Xenoblade 3 Is Already Winning Me

Xenoblade 3 Is Already Winning Me
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Noah stares at his sword in disbelief that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 hasn't digested him yet.

Screenshots: Nintendo

I’ve been looking forward to Monolith Soft’s next game since the last one ended in 2017, but I haven’t had my fair share of reservations. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 It was a convoluted JRPG with chaotic systems and highly disorganized storytelling. As much as I loved the series, I was worried. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 would be the same. Not so far. It’s a first-party Nintendo Switch blockbuster that can be hooked up with the rest of the library.

It feels like the most lush and balanced game in five hours in the show. The environments are expanding but full. Combat has plenty of layers to try, but none seem overly expansive or overbearing. Your party list is full of classic archetypes that defy cliché. And the music, which is responsible for keeping the momentum going through the long, hard episodes of a game like this, is as excellent as ever.

Xenoblade 3 characters are fighting a big battle.

Screenshots: Nintendo

discussions about Xenoblade 3huge runtime and how is it still instructive within 10 hoursMy number one concern was progress. However, the game almost wastes no time. You play as Noah, a member of the Keves nation and locked in an existential struggle with his comrades against the rival nation of Agnus. Both sides depend on “flaming clocks” inside giant machine bases called Ferronis, which harvest the life energy of those who fell in battle. Humans are born as children and only live 10 years or less if they don’t get enough lives to feed the clock. It’s kind of Battle Royale by Philip K. Dick.

Events begin with a great battle before quickly turning to otherworldly intrigues. While on a reconnaissance mission, Noah and his crew encounter rival warriors from a rival nation to plunge both sides into chaos when a mysterious old man says they are all pawns in a larger conspiracy. Next thing you know, cyborgs are fighting, characters are swarming together, and a six-character-deep party is delivered into your hands to fight to the end. Xenoblade 3secrets.

A chaotic battle screen shows off Xenoblade 3's messy UI.

Screenshots: Nintendo/Kotaku

All of this happens within the first few hours. I spent most of my time before and after fighting in the fields, rivers, and ravines. Despite its seductive premise and chatty community, Xenoblade 3‘s gameplay remains the classic JRPG grind. Most of these can be accomplished on autopilot. Harder battles against non-bosses are invoked with special fonts over the enemies’ heads that indicate their extra power, better rewards, or both. and on the contrary Xenoblade 2, the landscapes are once again generously peppered with collectible resources that you can only get by walking over them. No more stopping every five seconds to push a button to discover extra woodworking or mushroom baking pieces.

In terms of combat, I’m still unlocking some core features, but customizing special attacks (called “Arts”) and changing character classes unlocks pretty early in battle. It’s easy to see how these interlocking systems, involving a certain level of mixing and matching of active and passive abilities, can lead to lots of satisfying tampering between marquee boss fights. And while I initially worried that having six party members on screen at once would make battles needlessly chaotic, it adds a nice level of micromanagement to be able to swap between them willingly. Xenoblade 3 I missed it a lot in previous games (the UI remains a nightmare).

Xenoblade 3's mysterious villains lurk in the dark.

Screenshots: Nintendo

My only real complaint is that the extensive tutorial is sometimes overly descriptive and unskippable. Do I need the game to guide me step by step equipping a new piece of armor? Well Similarly, I don’t need characters chatting about various game systems to make them feel like they’re part of the sci-fi world. People merge bodies and become cyborgs. Young adults wielding magical costume changes and giant swords are the least of my concerns.

Fortunately, none of this is too much of a hindrance. I really enjoyed the last few days. Xenoblade 3 when I’m playing and thinking about her all the time when I’m not. It rarely happens to me these days. Especially when it comes to JRPGs. But for now, Xenoblade 3 Managed to combine some of my favorite elements from Monolith’s past games (mechanics, cabals, free flowing war) with things that work very well in others. Namely, a group of student warriors praising, questioning and sniping at each other as they try to overthrow their forces. keep squeezing to a minimum. worked in person 5, Fire Emblem: Three Housesand right now, it’s really working for me Xenoblade 3. I have a few dozen more hours to find out if the rest of the game is enough.

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