Xenoblade Chronicles It’s still a relatively new franchise and has discovered its identity with each game. The third chapter of the saga, which was recently released on the Nintendo Switch, continues to evolve and undo elements that didn’t work in the past, as well as raising its narrative quality and expanding the player’s options in the most fun part of the fight.
Although there are references to the first two games in the franchise on all sides, you don’t have to have experienced the previous adventures to understand Xenoblade Chronicles 3. The narrative follows a new cast of characters and tells a story that stands on its own, emerging aspects of an endless war that punishes youngsters on their own. Give more resources to the powerful.
The soldiers defending the two warring nations, Keyes and Agnus, are young men trained in battle and live in isolated colonies dependent on the resources of their capital. Depending on their performance on the battlefield, these soldiers receive more or less supplies over time. To make matters worse, they are practically children and only have a predetermined lifespan of ten years.
In this sad world devastated by years of conflict, one’s greatest pride is being able to survive the course and achieve victories in combat for a ritual retreat in the presence of the Queen.
The comparison with real world conflicts is very straightforward, but the war is just one of the themes of an emotional story full of unforgettable moments. Contrary to what was seen in the previous game, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 brings a more sober tone and the characters are approached in a more mature way – the almost complete absence of sexualization of female characters and dialogue without the exaggeration that characterizes the anime are just two examples of this.
The player follows a six-member rebel group, three from each country. Each of them has their own struggles and well-discovered personalities. The fight for the lives of those already near the end of the course, the relationship with each colony and the secondary characters are details that add a lot to the narrative and ensure more immersion for a good ten hours.
The scenes help to create a feeling of belonging to the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. The animation is beautiful, especially in the battles with many characters and at a very high speed on the screen. Many of these moments are reminiscent of shounen-style anime and draw attention for their quality with heightened expectations for what comes next in the story.
History has an undeniable connection to the atmosphere of mystery. The true plot is revealed quite quietly in a narrative where discoveries and twists happen all the time. Although there are some exaggerations of the track’s distractions and a small amount of “available content,” which ends up compromising the tempo a bit at times, there are no major mistakes.
Fighting is the biggest highlight
Even with a great storyline and the possibility to explore huge maps, combat is what steals the show in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Even with the limitations of the Nintendo Switch hardware, striving to maintain the quality of the game at every moment, Monolith hasn’t given up on improving his best weapons with more of differences.
This time, the six members of the group, plus the hero, are active at all times, and the class of each of them can be selected – there are 23 options in total – and the controlled character can be changed at any time.
Each of these characters has several spaces to equip gems and accessories and six different attacks – which can be changed in the menu – transformations and a special attack together. After about 30 hours of gameplay, there are still new possibilities to explore when it comes to combat, always very tactical and experimental with dozens of different approach options.
It’s amazing how all that firepower in the player’s hands doesn’t make combat lopsided, which remains challenging – but never punishing – as long as there isn’t an overuse of optional experience, a feature that seems to exist to eliminate the need to kill monsters over and over Over and over again to upgrade.
Sin is in the hands of the interface, which cannot handle a lot of information at the same time: numbers appear on the screen with each attack, lines indicate who is attacking whom, a special circular bar, a picture of about ten characters, a mini-map and even an optional task summary. It is not uncommon for letters and numbers to take up more space than the scene and characters on the screen, making the experience uncomfortable and complicated.
It is also impossible not to criticize the performance of the game. The base resolution is very low and makes Dock mode almost impractical on an HDTV. Even if the backgrounds are beautiful and wide, the details end up getting jagged, with low resolution and blurry textures. The Nintendo hybrid seems to have reached its limits.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is right to suggest that it’s a must-play on the Nintendo Switch, even if it’s limited to hardware that just can’t keep up with its ambition. A more mature storyline and refined combat are enough reasons for more than a hundred hours of fun.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was released on July 29th and is available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
This review was performed on the Nintendo Switch with a digital copy provided by Nintendo.
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