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    Favorite and less favorite areas ?

    RadicalDreamer
    RadicalDreamer

    Posts : 290
    Join date : 2013-06-20
    Age : 30
    Location : France

    Favorite and less favorite areas ? Empty Favorite and less favorite areas ?

    Post by RadicalDreamer on Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:19 am

    I wanted to ask this. I thought it was already a topic but apparently not. Xenoblade's main appeal to people seems to be the landscapes and I wanted to know how you feel about those.
    My personal opinion on them is this :

    - Colony 9 : Not a favorite but this is the main characters' home/first town/area... so I guess it's nice to come back to it once in a while. I just think it's a shame that after the Mekons' attack, the town doesn't seem to have suffered real damage. People will talk about the attack but the town remains mostly unchanged, visually. I'm not even sure NPCs disappeared from the game to show this (in the cutscenes, it was clear some died). But well, when it comes to reconstruction or events having consequences on the NPCs, I guess it was done later in the game with Colony 6 and
    Spoiler:
    Alcamoth
    . Music is okayish but not special (both town and area).

    - Tephra Cave : I don't know. I like that the cave hides ancient stuff but it feels kinda painful to come back to this place. Especially at the end of the game when you wish you could complete a certain quest and get another skill tree for a character... but you can't because you're awfully underlevelled compared to the cave's hairy residents. Music is nothing special.

    - Bionis Leg : everyone probably appreciated this one the first time they played the game. Music is upbeat and better than the previous ones (but I got tired of it with time). Don't know if it's just my game but I noticed that it rains a lot during the night. I enjoyed the view you get of Mechonis once you get out of the cave. The camp felt like a nice shelter, I thought. I guess I like smaller places like that with people to talk to. Bionis Leg maybe felt too big after a while... especially since you can't run very fast at the beginning of the game. When you have such big empty places (besides the monsters), meeting NPCs and visiting smaller places become more enjoyable (that's why meeting this one nopon in the middle of nowhere, finding small secret places and returning to the camp felt very nice).

    - Colony 6 : I very much enjoyed it, save for a few songs (the music change as you rebuild the colony). You first get there and you realize that the city has been entirely nuked. And you get to rebuild it little by little and it feels so satisfying. Finding the material can be tedious though. And does Juju ever sleep or what ?

    - Ether Mine : many disliked it. But I enjoyed it because it reminded me somewhat of Xenosaga. The music ( reminded me of In a Limestone Cave because of a similar sound... the Xenosaga track was far better though), the way you walk on the machinery (Xenosaga 3 had weird fun stuff like that in Disk2), the elevators (flashbacks of Mai Magus's cave in XS3 and the stalactite cave in Gears)... Basically, I liked that this place gave me a feeling of mystery (probably the Xenogears/saga flashbacks' fault though), going deeper and deeper in a natural cave mixed with industrial technology. I enjoyed the cutscenes at the end of it too. It reminded me a bit of FF12 also... there is a place with diverging paths (where you can see a Heart to Heart) and it reminded me of this mine with the mechanical spiders after the party escapes the prison with newly recruited Basch.

    - Satorl Marsh : I'm not a big fan of this place. Music during the day is nothing special. During the night is better and yet, it doesn't do much to me. The place during the day looks dull. This place gets praised to heaven because of how it looks at night. But I feel differently about it. Glowing trees are nice and all... but I don't like all the colored fog that goes with it. I feel lost in the fog during the night. Lost and surrounded by a big amount of overlevelled monsters.

    - Bionis interior : it's nicer the first time you enter this place (extended version is more tiresome). It's short and there is no enemy but it looks weird and it really does feel like you're in someone's stomach or something. It's a nice transition to the next big place. Music is... well, it fits the area but that's it.

    - Makna Forest : I like it. Probably my favorite area in fact. A jungle with dinosaurs, pretty huge waterfalls, a huge tree (reminded me of that tree from FF9... from afar I mean *Frontier Village is more like Cleyra than the creepy Iifa tree*), music that fits the place and doesn't get tiresome (it's not amazing but... it doesn't get annoying at least), cute bridges... and it's surreal to think it's not the sky above your head but the sea.

    - Frontier Village : I fell in love with it the first time. Cute furballs living in a giant tree. That's touching people's inner kid... like floating cities do. The music is kinda cute too. I don't mind that much that the tree may be too vertically big. It's a charming place and my favorite village/city, I guess.

    - Eryth Sea : I find it too big (therefore, I like the small lighthouse with NPCs and the tomb better). The colors are too bright (people seem to love that but I feel like the water is going to disintegrate my characters and the grass is unnaturally flashy). The music bothers me (don't know what it is, but instead of being soothing, it feels tiresome). I'm also a bit bothered by the way the characters travelled from the nopon village to the sea. Couldn't they at least create a visible transport that would make sense ? Yeah, I'm pretty meh about it. The shooting stars/star showers are pretty, though.

    - Alcamoth : TOO BIG. Tiresome music. It's such a bummer it's the city they chose for time limited quests. This means if you don't want to miss the time limited quests (like me), you're stucked running around Alcamoth and Eryth for a while. By the way, do the transporters with the red glow ever work ? Maybe not. Maybe it's like houses, you can't enter (such a shame, it could be done though, Dragon Quest 8 did it back in the days).

    - High Entia Tomb : nice dungeon. It gives me Shevat flashbacks (spinning staircases, white walls). Music is sorta soothing. I enjoy how ancient the place is and
    Spoiler:
    the little talk Melia has with the IA of her ancestor. Also like how things react to Melia'

    s DNA.
    How we have to climb on walls like baby spiders. It's not extremely long either.

    - Prison Island : I'm kind of meh about it. Even the second time you have to go there with the different music (it's designed to be all grand and epic but I didn't like it, it was just loud to me). I don't really like this dungeon.

    - Valak Mountains : my opinion is between "annoying" and "enjoyable". I like snowy places... but Valak is so big and disorienting. I love how you find a certain secret place, sliding on ice and jumping (speed gems required). It's also kind of nice to find the place where
    Spoiler:
    Monado was found
    (less so to be forced to get an item to open the door in a volcano). I heard someone calling Valak the Babel Tower of Xenoblade. Well, I get the feeling but I disagree. The honor goes to Mechonis. Music wise, seems like Danny Elfman invited himself for the day (really like the music). During the night, it's a piano song I don't care much about (but it's soothing, sorta)... but at least, the place goes like Satorl during the night and becomes kind of pretty (and since it doesn't have an annoying fog to ruin things, I like it better).

    - Sword Valley/Galahad : I'll put them together. Honestly ? Some of the most unpleasant areas of the game. I sighed with relief when I ended this part. Music is unpleasant too. Good thing there are only 4 quests and both areas disappear.

    - Fallen Arm : kinda nice. I think the plot helps too (getting Seven, having touching separate character moments... it's like the comfort after the hurt... a nice break before more hurt too). The music is sorta nice... but kinda sad too. Favorite thing about the Fallen Arm : the vista you get when you climb at the highest point, near the path to Mechonis. Also, the remains of
    Spoiler:
    the Faces is a nice touch (still, I find it creepy to consider that maybe I walk by Mumkhar's corpse each time I'm near the destroyed Metal Face).

    - Mechonis Field/Factory : it's like Sword Valley/Galahad. I felt like Mechonis was pretty disappointing overall. It's a real chore to climb Mechonis and I even recently stopped playing because of this (I'll get back to it eventually but just thinking about it makes me grumpy). Mechonis Field has the advantage of having probably the best field music of the game though. But the factory does not. And at this point, you really want to reach the "city" as fast as possible. Still one good thing about Mechonis : the secret area. How fun it was to find it. The part where you're outside feels good anyway.

    - Agniratha : and this is what definitively makes Mechonis a disappointment/chore. It's yet ANOTHER DUNGEON instead of the city I first expected. Another dungeon with even lazier time limited quests (as you don't get to know NPCs or anything... NO, you get quests from mere devices... how fun).
    This is why I said the Babel Tower pain comparaison worked best for Mechonis. With the difference that Shevat was a neat reward at the end of it. Agniratha wasn't. When you look at it, Mechonis is nothing more than a massive dungeon. Kind of like Tartarus from Persona 3 lol. Fallen Arm has the only city... but since it's cut off, it doesn't exactly feel like a Mechonis city. However, there is a track used for Agniratha that I liked quite a bit. The night track, I think. Don't think the day track appealed to me but I don't remember well.

    Spoiler:
    Space :
    don't know if it counts. It's nice, I guess. But I have to admit, the first time I saw
    Spoiler:
    our planets, I was like "please plot, don't go where I think you're going... keep this a fantasy story this time".
    No such luck. I don't remember the music.

    I have to say... the concept of the worlds was crazy and childish. Childish in a way that... little kids make stories like that when they play. Like, I remember how I played with little figurines/toys in my garden. Small plants/grass could become a big forest for them. It also reminded me of an educational cartoon aimed at kids where blood cells and viruses were characters and the human body was a huge complex they needed to run and defend. The idea of mechas being worlds felt like that.

    I'm sure many developpers already thought about a concept like that but never tried because they thought it sounded stupid/absurd. But Takahashi went with it and it surprisingly  worked. Sure, there is no logic about those worlds... but they look fun. And ultimately, this is the only thing that made Xenoblade original and allowed the game to be light on lore. Xenocross won't have the same advantage/excuse. It doesn't have a strong original world concept (but if we get to visit multiple open world planets, it sure might get more appealing... not sure if it can done though... I have the feeling there will be only one planet to explore anyway... and the moon if we're lucky), so either characters, story or lore will need to be meatier than in Xenoblade.

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