Double Review: Xenoblade Chronicles X/Trails of Cold Steel Chapter 1
A spiritual successor, Xenoblade Chronicles X, was released for Wii U in . " special tatsu-riki-takahashi interviews" but they aren't up for sale. Riki (Japanese: リキ; English dub:/ˈrɪki/) is one of the seven playable characters in Xenoblade "Meet this year's Legendary Heropon, Riki! . He is the only character of Xenoblade Chronicles to have a plush, with the template coming from. Oct 14, Xenoblade Chronicles is on so many greatest and most essential RPGs of all time. . are carried over from X's predecessor, and while party member Riki in the .. the nation better than the most cunning politicians you meet in the game. There are flashes of graphical prowess in plush carpeting, a river.
We sat together in a silent moment. I knew I should leave and let him rest, but I hadn't had a moment alone with him like this in a long while, not since we met Sharla.
Reyn gazed at me with his deep brown eyes. The silver light sparkled against the dark pools. My eyes flicked down to his lips before hastily glancing back into his eyes. Without thinking, I leaned forward and pressed a kiss on his lips. When I was about to pull away, Reyn's hand grasped the back of my neck. A shiver danced through me. Reyn's lips were soft as they moved against mine. I looped my arms around his neck as the kiss deepened.
Before I knew it, Reyn pushed me down onto the bed. The intense heat of his body washed over me and I gasped from the sudden weight. He broke off the kiss and I panted heavily. I could feel the blush in my cheeks and I felt suddenly shy with him so close.
I bit the corner of my lip as I looked up at him. Brown eyes went from my lips back to my eyes. The quick glance kept my pulse racing. Reyn pushed his lips against mine. The strength and roughness of the kiss worked a moan up from my throat. My hands fluttered across his shoulders, stroking the sinewy skin. Reyn's hand slipped underneath my sweater. The feeling of his hand against my skin excited another moan to escape my lips.
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His hand trailed up my side and I quivered under his touch. Reyn removed his lips from mine to place kisses along my neck. I inhaled sharply and gripped his shoulders tightly. He teasingly nibbled my skin and I groaned his name. Reyn moved away and pulled expectantly at my vest and sweater.
I flushed darkly when I realized his meaning. Quickly I tossed aside my vest and as I pulled my sweater over my head, Reyn's hands aided in its removal. The knit fell soundlessly onto the carpet. I inhaled deeply as I looked back at Reyn. He gazed at me almost hungrily and, just as I had steadied my breathing, it became ragged once more.
His hands moved across my chest and pushed me back down against the sheets. Every touch sent sparks through my body. Steady warmth built up deep in my core. My hands traveled over the sharp peaks and valleys of his muscular body.
My fingers trailed down his sides and came to rest on his hips. I felt him shudder. I pulled him closer and kissed his neck. My kisses were light as I trailed them along his skin. I kissed the spot below his ear, causing him to groan. A thrill traveled through me, at the sound. I kissed the spot harder which caused Reyn to groan louder.
His hips moved against mine and my breath caught. I blushed darkly as Reyn's fingers slipped underneath the waistband of my shorts. My heart pounded wildly and I immediately scolded myself for allowing things to advance as far as they did.
A puzzled and hurt expression played across Reyn's features as he moved away from me. I couldn't tell if he was flushed from his fever or blushing. I sat up and guiltily glanced over at my discarded clothing.
I clasped my hands in my lap, the buzz from his touch still stirring within me. I thought you were supposed to be the smart one. I moved closer and hugged him tightly. Reyn pulled me down onto the bed on top of him. His fingers stroked my back and I sighed in pleasure. My eyes fluttered closed and I was content on staying in his arms.
Despite all this, Riki does have a knowledgeable side. His first suggestion to Shulk's party was to find an area with lots of Ether Crystals in order to hunt down a Telethia that was terrorizing Makna Forestas he knew Telethia were attracted to Ether.
He also reads his friends better than what one might expect, as he made an excuse to rest during the party's trek on the Fallen Arm before admitting to Dunban his actual reason: Finally, he was able to relate to Dunban's bond towards Fiora due to him having a family himself, and managed to have a Nopon-to-Homs talk with Dunban regarding family matters, to Dunban's surprise.
Story The party is first introduced to Riki in a short, humorous scene. The characters are seemingly unimpressed with the compact hero and are unsure what to make of him. This does not improve upon learning that Riki expects them to find equipment for him, too.
Riki informs the group that his reason for being the Heropon chosen legendary warrior for the Nopon race; English dub: However he does mention that they will forgive his debts should he successfully slay the " Dinobeast " that has been plaguing Makna Forest.
When Reyn doubts if Riki will be of any help, he immediately suggests that they hunt the "Dinobeast", by finding a place where there are many Ether Crystals. Apparently the Telethia they are hunting prefers to nest where there are Ether Crystals. Upon finding the Telethia, Riki becomes quite angered with the way "his Makna Forest" has been damaged.
For how easy it is to point out the awkward pieces of Xenoblade Chronicles X, what's left out is how the game completely nails the experience of traveling to a far off planet and doing everything you can to keep from dying out. It succeeds at being a more advanced version of the original in its gameplay while at the time braving an entirely new experience. It may not be the JRPG people signed up for, or it may only be that occasionally, yet it's still provides many mesmerizing experiences both big and small.
It's to a certain degree a sandbox game with purpose, featuring a huge planet that's actually worth exploring from getting caught in a pollen storm to standing on top of a ft.
It's an amazing accomplishment even if may not always be in line with what's expected and it lacks the insanity I know its creator has it inside of him. But this also lacks episode titles that name checks works by Neichze, so maybe with the higher mindedness comes the madness. But let's say you want a more typical JRPG that's about as good.
Well, I do have a title for you. Falcom isn't a game company many come to for originality. In fact, you might take a look at the nuts and bolts of the game design to their current franchise, Trails of Cold Steel, and only see other games. They don't have the budget either. Yet they do know how to make a exceptionally solid games from their Ys franchise and their Trails in the Sky trilogy showed they could do some damn fine world building, character making, and storytelling as well.
Trails of Cold Steel continues this tradition in both its limitations and virtues. You play Rean Schwarzer, an adopted son of nobility in the Erebonian Empire, a fantasy world set up approximately like WWI Europe, give or take a few technological advances I don't think our great grandparents were big into hoodies. Think slightly earlier Valkyria Chronicles and your'e pretty close. As it happens, this is occurring in the middle of a quietly intense situation where the commoners are starting to gain control through industrial cash and reformist government, and the nobility obviously doesn't care for this.
This makes tensions simmer a bit at first for the ragtag team of Class VII that will eventually be your rotating party members;It's an especially bitter struggle for Machias, a son of one of the heads of the reformist government, and Jusis, a member of one of the four great families of Erebonia In ways that makes certain member of fandom shout, "Just kiss!
Other classmates include Alisa, the assumed canon love interest from new money, Elliot, a musician who doesn't seem fit for the military life, Laura, a solemn sword wielder from a renowned family, long-haired Gaius from the boonies, Fie, the youngest and surprisingly most experienced of the group as she spent her pre-teen years as a mercenary, and Emma, the polite, unassuming, and intelligent president of the class.
Their instructor is Sara, whose carefree and booze-swilling ways hide a talented and powerful former freelancer. These characters don't stray too far from their archetypes, but like a lot of Falcom, there's plenty of love put into them to make something more than their standard origins. The first couple hours or so sets up some really eye-rolling situations, like when Rean accidentally falls on Alisa and winds up in a slightly compromising position.
They have that awkward anime thing where every interaction for a period of time goes back to that scene and it's a lot of needless fighting and blushing. Once it gets beyond the cliche, your classmates begin to gain texture. Everybody has a past, interests, and their own web of relationships at the school, and these bring about a greater attachment and appreciation for them than first impressions.
Alisa turns out to be a person who has to go head-to-head with the nobility who don't accept her Almost literally on the lacrosse field with her rival Faris and she also doesn't seem to have the support of the commoners since she's not quite one of them.
It's not just larger issues. One of the pleasures of Cold Steel is the little day-to-day things at the high school. Emma trying to mold her senior in the literature club's obsession with trashy gay male fiction into credible literature or Fie attempting to become a gardener. The copied and pasted students in the opening moments do no justice to how surprisingly well written the classes are.
From a lesbian biker to the snobbish upper class and their individual servants, you can peek into the lives of just about everyone at the school and in the surrounding village to see the little changes throughout the year.
Spearheading it all is the cutest and incredibly capable student council president, Towa. You will believe a five-foot girl could run the nation better than the most cunning politicians you meet in the game.
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Sadly, they also picked up the cliche of the overweight girl who tries to hit on all the guys as comic relief used to look down on her. Everyone, please drop this already. It's grotesque and sick.
Story progression is very rhythmic, starting with school business and then moving to the various field trips for Class VII as they dip their toes in the world they'll soon be trying to protect. You get jobs to do in the area from finding lost cats to defeating gigantic monsters blocking the highway. Once you finish the required ones, the story progresses. The main two threads involve a mysterious schoolhouse on Thors campus with a secret in its basement and a terrorist group working behind the scenes to create chaos with an unknown agenda.
A small synopsis does no justice to how involved the storytelling is. Everything is connected in gigantic ways and small ways down to meeting the families of NPC students. There's a peripheral student named Mint with a mother named Vanilla and a cat named Milk. Granted, my memory is enhanced by the fact that thre's an optional quest involving them, but that I remember so much is a credit to Falcom's extensive world building creating memorable characters.
Social bonding is one of the most recent additions to the franchise. Taking off with the shipping craze, it allows Rean to get closer to whomever you'd like. You get bonding points on your days off and you can spend them with the students who aren't busy at the moment.
These aren't as involved as Persona 4 and are mostly used to further leveling up personal connections in battle to unlock extra abilities. I like Persona 4 setup much better as it feels like you're watching an actual relationship between characters, but Cold Steel makes a solid effort, giving the player the opportunity to single out one person as special and have extra scenes with them.
It even allows that special person to be male, though how far the game lets that go still remains to be seen in the sequels. I had the opportunity to have a special scene with Rean and Elliot, and it avoided a dancing sequence you normally get to see with the female characters and more establishes which females at the school are fujoshi than it says anything about the relationship.
When you're on one of these field trips, you'll eventually need to fight monsters, terrorists, or anything in-between. Now Falcom hasn't really re-invented the wheel on battle since their early Ys days when you had to literally run into enemies to attack them, but they do make an effort to create the best damn wheel money can buy.
Here we have an evolved version of materia that allows you to be granted abilities and stat bonuses by installing little orbs on your person. The battlefield itself is a modern version of Grandia and Lunar where the location, range, and scope of your attack are taken into consideration in a turn-based format where various physical assaults and magic take their own amount of time. There are handy pictures showing whose turn is coming up like Final Fantasy X with the turn events like Xenosaga Episode One where if someone is in a certain slot, they can unleash a critical hit, recover life, or instantly cast magic with no time penalty.
You can sneak into a certain slot if you don't want the enemy gaining the advantage by building up points and jumping in with a special attack, but they also delay the turn of your character and take a decent amount of time to build up afterwards, so use those wisely. Your social links help you in battle like Persona 4 in the higher level you're at, the more your social link will do for you such as instant healing after certain attacks and being able to perform combo strikes.
Again, it lacks originality, but it's all very easy to understand, well laid out, and incredibly rewarding and fun when everything's in full swing. The later battles do tend to be weighed down by over-reliance on massive amounts of hit points and cruel status effects. A couple times, the only valid strategy is playing the battle to see what incredibly crushing status effect the enemy can lay on the entire party at once and then re-loading the previous save and getting accessories that block the status effect.
Falcom won't be winning many beauty contests at this point. It was made for PS 3 and Vita and it's not even close to the best graphics those consoles have to offer.
There are flashes of graphical prowess in plush carpeting, a river current, or random designs.