I'm not gonna go spoiler heavy on this post, as I haven't beaten the game yet but something about XBC2 just keeps rubbing me the wrong way.
XBC2 has that Skyrim quality. I just love to get lost in and wander around the world, find every secret area and hidden chest. It's fun to walk up and see a LVL 81 Gorilla sleeping in the middle of a path when you're only LVL 10 or finding a hidden stash because you decided to look behind you at just the right moment. There's lots of parts where the game is fine being like "This place is really big, now walk." and it feels great to see a monster the size of a C-130 flying around in the distance only to realize it's not in the distance, it's on the map and you can fight it. The worlds feel big, varied and even a little magical.
I'm going to gloss over the anime story and tropes. At ~70 hours I really don't care about Pyra (lovingly referred to by my girlfriend as "Hentai big tiddies" or "Jesus, they're bigger than her head") and her old gang. The whole harem of scantily clad women just gets more and more obvious as every cutscene has less and less clothes. The sound snippets are annoying as they repeat with every battle ("OUR EMOTIONS ARE IN TUNE REX!"), attack ("SPINNING CUTTER!"), and search animation ("Come out, come out!") which has led to me playing the game muted most of the time. Meaning I have to read every cutscene. Now I don't mind this at all, I grew up with subtitles constantly on and love me some foreign movies but this is where my title comes into play.
God, do I hate the cutscenes in this game. I've been playing JRPGs since FF1. I've had my share of cringy stories and stupid plots (Star Ocean 4 anyone?) but I think XBC2 is going to take the cake by the end of it. Finish a cutscene, walk 100 units in this direction, start another. Cutscenes so long my Switch will dim the screen from inactivity. No names above or next to the captions so I'm forced to read the text and then try to see who's lips are flapping. Of course, like most who are used to reading subtitles I read really fast too, which means that the pacing of cutscenes feels extra dragged out too.
I'm gonna go old fogey mode for a second and just say that I liked when RPGs didn't have VOs. The character speaking was clearly identified in the text box and if you read fast, you'd get back to exploring sooner.
Some nights I boot up the game and play only to spend most of my night staring at the bottom of the screen reading text because I saved before a cutscene (since it was late and I didn't know how long it would be) and then walk straight into another one.
Xenoblade, you're a good game. The combat and exploration are fun. But I really don't care for what contrived way you're going to embarrass Tora or show off every female blade's tits today.
As an aside, maybe I just haven't awakened them yet but where's the blade for the ass folks out there? I've got an uncountable number of big tiddy waifus and not one who's character portrait shows off their ass. Also, I wish there were more badass looking female blades too. Wulfric, Percival, Godfrey – all cool looking dudes. All my girl blades are tits in front, clothes optional or literal children.
I digress, but seriously I think my girlfriend is going to hit me if this game gets any more hentai-like. I'd feel safer playing Bayonetta 2 at this point. I've heard the Torna DLC is more focused and I'm totally not bored of the gameplay… when I get to play the game that is.
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