I didn't dislike the character designs from Xenoblade, but I did miss Tanaka's style.
I thought the human characters were kind of a bland mess the first time they were revealed. And some armors/accessories were bizarre (remember a certain accesory for Shulk, an ugly hat or hairband... whatever that was, it looked so silly I couldn't help imagining Reyn laughing at him). Got used to them while playing the game (and the silly equipement could be amusing... and sometimes you found something more appealing so... good). And at the end of the day, there were genuinely good and almost unique designs in Xenoblade (machinas, mechs, nopons *design wise, nopons may be actually the best because they're fairly simple egg shapes that you recognize immediately and they're pretty cute... as effective as moogles really*).
You know, the main designer for Xenoblade may work again on Xenocross when you think about it. Not as lead designer, sure (that's Tanaka's job), but as a secondary one. He did work on Xenosaga as this, didn't he ? And Xenogears I think. Soraya Saga herself contributed to the games sometimes too (there is a blond character in Soma Bringer that is so totally from her, can't miss it... but she did Sigurd and the Fatima bros in Gears too I think... not sure if she did designs for Saga and she certainly wasn't involved in Blade though).
1) Yes, there is this Nopon at the end of the trailer that surprised me. On the one hand, many people say they don't see any characters from Xenoblade (Wii) though it is a sequel, but on the other hand : it is a Nopon, no doubt !
It's not a sequel. Not a direct one so... whatever people recognize from Xenoblade, it's simply fanservice (just like Gears stuff in Saga... and Gears/Saga stuff in this new game). Some people are going to be disappointed if they keep believing in the sequel/prequel thing (such a feeling of dÃ
jÃ vu, huh). Especially people who don't follow gaming news and only liked Xenoblade.
Besides, the nopon in japanese doesn't say his name. Don't know why the subtitle gave him one. You can bet that nopons in this are going to have a different backstory (or be joke npcs/characters Ã la Big Joe). They just became FF like mascots imo. The Monado hairclip in the girl's hair means nothing as well. I mean, it's just a hairclip (unless hairclips are the new magical/mysterious pendants lol).
Take it as like... Tifa's poster and Lucca cameo in Xenogears... or even Rene and Roni names. Those meant nothing except as nods to FF7, Chrono Trigger and FF6 (the first because Xenogears was first proposed as FF7, the second because a big part of the Xeno staff came from Chrono Trigger and FF6 because Soraya Saga created the Figaro brothers... neither of those things linked the 3 games together storywise). I chose those examples instead of Xenosaga because Xenosaga's case is slightly special with the right issues... while FF6, 7, Trigger and Gears were all from the same company (like XB and XBX are both from Nintendo). But you could argue that Xenocross is going to be like Chrono Cross (eheh, there is cross in both titles)... a poorly conceived sequel with a great atmosphere that will drop the big connection to the first game at the last minute. That... wouldn't be good.
I don't know if someone here watched stargate:atlantis. Opening scene when united states pod crash on planet remind me when atlantis changed planet. It was one of best episodes and now I got the same shivers and excitment when saw that opening.
I never watched it much. The first episode felt cool then I lost interest. The first show was part of my teenage years though. Kinda mad Emmerich is going to reboot all this for a probably lame trilogy (and probably pissing all over the shows on screen *he can do it, when he's butthurt over something, he gets petty on screen... I saw that with his Godzilla... that was embarassing* because he always hated them for having stolen the spotlight).
Talking about the opening cutscenes in the demo, some stuff did remind me of Xenogears/Saga :
- when the huge ship crashes, parts of it separate... so maybe we'll get to explore various startrek ship sets sideways again lol.
- when the city part crashes/lands, it looks like a blue squashed sphere. Kinda reminded me of Fort Jasper.
- the shot of the planet with the sun at the start (right after the Xenoblade Chronicles X title) feels like seeing Xenosaga finally getting a sequel/rising from its grave (it's not, we know that, but it looks like it). It looks so similar to the ending shot of Xenosaga 3 (after the credits). On the other hand, before the title screen, it seems more like Xenogears opening (on a huge ship).
- the space battles, of course, remind us of Xenosaga.
Do you think this is REALLY the opening of the game by the way ? I don't know... for an opening, it seems rushed to get you to the gameplay stuff with a minimal understanding of the situation. Now, if this was edited specially for the demo, I get it. Besides, I don't really want the demo to spoil the final opening.