Xenoblade Chronicles X First Impressions
By Daniel Lein
Xenoblade Chronicles X is a massive JRPG, weighing in at about 200 hours. Sadly I don’t have the time to review such a massive game, but I can tell you about the first few hours. If you are unsure whether or not you should buy this game you should figure out whether or not you like online RPGs. Even though this is a console game on the Wii U it feels very much like World of Warcraft or any other MMORPGs. This is thanks impart to the actual online feature of the game. You can choose to play solo, with friends, or with any stranger you meet in the game. You can perform quests together and even team up for event quests. Speaking of quests this game has tons of them, most of which are simple and meaningless. That’s not a bad thing though as the gameplay is fairly enjoyable. In Xenoblade Chronicles X you use a battle system that feels very similar to Knights of the Old Republic. You approach an enemy, engage in combat, and use cool downs to give yourself the edge. The difference in Xeno is that these cool down special moves can be used at the right time to make awesome combos. These combos can make heals more affective, add status effects, or just deal extra damage. Whatever the case it gives a unique flow to each battle and keeps the player engaged for the duration of the fight. I also want to touch on the aesthetic of the game. It follows a cyber punk/anime setting where humans have escaped a war with aliens and now live on a new planet. This new world that you live in is absolutely gorgeous with some of the most stunning vistas in recent memory. The architecture of the land is breath taking and worth exploring. The best part is that this world doesn’t feel empty. Though there aren’t many people around there are plenty of creatively designed creatures, each with their own threat level. Even though exploring the world of Xenoblade is a treat there are many creatures eager to ruin it for you.
All in all Xenoblade Chronicles X is a beautiful and enjoyable game with a ton to do. The only real downside to the game is the lack of effective instruction. After the tutorial you are thrown into a massive melting pot of quests to complete and people to meet. The tutorial did a good job of showing rather than telling, but after the tutorial the game puts you in a position you feel unprepared for. After some quests and adventuring you’ll be back on your feet, but that initial blow is a doozy.
If you enjoy JRPGs or MMORPGs than Xenoblade is most certainly a good choice for the holidays. With hundreds of hours of playtime and a wonderful world to discover you can’t really go wrong, just know what you’re getting into.