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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Xenoblade Chronicles 2 flawed but GREAT ...

Super_Boom said:
Johnw1104 said: 

Do we eventually start encountering enemies that can actually be defeated on the spot, btw? This whole arrangement where I defeat boss after boss only to have a cutscene show moments later that I actually got my ass kicked has grown extremely stale lol

I assume this is specific to the story bosses? I don't recall too many of these after Chapter 3...but maybe I'm forgetting because there's so much to the game. I think the arrangement is mostly used to convey how desperately powerful the enemy is supposed to be, while the game lets you get strong at your own pace, so the level of your characters won't always align with how strong the story wants them to be. Sometimes this is annoying, sometimes it's done well. Without spoiling too much, the climaxes of Chapters 3 and 7 both do this to show how outclassed you are, only to add a new mechanic that completely flips the table on the previous fight by the end of it.

The tutorial also is largely over after chapter 3...though the game still adds more mechanics later. I remember laughing when the tutorial popped up at around 80 hours in to show how to use a new power. That's more than exception than the rule at that point, but it's still amusing.

 

lol after every "tutorial" conversation it almost always says something along the lines of "then there's ____, but we'll discuss that later". I just wanna grab that dude by the ear and insist he tell me everything.

Seriously, I'm a great listener and note taker... just lay it on me man.

I was indeed referring to the story bosses, though, where they almost always just kick your ass in the cutscene moments after you whoop them heh. I understand they want you to see how powerful certain enemies are, but have them actually beat me then or save them for later! It's just jarring to have the combat and gameplay so out of sync with the cutscene narratives.



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Finally finished this game yesterday. XB2 was the only game I had played since Jan 1. Despite it's flaws it was a true masterpiece.
I'm about 5 hours into Zelda BOTW and I'm not enjoying it as much as XB2



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NightlyPoe said:
Johnw1104 said:

After about 20 hours in and still feeling like it's a darn tutorial the game has really lost me... haven't played it in a few days and am having a hard time getting back to it.

It's a shame as I feel if the thing wasn't so insanely linear and took some more queues from Monster Hunter it'd be a heck of a title.

There's a saying that kept popping into my head while playing which, while harsher than is fair, I think sums up my view of the combat and such thus far: "Wide as a lake, shallow as a puddle". Every time I learn of a new combat mechanic, slot, or what have you I'm immediately disappointed to see that it's remarkably limited. Rather than making the mechanics deep and interesting, they seem to have favored quantity to provide the illusion of depth. Perhaps there's still more to be revealed in time but, seriously, fucking tell me everything so that I can finally play this game properly after a couple dozen hours of time invested.

Still, I'm decently early in the game by virtue of taking every opportunity to go salvaging and hunting on my own so that I can, you know, actually play them damn thing, so maybe it gets better... I'm just not sure I can force myself back to it. For a game that I actually rather like most of the characters, voice acting, and aesthetics in, that's quite a rarity.

I do love the Nopon though, and generally I'm someone who's not that interested in cutesy people. Dang they're cute and funny.

I just remembered one of my biggest gripes: Thus far I have, in nearly every scripted battle, mopped the floor with the enemy only to have it cut away to what feels like a full-length episode of anime where the person I just wrecked is actually completely fine and kicking my ass. This wasn't a one time thing, but instead it seems to happen almost every single time. That is one of the most maddening dang things I've ever encountered, and makes you feel as if there was no point to playing.

At least in most other RPGs and JRPGs when you beat a boss they want to stick around they show him struggling and fleeing the scene, making you both frustrated and satisfied. Having everything you do in the actual game amount to nothing and instead rely on cutscenes for the consequential fighting to occur has just killed this experience for me.

I don't know if this is something others have experienced often, but this is one of those rare titles that I initially liked and still feel I would like if the game would just get the heck out of the way and let me play it.

All I can say is that maybe you're a great note-taker, but I would have been totally lost if they'd just tossed me into the deep end.  I'm not the most accomplished JRPG player, particularly for modern takes on the genre and my brain melted during the Nintendo Directs when they were explaining all the mechanics.

The extended tutorial was extremely well-paced for me.  It felt like each new tool they gave me fell into the rest and I could start experimenting with them while juggling my old skills as well.  So I could simultaneously move my character around for maximum damage as I built up blade combos and driver combos while deciding when to cancel an art or switch blades to build up my blade arts, all while working towards finishing with a big chain attack.

Having all those mechanics come to me as easily as they did, felt satisfying as I got a sense of mastery from the game's scaffolding approach to teaching me.

Well I'm glad it worked for ya. I don't mean to suggest that I'd just nail the combat perfectly if it were all presented to me initially by any means, but I've always liked to have the tools presented to me early and learned for myself as increasing difficulty demands more from me as I go.

It's a bit like the Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis grand strategy games I adore; despite playing them for many hundreds of hours over a decade+ I still find myself learning new things from time to time (though some of that is due to the many expansions that keep it fresh), and the best way to learn those games really was to just throw yourself into the deep end, get your butt kicked, and adapt your strategy lol

I think this game (and others) could have used something akin to the "Newbie Island" of Crusader Kings known as Ireland, where you really get to experiment with the mechanics and such in an easier but still challenging setting (by virtue of being disunited and on the edge of the continent there isn't the same risk of instant death as other starts, though the Vikings will arrive soon enough :D). There's something fun about having all of the tools available and just trying to figure the game out for yourself with impending doom encouraging you to investigate the mechanics further. The challenge is to keep the interest high enough that players don't jump ship when confronted with that difficulty, and while Xeno 2 definitely did that for me, I can see why it's often not a risk studios want to take.

With all the glowing praise in this thread, though, I think I'll certainly press on with the game... I may just blitzkrieg through the rest of the early portion of the story until it really opens up into what I've been reading about in the comments here.

Last edited by Johnw1104 - on 27 January 2018

Johnw1104 said:

From what I recall I think I'm almost to the point you're mentioning. I've certainly had some trouble staying interested in JRPGs in the past as a lot of them do take their sweet time allowing you to get to the meat of the game.

I think both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses, but I've always strongly preferred having everything thrown at me in the first hour or so and experimenting with it from there. I understand that many people feel overwhelmed and lose interest, but to me that approach is preferable to what has amounted (in this instance) to a 20 hour tutorial (I've admittedly taken my time, but that's because I want to explore the game and not just blitz through it). It's very frustrating, as I feel I've been pretty darn patient thus far.

Do we eventually start encountering enemies that can actually be defeated on the spot, btw? This whole arrangement where I defeat boss after boss only to have a cutscene show moments later that I actually got my ass kicked has grown extremely stale lol

I'll probably get back to it this evening... maybe I'll just bum rush my way through the narrative until it finally opens up and takes off the training wheels.

Tbh mate that's not a flaw of the game if you don't like your character being taken to the cleaners story wise, it's a much appreciated change in the usual story of the genre where your character is a nobody who out of nowhere competes with grand master level fighters, here it highlights how out of their league the party are and what they're up against but like it or not it's not a flaw of the game if them being defeated is not to your liking.

Xenoblade X threw everything at players early on and you ended up with complaints about people not knowing what they're doing with even some reviewers not realising that the bar at the bottom were their abilities that they could scroll through and use, XBC2 has more depth to utilise so they pretty much had to ease players in in order for most players to understand what they're doing.

You're free to rush through the early stages like some people have done but then later on in the game a number of these players have struggled because they didn't understand how to utilise certain strats like burst set ups and all, the approach is there for a good reason.



Johnw1104 said:
NightlyPoe said:

All I can say is that maybe you're a great note-taker, but I would have been totally lost if they'd just tossed me into the deep end.  I'm not the most accomplished JRPG player, particularly for modern takes on the genre and my brain melted during the Nintendo Directs when they were explaining all the mechanics.

The extended tutorial was extremely well-paced for me.  It felt like each new tool they gave me fell into the rest and I could start experimenting with them while juggling my old skills as well.  So I could simultaneously move my character around for maximum damage as I built up blade combos and driver combos while deciding when to cancel an art or switch blades to build up my blade arts, all while working towards finishing with a big chain attack.

Having all those mechanics come to me as easily as they did, felt satisfying as I got a sense of mastery from the game's scaffolding approach to teaching me.

Well I'm glad it worked for ya. I don't mean to suggest that I'd just nail the combat perfectly if it were all presented to me initially by any means, but I've always liked to have the tools presented to me early and learned for myself as increasing difficulty demands more from me as I go.

It's a bit like the Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis grand strategy games I adore; despite playing them for many hundreds of hours over a decade+ I still find myself learning new things from time to time (though some of that is due to the many expansions that keep it fresh), and the best way to learn those games really was to just throw yourself into the deep end, get your butt kicked, and adapt your strategy lol

I think this game (and others) could have used something akin to the "Newbie Island" of Crusader Kings known as Ireland, where you really get to experiment with the mechanics and such in an easier but still challenging setting (by virtue of being disunited and on the edge of the continent there isn't the same risk of instant death as other starts, though the Vikings will arrive soon enough :D). There's something fun about having all of the tools available and just trying to figure the game out for yourself with impending doom encouraging you to investigate the mechanics further. The challenge is to keep the interest high enough that players don't jump ship when confronted with that difficulty, and while Xeno 2 definitely did that for me, I can see why it's often not a risk studios want to take.

With all the glowing praise in this thread, though, I think I'll certainly press on with the game... I may just blitzkrieg through the rest of the early portion of the story until it really opens up into what I've been reading about in the comments here.

Just do pay attention to these tutorials, these systems all feed into each other.  If you brush them off as being shallow trinkets thrown at you, you are going to wind up in a position like some others have where you are the same level or higher than some bosses and getting absolutely destroyed because you aren't properly making use of all your options :P



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Wyrdness said:
Johnw1104 said:

From what I recall I think I'm almost to the point you're mentioning. I've certainly had some trouble staying interested in JRPGs in the past as a lot of them do take their sweet time allowing you to get to the meat of the game.

I think both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses, but I've always strongly preferred having everything thrown at me in the first hour or so and experimenting with it from there. I understand that many people feel overwhelmed and lose interest, but to me that approach is preferable to what has amounted (in this instance) to a 20 hour tutorial (I've admittedly taken my time, but that's because I want to explore the game and not just blitz through it). It's very frustrating, as I feel I've been pretty darn patient thus far.

Do we eventually start encountering enemies that can actually be defeated on the spot, btw? This whole arrangement where I defeat boss after boss only to have a cutscene show moments later that I actually got my ass kicked has grown extremely stale lol

I'll probably get back to it this evening... maybe I'll just bum rush my way through the narrative until it finally opens up and takes off the training wheels.

Tbh mate that's not a flaw of the game if you don't like your character being taken to the cleaners story wise, it's a much appreciated change in the usual story of the genre where your character is a nobody who out of nowhere competes with grand master level fighters, here it highlights how out of their league the party are and what they're up against but like it or not it's not a flaw of the game if them being defeated is not to your liking.

Xenoblade X threw everything at players early on and you ended up with complaints about people not knowing what they're doing with even some reviewers not realising that the bar at the bottom were their abilities that they could scroll through and use, XBC2 has more depth to utilise so they pretty much had to ease players in in order for most players to understand what they're doing.

You're free to rush through the early stages like some people have done but then later on in the game a number of these players have struggled because they didn't understand how to utilise certain strats like burst set ups and all, the approach is there for a good reason.

In my opinion it is a flaw (albeit a minor one) simply cause it causes a jarring narrative disconnect between the gameplay and the cutscenes.

I have absolutely no problem with getting my ass kicked by stronger characters early in the game, and many (if not most) RPG's tend to do that. What irritates me is when there is absolutely no sense of continuity between the gameplay and the cinematics, and that's precisely what we have here. Fight after fight I wipe the floor with these guys, and yet a moment later my party is shown to be injured, panting, and getting their butts kicked in by a pristine, unphased foe that moments before crumpled to the ground.

The end result is to essentially invalidate the actual gameplay and take you out of the story, breaking whatever sense of immersion you may briefly have had. These types of encounters can be done right and have been done right for ages: Either have the antagonist grunt and retreat or, if you wish to show that he/she is far superior to you, have them wipe the floor with the player. As it is currently arranged, we have an in-game weakling that becomes a cut-scene untouchable, and that discontinuity can fairly be called a "flaw".

I think I will just get through the first four chapters. As I said before, I don't mind suddenly hitting a difficulty spike and having to further investigate the game to adapt and overcome; that is far more enjoyable and gratifying than being lead through it by the hand in my opinion. Like I said, I understand the fear of scaring people off, but Xeno 2 has thus far had a story and characters that make the effort worthwhile. Really, to this point the only thing that threatened to have me losing interest is an eternal tutorial, but I shall power through lol

That's an interesting conundrum for Japanese studios trying to appeal to western audiences, though: You don't want to frighten them off by laying too many unfamiliar mechanics on them all at once, but western players are also unaccustomed to being forced to go through endless hours of hand-holding (just look at how much more quickly the recent Monster Hunter gets you into the thick of the action as opposed to previous titles). Must be a difficult balance to strike.



Johnw1104 said:
Wyrdness said:

Tbh mate that's not a flaw of the game if you don't like your character being taken to the cleaners story wise, it's a much appreciated change in the usual story of the genre where your character is a nobody who out of nowhere competes with grand master level fighters, here it highlights how out of their league the party are and what they're up against but like it or not it's not a flaw of the game if them being defeated is not to your liking.

Xenoblade X threw everything at players early on and you ended up with complaints about people not knowing what they're doing with even some reviewers not realising that the bar at the bottom were their abilities that they could scroll through and use, XBC2 has more depth to utilise so they pretty much had to ease players in in order for most players to understand what they're doing.

You're free to rush through the early stages like some people have done but then later on in the game a number of these players have struggled because they didn't understand how to utilise certain strats like burst set ups and all, the approach is there for a good reason.

In my opinion it is a flaw (albeit a minor one) simply cause it causes a jarring narrative disconnect between the gameplay and the cutscenes.

I have absolutely no problem with getting my ass kicked by stronger characters early in the game, and many (if not most) RPG's tend to do that. What irritates me is when there is absolutely no sense of continuity between the gameplay and the cinematics, and that's precisely what we have here. Fight after fight I wipe the floor with these guys, and yet a moment later my party is shown to be injured, panting, and getting their butts kicked in by a pristine, unphased foe that moments before crumpled to the ground.

The end result is to essentially invalidate the actual gameplay and take you out of the story, breaking whatever sense of immersion you may briefly have had. These types of encounters can be done right and have been done right for ages: Either have the antagonist grunt and retreat or, if you wish to show that he/she is far superior to you, have them wipe the floor with the player. As it is currently arranged, we have an in-game weakling that becomes a cut-scene untouchable, and that discontinuity can fairly be called a "flaw".

I think I will just get through the first four chapters. As I said before, I don't mind suddenly hitting a difficulty spike and having to further investigate the game to adapt and overcome; that is far more enjoyable and gratifying than being lead through it by the hand in my opinion. Like I said, I understand the fear of scaring people off, but Xeno 2 has thus far had a story and characters that make the effort worthwhile. Really, to this point the only thing that threatened to have me losing interest is an eternal tutorial, but I shall power through lol

That's an interesting conundrum for Japanese studios trying to appeal to western audiences, though: You don't want to frighten them off by laying too many unfamiliar mechanics on them all at once, but western players are also unaccustomed to being forced to go through endless hours of hand-holding (just look at how much more quickly the recent Monster Hunter gets you into the thick of the action as opposed to previous titles). Must be a difficult balance to strike.

Well later on they stop the fights at half-boss HP.  Which works better, gives the sense that the guy's just toying with you.  However, the obvious issue with level scaling enemies to wipe the floor with you is that it removes challenge.  These are boss *fights*, a test of the player.  So it's a compromise that needs to be met so that the end of these chapters aren't "put down the controller and watch the inevitable" moments.  You have to balance gameplay and narrative.  I think later in the game it is handled better though with the half hp endings.

Also, Monster Hunter and this game are in entirely different genres and this game has far more interlocking mechanics and statistics to come to grips with, not a very good comparison.  



Nuvendil said:
Johnw1104 said:

Well I'm glad it worked for ya. I don't mean to suggest that I'd just nail the combat perfectly if it were all presented to me initially by any means, but I've always liked to have the tools presented to me early and learned for myself as increasing difficulty demands more from me as I go.

It's a bit like the Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis grand strategy games I adore; despite playing them for many hundreds of hours over a decade+ I still find myself learning new things from time to time (though some of that is due to the many expansions that keep it fresh), and the best way to learn those games really was to just throw yourself into the deep end, get your butt kicked, and adapt your strategy lol

I think this game (and others) could have used something akin to the "Newbie Island" of Crusader Kings known as Ireland, where you really get to experiment with the mechanics and such in an easier but still challenging setting (by virtue of being disunited and on the edge of the continent there isn't the same risk of instant death as other starts, though the Vikings will arrive soon enough :D). There's something fun about having all of the tools available and just trying to figure the game out for yourself with impending doom encouraging you to investigate the mechanics further. The challenge is to keep the interest high enough that players don't jump ship when confronted with that difficulty, and while Xeno 2 definitely did that for me, I can see why it's often not a risk studios want to take.

With all the glowing praise in this thread, though, I think I'll certainly press on with the game... I may just blitzkrieg through the rest of the early portion of the story until it really opens up into what I've been reading about in the comments here.

Just do pay attention to these tutorials, these systems all feed into each other.  If you brush them off as being shallow trinkets thrown at you, you are going to wind up in a position like some others have where you are the same level or higher than some bosses and getting absolutely destroyed because you aren't properly making use of all your options :P

I think I'm one of the rare types that doesn't mind dying at all in games heh... Heck, I remember very early on practicing against that lvl 8 Driver in the first major town until I found some means of defeating him without leveling or getting the extra party members (the latter a definite mistake in this teamwork-centric game), probably lost half a dozen times lol; similar efforts after forming the party in that same town with completing the available quests that were a bit higher level again had me learning about how best to use their abilities together to overcome the level gap. It was that effort, though, that had me looking through a great deal of information, and I learned quite a lot from it.

There's few things more gratifying to me than overcoming an obstacle or boss that had seemed insurmountable. I hope to feel that again one day when I kill that roaming asshole of a giant gorilla that's always sneaking up on me.

Nuvendil said:

Also, Monster Hunter and this game are in entirely different genres and this game has far more interlocking mechanics and statistics to come to grips with, not a very good comparison.  

There's truth to that, I was just trying to figure out what would appeal best to western audiences and Monster Hunter is the latest major Japanese title to try. Oddly, the one part of my brain that's being strained and tested when playing Xenoblade 2 is the one that I haven't really been using much in gaming since my raid leading days in various MMO's lol... More than any game I've played in a long time Xeno 2 feels like leading a party in a dungeon crawler, and I really enjoy that aspect of it.

Frankly, I may be permanently stuck in tutorials though as I spend far too much time just salvaging and seeing what monsters I can down ahead-of-schedule heh... Looking like I'll fix my home town's money woes before I hit chapter 4 :D

Last edited by Johnw1104 - on 27 January 2018

Johnw1104 said:
Wyrdness said:

Tbh mate that's not a flaw of the game if you don't like your character being taken to the cleaners story wise, it's a much appreciated change in the usual story of the genre where your character is a nobody who out of nowhere competes with grand master level fighters, here it highlights how out of their league the party are and what they're up against but like it or not it's not a flaw of the game if them being defeated is not to your liking.

Xenoblade X threw everything at players early on and you ended up with complaints about people not knowing what they're doing with even some reviewers not realising that the bar at the bottom were their abilities that they could scroll through and use, XBC2 has more depth to utilise so they pretty much had to ease players in in order for most players to understand what they're doing.

You're free to rush through the early stages like some people have done but then later on in the game a number of these players have struggled because they didn't understand how to utilise certain strats like burst set ups and all, the approach is there for a good reason.

In my opinion it is a flaw (albeit a minor one) simply cause it causes a jarring narrative disconnect between the gameplay and the cutscenes.

I have absolutely no problem with getting my ass kicked by stronger characters early in the game, and many (if not most) RPG's tend to do that. What irritates me is when there is absolutely no sense of continuity between the gameplay and the cinematics, and that's precisely what we have here. Fight after fight I wipe the floor with these guys, and yet a moment later my party is shown to be injured, panting, and getting their butts kicked in by a pristine, unphased foe that moments before crumpled to the ground.

The end result is to essentially invalidate the actual gameplay and take you out of the story, breaking whatever sense of immersion you may briefly have had. These types of encounters can be done right and have been done right for ages: Either have the antagonist grunt and retreat or, if you wish to show that he/she is far superior to you, have them wipe the floor with the player. As it is currently arranged, we have an in-game weakling that becomes a cut-scene untouchable, and that discontinuity can fairly be called a "flaw".

I think I will just get through the first four chapters. As I said before, I don't mind suddenly hitting a difficulty spike and having to further investigate the game to adapt and overcome; that is far more enjoyable and gratifying than being lead through it by the hand in my opinion. Like I said, I understand the fear of scaring people off, but Xeno 2 has thus far had a story and characters that make the effort worthwhile. Really, to this point the only thing that threatened to have me losing interest is an eternal tutorial, but I shall power through lol

That's an interesting conundrum for Japanese studios trying to appeal to western audiences, though: You don't want to frighten them off by laying too many unfamiliar mechanics on them all at once, but western players are also unaccustomed to being forced to go through endless hours of hand-holding (just look at how much more quickly the recent Monster Hunter gets you into the thick of the action as opposed to previous titles). Must be a difficult balance to strike.

That doesn't really make sense as by that logic a large amount of games have disconnect because of story the are a tonne of rpgs and games where you have good fights but your character still loses it's not a flaw of the game tbh it's mainly an issue that's individually down to you. Many of the fights you're complaining about are even fights that are there to ease the player in to learn how to play which is better achieved having the player win the battle instead of having the boss be impossible to beat as the are plenty of trickier fights later on anyway either way it's not a game flaw its really your own issue.

The recent Monster Hunter is more toned down compared to previous games the are mechanics that make the game much easier so that's a bad example as it has less mechanics than previous games.



I have heard a lot of people saying they like the tutorial stuff. IMO, it was unappealing and I much prefer learning stuff on my own.and having the tools available to me. I am not saying I disagree with having tutorials, only that I personally don’t like them and don’t need them.

Xenoblade Chronicles X was MUCH more appealing to me in that regard. I loved the freedom immediately available.

Then again, I also love Dwarf Fortress.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.