Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Xenoblade Chronicles Mandeldroit


So I was sitting, bare-assed, on a cactus late last week and thought quietly to myself, "This isn't very fun.  Maybe I should play that game all the kids are talking about:  Xenoblade Chronicles.  Maybe that will be fun!"
I raced as quickly as I could to my local Gamestop.

"Hey do you guys have a copy of Xenoblade Chronicles: Power of the Monado, I could buy?" I asked with eager eyes and a wealth of orchestrated enthusiasm.

"Did you preorder it, you scum-sucking water weasel?", the clerk replied with a mouth full of gold.

"Yes I did!" I said with a sparkle in my eye.

"Then here you go you sick son of a bitch.  But I won't let you leave until you preorder a copy of Diamond Dusk Dogs of War IV.  Lock the door, boys!", and with a motion of his hand, three dozen 400 lbs gorillas dressed in red, jumped out and blocked all seven of the exits! I was barricaded inside, until I slapped down $5 for Diamond Dusk Dogs of War IV.  So hopefully that game will be good!

To be fair to the Gamestop clerk, his hostile attitude was somewhat justified as I had just bought a game from his fine establishment, pantsless, and with a cactus stuck on my backside.

Then I ran home, ten miles as the crow flies from Gamestop to my house, laughing like a lunatic, tongue flapping in the air and choking on bugs.  I threw open the door and slid the copy of the game: Xenoblade Chronicles: A Tale of Two Gods.

Later that night, while playing the game alone in the darkness I heard a loud crash from the library.  My dog immediately looked in the direction of the crash and barked.  I felt a cold sweat permeate on my brow.  Should I investigate, or keep playing?  I was on my fiftieth side quest for the night, so I decided the fifty-first side quest could wait.  I set down the controller and slowly walked into the library.  There sitting in the middle of the room was a copy of Stephen Kings, "Desperation." I gasped!  Then as I turned around, I heard, very softly in my right ear,
"Just fuckin' with ya," said the ghost.

One week later.

Over the last three months I have played exactly three Japanese Role Playing Games.  The first was Persona 4.  The second was Final Fantasy XIII-2, and the third is Xenoblade Chronicles: Adventure, Revenge, and Love on the Kneecaps of Hope.

When I discussed where Xenoblade Chonicles: Underboob Edition fit in with these other games, with the ghost that lives in my house, I came upon some interesting conclusions.

First, we both agreed that Persona 4 changed our lives.  And considering my ghost compadre didn't even have a life, this is pretty groundbreaking stuff.

"Why did we even finish Final Fantasy XIII-2?" Dingo (the ghost) asked me in a bemused tone.
"It wasn't a bad game," I said slightly defensively.

"Yeah, it was fun, but man, I felt no real motivation to continue watching you play," he said.  " I mean what the shit was all that about Paradoxes and Changing the Future to Change the Past.  Makes no sense.  And the characters were all way too peppy for the world about to end.  I need to feel a reason to go on the journey.  You know what I mean brother?"

"Yeah I feel you," I said back.  But that wasn't really true.  I couldn't feel him at all, as he is a ghost and as invisible to the touch as Phil Collins would have you believe.

In any case we agreed that Xenoblade Chronicles: The Deus Ex Machina Blade of Justice, fell somewhere in the middle, though heavier on the Persona 4 spectrum.

"It's a lot of fun, and man there is a lot to explore," Dingo said.  "But I'm kind of getting the vibe these characters are a little too happy for a revenge story."

"They are way more realistic than the typical angsty teen hero from most Japanese Role Playing Games," I defended.  "I can do without any Tales games Protagonists."

"But come on," he said.  "At least one scene where Shulk yells to the Bionis, or whatever they are called, for revenge and demanding their blood would have been nice."

"That might come later, we aren't that far into the game."

"Speaking of which, the game is too damn long."

"I think it is at least 50 Hours," I confirmed.  "If it was any shorter you would complain about it being too short, you stupid specter!"

In a huff, Dingo got offended and dissipated in a cloud of smoke.

But his point of it being too long is valid to some people.  I'm a busy guy these days and dedicating so much time to a game is not something I can do like I used to, so I fear I might never see the actual end of the game.  But for people in college or younger, a 50 Hour game is a blessing I'm sure.

The other point of contention is the main character is blonde.  As a brown headed individual I find it hard to get behind a blonde lead character.  Plus the blonde hair and the British accent reminds me too much of Gareth Keenan.  Actually no, I take that back, Gareth as a lead action hero makes this game way more badass.

In summary, Xenoblade Chronicle: Operation Rainfall can be summed up in a word: Meat.