Review by Horsie_Walker
"So you’ve finally conceded that there were *never* any good games, just a desperate attachment to childhood nostalgia?"
The chances are, if you're reading this, that you remember the days where you had more time than money and how every game you came across, be it one which you begged your folks for; or one that a bigger kid tricked you into trading your dog for, was fully explored and completed - punctuating your childhood with sprites, wires and bleeps.
Somewhere along the way however your patience became less forgiving and the numerous intentional (and unintentional) obstacles littered in games that once inspired you to try harder now just yawn . Make you look at the next game on your list for that feeling.
Yes, *that* feeling.
Some get it in books, some get it in theatre, some even get it in solvent abuse. Wherever it is acquired, all can agree that it's that compulsion to know what happens next, that eagerness to savour every detail, that reason to walk home slightly quicker, wake up slightly earlier, sleep slightly later
You get the point.
Xenoblade Chronicles, dare this reviewer say, harkens back to games like Chrono Trigger, Skies of Arcadia, [Insert your favourite game] insofar as it will inspire you and, you will freakin' finish it!
The dogmatic principles of the traditional RPG have been truly tossed out of the window with a lack of random battles, no random battles and, to top it off, no random battles.
The battle system is complex but yields great bounty for those willing to master it. Levelling up, on the other hand, is where one is sure to spend many, many hours. What? What do you mean you don't have a spare 7-year-old in the house who will pay YOU to do it for you?
Believe it or not, images do not occur at their perceived sources rather, they occur in the mind. Xenoblade's visuals are officially six years out of date but that doesn't make its endless vistas of green fields, blue oceans and white mountains any. Less. Impressive.
In stark contrast to the visuals, the soundtrack to this game is of titanic quality. Scores composed with such care and embellishment are very rare in modern video games in fact, they have become rarer as studios now opt for Hollywood soundtracks that dictate emotion rather than invoke it.
There's most definitely intrigue here. Characters that have a strong sense of personality, events and motives that are plausible, plot twists that are, on the most part, unique and unforeseen all in all, it's a solid component that ties together all of the above in a memorable and entertaining way.
Despite the irreverence of the above, Xenoblade Chronicles is clearly a product of true art, devotion and love. The quality teeming from its pores is sure to strike a chord with you whether you are big on stats and strategy, completion-ism, audio/visual design and/or the English accent.
As the title implies, your searches aren't totally fruitless. Long may they continue.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/01/13
Game Release: Xenoblade Chronicles (EU, 08/19/11)
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