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Xenoblade Chronicles

ゼノブレイド

Developer: Monolith Soft Publisher: Nintendo
10 June 2010
Xenoblade Chronicles [ゼノブレイド] - cover art
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3.89 / 5.0
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825 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#307 All-time
#13 for 2010
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Releases 15
2010 Monolith Soft Nintendo  
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JP 4 902370 518245 RVL-SX4J-JPN-B0
2011 Monolith Soft Nintendo  
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GB 0 45496 40023 1 RVL-SX4P-UKV
2012 Monolith Soft Nintendo  
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XNA 0 45496 90285 8 RVL-SX4E-USA-E0
Show all 15 releases
2015 Monolith Soft Nintendo  
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SG MY AE SA 0 45496 90285 8 RVL-SX4E-MDE-EO
2015 Monolith Soft Monster  
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GB 0 45496 52771 6 LNA-KTR-CAFP-EUR
2015 Monolith Soft Monster  
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XNA 0 45496 74317 8 LNA-KTR-CAFE-USA
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
2020 Monolith Soft Nintendo  
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RU 0 45496 42580 7 LA-H-AUBQA-RUS
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
2020 Monolith Soft Nintendo  
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ES PT 0 45496 42586 9 LA-H-AUBQA-EUR
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition - Collector's Set
2020 Monolith Soft Nintendo  
Game card
GB FR 0 45496 42623 1
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
2020 Monolith Soft Nintendo  
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Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
2020 Monolith Soft Nintendo  
Game card
XNA 0 45496 59695 8 LA-H-AUBQA-USA
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
2020 Monolith Soft Nintendo  
Game card
GB 0 45496 42582 1
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Title
Awe and wonder, the RPG
Xenoblade Chronicles is a super comforting place for me. I can come back to this game at any point and it always holds up, no matter what. Even now, 10 years after its original release in North America, it sunk its claws into me as I replayed it in preparation for the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 in a few days. It will never get old.

The world of the Bionis and the Mechonis has a visual scale and splendor that has not been matched by any developer other than Monolith Soft themselves. From the moment you walk out to Gaur Plains and you see the sword of the Mechonis towering over you, that visual context of where you are in the world never fails to make you feel so small. The story, despite being filled with a few clichés, is captivating and full of emotional moments. The music is stellar, of course.

I also tend to prefer the gameplay of Xenoblade Chronicles over its sequel. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 often felt like it could buckle under the weight of its complex systems, but the relative simplicity and familiarity of the combat and equipment systems of the first Xenoblade Chronicles makes it so easy to pick up and play. The gameplay never gets in the way of letting you get immersed in the world, which is a charge I'll loudly levy against its sequel.

It's not quite perfect enough to get five stars out of me though--while the later areas in the game do kick up the visual grandeur tenfold, the dreaded late game difficulty spike grinds the game's pace to halt. In addition to this, the vast majority of the game's side quests consist of bland fetch and kill quests that felt dated even in 2012--this is something the sequel improved on significantly, actually. But these are pretty minor complaints when put next to the things this game does right in terms of art direction, exploration and story. Those things alone are enough to make it one of the best JRPGs I've ever played.

4.5/5
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lingsdook 2022-07-25T20:23:43Z
2022-07-25T20:23:43Z
4.5
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So, Xenoblade Chronicles starts out pretty typical, you're a boy with a magic sword and you gotta save the world together with your friends. Once you step out into the wider world, then you start to realize that something is different. Everything in the world, mountains, gorges, trees, monsters, is absolutely massive. It kind of makes you feel like you're an action figure walking through a garden. The world design, the idea that you are walking around on a living giant is one of the best parts of this game.

Other parts of the game are not so great. The story is serviceable and interesting enough, but the characters are just walking cliches with little personality. The quests are completely forgettable and probably half of them are just "kill X" or "collect Y amount of Z".

The combat system is kind of interesting, it's not strictly turn-based, instead you can move freely while your character auto-attacks. You have an array of special attacks that have different effects depending on which direction you attack from.
While this does theoretically give you a lot of options, in practice there is one strategy that works against every enemy, so there isn't really any incentive to play around with it. Also, the balancing in this game is especially poor, where everything at or below your level is pure cannon fodder and everything a few levels above is unbeatable.

The biggest issue however is that the game loves to waste your time. There is fast travel, but the only way to get across the massive levels is by walking. There are no mounts and no vehicles, so you're going to be walking A LOT. Many quests have way too much unnecessary back and forth, which again, you have to walk, so it takes forever. As another example, there is a part where you have to escape from a collapsing part of the level. In this escape, you have to walk the entire way back to the entrance. There are no enemies and no hazards, you just walk through the empty level for several minutes. Overall this game is at least 33% too long.

The Definitive Edition has a kind of new epilogue called "Future Connected", which was made from a cut area of the original game. It is about 10 hours or so long and really shows how great this game could have been if it was more tightly paced.
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IgorEmu 2021-12-29T15:18:41Z
2021-12-29T15:18:41Z
3.5
1
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Alongside the sudden shift to science-fantasy, Xenoblade Chronicles takes the grindy, mindless cooldown combat of MMORPGs and absorbs into it nearly every idea from the past no matter how developed. For this 80-hour trip, half of it is a fairly competent, well-crafted experience, the other half is the epitome of filler. It really checks off most boxes of what constitutes a quality JRPG (aside from the awkward writing), but beyond the premise, they fail to establish any sort of identity.

Wildly overrated, Xenoblade Chronicles encapsulates everything that went wrong with JRPGs since the PS2 era: Large empty spaces designed to show off console capabilities (that are a slog to traverse through), generic humanoid characters (their cast of FFX rejects) and an even more banal storyline littered with JRPG cliches; bombast for the sake of bombast, set after set of exaggerations that don't inspire awe but indifference and exhaustion instead.
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Blah_Blee 2021-06-28T14:01:24Z
2021-06-28T14:01:24Z
5 /10
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Less is more, and "more" is this game's motto
Xenoblade Chronicles is one of those paradoxical classics where critical reception is through the roof but I've never known anyone who's played the game in real life. I definitely can see why people adore this game, and why the movement to get it localized in America was so intense, because it is overall an interesting experience with a unique premise as a game set on the bodies of huge dead gods. A concept that out-there for role-playing games in 2010 was like the ultimate mystery box, which certainly helped its mystique as this nearly forgotten classic. After spending 80 hours with XC1, I will say firsthand that I don't really get the "classic" talk so much, unless you tend to grade JRPGs on a curve in the polish and narrative departments. There is a lot of content here, and most of it strays in the no-man's land of mediocrity, with some notable exceptions in both directions. This is a huge game, so I apologize in advance for my proportionately huge response. Just in case -

TL;DR: Xenoblade Chronicles is a good but not great video game that pads its length constantly and aspires to be just too much like MMOs that your time playing it feels unproductive. Top-notch presentation, a ridiculous sum of content, and a unique premise do just enough to make it a positive experience overall.

Let's get the first thing you'll notice out of the way first: XC1 is nothing short of a complete technical marvel for the Wii, with absolutely enormous environments and some of the longest draw distances in any game I have ever played. The screenshots of vast landscapes to explore and fight various alien-looking beasts throughout were no doubt the largest part of the initial hype for the game. The levels you'll traverse all take place on the overgrown corpses of two gods, Bionis and Mechonis, who killed each other at the same time, their blades creating bridges between the two bodies. The former's body spawned flourishing organic life while the latter churns out hyper-advanced autonomous machinery, with its interior looking like a demented Tick Tock Clock. Nearly every area in the game has a stunning vista of the giants from a new perspective, giving cohesion to the world and making your journey feel like it's amounted to actual progress as you slowly scale the titans. To boot, each region has distinct forms of intelligent life that fill out the JRPG tropes you might expect for the time (fragile winged mages, hardy but dumb human-types, and the tricky cute Moogle-y guys), with large numbers of each race in the hubworlds and towns. The Nopon Village in the forest stood out to me as a highlight - the building was the carved-out inside of a massive tree with 9 interconnected floors packed with HUNDREDS of bustling little Nopon with quests, stories, and items for sale... shit, there was even a pool on the roof. The scope of the world is staggering and you'll spend hours just walking around trying to visit each place and talk to each person. Most people who live in their villages have never left them, and the distance between each civilization is so vast that when you encounter other people on your travels, it feels welcoming. You'll encounter lonely, blizzarding mountains, huge mechanical towers, a series of floating islands mapping a graph over a crystalline sea, a lush forest filled with life both friendly and not, and luminescent marshes lit by the exotic wildife that found their homes there. In all, the level presentation and layout is a treat, and some of the best I've seen in any JRPG, and the technical wizardry needed to achieve it must be commended.

Exploring these areas is a treat, too, thanks to some small but refreshing tweaks to the standard RPG formula. First, and most importantly, there are no random encounters to speak of, and because the size of the enemies can range from insects and small mammals to behemoths, you'll be able to visually affirm dangerous threats from afar and make physical routes around them to avoid their attention. The game is not at all afraid to zone off areas with enemies that are way above your weight class, so you have to pick and choose your fights. While some parts of the stages bottleneck you into encounters, a majority of them are optional, to an extent. Xenoblade also has a really great take on the regeneration of your party's "vitals" - your health regenerates quickly when you're not in combat, making each fight feel insular and dynamic, and a complete lack of consumable items throughout the entire game means zero item management as you trek across the landscape. Is this less interesting than carefully managing use of your valued potions? Maybe, but many avoid the most useful finite resources in any game just out of preservationist habit, so Xenoblade's approach cuts out some non-decisions from the player in favor of a system that makes it very easy to go out and accomplish what you need to do in the environment. Additionally, all character "arts" (AKA abilities and magic) are tied to in-battle cooldowns that start pre-filled at the beginning of each encounter, so it feels like you're fighting at full strength every time.

What you actually do in these environments is unfortunately tied to the restrictive set of gameplay actions Xenoblade gets out of its systems. Almost 80% of the game's content or more is tied to side-quests that encourage you to explore the environments beyond the story-related waypoint on your map, but the major quest types are very limited. You can hunt down a bunch of a certain beast, hunt down a larger, particularly nasty beast, farm items that only certain enemies drop, farm items that are found as glowing little RNG-based collectibles (which is especially tedious as it's completely random), seek out a unique glowing collectible hidden somewhere around the area, or talk to other people to settle some kind of conflict (which usually comes with some of the aforementioned types as a subquest task). Outside of the big game quests and the hidden-item quests, the incredibly limited nature of what you'll be actively working toward at any given time gets old pretty fast, with those two exceptions permitted as they promote deep exploration of the environment and defogging the map. If something isn't tied to a quest, though, it's a fair question to ask what the point of it is, because there are hundred and hundreds of quests to do. For example, there are a couple secret environments that exist simply to be a cool view or the area; from a utilitarian standpoint, this might be filler stuff, but I think it's easier to argue those little glimpses of content-for-its-own-sake as more passionate game design than chopping up 10 wolves for 1000G. Also worth noting that NPCs have a day-night cycle of whether they are even spawned in the environment, and without waypoints back to the quest giver, it's a pain in the fucking ass to find anyone, especially if you have trouble putting the name to the face. Thankfully, a majority of the quests autocomplete at their conclusion, giving you the rewards instantly without need to track down the client, which is at least an attempt at solving that issue.

From a subjective standpoint, I mostly like the aesthetic direction of the game as well. The world continuity being the bodies of two dead gods makes many of the locales feel integrated and interesting, and you get a really consistent feeling of being a completely insignificant being in a world much larger than you, which I personally found compelling. The levels are on the whole very beautiful, with a couple feeling like generic fantasy settings. The main characters and their armor are all completely over-the-top and overly techy, but in a very endearing late-00s way that I can't help but feel fits the absurdity of the premise. The music is composed by the legendary Yoko Shimomura along with a small in-house team, but many of the pieces tried to fit the grandeur of their huge associated environments and failed, in my opinion. In comparison to Yoko's other work with Kingdom Hearts and the Mario RPGs, many pieces feel fantasy-generic or overly melodramatic. Thankfully, a majority of the music is good to great and this is more a nitpick because I adore most of her work.

Now to the meat of it - I think Xenoblade Chronicles is about 40 hours longer than it should have been, and it makes a staggering number of poor design decisions along the way that makes normal progression feel like a grind. In short: the combat system is fairly undynamic with very few ways to create interesting strategies outside of passive stuff like putting gems on armor and weapons; the story is a completely ridiculous revenge quest for upwards of 35 hours and ends in an unsatisfying way that could have been remedied immediately by simply having Fiora kidnapped to start the game instead of being "killed," to have a better motivation to fight the Mechon besides going full Anakin-on-the-sand-people, AND would have made the reveal that she is alive and working for the bad guys ten times less stupid and groan-worthy, and after those 35 hours the plot turns to standard save-the-world-and-unite-the-races schlock that Shulk seems somewhat uninterested in; the sidequests are fetch quest filler outside of around 25% of them that feel somewhat organic, and to boot these side quests are strongly recommended as without them you will be underleveled and broke; enemies that are only 2 levels stronger than you will often completely wipe the floor with your party, so there's a weird exponential scaling happening somewhere in the balancing; there are a myriad of throw-in systems meant to waste your time, such as crafting gems with gem parts in a stupidly long animation, or a full day-night "schedule" for the thousand NPCs in this game that makes it near impossible to find the person you're looking for; the fucking pointless item carrying capacity that does nothing but irritate everyone; the extensive emphasis on item collection via fighting and exploration is made tedious and arbitrary without a proper beastiary or any application for collectibles besides selling them or gathering them for a quest; and finally, towards the endgame, not being able to control the entire party or change their tendencies like in Dragon Age starts to feel grating as the CPU-controlled characters get steadily less useful.

To sum it up, this game does not feel good to play around the time you hit the Nopon village, at which point the sunken cost fallacy has already settled in and you will begrudgingly see the game through to its conclusion anyway. XC1 is a flawed game with JUST enough modern tweaks on the JRPG formula and stuff to do to still recommend, somewhat. The foundation is here to make something very special and large in scope, so I hope the sequels have more to offer and less mess to parse through.
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the_lockpick 2019-11-16T03:55:01Z
2019-11-16T03:55:01Z
3.0
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there was a tremendous amount of hype backing xenoblade chronicles, as it nearly didn't get localized. thankfully, xenoblade managed to live up to the hype. and as an unofficial end to the wii's lifespan, it's a great way to go. nearly everything about xenoblade feels incredibly modern. by "modern" i mean it includes a lot of progressive mechanics, including an inter-party relationship system, sidequests that automatically reward you once the objective is completed (with some exceptions), and an ability to see into the future and prevent teammates' deaths. it also bucks traditional turn-based combat for an mmo-esque semi-active battle system featuring automated attacking and ability cooldowns. the strategy mainly lies outside of battle, meaning you'll have to find the right armor and equip the right abilities to take on enemies. once you're in battle and you're unprepared, there's usually not much you can do. which isn't to say the battles require no skill - you still have to use your abilities wisely - but it won't test your reflexes like a fully real-time battle system. xenoblade treads relatively new territory for a jrpg instead of refining previously established tropes. at the same time, it still manages to keep its identity as a japanese rpg without feeling like a misguided imitation of a western rpg. the color pallete is vibrant without becoming oversaturated and the plot is goofy, but in a charming and enjoyable way. even with the limited power of the wii, the landscapes you traverse are vast and breathtaking, and some of the areas ooze atmosphere. this can also be a weakness, because many quests require you to collect x amount of an item, so backtracking the huge map can get tiresome, especially considering you don't have some sort of mount to make you go faster. luckily you can fast travel among monuments you discover, but it can still be a pain. the soundtrack, a collaboration among several acclaimed video games musicians, is excellent. most outdoor areas have both a daytime and nighttime theme which is a nice touch that adds to the game's already grand scale. speaking of which, xenoblade's main quest clocks in around 65 hours. is the game enjoyable enough to warrant such a long campaign? not exactly. while the story is enjoyable (and blends into the gameplay mechanics in very clever ways), i found myself growing tired of the characters. none of them struck me as particularly fleshed out or even likable. the dialog lacks flair, leaving potentially poignant moments feeling like they've been ripped out of a shonen anime. the gameplay also gets tiring over the course of 65 hours. new abilities are learned as you level up, but they sometimes feel too far between. i started getting worn out around the 30 hour mark.
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kunamon100 ゼノブレイド 2024-05-24T10:45:15Z
2024-05-24T10:45:15Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
KyleTheCoolDude Xenoblade Chronicles 2024-05-23T20:38:13Z
Switch
2024-05-23T20:38:13Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MrFlobe ゼノブレイド 2024-05-20T22:40:44Z
2024-05-20T22:40:44Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ArcanaNoctis ゼノブレイド 2024-05-19T20:20:21Z
2024-05-19T20:20:21Z
1.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kaaisu Xenoblade Chronicles 3D 2024-05-14T07:55:25Z
3DS • XNA
2024-05-14T07:55:25Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kaaisu Xenoblade Chronicles 2024-05-14T07:55:11Z
Wii • XNA
2024-05-14T07:55:11Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
scoterinaia ゼノブレイド 2024-05-11T06:17:33Z
2024-05-11T06:17:33Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
respectwhatever ゼノブレイド 2024-05-09T08:38:09Z
2024-05-09T08:38:09Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Tytygigas ゼノブレイド 2024-05-02T19:01:11Z
2024-05-02T19:01:11Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Integrus ゼノブレイド 2024-05-01T22:42:41Z
2024-05-01T22:42:41Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kenbenlen ゼノブレイド 2024-05-01T05:48:31Z
2024-05-01T05:48:31Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
snowysprig ゼノブレイド 2024-04-27T08:43:18Z
2024-04-27T08:43:18Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: B
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Disc
Also known as
  • Xenoblade Chronicles
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
  • Xenoblade
  • View all [3] Hide

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  • Previous comments (39) Loading...
  • ClintonomoBay 2022-12-15 15:13:23.366852+00
    If I didn't like the 2nd one (tbh, it's the first game I have ever sold off without finishing), should I even try this one? I'd be willing to try this franchise again if an entry has a compelling story
    reply
    • Gayvyn 2022-12-29 21:20:26.991106+00
      This game is compelling from the start imo, whereas 2 took time to get interesting
    • rainstorm 2023-03-05 18:51:40.210974+00
      No, it's not worth your time. You will dislike it for the same reasons.
    • Diugo 2024-01-29 15:19:07.712632+00
      Xenoblade 1 is MILES better than its sequel.
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  • pensiero97 2023-01-03 19:31:30.676522+00
    the worldbuilding is very good but goddamn these characters practically don't exist, how can a game this long completely fail to build relationships
    reply
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    • Jodas 2023-04-25 10:33:40.015481+00
      They are mostly dull, boring and full of clichés. Dunban and Melia are the only remotely interesting characters. I don't really like Melia very much but she's the only character with some tangible development. Coming from Xenosaga, it hurts even harder.
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  • switch1e 2023-03-23 16:35:22.894772+00
    After having experienced all the other Xeno games including Gears and Saga I can conclusively say that this is still my favorite. The story isn't as innately complex as Saga or Gears with all their crazy details and lore, but because of that everything is set up and written clearly and effectively.

    Admittedly though, I've come to figure out that pretty much anyone's first Xeno game ends up their favorite, because so many plot twists in the series are reimagined later on in other games so you can only be totally thrown for a loop with the first one you play.
    reply
    • SunlitSonata 2023-08-07 04:14:26.073728+00
      My first Xeno game I reached credits on was Xenosaga 1.

      Favorite is Xenosaga III and it has a certain leanness and tight gameplay design a lot of the other Xeno entries lack with their focus on bloat.
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  • Molten_ 2023-11-13 07:58:13.483453+00
    all-time classic
    reply
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  • Smooth1e 2023-11-28 20:33:16.895709+00
    Haven’t played 3 yet but i far prefer this to 2. There’s plenty to love about 2 but it’s far more of a mixed bag than this game.
    reply
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  • AJSherick 2023-12-17 23:38:11.649261+00
    First one just has the right mixture of things. There's plenty that's much better about the second and third, particularly the combat and visual presentation, but both games get bogged down by things that don't effect the first. Even the very basic plotting and flat characters work in its favor due to the mythological, mysterious tone of the story, compared to the overly-convoluted sequels.
    reply
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  • juicyjuicysweetie 2024-01-31 23:54:30.997483+00
    plot kind of implodes on itself 2/3 of the way in but its still a fun ride the whole way through
    reply
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  • Molten_ 2024-04-25 04:27:30.965241+00
    still one of the coolest worlds ever created, not just in video games, but all of media
    reply
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