Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review: clunky but fun

The protagonists of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 sit together while the reviews pour in.

Screenshot: Nintendo

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 may not be best Switch game of 2022, but it definitely sounds like one of the longest. With a main story spanning tens of hours and more thorough playthroughs spanning over 150 hours, this sounds like what stretched JRPG fans have come to expect from Monolith Soft. But will anyone else like it? There are reviews of both.

last game in fragmented Xeno series, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 follows the story of young mercenaries who discover a deeper secret in the midst of a never-ending war between their two peoples. Humans still live on huge titans, and fights still cascade with all sorts of upgradable attacks, transformations, and multiple character fusions. Mechs and existential anime tropes abound. Released on July 29, its Metacritic is currently ranked 89th.

RPG website calls it is a “modern JRPG masterpiece”. Gamer writes that it is “colossal yet intricately focused”. VGKreviewer said the game world of Aionios is “an incredible place to live for a month or two”. All three sites gave Xenoblade Chronicles 3 top scores, character praise, grandiose scope and minimal gameplay inconvenience.

But not everyone agrees. While massive, IGN writes that the story often twists and quests sometimes get bogged down in filler and bounce back. And, praising the sophisticated fight, Games Informant accused Xenoblade Chronicles 3 having one of the worst ensemble actors on the show. One thing that most reviews seem to agree with is that the open world is held back by aging Switch hardware, and fidelity drops during intense fights.

Everything is said Xenoblade Chronicles 3 sounds like another intriguingly incomprehensible mess, the biggest virtues of which will be reserved for those willing to weather it through the 15 hour tutorial. Yes, this is one of those. By the time Marvel Spiderman comes to an end, the novelty from Monolith Soft is just starting to improve. Longtime fans couldn’t help it, but in the words from silicone it sounds “unlikely to go beyond genre preferences”.

Here’s what some other reviews say:

I’m not even sure the game can be finished because after 25 hours it’s still throwing me new mechanics and tutorials that make an already difficult game more and more difficult. However, I’m strangely impressed with her combat, which makes her feel like an MMORPG, and her almost incomprehensible story. Half the time I don’t know what’s going on, mechanically or narratively, but I love it.”

You’ll quickly get to what I love about classic JRPGs – the feeling of running through endless fields of tall grass with your comrades, facing incredible odds and springy strides. It feeds the incredible sense of adventure that makes Xenoblade Chronicles 3 really soar like a JRPG. Perhaps more than any other game in the series, this one strikes a perfect balance between systems and story—even better, it manages to weave them together in an adventure that infuses every step you take with a sense of purpose.”

“Xenoblade 3the world is simply beautiful to look at, with great vistas around every corner. Monolith Soft continues to be an absolute wizard with Nintendo hardware, releasing a game that easily becomes one of the most beautiful in the entire Switch library. The game’s aesthetic falls somewhere between the more realistic style of the first game and the anime style of the second, and it really works. The in-game splash screen design is exceptional.”

It has some really cool action sequences, and for those of you who don’t delve into Xenoblade dub, dual audio for you. With that in mind, I loved this dub. With dialogue like “spark it,” “deffo,” “how much magical power this bastard has,” and “queen bitch,” he runs the gamut from surprisingly campy to downright laugh-out-loud hilarious. Energetic performances can become downright cheeky, especially when we’re talking about Yuni, the queen of sass.”

Between an epic, touching story that didn’t make me cry, a great cast of well-written, kindred characters, a gameplay loop that kept me coming back to it, incredibly satisfying chain attacks, a great soundtrack like its predecessors, and so much more. I can safely say that I love Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and this might just be the best of the entire series. Longtime fans are in for an absolutely wild ride, and with handy tutorials for an addictive game loop, newbies can even enjoy it.”

Although Xenoblade 3Wednesday’s are amazing to roam, rarely looking pretty due to the Nintendo Switch being pushed to its absolute limits by such an ambitious journey. I played on my OLED model and switched back and forth between dock and mobile mode regularly, but even with the latest Nintendo hardware textures, the textures are often low-res, they pop (and disappear) a lot, and often I just couldn’t help but feel like the world was a little blurry. The good news is that I quickly got used to these visual imperfections, and once I accepted them for what they were, it very rarely spoiled my enjoyment.”

Monolith Soft tried its best to recreate and multiply the novelties of the first Xenoblade Chronicles adventure since its release in 2012. The third chapter of the sci-fi JRPG series suffered the same unfortunate fate as XC X as well as XC 2. Despite top-notch combat features and character development, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an overblown journey through vast but lifeless locations, further diminished by ineffective storytelling with one of the worst ensemble casts in the franchise.”

While the combat itself is fantastic, the real fun is experimenting with different squad compositions and optimizing different equipment options. My favorite moments in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 when I get swept away by the boss, adjust the composition of the group and unleash hell on the same opponent on the second try. It’s a brilliant cycle that really highlights the depth, strategy and fluidity of combat.”

The story is interesting, and the scavenging side activities offer plenty to see and do, even if the quests are familiar and repetitive. This is a game for fans of the series who know what to expect, or fans of the genre who are looking for a nice big RPG to dive into on the go. If you don’t fit into any of these groups, you can skip Xenoblade Chronicles 3because next Mario, Zeldaas well as Kirby it’s an acquired taste.”

My enjoyment was simple, in a way that has never been possible in past Monolith Soft games. The studio’s success isn’t about overcoming hardware limitations, embarrassing character designs, or clumsy direction – it’s about not having to analyze those differentiators this time around. Instead, it tells the story its creators have been building for years: the story of a boy who meets a girl, who then finds her own path, and with it the balance to walk it – in the boundless sea, under the boundless sky. And that’s important.”

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