Having never played the original when it initially released on the Wii back in 2010, I was very excited to get my hands on the Switch version of Xenoblade. With the ability to play both on the TV and in portable mode I felt this would be the perfect time to delve into the vast game that is Xenoblade Chronicles. When playing on the Switch I always like to have the ability to just pause where I am at and save the game, and this is exactly what you can do in the Definitive Edition. This feature is very important when you are exploring any open world as it can become daunting if you aren’t aware of the save locations. This again plays into the pick-up and play nature of the Switch which is promoted in nearly all of Nintendo’s first-party releases.

Nintendo's Standout Game of the Year

The gameplay is very varied with the endless supply of sub-quests but it also has rewarding combat. The quests are enabled through talking to the many NPCs and upon completion reward you with money and experience which comes in handy for leveling up your characters and buying new equipment from shops. These side quests can also be tracked as they are marked on your map which is an added feature in this version. Combat is simpler and more refined compared to Xenoblade Chronicles 2, however that doesn’t mean there isn’t a learning curve as it is somewhat of a unique style. For combat you use a party setup where you pick three members at a time, one character is played by you whilst the other two are controlled by the games AI. This means that the way you want to go about combat is fundamentally customizable and down to your own preference. For example, you may want an attacker, a tank, and a healer but if that setup isn’t working you can swap your healer out for another attacker. This allows the player to develop their own combat/gameplay system that suits themselves.

Nintendo's Standout Game of the Year

The combat itself is actually automatic and activates when you are in range of an enemy, you are left to control the movement and special arts. However, I found that the dialogue during battles does get very repetitive as the same phrases are repeated. Another gripe is the jarring lip-sync issues as they just don’t line up with the audio, this is very noticeable at the start but with anything you get used to it. The visuals are considerably upgraded from the original Wii version and especially the cinematics but in some locations, the textures are off-putting as they seem to drop in quality compared to others. It’s important to note that the image quality only drops in certain locations, on the whole, the graphics look superb.

Nintendo's Standout Game of the Year

Overall, Xenoblade Definitive Edition is a must-have for any Switch owner, especially anyone who’s into action RPGs. While it has its flaws, thus far, Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition is Nintendo’s standout game of the year and maybe the best title to come out for Nintendo’s hit console.

About The Author

Associate Author

Marcus Sellars is a veteran in the video game industry. He has written reviews and features for a variety of different outlets and is a gaming insider. You can find his him on Twitter, along with his inside information, at @Marcus_Sellars.

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