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Xenoblade Chronicles officially started

I finally started my first playthrough of Xenoblade Chronicles for the Nintendo Wii. I gotta say that after about six hours into the game, I'm very impressed in most things but a little bit annoyed in others. First of all, the world seems fantastic just like the battle system, soundtrack and characters so far. The game kinda plays like a MMORPG where your party autoattacks and you're able to select skills from a menu in the lower part of the screen. It does feel very innovative for a single-player RPG but also reminds me a bit of Final Fantasy XII. 

I'm very, very impressed with how a Wii game avoids having load times for such big areas. I've visited huge plains and mountain areas already with a town in one of them and there weren't any load times between them. I mean there are, but they almost never happen. I'm also very pleased at the fact that equipment actually changes the looks of the characters. Shulk, the main protagonist is your typical blonde JRPG protagonist but in just six hours I've equipped enough stuff to him to make him wear several costumes already. It's very cool.

So far I'm very pleased, the game plays excellently and I just know it will become more and more interesting as I get farther into it. There are short but great tutorials for every aspect of gameplay, and they're necessary because there are too many things to keep in mind, like your player's position during battle, which skill tree he's learning stuff from, leveling up the skills, keeping synergy with other party members, create items, craft gems, in short, too many stuff that makes this a very deep game. But I'm still not sure if it "reinvents" the JRPG genre as many have already stated.

There are some negative things I've noticed. First, the character design so far is kinda meh. The characters, while not bad, look exactly like the stereotype created in most famous JRPGs like Final Fantasy, Tales, Star Ocean and others. Shulk looks exactly like the Star Ocean 4 dude or Tidus. Secondly, the voice acting in English is simply terrible. It was made by British people it seems but while I do love the British accent they give to the English language, it just doesn't seem fit for a video game, much less a JRPG. This is forcing me to play the game in Japanese reading the subtitles in English. 

Secondly, the graphics. While the game is very beautiful and has excellent landscapes to move around the two Titans' bodies, the graphical power of the Wii doesn't do any justice to this game. Much like it happened when I played pretty much any 3D game in the Wii, I can't avoid thinking "This could looks SO MUCH BETTER on the Xbox 360 or PS3" every five minutes or so. Xenoblade's developers seem to have put all their efforts in the landscapes which, again, are very beautiful, but the characters themselves and most enemies don't look very good. I remember playing Final Fantasy X, X-2 and XII on my PS2 recently and they definitely looked better than this. It's sad because it's obvious this game could have had a much better graphical power in the other two consoles, but well, the Wii is what we got, and trust me, the Wii's catalog definitely needed a game like Xenoblade.

So, I'm really liking the game so far, still learning what to do, how to play and getting used to the deep mechanics. The graphics aren't very good to be honest but the rest of the game is excellent. If you have a Wii, don't even think about it, BUY THIS GAME (And The Last Story).

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