Importance of Bonds in Xenoblade Chronicles

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I am currently working through Xenoblade Chronicles 3D on my Nintendo 3DS. I have now played 99 and a half hours and I still need to complete the main story. This game is long! While playing I have come across two main theme I wanted to write about. The first being about love and relationships and the second one I will write later once I have finished the game. The second theme requires more story in order to discuss it properly. Warning: Full spoilers up until the Gadolt boss battle where I stopped.

Party Relationship

The standard for any RPG is usually some form of party. This game has a special mechanic were the more you sync up with your party with attacks, the more a link for fills up. Once this link fills up, you can do chain attacks. You also need to encourage your teammates in battle when they get discouraged. During battle, team mates will cheer each other on like “We can definitely do this”. Battle also encourages skill links which create special effects during battle such as an Agility buff when the battle begins with higher level enemies.

There’s also Heart-to-Hearts which unlock special cut scenes from a character’s affinity link. Affinity links are basically how much they get along which increases as they battle together.

In terms, of story the party generally bonds as the story progresses. You see Reyn and Shulk, the first main party, deepen their friendship as they work to save Bionis. Sharla, a woman who joins when you meet Colony 6, and Reyn get closer along the story as well. Reyn clearly likes Sharla and tries to bond with her which she does find adorable.

Family Bonds

Family is also an important part of Xenoblade. Dunban and Fiora are brother and sister who look after each other. Fiora nurses Dunban back to health after he injures himself wielding the Monado and he looks after her when she gets a Mechonis body and needs to stay hydrated.

Melia has a brother named Kallian and a father named Emperor Sorean. Melia is very close with her family. She loves her father and her brother looks after her. When Sorean dies, Melia is devastated. She is made the new leader of the High Entia, but asks her brother to stand in for her while she accompanies Shulk to fight the Mechon.

A bond that has become tense over time is Miqol and Egil. Miqol is the father of Egil. Egil is, at the moment, responsible for the tension between the Homs and Machina. He has led the Mechonis to fight and kill the Homs. Miqol does not want the Homs to die over past history and is currently tell Shulk to kill Egil. We’ll see if this changes over time.

Community Bonds

During any time in the game, you can look at the Affinity Chart which shows your relationship to the different communities in Xenoblade Chronicles. My highest community is Central Bionis which is at 3 stars. This is where the Nopon live.

During Xenoblade you come across different communities. These can be other Homs communities like Colony 6 or other races such as Nopon (basically sentient fluffy creatures), High Entia (similar to elves in intelligence and life span), and Machina (the machine people). Some of these are even added to your party.

Nopon can seem annoying at first, but Riki is kind and determined to help his friends. His moves can even help friends like healing. Melia is a High Entia. At first, they seem like they only care about themselves, but they do decided to help the Homs. Melia uses magic to either hurt enemies or give her allies buffs. The Machina really want to stop Egil and are willing to help the Homs. All they want is peace.

Romantic Bonds

The first romantic bond is Shulk and Fiora. They are friends that are clearly interested in each other. Before they can form a romantic bond, Fiora is killed by a Mechon. This drives Shulk to want to destroy all Mechon. He doesn’t change his mind until he sees Fiora in a Mechon’s body. This Mechon behaves strangely because the Mechon clearly knows how Fiora feels about Shulk and decides to protect them. In fact, the Mechon destroys itself protecting Shulk.

After Fiora has been released from the Mechon, her and Shulk kiss beginning the romance they were too nervous to start at first. Fiora is actually nervous about the possibility of becoming fully human again because she desperately wants to help Shulk when he is fighting. She also is originally afraid that Shulk wouldn’t want a relationship with her now that she is part Mechon, but he just loves having her in his life again.

The other major romantic bond is between Sharla and Gadolt. Sharla and Gadolt were in love and had a close bond together. She tried to console Gadolt during the war against the Mechon. Gadolt went missing during battle and was perceived to be dead. Turns out he is alive, but one major problem. He is a Mechon and this time he has no memories of his past. After Fiora turned rogue from her memories and Mumkhar’s obsession with Dunban led to his demise, Egil decided that completely erasing memories, thus erasing bonds, would ensure that his next legion of Homs-Mechons would be even better warriors. Sharla is devastated that Gadolt no longer remembers her and that their bond has dissolved. But, it seems he may remember her because he purposefully misses her when he attacks the party.

Future Bonds

I am hoping that Sharla and Gadolt will have a mended bond. I am hoping that there is some way to regain his memories. I am also interested to see how Shulk and Fiora’s relationship will deepen now that they are together again. I also am hoping that there might be some way to stop Egil without killing him. Maybe if they get through to him that destroying another race will not help him with the pain of his past, he’ll stop this violence. That one unfortunately I think is the least likely outcome.

What are your thoughts on the bonds in this game? Maybe there is another game you can think of that focuses heavily on bonds.

 

 

Later Levels’ Thoughts on Odd Couples in Video Games

It’s Valentine’s Day, and gamers all over the country will be putting down their controllers in favour of red roses, soft music and candlelit dinners for two. But there’s no reason why video games can’t feature on this day of love for some of the most emotional stories ever known have been told through the […]

via Gaming’s unlikeliest couples — Later Levels

Kim from Later Levels had some great points on why some of these couples just are not a good match! The weirdest one was The House of the Dead! I have no idea who thought that was a good idea to match those two in the first place, but that was a terrible idea! I also agree with Matt and Emily in Until Dawn because Emily was really bossy while Matt was more easy going. That would never work in real life! As for my own experiences, I’ve been thinking and honestly the couples that are in my video games do tend to go well together. Let Kim know here what couples in video games did you think made no sense together!

Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey – Fun Time With Friends

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I usually don’t do movie reviews on here, but I really wanted to talk about the fun day I had with this movie! I just decided to see it on a Saturday afternoon and it turned into a Galentine’s Day with old and new friends!

Plot

The general plot is that Harley Quinn and the Joker break up and she struggles to find her identity. After struggling to get over her breakup privately, Harley Quinn decided to publicly announce to the world via an explosion that she is no longer the Joker’s girlfriend.

The problem with doing that is now everyone who has had a grudge on Harley in the past decides that it’s time to come after her and kill her since she’s no longer under the Joker’s protection.

After being kidnapped by the Black Mask, she manages to get her freedom by promising to find a famous diamond that would unlock an old mafia family’s bank vault. The problem is it’s with a pickpocket kid named Cassandra Cain. So Harley must decided to either sell the kid out or protect the kid from danger.

Humor

This movie is full of funny moments so here’s a list of my favorites.

  • Any time a villain appears on screen to come after Harley and she would list the reasons why they hated her such as putting a permanent tattoo of a clown on someone’s head.
  • The dramatic moment with Harley and her egg sandwich which a friend of mine made afterwards and said it definitely was worth the dramatic moment.
  • Any time the Huntress attempted to be dramatic and came across as awkward.

Surprising Moments

The first major surprise was when I walked into the theater. This movie is rated R for a really good reason as the language is extremely strong (a lot of “motherf***er being thrown around) and the film is extremely violent (Black Mask has a really disturbing method of torturing his victims that I could not watch). So why did some parents bring their kids? Those kids definitely learned some colorful language and probably had nightmares about the Black Mask for a while!

As for the film itself, I was surprised by:

  • The Black Canary’s special move since I did not know much about her before the film.
  • How the Birds of Prey came to be since they all started out not liking each other.
  • The larger role of the Huntress in the film.
  • The stunt work that had to be done for Harley Quinn: She does backflips and cartwheels, takes down guys twice her size, there was a stunt involving a motorcycle and a rope. I was really impressed because those stunts looked really hard!
  • The little hair tie moment was a cute little surprise of women helping each other out during fighting.

Thoughts (Spoilers)

Overall I really enjoyed the movie! I thought it was fun seeing Harley Quinn find her way in life. I also liked seeing the other women form their own path. The Canary went from working for Black Mask to kicking ass and forming Birds of Prey with the Huntress. The Huntress was able to defeat everyone who killed her family. Rene got out of the police office where she felt like no one respected her. Cassandra and Harley Quinn formed their own firm with the money from the diamond. I just enjoyed that it was a feel good movie that just made you want to smile and appreciate the friends you have in your life that support you like The Birds of Prey eventually supported Harley.

Friends

What made this movie really special was watching it with friends. I sat down at the theater and saw someone waving me over and it was an old friend from college! She was actually dressed in a Harley Quinn cosplay complete with makeup and the little black heart on her cheek. I met some of her friends and then we hung out together after the movie for a while. So watching a movie about forming bonds while hanging with old friends and making new friends is what made this movie so special to me!

What did you think of this film? Let me know what is one of your favorite memories of going to see a movie!

Real Life Boss Fights

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This post was inspired by this tweet from The Well-Red Mage. When I saw this tweet, I started thinking about my real life boss fights. The two that come to mind are job hunting and mental health.

Job Hunting

While I am working for my family, I am currently applying for jobs in social media. My desire to work for social media started when I was in grad school. I took a course on social media and one of my assignments was to begin a blog. At first, I was really nervous because it would be my thoughts in public and what would I even write about?

But then, I remembered how much I enjoyed gaming blogs because at the time I was really enjoying reading gaming blogs and I have always loved playing games. So that’s how this blog started! I started to really love the idea of having a career in social media after that because I saw how amazing social media communities can be and how we all support each other. I just decided that I wanted to use what I was learning in social media to work for a company and help them with their social media.

But, job hunting for your first job is not easy and can be really stressful! It can feel like a boss in Xenoblade Chronicles where it’s really tough and you don’t know what strategy to use to get through the fight. Maybe you find tips that might help you out, but you still don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. But, that first job in social media will be a sweet reward just like when that boss finally goes down!

Mental Health

I do have minor anxiety that I am learning to take care of. My anxiety is mostly well-behaved, but it can have it’s Bowser days. Anxiety can feel scary when I get panicky or start worrying about everything, but it is exactly like Bowser.

Bowser is a giant flame breathing tortoise with spikes for shells so he does seem like a threat. Except, he constantly gets his butt kicked by a really small plumber. Mario is like 1/4 of his size.

So I have to remember that even though things can seem scary, it’s just like Bowser. It’ll just blow right over with little issue! If Mario can take on Bowser, surely I can take on whatever my anxiety is afraid of.

Fight On!

This was a fun exercise to think and write about because putting things in the perspective of video games soothes my anxiety. I am going to continue applying and every year I always strive to take good care of my mental health. I hope you all get through your boss fights too!

What are your boss fights for this year?

 

 

 

 

In Third Person’s Playing Multiple Games

From what I gather, Luigi’s Mansion 3 isn’t a particularly long game. And yet here I am, having owned it since launch, still just a fraction of the way through it. A lot of things arose in the last few months that got in the way. Running the Extra Life marathon. The holidays. Writing for […]

via The Gaming Rotation – How Many Games Are You Juggling at Once? — In Third Person

In Jett’s post, he talks about his backlog and playing more than one game at once. I also have a backlog, but I am doing things a bit differently. Jett decided to get rid of most of his backlog while I do still have games to play, but I did trade some games in if I knew I was not going to play them. I have not picked up Luigi’s Mansion 3 as I still want to finish the first game. But, I am juggling Tokyo Mirage Sessions for the Nintendo Switch and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D for the 3DS. I have been trying to finish Xenoblade Chronicles 3D for a while and decided to try again after I heard news of the Switch port. I will not be getting the Switch port because I have 60 hours into Xenoblade Chronicles 3D and that’s just halfway through the game. It is really long! Let Jett know what games you have been playing and about the state of your backlog here!

Saints Row: The Third – A Unique Game For The Switch

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I decided to try the Saints Row series after Saints Row: The Third was released for the Switch! I really enjoyed this game and I would highly recommend it for anyone who has a Switch!

Performance

I wanted to address this because this was an issue at launch. When I first played the game after it was released, it did need to be put at a high sensitivity to make it easier to play and it was easier to play it in docked mode. I also did have an issue with weird textures like fog staying on the screen.

After the recent updates, the game runs perfectly! There are no sensitivity issues and now there’s an auto lock on to make the game even easier. There are no weird issues or bugs that I had. The next time I pick this up it might even have gyro controls because they did want to add that.

Basically, if you were worried about the performance on this game, it is definitely fixed and running perfectly now!

Plot

There are a few twists but the basic plot is to go after the Syndicate and the gangs involved in Syndicate to clear The Saints name as well as avenge Johnny Gat’s death. Other enemies do appear throughout the game with my favorite and toughest being STAG. I also liked that the game did have branching options depending on how you treated certain characters or which reward you picked.

Activities

Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV have similar activities such as Mayhem where you cause mayhem in Steelport. The biggest change was escort missions in Saints Row: The Third. The most entertaining escort missions were escorting Genki because he liked you to cause mayhem when you drove and escorting a tiger because the tiger would mess with your vehicle and would calm down when you power-slid the vehicle.

Completing these activities as well as doing missions, owning property, and taking out gangs would unlock a city take over which would cause the city to belong to the Saints again. I only managed to do one city as the others I still needed to drive around and finish all their side content.

Fun Moments

  • Defeating Matt Miller in cyberspace because the game kept changing from a first person game to a text adventure and sometimes the controls would switch or I would shrink. I just loved how chaotic that level was!
  • Meeting Zimos who only talks with an auto-tune mic
  • “Holding Out For A Hero” playing during the final mission
  • The Gangstas in Space DLC where I had to deal with an over dramatic director
  • The Trouble With Clones which allowed me to unlock Super Gat

“Holding Out For A Hero” Finale

I loved that this song played and it made the finale perfect! This finale is unique because you get two different paths. You can choose to either take down the main villain or save your friends. I chose to save my friends which made The Saints popular and heroes again! I loved that my version involved me climbing Steelport’s version of The Statue of Liberty; It was really fun scaling the statue!

I also did still take down the main villain, but it was in a movie called Gangstas in Space. This was a story mission at the end of the game with dramatic lines and over acting. The main villain was in a super suit in space so I had to throw lava crystals at him to lower his health.  The game ended showing the film reel wrapping up the final scene and then the credits began!

Final Thoughts

I loved the credits for this because it had pictures of the staff and they did sing a song together. My favorite picture was the ones where one of the staff members was wearing a a hot dog suit! Overall, I found the game to be really fun although the activities can be challenging. But, I found the rewards to be worth the challenge. The main story was fun and I had a good time playing through it! The DLC was fun especially the ones involving Genki. I loved this game and I am so glad I decided to try it on the Switch!

What are your thoughts on Saints Row: The Third?

McKenna Talks About Games’s Favorite Things in Games

When I first started planning out this series, it was intended to be one post. But I kept thinking of more and more things that could fit in it, and I decided I was going to need a few posts – and the list could get longer as I play more games. So I’ll call […]

via Things that Should be in Every Video Game Part 1 — McKenna Talks About Games

I loved this post by Mckenna and I am looking forward to part 2! It’s fun to think of the little things you like in games! I do also like looking at auroras in video games because I like looking at night skies in video games! I have always loved looking at the stars so it is fun for me to see them in fiction. Another thing I like looking at is animals especially if they are fictional ones. I generally enjoy nature in video games. I like fishing in video games despite not enjoying it in real life because I find it relaxing! Let McKenna know what your favorite things in video games are in her post!