For someone to be as angry as AC is about it, I tend to think he's at least played some of it, otherwise his argument and will to debate wouldn't be as strong as it was. I never spent enough time with him to really tell.
As much as I really do like Xenoblade, it is a different type of story presented in a different way that Saga was, and back in the day, Saga got mountains of criticism for not being Xenogears. Xenoblade X seems to be a dive back into the "you need a glossary to understand this story" territory, but I guess we'll just have to see? What I try to keep in mind is that surviving expulsion from Namco was the luckiest thing I've ever seen a game studio do. I'm thinking it's likely that Nintendo had them on probation until they could prove that they could do gameplay first, story second. For Blade to be as charming and complex as it is despite what the studio had just been through is amazing. Am I a kiss-ass for thinking this? Probably. Do I care if people think that's a bad thing? Not anymore. (This is why I'm stepping down.)
"There is no growth without birth. Without a foothold in the past, we cannot walk toward the future. Get thee gone, darkness!"