Tags: Xenoblade Chronicles

Fallout 4 or Xenoblade Chronicles X? Which is the game for you?

, | Features

A lot of the Fallout 4 conversation is about how it compares to The Witcher 3. What an odd comparison. The Witcher 3 is high fantasy with a predetermined protagonist in a very specific story that focuses on character development and good writing. Fallout 4 is pretty much the opposite of all that.

The more appropriate comparison is to Xenoblade Chronicles X. They have a lot in common, including a blank slot where you plug in your own hero. They both have an open world, mechs, sidekicks, character customization, an unruly world for you to settle, carefully calculated landscapes, quest list gameplay, stranger-in-a-strange-land storylines that you can pursue at your leisure, crafting, stylized combat.

After the jump, which one is for you? Continue reading →

The top ten games of 2012

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I’m not sure that any of these games would have made my top ten, but I never got around to trying the Walking Dead series, Mark of the Ninja, Hitman: Absolution, Guardians of Middle Earth, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Natural Selection 2, Last Story, Tokyo Jungle, Yakuza: Dead Souls, or Spec Ops: The Line. So, mea culpa maxima.

But of the games I did play, here are my favorites for the year.

After the jump, the Qt3 trophies go to… Continue reading →

The best games of 2012 (so far!)

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As the staff of Quarter to Three goes home for the long holiday weekend, we’ll leave you with a touch of our own fireworks in the form of an annual half-year list. What are the ten best games of the year so far?

But first, a quick mention for some games that didn’t make the list. I admire Dragon’s Dogma for making all the weird choices that other RPGs are afraid to make, but being different can only get you so far. I ended up preferring some very conventional RPGs. Warlock: Master of the Arcane and Conquest of Elysium 3 have made it a great year for turn-based fantasy. Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion for the PC, Defender Chronicles II for the iPhone, and Resident Evil: Revelations on the Nintendo 3DS are all great. However, each of these games is an iteration of an earlier recent game. Speaking of the Nintendo 3DS, Zen Pinball 3D and Kid Icarus meant the 3DS had more than three times as many must-haves as Sony’s Playstation Vita.

But, after the jump, there are ten games I liked better than any of those. Continue reading →

Three things that make Xenoblade Chronicles an RPG you must play

, | Game reviews

One of the biggest liabilities Xenoblade Chronicles has to deal with is that it’s a JRPG. The first letter in that acronym comes with a lot of baggage that will deter many people who enjoyed Skyrim, Mass Effect, and The Witcher. It’s also only on the Wii, and only available from Gamestop. Yet what Xenoblade Chronicles accomplishes, what makes it as great as it is, are the things that make any RPG great, regardless of their culture of origin, their platform, or an annoying clerk steering you towards a pre-order.

Three of those things, after the jump Continue reading →

Xenoblade Chronicles beginners’ guide

, | Features

If I’ve done my job correctly as a Xenoblade Evangelist and the proprietor of xenoblade.quartertothree.com, you should be sitting down to play Xenoblade Chronicles sometime soon. If so, I’m a bit envious. You can only discover how cool this game is for the first time once. Enjoy.

To help you enjoy it more, following are a few tips. Spoiler free, of course.

After the jump, the thing I wish I’d known when I started playing Continue reading →

Xenoblade Chronicles: right hand man

, | Game diaries

Xenoblade Chronicles is on the Wii. Which is, at times, a shame. It is too big for the Wii. It is perhaps even too lovely for the Wii. The amount and scope of its imagination cannot possibly fit on Nintendo’s last-gen system! I keep waiting for everything to abruptly stop because the disc has run out of space.

Part of what this means is that you’re not getting elaborate animation, or even very good animation. When you come to a mining node indicated by a mining pick icon, your characters don’t actually swing a mining pick. It’s as if the developers just decided pick swinging animation wasn’t worth the bother. So the character stands there impassively and sucks colored dust into his body. Mining.

After the jump, where animation counts Continue reading →

April 2: wallet threat level Xenoblade

, | Games

Okay, let’s see what’s out this week. Star Wars Kinect (pictured). A niche 2D fighting game called Skull Girls on Xbox Arcade (UPDATE: which isn’t out until next week). More cars for Forza 4. An add-on for the PC version of Tropico 4. Not much of a wallet threat this week.

Except, of course, for Xenoblade Chronicles. If you’re into RPGs, or even into just good games, you won’t want to miss this one.

Xenoblade Chronicles: whatever you do, don’t call him kupo

, | Game diaries

No one is trying to sell me content when I play Xenoblade Chronicles on my Wii. There are no retail exclusives and even if there were, there is no place to enter a code to activate them. There will be no DLC. No one is going to vaguely promise to change the ending. No one is going to sell me a new gun or add skins for Sera or Garrus or Magneto. It’s almost enough to make me not mind spending literally dozens of hours on my Wii playing a single game.

After the jump, the character that would have been DLC Continue reading →

Xenoblade Chronicles: if only all RPGs fought this well

, | Game diaries

The real time combat in Final Fantasy XIII-2 is quite the cinematic spectacle, thanks to that game’s impressive production values. But as the game itself soldiers on, the spectacle wears off. Eventually combat is just a formality. Battles in Final Fantasy XIII-2 are speed bumps between the cutscenes. Filler. Busywork that isn’t even much work. When combat is one of your primary ways of interacting with the world, you better get combat right. You hear that RPGs? You hear that Final Fantasy XIII-2? You hear that Skyrim?

After the jump, Xenoblade Chronicles hears that Continue reading →

Xenoblade Chronicles: the garden of one path

, | Game diaries

Xenoblade Chronicles is the latest RPG from Monolith Soft, the Japanese developer of the Xenosaga series. It was released last summer everywhere in the world except for stupid America, where it comes out next week because we’re slow, dumb, loud, and too busy playing Mass Effect 3.

Despite the prefix, Xenoblade Chronicles has nothing to do with the Xenosagas. I don’t know this first-hand, since I’ve never played a Xenosaga game. They were on the Playstation 2 when me and my PC were busy playing Western RPGs with the Dungeons and Dragons license. The occasional Final Fantsy excepted. But I read on Wikipedia that Xenoblade and Xenosaga are separate things, so I know it’s true.

What I can tell you from experience is that Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the best RPGs I have ever played, right up there with games as diverse and superlative as Planescape: Torment, Lord of the Rings Online, The Witcher 2, and especially Dark Cloud 2. I am head-over-heels in love.

After the jump, the story so far. Spoiler-free, of course. Continue reading →