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Thread: The annual ''Let's talk about the Xeno series'' thread.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Default The annual ''Let's talk about the Xeno series'' thread.

    Well Forsaken Lover is not going to magically pop up and make this thread so let's talk about the Xeno games from the cult classic Xenogears, to Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

    What are your favorite entries? Which ones have you completed? What do you hope from the future of the series?

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    Xenogears is my favorite entry. I hope Monolith reunites with Square. To say anything more than that would be to troll the thread.

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    Feel the Bern Administrator Del Murder's Avatar
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    Xenogears is great but I always will discount it for the incomplete second half. It bugged me that I didn't get to play through some of those events.

    The only other one I've played is Xenoblade Chronicles, which I loved. Best RPG on Wii definitely.

    I played a little bit of Xenoblade Chronicles X and couldn't get into it. I recently got Xenoblade Chronicles 2 off of the Nintendo eShop on sale and I'm excited to start that one.

    I wish I could play Xenosaga without dusting off the PS2 (if I even have it somewhere). Even if they just port it over directly to the PSN store I'd gladly buy it.

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    I've played/completed them all except Xenoblade Chronicles, which always manages to lose my interest at some point in the game.

    As for my favorite..hard to say, I love Xenogears and Xenoblade X pretty much equally, just for different reasons. I can at least say those two are my favorites, followed closely by Xenoblade 2.

    I'm the odd one out who liked Xenoblade Chronicles 1 the least out of the three Xenoblade games, but I'll still take it over the Xenosaga trilogy, which is at the bottom of the Xeno series for me (but hey, Xenosaga 3 did an admirable attempt to salvage it)

    My hope for the future of the series..well, if they keep going like they have I'm good with that. Ideally I'd like them to make a sequel to Xenoblade X, which I know the devs have said they want to, but i'm sure Nintendo would prefer them to do a Xenoblade 3 and keep half of Monolith busy helping out with Zelda games

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    *permanent smite* Spuuky's Avatar
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    Xenosaga seems to have become the black sheep of this series at some point, but I actually love it. Even the terrible second game, I love.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Yeah it's sad to see that Xenosaga has become the black sheep entry. I enjoyed all three entries overall and even came around to Episode 2 in my last run through the series. While I enjoy Xenoblade Chronicles 1, I never found its writing to be as interesting as its predecessors. I haven't had a chance to play XCX or XC2 so I can't comment on either. I'm hoping XCX gets a Switch port so I can rectify that issue and I just need to find a copy of XC2 now that I own a Switch.

    As for the future of the franchise. I wouldn't mind seeing Monolith Soft take a stab at another title like Gear/Saga now that the studio has more major titles under their belt. It always seemed like the biggest issues with both titles was the staff's inexperience especially in relation to tech and meeting deadlines. With that said, I hope they continue to branch out and make new games as well. The genre has enough wallowing in the past as it is so I hope any retread back to their older titles are either new spiritual successors, or low budget remaster type affairs. Granted that's likely to never happen since I can't imagine SE or Namco-Bandai giving up their IPs without forcing Nintendo to pay through the nose for them.

    Gears is still my all time favorite followed by Xenosaga and then Xenoblade Chronicles. Though gameplay-wise I feel XC1 might be the best game of the three franchises but I actually really like Xenogears gameplay and design as well, sadistic dungeons be damn. Xenosaga is the weird one here for me. I love the gameplay of the fist entry the most despite being a hot mess of ideas that don't always work how it was intended. I have a serious love/hate relationship with Episode 2's battle system, but Episode III has the issue of being the most vanilla entry. Not bad, but the first two installments are far more challenging and more interesting to play even if they both make me rage in places.

    I will hand Monolith Soft props for always having great soundtracks for their games and some of the best villains in gaming.

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    *permanent smite* Spuuky's Avatar
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    Of the three Xenosaga games I think the first one is the best by far. The combat is fine (unlike 2's nonsense, which is NOT), but most importantly to me the pacing of the story is really good. Episode 2 feels like it doesn't get enough done, and Episode 3 feels like too big a rush (for pretty obvious reasons, since it was compressing a bunch of games into 1).

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I agree, the first was the strongest entry. I feel Eps. 2 did a good job with the U.R.T.V. storyline but largely failed when it moved onto the bigger galactic issues at hand. the lack of the database to clear up some ideas was annoying as well. I feel Eps. 3 did a good job with the plot overall, but just fails to stick the landing and then giving us that failed sequel hook just made it more painful.

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    While I absolutely adore the Xenoblades (still have yet to play 2 though), I think Xenogears will forever stay the entry thatís had the biggest impact on me. Iíll take a daring vision over a polished final product any day of the week

    As for Xenosaga, I really need to try and complete it one day. I liked Episode I a lot, but then I just dropped Episode II. For all its many faults, it was actually the music that finally made me stop playing it forever. This has never happened to me before or since, and Iím a musician.

    What with them refusing to HD rerelease Xenosaga, instead of emulating the PS2 games Im half tempted to try a fan translation of the I and II collection on DS. Though Iíve heard itís pretty substantially different, it does feel itís Episide II is closer to the intended story. The package has completely different music yet again, so Iím a bit torn because Mitsudaís work on I was excellent

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Yeah the DS version is a bit weird from my understanding. While Tetsuya Takahashi had more creative control over it, it's interesting that a lot of the staff for the game hail from the animated series than the original game staffs. Likely because the main series staff were probably starting development on Episode III. The music was done by Kousuke Yamatrouta who helped score the animated series. It's a different beast for sure.

    His work on the animated series is pretty good. He certainly tried to emulate the feel of Mitsuda's work which was nice but it is definitely its own thing as well. His work on the DS version is a bit touch and go in places. A big issue is going from working with a full orchestra to dealing with MIDI quality on the DS. Oddly enough the OST feels a bit more like something out of the Mana franchise than Xenosaga.

    The game changes some event across both entries by adding in some new characters, removing others, and changing a few events like the final boss of the Episode 1 portion is a rematch with the E.S. Simeon instead of the Gnosis fused reactor. Eps. 2 is mostly rewritten outside of following the basic plot of the U.R.T.V. scenario. The final battle with Albedo is transformed into a proper fight instead of the FFX style gimme from the original. Basically, anyone familiar with the original version of the game will notice that the first disc of the game only has a few minor changes (mostly for the better by editing down some pointless parts) while the portion of the plot covered in the second disc takes the general outline of the events but changes things around quite a bit from my understanding. Episode III is said to follow the events of the DS version of Episode II, though to be fair, all of the entries are bad about following the continuity of the previous ones.

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    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    I think the funniest part was how in the encyclopedia thing for episode 1 they said something like ďoh but you wonít get to level up high enough to use that feature in this episode - please buy episode 2 when it comes out!Ē Only for episode 2 to use a completely different battle system

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Yeah the biggest thing I really got out of my last couple of playthroughs of Episode 1 was realizing that the main game mechanics were designed for a full game and mostly finished, except they couldn't finish the other 3/4ths of the game so it was all just thrown in despite having this absurd level cap that was meant for a game that needed to go another sixty hours. It's a shame though because I still feel the first game has the best gameplay.

    EDITGA: To add to this, Mitsuda's OST also seems to suffer from this though I also feel it's not quite as finished. The actual track names reference a lot of concepts and elements that never appear in the first game but only later, so it makes me think he was picking and choosing which parts to work on.
    Last edited by Wolf Kanno; 04-08-2021 at 07:05 PM.

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    As a kid (I was 13 when it came out), this game was so intriguing to me. But I didn't actually buy it until my early 20s and didn't play it until my late 20s/early 30s? However, I never finished it. After some quick research, it appears I stopped playing at Chapter 12/13 for whatever reason. I actually kept a word doc w/ the story on it, b/c I knew I was going to take a break from it (must been a big release of new games I decided to focus on), but now I can't find that world doc.

    It's still sitting on my entertainment center, next to my PS3, just asking to be played again. I actually booted up my PS3 a couple weeks ago and neither of my PS3 controllers worked. One was bugged out and was spamming directional inputs, the other just kept flashing its light and wouldn't connect even after I reset it. I do have a PS4 controller for my PC, I can try. I know it's backwards compatible, but part of me is scared the PS3 will bug it out, too lol.

    But this is one I want to finish. But I'm just not into...gaming on my couch/TV anymore. Maybe like once a week I can fit in 1-hour of playing and slowly but surely finish it.
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  14. #14

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    I will always love Gears as a formative experience in my gaming past. My love of Saga as a spiritual successor kinda waned pretty quickly. I'm not entirely positive I ever finished it. I remember being close to the end and getting pieces for like a Voltron-esque super robot, but for the life of me I have no idea how Saga 1 actually ended, and I never bothered getting the second or third. I did eventually by the second one recently for my fiancee, but the third game I would have to sell a kidney to get at this point and I'm not sure it's worth the trouble, because she didn't even finish the second game. May have to stick with emulation on that one

    I adore Chronicles, but in two attempts, I've made it 60-70 hours in and quit both times. Seems like it heavily over-stays its welcome, or has some severe pacing issues. I love the story and characters, but get too burned out grinding up levels, trying to fill out codexes, and trying to rebuild that damn town, and having to go back to old areas to kill monsters that were too high a level the first time, or collect quests that weren't initially available, or were available but took forever to complete. It's an interesting set of ideas, and if you only had one game to play for a couple of months, it'd be great. But with such better paced games available, and so many good games in general available these days it's hard to justify the slog

    And XCX is not an option for me since I never owned a WiiU. And I almost hate to say I can't get over the pervy fanservice nonsense pervading through all aspects of XC2, I have a hard time imagining myself uniaronically enjoying the game without having a few beers in me to get through the groan of camera angle booty shots, and an unnecessary amount of skin and male-gaze pandering... Maybe someday I'll buy it cheap and used and give it a whirl, but I won't hold my breath. Not a lot of aspects of it intrigue me at least, so I don't really feel like I'm missing out anyway. So it's whatever



  15. #15

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    I first played Xenogears summer of '01 and it replaced Final Fantasy VII as my favorite game at that time. I replayed it a few times in the next couple years and was extremely excited about playing Xenosaga when it came out. I got Xenosaga and while I enjoyed it I was pretty disappointed that it was pretty short and small in scope in comparison to Xenogears. I get that they couldn't really make it as deep as Gears given it had voice acting where Gears did not and had much more expensive animation. But was still pretty disappointed with it when I went into it expecting as deep of story as Xenogears. Then Saga II came out and I never finished it and once I started reading reactions to it online it seemed a lot of other people felt the same. While I wasn't happy with the ground Saga I covered Saga II covered even less ground. Add to that it seemed some of the characters were rewritten a bit for part 2 (or at least seemed different due to some of them having different voice actors as well as having a different look). It also came out at that time that the Saga games weren't doing all that well financially and the series was at risk of not even finishing and that just further dampened my enthusiasm for the series.

    By the time Xenosaga III came out my interest in video games in general was starting to wane but still decided to get it just to finish up the series. By that point it was well known that the Xenosaga series was all but cancelled and III was just intended to finish off the initial arc that had been started. Though III was definitely better than II (and I personally enjoyed it more that the original Xenosaga) at the same time though it was very clear at that point that III's whole reason for existing was just to wrap up this failed series. And knowing that this wasn't how the Xenosaga series was initially planned made it feel disappointing despite it being the most enjoyable game of the series.


    As far as the Xenoblade games. They came out long after I had lost almost all my interest in video games so didn't bother getting any of them. I tried watching some of the cutscenes of Xenoblade Chronicles but it was just difficult for me to get into. The characters were all a little weird and the idea of swords taking the place of giant robots just didn't pike my interest.

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