Originally released in June 2010 for the Nintendo Wii, Xenoblade Chronicles is a JRPG developed by Monolith Soft and Monster Games. It didn’t sell as well as some other games on the Wii, but the fact that they decided to remaster and re-release it on the Nintendo Switch as Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition should say a lot about its popularity. I, for one, missed out on Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii, so when I saw a remaster coming out I was pretty stoked to get my hands on it. After playing the sequel on Nintendo Switch, I just had to get myself a copy. When I was offered a review code to take a look, I leapt at the opportunity. Strap in, we’re about to get into Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition.
The story begins with a battle between two Colossal titans called Bionis and Mechonis. They continue to battle until they eventually pierce each other with their swords at the same time. Life eventually flourished upon the bodies of the dead titans. From Bionis came the Homs, and from Mechonis, the Mechon. The two races continue the battle that started with the titans. You play as a boy named Shulk, whose town comes under attack because it contains the legendary sword that can defeat the Mechons called Monado. After the Mechon are driven out of the colony, Shulk and his friend set out on a quest for revenge on the new type of Mechon that attacked the city.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition has one of the more interesting battle setups I’ve seen in all my years of playing JRPGs. You can freely move around within the limit of the arena that opens up when you begin combat. Characters will perform auto-attacks every couple of seconds. Moving around allows you to align yourself in certain positions versus the enemies. Doing this will allow certain skills to gain additional status effects or do bonus damage.
In terms of the world itself, you get a wide range of side quests to tackle along with the main story. Some of the side quests will require you to find items scattered around the world, while others will require you to kill monsters or just do some dialogue between characters. Collecting items around the world will allow you to fill out a collectopaedia. Filling categories on the collectopaedia will reward you with items that can help you along in your journey.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition looks incredible for a game that came out on the Wii originally. Fully remastered in high definition the amount of detail in the environments is breathtaking. Some of the vistas you’ll encounter along your journey are worthy of taking the time to sit and enjoy them. Playing on the Nintendo Switch gives the game a little extra oomph, making it run beautifully smooth. I spent a good many hours checking this game out, before writing, and I only very occasionally encountered any sort of frame rate issues. It was usually when I came up against big groups of enemies when there were heavy rain effects.
The audio in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is incredible. The voice acting is superb, giving the characters’ emotions real feeling when they’re speaking with each other during cutscenes. The soundtrack… ohh, the soundtrack. It’s outstanding. Composed by industry veteran such as Yoko Shimomura, Yasunori Mitsuda, Manami Kiyota, and ACE+, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is blessed with incredible music and sound direction.
This one’s a doozy. Fairly typical of JRPGs are its length. The main story of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition can take anywhere from 60-80 hours to beat. Combine that with all the side content like side quests and achievements and challenges adding 40-50 more hours of gameplay. On top of that, there is even an additional post story chapter added to the game adding another 10-20 hours of gameplay. To finish 100% of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, you could be looking at 140+ hours, making this an insanely content-rich game.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is an incredible remaster of an already great game. If you own a Switch and are a fan of densely packed RPGs, this one is definitely one you won’t want to miss. Because of everything I’ve discussed, I’m awarding it the Thumb Culture Platinum Award. You should go play it, right now. Like… RIGHT NOW.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.
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