fluff content, but it’s still a lot of fun.

I wasn’t very fond of the art direction of the first game, but it’s slowly growing on me. I still personally prefer 2, even though 1 looks a lot more unique. I guess I’m more accepting of huge bug eyes and odd noses within that more anime artstyle.

As far as the technical side of things, ouch. Some aspects really hurt for a 2010 product, especially when you remember games that were many years older on a console half as powerful have far better looking models. The environments look really good a lot of times, but I wish they employed “Ultra quality” LODs for characters in cutscenes the way Final Fantasy X did, and retaining the lower poly ones for the field models. It suddenly becomes Deus Ex every time there’s a cutscene triggered, complete with tight zoomed in shots on low res face textures. I wish they took half the effort they put into a lot of the extraneous content and did something about the generic unsynced mouth flapping dialog animations during less important cutscenes. There’s a lot of sloppy aspects to the graphics that seem more lazy than limited by the hardware, but it was a project with a gigantic scope and tons of things to manage and I have no idea what their budget looked like, so who am I to nitpick?

This is one of the only complaints I have as well. Compared to the rest of the main party, to me, it seems like Shulk’s face has the least amount of detail…! If you look at Sharla, or Reyn for instance, their faces are more defined and shaded properly around the lips, nose, hair and eyes.

And Shulk is the main character for gods sake! You’d think they could have defined or added just a bit more shading to his face!

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