Developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the third instalment of the widely popular RPG. It was released on the 22nd of July, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
Is It The Best Number 3 In Any Franchise?
The first two instalments of Xenoblade Chronicles are arguably some of the best RPGs to ever be made. Who knows what heights they would have reached if they weren’t Nintendo exclusives? Now after five long-awaited years fans are finally playing the sequel. If it is half as good as the original two then it will surely be a hit. So let’s find out, shall we?
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Trying to explain the story of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a task all in itself without giving away spoilers. As the game really is an experience that needs to be had without going into it with too much information so I’ll just go around the edges of the story.
Set years after the events of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Three soldiers Noah, Lanz, and Eunie are given orders to investigate a signal from a mysterious ship but as the ship is shot down they are forced to work with three soldiers from a rival nation and put aside their differences to expose a new threat to the world.
The gameplay itself is a step up from the previous games as this time you get to have six members in your party rather than three. On the odd occasion through the game, you’ll also get a seventh character that will help you on your journey. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses and a job class but what’s good about the job class system is that each character can train to do something different. You can spread out each class evenly or just have everyone in the same class and go nuts.
As mentioned the seventh party members you can recruit are little companions you can find on your travels. These little guys are called Heroes and they have a class system all on their own so it’s wise to recruit as many as you can and use them to their full potential. But you can only have one of these Heroes in your party at any one time.
Combat is a case of it’s easy to pick up but hard to master. It does hold your hand a lot in giving tutorials. In fact, the tutorials can get really annoying at times because they just seem endless. You could be 50 hours deep into the game and you’ll still get a tutorial popping up for something. It just goes to show you the vast amount of content there is to do.
Once within range and an enemy spots you, you can initiate combat where all characters will attack the enemy or enemies on their own. However, there are Arts that you can initiate with their own cooldown. If you use certain Arts correctly, such as from the side or behind, these then charge up another larger combo attack. The layout of everything kinda gives you the feeling that you’re playing an MMO but in offline mode.
The combos are so fun to do because there are so many of them and the more combo chain you get then the more damage you do. It won’t be long before players will take full advantage of this and get some crazy scores that will probably make any enemy in the game a walkover.
Graphics and Audio
The graphics are the usual fantasy, anime style that you would expect from the Xenoblade series. But with this game, they have been enhanced and polished for the current generation. There are some frame drops here and there but you basically don’t notice them because you’re enjoying the game too much to notice.
What else would you expect than the very best when it comes to the score and soundtrack in a JRPG? It is just absolutely fantastic. A true fan of the genre will know exactly what I’m talking about because shouting from the rooftops about it doesn’t do it justice. Every musical piece just hit you right in the feels and makes you enjoy the journey even more. Nintendo, please release a soundtrack on LP.
Some video games out there are huge when it comes to gameplay and story, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Breath Of The Wild, and The Witcher 3. Now Xenoblade Chronicles 3 can be added to the list. The amount of stuff you can do in this game is mind-blowing. The main story itself will set you back around 60 hours with a casual playthrough.
If you wish to do all the sidequests and the crazy abundance of extras the game has to offer then get ready for at least 100 hours. Play it, enjoy it, savour it.
My final thought on Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is that maybe, just maybe the Nintendo Switch could have found its game of the year. It’s an experience that will stay with you forever and has the ability to make a grown man cry. Words are pointless right now so all I’m going to say is. That if you have a Nintendo Switch then it is an absolute must to play this game.
So it’s with great pleasure that I give Xenoblade Chronicles 3 the Thumb Culture Platinum Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.