Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is yet another game that Nintendo has managed to amaze me with. The Switch has continuously squeezed vast open-worlds inside a console that casually fits into your hand. The impressive open-world JRPG first made its appearance on the Wii, giving us a rather complex battle system for its time. There were a few iterations afterwards, such as the game being re-released on the 3DS, but it never really felt like Xenoblade came alive on that small screen. Now Nintendo has taken another stab at the beloved JRPG, bringing additional content, quality of life improvements, and a visual upgrade worthy of the Xenoblade name.
A whole decade later and the charm of Xenoblade Chronicles, along with the peculiar world it is based within, still manages to hook me within minutes. You play as Shulk, an orphaned young boy with a heart of gold. Shulk’s hometown has been attacked by the man-eating, robotic Mechon. It’s up to you and your friends to set out on a quest to get revenge for what has happened, but you’re met with an unforgettable journey across The Bionis, in a world with fleshed-out characters at every seam. Everyone you meet on this journey has their own unique quirks and personality. Yet, against all odds, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition manages to take a very light-hearted approach to its characters. Instead of a group of brooding, vengeful people, you’re greeted to Shulk and his friends eating lunch overlooking their colony, giving plot-heavy moments a simple feeling of sincerity.
Despite being limited to The Bionis, Xenoblade manages to offer diverse settings, from frozen wastes, floating islands, to dense jungles. This infusion of beautiful, lush environments squeezes a 60+ hour campaign, with jaw-dropping backdrops further enhanced by the iconic Xenoblade art style. The way Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition chose to approach its visual elements definitely stands out more on the Nintendo Switch. The anime-esque style brought to life in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 feels more at home in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. Everything from the world, characters and enemy design explodes with more vibrancy and life.
The way Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition chose to approach its visual elements definitely stands out more on the Nintendo Switch.
Quest design still remains rather aged in comparison to newer offerings, with there being very little incentive to stray off the beaten path.
Will defend anything Dragon Ball. Occasionally has two-way conversations with himself. Has sleepless nights about Half-Life 3 confirmed.
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27 May 2020
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