Xenoblade Chronicles 3D - 3DS

Release Date:

02 April 2015

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
8.6

Summary:

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D on the 3DS is set in a world made up almost entirely of water. Two gigantic titans stand frozen in the depths, frozen for all times, and it is there that everything manages to spring up. These two titans, named Bionis and Mechonis froze in their fighting and their death ended up giving life to two dual realms of life in this latest smash hit. Players will need to be on their toes in order to beat down foes in battles that blend real time action with RPG strategy. The new version can be played in 3D and allows players to view maps and character statistics on the bottom screen.

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Posted:
2015-04-22

Steven_Shaw

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3DS

8.6

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D on the 3DS is a Japanese RPG action video game which was developed by Monster Games Inc. and published by Nintendo exclusively for the 3DS handheld console.

Knowledge of the popular Wii game 'Xenoblade Chronicles' is almost compulsory if you have had any sort of interaction with video games in the last three or four years. The title, developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo, first made its debut back in 2012 for the Wii. The giant JRPG quickly found a place in the hearts of gamers all over Japan and many in the West as well. In fact, the title likely wouldn't have made it over to America if it weren't for fan driven campaigns. So hearing that 'Xenoblade Chronicles' was coming to the 3DS as 'Xenoblade Chronicles 3D' we were understandably excited. This is one of the most unique and enjoyable JRPGs to hit the market in, well, forever. Now it was coming to one of our favorite consoles. We couldn't wait.

So 'Xenoblade Chronicles 3D' lands on the 3DS as one of Nintendo's newest and most ready to succeed exclusives. Despite the popularity of the original title on the Wii, the re-release on the 3DS figures to have a much wider audience here on hand. The 3DS is one of the most capable consoles on the market in terms of its ability to deliver rock solid entertainment, and it even competes with the consoles as well. Knowing a bit about the audience that will receive the game should help in understanding how we decided to review the title.

'Xenoblade Chronicles 3D' is set in a world made up almost entirely of water. Two gigantic titans stand frozen in the depths, frozen for all times, and it is there that everything manages to spring up. These two titans, named Bionis and Mechonis froze in their fighting and their death ended up giving life to two dual realms of life. On the Bionis side of things, life exists close to the natural world. Organic and free. On Mechonis life is more about the mechanical, moving parts, domination. Perhaps the shtick is heavy at this point, but these two dueling titans set the tone for the rest of the game's disparity. The two diametric civilizations are also at one another's throats in a struggle that has pushed beyond ageless. It's a struggle that the world has known forever.

You take on the role of Shulk, a man equipped with an ancient blade by the name of Monado. According to legend that blade had been used by Bionis himself. Shulk's one goal in life is to seek vengeance against the Mechon and his companions join him. So with his friends in tow, and a great blade at his hip, they traverse the worlds created by the bodies of these titans. As is the norm with JRPGs, the premise is pretty bizarre but totally captivating.

While the characters always should take the center stage in a video game, it is hard not to be constantly in awe of the world around us. Despite the game essentially taking place on two ostensibly small 'islands', the game world is truly captivating. Even on our 3DS the sweeping landscapes and gigantic halls were really something to behold. The lore that we gain about Bionis and Mechonis just served to further entrench the uniqueness of what we were seeing in our mind. That isn't to say that this version outclasses the Wii original. It can't keep up, not completely anyway. The colors are more subdued, the textures just a little bit more fuzzy and jagged where they should be smooth. But the beauty and scale of everything is still retained in translation, from Wii to 3DS.

Our primary concern when ti came to 'Xenoblade Chronicles 3D' was that the title itself wouldn't translate well to the handheld console. We had trouble imagining the game being enjoyable when stuck in our hands only a foot or so from our faces. How could this possibly equal the comfort and experience of playing on the couch in front of a giant television? Going past the theatrical difference, we can say with comfort that the game itself played as good as possible without a controller. The C-Stick is a wonderful addition to the gameplay controls and the stereoscopic 3D makes for a few fun sequences, though we found that it mostly gravitated toward the back of our mind. The 3D does add a ton of depth to certain sequences and those moments made the feature worth using. You won't find yourself using much in terms of touchscreen controls and that's just about too bad as there had to have been something that could have been done with them. Instead you'll leave your hands firmly resting on the old familiars.

One big point of contention we had was the run time of the video game and how it would translate comfortably over to the 3DS. The title itself has about 60 hours of gameplay clocked into it. Like many other JRPGs, the game wants to keep you plugged in as long as possible. Fortunately you can quick save at any point in the handheld version so you are never forcing yourself to play when you don't want to, as moments in the Wii version can attest to. Though the game is incredibly long, and longer if you like to tinker, the pacing is well done. The game doesn't fall into any sense of tedium and being able to fast travel cuts out one of your biggest time sinks: travel. We loved that 'Xenoblade Chronicles 3D' didn't want to punish us by making us grind constantly. Getting EXP at a constant rate meant that our characters were always well leveled and ready for the next bit of content that we found.

What we loved most about 'Xenoblade Chronicles 3D' is that it was everything the Wii version was, with a few minor issues. There are times that the game slows down in busy spots or the audio messes up, negating a bit of voice acting. But otherwise we got a 60 hour rendition of the game we fell in love with just a couple of years ago.

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Release Date:

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