| Original message (157 Views )
| || "Xanadu Next is a game I started playing" , posted Wed 12 Jul 04:07|
Recalling Chaz's gushing remarks about Xanadu Next, I picked it up on steam sale. I think the first hour of it really gripped me with the sensation of adventure! I do feel like the next hour and a half felt a little less magical because I had to keep running back to town to buy keys. It feels more RPG than Ys, but its Ys roots are evident. It has a slightly slower pace to its combat in which you often circle the opponent to evade and strike the side or back for bonus damage, and very wisely the first attack of the attack chain has lengthy recovery but can be quickly chained into another attack, giving a simple but delightful thrill. The stat requirements for gear would probably today give you a real Dark Souls vibe. Amusingly, I didn't discover the basic attack button immediately and thought you had to only use weapon skills and spells, which have limited uses until you rest! That gave me a real thrill of wondering who should I fight and how far to delve into the dungeon.
I think the way the price of keys goes up as you buy them but you can sell bones to bring the price back down is a very funny mechanic. I think having and needing universal keys for opening things and being able to find them in a variety of places tickled my fancy until it became apparent just how often I'd be delving straight ahead and then needing to run all the way back home. The game impressively does not respawn enemies you've defeated until you rest, which today would also feel very Dark Souls.
The game simultaneously feels old and yet ahead of its time. It feels closer to a PSX game than a PS2 game in spite of being released in 2005 for Windows (it didn't have a console release unless you count the Ngage port), and when compared to 2005 releases that were state of the art like Shadow of the Colossus or MGS3 or GTA San Andreas it definitely feels like something from a past era. But it has a cloistered sense of mystery and adventure that is compelling, with a pace to your adventuring that still feels brisk if not for the running back and forth for keys.
I think it will scratch an itch for many here that has been nagging but dulled by the years, and I would certainly recommend giving it a try now that it's on sale.
Someone please tell chaz.