Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition developed by Monster Games and Monolith Soft is now available on the Nintendo Switch.

When it comes to JRPG’s I haven’t played many, I’ve never been one to fall in love with the anime’s and manga’s that are available and I felt growing up, most were turn-based RPG’s which is a genre I never touch. I started seeing more of these JRPG’s looking way more appealing, more to my tastes in games and Xenoblade Chronicles was one I wanted to play. I was lucky enough to get a review copy and finally get to experience it myself and on the Nintendo Switch which I can take around the house with me in this unbearable heatwave, the UK is having. Xenoblade Chronicles is an open-world action RPG that puts you into the shoes of Shulk a young Homs scientist who lives on Colony 9 on Bionis. During an attack from Machina warriors, the Mechon Shulk gains access to the Monado a sword that wields the power to defeat the machines. After Shulk managed to wield the sword sadly it doesn’t all go to plan and due to Shulk being so inexperienced his home Colony 9 is lost. Forged on a path of revenge Shulk will travel the Xenoblade Universe and put an end to the war once and for all. I won’t go into spoilers as the story is quite gripping and it can take over 50+ hours to complete but with fleshed-out characters, great voice acting and fantastically created cutscenes, it pulls you in from the get-go. I felt when going into Xenoblade Chronicles it was a big game but not as big as this, it took quite a while for me to get into, but everything is well explained, none of it felt overly complicated, it played out well and I did grow attached to the game’s lore of two gods like beings fighting to the death and years later humans and mechanoid humans creating civilisations on the two of them, it was unlike any story I’d experienced before.

Onto gameplay, I found the systems daunting at first, luckily you are offered great tutorials that are easy to read and pick up but I felt lost at first in Colony 9. I was picking up side-quests but not knowing what to do with them, I was getting into fights I was not powerful enough for and the list of mistakes I made goes on. Luckily the further you go the game guides you, me being a complete newbie the whole time wasn’t the games fault, sometimes I find some video-games full of so much to learn it can get a little overwhelming but Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition does help you and let you go back to tutorials to learn more. Eventually, I got the hang of the combat system in which your party members will auto-attack enemies on command but you can select arts which are special moves in battle to gain the upper hand, you can even use team powers to unleash devastating damage on the enemy which is great. At first, I didn’t know what to think of the system, during the intro I thought it would be a hack and slash style, it isn’t but what the system is doing, works. For some reason, I just cannot stand turn-based RPG’s I feel like Xenoblade Chronicles tries to border between real-time action and command-based combat rather than pressing a button to smash that enemy, and that item, I grew to like it.

Xenoblade is chock full of things to do, side quests are plenty, exploration is rewarding and beautiful, the story-quests are engaging and thrilling and so much more. I never ran out of things to do while playing Xenoblade. It’s one of those games I can plug into the TV, relax and get lost in. What I enjoyed most was levelling these characters I was getting to know more as I played and testing out new equipment, levelling their arts and gaining buff items to see what helped and what didn’t along the way, the game encourages you to explore every little bit and I loved that.

I never got to see the original but I did check out some YouTube videos and you can see graphically that it has been upgraded a bit but I think most of the details went into the character designs and overall simplifying the game to be more accessible. I loved seeing the amazingly hand-crafted environments of this World and also listening to the well-composed music along the way though I feel it could get quite intense in even the quietest moments.

Verdict

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition is a game I will keep on playing for a while, it’s a behemoth of a game full of content everywhere you look which is great but also quite daunting at first. The systems in place after reading tutorials and having more time with eventually does get a lot easier but again can be quite overwhelming. I didn’t experience any bugs or issues, it is a beautifully crafted game but I feel that a lot of time needs to go into it, it’s not a game you can just play for 5 minutes and expect to make progress, you’ll need a lot of time to experience it all and if you can experience it all you’re in for a treat.

8.5/10

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