Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Xenoblade Chronicles: Gamer’s Inside Analysis


The Xenosaga series gave the imagination of a story, with epic action and adventure with a feel of Japanese anime, into a different game that is equally large, if not larger, to the Xenosaga series on the PS2. Gamers that play Xenoblade Chronicles will think back to them playing Xenosaga, if they played any of them, and compare to Xenoblade Chronicles by amount of gameplay, the story, and the entire layout of the game itself.

The story starts on the creation of the world the characters live in, which are two giants, locked in battle, over a vast ocean and under an endless sky. The common denominator is the sea and the sky, because they exist in reality, but it’s clear 2 giants are fictional. One is called the Bionis, and the other is called the Mechonis. Then, all of a sudden, they are mysteriously frozen in time. So, “Eons” later, life and machines rise from these giant titans. It’s clear that the name Bionis has the prefix bio- which means life, and the prefix of Mechonis is Mech- meaning machine. With that being the case, life rises from the Bionis and machines rise from the Mechonis. Humans called Homs try to defend the Bionis, their home, from these evil machines from the Mechonis called Mechon. The Homs tried everything to stop the Mechon, but nothing was effective. However, there is only one weapon the Bionis used to fight the Mechonis that the Homs now have. It is a mystical blade called the Monado. Its power is said not only to easily cut Mechon, but to let its chosen wielder see into the future. Unfortunately, if someone else uses the Monado, its power will be so strong; it will control its wielder.

For cases of gamers or players willing to try the game, I will not reveal any of the characters or spoilers of the main story of the game. It’s meant to grab the attention of a gamer to have a curiosity and passion to be willing to play the game. Every gamer has a certain imagination and curiosity with different games they discover. In the Introduction chapter of Jesper Juul’s Half-Real book, he talks about how players find the rules with the perspective of being inside of a game to give the imagination of the player actually being a character inside a game. Players have their own unique imagination and personality to discover games with different set rules that sets a complete comfort zone for that specific player. For example, I like to play different RPGs that give lots of room to customize my play style with limited rules so it can feel like I’m inside the game. I sometimes like to play some action/adventure games that increases set rules to fit my play style without much customization.

This game fits my play style perfectly. It has a nice amount of gameplay that can give different styles of customization. First, characters can learn new arts to use in battle, along with using Art Points (AP) to increase the level of those arts. Characters accumulate AP by defeating enemies and completing quests. There are plenty of arts that a player can assign a character to help out with different battles. Along with Experience Points (EXP) and AP, characters also accumulate Skill Points (SP). SP is used with a current set skill tree for a character to gain active or passive skills when enough SP is accumulated. Passive skills are used constantly like an enhancement to the stats of that character. Active skills are activated when certain conditions are met. When a character levels up, an art can be learned, but they also get an affinity coin (AC). Characters use those to set skills attained by other characters to gain the benefit of the skill. For example, if another character’s skill requires 5 ACs to set it to your base character’s skill set, and you have 15 ACs, setting it will subtract 5, leaving you with 10 ACs left. However, to increase the amount and types of skills for one character to another, you need to increase the affinity, or bond, between those two characters. Affinity can be accumulated by starting and completing quests with the right characters in your party, or by supporting each other in battle by helping up a character from certain ailments and encouraging a discouraged character.

All of these elements will help progress further into the story, as well as the game itself. Some elements can be optional, such as side quests and item collecting, or collectopedia. Collectopedia is a section where you can put in items to make a library of collectables from different areas in the game. If a category in an area is completed, you get a useful item or piece of equipment. If an entire area is completed, then you receive a better item. Even an achievement system is in the game, because of its expansive gameplay.

It is also a game that presents tutorials as you progress into the game. If a certain point in the game comes when content unlocked or hints are necessary, a quick tutorial pops up to inform you and guide you through those points. There are not many games that give rules on gameplay, so players will be lost when they play a game with rules or tutorials to guide them.



Even though it’s licensed by Nintendo, Japan has its own version or import of the game, but the North American version still has variations of word pronunciations Japan used since they could not understand English words well. For example, instead of using “learned,” they used “learnt,” not “defense,” but “defence,” and not “armor,” but “armour.”

There was an early tragedy in the story, but worse was seeing the future of that
happening, but can’t do anything about it. That was disappointing to me, but going out

for revenge made me felt better. A small spoiler is not too bad, but I don’t want to

ruin the imagination of the game. For those that are not sure, watch the YouTube videos of the trailer and the opening to game. I hope you would enjoy this game as much as I do!


Here are the links to the trailer and the opening in the game.
US Trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Xc6in86rs&ob=av3e

Game Opening (Title Intro)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI_Wybd82V8

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