One of the most beloved Japanese role-playing games is back. And, this time it’s on the Nintendo Switch. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is a stellar port of the hit 2012 game for Wii, developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo. If you love JRPGs and missed this game, don’t pass up this chance.
Let’s take a look at what makes Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition one of the best the JRPG genre has to offer. And, why JRPG fans will be playing this game all summer on their Switch.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Developer: Monolith Soft
Genre: Action role-playing
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
An epic quest filled with a memorable cast of characters
Xenoblade Chronicles’ story begins in a world from another dimension. Two massive titans named Bionis and Mechonis are engaged in a timeless battle. Until, one mighty final strike destroys them both.
Eons later, a race of humans called the Homs who lived in prosperity on the Bionis’ remains are attacked by the Mechon. You play as Shulk, an 18-year-old boy with the mysterious ability to wield the Monado. This just so happens to be the legendary sword that put an end to the Mechon’s military advances in ages past.
Supported by your friends and allies you meet during the adventure, you set forth on a mission of revenge to destroy the Mechon. And, on your way, learn the true nature of the Monado.
Explore rich, and vast landscapes
On your adventure, you travel through many exotic locations. These range from lush grasslands, to scenic mountain ranges, to gorgeous panoramic waterfalls. There’s a massive scale to this game. It often makes makes you wonder how its running on the Switch. On the field there’s lots to see and do including battling against mechanical enemies or indigenous wildlife, taking on sidequests, and collecting a wide variety of items native to each area.
This is a game focused heavily on exploration. There are many secret areas to be found, and rare items that can be obtained only after you’ve discovered the full list of collectibles found in the area. As a result, expect to spend a good 60 hours or more to complete the game. However, if you want to see and do everything, set aside a good 100 hours plus.
At times, I found there to be quite a bit of information on the UI. From character stats, to mini maps, to actions you can take against your enemies. To be honest, it can get a bit overwhelming. Though, after about four or five hours in, you get used to it.
Updated visuals and a remastered soundtrack
When Xenoblade Chronicles released on the Wii back in 2012, it was amazing considering the hardware it ran on. And, in 2015, when Xenoblade Chronicles 3D came out on the New Nintendo 3DS XL, we were all amazed. Now, in 2020, to keep up with the times the game’s visuals have been entirely reworked. Character models and environments have been updated to give them a more anime-inspired look.
Although these updates do look good, the game uses dynamic resolution that can sometimes be disappointing. Thus, at times, the resolution dips and results in muddy looking graphics. If you played Xenoblade Chronicles 2, then you have a good idea of what I am talking about. Luckily, this doesn’t ruin the overall experience you’ll have with this superb game.
Additionally, the game includes over 90 remastered music tracks which are a joy to listen to. Though, the game’s original soundtrack is still included for long time fans. And, to bring this wondrous adventure alive even more, while progressing through the story you’ll periodically initiate cinematic cutscenes with all the main characters superbly voiced by British actors. And, for those that prefer, Japanese voice acting is available to give the game a true authentic feel.
Quality of life improvements and new content
Quality of life improvements made include a simplified combat user interface, revised tutorials, an Expert Mode and Casual Mode. The latter of the two modes reduces the game’s difficulty and allows you to enjoy the story. However, the biggest new addition to Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition comes in the way of a new epilogue.
Entitled Future Connected, this new epilogue incorporates content that was supposed to be in the original game. The story takes place one year after the events of the main game and in a new location, the Bionis’ shoulder. Although, Future Connected’s story isn’t as epic as the main game’s story, it does give you more context to the main narrative.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is a must own for JRPG fans
If you never had a chance to play Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii or the New Nintendo 3DS XL, now is your chance. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition offers updated visuals, refined UI, a remastered soundtrack, and added content.
Furthermore, there is a ton to see and do. You’ll spend over 100 hours to complete everything. As a result, you definatley get your money’s worth out of this game. If you’ve yet to experience this classic game, now’s the time! Jump on board and experience this breathtaking adventure this summer.
+ A vast open world to explore
+ A ton of extra content that adds an extra 40 or more hours to gameplay
+ Casual mode allows you to enjoy the story by reducing enemy difficulty
+ Visuals have been reworked and updated
+ In game menus have been reworked, which makes navigating them easier
– Dynamic resolution can sometimes result in “muddy” visuals
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF XENOBLADE CHRONICLES: DEFINITIVE EDITION
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5