I do think you have a point when you say that the original Xenoblade set the tone to the series as both 1 and 2 are story based, unlike X which is gameplay based, so on top of the fact that the base story is much worse than 1 and 2, each time you wanted to progress the story you had to do tasks like finish this side quest and explore this much land, which kind of made the game annoying and tedious for anyone playing for story, so the only time they did those exploration and side quests was as a chore instead of fun and thus never did it when story was actually available. Due to this, of which I can say from experience, Affinity quests never get experienced which is honestly the best part of the story.
The character writing is honestly really strong and I missed it completely for my first 60-80hours of gameplay. I’d say its a very simple fix that would rate this game as an actual contender to the other xenoblade chronicles games. Don’t force exploration and it will likely come naturally to players. During my first year of starting the game I rated it around a 6/10-7/10 but now it would be an easy 10/10 (I dont consider 10/10 a perfect score, just a really solid game even if I don’t like it.). If I was to compare this games world to the first xeno and breath of the wild I would rate it higher than zeldas and lower than the original xenos. For breath of the wild, although it had plenty of stuff to do, it felt flat as the stuff in it wernt interesting and neither was hyrule. Both Xeno 1 and X added an interesting environment such as having groups of animals run at different times of day, which made it feel more lively. I would rate Xeno 1 slightly higher as it mingled with the story really well as well as the Bionis was just cool such as seeing different parts of the titan like the head from the arm or actually going on the mechonis.
An interesting video actually on the environment of xeno 1 including areas in the games files that never get used in the game. Some of those areas seem to be going into the switch port based on trailer analysis. That isnt mentioned in the video though as this was years ago before 2 I think.
This actually does exist in Xeno 2 by spending items earned in challenge mode (DLC), its not 100% fashion as it requires one AUX core slot but other than that it changes you characters visuals, such as making your character wear a swimsuit, etc
Also although this isn’t xeno X, its close enough, Spoilers Xenoblade 2 or basic protagonist knowledge about Torna; the Golden Country (Recommended if you haven’t played). Yes I consider this a spoiler!!! Don’t fight me Torna may be a separate game but it spoilers some really good parts of Xeno 2
I still can’t draw characters But that bush mmmm. Loose character reference very little background references just for the scales, mostly personally created like the lake, bushes and tree. I have been wanting to draw something from Torna for a while and this thread made me decide to do it. Used A4 instead of B4 so could actually scan in at least unlike most my images I draw, so I could screentone digitally for once. Feed back is welcome, espcially the backgrounds as I know where all the issues are with my characters.
P.S I cant draw digitally, just checkout my planetarian fanart, I did the outline for Yumemi and the rest colours and the other characters was digital. So yeah screentones is all I can do.
Had lots of fun with this so might actually do one for X, will likely feature Elma, maybe Lin as well with a skell in the background? Will probably be in Noctilium.