Xenoblade Chronicles - Review

£4.99 Standard Delivery Charge Back

in points for GAME Elite members - T&C's apply

Find out more  
Format:
.box_heights { width: 610px; margin-bottom: 30px; }

Release Date: 17/08/2011

Get Xenoblade Chronicles for Nintendo Wii at game.co.uk

Standing on the shoulders of Giants

The Japanese RPG has struggled to both satisfy its established audience and grow a new one in recent years. While the release schedules are littered with considerate remakes of classic Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest titles, there are few forward-facing entries to this once commanding genre to look forward to. Rather, the sheer cost of making these sprawling epics, combined with a fall from fashion of cutscene-heavy games has ensured that the Japanese RPG is far from the cultural force it once was.

Xenoblade Chronicles has a chance to change all that. Despite appearing on a console entering its twilight years and in the middle of the summer game release drought - it is one of the best JRPG's of this hardware generation. Good-looking, smart, engaging and wrapped in a story that sings across its generous 60 hours, Xenoblade Chronicles downplays those genre tropes that have turned off contemporary audiences the random battles, anime-shrill storylines and endless fetch quests and replaces them with elegant, engaging mechanics in its place.

The story focuses on Shulk, an orphan in his late teens who, in the best JRPG tradition, wields a legendary, improbably huge glowing sword. Shulk is a Hom, one of the two races that live on the Bionis - the gigantic, stone colossus that forms the game world. While the Bionis is a green, pastoral land (albeit one shaped like a 50 mile high granite giant) Shulk and the other Homs live in constant fear of attack from the Mechon, a vindictive robot force that also lives in the world.
At the start of the game a swarm of Mechnon ransack Shulk home, burning and pillaging as they go. This attack kicks off a winding story packed with interest and intrigue, as the team set out from Colony 9 to scale the Bionis is search of answers.

#

Team Perk

A cast of likeable characters accompany Shulk, including his closest friend and cockney-voiced Reyn and Sharla, a rifle-bearing healer who is searching for both her missing brother and the man she was engaged to marry.

In battle you control just one character. To attack you need only position your chosen character close enough to an enemy to strike something they do automatically. As a result, control is primarily limited to selecting which of the character special moves you trigger and when. Special attacks can be used at any time, and as many times as you want, but each has a cooling off period before they can be re-used. Most of the game strategy comes from knowing when to attack, when to defend, and when to use any of the other buffs and de-buffs available to your team.

Character arts can be leveled up by spending experience points on them, and the more characters fight together, the stronger the bonds between them grow, opening up more tactical possibilities via link-up moves. Despite not having direct control of every sword strike, there an awful lot to be aware of as battles scale in complexity.

#

All Creatures Great and Small

Play is divided equally between fighting and exploration, and the world of Bionis is a beautiful playpen for the inquisitive. Caves, passageways, hills and valleys roll off all around - an astounding technical achievement on the Nintendo Wii from Monolith Soft artists and technicians.

As you explore youl earn experience points for chancing upon landmarks, and you'll stumble across all manner of flora and fauna. These creatures can be seen all around and come in a variety of different temperaments, some attacking you on sight, others choosing to leave you alone unless you land the first strike.

As in MMOs, the game is stuffed with side quests to tackle and any non-player character with an exclamation mark above their head will issue you with a challenge. Mercifully, many of these side-quests don require you to return to the quest giver once completed. Meanwhile, every environment is scattered with pinpricks of light that represent collectible items that can be harvested in order to complete objectives, or use as tradable goods in the shops. The urge to collect all of these (even filling in a sticker book collection as you do so) is compelling, and provides yet another layer of incentive to explore this beautiful, expansive world.

With a subtle, wonderful soundtrack, some expressive voice-acting from a near all-British voice cast, and an expert translation from Nintendo, Xenoblade Chronicles is a game far more than the sum of its parts. An innovative battle system couples gracefully with a twisting storyline that never lets go until it fully unwound. The result is a towering achievement of game design, one that will appear to an audience far wider than the dwindling numbers of the JRPG faithful.

GAME's Verdict

The Good

  • Fast travel mechanic, between visited locations
  • Expansive, beautiful environments
  • Excellent standard of voice acting.

The Bad

  • Menus sometimes lack clarity
  • Side-quests can be repetitive
  • World can be extremely perilous.
Show more Show less

Pegi Rating:

Suitable for people aged and over.

Genre

Action/Adventure

Customer Rating:

No rating yet

SKU:

Reviews-183591
Delivery type Delivery Time Cost
Standard Orders 2 working days** £4.99
Pre-Orders 1 working day** £4.99
Next Day incl. Saturday 1 working day** £7.99 per order
Next Day (DPD Tracked) 1 working day** £9.99 per order
Next Day (pre 12pm) (DPD Tracked) 1 working day** £11.99 per order
Console Orders For Playstation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and VR 1 working day** £9.99
Insured* Delivery 1 working day** £19.99
Click & Collect 1-2 working days £4.99
(Pay online, delivered to store, plus receive a £5 voucher to spend in store when you collect)
Click & Collect Hardware Orders PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S, Nintendo Switch and VR 1-2 working days £9.99 per order
(Pay online, delivered to store, plus receive a £5 voucher to spend in store when you collect)
Click & Reserve 2 hours from order FREE
(Order online, pick up and pay in store)
 

Small Print

 

• Order up to 7pm for next day delivery Sunday to Friday

 

• Orders placed after 7pm Friday to 7pm Sunday will be dispatched Sunday.

 

• Whilst we will do everything we can to meet the delivery times above, there may be factors outside of our control and we cannot guarantee delivery within this timeframe

 

• Digital purchases are excluded from the total order value for tracked courier services.

 

*Insured Delivery is subject to customer submitting a DPD Lost in Transit claim via GAME customer services and DPD validating such claim, Insured Delivery entitles customer to either;

a) a free of charge replacement console, and a partial refund of £50 to the original method of payment; or

b) a full refund of the price paid for the console ordered and the £19.99 delivery charge (payable to original method of payment), together with £50 compensation (payable at customer’s choice, either by BACS, Cheque or onto a GAME Gift card).

Please note that DPD's Lost in Transit claim procedure can take up to 21 days to complete.


*Click and Collect Voucher

 

• Terms and conditions apply please see terms for details.

 

**Remote Area Delivery Times

 

• Deliveries including Pre-orders to non-mainland UK addresses and remote locations (such as the Scottish Isles, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands) may take longer to reach you.

 

Sign up for a GAME Reward Account online for FREE, via the GAME App or in your local store.

Earn points whenever you trade-in or buy at GAME. Use your points to save on the stuff you want in-store.

Join Today - £3 per Month


Join GAME Elite today and earn up to 10% points back with GAME Elite - Our exclusive membership service from GAME. With extra points and more cash to spend, this deal is seriously on point.

Our promise to you - you can’t lose – join today and if you receive less points back from purchases than the fee you have paid for your membership for 12 months, we will give you the difference back in points.

Receive exclusive deals and offers and we will even send you a gift around your birthday.

NEW: £4.99 Standard Delivery charge back in points for GAME Elite members


Key Benefits:
  • 10% points back on all physical games, merchandise and accessories
  • 2% points back on all consoles, PC, VR, phones and tablets
  • 2% points back on trade-in and digital
  • Exclusive deals and offers
  • Birthday gift
  • Our promise to you – you can’t lose


    Terms and conditions apply

    Please note: You will not receive Reward points for your purchase of GAME Elite Membership