This week is once again a double theme. This time of the Xenoblade series. This means that we are going to look at Xenoblade 1 first. What is the most unique feature of Xenoblade 1 and 2? I would have to say that both Xenoblade 1 and 2 play out at the same time but in a different dimension. These games are Japanese roleplaying games and even though Xenoblade 1 is a remaster from the Wii, this game holds up well with the remastered graphics.
Xenoblade 1 and 2 both have big downfalls next to fun gameplay and a great story. In both of these two reviews, we are going to look at many aspects of these games, without further ado, let us get started on the review of Xenoblade 1.
In Xenoblade 1 you play as Shulk, a normal guy that works in a weapons lab. If you take a closer look in this lab you will find the monado. The monado is very important to the story. In Xenoblade 1 there is a war going on between Bionis and Mechonis. The Mechons for short seem to be much stronger but the monado can defeat them. Normal weapons can barely scratch the Mechons.
What did I think of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 before playing?
I have never played the original Xenoblade Chronicles 1 on the Wii before but we did have Xenoblade 2 on the Nintendo Switch. Thus when we heard Xenoblade 1 was coming to the Nintendo Switch we patiently waited for this game to be released. My wife and I were both very excited to get started on the Xenoblade Series!
The Nintendo Page
Before purchasing this game we went to the Nintendo page as this is not a cheap game by any means.
What enticed us to buy the game was the part where the page tells us to take part in strategic battles. We also read about the extra epilogue that we are keeping apart for a separate review. The main characters are fun, we had no idea what the character Riki was supposed to be. My wife mentioned it looked like a chicken. This does not mean we would not include this creature in our party if possible.
I rate Xenoblade Chronicles with a 7.7.
We did like the idea of this game but it does not seem very enjoyable to me. We mostly wanted to play the game because we already had Xenoblade 2. My wife and I love playing games in order. Please do not ask me why we bought Xenoblade 2 before Xenoblade 1.
The story starts with the homs ( the beings that live on the Bionis) fighting the Mechons for their last hope of survival. When all hope seems lost, a warrior named Dunban joins the battle. Dunban is the only homs that can use the monado to fight the Mechons. Dunban manages to defeat the attacking Mechons along with his partners but he gets injured. This means his right arm cannot be used anymore due to the overflow of the energy of the monado.
Now that the Mechons have been defeated it seems as if there will be peace for a long time. The monado ends up in shulk’s lab. Colony 9 seems to be living in peace, that is until one year later the Mechons return and Shulk is forced to use the monado. can you save colony 9 and possibly the world from the Mechons?
I rate the story of Xenoblade Chronicles with a 10.
We judged this game poorly before buying, we loved it, we enjoyed the whole story. It is written amazingly and Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has a lot of plot twists.
As Xenoblade 1 is a Japanese roleplaying game at heart, your main goal is to level up. Leveling up will allow you to defeat stronger enemies. The battles take place in real-time battles. You can have three party members at one time on the battlefield. All the characters have different arts that they can use on the field. You can also switch every character to the main lead. Arts can be used to gain the upper hand in battles. Next to arts all characters have three skill trees, there are secret skill trees to unlock. These secret skill trees are very hard to unlock!
When engaging in battle you can see the status of the enemy that you are going to fight. Red means impossible, yellow is hard, other colors mean that you can most likely pulverize them. If you want to beat way stronger enemies you can abuse the casual mode. If you want to level up you can complete side quests. Do not worry there are infinite side quests, completing them all is close to impossible. You should complete them before continuing the story, they might not be available forever.
When in battle you can use special monado arts to turn the tables in a battle. The further that you progress in the story, the more monado arts that you will unlock. The monado will also allow you to see the future, you can try to change the future in this game for your benefit.
Is Xenoblade Chronicles 1 an open-world game?
I would not say that Xenoblade Chronicles 1 is an open-world game but you do have a lot of freedom. Especially for an older game from the Wii. There are many different areas that also inhabit high-level enemies. The areas are huge and the main quest only takes you through a small space of each area. The world may not be an open world but there is a lot to explore, exploring every inch of every map will take you a long time. The linear open-world maps are also good for finding mining spots. These mining spots are called ether deposits.
These Ether deposits are needed for crafting gems, these gems can be used to fill slots in your armor. This way you can create the characters like how you want them to be for your party. I would advise you to get agility gems as that stat is broken! The further that you get in the game, the higher level gems you can create. If you cannot find the gem that you need, you can also do time trials to gain nopon stones. These nopon stones can be used for many items!
I rate the gameplay of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 with an 8.5.
The gameplay is great but it can get very repetitive especially when you are trying t do all of the side quests. The battles are very fun and the characters are great. We both love Reyn the most as a character! They all have fun lines throughout the game.
Sound and Graphics
This game is remastered and the graphics show for it. My wife and I checked how the game looked at the Wii and we were shocked. Gladly this is a remaster that lives up to the possible potential a game has. The cutscenes are good even though you can see the game is from a time long gone.
The music and soundtracks in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 are good. You should listen to some of the great music that Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has to offer. We certainly enjoyed it! The voice acting is also good, you can see that the synchronization is wrong but it is not too bothersome.
I rate the sound and graphics with a 9.5.
The graphics are a great improvement from the original game. The music and voice acting are also very good. Even though there are some minor problems with the synchronization
What did I think of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 after playing?
We enjoyed our time with Xenoblade 1 a lot, we disliked the moments between the story. We just wanted the story to continue to see where it would take us. My wife and I decided together we should skip side quests until the end. That was a big mistake as we had to complete way too many side quests when we wanted to unlock the skill trees. One city is destroyed and needs to be rebuilt, this will take a lot of time and effort! When you defeat enemies you will also gain ability points to upgrade your arts. To advance your arts you will need special books. There are also trials and achievements that will give you experience points, ability points, and skill points. These points can also be farmed in casual mode!
There are many secrets to find in this game as well as many collection items. These items can be inserted into a book, if you manage to complete one collection you will get a reward. I would love to talk about the most annoying mechanic in this game. The affinity system means that you need to make your party members like each other. This can be very time-consuming and very boring. This also goes for cities, we never managed to get one city to a five-star affinity but we did manage to get four stars with colony 9. This took up like 20 hours of grinding! It is very hard for me to tell if this game exceeded my expectations. The story is great, the gameplay is great but the game itself is just very repetitive at many times.
I rate Xenoblade Chronicles after playing with an 8.8.
Despite all the grinding mechanics, we both loved the game more than we even expected when we bought Xenoblade Chronicles 1.
What are my personal thoughts about Xenoblade Chronicles 1?
I loved the story very much, I enjoyed the battles. I disliked all the grinding and most of all the affinity system. At the end of the game, I was glad it was all over and I could continue to Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Are you looking for another Japanese Role-playing game? Look at this review of Mega Dimension Neptunia Version 2. Please note this is an older review.
My personal rating of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 is an 8.0
– Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has an amazing story with many plot twists.
– There are many places to explore in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 even though the game is not an open-world game.
– There is a lot of possibilities to create your dream team of characters.
– Xenoblade 1 has a great cast of characters with each their own personalities.
– The world feels alive and dynamic by having high-level enemies in all areas.
– You can see the future with the monado to try and change your future.
– The time trials that you can try out at the nopon archsage are fun.
– There is a city that needs to be rebuilt.
– Mieeeeeep? Alley hoop?
– Too many side quests
– I really mean it, there are way too many side quests!
– The affinity system is too grindy and boring.
– Leveling up to 99 can take a long time but you can abuse casual mode to level up faster.
I would recommend playing Xenoblade Chronicles 1 if you like Japanese role-playing games!
The final rating for Xenoblade Chronicles is …drumroll…
Let me know what you think about this game in the comments!
I hope you liked reading this review, I hope to see you in the next review!