It took a solid half hour to complete the Exorcist fight in the Bravely Second demo and that delivered more joy than the hours I have logged into Xenoblade. Looking at the demo's clock, I have spent nearly eleven whole hours with a demo. Good gravy. Same amount of time with Xenoblade. Vastly different levels of fun. Having heard it so praised, I went into Xenoblade a bit skeptical to begin with and if I was a little more self centered I might think it was some sort of trick on me just because, wow. What a bland game.
As a huge fan of RPGs I'm super struggling to see the appeal of Xenoblade. Story, characters, combat, art-direction, it all falls flat. I can't even get angry about it like I do with FF12. Vaan and Ashe annoy me to such levels that I get passionately angry about FF12. That's something. Matsuno's work may stir up the polar opposite of love in me, but it makes me feel. Xenoblade is only offensive in how boring it is.
The Bravely series may not be action-y, but each turn I'm thinking of what I should do. Maybe I should just repeat what I did last round, but I am making a choice. In Xenoblade I'm just activating every skill that is currently usable and then waiting for the bars to fill again. I couldn't tell you how one skill differs from another and I'm not sure if it matters. Maybe later on in the game, but ten hours in and I'm just struggling to see anything that makes this deserving of the heaps of praise it gets.
I can see the connections to games like FF12 and MMOs, but the only reason I see myself logging into FF14 is to do the grind to spend some social time playing with people. In the case of Xenoblade there's none of that. There's not really anything in the game, actually.
Bravely Second is out today and my Amazon order should arrive tomorrow. Whoops! At least I had the chance to finish off the demo so I get some bonus items. Maybe an Ether or something! Hell, they punish me in Bravely Second for having played the demo and it still would have been worth it for the eleven fun hours the demo gave me.