So, I really loved the original Xenoblade Chronicles and found its pacing, combat, story, and level design to be phenomenal. The side quests needed some work, but they didn’t detract from the experience if you sort of ignored them and completed them “by accident”. And the boss fights were excellent in general.
But I found Xenoblade X to be more of a flawed masterpiece that wasn’t really for me. The graphics and enemy design were mostly spectacular, the combat system was decent (although I felt a bit less balanced, dynamic and interesting than the original game), and the music was very mixed. But there were too many characters and the world was actually a bit too open for me to feel like the exploration was rewarding - it felt a bit like there was nothing happening out there and you were just running through a giant empty room. Plus the overal pacing and gameplay felt a bit overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time.
The gameplay systems were also poorly explained compared to the original game which felt pretty inexcusable for a game with so many systems to grapple with. Plus, they introduced them less gradually so that the “building” of complexity that the first game achieved throughout the experience to keep things fresh was absent and it just felt like you had to pick and choose which systems to learn and where to go over time.
Basically, I still haven’t finished XCX because I find it requires too large of an investment of time without yielding enough fun for me. There’s also zero feeling of progression throughout the game because too much is accessible to start. And each character feels less consequential and poorly developed compared to the cast of the previous game, where you can combine different characters to make unique parties that felt different and fun to play in combat.
Basically, I felt the original game was better because the characters, combat, gameplay systems, story, and environments just felt so well executed and each complimented the other elements to form a coherent whole. XBX in contrast felt like a mishmash of different ideas that made for a cacophony of different things to do without feeling like each was properly designed to be interwoven with all the other systems present.
So this brings me to the questions I have about XBC2. I know the structure of this game is more like the original as far as story is concerned, but I have not heard much about the combat and other gameplay elements of the game and how they compare to previous installments. Could you guys provide your overall thoughts? I don’t think XBX was “trash” by any means, but I do feel like the game was a weird blend of too many systems within which I never found a “rhythm” or enjoyable gameplay hook.
It’s sort of a broad question, but how does the game feel overall?