Xenoblade Chronicles Review by: EvilAluXenoblade Chronicles Review.
Description - Xenoblade Chronicles is a single player action role playing game on the Wii, developed by Monolith Soft, published by Nintendo and directed by Tetsuya Takahashi. The game had dotted release dates, in Japan it was out in 2010 later hitting the UK shops in 2011 and North America in 2012.
Story - In the start, the world was originally a vast ocean. This was until two mighty beings known as "Bionis" and the "Mechonis" came to be. These two titans fought an epic battle, until one final attack caused only their lifeless bodies to remain, forever frozen in combat forever. Many eons later, civilizations founded by the different races of Bionis, the humanoid Homs and the Nopon. They were attacked by the Mechon, a legion of machines from Mechonis. Playing the role of Shulk, you take up the mighty "Monado" the only weapon that can break through the Mechon armor. Together with a variety of friends, you strive to take down the Mechon, and bring peace to Bionis.
I found the story to be really interesting, it starts you off with some nice action moments, and this was appealing to me, pulling me in to the game before I even took control. When you do finally take control, you are immediately thrown in to combat, I personally love when a game does this, as it makes me learn faster which helps when playing through the story. After a brief combat tutorial, you find yourself one year later, it is here you play as Shulk, and once again combat begins almost instantly. With a variety of different things to take on within the story, you wont be let down for conversation. As I got deeper in to the game, I found the story to grow more interesting as it went on, bringing to light some unanswered questions I had been asking myself while playing. With what seems like an almost endless amount of possibilities with the story, I rarely found myself without some form of conversation to take part in. The story as a whole had a nice mix of emotions that characters displayed, which really added a nice feel to it. Another great thing about the story, is the exploration value, as there is so much to do and explore, I always had something to do. A fine example of this are the two locations of Bionis and Mechonis. Though you may see that and think just two locations?, in this game that is all you needed, as each location is so vast, and offered hours upon hours of in story content. All in all, if you enjoy adventure, action some good conversation opportunities and the thought of exploring two giant titans, then Xenoblade Chronicles story should meet your needs.
Combat - The battle system was something new and refreshing to me, offering a new twist on how you battle. There are no random encounters within the game, each enemy is visible for you to take on as you please, and battles take place in the same area you are traveling through. When you decide to engage an enemy, or the enemy engages you, all of the characters in your party will automatically take up arms. You are free to control each individual character, and move around freely. This is helpful, as you will be issuing out commands known as "Arts" that can sometimes be critical depending on your position. Selecting arts was simple and easy to perform, and there are a number of arts at your disposal earning new ones as you go. Some arts are also fantastic for inflicting status changing effects on enemies, but in order to make them take effect, position is key and you will need to hit the enemy in just the right spot. There is also the ability to perform a "Chain Attack" once you fill up your teams meter, the chain ability becomes available and allows you to issue one art per character. This is highly important in some fights, as some enemies you will need to use a number of different attacks in order to inflict damage to it. It can also be very helpful in other ways, especially if you and your team are low on health, and need a quick selection of healing arts to be made. In some cases, only the Monado will be able to break an enemies defense, so it is vital to always keep Shulk in good condition. You can earn points upon leveling up, which can be used to increase your arts effectiveness, which again help out in battles. I found the combat to be exciting and refreshing to use, with a mix of fast action movements and powerful arts, it is one of the best battle systems I have played to date.
Graphics - The graphics were aesthetically pleasing, and were some of the best I have seen a Wii game have. The scale of locations was impressive to say the least, offering boundless possibilities. Enemy design was nicely done and clear, and towns had a good amount of detail to them. Though the facial expressions didn't really compare to all the other graphics, they were good for what they were and didn't really take anything away from the game. From the clear blue skies to the towering cliffs overflowing with greenery and even the smallest blade of grass blowing in the wind, the amount of detail put in to the graphics were stunning. Even the transition to night time had its charm, with some stormy nights showing a lot of detail with the rain, and the occasional streak of lightning illuminating the dark murky night. I truly believe that this game pulls as much out of a Wii game as possible when graphics are in mind.
Sound - The voice acting in the game fit well, and you could tell they were interested in expressing the feelings of the character. Though at times I felt the voice acting felt a lot more script read and slow in places, it didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of it. The sound track within the game was great, bringing an exciting feel to it as you traveled across the vast areas. In battle music was fast and enjoyable, and really made me get in to the fighting spirit. Each location provided a very well done piece of music, and fit the overall feel to the area. Anyone thinking of playing this game, will without a doubt receive a nice treat for the ears.
Depth - Xenoblade Chronicles offers you as the player an incredible amount of depth, with enticing story that pulls you in to the game to towering locations to explore. The main story can last for up to a huge 67 hours, and that is without aiming for extras within the game. If you want to attempt any extra things, such as optional side quests and items, you can up your total play time to an impressive 98 + hours. It is highly possible to go well over 150 + hours of game play in Xenoblade Chronicles, so when depth is concerned you wont be let down at all.
Addictiveness - This was one of the most addictive games I have ever taken on, at times I had to pull myself away from my game. I rarely found a moment that left me bored, it always provided something to grab my interest. I could easily get lost within the expansive locations and side quests for hours at a time, sometimes playing morning till night. For people looking for a good game that can keep them entertained for a long period of time, Xenoblade Chronicles would meet your needs and more.
Difficulty - The difficulty was actually rather challenging to me in some areas, while there are spots that you can easily overcome, some enemies can prove to be a handful. Like many games, the more you level up the easier fights can become, but with this game even if you spent hours leveling up your team, you could always find an enemy to give you a decent fight. Boss battles were some of the hardest I have encountered in places, pushing me to pull out all the stops in order to survive. Even field monsters could hold their own, sometimes making me step back to plan out an action. There are no save points anywhere to be found in game, you are able to save at any point you chose. I appreciated this as I got deeper in to the game, as it is a helpful feature when you are about to start something you think you might not survive though. I would recommend this game if you enjoy some interesting fights, as it offers plenty.
Overall - The game as a whole, I don't really have anything bad to say about it. Sure in some places it may not be on par with other parts of the game, but I found they are hardly noticeable while playing. So if you want a good gaming experience, full of good story, pleasing music, exciting combat and an overall rich graphic environment, then Xenoblade Chronicles will be right up your street. A true must play for any action RPG fan.