I’m not a fan of Japanese Role-playing games at all, having sworn off of them for years. Too much grinding, too many recycled tropes and random enemy encounters. I recently had the misfortune of playing one for review; Xenoblade Chronicles, an older Wii game rejigged for Nintendo’s newest handheld, the New 3DS. And dammit, it was good. It’s out today, and it’s really something you should consider getting, even if you’re not a fan of the genre.
One of the things that surprised me most – aside from the game not being rubbish, of course – is how well suited a 70 hour-long, sprawling JRPG epic is suited to handheld gaming. It’s actually great for jumping in to, running about for a couple of minutes, killing off some enemies and then putting away, which was not something I expected at all. Beyond that though, it’s just a really, really, good game.
Here’s what I said of the game in my review, scoring it an incontheivable 8.8.
It’s hard not to be impressed by Xenoblade Chronicles, not least because it’s rekindled my long-dormant love for a genre of games I thought I’d never be interested in again. It’s one of the best JRPGs in a generation, capable of inspiring wonder – and it fits in your hand. It may have been one of the Wii’s swansongs but it’s a great start for the New 3DS.
I’m not the only one who feels that way, as the New 3DS exclusive currently sits with a nice 87 on Metacritic, and other critics saying stuff like:
“ A sizeable and stunningly diverse world, full of wildlife and fantastical cultures, is admirably recreated for the small screens of the New Nintendo 3DS. Its natural home may be on the TV, but this release gives more gamers an opportunity to set off on a lengthy and dramatic adventure. A brilliant portable version of a true classic, fans of RPGs willing to commit themselves to the task of saving Bionis shouldn’t hesitate to pick this up – it is, quite simply, the biggest world we’ve experienced on such small screens.”
and stuff like this.
“Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is an excellent port of one of the best RPGs of the last generation. It features an emotive story, strong characterisation and an engaging battle system, which combine with an approach to the genre that still feels fresh and innovative. The fact that you can now experience the game whilst on the go is hugely alluring, and while it may not make a New 3DS an essential purchase, it certainly provides a compelling argument.”
And if you have a New 3DS…you really should play it. It’s out today.
Last Updated: April 2, 2015