If you want a great JRPG on your Nintendo Switch, one of the best options you already have in Xenoblade Chronicles. It is one of the peak works of Monolith Soft for its history, combat system, fantastic world and enormous duration. Now it comes in a remastering that becomes the best way to play it today. Check it out in our review of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition.
Good story, cool characters, elaborate combat system, powerful exploration, an impressive number of ancillary tasks, enormous durability, inspiring Xenoblade Chronicles soundtrack already had it all in its original Wii version – it was and still is one of the best J-RPG ever designed. Almost 10 years ago, the Japanese of Monolith Soft carved out a massive title to which Satoru Iwata offered unconditional support, doing everything possible to get it ahead, especially for how ambitious it was. Those who called themselves “the Japanese Bethesda” rescued the mythical Xeno saga with results applauded both by critics and users.
Given the success, the game had a conversion for Nintendo 3DS, and now another for Nintendo Switch. In a few words and to give you an idea, I will tell you that Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition becomes the best way to enjoy the game today, in addition to being an essential for fans of the Japanese role. Not only for the graphic and sonic remastering it has brought, but for the accessibility improvements and the addition of a new chapter (Future Connected), a continuation that gives added value to the launch, especially if you played it previously.
In total, if we add the parts, we have about 100 hours of play with quality from start to finish. That’s not easy to find, and that’s why Nintendo’s bet with this release shines even more. Despite the years, I have enjoyed it as if it were still in 2011, something that speaks very well about the updating work. There are newbie aids, a more understandable mapping, a clearer and more colorful interface, but above all there is the great story of the sword Monado, Shulk and their friends, which I have never tired of reliving, even for the third time. For something to be …
What makes a J-RPG great
Those who have not tried an Xenoblade Chronicles, comment that personally I think it is the best Monolith Soft has brought out, even above great ones like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles X. The reason? I would say several, but I’m left with his wonderful story. I have always said that a J-RPG is not complete if it does not have a good plot. This game does nothing but corroborate it. Xenoblade Chronicles would not be the same without its drama, without the bond you end up establishing with its characters, without the highly detailed world around you.
The sensation of discovery is the best that Xenoblade Chronicles has, thanks to a very high landscape variety.
And that history is still the cliché of the young man destined to save the world. That is Shulk, who with the power of the sword Monado lives all kinds of adventures with a group of warriors in pursuit of defeating the Mekon, a powerful race of mechanized beings. There are plenty of intros, lots of conversations, and elaborate character development. Those who like good stories have one here, and that the narrative does not demonstrate the same consistency throughout the 60-80 hours of play. However, I always felt like moving on to find out what was going to happen next.
There are of course more pillars to consider, and for me one of the fundamentals is its deep exploration. The Xenoblade Chronicles have become popular so you have to go on their adventures. Well, this game was the beginning of everything. It is designed so that you sit down, let yourself be carried away by music and do not rush the path through its enormous meadows, mountains, valleys, caves and urban environments. The fact that you gain experience in discovering new areas (a common feature in MMORPGs) can give you a little idea of the approach taken. In a sense, I’ve always considered it an MMO but without the online one.
The manganime aspect shines brighter in this remastering.
Some of you may wonder why. The reason is in your options. To begin with, skills They are shown in the bottom bar, and not only are they selectable, but they are numerous and you can improve them over the hours. The equipment It is huge, and you will spend a lot of time configuring your characters to give them the best statistics. There are countless NPCs and many of them have missions to offer, to the point that you end up carrying dozens of tasks always in your backpack. The amount of items you will encounter along the way will make the task of selling to get overwhelming. money, but always comforting.
The combat system is automatic, although you can orient the character and choose abilities. You will always be busy.
Considering all this, you can understand that completing Xenoblade Chronicles in half a hundred hours (which you can) does not make much sense. It’s good that you get used to the idea that not a game for impatient, and you will realize it when you meet enemies up to 50 levels above yours. It is made to take it easy, stop in one area and lighten until you are ready for the next fight. If you have that clear and connect with its peculiar combat system, the hours will fly by.
In this regard, battles are in real time, but with an important subsystem for selecting and recharging skills. It takes into account positioning relative to enemies (hitting from behind hurts more) and there are also small quick time events to keep an eye on the screen. The good thing is that the combative system shows you its possibilities gradually, with new features that end up making it complex and fun at the same time. For example, the chain attack, which can become decisive in some confrontations. It is very important, especially if you consider that the combats suppose a high proportion of the playing time.
It becomes clear then why Xenoblade Chronicles is such a great J-RPG. The narrative is interesting, with twists and turns to the end. The size of the world is so large that you will never feel repetition on stage. The progression is powerful and satisfactory in all its aspects. The combat system is elaborate and works like a charm, to the point that it came to compare with that of Final Fantasy XII. What is wrong? The same as in the original: the side missions are repetitive and unattractive, while the story can falter at certain points and the difficulty to do something uphill in certain sections. However, this Definitive Edition proposes some things to make the path more bearable, especially for the least experienced. In the following paragraphs I will discover why Xenoblade Chronicles is better on Nintendo Switch.
How has Xenoblade Chronicles improved?
Come from having played Xenoblade Chronicles 2? The game will detect it and give you a monetary aid as soon as it begins.
I have always said that a J-RPG is not complete if it does not have a good plot. This game does nothing but corroborate it.Obviously, the most obvious improvement of all is the visual. The graphics have not only increased their resolution with respect to the Wii and 3DS versions, but the characters and environments have been remodeled and retextured. There is also a better lighting and effects work, making the game not so dark. As for the animations, they have been left practically as they were (which were and still are quite robotic). However, Monolith’s work has not been simply technical, but if you notice there is a new artistic direction, more manganime in accordance with what we already saw in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
If we compare the three versions, it is easy to see the important graphic leap carried out by Nintendo Switch. Now the game world is more like what the developers wanted to capture on the screen. However, it is not all good news. In large environments, it is common to see how vegetation is generated in the medium-long distance, and the level of detail of many objects does not reach its maximum degree until you have them in front of you. This becomes more evident in portable mode, where the blur is pronounced, despite the fact that it must be said that the game is perfectly playable, although it is less recommended than in television mode.
If you want side missions, you just have to walk around the environment a little. You will have them in piles!
The conclusion? It could possibly have been optimized better, although it doesn’t seem like enough reason to stop playing it in this mode, and in fact I really enjoyed it on Nintendo Switch Lite. In any case, it is true that the load of elements to be supported by Switch is large: here is the 13.6GB of download to make it clear (Zelda: Breath of the Wild had a similar figure). However, this definitely tarnishes the finish, which is generally of quality. Apart from the graphics, we must take into account the important interface and mens face wash, now clearer and more readable. The map guides us much better to our objectives and points out a greater number of elements, which makes the journey more accessible to new players.
Mind you, that does not mean it is easier. Xenoblade Chronicles maintains the need to upgrade and upgrade equipment. Now the game lets you take two paths: expert mode and relaxed mode. In the first you have the freedom to choose how to level up your characters (it is not automatic), something that the most purists will appreciate, due to the fact that they level up only when they see fit. In the second we have the opportunity to lower the difficulty of the battles (you can return to the normal difficulty at any time), something useful if we get stuck: something quite common if we talk about this game. Ms? Yes, we have a travel guide on the GPS-style minimap (can be disabled), and now appear exclamations in the skills to tell us when it is optimal to use them … and it is something that comes in handy. A success.
Do you want to propose a challenge? You will have it. Do you want to move faster? You can too. No one is excluded hereIn short: accessibility. The difficulty curve has been moderated to make it more or less steep depending on your skill and interests as a player. Do you want to propose a challenge? You will have it. Do you want to move faster? You can too. The design decision made is smart because it does not exclude anyone, nor does it harm experts in J-RPGs. In this “definitive edition” there is a certain interest in respecting the most veteran players. For example, there is the option to keep original soundtrack (without fixes) or the current one (with fixes). In any case, it’s a good decision, because the Xenoblade Chronicles OST is the best that the genre has given.
The voices are in English or Japanese, you choose, and with careful subtitles in Spanish.
But there is still more, because they are integrated time trial missions (similar to how it was done in Xenoblade Chronicles X), which consist of defeating enemies of different levels in order to obtain the best scores and valuable rewards. As a curiosity, a theater mode where to view the game’s cinematics under different conditions: day / sunset / night, and even choosing the characters’ clothing. It is something very accessory, but anyone added is welcome in an adventure that has a new and undiscovered chapter: Future Connected. It is a narrative continuation of the main game that lasts around 10-12 hours. Although the plot seems to me that it is not up to what we lived previously, the truth is that it explores an undiscovered corner in the saga, and that is very interesting. The plot takes place a year after the events of Xenoblade Chronicles, now with greater prominence on the part of Melia in a new setting: the Shoulder of Bionis.
There are several issues to note about this. One of the most positive is that you do not need to overcome the main campaign to play this content (it is available since you installed the game): something ideal if you have already completed the campaign in its day. Then a reformed combat system is added in which you no longer have the visions of the future, nor chains of attack. Instead, they bet on the nopn, which function as support units during the contests. It can recruit up to 12 nopn, as long as we help them through a series of missions within the game.
In general, it is a good content, which in my opinion does not measure up to the main campaign, but it is still appreciated to integrate a new story and, therefore, a longer total duration. And that is the key for me: Xenoblade Chronicles is going to give you many hours of gameplay. In a year when Nintendo doesn’t seem like it’s going to make many releases, the arrival of such a title can keep you tethered to your Nintendo Switch for weeks, maybe months. With all the improvements introduced, it is also a title recommended for both experts and novices in the J-RPG genre. So go ahead, there is nothing to fear.