Xenoblade Chronicles 3 feels like a step back in time. It’s been a while since a JRPG like this takes on the genre’s tropes and makes them work in an electrifying fashion. However, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 does bring some modern additions that make it incredibly addicting to the average RPG fan. Hopefully, this Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review will help you understand why it’s one of 2022’s best games so far.
An Intriguing World to Explore
Despite the limitations of the Nintendo Switch hardware, developer Monolift Soft has always impressed its audience with the scenic views players experience in the Xenoblade Chronicles series. Thankfully, the Japanese studio has outdone themselves even further with Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Time and time again, I found myself taking pictures by pressing L and R together over and over.
The graphics pale in comparison to the likes of Horizon: Forbidden West or Halo Infinite, but what makes up for the lower quality textures is the art behind the environments. The strange rocky forms of the mountains that surround Noah and the gang are incredible to gaze at.
The fields of grass or a desert landscape can feel empty in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, but what mildly helps with that complaint is the variety of creatures you’ll find in the world. The habitat takes all different forms from large beasts you have no chance of beating to smaller rabbit-like creatures that you can take out at a lower level. Each of the creature designs enriches the world around you as they make sense with the environment they’re from.
There’s also a tonne of ingredients to find around each landscape that will help you improve your skills and cook new recipes. In addition, there are quests to finish from NPC’s that will net you gold for gathering a certain type of item or defeating a certain animal species.
Overall, the open-world design is a little simpler than most in the RPG genre, but the beautiful scenic routes and ingredient search will keep you entertained.
The Combat Has Been Refined
One of the biggest downfalls for some who like the JRPG genre are turn-based battle systems. They find them slow and not natural enough to proceed through. While Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has some strange visual quirks, any JRPG fan should feel satisfied with the turn-based system in XC3.
First, you can move around wherever you’d like, and depending on your character’s positioning around the enemy, they can get extra damage. For example, if Noah gets a hit from behind with his sword, he can deal more damage with a certain ability. This element adds extra strategy as you need to position yourself in a great spot. You can even flee from battle physically rather than choosing the option on a menu.
Second, there are many moves and forms you can master throughout the game. As you explore new areas and find allies, you’ll have the ability to gain their abilities. You can switch your party’s classes, and each has different effects to offer up in battle. When you unlock new classes from guest party members, it adds excitement to new fights as you learn how to use their skills properly. This is one of the best aspects of the battle system as it constantly changes the formula of battles.
Third, is the exciting Interlink system. Similar to the Power Rangers TV show, two beings form together to create a more powerful being. When you couple of ragtag fighters together, they fuse into an Ouroboros being that can deal a colossal amount of damage or can get the full party back in shape with healing spells. It helps mark a fantastic story segment near the beginning of the game, and then you’ll feel like a badass while maneuvering this Kaiji-like being on the battlefield.
Lastly, is the chain attack system that lets you stop the clock on your foe and have each of your party members send strikes toward a big boss. It can be overwhelming, but once you figure out the perfect order of your attacks, it feels satisfying to fulfill. You will need the full party to take full advantage of these strikes, however, and will need to keep an eye on who chains better with the other.
It may sound like a lot of things to uncover within the battle system in this Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review, but Nintendo does a wonderful job of explaining how battles work. The publisher Nintendo and developer Monolift Soft have struggled with tutorializing its players in the past, but Xenoblade Chronicles 3 gives just enough information for that sweet spot between too much info and least info.
On the other hand, it may feel overwhelming for those who don’t play Japanese RPGs or those new to the genre, however.
Something that brought me out of this turn-based combat experience, however, is how your range is visually showcased in the game. Noah can be so far away from the enemy with his sword, and yet, as he slashes thin air, the damage counts. It looks like an old quirk of JRPGs past that hasn’t yet been resolved for Monolift Soft.
Another Impactful Story From Monolift Soft
Time and time again, Monolift Soft still succeeds at giving a nuanced, stunning narrative. XC3 meets the high expectations that fans are wanting from its dramatic storyline and this Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review.
Each of the characters is relatable, and each has an involved back story to follow. The concept is fascinating as in this world, you are born as a soldier and remain in the world for ten years. Now, that you’ve seen the truth that people can age and that the war has been waging for nothing, it is up to you to inspire the world to live their own lives.
It’s a dark but thrilling plot line that will get intense; perhaps a bit too intense at the dull opening two hours. However after that, Monolift Soft has been able to inject comedic and relatable dramatic scenes that make us want to defend Noah and his friends’ group at all costs. In this Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review, we want to highlight the positives of the JRPG genre, as well as some of the negatives.
The mainly British cast of actors within Xenoblade Chronicles 3 almost avoids the trope of being peppy all the time and their voices perfectly match the vibe that each character is going for. Thanks to the talented voice actors, you feel each roster member’s emotions as they talk about their past and what life means to them. The darker plotline allows for some intriguing elements within the JRPG space as well.
However, it does get annoying when some voice lines are used over and over and over again after a battle ends. If I hear one of Noel’s friends Eunie say that Lanz wants something meatier one more time after the first 99 times of hearing it, I’m going to scream.
There are references to the past two games in the series, but you don’t need to play those two games fully to truly enjoy Xenoblade Chronicles 3. However, you’ll definitely like some nods to the original two games here and there. We wanted to include some info on this Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review as it seems unclear.
Thanks to the glorious music by Team A.C.E., story elements and epic bosses will leave you crying or hyped as you test your might against some powerful foes. “The Weight of Life” does a superb job of getting you excited whenever a major story element occurs, for example. The world themes aren’t as memorable as in previous games. but they still hook you into the environments and world that Monolift Soft is trying to place you in.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Review Conclusion
Overall, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a tour de force of thrilling combat and interesting story elements. Each of the characters is engaging, and the plot line continues to surprise you as you progress through the game.
In this Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review, we do discuss the dull opening, repeated voice lines, a potential difficult battle system for beginners, and some hard-to-believe animation issues within battles, but this game is close to perfect regardless. If you need your JRPG fix covered, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a good one to pick.
Intense and strategic battle system that entertains thoroughly.
A relatable set of characters to get to know and a fascinating story.
Stunning environments, despite the hardware limitations of the Nintendo Switch.
Some voice lines are repeated way too much.
The battle system may be tough to figure out for beginners of the genre.
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An experienced freelance writer, Chris has a vast knowledge of the gaming medium. With a Bachelor of Communications degree, he hopes to elevate his writing further. His favorite games are Kingdom Hearts, Beyond Good & Evil, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.