Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review: exciting and boring

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will let you experience some of the most snappy and dynamic turn-based combat in the JRPG genre; shame about the story that fails to surprise and often bores.

The developers of Monolith Soft are trying to recreate the novelties and magic of the first Xenoblade Chronicles adventure since its release in 2012. The third installment of the sci-fi series, sadly, fails in the mission and suffers the same frustrating fate as XC X and XC 2 . Despite its near-flawless combat and satisfying character progression, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an often boring journey through vast and empty environments, a curse that has hit far too many titles over the past 5 years.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review: exciting and boring

Combat is the flagship of Xenoblade Chronicles 3

XC 3 uses a real-time combat system in which the “Arts”, advanced abilities assigned to the front buttons of the controller, give the fights a frenetic and direct pace. Cooldown management is easy to learn and the learning curve for the first main missions is very flat. Going in search of treasures or more formidable opponents, however, will force you from the first hours to experiment with the many mechanics of healing, dps or damage resistance. In my experience, this is where a lot of the in-game satisfaction of XC3 hides: in combat , actions carry a lot of weight .and healing my characters by rallying them or putting together a very powerful combo were my best moments in the company of the game.

The other side of XC3’s great combat is class management . The six playable party members have no constraints as to the class they can learn and this level of customization of the play style has really encouraged me to experiment with the many combinations. Some of my characters were almost tanks with a lot of health and good defensive stats, others I built them with more DPS (high damage) or healing in mind. Each class also has its own set of active (with cooldown) and passive skills and is a joy to play.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review: exciting and boring

To tickle my secret love for the Power Rangers and the Zords , then, the Interlinks and the chain attacks took care of it. Both are activated after filling the class skill gauges, with the former allowing two party members to merge into a humanoid robot called Ouroboro . These mechanical gods take out a variety of opponents in one fell swoop and deal powerful damage to bosses. Chain attacks, on the other hand, involve the entire team and drastically slow down the action, allowing a sequence of limbs of the various characters to not only inflict heavy damage, but also to enable bonuses such as reduced aggression and high evasion.. Interlinks and chain attacks are exactly that “Over 9000” moment you expect from JRPGs, and they strongly motivated me to move on when the storyline left me on my feet.

The weaknesses of Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Two nations are locked in a seemingly endless conflict and both sides are taking huge losses with soldiers subjected to a violent and bloody life. But when Noah, Eunie and Lanz join forces with Mio, Taion and Sena, the crew sets new goals: to end the violence, defeat the “real” enemy and find a right reason to live. This is the premise of XC3; sounds familiar to you? It seems to me the plot of 2/3 of the Japanese video games released in the last 10 years , especially Tales of Arise. As for the cast, then, despite their sparkling and pungent personalities, the characters of XC 3 are simple forgettable caricatures to the player.devoid of the emotional complexity required by a story worth playing.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review: exciting and boring

This forgetting also extends to the explorable world , which lacks the points of interest and majestic views of the previous chapters. These open world zones are chock full of dangerous creatures (the usual kaiju) and collectibles that can be sold for a fortune or used to recruit mission NPCs. The places are the generic forests / deserts / mountains of the gaming world: stereotypical and not original

The verdict

Between Megazord, explosions, chaos and strobing combos, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 can bring a lot of joy to JRPG fans when they fight . The level, in terms of UX and UI, has increased a lot compared to the previous chapters: there is much less confusion and the experience is more understandable and intuitive . If you are looking for a robust combat experience and a good character progression system then XC3 is the game for you. But be careful, the story drags on really a lot so in addition to not recommending this title to players for whom the plot is everything, I must also warn combat fans: there are some moments of boredom / cringe that put the entire playthrough at risk. For the next chapter I really hope that the saga will be able to piece together an interesting story like the one from the first chapter in a game world that makes sense to explore.

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