March 18, 2013

Xenoblade – Easing my way into side content

Posted in video games tagged , , at 3:56 pm by riulyn

If you have paid any attention to Xenoblade, you will know that this game is massive. I’m over 130 hours in it at this point, and every time I get myself nearer to completing my current quest list, I pick up 2 more. For me that’s not a problem since I’ll keep doing quests and battling until I get max affinity for everyone. The final boss will be easy-peasy once I get to him, though, since I skipped my way out and gained like 10 levels since Dunban asked me if I was ready. I’ll probably have 5-10 more before I’m done with what I want, since learning more about the Giants is on my list, and the monsters in the way are still “beating me good”.

To be honest, when I started playing Xenoblade I figured “Oh I’ll just play for the story”. Since I knew I wasn’t going to finish the game before Christmas break, I decided once I finished a major plot point sort of near halfway into the game that I’d start doing quests and exploring more of the world. It didn’t feel tedious at all, strangely, for two reasons.

1. Gorgeous world + gorgeous music. I didn’t mind just swimming around Eryth Sea just to flesh out my map and find new areas. The exp. bonus is nice but not even required for this unexpected fun in just finding more places. Skip travel is very convenient too; it’s easy to get pretty close to the area you were about to explore but ran away from because the monsters there were too hard. Of course having skip travel to every location would have been awesomer, but probably a pain in the ass to implement since the world is so huge.

2. Quests have sizeable reward collectively. Once you get enough affinity (usually after doing enough “bash enemy” quests), the quests start to become more personal. In a way it got a bit more annoying as you had to find people at the right time and place, but you get to change relationships. You also got to learn more about the traditions of different races. Frontier Village is a pain to run around, but I think a lot of the Nopon stuff was pretty interesting. Also I want to learn more about the past. Obviously I’m not the only one who thinks Xenoblade might have overkilled on the number of quests. I don’t mind that it takes some affinity to unlock personal quests; just maybe make the affinity rise faster and get rid of all the quests by unnamed people.

World-exploring and side quests are things in a lot of other RPGs but for some reason I never did many of them until now. It is possible that a faltering in Xenoblade’s story could have allowed me to be distracted, but I think it’s more that Xenoblade makes world exploring and side quests easy and fast, and the rewards are well worth it.


1 Comment »

  1. Joseph said,

    Man I’m like 10 hours in and I tend to be a completionist so I often get really sick of quest hunting. But a game that is just enjoyable to “be in” makes all the extra work worth it. I might need to put Xeno back on my list of upcoming games to get back into

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