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This page contains unmarked spoilers for Xenoblade Chronicles, Future Connected, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. You Have Been Warned.

  • 8.8:
    • The game got glowing reviews in all of the continents it was released in... with the exception of EGM's review.
    • IGN's review of Definitive Edition describes it as an all-around improvement over the original, but rates it 8/10 when the original earned a 9. The review was lambasted by fans for being filled with blatant inaccuracies that made it appear as if the reviewer didn't actually play the game, as well as revealing one of the biggest spoilers in the game without warning.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
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    • Dickson. Did he truly never care about Shulk and only took care of him so he could rear up a good vessel for Zanza? Or did he start to feel some affection for his adopted son?
    • There's also the matter regarding his death: Did he really shoo Shulk away out of a desire to deny him satisfaction from seeing him die, or was he trying to spare him the pain of watching his surrogate father die in front of him?
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Being a non-realistic T-rated game on a console usually given flak for its lack of mature entries has caused some to overlook it. Curiously enough, its spiritual predecessor Xenosaga also was on the receiving end of similar complaints.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The Definitive Edition Switch remake implements a lot of quality-of-life changes addressing player complaints about the original game, such as a more streamlined equipment UI, listing when Arts conditional effects will activate, being able to directly view available NPC trade items from the menu, and making it more obvious which enemies have a Spike aura on them. The quest UI was changed to highlight when specific monsters appear. Various forms of gear, ether gems, monster parts and collectibles can be purchased with Noponstones acquired from the Land of Challenge, reducing the headache-inducing searches for said items.
  • Awesome Art:
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    • For a Wii game, the game's appearance holds up well even with games released on the HD duo and PC, thanks to the highly detailed art direction.
    • The Nintendo Switch remaster goes even further, adding even more detail in areas where the Wii release was rough in (such as some environment textures) and revamping the character models to be much cleaner and more expressive, approximately a hybrid between the style of the original game and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Riki. There are those who don't enjoy his character, given his habit of ruining dramatic scenes with his grating voice, childish concerns and speech patterns (as well as the fact that a lot of his Character Development come from Heart-to-hearts, which are optional whereas everyone, even Reyn and Sharla, speak in and get Character Focus during the main story). There are others who find him absolutely hilarious and enjoy the fact that he is both comic relief and also a character with depth in his own right from said heart-to-hearts. And then there are those who love him for his surprising usefulness in battle.
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  • Catharsis Factor: One of the things added to the remake was Casual Mode, following the lead of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Which can be toggled on or off at any time. Facing a particularly tough enemy who keeps wiping the floor with you? Just set the game to casual mode and watch as you slaughter them.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The revelation that Metal Face is really Mumkhar may not be so shocking given the fact that they both use a very unconventional weapon, have the same battle posture, and have a similar voice. Many note that they immediately knew that Metal Face was Mumkhar the second they saw Metal Face.
    • The revelation that Faced Mechon have Homs inside them may not be too surprising considering early on the game went out of its way to show that the Monado can't harm Homs. The above example doesn't exactly help this any, either.
    • Following the obvious nature of Metal Face and the way Fiora is scooped up by a Mechon after the fight, her return is more "Finally!" than "Wham!"
    • Dickson's reveal to be Evil All Along would probably feel like more of a shock if nearly every cutscene featuring him didn't go out of its way to make him look and act as suspicious as possible. The same goes for Lorithia. Both also double as Obvious Judases.
    • Gael'gar's antagonistic role in Future Connected makes almost no effort to be covered up. This even applies to the very moment he's introduced, as his design is oddly different from other High Entia. Not helping things even further is his eerily amicable demeanor towards Melia and his Eyes Always Shut trait makes him look more suspicious.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Zanza, the god of Bionis, is the mastermind behind the game's plot and a monstrous excuse of a deity whose insatiable pride ruins countless lives in an effort to prolong his own. Revealed in the sequel to be one half of the scientist Klaus who accidentally destroyed the universe in his experiments, Zanza became a cruel monster who repeatedly exterminated all life on Bionis through the Telethia whenever they drifted away from him, even possessing the noble giant Argas and managing to destroy Agniratha in his attempt to destroy the rival goddess Meyneth alongside all Mechonis. Living on in the Monado after he was sealed away, Zanza murders a young Shulk and the expedition team who discover the Monado before reviving the boy and using him as a host for years. In the final act of the game, Zanza has Shulk killed again by his disciple Dickson to take form once again, transforms the High Entia into Telethia to repeat the extermination of Bionis all over again, and murders both Meyneth and Egil before destroying Mechonis, dismissing everything and everyone as mere bacteria and food to sustain his own cruel existence. Even in spite of all of his hollow justifications for the perpetual cycle of misery he has created, Zanza is revealed at heart to be nothing more than the definition of megalomania and endless arrogance, disgusting almost every single being who knows of his true evil.
    • Originally a slimy, cowardly weasel of a man, Mumkhar ends up becoming something far worse entirely. After smugly leaving his close friends Dunban and Dickson to die on the battlefield, he is captured by the robotic Mechon and turned into one of their own, and willingly betrays his people by throwing in his lot with the Mechon and aiding them in their conquest. Going by the name of Metal Face, he leads a squad of Mechon in an attack on Colony 9, slaughters scores of people, and personally murders Dunban's sister Fiora, all out of hatred, envy, and spite towards the man, and gleefully brags about it to Shulk, her Love Interest. Later on, he leads an assault on Eryth Sea, which ends with him killing Sorean, the emperor of the High Entia. After his final defeat at the hands of Shulk and company, he doesn't hesitate to try to murder them all after they decide to spare his life. Fueled entirely by spite and cruelty, Metal Face cements his status as one of the party's most hated enemies.
    • Dickson starts the game off as a seemingly helpful mentor and father figure to the protagonists, before revealing himself in the climax to be the vilest of Zanza's disciples and a willing aide to the destruction and recreation of the universe, shooting Shulk to release Zanza into the physical world. Cheerfully asserting that he's Not Brainwashed when they propose he is, Dickson attempts to murder all of his former comrades while helping to lead to Telethia slay all life on Bionis. When the High Entia army shows up to save the heroes, he and fellow disciple Lorithia convert them all into mindless Telethia, including Melia's brother, Kallian. Dickson descends on Colony 6, now the residence of the surviving people of Bionis, with more Telethia, hoping to exterminate them all, taunting Melia and Kallian that he may be Meia's boyfriend in the next life.
  • Cult Classic: It's a hardcore game on the Wii and it only had a very limited run exclusively through Gamestop in America. Despite this, it's considered one of the best Eastern RPGs of its generation.
  • Demonic Spider:
    • The Unique Monsters. They're always much stronger than the other nearby monsters, and some of them tend to pop up as the player is fighting other weaker monsters.
    • Fortress Unit Mechon. They can be a challenge even to parties high above their level and have two moves that can easily kill the whole party at once. They also have gigantic health pools to melt through.
    • Taken to extreme heights at the Eryth Sea, where even exploring the islands and coastlines will get you killed for sticking your neck out wrong by an entire hoard of level 80+ monsters that you just happen to run across while attempting to fill your item collection. Makes coming back through the areas much later, appropriately leveled, extremely satisfying.
    • Telethia. They have the ability to basically No-Sell almost everything you throw at them. Just another reason why Shulk is essentially a requirement, as he's the only one who has any way of reliably shutting them down, despite Melia's AI actually being rather smart with Mind Blast.
  • Disappointing Last Level: While the game is considered to be excellent, there are those that consider that the game takes a dive in quality starting from the Mechonis Core. While the Wham Episode when Zanza reveals himself rises the quality of the story back, there's still flak from some regarding quality of the level design, since there are very few new areas and most of those aren't nearly as exciting as earlier parts of the game, coupled with some backtracking.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    Reyn: That's one cool prince.
  • Ending Fatigue: After going through three very long dungeons the party finally reaches Egil, who is responsible for almost all the problems everyone is dealing with on the Bionis and the Fallen Arm, and there are some late game plot revelations which are to be expected. Then there's a very satisfying final boss fight that's epic and mixes things up a bit. But after the party defeats Egil there are even more plot twists and the real Big Bad is revealed. At this point if the player is going through the game normally the time has clocked in at about seventy hours. If the real Final Boss was fought there it would be fine, instead the player has to go through two more dungeons and several more cutscenes, and at this point it's difficult to continue caring because the plot that's been driving most of the cast has been rendered insignificant to make way for the new villain's much grander and more destructive, but far less personal goal.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With Final Fantasy XII, due to similar battle systems and a similar overworld structure. Fans of either game regularly argue that their game is the other game "done right".
    • Also with Final Fantasy XIII, due to coming out at around the same time yet having very different takes on exploration. Players who criticized XIII for being too heavy on No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom would often praise Xenoblade for going out of its way to avoid that with its Wide Open Sandbox structure. It's plot about humans going up against gods defying fate and given special powers is also akin to Final Fantasy XIII, which was release a few months prior to the Japanese version of Xenoblade.
    • With the other Xeno games, Xenogears and especially Xenosaga. Many Xenoblade fans go as far as to consider it the only good Xeno game, particularly gameplay-wise. The main argument being that Blade was the only franchise to avert the infamously Troubled Production that plagued Gears (notoriously, Disc 2) and Saga (to the point the series was cut in half and its original creators left midway through what remained, on top of the later games engaging in more of what some fans accuse of being otaku pandering), having aged gracefully enough to remain high-quality with a 1:1 remake in Definitive Edition. On the other hand, the plot of Blade, while very well-done for what it is, shoves many of the heavy philosophical and psychological themes and imagery that defined Gears and Saga to the background in favor of a more conventional and straightforward type of JRPG storyline. Blade fans argue that it made the story more cohesive and easy to follow, especially since the story manages to be told onscreen in its entirety, while Gears and Saga fans believe that Blade themes are not nearly as ambitious enough and lack the depth of its predecessors.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Melia/Dunban has a sizeable following due to the two having great rapport in their Heart-to-Hearts, being seen as the most mature members of the party and thus having a lot of compatibility, and the fact that the two of them aren't taken at the end of the game.
  • Faux Symbolism: Mostly averted given the thick symbolism of the "series" history, but they just couldn't leave it alone completely: A character does get crucified once for no real reason.
  • First Installment Wins: A Vocal Minority believes that Xenoblade Chronicles is far superior to both Xenoblade Chronicles X and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The former is viewed as a severe case of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and is criticized for introducing less likable characters. The latter is criticized for having way too many tutorials, bad English voice acting, inferior character design, and a bland story.
  • Fountain of Memes: Due to just how often the characters shout quotes during battle, all seven party members are full of memetic material. Of them all, Reyn is the most memetic, to the point that when Shulk was brought into Smash Bros for Wii U, he even brought some of Reyn's with him!
  • Friendly Fandoms: The game has managed to attract the attention of fans of the older Final Fantasy games, as well as fans of other JRPGs from that era, such as Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and Secret of Mana. Many of them who otherwise dislike the more recent installments in the Final Fantasy franchise have ended up liking the Xenoblade Chronicles games far more, with some claiming that they're what Final Fantasy XII and XIII should've been. This is strengthened by the fact that Monolith Soft was founded by former Square employees who started their careers working on said older games.
  • Game-Breaker: See here.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: It apparently sold more in America than both Europe & Japan (and was only carried by a single retailer on top of that).
  • Goddamned Bats: Heavier flying enemies are flat-out immune to Topple, requiring some out-of-the-box strategies to take them down swiftly.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • A lot of Shulk’s actions become this after the reveal that he was Zanza’s vessel for most of his life. Those out of character thoughts at the start of the game, like his thoughts demanding that he kill all the Mechon in revenge? That wasn’t Shulk.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 makes some aspects of the original game a lot more painful on a second playthrough.
      • Zanza, the irredeemable Big Bad responsible for multiple genocides and a complete psychopath that everyone loves to defeat. Nothing could make him sympathetic, right? Wrong. The finale of Chronicles 2 reveals that, despite his megalomaniacal personality, at the start of it all Klaus really did want to help people, but with the separation of Klaus and Zanza, all Zanza had left was Klaus’ god complex without his reason to want to become a god, namely to end the suffering of humanity. What’s worse, Klaus sees everything that Zanza does, and likely contributed to his Death Seeker status no matter how much he atoned for his actions, Zanza was just performing them over again without a shred of remorse. Both got the power of a god, just like they wanted, but only one realised how wrong they were.
      • Zanza sees Meyneth as nothing more than an imposter challenging his rule, killing her as soon as he had the chance. Even in the flashback to Zanza and Meyneth as Klaus and Galea, he throws her to the ground like she’s little more than trash. Come Chronicles 2, and we see Klaus and Galea in a warmer and respectful fashion, listening to her and calmly explaining his actions to her, and when he is close to death, voices the hope that he may be worthy to see her again in the afterlife, likely knowing that at this point his other self has killed her.
  • Hype Aversion: To be expected, since the game is often called the "Best JRPG of its generation", even being ranked among the likes of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Dunban is crippled, forced to watch his sister's apparent death, and both his wartime allies were secretly against him. Yet he refuses to succumb to despair, declaring in one of his battle cries that he chooses to fight no matter how adverse the odds are or how cruel the world can be.
    • Melia, in the short time that we know her, loses her four guards, her father, her brother, and half of her entire species, is the target of multiple attempted assassinations, falls in love with a Homs and there seems to be some reciprocation until said Homs' formerly-dead girlfriend turns up and she's pretty much forgotten about by him, and then she has to watch him be shot in the back and nearly die because he was part of some larger plot to free Zanza from his imprisonment. She takes it all with a Stiff Upper Lip and soldiers on.
    • Fiora is murdered by Metal Face, has her body converted into a Face Unit, is used as a host by Lady Meyneth (who it turns out is actually perfectly fine splitting time with her once she finds out Fiora remembers herself), finds out she has a limited time to live, and also gets to watch her love get shot in the back and almost die in front of her. Despite all of this, she puts on a brave face and keeps going. However, it's implied at several moments and I a few Heart-To-Hearts, that she's being a Stepford Smiler instead of a genuine one.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Metal Face is quite enjoyable, if only because he's such a jerk. Then again, his Japanese voice is Norio Wakamoto himself.
    • Zanza is such a colossally amoral bastard who freely admits most of the things he does are For the Evulz that going after him feels immensely satisfying, and the reveals and plot twists surrounding him are generally agreed to be awesome, so he's pretty well-liked in this regard too.
    • Lorithia is painted as a villain from her first appearance, but seems to side with the heroes when the chips are down and the Bionis alliance comes together. Then, it's revealed that she's one of the Trinity alongside Dickson and Alvis, she survives her initial apparent demise, and then engages in some Squicky liplocking with Kallian's Telethia. It also doesn't help that she's That One Boss.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Egil is a Machina, the leader of the Mechon army, creator of the Faced Mechon, and the mastermind behind their invasion of Bionis. Egil was once friends with Arglas from Bionis with whom he discussed the idea of leaving the world of Bionis and Mechonis in search of new worlds, and of peace and coexistence. However, when Arglas was possessed by Zanza and laid waste to Mechonis, Egil swore revenge and, when both titans were put to sleep, began attacking Bionis hoping to wipe out as much life as possible on the titan so that, when Zanza returned, he would be more vulnerable to kill. Once Shulk learns of his past and confronts him in Mechonis Core, Shulk offers a chance to let go of revenge and change the world together. But thanks to Zanza's timely resurrection, Egil instead gives his life so the heroes can escape, placing his hopes they can kill the evil god without resorting to the extremes he went to.
  • Memetic Badass: The Territorial Rotbart, a Unique Monster in the Gaur Plain who has become synonymous with being one-shotted in the early game, to the point where they brought him back for both XCX (in the form of a Suspiciously Similar Substitute) and the sequel.
  • Memetic Loser: Juju, for being such a pathetic character that does nothing useful (except for constructing a tower out of Rainbow Slugs).
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Zanza's attack on Agniratha thousands of years before the start of the game counts, but his modern day equivalent would be killing Meyneth and sinking Prison Island into the Bionis Head, raising the ether levels which turns the High Entia into Telethia.
    • Lorithia turning Kallian and all his men into Telethia, then her and Dickson gloating about it certainly counts as one for the both of them.
    • Dickson crossed the horizon when he killed Shulk by literally shooting him in the back, right when he and Egil were about to make peace.
    • Metal Face rampaging through Colony 9 and killing Fiora, something that he uses to taunt Shulk and Dunban for the rest of the game.
    • Gael'gar is a sick Ax-Crazy racist who despises pureblooded High Entia and constantly stalks Melia, who he views as the saviour of their race due to being half-Homs like him, but he really takes a turn for the worse when he sabotages Teelan's Telethia research by blowing up his laboratory, and when he thinkes he killed Melia with the bombs, he proclaims himself as the new Emperor and tries to murder Teelan outright with his sword.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The shattering-glass sound when you change the party's fate during a battle.
    • Now it's time for a Chain Attack!
    • The fanfare that plays when first encountering a secret area.
    • Loritihia's death scream when you finally beat her.
  • Narm:
    • Can be forced by the players themselves. Characters still wear their armor in cutscenes, so it's possible to go through the game's most serious and dramatic moments with everyone in Stripperiffic outfits. As such, it's possible for Fiora to go through all her scenes at the beginning up to and including her Heroic Sacrifice in a bikini. And since the game remembers what you gave your characters at those moments, all flashbacks later in the game will still show her in a bikini. The Definitive edition allows the player to go even further with this thanks to the fact that you are able to change your character's appearance.
    • Fiora's new form has a very plot-significant piece in the center of her chest. Because it's plot important, whenever that plot point comes up, the camera meaningfully zooms in on her chest, which is a little awkward when she's wearing armor that's heavy on Absolute Cleavage, and considering that her Speed armour is considered the best armour for her, this happens a lot.
    • Xord's voice is either this or a case of Narm Charm. You probably wouldn't expect a gigantic mechanical abomination to sound like a Warhammer 40,000 Ork, and the fact that he's the first Mechon you hear speak makes it even more jarring. During his boss fight in the mines of Colony 6, Xord will taunt everyone as you break and topple him, but it sounds like "Open your flies, alright?".
    • During the Wham Episode on Prison Island, when the Emperor, Melia's father, is stabbed and dying, Shulk gives an anguished "Emperor... I failed you." It's normally tragic and dramatic, but the fact that it's worded very similarly to a memetic line from Dawn of War: Soulstorm (and Star Fox 64) might ruin it for some players.
    • When we find out that Sorean really isn't going to make it, Melia starts crying. It would normally be extremely sad... except it's during a "simple" cutscene, meaning we hear her crying, while we watch her emotionless, eyes-wide-open face.
    • After Zanza makes his reveal, reclaims the Monado, and slices Sword Valley in half, hitting Egil as well. Shocking Moments at its finest, until you hear Vanea's comically exaggerated cry of despair.
    Vanea: "Broooother! Nooooooooooooooo!!"
    • Sometimes if you're in a narrow area, the AI party members will jump. Which can be rather amusing on its own, but the Definitive Edition makes it even worse - because you'll hear their jumping noises out of nowhere. Sometimes you end up hearing Fiora's rather unintentionally hilarious jumping noise, Melia's strangely commanding jumps, or Reyn saying "Alley-oop!" out of nowhere... as they try to jump over a table. Bonus points if they fail.
    • After the events at The Mechonis Core, you're back in Colony 6 once you resume control. However, if you've been making an effort to reconstruct the place, it's possible this theme might start playing immediately. Which is MASSIVE Mood Whiplash considering what just happened.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Territorial Rothbart, when you first enter Gaur Plains. Having that giant Level 81 sucker just wandering around when you're barely around Level 20 will have you spending about half those first few fights making sure he's nowhere around when you begin. And suddenly having the otherwise-awesome "You Will Know Our Names" start up out of nowhere is Nightmare Fuel in its own right.
  • Polished Port: The 3DS port is, aside from lower visuals, basically the same game but portable. It streamlines some of the games tedious elements and makes gameplay smoother. Prior to the Switch version, it was superior to the Wii version for most people.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: After meeting Tatsu in Xenoblade Chronicles X, quite a few players who originally did not like Riki publicly announced that they miss him.
  • Retroactive Recognition: For fans of Doctor Who, if they play with the English dub, they'll be surprised to find out Melia is played by Jenna Coleman, from before she got the role of Clara.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Enemies that have Spike aura automatically deal a set amount of damage whenever they are attacked, forcing the player to juggle between healing and defensive arts after every few attacks. There are ways to counter it, but they're either temporary or require far too many gem slots to be effective. And although the Definitive Edition marks the portraits of enemies that have Spike aura, in previous releases it was impossible to tell an enemy had it until the player actually engaged in battle.
    • Ether Cylinders from gem crafting. In theory, they're a nice way to re-use gem components if you fail to get them over 100% during crafting, and could even be used to distill a single effect so that you can focus on it with Strong flames on the next run. Unfortunately, high-affinity party members can push a desired quality over 100%, turning what would've been an awesome cylinder into an underpowered gem.
    • Enemy arts that trigger visions become this towards the end of the game. When initially introduced, they're a neat and unique spin on standard combat that forces you to think strategically and know your team in-depth in order to counter. However, late game bosses tend to spam these arts constantly, and too often they'll fire up a new one the instant the previous one is finished.
    • Building up Affinity. High affinity between party members increases Chain Attack damage, unlocks Heart-to-Heart cutscenes, grants access to more sidequests and is necessary to get additional skill trees. Unfortunately, the most effective way to gain affinity is by using different combinations of characters in battle, leading to obscene amounts of grinding, or by spamming collectible item gifts, which can run out and requires a serious amount of Guide Dang It! to maximize effects.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: While the ultimate canon pairing of Shulk/Fiora is generally accepted, a lot of people think Shulk & Melia ultimately had more chemistry and was more touching. Certain scenes in the game do not help. It also doesn't help that Melia basically ends up alone compared to Shulk and Fiora. Though Melia doesn't seem to mind it much, that just comes off to the Shulk/Melia shippers as the writers clumsily Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends. Sharla pushes this in-universe before backing off.
  • Shocking Moments: Everything in the story from the Mechonis Core and onward. Once you start to see Mechonis attack Bionis, including in Yaldabaoth's fight where you have two minutes to stop a Vision of it destroying Bionis, it just gives the player an idea of what's really at stake at this point. And then, Zanza is revealed, as well as the true natures of Dickson, Alvis, and the fate of the High Entia, kicks the story into absolute holy shit mode.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: A player can reasonably spend 5 hours doing sidequests before even leaving the first town. The in-game tutorial even outright encourages it at one point, telling you to "come back to Colony 6 during breaks in the story."
  • Special Effect Failure: The visual effects on the remaster are quite nice, giving all sorts of detail to everything... until you reach Frontier Village and you notice that the Nopon's mouths do not move when they are speaking to you. Riki is slightly better for having a face that moves, but the texture is noticeably more pixelated than the rest of the party's high-quality faces. You wouldn't have paid much attention on the rather blurry character models of the Wii or on the compressed screen of the 3DS, but when you're on an HD switch? You definitely notice.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: The English dub is very well done, to the point that many fans actually prefer it to the original Japanese, especially since the British accents add a lot of uniqueness and charm. Dunban is a prominent example, as his English voice is beloved for his gallant Large Ham tendencies, but his Japanese voice on the other hand is considered unfitting and even outright annoying during battles. However, others consider the dub Narmy, particularly due to the over-the-top British accents, and Riki's English voice is often cited as more annoying than the intended "cute", and its gruffness spoiling the reveal that he's really 40 years old.
  • That One Attack: Attacks that hit the entire party, especially early in the game. Until you are halfway done with the game, there are not many ways to protect the party from them, as most defensive arts only affect one person at a time. The worst of the bunch is Titan Stamp, which is used by the Fortress-type Mechon units and can deal up to 5000 damage in a single hit, easily OHK Oing Shulk, Sharla and Melia.
  • That One Boss:
    • Mumkhar in Sword Valley. The opposing group is comprised of three large enemies, which can cover the camera and prevent the player from positioning the party properly. Also, they all have attacks that inflict the Poison status, and Mumkhar himself can force Daze on everyone.
    • Bronze Face/Xord. When you fight him at the bottom of the reactor in Colony 6, he is immune to status effects, except ones triggered during a chain attack. The problem is that by this point in the game it is extremely unlikely that you have the means to build up the Talent Gauge quickly, and the entire fight effectively becomes a Luck-Based Mission as you fight the Mooks that he spawns and hope that your party lands enough crits to build up the gauge quickly.
    • Tyrea and Solidum Telethia. Because Tyrea is a High Entia, Shulk's Monado will only deal 1 damage against her, which would normally encourage the player to bench him for this fight. Unfortunately, the Telethia pretty much enforces him to be used, as its Aura can only be reliably dispelled with Monado Purge.
    • Disciple Lorithia. The arena you face her in contains four large pools of ether, which do constant damage if you stand in them. Because she's so large, she will try to push you into the ether, and the AI is not programmed to walk out on its own, so the player will be forced to halt all attacks just to recall the AI partners out of the ether. Lorithia has a ton of HP and all of her attacks are Ether-based, which makes evasion and Shulk's Monado arts useless. Many of her attacks inflict crippling status effects, such as Daze, Topple, Confuse, and Art Seal. Finally, she's a Flunky Boss, and her minions will quadruple her defense as long as they're active, will constantly tag the player with arts that lower ether defense, and will self-destruct after a while.
    • The 2nd fight with Jade Face/Gadolt. He keeps his using his more powerful arts constantly, which includes Laser Bullet, an attack that hits everyone in the entire party and can only be stopped by a leveled up Monado Armour.
  • That One Level:
    • Satorl Marsh. It's filled with bird enemies that are very aggressive and tend to dog you as you try to evade them, and unlike the wide open beauty of the Gaur Plain before it, is rather confined and dull-looking, at least during the daytime (but it's another story during the nighttime...) It also contains an aggravating fetch quest where you have to collect stones, and they are placed in the strangest places, including one across a poisonous lake.
    • Alcamoth. Huge and with very few landmarks to teleport from, navigating the place is a massive pain. You have a limited amount of time to do most of them if you want 100% Completion. And you need to go back there post-Mechonis Core for some more sidequests, and you have no access to landmarks at that time.
    • Colony 6's Ether Mine. It's a rather dull-looking underground area (that comes up in the story just after another, less annoying underground area), filled with Mechon that, at this point in the game, only Shulk can damage without Monado Enchant or a Topple effect. It's not actually that big, but falling damage will force you to go around the rim of the central pit several times before you can reach the bottom safely.
    • The Bionis interior. Thankfully it's short, because the place is full narrow pathways where you get attacked by Drakos Telethia that can knock you off, causing you to fall into the ether and die, and they fly so you can't knock them off. In addition, there's a level jump from the fight against Yaldabaoth and it's capped off by the fight against Lorithia.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Ingredients for a Brew in Frontier Village is a side quest with two outcomes. However, there are two problems. If you have all the ingredients for one of the options, you are locked on that path without any choice of backing out. The other problem is that Walnut Grapes, the ingredient for the "bad option" (both NPC-relationship and reward-wise) are incredibly common on Bionis' Leg in comparison to Bitter Kiwis being rare in Makna Forest (and they don't become available for trade until Central Bionis reaches three-star affinity). This means it's incredibly likely that you'll have at least the four Walnut Grapes needed for the bad option before you even accept the quest, forcing you to either get rid of some of those Walnut Grapes before it starts or Save Scum if you were blindsided.note 
    • Challenge 2 in Frontier Village, which asks you to kill Breezy Zolos, is surprisingly difficult if you do it as soon as you're able. Zolos will probably be on an equal level to yours, and is probably the first sidequest mark you'll fight who has a Spike aura, meaning you take damage every time you hit it. Not only that, but the area it appears in also happens to be prowled by a Level 98 gigantic T-Rex enemy who's all too willing to join the fight if he gets too close. Luring is key here, as is strategic fighting.
    • Challenge 1 in Alcamoth. On the surface, it doesn't seem so bad. Swim to the Secluded Island, just south of Alcamoth in the Eryth Sea, maybe dodge some high-level enemies on the shore, and kill a Pagul-type enemy called "Proper Bandaz". But it turns out it can only be killed during a Shooting Star Shower, which has a lower likelihood than rain or a clear night. Get ready to spend several minutes advancing time forward one hour, bit by bit, until you start seeing the golden sparkles. Thankfully, the enemy isn't too hard, so the main nuisance is getting the Shooting Star Shower to occur.
    • Building Colony 6's housing to level 2 requires a Fossil Monkey, which only drops in the Makna Forest. It has a seven percent spawn rate and only spawns in specific locations that are hard to find or dangerous to get to. You'll have to roam the forest so many times doing so and even though you need a single one, it feels like it takes forever since you have to go good distances to get to the spawn areas. The good news is that, unlike the other notorious ingredients on this page, this can be traded for from a character in Frontier Village who doesn't move to Colony 6 (Puko at Kyn Shopping Street, and only requiring two starts of affinity for Frontier Village).
    • Reconstructing Colony 6's "Special" to Level 4. It requires 2 Rainbow Slugs, possibly the single rarest collectible in the game. They only spawn at certain times in certain areas on the Fallen Arm, and if you know the right time/location there's still only about a 10% chance the collectible will be a Rainbow Slug. And fans all over the internet still aren't 100% sure what the right times are, the only definite is they have to be at night. And you need two of them plus an extra one for your Colloctapaedia if you're looking for 100% Completion in that area too. Hope you like running around and around the same area for hours! This wouldn't be so bad were it not for the fact that one potential resident requires this upgrade to move there!
    • Building Colony 6's "Nature" to Level 3 is also a pain in the ass for the same reasons as Special's Level 4; finding 2 Ice Cabbages in Valak Mountain is just as difficult as finding the Rainbow Slugs. It's usually available only at night, and nobody's more sure than that. Only one NPC can offer it for trade, and he only trades it after an event near the end of the game. He can also be migrated to Colony 6, in which case he'll never be able to trade it to begin with. And yet another potential resident requires this upgrade to move there.
    • This is repeated with Colony 6's "Nature Level 5" requirements, which require two Black Liver Beans found in the Bionis Interior after its awakening, an item just as rare as Ice Cabbages and Rainbow Slugs. Once more, another potential resident requires this upgrade to move there.
    • Getting Colony 6's special to level one isn't as bad, but still annoying. You need to a Light Rain Element that is only dropped by the Aqua Nebulas the Bionis Leg. Not too bad. Oh, the drop only occurs during a thunderstorm, which is a royal pain in the ass because you have NO CONTROL OVER WEATHER EFFECTS, and if you change time on the clock, it doesn't bother telling you what the weather is so you have to go on it from guesswork. Even then, it's VERY rare for the Aqua Nebula to drop the item, and you kill them all, you have to wait for them to respawn and then get another thunderstorm going. It can be traded via overtrade from a character at the Refugee Camp...but of course said character will immediately move to Colony 6 once reconstruction begins, so his trade offers change after that.
    • Getting to Know Dorothy is an example of a Classic Video Game Screw You, as this quest is only available post-Mechonis Core, where the items needed for this quest are located in the middle of a Telethia-infested city. Hope you prepared, or are a high enough level to tackle this one! Unsurprisingly, most people pick Minnie to be the better candidate in this series of quests.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Sharla's early-game arc leaves a dangling thread that is only resolved much later, but until then she's just tagging along with the rest of the cast, with her few relevant moments being playing Shipper on Deck for the more fleshed-out Melia. Though the game hints at a romance between her and Reyn, such dynamic is not fleshed out either.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Despite their vast improvements in detail and technical quality, some fans dislike the new character models in the Definitive Edition for having a more generic anime look (best exemplified with the larger eyes), losing the more unique art style of the original. Much of this conflict usually comes from those that did not take kindly to its direct sequel's own character designs, either.
    • Definitive Edition remixed the entire soundtrack and generally speaking the reception has been very well received. However, the one area players find to be a let down is the battle themes. The main issue players have is that they either remix the song entirely (An Obstacle In Our Path for example is now a heavy metal rock song) or just change the song a bit tone-wise to make it lose its original impact (the final boss theme is smoother but lacks impact now). As a result, the songs now feel less fitting or lose the sheer impact they had before, leading to many to prefer the original soundtrack. Thankfully, the game offers the option to switch to the original soundtrack, lessening the blow.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Sharla, because the game's mechanics make healing less valuable than in many other JRPGs. The fact that she is very lacking in combat arts, combined with the inability to use her Cooldown Talent Art (itself a Scrappy Mechanic) in Chain Attacks, makes it difficult to perform lengthy Chain Links with her. Unlike many other examples of this trope, though, it's not so much that she is actually a detriment to the party and more that everyone else is just that good, and needing her to win non-boss/uniques much higher than you is a sign that your party is underleveled or underoptimized.
    • NPC Melia, mostly because of her Artificial Stupidity. Her AI's main shortcoming is the fact that she focuses on acting as a melee combatant despite being the least durable character in the game, yet her break-topple combo is never properly utilized. The AI also tends to use her actual primary attacks, the Summons, for their passive buffs instead, causing her to just stand there uselessly if she isn't trying to whack enemies with her staff. While she is still useful for her ability to rack up multipliers during chain attacks, and putting her in the party with Reyn or Dunban does make her a little more effective (as they will keep the heat off of her for a bit) it's not as effective as if the player controls her.
    • Player-controlled Shulk, by virtue of being too good and Boring, but Practical. The Monado gives him access to many useful abilities, including some that none of the other characters have (e.g. he's the only reliable defense against area attacks with Monado Shield and Monado Armor, and Monado Purge is the only reliable way of removing Spike or other active Auras). That many bosses and Unique monsters require use of the Monado to be taken down effectively doesn't help anyone who would like to use someone besides Shulk in your small 3 man party.
    • On the other hand, NPC Shulk is hated almost as much as NPC Melia for similar reasons. The AI isn't the best at positional attacks and has a nasty tendency to waste his Talent Gauge unnecessarily, such as spamming Monado Enchant against Mechon when the entire party already has Anti-Mechon weapons equipped, making it difficult to counter visions when they arise. Which doesn't sound too bad, except he has a nasty habit of using Battle Soul repeatedly to fuel his frivolous use of the Monado, meaning it's common to see Shulk drop from full health to red in a few seconds without the enemy even needing to get an attack in. And unlike Dunban, Shulk doesn't have any Arts to replace it with. It is possible to de-equip Battle Soul (press 2 in the Art Menu using the Nunchuck control scheme) but this is the only time such an ability is even useful.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The original Xenoblade is often considered one of the Seventh Generation's most underrated games and one of the best JRPGs of all time, so inevitably later games in the Xenoblade series have been compared, favorably or not, to the original despite Nintendo putting more promotion behind them.
  • Uncanny Valley: Scenes that are not fully animated (the "dialogue" scenes) suffer from Limited Animation in movement and facial expressions. This combined with the lack of detail in some textures and models creates an uncanny effect. One of the bigger changes touted by Definitive Edition was remodeling the facial animations to avoid this problem.
    • Melia's eyes actually have a small effect to them that was not translated well in the Wii or 3DS version. Naturally people were surprised to find that the Switch version did in fact include this effect.
    • The characters sometimes look like they have a rather vacant gaze during some scenes. It becomes better when they are obviously looking right at each other, or when they emote during cutscenes, but sometimes the characters just don't blink. And it becomes a little unnerving. When played in SD or on a 3DS screen, it's not very notable but you really notice this on the Switch.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: While overall well done, the sheer amount of sympathy Egil gets from certain characters can be a bit jarring if one spends any time considering the sheer scale of the crimes he has committed (namely reducing the Homs population to a mere two colonies, mutiliating at minimum dozens of them to turn them into Faced Mechon, and apparently killing off a large number of his own people simply because they wanted to stop him).
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: While the character models take a noticeable hit from this, the vast, thriving world you explore is well-conceived design-wise and lavishly detailed, with its own ecosystem, weather effects and day/night cycle, with surprisingly good draw distance to boot. And this was all pulled off on an aging system that's only slightly more powerful than the original Xbox. Notable examples include the Gaur Plain, a grassy field with huge cliffs and rock formations, and the Makna Forest, with a huge group of waterfalls that you can actually explore for yourself and filled with realistic flora and fauna. As one reviewer noted, the 3DS port is arguably the best-looking game on the system, despite its graphical quality being far inferior to the original Wii version.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Since the company that makes the Xenoblade series is owned by Nintendo, it is technically a first-party Nintendo game. Despite that and the fairly cartoony graphics, the gameplay and storyline is incredibly deep and complex. The first game alone features giant killer robots that are actually cyborgs created by converting humanoids who their creator has captured, the main character watching his girlfriend get killed right in front of him (and it is graphic), a religious extremist group's Fantastic Racism-fueled assassination plot, and the Big Bad is a Mad Scientist who destroyed his universe to create the world the game takes place in simply because he had an A God Am I complex. The other games are not as dark, but Xenoblade Chronicles X features a group of religious extremists as the Big Bad with all the humans being the last survivors of Earth after it was destroyed, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 features people swearing without Symbol Swearing or a sound effect to cover it, prominent War Is Hell themes, several highly sexualized female characters, and once again one of the villains is the corrupt leader of a religious movement.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Some fans of the English dub aren't fans of the Japanese voice track, not because the actors are bad per se but because of some very strange casting choices - like Norio Wakamoto, Japan's undisputed King of Large Hams and villains, being cast as the Smug Snake Mumkhar.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: A lot of people dislike most of the armors of the game so much that they refuse to put the characters anything but the standard outfits and maybe one or two better-thought armors. Even if that means having worse stats. The worst offenders are the heavy armors, which are ridiculously bulky and over-ornamented. Also Stripperific with Sharla and Mecha Fiora, even to the point of Fetish Retardant. A lot of people were pleased when it turned out the Definitive Edition added the option to replace the appearance of armor with different ones like in Xenoblade Chronicles X.
  • The Woobie:
    • Even with all of what the rest of the main cast has to endure, Melia gets hit hardest and most often. It begins even before Shulk's team meets her: Her best/closest/only friends and bodyguards are killed while on a mission to destroy a Telethia, her stepmother tries to have her assassinated, her father is killed before her eyes, one of her advisers turns traitor, and a good number of her people- including her brother and stepmother- are turned into Telethia. So to summarize, by the end of the game, her whole family is dead, only a tiny fraction of her people are still alive, and she knows that she's lost out to Fiora when it comes to winning Shulk's affections. She definitely got the rawest deal out of all the party members. And despite all this, she keeps her chin up and resolves to continue shouldering on.
    • Shulk doesn't get off too much better. He lost someone very dear to him near the beginning, Fiora. He's also an orphan who was taken in and raised as a son by The Dragon. Not to mention he constantly suffers through both his friends who have lost many comrades and carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders since only he can wield the Monado after Dunban is crippled. Later on, it turns out he was a puppet for the Big Bad and is shot in the back and killed by Dickson, the one man who was like a father to him. He's brought back to life, but damn. The Big Bad proceeds to attempt to destroy the entire world because he's god and he can do what he wants. Shulk finally ends up making everything right in the end by wishing for a world without gods.
  • Woolseyism:
    • A specific example with the High Entia royal family. In Japan their surname is Ancient, while the English translation gives them the much more regal Antiqua.
    • Subtle, but effective example with regards to the Unique Monster theme. In the original Japanese, the title directly translates to "Those Who Are Given a Name." In English? "You Will Know Our Names," a title that not only gets that point across, but implies that one way or another, either the monsters or the party members are going to leave a lasting impression. It's also a good title to mark an awesome fight in Super Smash Bros..

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