Tag Archives: xenoblade

Musashi: Samurai Legend 3: The Good Stuff

chugga chuggaIt is against the central credo of this blog to spend three weeks railing against a franchise and its disastrous growing pains, so let’s talk about what Musashi: Samurai Legend gets right.


The enemy design isn’t that bad?

… But they’re basically Heartless rejects…


One unequivocal good change between Brave Fencer Musashi and Musashi: Samurai Legend is that M:SL allows you to “rapid cycle” through your various elemental abilities, and bop between your skills with a simple press of L1/R1. This is great! Both games frequently presented scenarios where you were asked to shift between your various skills, but only Musashi: Samurai Legends does it without requiring a trip to the menu every five seconds. This is clearly a situation wherein the designers identified an issue in Brave Fencer Musashi, and solved that problem for the sequel. This is an improvement, no questions asked.

And… uh… That’s all I got.

How many more nights of Musashi: Samurai Legend are left? Can I go back to Brave Fencer Musashi yet?

Even Worse Streams presents Musashi: Samurai Legend
Night 3

Original Stream Night: October 18, 2022

Random Notes on the Stream:

  • Welcome back! Jeanie is here for the start of learning from the fish lady. Look to last week’s entry for a full explanation/complaint.
  • Jeanie and I more or less discuss the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise as Musashi fights through a generic jungle. For timeline questions, be aware that this conversation occurred just after the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
  • Fun timesAnd then caliscrub and fanboymaster join from the surface of the moon… or somewhere equally echoey.
  • “It’s beautiful that you think I’m paying attention.”
  • “Are you saying all skeletons know each other? Like a racist?”
  • Having now completed the game and looking back on it, The Crimson Gorger is the most interesting boss fight in Musashi: Samurai Legend. That is another point in M:SL’s favor! Two whole points!
  • After conquering the boss and wandering around the mall, BEAT returns from slumberland.
  • Thanks to the announcement of a mobile game for the franchise, Mortal Kombat, its spinoffs, and Shujinko are discussed.
  • Ample Vigour joins as The One is considered. That is also a franchise with a battle pyramid.
  • And then AJvark enters, too.
  • “Paw Patrol: Zero Mission! Finally!” is uttered as we play Musashi: Spirit Tracks.
  • And Screaming Red Skull joins the official chat as Musashi decides to carry around an amethyst.
  • “He’s going to skank too hard and explode his pants. He had to reinforce them.”
  • I miraculously save a gem after losing the fist one. If I lost a second one, I would give up, and the stream would be over. Forever.
  • RWBY and Rooster Teeth are addressed. Rest in peace, Monty Oum, your franchise misses you.
  • You heard it here first: I will never play Playstation 2 N.A.R.C. Somebody please hold me to that.
  • GrossAJVark learns the word “chaste” today thanks to Cammy wearing pants for once.
  • A discussion of the DCUTV “Arrowverse” ensues. I will reiterate here that Star Girl is a pretty good show, and works with the format’s ridiculous formula of “everyone lies all the time” pretty well. Teenagers do be like that.
  • “Hard disagree. Rats are far superior to pigeons.”
  • And then we close with a fight against a giant mechanical spider and anticipating Black Adam, the movie that would kill the DC Universe. If we only knew…

Next time on Musashi: This finale might be a little familiar.

Whistlin Dixie
Eventually something has to happen

Musashi: Samurai Legend 2: Fishy Problems

This does not happenSomething terribly embarrassing happens on this week’s stream of Musashi: Samurai Legend, and I am going to blame it on poor game design.

Go ahead and try to defend yourself, Playstation 2 game from two decades ago!

As is plainly available for viewing on this blog, I played Musashi: Samurai Legend after fighting through six weeks of Brave Fencer Musashi. As that was fresh in my mind, and Musashi: Samurai Legend is ostensibly a sequel, when I hit a roadblock in this new game, I was expecting I would be able clear this obstruction in a manner similar to what I had experienced in Brave Fencer Musashi. In that previous game, the solution to problems always seemed to be to fish some random villager out of a “secret” trap somewhere across the world, and use this new villager’s assistance to then make progress. Unfortunately, that was not the solution here, as apparently access to the next area of Musashi: Samurai Legend was gated behind using the “copy ability” skill that had not been required since the opening tutorial; and, what’s more, this skill had to be used on a friendly NPC, not an enemy. Given it had been something like six hours of gameplay since the last time a player would have had to use this copy skill, we are going to go ahead and call this game design choice “opaque”.

Pew pewAnd the hell of it? I should have expected as much! In Brave Fencer Musashi, hidden villagers were… hidden. There were often occasions where, if you did not search off the beaten path, Steward Ribson would demand thou must-th venture forth and find thine companions again. It would grind the adventure to a halt while you retrieved some anonymous food-themed soldier to be the fourth man in a boss fight gimmick, but it did encourage exploration of Musashi’s world. Now the “worlds” of Musashi: Samurai Legend are little more than monster hallways, so kidnapped mall folk are left scattered along the mandatory path, and often just about as “hidden” as your neighborhood Starbucks (it’s under the giant sign that says “Starbucks”). This is obviously more convenient than having to perform an impromptu treasure hunt like in the previous game, but it also conveys just how little the designers of Musashi: Samurai Legend trusted its player base. They knew you were going to quit this shallow adventure the minute you hit a barrier, and, without the option compelling discoveries, they dropped the concept entirely.

And I still got stuck on the dang fish lady!

But at least I got stuck at the damn mall. At the end of this stream, I am lost trying to find a random villager (that, essentially, does not exist) in an earlier level. But I did not have to waste that time at all! Even though I was jammed, the resolution was available in friendly territory, and I did not have to risk life, limb, and time to move forward. I assumed the answer was elsewhere, but it was right there, and literally as easy as pressing the right button at the right place.

So, hey, Musashi: Samurai Legend may have wasted my time with a silly “puzzle”, but at least it came from a thoughtful place. Gutless, but thoughtful.

Even Worse Streams presents Musashi: Samurai Legend
Night 2

Original Stream Night: October 11, 2022

Random Notes on the Stream:

  • Let’s listen to BEAT talk about his inability to play Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as we start Samurai Legend Musashi for our second night. And we’ve got fanboymaster too.
  • Fanboymaster laments the “diablofictation” of gaming over the years. At least Musashi doesn’t have to sort through annoying loot!
  • After a complete discussion of gacha mechanics and the Xenoblade franchise, we talk about how this volcano dungeon is, at best, inoffensive.
  • PopHey! This stream was right before I officially started uploading the Xenogears streams! That one took a while!
  • BEAT has never seen a full episode of The Simpsons, but we are going to talk about the many guest stars of The Simpsons anyway. And, hey, we finally finished this stupid volcano dungeon! For the first time!
  • And then as Caliscrub arrives, we talk about genre-defying games, like Mr. Bones and Battletoads.
  • And Ample Vigour enters as we discuss how Final Fantasy Type 0 is nonsense from top to bottom. This leads to a wonderful narration from AV as a southern gentleman attempting to describe chocobo wars.
  • Parasite Eve: one of those almost compelling games.
  • As we reenter the volcano, we all agree to like Waku Waku 7. And maybe Bleach: Dark Souls (no relation).
  • Disney killed its 2-D animation trying to appeal to teenage boys. C’est la vie. Let’s fight a lava monster.
  • Please enjoy a bunch of grown men talking about the sexiness of various SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron characters. From an objective perspective, you understand.
  • Away we goAnd then we have the aforementioned solid 20 minutes of futzing around because I have no idea I am supposed to just learn how to cut from the fish wrecking lady.
  • BEAT’s secret twitter origin is ActualPerson84.
  • “It’s not fast. It’s not exciting. It just is.”
  • And that’s about where we quit so BEAT can play Sonic the Hedgehog elsewhere. Have a good one!

Next time on Musashi: I guess there’s an elven village?

SBC #05 Mythra & Xenoblade Chronicles 3

This article contains spoilers for the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise. Well, X is barely mentioned… But 1, 2, and 3 all get spoiled to hell. Oh! And Xenogears and Xenosaga are in there, too. You have been warned!

Welcome to the latest XenoXenogears is a classic, deservedly laudable videogame. However, no one can say that the final product was what was imagined when the project was initially developed. Some of its most iconic moments, from Fei’s continual chair warming to entire dungeons that appeared only as JPEGs, were the result of a game that should have been two “episodes” being compressed into a single title. Whether you believe ChuChu on the cross is something that would have happened if anyone involved had longer than five seconds to consider the theological ramifications is immaterial, we simply know that Xenogears as we have it is not the same animal that would have come from an expanded development cycle. Even tracing back to its origins as a potential Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger sequel, Xenogears was forced to find its identity on the fly(ing robot). In short, Xenogears is great, but what we know as the final product “Xenogears” was totally an accident.

And then Xenogears begat Xenosaga. Xenosaga was a “saga” that was released over years, and, if that trilogy did not maintain a consistent cast, you would be forgiven for assuming they were three unrelated games. Classic RPG combat system! Or something about toppling now? Wait, now we’re done with that, and attempting a structure where you are supposed to draw aggro? And gameplay aside, the plot of Xenosaga was very publicly modified (almost exactly) halfway through, with its driving writer being canned, stories being heavily altered, and, oh yeah, the second game was supposed to be part of the first game that was supposed to be part of six games. You have about the same possibility of properly pacing a story in those circumstances as you do seeing a fish graduate law school (note: this jape should not be seen as related to my ongoing suit against The Law Firm of Fishguy and Octoman). I have objectively proven that Xenosaga is a trilogy worthy of its existence, but Xenosaga, after years of development shifts, is more of an accident than anything.

Working on itXenoblade Chronicles was arguably the first Xeno title that was a complete game. It was not initially planned as a “Xeno” title, but dropping the Monado from its title was suggested to honor what had come before. Xenoblade was designed from the start to be a perfect combination of gameplay and plot by the guy who was responsible for the 30-minute cutscenes of Xenosaga. In pursuit of this ideal, Xenoblade Chronicles became a franchise that rewarded the player not only for combat, but also other mundane tasks like talking to NPCs or discovering new locales. And this all worked well… but combined poorly with a world that eventually got whittled down to, like, two towns and a cave as the plot progressed. A game that simultaneously rewards you for looking everywhere but effectively locks you out of that option in favor of advancing the story is a major miss. Did the producers not understand the game they were making? Was this all just an accident?

(And we’re going to skip Xenoblade Chronicles X, because talking about that delightful mess should be an article all on its own…)

So Xenoblade Chronicles led to Xenoblade Chronicles 2…

SBC #04 Pyra & Xenoblade Chronicles 2

This article contains spoilers for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It has been out for five years now, but it is a long game, so if you want to get through it clean, be aware. You have been warned!

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 sets unreasonable expectations for…

It's bath time!

No, not body types. That is part and parcel with the genre. XC2 sets unreasonable expectations for…

It's friendship time!

These dorks. These expectations for the concept of friendship are impossible.

Let's do this thingNo one is going to blame you if you never played through Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The game takes a bare minimum of 60 hours to complete, the battle system is complicated and poorly conveyed (there are distinct techniques you can use to maximize damage, but they are about as transparent as the Kingdom Hearts plot), and the general aesthetic of the adventure is best described as “bubblegum horny”. It is a bad sign when your heroines are popular enough to appear in another, tremendously more popular franchise, but they must put some extra clothes on to get through the door. As an adult that has some modicum of respect for my own time (lies) and people who could rock shiny, red bikinis (but choose not to), I will personally forgive anyone that passed on Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

But I am also glad I finally pulled the trigger on Xenoblade Chronicles 2, as the parallels between this title and my beloved Xenosaga franchise are significant. In fact, if it were anyone but Monolith Soft putting out this title, XC2 would lead to a team of lawyers being dispatched for copyright infringement. Tell me if you have heard this one before…