Heir To The Monado, The Power Is Yours
The story of Xenoblade Chronicles traverses the remains of two titans, One being the Bionis and its counterpart the Mechonis. In the beginning of the world there was a vast empty sea but out of the sea sprung two colossal forms of life, the aforementioned beings known as the Bionis and Mechonis. For eons the two titans were locked in combat until they struck fatal blows upon each other and the only things that remained were the lifeless corpses of the giants. Centuries have gone by and the inhabitants of the Bionis find themselves locked in combat with a soulless force known as the Mechon. The beginning prologue fight starts you off with the character Dunban who risks his life to strike the decisive blow in the “Battle of Sword Valley.” One year later we are introduced to the stories true main character Shulk and we travel with him as well as lifelong friends Ryen and Fiora to stop the endless assault on their world.
Shulk – A very shy and curious young man who was orphaned at a young age and taken in by the researcher and weapons developer Dickson. He is the current user of the Monado and sets out to discover the secrets behind the Monado and why the mechon constantly attack and kill the homs (the game’s word for humans). Shulk functions as the utility character and has a move for every situation. The only drawback to Shulk is that he cannot take as much punishment as other characters but his utility often makes up for his flaws.
Ryen – Shulk’s best friend and the brawn to Shulk’s brain. Ryen Functions as the tank of the team and his skill set reflects his role in the team. Ryen focuses on defense over offense and absorbs the majority of damage inflicted on the team. He is the comic relief of the story and the shoulder everyone leans on when things get tough.
Dunban – The old master/badass of the group who oozes cool from start to finish. Dunban is the former hero of the homs and the previous user of the monado. In his fight at sword valley, Dunban pushed himself past his limits and over drew the power of the monado causing him to lose the use of his right arm for life. Even without his right arm he is the most resolute and battle hardened of the group and plays the part of older brother to everyone in the party but especially Shulk and Ryen due to their shared past and Dunban being Fiora’s actual older brother. Dunban is the glass cannon of the group serving as a heavy attacker and hits hard but has no defensive orinented moves in his arsenal. His major saving grace is that he has extremely high agility and can force opponents to miss most of their attacks
The gameplay is a real time battle system in which your characters when in range will always auto attack, while the player can choose from a group of special moves or “Arts” as they are called In the game. The game is completely open world and rewards the player for exploring everything the game has to offer.
The game excels in making every move count and forcing the player to make quick decisions.
It has a way of drawing on the emotions of the player and draws great responses with the use of music, voice acting and storytelling.
Each location in the game is beautifully created and every piece of the game can be explored without anything getting old or feeling as if there is nothing more to discover. The difficulty of the game is very challenging but rewarding with enemies being just the right amount of difficult to not get halted by every monster that you come across. The unique monsters scattered within the game serve as unofficial area bosses that keep certain areas of the game off limits due to them being a higher level than your party, giving you a reason to level grind more until you are able to defeat those monsters and explore the areas that they guarded.
The voice acting is very enjoyable with a cast that nails each character. The Cast hits every emotion ranging from silly, to grief, to vengeful, to pure happiness. A small note to mention is that the voice actors seem to be all Australian, which gives the world a unique flare to it. The soundtrack is phenomenal. It finds a perfect balance of fitting the moment and drawing emotion without being completely overpowering. The combat system is very layered and rich. It allows you to control a majority of the fights and lets you turn the tides of battle at the exact moment in which you need it the most
The learning curve! For anyone that comes into the game expecting it to play like a turn based RPG or that is used to that style of gameplay will have a hard time adapting to the games real time pace. Also with how layered the combat system can be, it is a lot to take in and learn. Honestly there aren’t to many more flaws without forcing yourself to find things that are truly wrong because the game has so little if any.
Final Thoughts and Verdict:
Clocking in with at least 100 hours of gameplay, I haven’t been challenged, enthralled and immersed in a game the way Xenoblade Chronicles has and its an absolute most buy for the 3DS or Wii. Finding it for the Wii would be highly difficult and costly with remaining copies going from between 70 to 100 dollars, but to get the most out of it graphically I’d advise you to buy it on the Wii.
I 100% recommend this game as a must buy for anyone who enjoys a fantastic and heart wrenching story, RPG or open world game with many challenges and rewards to offer.
For alternate game recommandations, I would recommend
Kingdom Hearts, The Tales of series, and Rouge Galaxy.