Review: Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition (Nintendo Switch)

A sprawling RPG classic is reborn in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition for Nintendo Switch. In the aftermath of a devastating invasion, embark on a journey that will take you beyond the horizon. Can you change the future, or is your race doomed to extinction.

Pros:

  • Beautiful graphics.
  • 13.7gb download size.
  • Own in-game achievements.
  • Save when you want outside of battle.
  • Rpg gameplay.
  • Tutorial tips as you play with a central collection of tips and tutorials.
  • Invert axis and sensitivity slider.
  • 3 save slots and one autosave slot.
  • Difficulties-casual and expert mode. Can freely swap between them at will.
  • If you have a Xenoblade 2 save you can opt into getting 100,000 starting gold.
  • Battle and field music can be original or arranged soundtracks.
  • Notification and pop up settings.
  • Open world.
  • Play how you want.
  • Combat-you have a bar full of attacks with cooldowns and can swap between them at will. Normal attacks are auto when in range.
  • Damage numbers pop off in such a satisfying way.
  • Recruit team members-you can swap between them, call out commands in battle.
  • Big boss battles.
  • Blue orbs on the ground are items you can pick up.
  • Button prompts on-screen to help the game become very accessible.
  • Find towns to buy and sell goods in.
  • Can wear new equipment but have the appearance of any equipment you have had.
  • The main mission and many many optional side quests.
  • The world has a lot of verticalities.
  • Side quests will complete and you don’t have to go and hand them in.
  • Earn EXP, level up, and increase your abilities but also work towards skill points to put I  to a skill tree to unlock new abilities and buffs.
  • Affinity-work with your team, find points on the map, and build your infinity for better combat options and the ability to chain attacks.
  • Little to no loading once you are in the game.
  • Cutscenes look gorgeous. (skippable)
  • Combat takes place in a ringed off the arena and you are free to move around in it.
  • Attacks can require precise actions like an attack from the side, behind, you can topple a monster to do more damage. Do chain attacks with your team.
  • Lock-on system for targeting.
  • Treasure chests with loot drops from all enemies.
  • Discover new locations to have them appear on the map.
  • Such amazing vistas and locations.
  • Mine ore.
  • Enemies/creatures will have icons over their heads to say if they are nonhostile, hostile, a side mission quest.
  • Time attack mode-take part in them to earn items to then trade. There are two-time attack styles-free (pick your team) and restricted (fixed party). It’s all based on level and story progression.
  • Time attack has its own set of local leaderboards and rank given on performance.
  • Day/night cycle.
  • Autorun button.
  • Trading with characters is on a one by one item basis but your item has to be worth more than the item you want.
  • Visions–at times you can see what’s about to happen and vision gives you a chance to change the outcome and warn others. Vision also kicks in when finding an item for future quests.
  • Can revive and help team members in battle.
  • Very moreish.
  • Absolute time sink.

Cons:

  • A lot to take in.
  • Slow starter.
  • Item management is a nightmare with a menu upon menu just to see if the gear is any good.
  • No compare gear button in the shops.
  • Grinding begins to show its ugly head and is needed to progress.

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Accessibility - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Fun Factor - 8/10
8.4/10

Summary

This is Xenoblade, that sentiment alone means you get a game of a grand design, explore the massive open world, take part in huge battles, and engage with the ever sprawling story. Well, that’s the plan anyway, for the first few hours it was a case of getting used to how the combat works as it is simple looking but has varying levels of depth. It’s like MMO combat, you auto-attack with basic attacks and then press buttons to do special moves and they are on a constant timer, you are free to move around and it has all the flashing damage numbers and team combos but it does carry a slight learning curve, a lot of systems are at play and despite the game trying to help with pop-ups and tips it just takes a few hours for it all to settle in your brain. Away from combat and it’s a much easier play experience, run around the world and collect items and find secrets, do missions and take on fights, you can swim and find fast travel and like I say it’s all on a grand scale that makes you feel small in a mass living world. I would find myself just wondering around the world and taking in the scenery, leveling up as I go and admiring the beauty of it all. The story didn’t really grab me but it was necessary so I could get the advancements of the player and the world. Items are everywhere and with that, I never knew what I was collecting or indeed what to do with them, missions were clearly signposted but carried huge difficulty spikes leaving you to work it out once it’s too late and then running off to grind out your level and attacks. I can easily describe the game as fun as hell for like a dozen maybe a double dozen of hours but I grew tired of the mission structure, the avalanche of side quests and items, mechanics and systems that were poorly implemented and the constant feeling of needing to grind. Overall it starts strong but begins to drag its heels and add arbitrary difficulty curves. I don’t have extensive gaming knowledge of the series as I came in at X but X had a real sense of advancement and for me is the top bar I hold all other titles too and this one is much lower than X.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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