How often do you find yourself swinging a sword in some combat taking place in a world built on the shoulder of a titan? That’s a lot to take in? right? Well, this is just the beginning.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is another title in the long-running series to hype up the Xenoblade Chronicles’ fans. It is somewhat a mixture of a remake and a remaster of the original title, making it one of the best JRPG games in the market at the moment.
The story begins when two titans, Bionis and Mechonis, go to war with each other. Over a passage of time, they freeze while fighting each other, giving way to a whole new life that evolves on their shoulders. Bionis is home to human-like Homs, whereas Mechonis hosts machine-like mechons. The irony is, both populations are once again at war with each other!
The game puts you in the boots of the protagonist Shulk, who has side partner that goes by the name Reyn. Shulk is in the possession of Monado, a precious sword that is the reason behind the war of both worlds. With Monado, Shulk possesses an ability to seek into the future, giving the game a unique storyline that only starts making sense once you are several hours into the gameplay.
Progressing through the storyline, you will come across numerous battles. At times it feels as if this is the more battle-oriented version of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Monolith Soft has done an amazing job with the combat mechanics. Initially, you will be fighting with Shulk and Reyn, and later you will be blessed with a healer, Sharla. Each character comes with its own set of skills that have their own cooldowns. The most eye-catchy part of the battles has to be Monado, which seems to grow alongside the storyline as you make progress during the battles. The original title suffered from a bug where the loot that appeared after defeating the enemies seemed to fall down, however, this time around the game will present you with a treasure chest each time you bring down the enemy. This way you can gather maximum loot after the battle is over without the fear of losing it. Battle related wonders associated with the game aren’t over yet. While most action games focus on in-battle difficulties, in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition you have to take care of the battle you decide to take on. Taking on battles that are way over your league, or way under will only result in a penalty. However, this is not that big of a problem, but make sure you don’t start running from every single battle!
If you feel the game is not challenging enough, you can always tweak some settings to make the game live up to your standard. The expert mode will have you sweating through every single challenge, whereas, the casual mode makes the game progression feel like a stroll in the park.
The characters of the game have received a complete overhaul, at least the protagonists have. Even the side characters feel more welcoming, however, similar things cannot be said regarding the antagonists. The way you feel about them is linked to the surroundings or the atmosphere you find them in. Certain characters seem more mesmerizing during the night time whereas the rest shine during the day time. The open-world gameplay feels more refreshing this time around owing to the pleasant surroundings. It could safely be said that the developers have put some extra efforts in making the game’s graphics stand out.
The game keeps up its pace even in the handheld mode. It does slow down at some points during its long 120-hour gameplay, but nothing too frustrating about that. The graphics and frames hold up pretty good as you move your gaming session to the handheld mode.
Regarding the soundtrack, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition offers dual audio support. You can customize the music to your liking in the settings. The best part is that the original soundtrack has transitioned over to this newer title; All the more reasons to love the game.
Even though most of you would be spending your money to get your hands on the main story, the developers have also included a new Time Attack Mode in the game. This mode throws a plethora of challenges at you, giving you a chance to earn Noponstone and other gears that could later help you in the game.
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there are a few other welcoming changes to the game as well. The game saves you the hassle of moving across the vast land to get to your destination by offering you a chance to jump directly to the required location. Inventory has received an upgrade dissipating the need to discard the items in exchange for more space.
As soon as a new side quest become active, all the items that you would require to complete it successfully will be marked on the map so you don’t have to spend any additional time looking out of them, and get your hands on them while you are casually exploring the map. This is something that was missing in the original title, making the side quests more challenging than they should have been.
As a cherry on top of the cake, developers have offered an additional 20-hour epilogue along with the game. Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected explains the end of the original story. This might not be as exciting to the new players as to those who have been following the series since day one. Actually, I might suggest that the players who are new to the series should stay away from this epilogue since it might spoil the fun for them.
Other than that, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is one of the best games playable on the Nintendo Switch at the moment. Even if you have not played a single title in the series, do yourself a favor this time around and grab a copy. It won’t disappoint you!