I beat Xanadu Next yesterday afternoon

Discussion in 'Xanadu Next' started by GetterDragon, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. GetterDragon

    GetterDragon New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I really can see where all the praise for this game comes from. Its story, especially by modern Falcom standards, is incredibly minimalist, and yet... At the end, it managed to still be incredibly touching in a completely unexpected way. Falcom gets all my praise for Xanadu Next. The weakest part of the game is the bosses, but that's standard for the type of RPG the game is, and even then they're more dynamic than most in the same type of game.

    I'm completely happy with my purchase and playthrough.
     
    PasokonDeacon and Wyrdwad like this.
  2. Fuepepe

    Fuepepe Active Member

    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Xanadu Next was definitely one of those games I really enjoyed but no one I know actually played.
     
  3. Cryrobinson

    Cryrobinson Active Member

    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Exactly how I feel anytime I recommend it. No one I know has even heard of it, immensely tragic!
     
  4. PasokonDeacon

    PasokonDeacon Member

    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Harlech
    It's still amazing how much Zwei: II has caught up according to SteamSpy despite having even worse release timing. Xanadu Next just doesn't seem to have that kind of appeal, and it also attracts some admirable but questionable negative reviews which don't echo players' impressions elsewhere.
     
  5. Ghaleon

    Ghaleon Active Member

    Messages:
    699
    I actually got xanadu-next via the fan translation years before the new release. and I stopped at about the part where you exit that big well-dungeon for the first time. Playing it again, I just defeated dvorak on my 2nd encounter (why is he named after a keyboard of all things?), and.. game isn't bad. But... I dunno. I took a look at the bestiary guide of this game and it looks like I'm already like 1/3 of the way thru too! I hope I'm wrong but.. Compared to falcom's other works? This game is by far the least impressive to me. Combat feels pretty samey too.. circle an enemy until it attacks, then hit em in the back, circle, hit, circle, hit... multiple enemies obviously complicate things but it still feels like circle, hit the isolated guy, etc.

    I'm honestly curious, what about this game deserves praise over other falcom games? I'm not seeing it.
     
  6. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Location:
    Celceta
    It's all about the atmosphere and the exploration. This game is, IMHO, best suited to people who really enjoy Metroidvanias, as it has all the elements that Metroidvania fans crave: dark, moody dungeons... locations that interconnect logically and engagingly... a bombastic yet melancholy soundtrack... a scale that can only really be called "epic" (you haven't gotten Castle Strangerock to become accessible yet, I don't believe; once you do, you'll be pretty impressed with how it happens, I think!)... a story that's simple yet interesting, and mostly told through optional tablets and scraps of paper that are hidden throughout the world (encouraging and rewarding you for finding the most secret of secret areas WITH LORE, which I've always felt has been underutilized in games as a reward for player effort)... and lots of abilities that help you access areas you never could before, like the winged boots that let you walk on air (which I found endlessly fun to play around with).

    Combat is simple, too, but I like it, if only for the way skills are learned. I realize it's the same as the way skills worked in Ys Seven, but you have to remember, this predated Ys Seven! And back in 2005 when I first played this, I just really liked that in Xanadu Next, every new weapon I found meant I was about to learn a new skill too, which made it all the more exciting to equip it and see what was about to happen!

    Later in the game, too, enemies become considerably more complex and difficult to beat, requiring deft usage of spells to take them down quickly and effectively.

    I think you're still early enough into the game that you haven't seen the full scope of what it has to offer yet (honestly, Castle Strangerock kind of steals the show, as it's a truly fantastic dungeon all on its own!) -- but I also think if you're focusing all your attention on the combat, you're probably never going to love Xanadu Next as much as I (and many other Falcom fans) do. The thing that makes this game stand out really is the feeling you get from exploring its world and discovering all its secrets; the enemies you fight along the way are more or less just incidental to that end.

    -Tom
     
  7. Ghaleon

    Ghaleon Active Member

    Messages:
    699
    Thanks, but while that's possible, about the 1/3 part.. how impressive can the world get if I've already seen a 1/3 when what I've seen so far would feel like 1/20 of another falcom game? Am I not close to 1/3 done or something? Because if I am, this game feels SHORT in comparison. No I haven't explored strangerock.

    err as I said I just defeated the first keyboard err swordsman guy, and if you forget, that came right after defeating the treant/malboro boss.
     
  8. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Location:
    Celceta
    Yeah, you're not 1/3 done with this game by any means! Just because you've encountered 1/3 of the enemies in the game doesn't mean you're 33% finished with it -- that just means you've encountered 1/3 of the enemies! Which makes sense, since you have access to a lot of different areas fairly quickly, so you've sort of "dipped a toe" into a bunch of monster ecosystems.

    Like a lot of Falcom games, the final dungeon alone is like, a third of the game's length, and could be a game all its own. It is ENORMOUS, and AMAZING. ;)

    You're still pretty early on, as far as I recall.

    -Tom
     
  9. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Location:
    Celceta
    Sorry if my responses seem a little haphazard; it's late, and I'm a little loopy! I think the tl;dr takeaway here is, the percentage complete your bestiary shows has absolutely no correlation whatsoever to game length. In fact... I'm kind of thinking that's true of most games, isn't it? If you think about it, most dungeons in RPGs -- even Falcom RPGs -- tend to have the same handful of enemies throughout. And that holds true whether it's a beginner dungeon that only takes you 30 minutes to complete, or a final dungeon that takes you 5+ hours to complete -- the enemy variety doesn't tend to scale in proportion to the size of the dungeon. Which does mean you'll face a lot more repeat enemies in longer dungeons than you will in shorter ones, but... well, the dungeon is longer, and more complex, and more interesting to explore! So you don't really even notice.

    The enemies truly are inconsequential. Again, if you're playing Xanadu Next for its combat... don't! That's not the selling point of this game. That's not what makes it so special. It's good, but it's absolutely second fiddle.

    -Tom
     
  10. Cryrobinson

    Cryrobinson Active Member

    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I always found Xanadu Next to be a little more strategic than other Falcom ARPG titles. In games like Ys, it's more about mastering the systems like dodging and flash guarding; here, it's more about how to place yourself in a strategic way around monsters to get an advantage. I always really enjoyed that. Plus, the puzzle solving hits a sweet spot, reminiscent of Zelda titles (to me, anyways). I always just found this game to be incredible. The control feels good, the story is decent enough to keep me invested, and the soundtrack is super cool. This is one of Falcom's games I tend to recommend, but people tend to think it's not worth it because they think it looks too old or too stale. I couldn't disagree with those things more, though.

    I agree with Tom too, the skill system is pretty cool. It really pushes you to try every weapon. I also liked the key crafting element, and how the game made me feel like I needed to prepare wisely.
     
  11. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Location:
    Celceta
    Ah, yeah, keys! I thought that was a pretty neat system as well, and very true to the original Xanadu while still bringing something new to the table.

    Man, now I want to play Xanadu Next again! I swear, if that game hits the sweet spot for you, it REALLY hits that sweet spot.

    -Tom
     
  12. Cryrobinson

    Cryrobinson Active Member

    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Agreed, plus it's on the short enough side to fit in every so often. I think since you guys released it, I've gotten 3-4 playthroughs in, with more coming in the future I'm sure.

    I still haven't jumped into my Xanadu Collection for PC, so I'm excited to see how the older ones feel.
     
  13. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Location:
    Celceta
    The original Xanadu is fantastic and extremely addictive, but unforgiving as can be. It is not only possible to get permanently stuck and have to restart from the beginning, it's... pretty likely to happen to you at least once! But in doing so, you'll learn what to do for next time, and be able to avoid a similar fate, making it farther into your expedition before it... will probably happen to you again. Heheh.

    I think the most devious aspect of the original game is the karma system. There are monsters in the game that can't actually hurt you, and if you kill any of them, you lose 6 karma. Problem is, they're VERY EASY TO KILL. Not only will you likely intentionally kill them the first time you encounter them, not knowing they're non-hostile, but they also really like to teleport in front of your sword, making accidentally killing them FAR too easy to do.

    And the problem with losing 6 karma? If your karma ever dips below 0 (which is what it starts at), the shrines that you have to visit to level-up won't actually let you in... so unless you can boost your karma back up to 0 or higher, you're basically cut off from ever leveling up again.

    And the only way to raise your karma? By drinking poison. Which is a finite resource, and halves your HP each time you drink it... and also only restores 5 karma. As opposed to the 6 you lose for each non-hostile enemy you kill.

    It's absolutely diabolical. But I can't say I don't kind of love it. ;)

    -Tom
     
  14. Cryrobinson

    Cryrobinson Active Member

    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Yikes! Definitely sounds like a brutal experience (and people thought Dark Souls was cruel)! Looking forward to tearing out some hairs to it though!
     
  15. Ghaleon

    Ghaleon Active Member

    Messages:
    699
    no worries, your responses didn't come across as anything negative to me.

    glad to hear I'm not 1/3 done the game though. yay.
     

Share This Page