Review

Xenoblade

The Third Way

Xenoblade Chronicles makes a bold move out of the past but not quite into the future.

By Gus Mastrapa • April 16, 2012

In the early hours of Xenoblade Chronicles, a new role-playing game for the Wii, players find themselves standing on a precipice looking down on Colony 9—the humble home of Shulk, the game’s protagonist. Waves of enemy Mechons (a race of evil robots) ravage the place. It is clear that you must get there to help fight off the invasion.

Years of Japanese role-playing game training would lead us to believe that there are really only two courses of action. You can have Shulk turn around, enter the cave behind him, and slog through all the monsters between you and the next bit of story. Or, in a more pragmatic move, you can use the game’s menus to fast-travel to town, warping past all that busy work and getting straight to the story. But Xenoblade Chronicles offers a third option that few players raised on Final Fantasy would ever consider. You can simply push your thumbstick and send Shulk headlong into the abyss. He’ll free-fall, but he’ll eventually land in Colony 9’s moat—safe, sound, and free to swim to shore and continue his adventure.

Xenoblade screenshot

In a typical JRPG, there would have been an invisible wall preventing Shulk from taking this dive. The dramatic vista laid out before him would have been nothing but a lovely picture box—wallpaper plastered up to create an illusion of grandeur and space. But Xenoblade Chronicles rewards players for their single-mindedness with an achievement—a perk rarely encountered on the Wii. This game is as bold a step forward as one could expect from a JRPG, and the risks taken by the game’s developers are appreciated. 

Shulk’s people were born on the body of a fallen titan, where entire ecosystems have sprouted and thrived. His journey takes him, armed with a powerful sword called the Monado, on a trek across its limbs to uncover the weapon’s powers and fend off the marauding robots. And though the game’s plot seems to urge players to race to the next urgent encounter, there’s much to distract them from this goal. Xenoblade Chronicles is rich with side quests that encourage exploration—players can burn time hunting for rare monsters and loot hidden throughout the vast world. Those who backtrack will find that villagers have new quests for them and that their companions, who grow more fond of you as you play, will become more and more amenable to participating in intimate “heart-to-heart” scenes hidden around the landscape.

Xenoblade screenshot

It is fair to say that Xenoblade Chronicles owes more to World Of Warcraft than it does to Skyrim. The game still wants you to move in one direction, but the corridor players find themselves walking is so wide and full of distractions that they never feel like cattle. Combat follows the real-time mold set by popular online games, as well. Shulk and his party attack automatically—the player’s role is to select special attacks from a toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Smart use of these attacks is key, because many enemies can’t be taken down unless Shulk and company attack in concert and stagger their target with combo attacks. As in many online games, any given fight can become complicated by additional enemies wandering into the fray; a brawl that seemed like a cakewalk can suddenly become a fight to the death. 

Later, the game’s protagonist develops psychic powers, which add another interesting wrinkle to combat. When an enemy is about to unleash a deadly attack, Shulk will have a Dead Zone-esque premonition. He can respond by throwing up a shield powered by his magical sword, killing the enemy before it can do the damage, or by simply running from the fight.

And yet, though the developers of Xenoblade Chronicles have proven they’re willing to borrow from Western role-playing innovators, the game still feels mired in the past. Most of the game’s characters are bland. Its visual design is cursory and uninspired—the requisite giant swords, short shorts, and ornate mechanical enemies feel phoned in. Amid such common tropes, the choice to use thickly accented Brits rather than breathless anime actors for the game’s voice performances elevates the entire affair more than it ought to. But if there’s one lesson to be learned from Xenoblade Chronicles, that’s it: A simple leap can make all the difference.

Xenoblade Chronicles
Developer: Monolith Soft
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Wii
Price: $49.99
Rating: T

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61 Responses to “The Third Way”

  1. AuroraBoreanaz says:

    I always find it amusing when a game tells you “HURRY, you have to rescue Doctor Captive!”, then allows you to run off and do a bunch of side quests first.  (I’ve been doing this in Mass Effect 3.  “Eh, I won one fight against the Geth, now I need a break.  I’m gonna go explore a couple of Reaper-occupied systems, maybe stop at the Citadel for a bit.”)

    That’s one of the things that made Full Throttle such a great adventure game.  In pretty much every other adventure game prior to it, if you had a locked door, you had to search for 15 different items and combine them together to make a key.  In Full Throttle, you just kicked down the door.

    That jump mentioned at the start of this article sounds like a similar change.

    • AngryRaisins says:

      But there was Mass Effect 2, where

      SPOILER

      after your crew gets kidnapped, if you don’t go and rescue them quickly enough (I went and finished off all the sidequests first), Kelly Chambers gets killed.

      • AuroraBoreanaz says:

        MAYBE SPOILER

        Yeah, except I saved her, and her name is still on the memorial wall in the Normandy now.  She must have died on Earth or something…

      • dreadguacamole says:

          I was so pissed off at that! You can spend the rest of the game picking out curtains for the Normandy’s viewports while any number of situations are about to go critical, but in that one instance you get burnt.
         Oh well, I didn’t like that PA character anyway.

        • DwigtKSchrute says:

          You don’t realize the importance of picking out curtains for the Normandy in ME2. It’s there to create some contrast with the dark, edgy and sad ending of ME3, where you only spend half the game buying ship models and joking about your previous encounter with Cerberus, while the other half of the game is filled with sorrow, angst and a dead kid running in slo-mo.

      • Aaron Riccio says:

        Yeah, she totally died on my end, too. I was actually glad though, that there was a consequence for my actions! I’m playing through Witcher II right now, waiting to see just how screwed my earlier choices are going to make me.

        • Scottie V says:

          Oh man. I am so fucking pumped to get that on console… my laptop has nowhere near the computing power to display it properly, so Xbox 360 it is for me! Still, completely pumped to play what’s supposedly one of the better games of last year.

          edit: also, does anyone happen to know how to get my AV Club handle to appear when I post here? I’m fucking raging at Disqus all over again like it was last August

    • 3FistedHumdinger says:

       I found Dragon Age: Origins to be a good example of that. 

      MAYBE SPOILERS?

      Arl Eamon never dies despite being mere hours from death at any given moment, and his son, once he flees, will wait forever for an exorcism with no consequences if you save it for last.

    • The Guilty Party says:

      SPOILER for ME3:

      There’s actually a few missions that *are* time sensitive. If you go do other missions before getting to them, things go wrong. It is a bit annoying that it’s not always clear which they are (it seems obvious because it involves mortal peril for the people involved, but 95% of the game is mortal peril for everyone involved, soo….).

      END SPOILER

      It’s a tough problem though. They want to impart some sense of urgency and make you care, but if the game is non-linear enough, they don’t want to punish you or throw away all that non-linear-ness. Also, timelimits/deadlines suck. I still have trouble playing Fallout 1 because there’s this clock ticking over everything you do.

      • DwigtKSchrute says:

        As a general case, always do the mission tagged “Priority” in last.
        The game has a clear main arc: Prologue -> Tuchanka -> (automatically) Act II -> Rannoch -> Thessia/Cerberus -> Ending
        It is important to do the Grissom Academy side quest quite early (it’s canceled if you do first three other missions). It’s the only one that has any significant impact on the overall score.

        • The Guilty Party says:

          I’d think delaying the bomb one would impact the score too, but I’ve never experimented.

    • caspiancomic says:

       Hahaha, one of my all-time favourite game series, Suikoden, is shameless about this. So many time you’ll be deep in enemy territory on an ostensibly time sensitive mission with half of your armed forces trying to buy you a little time with a distraction on the battlefield, and you can just teleport back to your HQ and sit around in the bathhouse or have a cooking contest or whatever.

      This is one of the reasons Chrono Trigger is so smart- you have a perfectly good reason for being able to loaf around and complete sidequests for hours on end- the main antagonist isn’t even going to show his face for another thousand years (or more! Or… less. Or, it already happened)

  2. Kilzor says:

    I’m around twenty hours into it right now and am having a grand time.  The best part?  The evil robot overlords have cockney chimney-sweep accents.  Because, why not?

    • frogandbanjo says:

      My best guess is that the localization was done for Europe because originally there was no North American release planned. While British accents are used heavily in RPG’s, some of the language clued me in that there might be something else going on with this particular title.

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the translation is totally awesome compared to a lot of JRPG’s I’ve played. There are really very few noticeable mistakes, and lots of adorable British-isms.

  3. dreadguacamole says:

     I really enjoyed this game, warts and all. The gameplay involves a lot of exploration in interesting environments, something I find is missing in most modern JRPGs. I just wish they’d put it out on more powerful hardware, those visuals would kick ass with higher fidelity.

  4. Aaron Riccio says:

    My only complaint with this game — and I know it’s a rare one, given how few RPGs are actually on the system — is that it’s making me want to pick up a Wii again. (I sold mine about a year ago, when it looked as if neither this nor The Last Story would be making it over here.)

    Ah, well. I’ll wait until it’s dropped in price, comes bundled with a few games, and I’ll now have the Wii Motion Plus controller, so I’ll be able to play Skyward Sword. I can wait. It’s not as if I don’t have a Steam library some hundred games unplayed as of yet!

    • Just be sure to pick up the game itself now. When something goes out of print on the Wii, it gets expensive. 

      • RidleyFGJ says:

        It’s a good rule of thumb to have where you assume that any Nintendo-published title released in the year of a new system launch is going to end up being pretty valuable in the long run. Even the Gamecube version of Zelda: Twilight Princess has gone on to become a valuable item.

        With Xenoblade being Gamestop exclusive, I’d have to imagine that any kind of “cutoff date” will likely end up being even shorter than the norm.

      • 3FistedHumdinger says:

         Those three months between Twilight Princess’ out-of-print phase and the $20 Greatest Hits edition saw that one go as high as $90 from what I saw.

        • RidleyFGJ says:

          Yeah, I couldn’t believe that the Wii version ever got as high as it did, but Nintendo does have the nasty habit of taking even wildly successful games out of circulation.

  5. Cory Anthony says:

    Really would love to see some sort of grade on the game overall. I keep scrolling up and down to make sure I haven’t missed it.  The review doesn’t seem to come to any conclusion.  If there is one, it seems to be: “Hey, look, I mean, guys, really, they tried to do something kind of sort of different for a JRPG, but it’s still kind of like, meh, but they at least sort of tried, right?”
    If that multitude of commas doesn’t sum up the amount of hedging and head-faking this review contains, I just don’t know what could.

    • Aaron Riccio says:

      What do you need a grade for, though? You read the entire review, you know what the game is more-or-less like. Does it sound like something you’d like to play? If so, play it, grade be damned! After all, if Gus happened to hate RPGs but wound up reviewing this, his grade would be pretty useless to you — what would be important is what he managed to describe through his gritted teeth. Moral of the story? Pretend that Gus hates RPGs.

    • root (1ltc) says:

      Yay, this discussion again!

      How many months will this go on? How many reviews will have this post appear somewhere in the comments until the main header has a line appended underneath, reading: “NO, THERE ARE NO OVERALL GRADES ON THE REVIEWS. SHUT THE FUCK UP.”
      Because this will keep happening until then.

  6. Stummies says:

    Any comment on how the Wiimote/nunchuck control scheme compares to the Classic Controller scheme? I’ve heard the CC is preferable but that the nunchuck works just fine if you don’t feel like dropping an extra $20 on the controller just to play one game.

    • RidleyFGJ says:

      The biggest advantage you have with the Wiimote setup is that you can point to arts that you want to use, rather than using the CC Pro’s d-pad to cycle through them. It gives you the advantage of being able to move around while selecting them, which can be pretty handy. I don’t think it’s as handy as having full camera control, but it’s not a bad option if it’s your only one.

      • Kilzor says:

        I’ve been playing the game the entire time and did not realize that was something you could do.  I’ve just taken my first step in a much larger world.

    • 3FistedHumdinger says:

      I have yet to find a game where it was really essential that you own a CC.

      • RidleyFGJ says:

        I’d say that Monster Hunter 3 strongly qualifies; camera management is such an important aspect of the combat.

    • sloth09 says:

       I played it all the way through using the CC so can’t really say if the nunchuck/Wiimote combo works. I can’t imagine playing it without the control of the camera you get with the second stick is anything but a pain in the ass though. Some of the later boss fights take place in areas with toxic sludge of various sorts lying around and the camera control is really useful for checking that your allies aren’t standing in it.

  7. Marozeph says:

    I finished the game some time ago (thanks to Europe getting a game first this time) and while the claims of underdeveloped characters and so-so visual design aren’t wrong, i really enjoyed it. Combat is a blast, it opens up for exploration fast – very refreshing, since i played Final Fantasy XIII shortly before – and the game is remarkable comfortable: you can save anytime, set the clock freely and warp anywhere whenever you want. It also gets some remarkable visuals out of the Wiis hardware and the soundtrack’s great.

    • Spacemonkey_Mafia says:

      Some of my favorite gaming experiences are from games that you know lack certain objective elements of good game design, but you enjoy almost all the more for it.  Though perhaps it liberates you from these stellar expectations and you can just have fun with the game.

  8. peartree17 says:

    Possibly a dumb question, but is this game related to the old PS1 RPG Xenogears in any way?

    • RidleyFGJ says:

      It’s made by the same creative team that made Xenogears (and Xenosaga, for that matter), but I think the game shares a bit more in common with their Baten Kaitos series.

      • The_Asinus says:

        Thanks,I was wondering that, too. I know that the relationship between Xenogears and Xenosaga was odd and unofficial because of ownership issues, but that Xenosaga was sort of a prequel… but not? But was? Though it wasn’t.

        But the big question– does it have (almost literally) feature length cutscenes like Xenosaga did? I bought that game and it took my friend and I years to finally go back to it and play through it. ONce you get past the ~45minute cut scenes the story is pretty goddamned interesting.

        Xenogears was great until they lost their budget (I think) and had to gloss over what sounded like a very, very interesting story with the Haves and Have-Nots.

        • RidleyFGJ says:

          The best way to look at Xenosaga is that it’s something of a do-over of the universe established in Xenogears. With their Square ties cut, they were forced to start from scratch and Xenosaga was the result. Unfortunately, due to budgetary concerns and the fact that Namco is one of the worst publishers on the face the planet, they found themselves in a repeat of the issues they ran into with Xenogears.

  9. Girard says:

    Honest, if snarkily-phrased question:

    Does this game innovate enough (or have an interesting enough story) to engage someone like me who kind of spoiled himself for JRPGS by glutting on them in the late-90s PSX heyday (and subsequently playing through all the SNES classes I missed). I’ve spent so many hours in hackneyed JRPG worlds that, apart from Mother 3, I haven’t actually played one in ages, as they all feel really derivative and samey to me.

    It’s hard to read the excitement people have for this – Does it break enough away from cliche to be fresh and new and interesting, or is it beholden enough to cliche that fans of JRPG conventions are mainly super excited about having a really solid new AAA JRPG to play (and to have one on the Wii, which doesn’t have many).

    If the former, I could see investing the time and money this game asks, but if it’s the latter, it may not be for me.

    • sloth09 says:

      For what it’s worth, I’m pretty much as jaded as you sound on JRPGs (apart from the Dragon Quest remakes and IX on DS – which is mostly because the are perfect portable games) I’ve not really liked one in a long time. I like Xenoblade a lot though. I preferred it to Skyrim even (and now I’m into ME3 it’s looking doubtful that Skyrim will ever get a chance).

      The story and world are pretty original and never become incomprehensible or internally inconsistent in the way that the FF games tend to. It’s really carried by the characters though. I’m British so didn’t care about the dub and there’s some great, really funny lines.

      • The_Asinus says:

        Preferred it to Skyrim? That’s a mighty endorsement! (though I’ll take differing tastes into account) I do love some JRPGs but am not as well versed as you two are, apparently. But just looking at that image of the sword made me say “Goddamn it…” because I knew that I was going to spend the 50 bucks on this. I learned my lesson about skipping games hoping the price would come down. The review, the game play still, the description… my buttons have been pressed.

    • GhaleonQ says:

      You’re in the U.K., no?  Just buy the Lightning/Inazuma 11 games instead.  Start with 2 if you’re not sure if you’ll like them.  Mitsuda did the WHOLE soundtrack (Shimomura and he are the only standouts on Xenoblade’s), it’s almost completely innovative, it’s lighthearted enough to not demand serious thought but complex enough to reward serious effort, and it’s the series that converted me from Level-5 hating.

      • Girard says:

         I’m actually in the States, but have lived overseas and have family in the UK, so it’s not surprising if occasional personal references in my comments give the impression I’m in Europe (I was across the pond when the first Tingle game came out – lucky me!!!).

        I11 does sound interesting, with kind of a Suikoden recruitment-thing going on, and the whole soccer thing is pretty fresh (and cartoony enough to appeal to someone who hates sports but played his fair share of MegaMan Soccer…). I might have to see if I can import it.

  10. frogandbanjo says:

    Good stuff overall, although that says more about how bad most traditional JRPGs have been as of late. The MMO mechanics are an interesting addition, and I don’t find them overtly insulting in this context. The story will end and I’m not competing with other players, so all the optional stuff might in fact be optional by some objective metric. Still, running around for exclamation points is old’n’busted. I’m looking to Guild Wars 2 as some sort of digital messiah to save us all from additional decades of these horribly outdated mechanics affecting development across all genres.

    Some of the character mechanics don’t work; relationships between non-main-character pairs develop far too slowly, and you’re forced to actually use characters to build them up. That would be fine if there were more robust choices for Tank, Healer, and DPS, but the first three characters you get fit those roles so cleanly that it’s tough to justify ever switching – except of course for all the concrete benefits you accumulate (far too slowly) for doing so.

    There were the beginnings of some really good ideas for alternative tanking and healing builds, but the game didn’t manage to pull the trigger on them. The evasion tank is useless against high magic damage, the other beefy character is a mess of abilities that have no rhyme or reason (and is, not surprisingly, the most annoying JRPG trope in the game,) and no other character has enough healing abilities to be a dedicated healer in a challenging fight.

    The healing situation is the worst from a design perspective, but it’s also kind of a weird issue that the main character – very powerful and very plot-important – is a DPS. That’s basically two roles out of three that you’d be stupid, from a fight-to-fight perspective, to switch out. That cuts sharply against the way the relationship-building stuff is set up.

    Every relationship that doesn’t involve the main character is developed WAY too slowly, and as the game progresses, it gets even harder to build up levels between characters. This sucks because the synergies that you want are most often on characters you don’t want to play, and have no intention of using in your “final” build that you’re trying to set up through those synergies.

    • Gorfious says:

       I did every quest, and killed every unique monster, so I can assume I developed a basic mastery of the game.  I never had this problem.  I mained all the characters pretty equally, and I found I could make most combos work.  Even the ultimate lvl 120 side boss can be beaten by several different combos.

       I honestly found the evasion tank to be slightly better than the traditional one.  He can’t dodge magic attacks, but his armor tends to have more magic defense, and physical attacks almost never hit him.  It can make the damage he takes a little spiky, but with all heals being cooldown based, that’s not really a huge deal.

      Three of the dps have off heal abilities, and really for most fights that’s all you need.  The extra damage you do makes up for the slightly worse healing. 

      • frogandbanjo says:

        Are you sure we’re talking about the same evasion tank? Mine can’t hold aggro off my DPS without being naked, so ether defense armor isn’t really in the cards for him. Given that he’s got two skills directly related to being naked, I think it’s safe to assume the designers intended for him to be played that way.

        If you’re talking about the JRPG-trope puffball, then yeah, he seems incredibly versatile, actually. I’m still having problems envisioning an endgame scenario where I don’t use the main healer, but maybe that will change as I gain more skill synergies – so, so slowly.

        • Gorfious says:

          Naked is viable for the mid to early-late game.  You need to throw some agility gems on his weapons though, to make sure his dodge is maxed.  I used him naked during that part of the game, because it was fun playing a higher risk strategy.  Also I enjoyed seeing a dude hanging out in his underwear, while all his friends are in badass armor during the cut scenes.  Late in the game gems become too good to pass up, though.

          As to aggro,  I recommend Battle Eye to grab it initially;  then hold it by stealing aggro using Binding Blossom on cooldown alternating between your other two part members.  Once aggro is established you can use Serene Heart to make yourself virtually untouchable.  The AI can handle it too, if you want to use someone else.  You just need to make sure you don’t put Heat Haze on the bar, since that will cause all aggro to be dumped, should the silly AI decide to use it.

          Leveling affinity links between party members that don’t work well in combat together can be done by picking up and turning in quests with one in the lead slot and the other in the party.  Those can really add up.  I leveled a few links all the way to the top that way.  Also you can have characters give each other collectopedia items for some affinity.

  11. caspiancomic says:

     I don’t know if I would really say I was “excited” about this game coming out, but the more I read about it, the more I think I should really pick it up. I adore JRPGs, and its been a while since we got a new big ol’ console JRPG that I could sink a few weekends into. Plus, I LOVE the idea of integrating platforming into a JRPG world- even something as simple as a jump command could radically change how you interact with and explore the famously world-building heavy environments of this genre. So I might take the plunge and do it. Cheers for the review.

    (Unrelated thought: I know it’s going to have basically nil in the way of “innovation”, but my #1 most anticipated game this year is Ni No Kuni. Hopefully an uncomplicated dose of traditional JRPGery will be able to move a few units on the strength of having a strong narrative, beautiful graphics, and great music, just like the golden age JRPGs of the 90s had)

    (Unrelated thought #2: complaining about the lack of good JRPGs these days? Look to the handhelds. I’m replaying The World Ends With You right now, and it’s wonderful. See also: Radiant Historia)

    • AHyperkineticLagomorph says:

       Agreeing 100% on the handheld thing. I’ve got so many good JRPGs on handhelds right now, I’m actually limited by time rather than games to play.

      Also, my current favorite JRPG series is still going strong: Shin Megami Tensei. Between the recent release of Devil Survivor 2, the upcoming remake Persona 4: The Golden (which means I need to get a Vita. P4 ranks in my top 10 games of all time), and going back to replay a few of the ones I missed on PS2, I have a lot of demon-summoning to do.

      Also a good series, if you don’t mind a more… mundane experience? The Atelier Series. It’s a kind of resource-managing, item-crafting, time-managing, turn based RPG combo… thing. Admittedly the ones I played (the Arland series on the PS3) are rather full of anime tropes and designs if that sort of thing bothers you, but I enjoyed the hell out of it.

    • stuartsaysstop says:

      unfortunately it’s looking like Ni No Kuni will be your most anticipated game NEXT year, as its release date slipped into 2013 just last week

    • root (1ltc) says:

      complaining about the lack of good JRPGs these days? Look to the handhelds.

      Hungry? Eat dog food.

      Life is too short for handheld games.

      • caspiancomic says:

         Not sure I really understand your line of reasoning here. Handheld games are, especially these days, often equivalent in quality to console games. The two games I mentioned above, The World Ends With You and Radiant Historia, are two of the best JRPGs I’ve played in the last five years- not two of the best handhelds, two of the best of the genre, period. The stories and gameplay mechanics of both of those titles are just as deep and engaging as any console RPG.

  12. excitingusername says:

    In my unsolicited opinion, Xenoblade sucks pretty nastily. Despite pretending to be deep the combat system is actually simplistic and mindless to the point of making me sleepy, the few shining moments in the story are kind of over-shadowed by how the rest of it is composed of nothing but mediocrity and the stalest JRPG/anime cliches known to science, plus it feels like it’s about 10,000 pages too long(that’s WITHOUT doing any of the Heart-To-Hearts), and the camera vigorously fucks itself when you’re in anything but a wide open space. I give the game a D-.

    The music is pretty great, though. I give that an A.

    • Asinus says:

      I give YOU a D!

      Not really.

      I just came back to this review to see if anyone said anything about the camera movement. For the most part, I was thrilled with the camera control. Once you get into the first narrow hallway, though, things get infuriating quickly. When you’re running through the cave and you come to the modernish (whatever) doors, and there are a bunch of little lizards then a bigger boss lizard, remember that part? I think my party wiped 3 or 4 times because I couldn’t target the damn thing or even see it most of the time. The tank and the Fiora (or whatever) just stood there while I was getting killed. They don’t start attacking automatically when the group is attacked. That is really stupid IMO. No, I don’t want them running off and pulling aggro all over the place, but I would like it if the tank would effing tank when we were under attack.

      I couldn’t issue commands to them because I couldn’t z target the lizard… so I just had to try to z target until I died.

      As far as the reuse of JRPG and Anime tropes, I guess I expect those so much that I’m more curious about how they’ll recycle them than I am frustrated that they’re there. I’m not someone who has played ever JRPG in the last 20+ years though. I do love some JRPGs to death, though, but don’t have a stock pile of games (I missed all the 16 bit consoles and didn’t get a PS2 until the PS3 was out). So maybe a lot is new to me or not quite as tired.

      There is a lot I like about the combat, but I think I OP’ed again. I don’t think anyone lost more than 5% of their health to the Mechs while we were clearing out Colony 9. Instead of using the system to survive, it was just to see how quickly I could win a fight. I hope it gets a little more challenging (and not just because the camera is doing something stupid).

  13. MesotheleonaHelmsley says:

    A bit of warning about the dual layered disc for those who were brought to bring their wii out of storage by this title. If you have an old dusty wii, good luck with this.

    • Asinus says:

      I have a launch Wii that I’ve modded and, fortunately, haven’t had any problem with anything but burned DL discs. But, yeah, this is a major problem. I mean, if the wii hit the market at the same time as DVDs, it would make sense. But there’s really no reason they couldn’t make a drive that could handle DL discs other than to cut their costs.

       I decided that if XC didn’t run, I’d buy a new drive. I wanted to play it that badly. I felt pretty certain that it would work since Smash Bros. runs just fine (for the most part).

  14. Asinus says:

    This is already tough to find new and used are pushing 60 bucks. I decided to splurge because ive waited and regretted it before.

  15. bheld says:

    This review seems incredibly stupid in hindsight, doesn’t it? One of the best RPG’s of any generation, and the reviewer seems unable to look past the initial cosmetic flaws to see what a wonderful game this is. Hoping Gus Mastraspa moved onto something he’s better at doing.

  16. Aaron K Stone says:

    Lost you at bland visual designs.