Review by neonreaper
"Xenoblade is one of the best games of all time."
Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the all-time best gaming experiences I've ever had. It has an amazing setting, a terrific cast, a compelling and unique story, and wonderful music. The gameplay is pretty good and there are plenty of little incentives to keep you changing your battle party so that you continually enjoy almost every aspect of the game.
I say "almost" because the game's menus are clunky. No way around it. The inventory system is poor, some aspects of the game (ie gem crafting) are hardly explained, and it's hard to find information about quests you are on. The game also has some limitations due to being on the Wii, but once you get over the resolution and using the remote or classic controller plus, that's no issue. You just need to have some Xenoblade goggles, because the design and draw distance for the world of Xenoblade are so masterful that you will quickly forgive and forget the jaggies.
Those flaws aren't nearly enough to drag this game away from the 10/10 it so rightfully deserves. Just some issues you need to learn to cope with at an early stage in the game. Xenoblade almost immediately overwhelms you with its splendor and never really looks back.
Xenoblade's setting is one of a kind and amazing and was the initial inspiration for the game. Two titanic beings fought and killed each other long ago, and their remains have become inhabited by all sorts of life forms, including the homs, which are the human people at the center of the story. The areas in the game are large and sprawling and chock full of enemies and little places to explore. You can take a fairly narrow line through the game if you want, but it would be hard for anyone to ignore the beauty of this game.
The cast is well done. Characters are thoughtful and true to themselves. Instead of a brooding pansy in the lead, the main character is driven by conflicting primal emotions, and layered with complexities as the story moves on. If he tries to hold back from his friends and companions, they don't let him. Too often we find characters willing to let a man-child lead them in other games. Shulk, Xenoblade's protagonist, still has some growing to do, but he's what you might expect for someone his age.
The soundtrack is fitting for a game this good. The songs are great and emotional and quickly fill you with nostalgic hooks you'll be enjoying for years to come.
Will come back to this review when I get a chance - this game is 2012 GOTY.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 01/23/13
Game Release: Xenoblade Chronicles (US, 04/06/12)
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