If you’re a fan of Japanese RPGs, chances are you’re familiar with the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise. Known only as Xenoblade in Japan, the sci-fi series was created by Tetsuya Takahashi, which originated as Xenogears in 1998 on the first PlayStation and gained a spiritual successor in 2002 as Xenosaga.
In 2010, the first chapter of the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise was released for the Wii. With an open world divided into zones, many side quests, an intriguing story and powerful real-time turn-based combat, it became one of the biggest hits on the Japanese company’s console. The new game is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch and brings together the gauntlet as the home of Japanese RPGs.
Nintendo also brought two more titles: Xenoblade Chronicles X and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Highly rated and with a loyal fan base, they achieved good sales numbers, especially in Japan, but failed to attract a more casual audience due to their difficult gameplay. and narrative elements.deeper. The truth is that Japanese RPGs require more dedication and skill, which can put some players off.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has a difficult mission: to appeal to veterans of the series, but to balance its gameplay elements so that more casual players and newcomers alike can explore the franchise and have fun. Did Nintendo and Monolith Soft succeed in this difficult mission? Check it out in our review!
Before we start talking about the story of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, it is necessary to highlight something important and very positive about the game: You don’t need to play previous titles. This makes the latest installment of the franchise a perfect gateway to the saga. If you’re a veteran, there are a few references to previous games, but nothing major.
The story of the game involves two nations engaged in a long war: Kevesi and Agnus. Soldiers are artificially created and only have 10 years left, they need to kill enemies to keep the biological cycle alive. The main character, Noah, is accompanied by the warrior Lance and “Doctor” Eun, who acts as a support and keeps the trio alive in the confrontations.
During a special mission, they encounter a rival trio from another nation consisting of Mio, Sena, and Taiyon. After a fierce confrontation and a mysterious event, the group must escape and face new dangers on their journey. During their adventure, the group discovers that despite being on opposite sides of the war, they are more alike than they realize.
The story is told in seven chapters, full of twists and turns, where we see the characters bond, mature and realize that they are fighting a war they never wanted to be a part of. During the adventure, the player will be taken to the colonies of Agnus and Keves, as well as to the beautiful landscapes of nature, which hide many secrets.
The main story will take between 55 and 80 hours to complete, the player will need more than 100 hours to enjoy everything the game has to offer and level up the characters. If you’re not used to it, note that the game has multiple (and long!) cutscenes. They are fundamental to understanding the narrative and should not be missed, as tempting as it may be at times.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 uses a combat system similar to its predecessors. If you tried some of the previous games and didn’t like it because everything turned out to be too difficult, there is great news: the new title includes an extensive and well-didactic tutorial that allows even the most casual players to understand the more advanced mechanics.
The game is a turn-based RPG with real-time action. That is, your characters automatically attack enemies with regular attacks, just be close to the opponent. However, each member of your party has a selection of moves called “Arts” that allow you to multiply your damage and even create combos.
A positive element that encourages the player towards dynamic combat is the positioning of the player in battles. Noah has an ability called Edge Thrust that deals a lot more damage if you hit an opponent from behind, and Air Slash will have bonus damage if it activates after another attack. These details make the battles have a good dose of strategy.
As with most Japanese RPGs, each character in the group has a function and is not there to create volume. For example, healers are key in tougher fights as they heal team members and also offer interesting bonuses, while tanks attract the attention of stronger opponents so the rest of the party can unleash a flurry of attacks.
It is worth noting that, unlike many games, the artificial intelligence is excellent and works effectively. In fact, it works so well that some battles become ridiculously easy and you feel like your friends are pulling you along. The main difference between the other games in the series is that it has seven characters fighting at the same time, it is possible to switch between them at any time, which gives more freedom to the player.
Another important element is the additional character classes, which consist of new attacks and abilities. Party members can be unlocked and equipped, which I recommend for more variety, otherwise you’ll spend 50+ hours seeing the same attacks and special moves over and over again, which will be a real test of sanity. .
There is also a very interesting mechanic where the heroes combine into a new form called Ouroboros, a kind of giant robot with new attacks and special moves for a limited time. It is possible for the link to grow for more powerful and long-lasting transformations, which becomes necessary in the most difficult battles.
The open world of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is huge and has many monsters and enemies around. Some of them are aggressive and will attack you immediately, while others will only use violence if you draw a weapon. There are also hunts that will yield special ingredients for items and food that will give your characters bonuses.
Side quests are interesting and allow you to get to know the game world better. Some of them also serve to deepen the story of the main characters, develop them and explain their motivations. It is also worth noting that they provide good experience, which is fundamental for progressing through the game’s chapters.
A melancholy world
When anyone doubts the capabilities of the Nintendo Switch, I recommend showing them Xenoblade Chronicles 3 running on their handheld. Graphically, this is one of the best games on the console to date. In addition, it has satisfactory performance with very little frame rate drops per second, even during a fierce battle with 7 characters.
Although the world is ravaged by endless war, you will find beautiful landscapes amidst all the destruction and sadness. The scenarios are very detailed and the animations are excellent. Another highlight is the Ouroboros and monster designs, very diverse and creative. As exaggerated as they are, the cinematics are of high quality, making the player feel like watching a high-investment anime.
In the narrative, Noah is a warrior who also plays the flute to “send off” bodies from the battlefield in a ritual of respect and touch. This is included in the soundtrack, producing epic and orchestral tracks, perfectly matching the title’s theme of death and melancholy.
The game has both Japanese and British English dubs, but I recommend trying the first option for more immersion. Unfortunately, this is another Nintendo Switch game that doesn’t have a translation in our language, which can alienate those who don’t speak English.
Is it worth the investment?
If you’re a fan of Japanese RPGs, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a must-have game for your collection. However, if you’re a casual gamer looking for an epic adventure with a long duration, an impressive open world, and different gameplay than we regularly see, you can also have a lot of fun with the title.
Despite the complex combat system, its learning curve is patient with the player, even if it gets a little bogged down in explanations. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to constantly diversify your playstyle, through new classes or research, to avoid falling into the specter of repetition that’s common in such a long title.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is only available on Nintendo Switch and it’s worth it BRL 299 In the standard version, and the Deluxe version is released BRL 448 on the eShop.
The game will push the Nintendo Switch to the max, with graphics above the console’s average.
Although complex and powerful, the combat system is taught in a didactic and clear way.
The story can be enjoyed by those who haven’t played the previous titles and brings an interesting narrative.
The title features tracks that use the game’s own theme to deliver beautiful melodies.
Full of content and mystery, this is an addictive Japanese RPG that beats dozens of hours of effort.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is one of the best RPGs of recent years and a must-have title for Nintendo Switch owners.
*TudoCelular thanks Nintendo for tipping off a copy of Xenoblade Chronicles 3!