Xenoblade Chronicles

Good
  • Fantastic combat flow across party members with mechanics that encourage you to consider your strategy
  • Large open world environments that encourage exploration
Bad
  • Voice acting weakens some of the important story or party relationship sequences
  • Some reliance on RNG in quest design that can cause frustration for those unlucky players
8

Xenoblade Chronicles mixes sci-fi with the Japanese RPG genre to create a streamlined adventure that does away with a number of unnecessary features that have plagued the genre in the past. With a vast open world for players to explore the zones, side quests and your party are all central to your own unique story. The game was released in North America in 2012 for the Nintendo Wii before being ported to the Nintendo 3DS in 2015 and lastly being remastered for the Nintendo Switch in 2020.

xenoblade-chronicles-gameplay-titans

The setting for this role playing adventure is one centred around Bionis and Mechonis who are two large frozen bodies of titans at war. On each of these you’ll find a different race of people with the human inspired Homs worshipping Bionis while the machine race of Mechon is aligned with Mechonis. Central to the lore is also the powerful sword artefact known is the Monado that is said to have been used by Bionis themselves and empowers the holder which us currently the player known as Shulk.

With the legendary energy blade in hand players begin their adventure by defending an attack on their village of Volony 9 from a Mechon known as Metal Face. Following the battle players team up with a group of friends with their own personalities and abilities who combined with your visions of the future from the Monado allow you to begin your journey of revenge against Metal Face. Along the way your party makeup and decisions will be enhanced through the affinity system where the interpersonal relationships between characters are explored through heart-to-heart moments and impact on the party infinity level.

xenoblade-chronicles-gameplay-world

The game world of Xenoblade Chronicles that players are unleashed on is unique compared to similar games in the genre in that it encourages a free roaming style of exploration rather than the linear exploration you may have seen before. Central to this is the day and night cycle that impacts the world around the player by changing not only enemies and their power level but also may change the events or quests that are available. To further encourage exploration players will find a save anywhere mechanic and large special landmarks that serve as warp points between areas.

As a result of this exploration players will quickly find themselves in either random combat or combat based on a quest task which each allow you to progress through the third important pillar of gameplay, item collection. Combat itself is real time action based where players control their chosen character from the party to attack enemies while other party members auto-attack opponents that come into range. Combining basic attacks and special talents known as Arts you’ll manage health, cooldowns, the party gauge, aggro ring and character tension which all ensure an optimised player can slice through enemies with great precision.

xenoblade-chronicles-gameplay-combat

On the item front you’ll find achievement through the Collectopaedia which records your discoveries and unlocks new tiers of items for your progression. Alongside these pieces of equipment a gem crafting mini game mechanic allows you to turn crystal currency into useful battle stats when equipped on your heroes.

Summary:

  • Engaging and unique storyline that is set on the back of two frozen titans and two distinct races (human and mechanical).
  • Action focused gameplay through the real time party combat with a number of mechanics to optimise.
  • Free roam exploration focus that supports save anywhere and warp points to encourage you to push deep into the lands.
  • Develop your party relationships and their equipment with each combat or story sequence.
  • Originally for Nintendo Wii and 3DS with a remaster on Nintendo Switch.

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Review Platform: Wii

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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