Monolith Soft has struggled to recreate and enhance the novelty of the first Xenoblade Chronicles adventure since its 2012 release. The third chapter in the sci-fantasy JRPG series suffers from the same disappointing fate as XC X and XC 2. Despite its first-rate combat and character progression features, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a bloated trek across vast but lifeless environments that is further cut short by an unaffected. Narrative with one of the worst ensemble casts in the franchise.
XC 3 uses a real-time combat system where “Arts”, advanced skills mapped to the controller’s face buttons, give fights a natural, straightforward cadence. I made quick work of most early game enemies, by canceling the auto-attacks in Art while balancing the cooldown timer. However, the quest for strong challengers wielding rare treasures or grazing off the beaten path forced me to rethink traditional attack patterns and interact with every mechanic. From taking control of a healer and issuing a “group up” strategy so that I can defend my team from wide-reaching AoE arts, to outwitting enemies staggered with combos, every decision I made was valuable and rewarding. Put.
The classes add more excitement to the loop. Six playable party members can learn any class, encouraging me to experiment with combinations. Even seventh “hero” characters, recruited from main and side quests, offer rare, hybrid classes to choose from. Some of my fighters touted strong health and defensive stats, making them shoo-ins for tank classes, while adept were better suited for DPS roles. Each class was equipped with its own set of art/passive skills and was a joy to play. I liked pulling off aggression with a heavy guard taunt and then switching to a dual-edged attacker to pierce a busy enemy in the back. Fixing the squad moments before a disastrous strike made mid-to-late game engagements invigorating.
My favorite combat features were Interlinks and Chain Attacks. Both classes are activated after filling the gauge by performing abilities, the former allowing two members of the party to fuse into humanoid robots called Ouroboros. These proud gods remove obstacles in a jiffy or with powerful masters. Chain Attacks are team-wide specials that slow down the action dramatically, allowing a sequence of character art to not only deal serious damage but also enable bonuses such as low aggression and high stealth. Interlinks and chain attacks were the power trips that always made me smile, even when my patience with the plot and exploration was waning.
The Caves and Agnus nations are locked in perpetual conflict, with both sides suffering tremendous losses. Soldiers are subject to a life span of morbid, bloody 10 years. So, when Noah, Uni and Lanz join forces with Agnus’s henchmen Mio, Taeon, and Cena, the crew settles on new goals: end intercultural violence, defeat the “true” enemy, and make a living. Find a valid reason. The premise is similar to last year’s Tales of Arise. While infectious, likable personalities remedied that game’s occasional thematic blunders, XC 3’s heroes are forgettable caricatures that lack the emotional complexity that a story of this nature requires. Tight cutscene animations as well as mind-numbingly repetitive barks – “I’m the MVP!” or “That’s a rare doodad!” – Six champions do no favors.
This superficiality extends to the explorable background, which lacks the awe-inspiring points of interest and awe from previous Zeno entries. These open-world areas are filled with dangerous creatures, from flying stingrays to ferocious, cashew-sized apes, and collectibles that can be sold for profit or presented to quest NPCs. Beyond challenging monsters, collecting respawnable drops, and recruiting heroes to Caves or Agnus settlements, there’s not much to do or see. common places – forests, deserts, mountains; You can probably guess the rest — there were barren places I’d navigate for hours to get to the next overwhelming story checkpoint.
Thankfully, the character progression systems helped ease the monotony. XC 3 offered several impressive ways to increase the strength of my party. In camps scattered throughout each biome, I’ll level everyone up, add gems that increase specific stats, and cook meals that affect XP and CP (Class Points) gains. There’s even an Interlink skill tree that lets me enhance the combat skills of my Ouroboros. Smaller-scale upgrades such as improved walking speed or food effect duration, talking with NPCs, and completing quests gained from freeing Caves or Agnus settlements – this usually took a hero to defeat a powerful adversary. Had to work with. The depth of customization made the gameplay more enjoyable, but after dozens of hours of doing the same activities to increase my combat prowess, the brightness took off.
My Party of Seven felt like a small army when the explosive art and flashy Ouroboros combo lit up an already chaotic battlefield. and customizable shortcut hotbars and in-game GPS streamlined menu-improvements in quality of life such as surfing and traversal. Still, the narrative and world design left much to be desired as key plot twists are disappointingly clear, character development is virtually nonexistent, and navigation in each of the nostalgic environments proves to be a tedious exercise. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a double-edged sword that needs a little more sharpening.