Ever since I did my retrospective on both Persona 1 & 2 last year, I've been thinking on maybe doing more journals where I cover some of the games that I'd play. These kind of things will not only help change the pace for the accounts I post on, but also give you guys more insights on how much of a geek I am, lol.
Ever since this came out this July, I knew I had to get it. The Xeno franchise has been a major impact in my life ever since I heard about its existence in my teens. So to hear that Xenoblade 1 was getting a definitive remaster for the Switch, not only did it excite me and other Xeno fans, but it also was a great move on Monolith’s part, for it helps people who don’t have a Wii or “new” 3DS get a chance to experience this wonderful game.
As someone who has played the original version on Wii, there were obviously a lot of big changes they did to make it more appealing. The new models and art style of the characters, look very well done, and the animations breath pure life into them. They look more way more expressive, and it really makes you feel for them in a new light. Some of the environments really shine out as well; with the HD improvements, places like Satoral Marsh and Eryth Sea, completely stand out with uniqueness to them. Giving new players something to remember by on their first playthroughs.
The menus are also a big improvement in terms of visuals; certain sections were easier to navigate through, and items and equipment are not as cluttered with each other when searching. In the original Wii version, depending on what you have the characters equipped with, that type of clothing would stay that way throughout the play through, leading to some hilarious looks in certain cutscenes making the story not to be taking seriously. Taking hints from Xenoblade X, Definitive now has a section to where you can select certain clothing styles you like, so if you’d ever want them to look geared up for big battles or be ridiculous as much as possible; you can switch them up to your choosing. This feature was something I obviously enjoyed, that it’d made me feel like I was playing those old school dress up games I use to play as a kid.
Side quests had become way more easier to complete than ever. When it comes to certain quests that involve finding certain collectables, they’d usually be by random chance, leaving you with countless hours of grinding and searching for finding that certain item. Now with Definitive, when searching for those items, they’ll immediately be marked on the map; which saves a whole bunch of time and fast EXP gain. Granted there are still those rare “hard to find” collectables out in the wild, that can be difficult to complete for things such as the Collectopedia; but there are plenty of guides that can help can help you find them, such as Chuggaconroy’s play through and the Xenoblade wiki.
Combat is still just as fun as ever, with putting together combos, and assembling arts that would benefit each member of the party to your liking. In fact, there will be moments where if vision has been made, the game would give you a special mark on a certain art that could help you; which obviously really helps you in getting out of tight situations. They also added a feature to were if the game is getting too hard for you to handle, you can switch the difficulty to a more casual mode anytime you need it. Granted I only used that mode, whenever I had trouble with a swarm full of enemies or super strong monsters, but it’s a convenient feature to have when feeling stuck.
Voice acting is pretty much the same as it was in the previous versions, which in most cases holds well for some people; but if you’re a massive weeb that prefers a more “accurate” performance, there is an option to change the language to Japanese and such. There’s even an option to where you can switch off the battle dialogue during combat, if you find annoyance in hearing characters saying certain lines over and over again; but again these options are there if ever want to change it up, I’d still prefer having the english dub, but you can play it in however you please.
The music still holds up as well, with some tracks that have even been remixed for the cause. There were some cases where the remix tracks have made certain scenes and environments look more impactful, such as Engage the Enemy and Mechonis Field; but both the original and remix OSTs have their strong perks in terms of sound design. Some examples being the remix night track for Satorl Marsh, with the latin vocals now having a more higher pitch than the original; and the OG tracks for You Will Know Our Names and Visions of the Future, where their electric guitar rifts having a more epic distinct sound to ’em compared to their remix counterparts. One can go either or both, but its still just as enjoyable regardless of preference.
Now onto the story segment; I won’t go into the main story, for I believe it’s definitely something you must go through blind for a better experience. I am however gonna go over my overall thoughts on what I think about the extra story Future Connections, if you don’t wish to be somewhat spoiled on what this segment has to offer, you’d be more and free to skip reading this part.
Taking place a year after the events of the main story, the people of Bionis and Mechonis are now taking a step forward into fixing humanity; all that’s left is to cover things up on the Bionis’ shoulder, which now remains as a floating island in the sky, along with Alcamoth, the once big capital of the High Entia race, now nearly forgotten temple. Shulk and Melia are on a mission to reclaim the capital to start anew, until their ship gets shot down by a mysterious beam of light from the building. Crashing into the island, they are met with Nene and Kino, two of Riki’s kids who snuck on board with them (much to their mother’s unknowing dismay), and together they find many refugees on the island, all who are struggling for survival in fear of a mysterious beast that now resides inside the capital, known as the Fog King.
This extra chapter, had been way more fun than I expected it to be. Off the bat, features such as skill trees, burst affinity, chain attacks, and visions are removed; making the experience a bit more challenging; So you would need to have strong attention to visual cues, in order to avoid heavy damage from enemies. The meter for chain attacks is still up for reviving fallen comrades. “But exactly is it used for, if chain attacks are not there anymore?” you may ask? As you go around the Bionis’ shoulder, you encounter the Ponspecters, a team of exploring nopon, who are on a quest to finding hidden treasure, to pay off the debt of Frontier Village’s archeology centre. They can join your party as supporting units, with each ’em bringing special perks that would benefit you in battle. By finding a certain amount, you’d unlock union attacks. At the cost of a full meter, you are given three options, one for major damage, one for healing, and one for enemy daze and debuffs. It’s really recommended to find these guys early, in order to give you more of an advantage against the big enemies the story has to offer.
The overall story for this chapter, while not as long; it does bring a happy and satisfying ending for the character Melia, who had suffered so much tragedy in the main story. This chapter really brought more light and growth to her as a character, with taking up the role as the last High Entia ruler, and showing pure determination to reclaim Alcamoth once again. We even get to see her make friendly ties with her step-sister Tyrea (at least that’s what I think she is imo). It’s a really nice conclusion for fans who have played the original, and wanted to know of what else happened after the defeat of Zanza.
Overall, it was great to experience this game again, and I’d obviously recommend this version out of the three equivalents. Better yet, it’s a game I’d easily recommend for those that are looking to get into the Xeno franchise in general. The gameplay is fun, characters are memorable, and the story relatively simple for most part. It still remains as one of my absolute favorites to this day, and I hope with this version, it did the same with everyone else.
Well that was fun to type; if you guys would like more of these kind of things, feel free to tell in the comments below what you think. I’ll be posting stuff for the next game I might cover on my Twitter, so if you would like to see my silly butt squee at gaming antics, you can follow me on there to see my progress. Other than that, more art stuff will be made soon.