REVIEW

REVIEW

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

August 16, 2022

GOOD

  • Fantastic, epic story
  • Beautiful, built-out world
  • I could listen to the OST all day

BAD

  • Maybe a bit too long (100+ hours for completionists)
  • Combat can start to feel routine
  • Some technical issues throughout the game

GOOD

GOOD

If you are an RPG or JRPG fan, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is definitely a game to pick up for your Nintendo Switch. Take it slow and enjoy everything this excellent game has to offer.

Nintendo often leads the industry with its levels of enchanting weirdness, and, over the years, the Xenoblade series has been one of the prime examples of this. Happily, the strangeness of the world that Xenoblade takes place in is no different in this third instalment will be comforting for returning players. However, the good news for new payers is that you honestly don’t need to have played the other games to enjoy the latest adventure thanks to the way it introduces you to all that the world has to offer. And the great thing I can say off the bat is that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 shines in knowing exactly who/what it is. And despite this, it’s hard to compare it directly with anything else and that’s a combination hard to find in the industry these days.

Emotional Attachments

Interestingly, at the start, the characters aren’t overly unique and they all tend to fit into some or other Japanese anime cliche. However, how each of the character’s individual stories played out and their growth throughout what I found to be a bit of a drawn-out game (about 100 hours if played thoroughly) is actually why I became so emotionally attached to them; A character who I once thought was a bit of an idiot actually became a favourite once I learned what he had been through.

…how each of the character’s individual stories played out and their growth throughout… is actually why I became so emotionally attached to them

The story centres around two countries or regions at war with each other. Why? We aren’t too sure. Through some story-based events, the main characters are forced into exile from their respective nations and into cooperation with each other. The game gives each character their own time to shine, with fully voiced backstories, sidequests, and cutscenes and really draws you in. That being said I did find that sometimes there was a bit of a disconnect between action and story. I’d often be immersed in gameplay and then the next moment, I was suddenly in the middle of a fully-fledged anime cutscene. While this is where and how most of the story played out – I do think the snapping back and forth may irritate some players.

Beauty and Battles

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes you from open plains to deserts and snowy mountains, with each locale bringing its own weird monsters along. There are some amazing vistas to behold. And yet, while the game is massive and beautiful, I found there is very little that makes or incentivises you to run off the beaten path to explore. Most crafting materials or quest items can be gathered by killing an enemy on your way to the next location. And if you avoid running off to collect things, you may get through the game in a solid 50 hours or so.

Combat, while an interesting core mechanic in the early game, starts to feel a little routine later…

When looking at combat, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 falls slightly short of that full “Best Nintendo game I have ever played” award. After 100 hours with the game, combat, while an interesting and a core mechanic in the early game, starts to feel a little routine and something that doesn’t require much in terms of tactics or forethought later. When you’re close to an enemy, your currently selected character will start auto-attacking until you start using special attacks called Arts. Arts drastically change the flow of combat and can require you to move around the battlefield in a strategic way to get the best out of them.

During combat, each character on your roster has a role, so you can think of it like a ‘tank/damage/healer’ situation. Since you are only one person though, you can only be controlling one character at a time, issuing broad instructions to the rest of the team. The AI really surprised me by how responsive it was to tactical calls and even when just left to its own devices, the flow of battle was never destroyed by a stupid AI call. A great part of the game is that you can unlock and try additional classes and skills on your favourite character, levelling up the class and arts as you play. This leaves a lot of space for someone who likes a grind, and I did enjoy having the choice.

Mesmeric Music 

Lastly, the OST…

It is simply beautiful!

Sure, having an affecting chat in camp or fighting a monster three times taller than you is very special. But then adding outstanding music in the background just carries every experience to the next level. It is really spectacular.

Outstanding music in the background just carries every experience to the next level.

Flute-ing Finish

If you are an RPG or JRPG fan, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is definitely a game to pick up for your Nintendo Switch. Take it slow and enjoy everything this excellent game has to offer.

Written by Kelly Stretch

Luigi is better than Mario.
August 16, 2022

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