Xenoblade Chronicles 3

released on Jul 29, 2022

A vast world awaits in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the next game in the acclaimed RPG series from developer Monolithsoft. Players will step into the roles of protagonists Noah and Mio amid turmoil between the hostile nations of Keves and Agnus. Six characters hailing from those nations will take part in a grand tale with “life” as its central theme. Explore a new world that will connect the futures of both Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

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It's insane that this game is that long without ever feeling like it wastes your time.
My clear file without the DLCs was 101 hours, and it easily could've been longer because by the end of it I just decided to not dawdle any further and finally finish the story.
I still had an insane amount of side-stories to clear which could've easily netted me another 30 hours or so.
For me a jRPG lives and dies by its cast, and this one has one of the best ones in any games I've played. Incredible chemistry, well-paced character development, great variety of personalities that clash together in fascinating and interesting ways, I love them all to bits and I miss them dearly.
Talking about side-stories, it's fascinating just how many of them are and how "meaningful" most of them are. There are a few duds, but mostly they let you hang out with interesting people more, explore the setting and its implications, and pretty much never feel pointless to do.
The story itself is great, the idea of the setting lets it really focus on spending the time with characters and their thoughts about it, about how one can live within this short allocated timespan, what one can do and achieve, what one can leave behind. Within nations whose only raison d'etre is to fight and die on the battlefield for the nebulous cause, how does passion, artistry, tradition, self-expression within people arise and what is it for, if all they do is fight? All interesting to consider, all explored with much more nuance and care than I can ever describe.
The only things that bring it down to me are poor usage of otherwise great music (seriously, my favorite battle song in the game has a 30 second intro and it only plays in grunt fights that never last more than 30 seconds) and a very "primitive" combat system, which never really has the room for interesting character classes nor enemies.
Regardless, it's an insane game, a true testament that it is possible to actually fill 150 hours of a videogame without actually making anything in it "filler".
Whether anyone should actually strive towards making games that long is another story.
Love it.

Wow. 180+ hours, and I'm finally done with this behemoth of a game! Of course, what was I expecting after spending 150+ and 260+ hours with the previous installments, am I right? I even finished the DLCs, so I'm not gonna review them separately, this log here is for the full package.
I believe this one's another amazing addition to the franchise, definitely a must-buy if you liked the series so far, or if you're simply a JRPG fan. With that said, I did have a few issues, so let's get those out of the way first:
I'm sorry to say this but this time the main heroes weren't that interesting for me. There were a few side characters that were OK, I guess, but most of them were a bit boring for my taste... I mean, they're sweet and funny, but felt kinda flat (with some, hm, mediocre English voice acting for some of them). On the other hand, the villains were much more compelling, at least as a whole, working as a group (they reminded me of Organization XIII in the Kingdom Hearts series, I loved those guys, as well). But all in all, the cast was nowhere near as memorable for me as in XC1 or XC2. However, I did like the protagonists (or most of them, at least) of Future Redeemed, so that balanced things out a bit.
There were also some repetitive or just plain dull side-quests, but those are optional, so meh, you can skip them. In general, the story was quite exciting with some surprisingly deep, dark and serious themes like mourning and the inevitability of death, but also with some fun moments sprinkled in here and there. Towards the end, though, in the last few chapters, the plot gets crazy complex, and even with total knowledge about the first two games you might have some difficulty understanding everything (I know I had!). Future Redeemed has an even more convoluted story, I wouldn't even recommend starting that one if you're not familiar with XC1 and XC2... I have to mention Kingdom Hearts again, as I felt similarly lost there as I was progressing with the games, trying to remember more and more characters, their connections and various story elements. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I'm starting to prefer stories that are more self-contained. So yeah... Good luck trying to navigate through all the bits and pieces of the XC lore and the ever-growing family tree of the protagonists!
And then there's the issue of performance and graphics... Don't get me wrong, the game looks gorgeous, but only as much as the hardware allows it to. Let's face it: the Switch is past its heyday, and is a bit outdated now, and it's painfully evident while playing XC3. Lags, frame drops, extremely long loading times... I'm sure I'm not the only one who was wondering how these huge, open-world environments could look like running on a next-gen console.
OK, I'll stop complaining now! As you can see, I gave this one a solid 4.5 stars, because everything else is fantastic: the music, the gameplay, the battle system, the spectacular chain attacks and combos, the almost infinite number of variations and customization options, the ultra-challenging optional bosses, the insane number of collectibles... You can't walk two steps on the map without running into something worth checking out, there's so much to discover, and Future Redeemed has even more new gameplay elements and locations (that veteran XC fans will absolutely love, I'm sure).
I never thought that I would enjoy a Xenoblade Chronicles game more than the newest Final Fantasy, but here we are: between XC3 and FF16, I would always pick this one. I got what I was expecting, with some minor problems that will hopefully be addressed in the sequel (I hope there will be one, and maybe already on Nintendo's next console...?).


100% Completion - Story cleared, all areas, locations, landmarks, containers, husks, skirmishes, Side Quests (Standard, Hero, Side Stories), Info Conversations, Collectipaedia entries, Affinity Chart entries, Unique Monsters, Soul Hacker Upgrades, Superboss Challenges, Gem Upgrades, Recipes, LVL 99, All classes maxed
This game is perfect, especially for people who have played the rest of the series (Xeno and Xenoblade Chronicles). Almost every system in the game works to create one of the most detailed worlds in a JRPG. Any praise that can be offered to its predecessors also applies here. It is perfect