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'I'm really feeling it!'

Xenoblade Chronicles is costly but worth it

By EMILY AUTEN/ VN GAMES REVIEWER
On February 11, 2015

BY EMILY AUTEN

VN GAMES REVIEWER


“This is the Monado’s power.”

If any of you have been playing the popular Nintendo fighting game, Super Smash Brothers for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS as much as I have, you may have noticed a new character on the roster this time around, a blonde-haired boy named Shulk with a delightful British accent, shouting the iconic line from his reveal trailer, “I’m really feeling it!”

As soon as Shulk was revealed, many were wondering who exactly this mystery character was.

The answer lies in Xenoblade Chronicles, an RPG (role-playing game) released in 2012 for the Wii, and arguably one of the best games ever made.

Here are some of the most important aspects of the game, by category:

 

Characters

Xenoblade Chronicles has an absolutely fantastic and memorable roster of characters that really stand out from other video games.

Shulk, an 18-year-old budding scientist, shines as a protagonist.

Fiora, Shulk’s love interest, and Reyn, Shulk’s best friend, have distinct personalities that set them apart from other video game characters.

Other members that join the party also have strong backstories and characterization.

There are also cute little creatures named Nopons, which are adorable and add even more to the narrative.

 

Gameplay

Imagine auto-controlled combat from an MMO (massive multiplayer online game) mixed with the leveling up of a typical RPG. Mixed together, they make a beautiful and innovative combination.

You have the ability to choose between arts in order to defeat the enemy, while the character you are controlling can be moved freely around the field.

Fighting enemies is pure fun, as I find myself spending hours wandering around in the massive world.

If you have played Skyrim, the concept of exploration is similar. It’s seemingly endless and it is very relaxing at times.  You can go wherever you wish.

The fast travel between maps and the ability to save your game everywhere are also very good pluses. The game is of average difficulty and depending on the amount of time you spend, it can be easy or very hard.

Combat is not the only type of gameplay Xenoblade offers. It also has a multitude of side quests and missions to complete.

One of the greatest features is Affinity, creating bonds between the characters. Heart to Hearts are scenes between two characters and offer great insight into backstories. Players are given choices in dialogue, which is ultimately fun.

 

Story

Xenoblade’s storyline is well scripted and represents many deep and philosophical themes that put the player into the world of Bionis.

The game is long (60-100 hours of gameplay), but has an excellent pace.

It follows Shulk’s journey for revenge after the devastating attacks on his hometown, Colony 9.

He soon becomes the wielder of the legendary sword, the Monado, and gains the ability to see into the future.

There are many twists, turns and emotional moments between Shulk and the cast that leave players wanting more each time they play.

The setting is very unique, but not too “out there.” It’s an imaginative world with several story arcs that intertwine into an artfully crafted narrative.

 

Graphics/Sound/Music

Although it is a Wii title, which is limited in terms of graphics compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360, Xenoblade has some of the best scenery ever seen in a game.

The music is breathtaking and well composed. The songs evoke so much emotion, which only complements the amazing storyline.

 

Overall

Xenoblade Chronicles is a gem of a game.

It offers the player a unique experience with interesting characters and a beautifully written plot. Fans of RPGs, Nintendo and long games will feel right at home with this title.

The only negative thing is that it is hard to find, and can cost as much as $100, double its initial retail price.

The good news is that it is going to get a port to the new Nintendo 3DS this spring, titled Xenoblade Chronicles 3D.

It also has a spiritual successor title coming out later this year for Wii U, titled Xenoblade Chronicles X.

But this is one game that’s worth the hefty price tag.

It will be a legend for years to come.

Grade: 10/10 

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