The Xenoblade Chronicles franchise has been both a commercial and critical success story for Nintendo and Monolith Sloth, so they had nothing to lose with Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, did they?
It's a remake of the original and another big name addition to the Switch’s impressive roster.
Fans of the series will find the Definitive Edition boasts enhanced visuals, updated controls, remastered music and other improvements, including a new epilogue titled Future Connected, set one year after the main game's events.
Plenty to sink your teeth into
For those new to the Xenoblade Chronicles series, it is a Japanese-style open world, action RPG.
As a starter for 10, it looks fantastic on both the big screen and handheld.
Once into the main game, after the opening storyline play-along, you are thrown straight into the action.
With a huge number of quests to sink your teeth into straight off the bat, some may find it a touch overwhelming or daunting. But they all fit together quite nicely, so rest assured you will start to make logical progress.
Your initial area is fairly huge in itself, with plenty of mobs around for you to take on to complete your quests and get your quest drops and loot.
The map system marks out your areas and where you need to go to complete or pickup quests. Thankfully there are teleport stations for you to ping around the map, otherwise there would be a hell of a lot of grind in this vast open world.
The fighting style is similar to the Final Fantasy series but with a lot more control. It means you have mobility while in battle so you can select which spell or special move to use, depending on your proximity to the mob and which character you are controlling.
Familiar without being boring
Everything is very familiar with Xenoblade and - although it can be intimidating at times for newbies, due to the level of customisation for each character in your party and the number of menus - it only takes a small amount of trial and error to get it right. For veterans of the series, it is manna from heaven.
As I touched on earlier, the graphics are great, with some really nice detailing. The music fits well to create the kind of atmosphere often missing in the JRPG genre. The storyline doesn’t disappoint, even despite some of the rather random conversations you have with NPCs, which, in my experience, have become a key part of JRPGs.
All in all, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive edition is a must for any action and/or RPG fan.
If you persevere with this, you’ll be richly rewarded and will soon be cramming hours and hours into exploration of this expertly-crafted universe.
Out: 29 May 2020Rating: 8.5/10