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    katimus_prime
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    Post by katimus_prime on Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:55 pm

    So, hearing that Mr. Takahashi wants feedback from the various articles that have been posted, I figured I'd start a thread for it.  My experience in working with devs at a studio is to try to word it like an adult and not be rude when still describing negative things, and they might actually listen.  But one person's perception of rudeness might be different from another's, and working on an MMO game that can be patched is much different than working on a game that can't be patched.

    TL;DR, opinions expressed here won't reflect my own, unless they actually are my own.  :B  

    Edit: It's late and I just want to play and I want my feedback to be thoughtful so maybe tomorrow. orz


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    Post by Yikari on Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:55 pm

    Well, I have yet to get anywhere in the game - I've spent about two hours straight in the character creator (Very Happy) - but I have noticed that the font on most elements of the UI is a bit too small for me on both the gamepad screen and on my tv. And I don't think there is an option for font size.

    I mean, the wireless range and tv's screen size allow me to comfortably see everything that's happening on the screen from about three meters away or even more, but the font size kind of reels me back in as if I am using good ol' short cables again. Seems kind of a shame, if you ask me. Sad
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    Post by katimus_prime on Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:29 pm

    Yeah, the fonts are really small, even on the big screen.  If I took my gamepad to play in another room, I don't think I'd be able to read it.  I don't know how much of it is Japanese taking much less physical space for its words, or if the fonts were just as small in the Japanese version.  I want to say I remember Xenosaga II having the same problem, but looking back at XSII, it seems very simple in comparison to XBX: https://youtu.be/E96kCt3MZsA?t=4m25s

    The complexity of XBX is very overwhelming, but I do like the game despite its shortcomings.  (I'm actually kinda forcing myself to take a break right now, but I really want to get back to it.)

    Here's the big block of feedback that took me two days to write!

    Spoiler:

    The Combat Tutorials Being an Afterthought
    For a game this big to get to this state of finished is amazing, and a miracle, but there are some points at which the tutorial that ended up in the game just bounced off my very thick skull.  I thought my first fight with Elma was going to teach me battle mechanics a little better ("Hey Capsicle, when I say Yellow, use a Yellow ability!"), but it didn't.  There's a lot more intricacy to the battle system in X than in XB, and in expanding it to be more complex, it ended up being a lot more hazy.  The original's Break-Topple-Daze mechanic seems to be stripped down to just Topple, which has left me very confused.  I've ended up in a place where I've just been trying to respond to my party's Soul Voices, which is good for my affinity, but not for my actual battle strategies.  With the game being so new (and me not having bought the strategy guide), the lack of community infrastructure has made combat seem like rocket surgery.

    Selective Hand-Holding
    When I got to NLA, the first thing I did when I was able to walk around on my own was get lost in the city for two hours when I was supposed to head out of the East Gate.  I almost cried because I thought there was something wrong with my game and other people were able to Fast Travel.  The problem was that I didn't know Fast Travel wouldn't be unlocked until I completed Chapter 2.  I feel like this frustration could have been avoided by giving the player at least one Fast Travel point to start with.  

    Required Quests Relying on Rare Random Drops
    The actual functionality of the quests in XBX isn't too different than they were in the first XB game, but almost every one of the rare/random item drop quests in the original were voluntary.  Hitting a wall with Lin's affinity quest cut squarely into the enjoyment and excitement I'd already ramped up after playing the first three chapters. I think I spent two hours tracking down information on how to complete The Repair Job, and had to string things together between GameFAQs, Reddit, and the Xenoblade Wikia.  A lot of the pain in this could have been alleviated by making the player fight an encounter specifically designed to drop what was needed, or increase the drop rate from painfully rare to manageable.  

    Part of the reason I'm having a hard time getting back to FFXIV is because to advance, I need to play through group content to get a chance at high level armor dropping, and that doesn't appeal to me.  There's satisfaction in leveling up, and satisfaction in earning your newfound power, but having to pray to Lady Luck at such a low level seems very tedious.  I want a world with less need for Luck, or a stat that allows me to put a dent in the random number generator's tyranny, or for Luck and RNG to come into play much later in the game, and not kill my buzz while I'm still fresh-eyed.

    Lack of Sound Channels
    I don't dislike the music, but it's very intense!  Too intense to listen to over the course of 300 hours.  I want to turn the background music down enough that I can hear the voice actors.  I'm not actually sure if this is a limitation of the hardware or not, but I've taken to muting the game when I know there's no voice acting I want to listen to. I think the game is diminished when I lose the UI sounds and voices, but I also am not as young and full of pep as I used to be. If this is a localization issue, then it's a localization issue, but just about every modern game has this in.

    The Uncanny Valley
    I didn't want to believe the naysayers when I heard about this at first, but there's something very off about when the character models emote or talk.  Looking at Tanaka's designs for the characters, they look fantastic on paper, but an unkindly bit of lighting on a model can give a kawaii little girl some jowels.  o_o;  There's also something off and not quite lucid about the lip sync.  I know it'd be monstrous to re-lip sync a game for localization, so I know it will probably never match, but everyone's mouths just seem to be moving much slower than they should.  There's also a very limited amount of expressions available, even for the dev-designed characters.  I feel like throwing the entire design away wouldn't be fair, though, especially because it looks as good as it does already.  If XBX 2.0 ever happened, improved face animation would definitely be worth looking into, especially because of all the investment in custom player vanity that's been made, and the work already done.

    HOWEVER!

    Don't Start Over!
    XBX has an incredibly robust and intricate infrastructure.  At its core (at least with me at Chapter 5), it seems very stable, and the flaws in X as a whole aren't game-breaking.  I feel like Monolith has historically needed to build from the ground up after each loss, but I hope that the cut-losses-and-run scenario is in the past.  I'd love to see MMO set in Xenoblade X's setting.  I'd play the hell out of it, and I'd play the hell out of it more, IF the above issues were addressed.  I'd also love to see some Mass Effect style DLC content out, like a new level with new armor and more customization options available.

    What's Going Right!
    All of the above aside, this game is really visually gorgeous and challenging.  It is truly old school Nintendo-level difficulty.  The story, characters and the dialogue are fantastic, and I'm excited to tear further into it.  I've had many HOLY CRAP XENO moments, and I hella appreciate being able to pull off my favorite look in the character customizer almost immediately.  I love the setting, and I really love playing as a resource entrepreneur on top of all the everything else going on.  

    I'll probably have more to say the further I get in, but this is based on where I am so far.


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    Yikari
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    Post by Yikari on Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:28 pm

    Hmmm. I have yet to get to much of anywhere, but I already have to note how the jump is surprisingly practical, despite its unassuming appearance. Ideally, I'd like to have a ledgegrab as well, but even as it is I have to commend the mobility this game allows the player character.

    Also, the airborne camera. I am not sure if commentaries of people like me on early footage releases affected this or the dev team devised it before that, but the result is, IMHO, beautiful and useful.
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    Post by Yikari on Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:54 am

    Yesterday I've spent about ten minutes not being able to figure out why I couldn't complete one of the objectives in the mission that introduces you to research probes ('Probe-fessional' I believe it was called). Then I've noticed that I didn't actually have enough resources to complete the installation process and felt silly.

    But maybe it is indicative of potential for UI improvement?

    Thinking back on it, the detail that threw me off the most was the lack of the button to confirm the change from the basic probe to the research one specified in mission objectives instead of it being grayed out or something like that. Or the lack of the required resource highlighted in red on the information card above it. Basically, the exact same things that are present in the shop interface but are lacking here.
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    Post by Yikari on Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:37 am

    Ran into some issues with sound design, unfortunately.

    Footstep sounds, thankfully, seem to be less overpowering now when compared to some examples from the past, but songs - especially the ones with lyrics - tend to drown out characters' speech in cutscenes on a regular basis in the parts of the game I've seen so far.

    There has also been a number of scenes where the music that plays does not fit the mood the rest of the scene is setting. This doesn't seem to be the norm in the few sections I've went through - I've found some quite successful hits with some regions' exploration songs, in my opinion - but even with just three chapters finished the number of nitpicks I have is already a bit discouraging.
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    Post by opkij on Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:32 pm

    Phew, I have been playing the game as much as possible since it was released and I am probably ready to finish the main story by now. I agree that the game has a lot of minor problems that adds up but the main thing for me was always about exploring the world and that is one thing that really lives up to my expectations!



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    Post by Yikari on Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:10 am

    I think I've ran into a couple of actual bugs.

    Nothing serious, but seeing folks of the weapon manufacturer you can recruit after chapter 6 before I actually made contact with them among the passerby NPCs in the hangar below the main tower was mildly jarring.

    As I was starting the chapter 6's actual story quest, the commander spawned in the barracks and repeated what he said to me about meeting Lao's team at the beginning of chapter 4 word for word. Probably should not have happened.

    XXX

    re: chapter 6 itself:

    spoilers inside:
    When the game said 'this here are dangerous enemies with a different detection method from anything you've fought before and you better avoid confrontation with them' it probably meant 'this here chumps are total wimps compared to what you had to fight through to get here, go massacre them for loot, exp and achievements!' Complete with no differences in their aggro methods and being unable to actually threaten the enemy troops that supposedly tried to repeatedly assault their position if they actually ever met in combat on gameplay terms.

    And there is also the eternal problem of the main characters just standing there with their jaws hanging open when they (or at least two out of five of them) really, really should've been seeking a way to escape (it's possible to get out of that crater by jumping over its rim on foot with no cutscene powers required, I checked) or at least some cover against the supposedly monstrously strong winds. The context of the scene implies that it a). introduces elements that will be important later and b). is supposed to look cool, but it ends up coming off as silly and frustrating instead, in my opinion.

    In short, lots of really obvious gameplay and story segregation and making characters behave out of their previously established character to push the scene along. A real pothole in terms of overall quality, IMHO.

    XXX

    On Skells:

    - My first impression was 'woah, floaty controls!' While it is possible to counteract the issues with careful use, it will still try to screw you over the moment you give it half a chance.

    And there is no reverse in the vehicle mode. All your movement modes using the same basic control scheme is probably the reason why, but, given the turn radius on the thing, it would've been nice to have.

    - The second thing I've noticed is that there appear to be no BLADE division paintjob presets available. Seems like a missed opportunity to me.
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    Post by katimus_prime on Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:17 pm

    I've been playing the game nonstop pretty much every day since I got it and I'm still not done the main campaign! I've stopped to grind in order to buff myself up to get Chapter 11 squared away. It really is truly addictive (I can sense my husband's annoyance when he comes home and I've only done half the household upkeep chores) and I just want to get to the story parts, and there seems to be a lot less tedious red tape the further in I get, but the game kinda lets you get lost and doesn't really reward you for getting as lost as you get in the way you choose to get lost. The map percentage explored is especially :/ on account of having to dash in and out of high level monster areas, so my strategy has been to run in without my skell and hope the enemies leashes are short enough that they stop chasing me before I can button mash a probe in. I think I'd be more amenable to that tactic if it were introduced better, but I don't actually dislike it as much as it sounds like I do? I feel like it's cheating.

    The first time I got the flight module for the skells, I cried because it was so gorgeous. If this had been available for Xenogears, it would have been super-nostalgic on top of that, but there's no going back to that really. Now I'll just have to wait another 15 years for that first robot-flight nostalgia in a xeno game.

    Sometimes I think I'm playing a little bit of a Captain Ahab simulator in do much as I get the feeling that there's a goal just beyond my reach and I'm getting really crazy trying to reach to get it. The thing that's different about this from the tragedy of Captain Ahab is that I can actually get the things I'm striving for eventually, and when I get them, it feels very rewarding, because I've had to do without for so long. Getting my first Skell was really rewarding, and I can see the value in putting it so far out of reach to start with. I felt a real-world sense of accomplishment, and that's really rare in a video game these days. People get all the power right away to feel empowered, and that sells the game for some people, but still leaves a lit bit of emptiness.

    Sorry for babbling. ^^; it's been a while since I've checked in, though.


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    Post by Bigtakilla on Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:55 pm

    I will agree with bigger text, and volume controls to turn up the volume of voices and down the music.

    As far as characters I thought they looked fine, very Xenosaga ish. If they did want to change them though, just get with the Smash devs . They worked with them in terms past, Shulk looks amazing in Smash. That'd be what I'd want to see. Though I do think the biggest issue people are having is the low poly count due to the complete open world. Just more poly count and tweek a them a tiny bit maybe.

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