Xenoblade in a nutshell is a RPG set in a magical world which is at war. The human like Homs are in an eternal feud with the robot-like Mechons. Playing as Shulk, you discover the reason why the two races are at war and the history of a mysterious sword, known as the Monado. Along the way you meet a variety of other races caught up in the warm and make new alliances. There are literally hundreds of side quests, and vast areas to explore. The game allows you to control a variety of characters, with their own fighting style and unique powers.
The game can be controlled using the Wiimote & Nunchuck combo, but the best way to play it is using only the Classic Controller Pro, and is probably why most people will buy the game with the controller bundle. Thankfully with the Classic Controller Pro, there are no tacked on wiggling, gimmicky motion controls of any kind. This is a hardcore game, this is the game the Wii should have had a year ago. The characters are easy to control, the left thumb stick used for movements, the right used to control the camera. The battle controls could be mightily confusing, but the early battle tutorials ease you in. Battles occur in real-time, with other members of your party auto attacking. This could have been a mess but the AI is very good, so when you start an attack, they will automatically use their powers as best as possible in the situation.
Graphics are hard to explain. The areas and landscapes are admittedly a generation behind in terms of polish, but their sheers scale overlooks this. The world is huge, with the lifeless corpses of two ancient Titans constantly looming above you. The scale stands up against rival consoles, and each area is littered with monsters great and small, it’s very impressive stuff. Some of the art direction is out of this world amazing. The team Monolith Soft have some seriously creative people. Even generic looking caves are given a splash of magical effects to add some polish. Characters models are genuinely good too, with equipment changing in real-time as you add or remove it.
Xeonoblade does not have any multiplayer modes. This is strictly a hardcore RPG, with no gimmicks. The storyline, graphics and soundtrack are of a level unseen in the genre for a long time. So much thought has gone into the game, the almost flawless battle system only gets better as you play, unlocking chain attacks and special abilities. The game has that “let’s just play a little more” aspect to it, which shows how good it is. The only downer I felt strongly about where the over the top English voice overs, but that was all. Sometimes the game can be very difficult, requiring a lot of levelling up.
Xenoblade Chronicles is the best game the Wii has seen this year, indeed for a long time. The visuals, music and story make an amazing package which should not be missed by anyone, let alone Nintendo fanboys.
Battling, Exploration, Side quests, Gem Crafting, there's too much!
Great level design but some out-dated textures
Outstanding soundtrack let down with some poor voice acting