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Xenoblade Chronicles 3


revlob
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I’m only 3 hours in but it’s absolutely brilliant so far. 
 

The biggest problem XC2 had was in not explaining or reiterating its systems clearly enough leaving players feeling a bit lost. I’m happy to say that’s all sorted in XC3, you can access training tips and VR training sessions at any time if you need a recap, and the game basically just introduces them as you play anyway, and it’s gentle, there aren’t any rough battles to begin with and you’re free to fight as much or as little as you like. 
 

The story and presentation are top notch and the music is excellent. 
 

It feels so refreshing to play, haven’t felt this excited about a JRPG since DQXI. 
 

Looks stunning on the OLED Switch and on my 65” TV, yeah it’s a little blurry but it’s compensated by clever use of effects (which I admit I don’t understand, but it works). 
 

Got 5.1 surround working properly now too and it really adds to the immersion IMO. 
 

Just want to repeat though, anyone on the fence because they fear the complexity of the battle system, don’t be, it’s really easy to play and it feels like a breath of fresh air. 

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53 minutes ago, Stanley said:

I’m only 3 hours in but it’s absolutely brilliant so far. 
 

The biggest problem XC2 had was in not explaining or reiterating its systems clearly enough leaving players feeling a bit lost. I’m happy to say that’s all sorted in XC3, you can access training tips and VR training sessions at any time if you need a recap, and the game basically just introduces them as you play anyway, and it’s gentle, there aren’t any rough battles to begin with and you’re free to fight as much or as little as you like. 
 

The story and presentation are top notch and the music is excellent. 
 

It feels so refreshing to play, haven’t felt this excited about a JRPG since DQXI. 
 

Looks stunning on the OLED Switch and on my 65” TV, yeah it’s a little blurry but it’s compensated by clever use of effects (which I admit I don’t understand, but it works). 
 

Got 5.1 surround working properly now too and it really adds to the immersion IMO. 
 

Just want to repeat though, anyone on the fence because they fear the complexity of the battle system, don’t be, it’s really easy to play and it feels like a breath of fresh air. 

 

Yeah it does really feel like they’ve realised the annoying things about the previous games and tried to fix them in order to make the game more enjoyable for everyone.

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15 minutes ago, Stoppy2000 said:

I'm currently trying to finish off XC2 - does 3 have a better map/navigation system!?!


I’m only an hour or so in at the moment and haven’t really used the map much, but there are contour lines on the map for terrain levels, and a system you can activate which creates a trail to your quest destination. Been a while since I played XC2, so can’t remember if that’s an improvement?

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XC2 used to struggle with different levels in the environment, and especially indoor sections or town areas etc, so far this seems fine, to the point I’ve not really felt the need to use the route finder.

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31 minutes ago, SuperCapes said:

The audio in this is rather class isn't it?

The whole thing is!!

im 11 hours in now, magnificently OP for most mobs at the minute, due to some heavy grinding earlier on.

you can get monsters that give you massive XP multiplication , couple that with chain attacks give more and the similar xp boost thing from Torna, and the numbers just keep going up.

there are possibly TOO many systems to keep track of though, but options are no bad thing…. Now back to the story 😁

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2 hours ago, SuperCapes said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

So just hit the Ouroboros bit. Sensational stuff. So well done, and incredibly Evangelion. Hope this presentation continues throughout!!!

 

It does… just over 15.5 hrs in now 😂

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2 hours ago, SuperCapes said:

 

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So just hit the Ouroboros bit. Sensational stuff. So well done, and incredibly Evangelion. Hope this presentation continues throughout!!!

 

Just done the bit you’re talking about - the music on that boss battle is awesome. 

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Aye it's excellent like. Not sure it's going to top Elden Ring for GOTY for me, but I am having so much fun with the battle system, and it is an achievement that they have me liking the characters so quickly, that I am not ruling it out.

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I'm a few hours in and I'm enjoying myself immensely. Image quality is much improved over the previous two instalments and this time the various UK accents aren't rubbing me up the wrong way.

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1 hour ago, SuperCapes said:

Aye it's excellent like. Not sure it's going to top Elden Ring for GOTY for me, but I am having so much fun with the battle system, and it is an achievement that they have me liking the characters so quickly, that I am not ruling it out.

Elden what ?!?

 

1 hour ago, Flub said:

I'm a few hours in and I'm enjoying myself immensely. Image quality is much improved over the previous two instalments and this time the various UK accents aren't rubbing me up the wrong way.

Yep, I HATES them for the first hour of two, now I’m all in…..

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I've been plugging away, maybe 15-20 hours now. Just did the first mega boss fight (if anyone's up to there you'll know what I mean), and my characters are level 17ish (I haven't been using bonus XP). 

 

The quality is consistently good, with the pacing being steady between overworld, side quests and story content. I'm just now starting to have things open up like a settlement hub. The overworld is a bit too familiar for my liking, the same old huge zones full of monsters just like previous games, with lots of combat against local fauna. I mean this is the meat and bones of the game outside of the story content and what makes Xenoblade what it is, but sometimes I just want to skip to the next story mission. The story encounters so far have been great though. The plot continues to be really engaging, with some epic moments already. It's still very much inspired by Xenoblade 1 (they may even be connected, I suspect) which I am totally up for. The characters and writing are sharp and although I'm just getting to know the merry gang I'm enjoying their company. The character and action animation are really a step above previous games. Special mention must go to the graphics of characters eyes, which Xeno 2 did well but in this they are really entrancing, with reflections and depth. To paraphrase: if you want someone fake to look good, get the eyes right - and they've done it here.

 

As for combat, they continue to layer on more systems to the point it gets a bit overwhelming, and I already rinsed Xeno 1 and 2. Because I'm playing on Hard and not using bonus EXP from sidequests, I'm really having to learn the systems in depth to survive tough encounters. The core mechanics are the same we know from past games but there are more nuances and extra systems added. Some of them aren't explained super well, so I do recommend heading to the Tips menu and also doing the Tutorial training 'VR missions' (or whatever they're called) if there's anything you're struggling with. In addition you can have more than 3 characters on your team which makes things that much more crazy.

 

Having said that, these additions do make the combat have a lot more depth than just going for the good old Break>Topple>Launch combos. Saving Arts instead of using them on cooldown to set up combos is more important. You have to time your button presses to chain attacks together, like Xeno 2, which makes the second to second gameplay more engaging. Like the old games it can still feel a bit tedious waiting on cooldowns sometimes, but you can fast switch to control other characters if you want. At times its too much to take in because there is so much going on, especially if you are switching between more than one character. On Normal difficulty that's probably ok and you can soldier through, but on Hard you really have to be on the ball and tracking multiple character's move-sets at once. Shit gets crazy! 
 

So yeah, Hard difficulty is brutal and has just been getting harder and harder, especially against the recent bosses I've fought. I would only recommend it if you are confident with the systems and don't mind learning them in-depth. Though there's no harm in turning it on for a bit in the menu to experiment! In the last boss fight I had to try multiple build combinations, manually focus down enemies and switch characters to use specific moves at specific times to win. It's tough, but very rewarding to beat a boss you thought was impossible. It's good for the metagame because it encourages you to go out and get good items, make wise upgrades and learn multiple classes. My main gripe so far with Hard mode is that you can't fast travel from some of the boss locations. This means if you want to backtrack to go questing or grinding to get XP or items... tough, you have to take the long and painful walk all the way back. Terrible design decision. 

 

So I mentioned learning multiple classes. Xeno 3 allows you to train characters as any class and switch between classes at any time, with benefits like being able to carry over an Art from a previous class. This is quite a complex affair but adds extra depth in the long run. In addition you have accessories, stat boosting gems and Arts to choose per character, as well as skill trees. What this means is a lot of build customisation and tinkering to be done. In practice I still don't deviate from a balanced Tank/Healer/Attacker team but each can be specialised, like an Attacker that has long cooldowns but does big Ether damage, or a Healer that focuses on buff circles and can revive people quickly. There's plenty to dig in here which will only get better as the game goes on. 

 

The music continues to be amazing. This is up there with the Xeno 1 soundtrack for sure, in fact it may be even better! The boss music and cutscene music in particular have been absolutely epic. 

 

Anyway, I'm sure some of you will overtake me soon if you haven't already. On Hard everything is slower because battles take longer and I die more. If it gets too tiresome or impossible I'll start using bonus EXP and failing that dial back to Normal. I'm usually quite completionist in these games so I will be doing a bunch of the side quests until they get boring. The next section of game seems like a settlement side quest chain, so I guess I'll know soon if things are fresh enough in Xeno 3 to keep the quality going, it's at this point these games tend to become a bit sloggish. Still, 15+ hours in and its been pretty great so far, long may it continue!

 

PS - I'm very pleased with the load times in this. Almost no delay with going into menus, and the only significant loading is fast travelling to other zones or loading big cutscenes, which only takes a few seconds. It makes the whole RPG experience so much better. Well played, Monolith.

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I managed to get a copy today, so I’m happy I have both this and XC2 with English language sleeves. I’m waiting until I’m home before I play it though, as I really can’t wait to blast it out on our new AV kit.

 

I’m purposely not reading any posts longer than a couple of lines for fear of spoilers of any kind. It’s looking like it’s not going to disappoint anyway. :)

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Somewhat confusingly, it means immediately after it hits. You'll know you've timed it right because you'll get a noise and visual indicator.

 

(also, you can't cancel from like things — i.e. a normal art can cancel from an auto-attack or a fusion-art,* but not from another normal art)

 

As much as the on-boarding is better than previous games, I do think it's still a bit opaque on some things; and it doesn't help that the Tips section appears to follow the devil's own sorting!

 

 

*you may not have unlocked these yet

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It is just a version of animation cancelling, and I think they just went with that. For me, something like chain attack would make more sense with a simple description... Activate art on attack hit. 

 

It is very satisfying landing them though as the feedback is awesome. 

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One thing to note is that if you want to cancel attack into a Fusion Art (the attack where you hold down the trigger), you need to do that from a normal Art. From a Fusion Art you can then cancel into any other kind of Art. The timing is well hard to get right for multiple hits though because of the amount of stuff happening on screen. So the best combo is to cancel an Auto Attack into a normal Art into a Fusion Art into something else (ideally another Fusion Art) and finally your A button attack. What's weird is that the game implies its more damage efficient to use these cancelling combos but so far I find the difference to be negligible. It does a wee bit more damage, I think, but in terms of time you are only saving a few seconds by resetting all the cooldowns at once. The bad thing is then you have to wait for half your Arts to come off cooldown again.

 

Talking of cooldowns, since my last post I've unlocked a new class which has really short cooldowns. Its so much fun! And judging from the class screen there are tons of new classes down the road. Loads of depth to this system. I also unlocked more slots to use for skills and gems at level 20 which lets you tailor characters further, and even the ability to choose character clothing. All very nice!

 

I got into the groove in the overworld last night, having quite a good time romping around. What I said earlier about the AI being reluctant to use Topple combos may have been wrong, and more a symptom of the boss I was stuck on which had big resistance to those moves. Having such short loading times for fast travel really helps with the overworld, plus you run around at a decent clip, so its better than past games in that regard. If you don't use the 'show me the mission route' helper, the game still requires you to find you own route, which at times can be quite devious, but I like that you have to think logically about the spaces you are in and its not just a straight line to the next objective.

 

Pro tip, if anyone missed it, hold down left trigger out of combat to produce a pop up menu which provides very handy shortcuts to the map and characters screen. Saves loads of time. There are lots of nice useability tweaks in this game to streamline the experience, once you discover them. There's even an auto-battle option in the settings for anyone who doesn't like grinding, turn Xeno 3 into Final Fantasy 12!

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1 hour ago, El Spatula said:

This series is literally the only thing that makes me want a Switch. My resolve is weakening.

If you do get one may I recommend the OLED? This game looks amazing on it. 

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1 hour ago, Wiper said:

Somewhat confusingly, it means immediately after it hits. You'll know you've timed it right because you'll get a noise and visual indicator.

 

(also, you can't cancel from like things — i.e. a normal art can cancel from an auto-attack or a fusion-art,* but not from another normal art)

 

As much as the on-boarding is better than previous games, I do think it's still a bit opaque on some things; and it doesn't help that the Tips section appears to follow the devil's own sorting!

 

 

*you may not have unlocked these yet

 

Thanks for this. I've only played about 2 or 3 hours, but 'cancelling into' something makes no sense to me, in terms of the meaning of the words, so my brain struggles to process the rest of the meaning of the instructions, as it's bristling about 'cancel' being the wrong term.

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I’m maybe two hours into this and… yeah! I’ve really enjoyed the onboarding having never played a Xenoblade before. It’s been a really good mix of telling me what to do and making sure it’s fun and tactile when I do it. The combat is already feeling really good and I get the feeling I’m still 147 systems away from it properly revealing itself. 
 

I’m vaguely aware it’s a bit of a tropey thing in the series but I’m assuming there’s no way of turning the quips off after battles? I’ve barely played the thing and have just had “it’s like they wanted me to yawn they to death” three battles in a row and am worried it may turn me insane. 
 

That aside it’s really fun though! Looking forward to properly cracking into it on a four hour train journey to Nottingham next weekend. 

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