After week and 16 hours of in game time I am officially qualitied to give my first impression of Xenoblade chronicle 3. For anyone not familiar with the Xenoblade franchise, they are action rpgs made monolith soft with huge grandiose stories and worlds that are taking place on two or more timelines with 3 being the fourth installment in the Xenoblade franchise. If you are familiar with the franchise, it’s just more of what made 1,2 and X great but are a bigger scale. As someone who has played the three games before this one, this game feels right at home with the others but somehow different. It feels like they adjust the speed of combat and removed the stutter step so battles are slower but with 6 playable character you can swap between on the fly it’s a fair trade off, however in exchange for the shutter step being removed we gained the ability to fight in water which while a little upsetting is a welcome change.
The combat itself is the same auto attacking to build arts and then using arts to build specials system from the other games, but with so many more things to keep track of like which arts route you want to go down, making sure your arts are doing their secondary abilities to fill the special and party gauge, and if your using the interlink you have to manage all that and make sure you don’t overheat and break the interlink. All that sounds like a lot to keep track of, but the game paces things out so you build into them as you get them which is how games should handle giving you tens of options all at once.
The character writing is the best monolith soft has done so far, all six characters feel like real believable people while being over the top anime characters in their actions and wildly different races. They are all products of their environment, but they all handle that very differently. Without going into the story to much the main three characters have all been through a lot of trauma in their 9 years of existence, the same can be said for the other characters but at the point of the story I’m in they haven’t talked about it much which makes me think it will come up in the 2nd act of the story.
I’ve only scratched of the surface of the game but I’ve loved ever moment of it, that is said with a massive bias for the franchise, the game does have some less than stellar parts like the very hand holdy tutorials, the music while I do like, won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, you can mute and keep the voices and effects but the music adds to the charm of the game.
If this type of rpg isn’t for you please give Digimon survive a try, it’s a tactics type like Fire Emblem but with a visual novel in it and if that’s not for you ether Live A Live is your classic turn based jrpg.