Review: Why Xenoblade Chronicles deserves a trip into GameStop

There’s no doubt, playing Xenoblade Chronicles is like having a second job. I put over 90 hours into the game and still could have gotten more out of it. If you’re worried about not getting your money’s worth for the game, I paid $70+ just to have an import copy, and the game was worth every dollar. Fear not RPG fans, Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the most refreshing experiences in the genre in quite a long time, and has helped to extend what little life the Wii has left.

My very first complaint with the game was how the battle system functions. It is very MMO-like in that your character will auto-attack as enemies approach your attack radius. As I said before, I hated this at first, but as the game progressed and I became more familiar with the games mechanics, to me it became one the best features in the game.

There is still the ability to manually choose special attacks that have a cooldown period before being used again. These “Arts” come in many different varieties for each of your party members such as healing, buffing, and physical Arts.

All battles happen in real time on the overworld, which really allows the game to showcase how great the visuals look. Make no mistake, Xenoblade Chronicles is most certainly one of the better looking games on Wii. There are only a handful of other titles that have really out done what
developer Monolith Soft has been able to achieve with visuals in the game. The game is quite vast, showcasing many unique environments, and each one brings its own unique flair. Obviously the Wii cannot produce HD visuals, but the setting and atmosphere of the game will draw you in to the point where you aren’t worried about 480P vs 1080P.

As with most RPGs, there’s a whole lot of loot to collect. Weapons, armor, gems, if you like to collect things then you have arrived at the right place. After each enemy is defeated, they will randomly drop chests like it’s your birthday. You can count yourself lucky if a gold one drops as it will always contain a rare item such as an armor or weapon piece. The silver and normal treasure chests, which contain uncommon and common items respectively, will be dropped by enemies much oftener.

Where the game really wins and looses is in the narrative. I knew exactly what was going on the entire time I was playing, and in a world in which Final Fantasy exists, that is a huge relief. I felt an emotional attachment to each of my party members very early on in the game, and I really cared for their struggle to survive.

Where the game lost me was the sheer amount of content available. On the surface, that doesn’t sound like a bad thing. It’s when a majority of the content is just filler that the problem arises. “Sorry ma’am, I’m saving the world. I really don’t have time to get you 10 what-cha-ma-call-its.” The game would have been more than satisfactory at 50 hours, and it felt like the last 40+ hours was crammed in just to put a bullet point on the back of the box.

Like I said at the start, I really like Xenoblade Chronicles. Why else would anyone spend days in gametime playing a game? Mix in fast-travel to any previously visited area and the ability save anywhere, anytime, and you have yourself a mighty fine game indeed. The game is not for everybody, that is for certain, but if you are a fan of the genre, you owe it to yourself to purchase this game. Heck, you even owe other fans of the genre, because guess what happens if this game bombs? Nintendo says I told you so and stops bringing these titles over. It’s all on you reader. Open up your giant’s wallet and find yourself a copy!

10 Responses to Review: Why Xenoblade Chronicles deserves a trip into GameStop

  1. Robert says:

    I’m torn between picking this up and continuing on with Skyrim. I don’t have time for two gigantic RPGs at the same time, so it’s one or the other. Perhaps I’ll pick it up and hang on to it for later this year.

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  3. Thanks for a well thought out and honest piece. A lot of reviews that I’ve seen have just felt very disingenuous. Looks like I will be strolling down to my local GameStop to pick this up.

  4. Ac says:

    The review is on target. Most people will hate the battle system, but if you get past hour 10, you should start to enjoy it some.

  5. Drahken says:

    Gamestop nothing. I ordered it directly from Nintendo.

  6. sam says:

    love the battle system! put down skyrim and pick this up!

  7. willshyre says:

    I’ve been trying to decide whether I want to pick this one up or not- after reading this, I think I might just pick it up- I haven’t played any good RPGs in a while, and this one looks pretty great. Honestly, since Skyward Sword and Rhythm Battle, my Wii has been getting a lot more use this year than I’d expected- if The Last Story ends up as good as it looks, the Wii might end up my favorite system this season (not something I was expecting after my PS3 had such a great winter season last year)

  8. Kaherka says:

    I could stop playing Skyrim and play this instead… But I had been planning to try Mass Effect 2.

  9. Holly says:

    I hate the battle system, but only because I can’t figure out how to use it effectively, hence the fact that I’m stuck in the first dungeon. It’s not like I’m hopeless when it comes to RPGs. I must be missing something…ugh.

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