Xenoblade Chronicles has given me OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a serious condition. According to the Federal Medical Encyclopedia, OCD is defined as an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted obsessions, or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions). While playing Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii, I’m afraid I have been afflicted.
Developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo, Xenoblade is truly a stand-alone game. In a market saturated with gun battles, explosions, and action-sequences, the JRPG has been a declining breed in the West. The embraced imports of the 90’s: Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, the Tales series, and Pokemon have been replaced in popularity with pumped-up, testosterone fueled counterparts. All is not lost. For those striving to cure their RPG fix, Xenoblade may just be the answer to your prayers.
Be warned however, this is no ordinary game. Xenoblade is massive in scope, easily surpassing 100+ hours filled with exploration, side quests, and extras to pursue. For “completionist” players like me who prefer to tackle all alternative activities before the main story, this game might just give you a serious case of gaming OCD.
I’ve played expansive titles before don’t get me wrong, but the sheer level at which the open-ended gameplay is presented is at times overwhelming. Xenoblade’s environment almost feels like an MMORPG, with an entire world ripe to explore from the get go. If you’re feeling a little ambitious and decide to travel too far in one direction, you might just encounter a level 95 super beast, who is longing for the opportunity to trample you into the ground. This isn’t a negative aspect of the game, rather, an opportunity to strive for greatness and train your party to the limit. Encountering these almighty creatures littered throughout the landscape makes journeying a mix of vast enjoyment and sudden danger.
The battle system is great, and the adventure elements are well appreciated, but the real kicker is the immeasurable quantity of side quests. This is where obsessive gaming comes into play. After reaching a new area or completing a portion of plot, a plethora of side missions become available to you. Marked with an “!”, characters with this symbol provide the key to many, many quests. These quest-givers are not small in numbers mind you; expect to have dozens of open missions at any given time. Not only must you find the individuals indicated with a floating exclamation point, you must then complete their quest, which can range anywhere from 5 minutes to over an hour. Thus, A cycle of side questing and story questing begins.
When playing Xenoblade, I am over come with an immense need to complete the various extra activities that come my way. Besides a sense of gamer pride, my insistence on completing every single task that crosses my path is fueled by rewards of experience and plentiful amounts of gold.
Therefore, every time I move forward, even slightly, with the main story, I must dedicate an hour or more to my persistent need to collect, complete, and accomplish.
Have you ever experienced an obsessive need to collect or complete things in a video game? Share your story below.