You are currently viewing Test – Xenoblade Chronicles 3: the JRPG of the summer – Geeko

Test – Xenoblade Chronicles 3: the JRPG of the summer – Geeko

Originally scheduled for release in September, the new Monolith Soft title finally arrives on July 29. The series has never really disappointed with the quality of its titles, this Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is not weakening either and is establishing itself as the essential JRPG of the summer.

The Nintendo license is on the rise after the more than adequate sales made with Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as well as the Definitive Edition of the very first episode. It was only a matter of time before we saw a new game from the studio behind the saga, namely Monolith Soft. While all the titles in the series can be discovered without any knowledge of the other games, this new Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a slightly more complex case. Many elements of the scenario and the universe refer to both Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. A good knowledge of these two episodes is not necessary to follow the adventures of the protagonists, but the new come will not capture all the nuances. Lucky that the referenced episodes are both available on Switch, as is the topic of the day.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 tells the story of six characters from two warring nations. Noah, Lanz, and Eunie are childhood friends from the nation of Keves, while Mio, Sena, and Taion come from the opposite side, the nation of Agnus. All of the soldiers belonging to both sides are young fighters born to take part in this war and with ten years of life expectancy. Each of the sides fights to absorb the life of the fallen soldiers which will serve as energy for the winning side. Having grown up in this system, the protagonists are subject to the cause of their nation and convinced of its merits, until an event comes to upset their vision of the world.

First enemies, the protagonists will be forced to join forces and see the world as it really is.

During a mission, the six protagonists meet and engage in a fierce battle. But a man outside the conflict, Guernica Vandham, will then force our six heroes to become Ouroboros, granting them at the same time a power that gives them the ability to resonate with another member of the group and to merge to become a be much more powerful. By becoming Ouroboros, the six characters are, despite themselves, considered the enemies of the two nations and gradually realize the absurdity of this war. Determined to put an end to this madness, the heroes follow Vandham’s advice and begin their journey to the “Great Sword”, a huge structure where hope for the future lies.

This is indeed a big strong point of the game, just like in the previous ones, the scenario of Xenonblade 3 is a great success. Rather dense and very talkative, the title wastes little time before launching its scenario. The plot and its many mysteries quickly turn out to be fascinating to follow and its characters are very endearing. The universe is however a little complex and some less primordial elements are perhaps not explained enough. Others are addressed in the side quests of the title. These are more interesting than usual in the series, the purely “fedex” quests being replaced by another much less restrictive system. The universe is also reinforced by the quests of the heroes, another type of additional content that could pass for the main scenario as these moments are particularly well done. Obviously, Xenoblade 3 has a ton of content and not everything is as well staged as the key moments in the main storyline.

The open areas offer a very good viewing distance.

The new license game keeps the formula that has already proven itself in previous Xenoblades. The title leaves us in very large open areas that we have the opportunity to explore at our own risk since they are inhabited by many creatures, often hostile. These areas are also filled with chests and various materials to pick up to complete quests or craft gems that can be equipped to our characters. There are also the remains of Agnian and Kevesian soldiers that can be appeased. Noah and Mio being soul ferrymen, they can play a short passage from the main theme of the game on the flute to guide the dead and thus gain affinity points with the original colonies of the deceased. Indeed, we also find in these areas the different colonies of Agnus and Keves, small towns that must first be liberated via quests before having access to their level of affinity which grants us various bonuses.

Once a fight is engaged, the gameplay remains similar to previous titles except that all team members are active during battles. The clashes take place in real time, our characters attack automatically when they are close to the targeted enemy. It is possible to use “arts”, attacks specific to the classes of our characters and whose effectiveness is sometimes increased tenfold under certain conditions. The fights ask us to deal with classes that all fit into the three classic RPG roles: “Fighter” who deals great damage, “Protector” who attracts the attention of enemies and “Healer” who helps others. Undoubtedly closer to Xenoblade first, the gameplay still incorporates some ideas from Xenoblade 2 to make a very effective and very rich mix. The combat system offers many different actions and subtleties, for example it will be necessary to master the timing of our attacks correctly since it is possible to increase the effectiveness of our arts by using them just after having struck a blow.

The combat system is rich, but can sometimes be a bit difficult to follow.

But the combat system gives even more possibilities over time since it works with classes. Each of the six characters can use any class we choose, which gives us a lot of freedom to organize our approaches to combat. Six classes are available at the start, but others will be added to the list by unlocking the game’s “heroes”. , once the quest is completed, to unlock his class. Each of these classes functions like the roles mentioned above, but have their own arts and specificities. Add to this the possibility of changing the character controlled in the middle of combat and transforming into Ouroboros (a very powerful form which has its own arts, but which is only accessible for a very short period of time) and we obtain a very complete and well thought out combat system, but which has the major flaw of taking time before showing its full potential. Count a good ten hours before the game stops harassing you with tutorials.

The consequence of these numerous systems and this increased flexibility is a loss of clarity of action. With seven characters on our team acting at once, as well as multiple enemies doing the same, what’s going on is sometimes hard to see. It’s not impossible to find your way around either, the title still offers something to understand what’s going on via its interface (via color codes and icons that give indications of our position in relation to the enemy for example), but the first hours lose us a little in all this information.

The fights are also embellished with many replicas launched by the characters. With seven fighters in our team and the occasional enemy who adds them too, the fights often become a veritable cacophony. If we had to give a little advice, it would be to lower the volume of the voices a little in the options to be able to enjoy the magnificent soundtrack of the title in all circumstances. This is composed by many artists who have already worked on the music of previous Xenoblades, including the famous Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger/Cross, Xenogears…). The title offers dubbing in English or Japanese and apart from clashes, the two versions are very pleasant to listen to.

The shape of Ouroboros can be used in many cases.

If it is technically perfectible, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 offers still impressive visuals for the console. The title is beautiful and colorful, the characters keep a style close to the latest releases in the series, with a “Japanese anime” side and a slight cel-shading. But where the game impresses is in the settings it offers. If the different areas do not escape dated textures, they are artistically successful and the high viewing distance allows you to admire the grandeur of the open areas. Some points of interest are just there for us to admire very pretty panoramas. However, the limits of the Switch are quickly felt, especially in portable mode where the framerate is relatively stable, but where the visual quality takes a hit. When the console is in its dock, you can also feel slight drops in fluidity from time to time, but the experience remains relatively stable.

The title offers three levels of difficulty which can sometimes make the experience difficult in case of lack of preparation. The most patient shouldn’t have a lot of problems since spending a little time exploring and doing side quests makes our characters progress a lot, in addition to giving us other classes and abilities that allow us to explore even more. Just like its elders, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 offers a very long adventure and titanic content. The gameplay is also enriched by an evolving class system that prevents monotony from settling in the long term. His script is also a real success, more mature and thoughtful than what we often see in the genre, while keeping the series’ characteristic touches of lightness.

Conclusion

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the new episode of the Nintendo and Monolith Soft license, available only on Switch. The series breaks a tradition with this new title. Indeed, if all the other games in the series are independent of each other, it is better to have played Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 before embarking on this third numbered episode, even if it is not entirely necessary for the proper understanding of the scenario. The latter tells the story of six soldiers from two warring nations. Noah, Lanz and Eunie are childhood friends from the nation of Keves, while Mio, Sena and Taion come from the opposite side, the nation of Agnus. These will be forced to join forces when a man outside the conflict, Guernica Vandham, forces them to become Ouroboros. Considered traitors by both nations, the protagonists then begin a journey to understand the world and put an end to this war. Just like the previous episodes, this is an RPG whose battles take place in real time and in large open areas filled with monsters. The combat system is a great evolution of the previous ones since it takes many mechanics from the first game by adding some ideas from Xenoblade 2. It is also improved thanks to a class system which allows us to vary our approaches to combat. Very rich, the gameplay evolves over time and still takes a few hours to show its full potential. Unfortunately, we lose visibility because of the profusion of information on the screen. The title offers a great adventure, with a successful artistic direction and very nice sets, despite some technical problems. With its excellent soundtrack and very substantial content (including really interesting side activities), Xenoblade Chronicles 3 stands out as an excellent title for this summer.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3

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