It's been a weird few weeks. I've had a tough time figuring out what I feel like playing after finishing the masterpiece that is Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I keep starting stuff and not quite feeling like THIS is what I want to play. And then I'll just dabble with Splatoon 2 or Tetris 99 to get some kind of gaming fix because I don't know.
Xenoblade Chronicles has been on my to-play list for a decade. I was fascinated by the Operation Rainfall project back in the day. And of the three original games in that campaign, this one seemed the coolest to me. It's been sitting in my collection unplayed for a while now. But I don't know, I never got around to it. I did play like 30 hours of Xenoblade Chronicles X a year or more ago, and loved it. So why don't I play the original already?
I don't know. But I fired it up this week, and...
I don't know.
It has kind of a charm to it, sure. I mean, it was released when the Wii was on its last legs. And even then, this was some low powered hardware, right? I mean, my goodness does the disc-drive CHUG while I'm playing this game. It drives my wife crazy. Me too, a little. But look at it - it looks good, sure. There's no denying that. But partly that's the art style. There's no way that this was competing with - what was a peer at the time? Final Fantasy XIII? I mean, say what you will about FFXIII - that game was gorgeous to look at.
Anyway, I played two-plus hours of XC and kind of fizzled out. Something just wasn't grabbing me. I can't put my finger on it. For one thing, it doesn't have the overwhelmingly sci-fi feel of XCX. That's something I guess. This looks like a kinda-sorta futuristic Final Fantasty XII to me or something.
Maybe/probably the bigger issue is the time demand of the whole thing. I played two hours and climbed through some caves and found a little mini-boss fight... it was these two floating disc things that kept shooting at my party. But they'd wipe us out in a few hits. I tried EVERY strategy I could think of to no avail. Finally I googled to find that recommended level here is 10, and we're at 6.
Suddenly all the time-suck of XCX came crashing back to me. I mean, I really liked that game, but it was DEMANDING as heck, and I barely scratched the surface in my 30 hours. So like, if I'm not sucked into this one in a couple of hours, do I intend to grind and dig into menus and put in another 28 or more? Not right now. I don't think so anyway.
I'm going to hang on to this one because I feel like it's an IMPORTANT game, and I feel like I COULD really get into it. Someday. But not now.