Tell me why, the reason I am here
Xenoblade Chronicles is an RPG released by Nintendo in 2010 in Japan, 2011 in Europe and Austrailia, and 2012 in North America. It was the best JRPG released on consoles all three of those years. Developed by Monolith Soft, creators of such games as Disaster: Day of Crisis, Soma Bringer, various Namco RPGs over the years (co-creators of Both Baiten Kaitos games. Oh and the Xenosaga series. They were made up of former Square staff who worked on Chrono Cross and the original Xenogears. The director of this game is the director of all other Xeno games.
Yes, this game was once Monado: Beginning of the World. Xenoblade fits better.
Just only you I see from far away
Yes, this game is famous for its amazing draw distance and huge areas. No fog either. For reference, the third zone of Xenoblade is quite a bit bigger then the entirety of Gran Pulse in FF XIII.
I’ve come for you
Yes, you heard right. You can only get the NA version of game from Gamestop or directly from Nintendo's website. Nintendo seems to be strangely the lesser of the two options here.
Don’t know why, I searched all night and day
Yes, each zone of the game has drastic changes between day and night. The musical score changes, certain monsters will only appear at one time (sometimes drastically higher level, sometimes Unique Monsters!) and certain NPCs are only out during the day or night, even a very few of the games skits (Heart to Hearts) can only be done during one time or another. Thankfully you can at any time select the time you want down to the hour. An hour by the way passes every minute.
But when I’m here, darkness came
Indeed. Besides the regular day/night system there is also a chance for a special weather effect in every zone ranging from Rain to thunderstorm to heat wave to shooting stars. Certain monsters will only appear during these events, but if you need them for a quest it will probably tell you this!
No lights to show the way
There are many caves and dungeons in this game. Usually one per zone.
Dark despair, still I seek for you
Yes, there is a very good chance that the NA version of this game will become a collector's item. No one knows for sure yet.
All I long to see was your smile
You will be smiling after playing this game.
Non-Silly Xenoblade FAQ:
How long is this game?
Long. You could probably rush through the game in 75 hours. I would say an average first run is looking 85+. This isn't marketing speak either, just ask anyone who has finished it.
What does it play like?
Like an offline MMO.
Wait, come back. Yes, it is a real time action RPG with moves on a bar and cooldowns and threat/aggro, and tank and spank and linked status effects. It is also fun as hell. You control one character while the AI controls the other two. If you just sit there and are in range of the enemy you are targetting, you'll do an auto attack. If you select an arte you'll do that, and then based on its cooldown it will have a period where it is unavailable. A full bar is eight abilities plus your characters special move which varies widely between the characters. For instance your main character gets an additional bar of eight moves while his best buddy gets a move throws a taunt that increases threat. It still sounds pretty mmo-y but the battles for the most part are fast and engaging. It doesn't use a gambit system like FF XII or Dragon Age but the AI is usually pretty damn smart about healing when it is supposed to and targetting the right enemy. For example if you use the command to get them to attack the same guy you are they will...unless their cooldown on their sleep move is up in which case they'll take half a second to sleep the add monster. Characters with healing spells will usually drop everything they are doing to heal characters in the red.
That's not even half the complexity of the battle system though, but the game won't overwhelm you with anything. Tutorials come often in the early part of the game and are very well laid out. There are also some very in depth tutorials that never pop up on screen and should be read. By everyone.
This game also has a lot of features you'd kill to have in an MMO like fast travel at basically anytime, most of the quests are auto turn in, and a really interesting party synergy system.
Seriously, read the tutorials. Then you'll know why Monado Shield is actually really useful or why you die constantly to the same easy looking monster or that you can hit minus at any time to fast travel.
Can I use a Gamecube Controller?
No. I know. It's going to be a scary world in a few years when Super Smash Brothers 4 comes out and you can no longer rock your Wavebird. I feel your pain. Luckily for you this game is controlled by either Wii Remote and Nunchuck or Classic Controller/CC Pro. Both of these control styles work fine, and each has their strength. CC offfers better camera control plus gives you that PS2 JRPG feel while Wii Remote and Nunchuck allows you to move while selecting attacks without resorting to the Monster Hunter Claw. I have personally used them both and could not honestly tell you which one I prefer. I'm using CC Pro right now because that was connected to my Remote.
I heard the Chrono Cross/Xenogears/Xenosaga composer Mitsuda did the soundtrack for this game.
You didn't quite hear the whole story. Mitsuda did the end theme for Xenoblade. While it is in fact totally amazing it is not even close to the end of the story on this soundtrack. Three other groups worked on this soundtrack. The first is Yoko Shimomura, famous for Kingdom Hearts and Super Mario RPG and about a dozen other games. She did the main title theme and a lot of the important scoring work that coincidentally you'll hear in the first part of the game and also the main battle theme. ACE+ did the bulk of the soundtrack including many ridiculously rocking tunes and Manami Kiyota did the remainder. Don't let the lack of big names by the other two groups fool you; this soundtrack is amazing.
What do the Status Effects even do?
Break: Represented by the color pink, break is what allows most topple attacks to work. Break lasts longer than most of the other status's, but is basically useless on its own.
Topple: Represented by the color green, topple is what allows normal weapons to effect the Mechon. When under the effects of topple you or the enemy cannot take any actions, but you can still be effect by spike damage. Almost everything outside of a few flying enemies are vulnerable to topple.
Daze: Represented by the color yellow, daze is (usually) an additional effect to those that are toppled. Think of it as a super topple as it even prevents spike damage from occuring. Note that most bosses are immune to daze.
Blaze/Chill/Poison: Damage over time effects. Depending on who is casting them some of these effects have additional added effects on top of them, but basically its just extra damage over a period of time.
Spike: When you hit something with a spikes value, you take that much damage in return. Usually not a problem, but some monsters have incredibly high spike values. Various skills and gems can eliminate this.
Sleep: Take no actions, are revived when struck physically. You also take extra damage from critical hits in this state.
Auras: Represented by the color orange (though Shulk has one that is blue and all of Melia's are technically Blue as well. These are your stat buffs. Use them wisely. The tanking ones in particular are fantastic for getting aggro onto your tank.
How does Gem Crafting work?
Gem Man's Stall in Colony 9 or the portable gem maker you can get from rebuilding Colony 6 to a degree and doing some quests. Gems are your customizable crafting bit of this single player MMO. Basically you get ether crystals from one of two sources, mining them up from deposits or getting them from monsters. Monster crystals are white while mined crystals are always a certain color depending on the deposit:
and each crystal will have 1-4 abilities on it at a certain percentage. Each crystal is also ranked I-V, and when you mine these they will be named accordingly. Small=I, Large=II, Pretty=III, Brilliant=IV, Rare=V. Deposits only have one rank of crystal in each and so does each individual monster. Deposits can sometimes give you two crystals for each pull, usually with higher percentages on each one. To make a gem out of crystals you need at least two crystals, and the game forces you to make one if you go over 100% in any one ability (100%=one guaranteed crystal of that level)
So here is an early example. I have two red strength up crystals at level one. One has 14%, the other 96, giving me a total of 110% If I had a third crystal at 44% I couldn't add it in now, but if I added it second I would only be at 58, allowing me to add the 96 to get to 154%. Why would you want to go over 100? At 200% you get into a state called Heat and the gem produced is ONE LEVEL HIGHER. At 300% you go into a state called MEGA HEAT and you get two PERFECT GEMS ONE LEVEL HIGHER.
How do you get those extra percents? Well, you match up two of your party members and based on their gem crafting strengths and special ability and level and affinity and some randomness, well, you'll see when you do it. Just know that because of their awesome starting affinity and decent abilities that Reyn/Shulk will be your goto guys for the early part of the game. If you want to break down crystals into their component parts and raise them up slowly, then you can't go wrong with CHARACTER REDACTED and Riki, as they produce a lot of cylinders together. Cylinders are what you get when you do the gem crafting process but don't reach 100%. You might not always get to keep them all though so be careful. Much of the later "fun" of this game involves seperating out amazing high level crystals with stuff like Critical up 89% without hitting one hundred percent.
My friends/certain reviewers doesn't believe that this is the best JRPG this gen/last gen/most any gen, what do I tell him?
Man, whata bunch of jokers.
What time is it?
How many characters are there?
Seven. This isn't even a spoiler, except that it is.
0. Talk to everyone. Yes, this is literally the first piece of advice every RPG guide writer has ever written. In this game you'll need to do this to connect people in your town to each other. Named characters go on an affinity chart for every hub city and they have friends and relationships and families and all that. By connecting them all together and doing their menial busywork you'll get quest rewards and a deep feeling of satisfaction...which will lead to even greater rewards. People have a certain shift during the day that they will be out. This is noted on the chart automatically. They also show up as very small blue dots in the mini map. Named characters that do not show up in the minimap are SPECIAL, see if you can figure out how.
1. Red monsters=too high level for you to hit. You should run. Yes, there are youtube videos out there where so and so beats some giant high level beasty via poking or with naked witchcraft. Save that for later.
2. Mechon need to be toppled first if you don't have the Monado. This can be a pain in the early going. My advice? Switch your character to Reyn! He has topple! Now just wait for your other party members to break them first. (Break is pink with two squiggles.)
3. If you quest too much you'll overlevel. The game doesn't penalize you for this, in fact it can only make the game easier. If you find yourself in that situation, just run away from monsters for a bit or cool it on the questing.
4. While I made a big deal about gem crafting you really shouldn't be anal about it until you can get level 4 gems out the deal. You'll probably be a lot saner if you just use what you find/only focus on important gems like strength and ether.
5. Quick Step gems make you move faster. This game is huge, so you might want to make sure your main character has these gems on them.
6. As a followup to three; you need to be about 75 to have a good fight against the final boss. Doing all the quests in the game before then will easily get you into the high 90's. Consider making a seperate save at the final boss (You'll know when this is, the game is very blunt about the final point of no return.) if you don't want the final boss dead in about seven seconds.
7. Some collectables are rarer than others. Just ask here if you want advice on where to get them.
8. You should now that hitting up on your attack bar will give you the option to do a chain attack if your bar is full (the game will explain all this) but what you might not know is that if you hit up again you'll get two new useful commands. If you are not in battle you can throw a rock at the targetted enemy and he'll come towards you. If you are in battle you can put away your weapons and make a dash for it.
The bible on this game. Very handy. Has some location and character spoilers.
DOUBLE SUPER SECRET PROBATION POTENTIAL SPOILER
What's this, another spiritual sequel appears?