I never played any games in the Xenoblade series, but I thought it was about time I tried. The trailer sold it very well, and I was in the market for a new Switch game. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a turn-based JRP with a unique twist on the genre. Where most games in the genre let you plan your turns, this one makes you wait for cooldowns. Attacks are automatic, but you have full control of your abilities and positioning. If you haven’t played any games in this series, this mechanic will take some getting used to.
At first, combat feels very passive. I felt like I was waiting around for cooldowns, and a lot of it is, but as you start unlocking more skills and classes, it becomes more about managing your teams, builds, and abilities. If you can make it past the tutorial, this game becomes more enjoyable. I found the grind very relaxing, but I suggest you play on mute, or else you will get tired of the voice lines.
There is a strategy to this game as you build your characters and combos, Don’t be discouraged. As dumb as I am, I was able to figure it out. I just went with whatever worked with my play style, but there is ample opportunity to min-max. I am sure there are guides available to help you do so.
The game keeps combating interesting by introducing new classes, mechanics, and abilities as you get deeper into the story. You are encouraged to explore, do side missions, and play different as different characters, but it isn’t mandatory. There is a lot to do in between cutscenes, but it doesn’t get overwhelming.
The story is the main draw for this game. I loved the story, but it is a bit of an anime cliché. I didn’t mind it because the voice acting was fantastic, and I love anime. One thing to note about this game is that the cut scenes are long. The game has enough gameplay in between that I can’t count it as a visual novel, but be aware that you will have to sit through a lot of narratives. But trust me when I say, it’s a great one.
This game is a huge commitment. It takes about 100 hours to complete, more if you start doing side quests. I skipped a lot of them because I wanted to finish them while I still had free time, but I will be going back to do them on my second playthrough. I didn’t feel like I needed to do them, but they will help and add valuable world-building. It is up to you how much time you want to invest in this world, but the investment is worth it.
There is a reason Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was nominated for game of the year. The story is great, the gameplay is fun, and the art is cool. That said, this is a very niche game. I didn’t like combat at first, but I found myself enjoying it more the more I played. I found it a relaxing experience, but one that proved a challenge if I wasn’t cautious. If the gameplay is something you can sit through, then I highly recommend this game. If you want a game with a great story, add this to your collection. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is only available on the Nintendo Switch. Go get your copy today!
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Image by By Nintendo Switch game icon from switchiconshowdown.com, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71544328
Seems like a nice game to try out.
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I liked it a lot. I mostly play MMO’s so it was strange to play a game with such a deep story to it. I had a lot of fun with it, but the game mechanics might take some getting used to.