Xenoblade Chronicles is one of those JRPGs that I started about 50 times but for some reason never saw it through. The combination of playing it on the Wii, coupled with all the extra games that were clogging up my library simply meant that every time I would get somewhere in the game – something else would steal my interest away and I wouldn’t get around to getting past the 15 hour mark in the game.
This could be blamed on those other games or it could simply be that the games battle system, characters, graphics and story just didn’t seem to resonate with me no matter how hard I tried to tell myself that it was a game I HAD to play.
It’s worth noting then that since it’s release a week ago (at the time of writing) I have soared past the 35 hours mark and I am showing no signs of stopping.
Firstly, the combat system of Xenoblade Chronicles has sank it’s teeth into me hard. The game plays almost identically to the combat system found in Final Fantasy XII in that you target an enemy, hit go and the basic attacks are done automatically with a predetermined cooldown in place. The main difference I have found so far is that, rather than cycling through menus to pick spells or specific attacks, you are setup with 8 different hotkeys that you can bind various attacks or spells to and cycle through at ease.
This is enhanced once you unlock the Monado (special weapon in which the game revolves around – more on this shortly) in the early stages of the game as it gives you a secondary menu tailored to Monado specific attacks which are most effective against a certain subset of enemies.
This leads quite nicely into the Story of Xenoblade Chronicles – which I absolutely adore so far. You play as Shulk, a timid researcher living in Colony 9 which is situated on the shell of an ancient robot from an even more ancient war. Your town is attacked by the “Mechon” a race of enemy robots (I think) that are invincible from attacks from normal weaponry. The Mechon can only be damaged by the “Monado” a weapon which holds many a secret and as far as we are aware can only be wielded by a character called Dunban – but at a price.
This is until, in all classic video game fashion, it turns out that YOU (Shulk) can also wield the weapon. Some events happen that causes Shulk to vow to eliminate every Mechon (particularly one specific Faced Mechon) and thus the main adventure begins.
I won’t spoil the story past this point as I am aware many of you may be picking this game up for the first ever and would prefer if I didn’t.
The first thing I noticed when booting up the title was the new gloss of paint that has been given to the characters and the world. If I didn’t know better and you told me this game was originally on the WII and still didn’t look great for that generation, I absolutely wouldn’t believe you. The graphical upgrade featured on the Switch version of this game makes even the sequel look bad in comparison.
Couple this with the updated score of an already stellar soundtrack, the Definitive Edition quickly becomes the ONLY version of this game that you should be looking to play. Everything that was good in the original has been improved beyond belief.
There is also an additional chapter that helps to bridge the gap between Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and 2 – I believe this is the case anyway as I am yet to delve into that one until I have beaten the storyline.
I honestly cannot put Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition down. I play it docked whenever I can and if the wife ever wants the TV for anything, I find myself continuing my game until the batter on my Switch dies hours later – without even realising any time has passed in the real world.
Xenoblade Chronicles is without a doubt my favourite JRPG on the Nintendo Switch and potentially my favourite that I have played this generation.
I give Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition a:
The Definitive edition has perfected the title in so many ways and easily surpasses the original game. The game is housed perfectly on the Nintendo Switch encompassing everything great about the console.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is a must have Nintendo Switch title for any JRPG fan that is looking for something to really get their teeth into.