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Xenoblade

Review in Progress: Project X Zone 2

Feb 12 // CJ Andriessen
Project X Zone 2 (3DS)Developer: Monolith Software Inc.Publisher: Bandai NamcoRelease: February 16 (US), February 12 (EU, AUS)MSRP: 39.99 I'm more than a dozen hours into Project X Zone 2 and I'm still amazed how many improvements have been made from the last game. Project X Zone, released in 2013, had the misfortune of coming out after the outstanding Fire Emblem: Awakening. When compared side-by-side, it's not hard to argue that Awakening is the better TRPG while Project X Zone mostly coasts by on its fan service appeal. Here we are with sequels to these titles releasing within a week of each other and, while I haven't played Fates yet, I can honestly say there is more to Project X Zone 2 than just its cast.  The biggest improvement you'll find here is the battle system. Unlike the first game, player and enemy turns are now separated so the enemy only moves after you've made your moves. Something about this small change just seems to make the chapters move at a more breezy pace compared to the first game. Yes, chapters are still interrupted halfway with extended bits of story and exposition, but I have yet to reach a chapter in the game that is aggravatingly long. Combat is still all style and timing as you chain together attacks for maximum damage. Time it right and you can increase your damage output. If you have a solo unit assigned to your team or are adjacent to another team, you can call them into the action and significantly increase your attack power if you land a Cross Hit. Unlike the first game, Cross Hits are noticeably more difficult to properly land this time and there are many attacks that can break them. Just throwing a whole bunch of characters on the screen at the same time isn't a guarantee you'll perform a Cross Hit. Now, you have to know your teams and their attacks well. The big new addition to the combat system is the Charge Bonus. If you don't use one of your attacks in a fight, that attack will be charged for your next fight. A charged attacked does more damage and regains more XP than a standard attack. You seem to be limited to three attacks at a time (plus a special attack if you have enough XP), but there is no limit to how many of those three attacks can be the same one. This means I can use the same individual attack three times in a row and save my other two for a Charge Bonus to use in my next fight. Charge Bonuses are rewarded both when you're attacking and when you're countering, which has also seen improvements this game. When the enemy is on the advance, only a full defense (which negates any damage you may take) uses the group XP. Now, regular defense and counters use the character's individual SP. Speaking of counters, I've found them a hell of a lot more useful in this game than the last. You're able to use more of your attacks this time and when countered, the enemy's shield will already be depleted so all of your attacks will do damage. I've defeated more enemies on the defense than when I was the one attacking.   If you're wondering how the story is, know that it's better than the last time around. Yes, there is still a lot of exposition and, yes, every character has to comment at least once in a story segment and, yes, I am missing pervy Frank West and his camera; but everything is much more focused. I don't know if this is the work of the localization team or the original scenario writers of the game, but gone is the disjointed structure of Project X Zone and here is an easy-to-follow storyline that even people who are totally unfamiliar with the series will be able to understand. As someone as stupid as I am, I appreciate the simplicity.  If you're in Europe and plan on picking this up today, know there is an option for paid DLC in the intermission menu between chapters; however I have no idea what it entails as nothing has been available for me to purchase at this point. I will have more on the DLC as well as the improved maps in the game in the full review next week. [This review in progress is based on a retail version of the game provided by the publisher.]
Project X Zone 2 photo
Another journey through the multi-verse
I just popped an Advil because I'm dealing with some annoying pain right now. It's a pain that starts to sting right in the inside of my elbow as I try to stretch my arm out. I'm not unfamiliar with this pain, in fact we're o...

Xenoblade photo
Xenoblade

Voice actress for Xenoblade Chronicles X's Lin talks outfit changes, how she got the part


Great character
Dec 25
// Chris Carter
Cassandra Lee Morris played Lin in Xenoblade Chronicles X, and she had the chance to post a video log of sorts that explained how she got the role, and speaks a bit about the controversy surrounding the changes to her outfit...
Xenoblade photo
Xenoblade

Here's a quick way to make the Xenoblade DRM-filled USB stick useful


At your own risk
Dec 11
// Chris Carter
If you bought the collector's edition of Xenoblade Chronicles X, you probably noticed the USB stick that comes housed with 10 songs from the game. Evidently it's locked though, so to really make it useful it'll require s...

Very Quick Tips: Xenoblade Chronicles X

Dec 04 // Chris Carter
General tips: This goes first and foremost. Read. The. Manual. Read it! While we've been conditioned to ignore basically everything that isn't force-fed to us in-game, the manual will help you immensely when it comes to reading the map, and pretty much everything else. Everything will go so much smoother if you read it. Return to Eleonara periodically to see if you can upgrade your excavating capabilities. She's located right in front of the main console in New LA. Again, reading the manual will let you know which icons mean what on your GamePad map, which will inform you of when you have a New LA reward waiting. If you're going to err on one of the three choices, go for Mechanical so you can get more mining probes set up. Pick up a ton of quests, as there's no downside. Wandering around is the biggest source of enjoyment in Xenoblade Chronicles X, so you may as well take a handful of quests while you're roaming around. Often times you'll randomly find objectives out in the wild. If you're getting confused combat-wise, try to split your abilities on your hotbar to ranged and melee on each side. Personally, I go ranged on the left and melee on the right, as my character is melee-centric. It'll help you manage your constant weapon switching much easier. Bunny hop and force your way up hills -- you can traverse so much ground this way. Always stay sprinting, as hitting a wall or object will not stop your sprint. Equip your team every five levels or so from the New LA shop if you haven't acquired superior gear. Most people will probably forget to load out and upgrade every slot, but beyond that, you can socket items! Do not overlook this, as the bonuses involved can get you over that boss fight slump you're experiencing. When you get the "Follow Ball," a few chapters in, don't forget that it exists. I ended up not using it all the way up to Chapter 10, and it would have saved me some time navigating to different quests. Always try to bring an HP ability to a fight. If your character dies and doesn't get resurrected, it's game over. Sure Xenoblade Chronicles X will simply revert to the nearest zone instantly, but you want to avoid that frustration as much as possible on your core avatar. After failing on a boss several times, you can lower the level of it for the current mission. This is another option if you need that small boost to win. Speaking of bosses, Prep your TP for a boss fight if you're going into the encounter after a death. That way you'll start prepared. Notice the little icons near some of your abilities? They denote whether or not they cost or provide TP after use. Learn which ability does what. You can fast travel almost anywhere, not just to nodes. Swap through the views on your GamePad map and click anything with an orange icon. Hire people if you're having issues with a mission or boss! If you're so close every fight, like within an inch of victory on that enemy health meter, hire someone at or above your level to jump in and tip the scales. You can hire people out in the world, in the barracks, or on the PC screen near the main mission area (I recommend the latter zone as it offers up a ton of options).
Xenoblade tips photo
I'm really tipping it
Xenoblade Chronicles X is one of the most intricate JRPGs I've played in quite some time. I even ended up taking notes on a real notepad for it on a few occasions! Here are some tips to help kickstart your adventure.


Xenoblade photo
Xenoblade

Video Review: Xenoblade Chronicles X


X gon' give it to ya
Nov 30
// Myles Cox
Xenoblade Chronicles X is certainly one of those games that you probably have to see to believe, rather than simply just taking some stranger's word for it. The written review just doesn't do it enough justice in my humble o...

Review: Xenoblade Chronicles X

Nov 30 // Chris Carter
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)Developer: Monolith SoftPublisher: NintendoReleased: April 29, 2015 (Japan), December 4, 2015 (EU, US)MSRP: $59.99 X's timeline starts in 2054 AD, when a mysterious alien race assaults the Earth and decimates the human race as we know it. Arks deploy across the universe, and the only known survivor is the White Whale, which crash lands on the distant planet Mira. Cue a quest to kickstart mankind's new home, and you have your basic gist of what's going on. To be clear, the story is not related to the original Xenoblade in any way. You do not need to have played the other game to have an idea of what's going on, and by JRPG standards, X's story is rather clear and concise. The player goes through the experience as a silent protagonist, with a minor amount of dialogue choices (more like moods) in tow. There is no branching narrative here -- instead, you'll follow a linear storyline, with the ability to take control of any party member as your primary avatar, including the one you create. Where X really shines isn't by way of its serviceable, yet sometimes drawn-out story; it's the ability to create your own adventures. Through the use of a lone base (New LA) and a formidable, yet vulnerable organization called BLADE, you'll slowly learn more about Mira, the creatures that inhabit it, and the dangers involved beyond the alien race trying to wipe out your species. The giant, sprawling maps (of which there are five, all accessible at the start) are a dream come true for exploration enthusiasts, with secrets at every turn and points of interest every minute or so. While the visuals aren't anything to gawk at on a grand scale, the draw distance is absolutely incredible, to the point where I'm in awe Monolith was able to squeeze these textures into a Wii U title. Walking around in X is wondrous, and spotting giant screens-high enemies and world bosses (Indigens and Tyrants, respectively) is something you need to do yourself to truly grasp the game's scale. [embed]322015:61313:0[/embed] Players will start off with a male or female avatar of their choosing, and it's off to the races, with a rather quick tutorial session. From there, the game completely ceases to hold your hand, which is going to be a massive point of contention for some. Point blank, X is not a game you can casually pick up and play -- you need to immerse yourself in it. This not only goes for leveling up your character, but unlocking the requirements for story missions. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a tough and unforgiving game if you have no affinity toward the JRPG genre. Sure, there are a few modern conveniences peppered in, like fast travel, a detailed world map (accessible at all times on the GamePad screen), and the ability to save anywhere, but you will need to master nearly every facet of X to progress past the first few chapters. Hell, you'll need to actually read the manual to pick up on a few major things, old-school style, and I ended up taking paper notes just like I did in the NES days. It's going to be a polarizing thing for sure, but personally, I'm stoked to play something like this again. Learning all the game's ins and outs was a joy. It's particularly satisfying to take everything in and feel like you've accomplished something. The battle system is just as unforgiving as a lot of other aspects of X. It's based on an auto-attack system that presents you with a few skills at the start (such as power attacks or debuffs), but after a few hours the learning curve really ramps up. Players will have to juggle between ranged and melee attacks and abilities, both of which have their own styles, pros, and cons. By way of an MMO hotbar with icons and cooldowns, you'll have to micromanage all of the tools available to you, learn what abilities combo with others, and divine the right time to use them. Combat is also nuanced in practice, as enemies often have appendages that can be broken for strategic value. On paper it sounds like basic stuff, but once I earned the dodge and block abilities, timing became absolutely key to surviving a boss battle. Additionally, mastering other facets like the Soul Voice system (a harmless QTE that pops up occasionally, allowing you to heal your party), and knowledge of passive skill synergy will help. If all of that sounds scary, maybe Xenoblade Chronicles X isn't the game for you. Don't worry about the controls though. They work great, mostly thanks to the GamePad. As mentioned previously, it's constantly available as a map and fast travel datapad of sorts. If you're so inclined you can also use the Wii U Pro Controller, which works fine as well. In terms of length, X hits that sweet spot a lot of games in the genre tend to provide -- 50 hours or so for the story, and double that to do everything. What sets this JRPG apart from most of the competition however, is its ability to grab the player's attention throughout, and not just during specific juicy story sections. I would often spend hours at a time just aimlessly wandering around, finding mining locations to raise my income, and hunting down Tyrants. Every zone has a distinct feel to it, and in all, I've probably spent 10 hours in each individual area. Skells (mechs) have been a huge part of the game's marketing scheme, and it's important to know that you won't get them until roughly 20 to 30 hours into the core story (this is assuming you only do a light amount of exploring on top of that). After unlocking the opportunity to even obtain the license to pilot one, you'll have to complete a lengthy multi-tier optional questline. When I had first heard that figure based on player's experiences with the Japanese version I was turned off, but actually playing X, I quickly forgot about them, and when Skells did arrive, they felt like a cherry on top, opening up brand new exploration options via flight. Xenoblade does come with an online component, and just to be clear, I wasn't able to fully test it out. In addition to multiplayer squad support, there's also a system where you can recruit or interact with potential party members in an asynchronous manner, the latter of which I personally did have access to during my review period. It's a nice little bonus, as adding in a member from a vast online pool of players (even pre-launch) can help you fulfill a need in your party makeup that may be missing. Otherwise, this can be played completely offline, without any fear of missing out of an essential part of the game. This is one of the more interesting reviews I've done as of late because I know Xenoblade Chronicles X will be divisive. But it truly feels like an MMO world I've been living in for several weeks now. The more grimdark theme isn't quite as charming as the original Xenoblade, but everything else makes up for it. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Xenoblade review photo
I'm really feeling it
When Xenoblade Chronicles was announced for localization on the Wii, my heart skipped a beat. While there are plenty of JRPGs to go around, the more the merrier, and I wouldn't pass up the chance to experience another Monolith Soft game. I didn't quite have the same reaction to Xenoblade Chronicles X at first, but it really grew on me over time.

Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

You'll want to watch this Xenoblade Chronicles X map guide video


Haha, this game
Nov 28
// Chris Carter
If you're hyped up for Xenoblade Chronicles X, you'll probably want to take the time to watch this nine minute video regarding the game's map system. It's pretty complicated, and X doesn't actually explain everythin...

Xenoblade Chronicles X is sprawling and unforgiving, and I love that

Nov 14 // Chris Carter
Xenoblade Chronicles X starts off with a straight-forward premise: humans have been pushed off Earth by aliens in the future, and only one "ark" is said to have made it to a far off new planet. It's a Macross-esque setting where humans are fairly advanced with their weaponry and warfare, including the Skells (mechs). From there, your character (male or female) awakens in a pod, is greeted by your first party member, and the adventure begins. I really mean "your adventure," because early on, the story mostly takes a backseat beyond a brief rundown of the situation on this new planet. This is something I'm completely okay with because of how Monolith Soft has crafted each gigantic map. There are hundreds of locations to find, secret dungeons to delve into, and enemies to battle -- and nearly all of it rewards you for your efforts. Seeing gigantic, screens-high enemies towering over me induced Final Fantasy XI Notorious Monster flashbacks, you know, in a good way. Your primary source of damage is by way of auto-attacks, but combat gets much deeper once players start unlocking more abilities. Flanking options, bonus effects (for those who patiently wait for double cooldowns), and the power to instantly switch between melee and ranged attacks are a few mechanics that pop up. Dashing is also enabled in combat, which makes for some awesome fights when popping off an enemy appendage with a rifle, and running in with dual daggers to slash at their exposed body. [embed]320860:61101:0[/embed] I'm over 20 hours in so far and still don't have access to the Skells. Very early on there's an option to buy one for an exorbitantly unattainable price, but you still need a "license" to pilot them, which I haven't obtained yet. I've already seen this design choice turn off some prospective players out there after hearing impressions from the Japanese release, but I have to say, it doesn't bother me. Movement is fairly swift, as players can sprint indefinitely and leap high into the air like a superhero. It's very easy to get from place to place, and fast travel -- it still exists. Stay tuned for our review at the end of the month.
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Our review is coming later this month
I've played MMOs with smaller zones than Xenoblade Chronicles X. The scale here is absolutely breathtaking, and a mite surreal once you realize that you're playing on the Wii U, where the development team couldn't even optimize the game on a single disc. Here's a few thoughts after spending a ton of time with the experience.

Mah tee tees photo
Mah tee tees

Nintendo removes boob size customization from Xenoblade Chronicles X localizations


All versions lack bulge sliders
Nov 13
// Jed Whitaker
The lovely people at GameXplain report that not only have the swimsuits for the teenage character Lin been changed during the localization of Xenoblade Chronicles X, but a breast-size customization slider has also been removed. According to the YouTube group, the rest of game remains largely unchanged gameplay-wise, and I'd say that is what is important.
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

You'll want to install the Xenoblade Chronicles X data packs before launch


Live on the eShop now
Nov 13
// Chris Carter
Yesterday during its Nintendo Direct event, the publisher let loose upon the world four loading packs for Xenoblade Chronicles X, which isn't even set to launch until early December. So what's the deal? Basically, you can ins...
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Skells ain't no joke in Xenoblade Chronicles X


Launching next month
Nov 10
// Chris Carter
I've heard mixed things out of Japan regarding Xenoblade Chronicles X, but like every other release, I'm excited to experience it for myself next month. Nintendo has been consistently trying to hype people up with a ser...
'ePizza Cash' photo
'ePizza Cash'

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Best Buy pre-order bonus is...pizza?


'ePizza Cash'
Nov 02
// Steven Hansen
Move over Fallout 4 socks, Best Buy has topped itself in mere weeks. If you pre-order upcoming Wii U exclusive Xenoblade Chronicles X at Best Buy, it comes with "$10 ePizza Cash Presell Gift." What? Well, it's a bit more conf...
X? More like PG-13 photo
X? More like PG-13

Xenoblade Chronicles X localizations to have less skimpy outfits


A lot less underage underboob
Oct 30
// Jed Whitaker
Nintendo is starting a trend with costume changes during localizations, this time in the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles X. Outfits for the character Lin, who is 13 years old, have been changed to be less revealing. 
Project X Zone 2 photo
Project X Zone 2

Nintendo characters join Project X Zone 2 cast


Chrom, Lucina, Fiora, oh my!
Sep 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Project X Zone was a nice bit of fan service, and the sequel seems to be taking things up a notch. In addition to featuring a procession of familiar faces from the vaults of Sega, Capcom, and Bandai Namco, Project X Zone 2 wi...
Special edition photo
Special edition

Xenoblade Chronicles X gets a special edition with a USB stick


Sick USB stick
Aug 29
// Steven Hansen
Xenoblade Chronicles X is getting a collector's edition along with its December 4 release in North America (it launched in Japan earlier this year).  The $90 version includes the game, a 100 page art book, a tiny illustr...
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X releasing on December 4


'It's [almost] time to suit up'
Jun 16
// Darren Nakamura
Nintendo has been pushing Xenoblade Chronicles X pretty hard with Japanese live streams earlier this year. Now it's getting close to time for Western audiences to start getting hyped. The short trailer shown during Nint...
Shulk amiibo photo
Shulk amiibo

So how about that May 1 Shulk amiibo restock


Has it shipped for you?
Apr 27
// Chris Carter
The mad rush of amiibo ordering really started at the tail end of Wave 2, once consumers realized that the rare trend (Pit, Little Mac) was not going to stop. After the Trinity in Wave 1 people were on already edge, but the m...
Xenoblade photo
Xenoblade

Whoa there Xenoblade Chronicles X alien, put on some pants!


Alien pubes
Apr 24
// Jordan Devore
There's a special Nintendo Direct going on right now for Xenoblade Chronicles X. As someone who has paid little attention thus far, I have no idea what's happening despite the Direct's best attempts at setting the stage and l...
Direct photo
Direct

Watch today's Nintendo Direct here


Xenoblade Chronicles is the star
Apr 24
// Brett Makedonski
Nintendo's hosting another Direct today, and this one's focusing entirely on Xenoblade Chronicles X. It starts real soon, so grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show. In the event that you don't catch it, we'll post a...
Xenoblade photo
Xenoblade

Nintendo is having a Xenoblade Chronicles X Direct tomorrow


At 2PM EST
Apr 23
// Chris Carter
Xenoblade Chronicles X is nearly out in Japan with just a week from launch, and Nintendo is using that opportunity to give us some more info on the game tomorrow. A Treehouse: Live presentation has been scheduled for 2PM EST ...
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Furries, mechs, and an octopus lady in Xenoblade Chronicles X


I WANT TO PET THAT CAT!
Apr 22
// Jed Whitaker
A fresh new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X can be seen above that looks more like Gundam and Metal Gear Solid to me than a JRPG. I couldn't quite decipher what is going on in the above trailer, but I'm just happy th...
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X lets up to 32 players cooperate


Form a squad and explore efficiently
Apr 10
// Darren Nakamura
There was a Japanese Nintendo Direct this morning focused on Xenoblade Chronicles X. Thanks to some helpful translation, we know a few more details about the Dolls and mechs and cooperative play. One cool-sounding note is th...

Calm down: Nintendo still has a lot in store for Wii U

Mar 30 // Jed Whitaker
Splatoon - May 2015 The paint-splattering Splatoon comes out in under two months and is Nintendo's first attempt at a third-person action shooter. Information has quickly been trickling out as release nears with Nintendo posting a huge dump of screenshots revealing new characters, modes, weapons, and stages. Chris Carter recently previewed the game, saying "I see a lot of classic Mario platforming design in Spaltoon's campaign" and seemed to have fun with the multiplayer.  Xenoblade Chronicles X - TBA 2015 The original Xenoblade Chronicles was a great game, and Xenoblade Chronicles X is shaping up to be even better. Character customization, multiplayer, beautiful graphics, and JRPG goodness make this one to watch for this year. No precise release date has been announced thus far. Yoshi's Woolly World - First half of 2015 Yoshi's Woolly World hasn't had much press since E3 of last year where it won over Steven. Taking Yoshi's Island-style gameplay and making it have a nice yarn aesthetic seems like a winning formula to having the best Yoshi game since Yoshi's Story on the N64. With the lack of information and the peculiar absence from Nintendo's game release calendar, I won't be surprised if this one slips to later in the year to fill in the gap Zelda left. Star Fox - TBA 2015 Star Fox for Wii U was originally teased with a blurred screen behind Shigeru Miyamoto, and only the above screenshot has ever been shown to the public. We do know that you play with a dual-screen perspective, and you pilot Arwings, tanks, and a new helicopter vehicle, but other than that it hasn't really been mentioned since E3 of 2014. That means less has been shown than the now-delayed Zelda.  Project Giant Robot and Project Guard - TBA 2015 Miyamoto has his hands full, as he has been working on not only Star Fox but also Project Giant Robot and Project Guard, two games shown last year at E3. Giant Robot has players building skyscraper-sized robots on their Wii U GamePad and then battling them to the death, while Guard is a mix between tower defense and watching security cameras. Neither game has been shown or mentioned since E3 last year, nor has a release date been announced.  Mario Maker - TBA 2015 While the name is pretty self-explanatory, Mario Maker looks to have a lot of depth, offering the ability to make levels in the style of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U. Not just easy levels either, but levels described as masochistic. No firm release date has been announced. So there you have it, seven games that potentially could be coming to the Wii U this year, pending any "please understand" cancellations that Nintendo has become infamous for. A nice mix of genres that should have something for everyone. Nintendo won E3 2014 in my opinion, so hopefully it can bring surprises to woo me again this year. The Wii U isn't dead, long live the Wii U.
The Wii U isn't dead yet photo
Unless it delays everything, please understand!
After the recent announcement that Zelda for Wii U wouldn't be releasing in 2015, people all around the Internet have been losing their collective minds screaming that the Wii U is dead when really, it is anything but. So join me as I refresh your memory and get you back on the Nintendo hype train for 2015.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a bare-bones port of a fantastic game

Mar 25 // Chris Carter
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (3DS)Developer: Monolith Soft, Nintendo SPD, Monster Games (3DS port)Publisher: NintendoReleased: April 10, 2015MSRP: $39.99 Jim has already talked at length about what makes Xenoblade Chronicles so special, so I'll spare you most of the details. Suffice to say, I would consider it a new classic in the JRPG space. Every so often you'll find people longing to return to the golden era of the genre, pining over various SNES and PlayStation classics, but new masterpieces come and go in the current era all the same -- this is one of them. Despite the problems I'm about to present with the 3DS port, you owe it to yourself to play it in some form or another. Right off the bat you should probably know that Xenoblade Chronicles 3DS has a huge file size requirement if you're going digital. It weighs in at 28832 blocks, which translates to roughly 3.6 GB. It won't even fit on the 4GB card that comes standard with the New 3DS due to the system partition, so plan accordingly if you're picking this up on the eShop. The huge size is likely due to voice acting, and the fact that it's essentially a 100-hour JRPG squished into a portable format. You can tell immediately that Xenoblade has been downgraded during said squishing session, but it runs smoothly with little in the way of performance issues -- which is more important in my book. Having said that, it is tough to ignore some of the other shortcomings from a visual sense. The icons are extremely low res, as in, they weren't even touched up on the 3DS. It's really strange to look out into the horizon and see a vast beautiful tundra, then go to a shop and flip through the user interface as if it were a PS1-era RPG with fuzzy, muted menus. [embed]289388:57883:0[/embed] Another issue I had was the lack of screen real estate. The bottom screen hosts your status information and such, but the core of the game takes place on the top. It's ample enough space to do pretty much everything, but when you're actually in a battle, your targeted enemy will take up a great deal of the screen with its info box. There needs to be an option to shrink the enemy info text, because even with the "zoomed out" view it can get cluttered. With those technical issues out of the way, the game really shines on a portable. Xenoblade controls like a dream, as the extra buttons on the New 3DS allow it to mirror the Classic Controller setup on the Wii. The C-Stick also controls the camera, which is pretty much needed at all times to survey the land and constantly locate hidden treasures or areas. Even with all the aforementioned problems, it didn't hinder my enjoyment of one of my favorite RPGs in recent memory. You can skip cutscenes you've already seen in case you've already beaten it on the Wii and want to move forward with the story, and the 3D effect, while relatively tame, delivers an interesting perspective on the Bionis and the Mechonis. Keep in mind though that there is no extra content included in the actual story -- so if you already have your 100+ hour completion file on the Wii and want more, the only real advantage you'll get out of Xenoblade 3DS is the portabiity. There is amiibo/Play Coin/StreetPass support, but it's a tiny little bonus that lets you view character models or listen to music. When you think about it, the prospect of Xenoblade Chronicles 3DS sounds pretty silly. It's a port with no real content additions or true enhancements, and you have to buy a whole new 3DS model just to play it. If you can get past that barrier though, ultimately this is a way to get a great game into the hands of more players -- and I'm okay with that.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D photo
Who ate the bones?
Xenoblade Chronicles pretty much blew me away back in 2012. Fans had been clamoring for a localization for over two years, and due to an add partnership between Nintendo and GameStop, we got one. It was a rather limited relea...

Xenoblade 3D amiibo photo
Xenoblade 3D amiibo

Want to know exactly how Xenoblade Chronicles 3D's amiibo and StreetPass mechanics work?


I'll show you with in-game screenshots
Mar 21
// Chris Carter
As some of you may know, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D will ship with amiibo support. It's not all that complicated -- you touch Shulk to your New 3DS and you earn tokens that you can spend on in-game models or music tracks. A lot of people have asked for a rundown of what exactly that entails, and since I have access to the game I figured I'd shed some light on the feature.
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X combat explored in 30-minute livestream


All you need to know and more
Mar 07
// Brittany Vincent
Nintendo of Japan recently streamed a live Xenoblade Chronicles X presentation, detailing the game's intricate combat system for eager viewers around the globe. The 30-minute video is available for viewing in full, and it go...
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D photo
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

New Xenoblade Chronicles 3D trailer released titled 'Heir to the Monado'


I didn't see a bit of Nietzsche in there
Mar 03
// Jason Faulkner
Nintendo has dropped a new trailer for next month's Xenoblade Chronicles 3D entitled "Heir to the Monado." It features a flashback to when Shulk acquired the mythical sword Monado as well as a few cinematics and battle scene...
 Vlade Divac Chronicles X photo
Vlade Divac Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X shows off dynamic weather, day-night cycle


Vlade Divac Chronicles X
Feb 26
// Steven Hansen
Day and night cycles aren't new, but it's a pretty one at least. Actually, thinking on it, more RPGs (particularly Japanese RPGs) could benefit from a day and night cycle just for the perceived visual variation on the hours ...
New 3DS photo
New 3DS

Are you feeling these New 3DS Xenoblade Face Plates?


Not for the US
Feb 19
// Chris Carter
Since Americans are a confused people and can't understand the difference between XL and "not XL," Nintendo opted to not release the latter in the US. Many fans are upset because they don't get to take advantage of the wide r...
Shulk amiibo photo
Shulk amiibo

Shulk amiibo pre-orders are open for a second wave at GameStop


Possible in-store only, though
Feb 12
// Brett Makedonski
The Shulk amiibo, a highly sought-after GameStop exclusive, might not be quite as rare as originally thought. This afternoon, GameStop opened a second wave of pre-orders for the Xenoblade character. It's expected to ship...

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