With an innovative world, specialized combat, and a powerful narrative about discovery of self, Xenoblade Chronicles cements itself as the greatest RPG (Role-Playing Game) of our time.
Wii U Eshop: 20.00 USD
New Nintendo 3DS XL: 40.00 USD
Monolith Soft has done it again. As a follow-up to the critically acclaimed Xenogears and Xenosagas series, Xenoblade Chronicles has a lot of heritage to live up to. But this sort-of-sequel manages to forge its own path, becoming a fantastic standalone experience.
The game centers around Shulk, a young man living in a time of great turmoil. With the robotic menace known as the Mechon launching attacks on his home, he must take up the legendary “Monado” sword and forge his own destiny.
The adventure of Xenoblade Chronicles takes place on the back of a titan. The Bionis, a titan made up of completely organic matter, was defeated by its machine counterpart, the Mechonis. Upon the death of the Bionis it became home to many species, including the human-like Homs. This is important, because it sets the stage for incredible exploration, as you scale the titan throughout the adventure. The Bionis has many different environments, from the grassy plain that makes up its knee and upper leg, to the forest that makes up its chest, to the snow-covered mountain that makes up the head.
This makes for several unique design choices, as the shift of the Bionis’ body can influence the geography of the world. This is a strong influence, as it makes for one of the most traversable worlds in video game history, with not a single area in the game being off limits. If you can see it, you can reach it.
The combat system in Xenoblade allows for three party members, and focuses on a more real time experience as opposed to the traditional turn based style of most RPGs. You can circle enemies, and use your special attacks known as “arts” to get bonus effects and do extra damage. This, accompanied with the very intense battle music allows for a very thought heavy experience with a strong focus on teamwork and attention to detail.
The narrative of Xenoblade Chronicles rewrites common RPG tropes and molds them into brand new story-telling concepts. The characters are consistent, and due to their interpersonal relationships, easily some of the most relatable characters in video game history. This is especially present with main character Shulk’s best friend Reyn. Reyn is a very strong metaphor for innocent immature eyes watching complicated events unfold. He allows emotion to dictate his actions and through this, becomes a very strong narrative tool. This is balanced out by Shulk’s collected nature, which allows him to be the decisive leader-figure for this journey.
Xenoblade Chronicles has one of the most traversable terrains in video games. This is only complimented by the vast array of enemies and the incredibly simple yet deep combat system. Experiencing the world both through exploration and narrative opens the door to many opportunities, as Xenoblade Chronicles becomes truly deserving of the best RPG of our time.
That being said, now is the easiest time to get your hands on Xenoblade. It is available on the New Nintendo 3DS as well as the Wii U Eshop. Having played both, I think the New 3DS version is more fun for me to play. However, textures tend to look blurred, and stunt the game visually. While it may not be the most graphically appealing game out there, Xenoblade Chronicles has quite a bit to offer. Hopefully, you’ll give Shulk and friends a chance! Thank you for reading and come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!