Shulk, Reyn and the rest of the crew return in this 3D remastered version of Xenoblade Chronicles which is exclusive to the New Nintendo 3DS. It goes without saying that the original was one of the best Japanese role playing titles that we’ve had in recent years with an immersive storyline, huge and lush landscapes to roam around in, and a fantastic real-time battle system. If you have a passing interest in role playing games then the game is without doubt an essential purchase.
Xenoblade Chronicles takes place in an unusual universe where two titans, the Bionis and the Mechonis, have battled it out to the death. As with all things, time passes, and the lifeless gigantic bodies of the titans remain. Vegetation has grown on the titans, humans have built settlements, and life continues to evolve on the Bionis and the Mechonis. There are two main races in Xenoblade Chronicles, the Mechon and the Homs, both of whom are battling it out with each other for supremacy. Your job begins on the body of the Bionis where you have no choice but to repel the threat of the Mechon who invade your colony and in turn lead you to uncover the secrets of a mystical weapon called the Monado.
Those of you who have completed the Wii version of Xenoblade Chronicles and are expecting visual refinement really won’t be blown away, as the game features slightly blurry and muddy textures that are generally devoid of any real detail. However, the game looks technically competent, though I have to admit that I personally expected slightly more from the New Nintendo 3DS – which is coincidentally required to play this particular game. I expect the vast majority of you will purchase this game for the engrossing gameplay and fluid storyline which are without a doubt top-notch.
So you’re probably wondering how are the 3D effects on the New Nintendo 3DS? Well, the 3D effects are subtle, but from what I’ve played they don’t significantly improve the overall experience. Again, I was slightly disappointed with this especially as it was one of my first games on the New Nintendo 3DS. This shouldn’t turn you off of the game though. Maybe I was expecting too much from the game which is the first to take advantage of the New Nintendo 3DS. However, as I said before, do not let this put you off.
I was a huge fan of the original on the Wii and sang its praises back in the day. The game has aged extremely well as it’s still the engrossing and compelling game that it was when it launched back in 2011. Even if you have a passing interest in JRPG’s then you need to play it. I’ll admit that the original was one of the first Japanese RPG’s I’d played in years and it has since made me search out notable games of the genre. I love the battle system, I love the characters, the sprawling landscapes, the detailed storyline, and I’m sure you will too.
So is this a good showcase for the New Nintendo 3DS? It’s hard to say. It’s not really a looker and not a game that you will use to wow your friends. But it’s genuinely an essential game and it really feels miraculous playing this on a handheld. Sure, visually it’s not anything to write home about, but a great game is a great game and from a gamer’s perspective this is one of the best games of recent times. Is it the game to buy a New Nintendo 3DS for? Maybe not if you’ve got the original on the Wii. But if you haven’t, then yes, you really do need this game.