Clash of the Titans!
Xenoblade Chronicles was first released on the Wii, then got a re-release on the Nintendo 3DS. It’s a JRPG that mostly avoided my radar. However, that all changed when Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition was announced for the Nintendo Switch. It has been given the polish that a ‘soft remaster’ would command. After 30+ hours with the game so far, it’s one of the best JRPGs on the market today and I would say the Nintendo Switch is the perfect place for it.
Xenobalde Chronicles Definitive Edition is a game that will demand your time. I’m about 35 hours in and I still think that I’ve barely touched the surface. Research does suggest that this game is around 60 hours long all in all so I would figure I’m just over halfway at the moment. On top of the main story, there is a second mode which adds a whole new story, set after the events of the main game. To have almost 100 hours of content just reaffirms that this game will take a lot of your time, so make sure you dedicate yourself to it before going into any other game.
If like me you didn’t play the game when it first came out, the main story revolves around the battle of two Titans; Bionis and Mechonis. They thought to the very death and with that, people (known as Hums) live on the Bionis itself. You are put into the role of main protagonist Shulk, as he and his friends battle together against the army of Mechonis, as they invade the world and try and take of different colonies. I wanted to be very brief and sparse regarding the details of the story so that you can fully enjoy this yourself. Already, I have seen plenty of twist and turns, many unexpected that have seen me on the edge of my seat. This is a game that throws you one way and then the next in the blink of an eye!
One thing that I’ll say about this is the difficulty. JRPG veterans will almost certainly love the difficulty that is offered here. It’s hard and there are a few spikes along the way that will mean you’ll need to go back and grind that extra bit more to overcome the bosses along the way. I have spent way more time grinding and getting my characters levelled up than I usually would. However, there is a casual option in the menus which is probably suited for the more casual of gamer that just wants to enjoy the story without any major distractions. Bosses can be annoying but that’s about it. I’ve used the casual option a couple of times so far, something I’m not afraid to admit! It just makes the whole experience a little less daunting.
With turned-based battle systems being my favourites, it was really good to see a kind of hybrid system of realtime action with turned based features in the game. MMO lovers will feel right at home with the system here. Artes (spells) are all located In the lower regions of the screen and are selected with the directional buttons on the joycon controllers. As with MMOs, you’ll have to wait in order for the spell to reload before you can use it again. As you level up the characters, you can also level up the Artes available to you, this can make them more powerful and also reduce the time that they take to load back up ready for you use them once again.
Affinity is a big feature in the battle system itself. If you pay attention to the top left-hand corner, the affinity bar will fill over time with 3 different sections. Once one section has been filled, you can then revive a fallen character. Fill all three bars and you can unleash a chain attack between your characters. This will then allow you to chain attacks together, unrivalled by your enemy. There are also ‘chances’ where if you press B at the right time, you can add further attacks to your chain. This is certainly something I recommend you use against the bosses rather than standard enemies. When not in a battle, you’ll notice that the affinity bar will deplete.
Xenoblade Chronicles looks fantastic on the Nintendo Switch, more so when the console is docked and you’re playing it in on your TV. It’s obvious that a lot of work has gone into the visual side of things here and Monolith has done a superb job with the definitive edition. The areas of the Bonis are all fantastic to look at and it’s a true testament to the work that the developers have done on the game that it’s looking like it is now a true Nintendo Switch game in its own right. The voice-acting is superb here. The actors and actresses all do a fantastic job in portraying the story and the emotion really comes across well. It’s definitely better than a lot of JRPGs that I have played
There is no doubt about it that bringing the first Xenoblade Chronicles to the switch was a good decision. Whilst Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is available, I feel that this will now open up the series to a whole host of new players and really take the series to new heights. I’m engrossed as ever in the game, and once completing it fully will be getting Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
A Review Code was provided by Nintendo