I know this is going to be difficult to believe, but I actually made story progress this week. As a result, I have a little bit more to talk about. But, as always, let’s start with numbers. My current play time is 43 hours and 9 minutes, my main character is level 31, and I’ve played through chapter 8 of the story. So, that’s only about three hours of play time this week, one chapter, and no levels.
My play time started about the same way I spent the entirety of last week, with lots of grinding. If you remember from last week, I needed to get my affinity with Lao up to at least one heart. This means doing quests with Lao in my party. This wasn’t too bad, since most of the combat has gotten much easier since I added a second Skell to my party. And thankfully, some of the quests I picked up were actually fairly interesting.
While running around New Los Angeles, I stumbled into a quest from a guy starting a seminar to help integrate the Ma-non to human culture. He asks me to round up three Ma-non for him. So, I do that, and then return to him. He takes the Ma-non to some remote cliff in Primordia to start his seminar. As you can probably guess, it isn’t actually a seminar at all, and the guy is threatening to murder all three Ma-non. I step in and end up having to fight the guy, who apparently has a Skell, as well as some other soldiers. So yeah, nothing too fancy, but it was a cool enough little story. At least cool enough for me to remember to write about it.
So now Lao has one heart of affinity with me. This means I can do the affinity quest that is required before I can do the next story chapter. The quest is called “The Matchmaker” and involves you helping a member of Lao’s team ask a girl out. Tatsu suggests getting some kind of fancy stone that his race considers to be very romantic so we can turn it into a bracelet for the girl. They make a big deal out of how much of an ordeal it’s going to be to get it. Thankfully, I already had one, so I was able to run straight to the jeweler to make the bracelet.
Turns out, the stone is harder than diamond, and thus the jeweler can’t do anything with it. Lin is upset because of how much work we put into getting the stone. Uh huh. Lao shows up and suggests that we take the stone to the Ma-non. With their advanced technology, the Ma-non can easily make the bracelet, and all they ask in return is ten pizzas. The guy gives the bracelet to the girl, and all is right in the world. Now we can move on to chapter 8.
Things go very bad really fast. The chapter starts with a massive Ganglion army advancing on New Las Angeles. Every Blade is ordered to help defend the city. The mission itself is actually pretty simple. Don’t worry about exploring or anything like that. You just get plopped at the entrance to the city and fight wave after wave of Ganglion. After defeating the final wave, Elma says that it seemed far to easy. And sure enough, a Ganglion ship appears above the city and drops several enemy Skells.
The next part of the mission takes place within the city. A giant alien monster with a human sized female alien on his shoulder is tearing up the commercial district and you have orders to stop them. What follows is a pretty easy boss fight against the two aliens. After you win, it’s revealed that the Ganglion have stolen the alien skell from the previous mission. Apparently that was their mission all along. The ganglion have accomplished their mission, but you successfully held off their attack, so that’s something.
The mission was really cool and did a great job of pushing the story forward. My only real complaint is that every time we see the bad guys, they just come off as the most generic anime villains. You’ve got the two aliens I mentioned before, who are just evil for evil’s sake and now want revenge for having been bested. The alien Skell was stolen by a cat looking alien who is now remorseful for having to kill innocents just to get one Skell. It’s all stuff you’ve seen a million times before. But for the most part, this doesn’t really bother me because the game itself plays so well.
And yeah, that’s the week. I probably could have gotten even further, but that new Doom game is out and it turns out that it’s really good. You can expect a review of it in the near future. As for Xenoblade, it looks like the prerequisites for the next mission are pretty easy to get, so I’m hoping to have chapter 9 completed in time for next week’s write up. See you then.