Xenoblade Chronicles 3D makes a good argument for design overriding hardware limitations. The New 3DS normally puts out PSP-quality graphics, yet it's capable of rendering massive open-world naturalistic environments full of moving structures, and realistic human characters capable of emoting through polygonal deformation.

It's less than ideal, obviously; it looks clunky, but it can be done. How do we have developers complaining about not being able to realize their vision on the Switch? 🔸

Xenoblade 3D (spoilers) 

Something about this has me eager to figure out where the hell this story is actually going, also. I've just hit the Bionis's lower back; Xord and the rest of the Mechon are playing up their evil facade to a cartoonish extent ("GRAHAHA! YOU'LL MAKE A TASTY SNACK!"). Is it a successful attempt to manipulate and enrage Shulk, who doesn't know any better, or a clumsy attempt on the devs' part to motivate me as a player as part of the game's amusement park ride?

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Xenoblade 3D (spoilers) 

Digging this thread up because my recent fascination with the 2DS in 2019 had me picking this game up right where I left it off. And I made it not just to the Satorl Marsh, but all the way through to the Frontier Village, which I'm genuinely pleased to see is full of the franchise's sentient-beachball race.

Oh, I should also say I'm doing every single sidequest as they come up, and engaging with as many of the game's superfluous systems as possible. 29 hours and counting!

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Xenoblade 3D 

Nopon are spherical Chu-Chus, and their species-wide dialect is a shade removed from Jar Jar Binks, but I love and accept them completely regardless. They're explicitly stereotypical anime comic relief, but (and I think I said this when I tried out Xenoblade 2) it's still nice to see a setting where they socialize and cooperate alongside humans despite being so incredibly different. It reminds me of how I felt seeing the Hanar, Elcor, and Volus in the Mass Effect series

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Xenoblade 3D, ranting about graphics 

Tonight I reached the floating city above the Eryth Sea. The polygonal and texture fidelity of the characters and environments in this game are a shade above the original Half-Life; the screen is 400x240 with no anti-aliasing and minimal texture filtering, and yet, seeing the back of the Bionis's head off in the distance, I am absolutely taken aback by what they've achieved with the sense of scale in this game

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (mild Prison Tower spoilers) 

Riki appearing in these post-Metal Face boss fight cutscenes all like

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (mild spoiler) 

All the subquests from inside the Alcamoth city limits are desginated as time-limited (advancing the story will eventually cause them to become unavailable). I, much like the royal family's seer, also get the vague sense that Shulk continuing in his quest will result in the High Entian empire's destruction :thaenkin:

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (mild spoiler) 

Doing the Paola and Narine subquest has caused me to use Sharla as my main character, with assistants Riki and Melia, with the intent of maxing out the affinity between Sharla and Melia through combat prompts and Heart-To-Hearts. Their dialogue absolutely fails the Bechdel test, but I greatly prefer this version of the game regardless

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D 

Sharla, Melia, and Riki are now high enough in affinity that after some battles Riki refers to Melia and Sharla as his found family. I think it's the first time in recent memory an RPG has made me feel "oh my goodness, they love and support each other" followed by "specifically because of actions I took in gameplay". Other RPGs could stand to learn a thing or two from this mechanic; as for my affinity plans, Riki's now taken the lead with Reyn and Dunban following behind.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, utter sacrilege 

I haven't talked much about the combat, but the fact that it's all real-time with multiple party members on the exploration field makes me personally think of it as more of a slimmed-down Infinity Engine or KotOR-style singleplayer Western RPG than an MMO. The fact that you can jump just draws comparisons to the Mega Man Legends exploration/quest loop for me

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, Fallen Arm spoilers 

Really glad to see that while I was spoiled on who fills out the seventh party member slot, the nature of how and why was kept a mystery from me. (It would be very anticlimactic if we didn't see Metal Face again, given how he left.)

Clearly Dickson and the High Entia intrigue crew stand to benefit from endless conflict between Bionis life and the Mechon, but the fact that I struggle to think of a good reason why has me preparing for disappointment.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D 

I suppose it shows how deeply the game's gotten its hooks in me when last night, following a softlock that wiped an hour of sidequest progress, I relaunched the game later that same night and repeat the same quest chain as though nothing's happened. My party's now level 61 and at three stars in the Hidden Village's Affinity Chart, which is enough for me to justify proceeding on to the Mechonis Field and the next stage of the story.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, late-game spoilers 

Gadolt and the first two Egil fights are done; now I'm on the Fallen Arm and the Mechonis is visibly trying to do something.

I can roam around, but it... seems like I probably shouldn't abscond to continue rebuilding Colony 6. One of the two humanoid landmasses is ambulating, I should perhaps hold off on filling up the Collectopedia until after things have settled down a bit

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, late-game spoilers 

A lot of things just happened all at once

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, late-game spoilers 

- Bionis and Mechonis, the continents, fought over the definition of a parent's 'legacy'
- Egil, piloting the Mechonis, became open to reconciliation
- Shulk was born only as an avatar for Zanza, the soul of the Monado (a force of evil)
- Dickson and Alvis are two members of a trinity of ancients
- Mechonis now destroyed, Egil dead
- All High Entia are genemorphed into Telethia
- Heropon biggest, strongest
- Crush, pow
- Roly poly, keep on rolling

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, late-game spoilers 

Finished up the Bionis's Interior earlier tonight. I think my next (and possibly final) point of interest before I wrap this game up is to finish up Colony 6 as best I can. Shulk and crew have no idea what awaits them, it makes sense they'd try to make the Bionis a safer and more habitable place for people from all walks of life before departing on what might very well be a one-way trip.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, other portable RPGs 

Looking to the future, I'm not sure what to fire up on my 3DS after XC3D's credits keep on rolling...

...is what I WOULD say, were I not already aware that Ever Oasis has an entire species of friendly characters that look like this in it; hello, I'm at-lobst at scalie.club, it's very nice to meet you, madam

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, endgame mega-spoiler 

"Landmark discovered: Saturn"

YO

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, endgame mega-spoiler 

None of the characters are familiar with the notion of planets; they just know the humanoid landmasses and the endless sea surrounding them. "What's that, a ball of water?"

That, and the taste the game gives you of Zanza and the rest in labcoats, are two new ways for Xenoblade to utterly wow the player with the sheer scale of its setting. It'll be interesting to see how this ending ties into XC2, when I eventually pick that back up.

· SubwayTooter · 2 · 0 · 0

I'm nowhere near starting an actual playthrough of Xenoblade 2 (I just finished XC1 last night), but I loaded my old save to scout interiors for texturing research, and this town theme had me tearing up during gameplay. It's schmaltzy and I love it🔸 youtube.com/watch?v=df3EuehvvN

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D postgame thoughts (no spoilers) 

Good morning; it's been over a week since I finished the campaign for this and I'm still buzzing about the state in which it left me.

Ever Oasis is my next JRPG before Xenoblade 2, but gosh, I'm so glad I sunk 90+ hours into this instead of Assassin's Creed Origins/Odyssey or Red Dead Redemption 2 or even Fallout 76, which I can absolutely see another me having done and felt resentful about afterwards

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D postgame thoughts (no spoilers) 

I think one major point in XC's favor is how it never bases any plot points on the notion that humans (or any other humanlike fantasy races) are inherently selfish or evil; the forces you fight against are clear outliers operating on their own twisted philosophy, and every sapient enemy is given a clear chance to reconcile before you fight them. Considering a few of the story events, this was absolutely a deliberate design choice

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Chapter 1 

Today I fired this up, starting from the very beginning. I love that the game introduces the mechanics of its off-the-wall anime world filled with titans and ancient wreckage, then puts Rex on an ordinary sunny countryside field with a village in the distance and has him mouth-agape at the wonderment of what to the game's IRL audience is just this completely average place

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Chapter 1 

Having it on the Switch means I get the advantage of putting its story content on for housemates; when Rex reacted to Pyra letting him know he's been killed, the English dub falls so flat that Phen immediately drew the comparison to "I implore you to reconsider." from Kung Pow

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 

This is incidental/not a spoiler, but I still fucking adore the way this game looks (smooth-shaded anime folks + hyperdetailed environments); in retrospect, though, it absolutely does the cutscene-animations-locked-to-number-of-frames thing; I noticed video lagging behind audio in a few scenes where the entire party and their blades are present all at once

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Chapter 2 

I mean this in the nicest way possible: the story in this game is the closest any work of 'professional' media has come to replicating the feel of an early-'00s fantasy adventure webcomic. I think it's partly because of how nonsensically diverse and lore-dependent the ensemble is, and how anime-standard some of the jokes are youtube.com/watch?v=W1-DiBUx2M

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Chapter 2 

(part of that 'feel' is due to how unrealistic Pyra's design and outfit are; you can really feel the 'oh shit, oh fuck, if I'm the artist and can call all the shots, that means I can make my female lead the hottest girl IMAGINABLE' vibes radiating off her

...I should make it clear, I am partly ridiculing the way I was back in those days. Anyway, here it is now in this million-selling JRPG made by adults)

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Chapter 3 

Last night I got to the Heart-To-Heart in Garfont Village where Tora encourages Pyra to be "blushy-crushy" and holy fuck; I should have taken the prompt on whether or not she should continue at its word, said no, and never looked back

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Chapter 3 

Vandham, in addition to running a paramilitary organization that trains young mercenaries, has a mullet hairstyle, an olive-drab outfit lined with tiny pouches, and several important thoughts about war

He also has a mega-hot bird-person blade, which I now consider essential to the Big Boss archetype

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re: Xenoblade Chronicles 3D postgame thoughts (no spoilers) 

@Lobst I haven't played all of it but in my mind Xenoblade Chronicles might be the best "massive JRPG" since the days of the Playstation 1. It's really a remarkable piece of work.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Chapter 2 

@Lobst Not just Pyra, you'll find. There are a lot of things I really like about the game, but the treatment of women really isn't one of them.

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