Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition on Switch review round-up


Xenoblade Chronicles has quite the history. It originally only came out on the Wii in Japan until incredible fan demand led to an English release, but by that point everyone had moved on from the console and it became very expensive to buy.

It then got a release on the more powerful New Nintendo 3DS models, but the small screen didn’t really do the game justice.

Now the Definitive Edition has released on Nintendo Switch, bringing it into the public consciousness more so than ever.

It boasts all-new graphics to bring it in line with the sequel, a new chapter going beyond the original ending, and some other under-the-hood changes. But is it worth £40 of your money and 80+ hours of your time to finish?

In short: yes.

But if you want a longer answer, here’s what critics are saying.

Eurogamer

“The original Xenoblade Chronicles, with its scope, size and superlative world, still stands as the best in the series yet, and there’s been no better way to play it yet. Rest assured if you love the original as much as I do, there are plenty of reasons to return. And if this is your first time playing Xenoblade Chronicles? I envy you, because this truly is one of the greats.”

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RPGSite

“The characters are the real reason to play [new epilogue ‘Future Connected’] because they’re wonderful, and just because I didn’t care too much for where the larger story went doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy most of what it had to offer. The storyline surrounding Melia feels like a natural and sensible avenue for this extra story to explore so that it doesn’t feel tacked-on or unnecessary.

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“Following up Xenoblade‘s ending is no easy feat, so just make sure you go in with tempered expectations. It does a good job giving Melia more development, and that alone is worth playing through it.”

The Guardian

“In a medium often accused, not unfairly, of presenting identikit post-apocalyptic vistas – all mud, smoke and various shades of brown – here is a world of vivid, colourful brilliance.

“For anyone who has been forced to cancel holiday plans, the game offers vertiginous clifftops with 50-mile-wide views and the freedom to explore anywhere… While all this crispness is a bit unflattering to the underlying models, the sheer ambition of an entire world that takes place on the limbs, torso and head of a stratospheric giant has never been more thrilling.”

IGN

“Like a lot of JRPGs the story goes to some really, really weird places by the end, and many of which are as confusing as they are preposterous. But Xenoblade Chronicles owns its own absurdity so well that it works.

“Is the dialogue laughably over-written, almost like characters are trying to find as many ways to say the same thing as possible? Yep. Is the story over-the-top and needlessly convoluted with cutscenes that run on for far too long? Absolutely.

“But we’re talking about a game that begins with a bunch of people living on a dead god’s corpse, so don’t be surprised when things only get weirder from there. That madness is part of the fun.”

Nintendo Life

“Nintendo could’ve done a simple half-baked re-release to give Switch owners an opportunity to play it on the new platform, but instead decided to take things above and beyond for Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. Good news: it lives up to that name.

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Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is unquestionably the greatest way to experience this gaming classic, expertly layering in new elements over the already wonderful foundation to make for a complete must-have release.”

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GameSpot

“Although not every aspect of Xenoblade Chronicles has aged as well as others, Definitive Edition proves that Xenoblade Chronicles is still a fantastic JRPG with an immense amount of strategic depth that’s still impressive in 2020. Its bevy of improvements and additions, as well as its fantastic epilogue, make this an adventure worth embarking on a decade later.”

Switch Player

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the game to save the summer for Nintendo. No, it’s not entirely brand new, and no, it’s not for everyone, but the sense of wonder and adventure is definitely there. If you’re not on board with the Xenoblade series already, this is the best possible entry point.

“Bear with it for the adventure, the story and the battling (when it’s good), and do your best to ignore the grinding and the sheer weight of all the reading that needs to be done. Try it out – those Mechon aren’t going to vanquish themselves.”

If you don’t want to wait for Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition to be delivered (or leave the house for it), you can download it here.


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