GAME REVIEW: Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Developer: Monolith Soft

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: July 29, 2022

Platform: Nintendo Switch

MSRP: $59.99 (USD) eShop

Video courtesy of Nintendo

What’s that Xenoblade fans? You want something a bit meatier? Not only is this title the most welcoming to new players of the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise, but it also features many throwbacks to previous games. Although you don’t have to play previous games because there is no connected story. However, gamers who have experienced the previous games will appreciate and notice a few recognizable pieces.

So what makes this massive JRPG so great? Let’s dive in!

Synopsis

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 immediately starts off in a war between Agnus and Keves in the world of Aionios. Each hostile nation fights to live; therefore they have to kill to fill their life force, which is a flame clock where defeated enemies’ souls go. The flame clock keeps soldiers alive and well, but when depleted leaves their energy and willpower low. If soldiers live their short 10-year lifespan surviving these life-threatening battlefields, they are granted a ceremony called “homecoming” where their soul is sent off.

The game unfolds with Keveski special forces Noah, Eunie and Lanz who are battling Agnian soldiers; and after battle, Noah sends the fallen souls off with the gracious sounds of his flute. This is a special duty granted to soldiers who are ranked as off-seer’s and plays a huge part on the battlefield. Eventually your party collides with Agnus special forces Mio, Taion and Sena and both parties stumble upon a mysterious man who unlike them has aged past the 10-year lifespan, showing wrinkles and wisdom of the land. Breaking some mysterious news to them about their flame clocks and more, a new villain arises from nowhere and his presence is bone chilling. The two colonies need to unite using their newly found powers to defeat an unprecedented force.

Image courtesy of Nintendo

Gameplay

The biggest part of gameplay in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the immersive combat. Most players pre-exposed to the Xenoblade series already know that the combat is very deep and consistently unravels slowly throughout the game. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 seems to push the pace a little more and also forces players to follow tutorials rather than mash the accept button.

This was a great feature added for such a complicated combat and really makes it much easier to understand. Not only does it force players to try each new combat technique and menu item, it also explains everything to please a variety of gamers old and new to the franchise.

Combat consists of controlling whatever party member you choose and performing an auto-attack on whatever enemy your character is set to focus on. During these auto-attacks you can select more unique and powerful attacks or buffs called arts, and if timing your arts right with your auto attack, you can build a special attack quicker and also cancel some animation to draw in a quicker response on your enemy.

Without spoiling all the great combat features, there will be plenty to keep combat feeling fresh each chapter of the game and more ways to combo and build strategies into dominating any enemy that stands in your way. So I would say Xenoblade Chronicles 3 learning curve is more straightforward than any of the preview entries.

Image courtesy of Nintendo

More great features to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is exploring the massive world and a massive amount of fun side quests and hero quests. It’s very hard to get bored of a game that has so much exciting content to keep its audience indulged like choosing a side of enemies to help and changing the reward outcome, tracking down legendary elite enemies to fight and get better items to equip to your party. Going out of your way to collect loot around the world is satisfying when using collected resources to do certain types of crafting and cooking. There is just so much to keep you occupied and feeling fulfilled with Xenoblade Chronicles 3 gameplay which makes for a delightful experience for old and new players.

Music & Sound:

Another favorite quality of the Xenoblade franchise is that the music is always top tier. Just the flute experience alone when Noah sends off fallen soldiers’ souls is such an emotional and crisp serenade. The kind of tune that will give you goosebumps and make you really feel in the moment. I find myself constantly going out of my way to send off fallen soldiers I see in the distance around the giant world. This soundtrack is absolute bliss and the music pivots for scenes, areas and follows suite to each dialogue situation. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has some of the best RPG (Role Playing-Game) music ever made. This music impacts the way the player feels grief, tragedy, anger, happiness and hope.

The voice acting flows great and really impacts each character’s personality well. Although the lines can be repetitive especially during combat, it’s in a playful way that Xenoblade fans love and makes it easier to quote to each other. You may cherish those voices throughout your day.

Image courtesy of Nintendo

Expansion Pass:

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 already has an expansion pass ready and it comes with a great amount of content. The expansion pass will include four bundles of dlcs with one out already which was an item bundle and colors for outfits. Three more waves are coming but there are no exact dates for when these waves will be released, so keep an eye out for those announcements. Wave two is expected by the end of this year and will have a challenge battle mode making more difficult fights, new hero quest lines and new outfits. Wave three will have an expanded challenge mode with new enemies, more hero quest lines and outfits. Finally Wave four will have a new story line to play and is expected to arrive by December 2023. So much to look forward to and keep this game feeling fresh with new content spread out.

Final Thoughts:

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an absolute blast and the story just reeks you in with more intense moments each chapter. All the characters and voice acting are loveable enough to be stuck in your head to the point you may quote it out loud for no reason. The music is easy to sink into and just sit back and adore for a while or intensifies the combat. It’s ready for whatever situation it throws at you. The world feels massive but not overwhelming and most side quests feel satisfying making the main quest even greater to accomplish. A game that can easily sweep over a hundred hours of your time and not feel like a drag and grinding experience points doesn’t feel so necessary as most Jrpg games since the main quest and few side quests are usually enough to keep your level matched with story bosses and enemies. The combat is deep and well structured with over the top tutorials to make sure you advance easily. Everything about Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will keep the player engaged and in for a wild ride! A must buy for the Nintendo Switch.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you picked up Xenoblade Chronicles 3 yet? As a new or old player, what is your favorite feature in this massive game? Comment below or come join us for a discussion in the BossRush Discord.


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Featured Image: Nintendo

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