Xenoblade 3 is the third game of the series taking place right after the events of 1 and 2 and its set in the world of Aionis where both worlds from Xenoblade inhabit.
To start off with it has a new cast and they both come from different parts of Aionis but in the main story 2 nations are warring at each other and you must put an end to hostilties and fight the real enemy who you find out as time goes by and also not spoiling anything but lots of characters from past games return as well.
Its also best to play both games personally as theres quite a bit of references to the previous games especially at the end where something I honestly never thought Nintendo would have ever done but lets just say it took notes from stuff like Love Hina and Date A Live and leave it at that.
Sometimes while exploring you can choose which side to support for a reward but in reality, both sides have their own dirt to them.
Story atmosphere wise things start to get more heavier now with its now war focused story and how really beyond petty and pointless all forms of war is in reality since you have to stop both sides from destroying each other. Its a lot more somber now as well too, falling in line to Xenogears and Xenosaga of the past compared to how much cheesy and lighthearted xenoblade 2 could have been at times especially given its annoying use of millennial dialogue back in the past.
Lot of the story connections to the previous mainline games are saved for the later parts. Also spoilers the other characters from last game don’t appear here but probably as dlc as a guess.
There still is its moments of lighthearted comedy in it but its certainly lot more tolerable compared to Xenoblade 2’s overuse of comedy to the point I nearly couldn’t take the game seriously.
The world has to be one of the hugest worlds for not only a switch game, but also for jrpgs and its really massive with lots of enemies new and old returning. Lots of variety in the world design as well too.
The art design is also really good as always and so is the character designs too.
The party members is now up to 6 instead of 3 like the last games. But also at certain points a seventh one or “heroes” can join based on the area you are in to help you out with their own special abilities and bonuses to have.
Even more story content and also heroes coming in the future but I don’t know, it honestly should have been stuff that could have been in the vanilla game in my personal opinion as to avoid another xenosaga or xenogears disaster with missing content that should have been in the game in the first place but got cut out due to some weird stuff happening behind the scenes.
You can also get “heroes” to join you permanently once you complete their quests after reaching a certain amount of affinity with their respective colonies.
Combat system is just like in before with its auto battle real time system with arts being special abilties you can use to help your allies and deal damage to enemies. You can now swap characters while in the middle of combat now.
Keves and agnus party members recover cooldowns to use special abilties in different ways, Keves would be automatically overtime while Agnus would be after hitting enemies successfully.
You can now fight enemies while swimming as well now compared to the last games.
The controls were very straightforward and easy to pick up.
Auto battle returns from xenoblade torna as well too. This time it turns off with boss fights and unique monster fights.
Theres also tactics which is where you can assign commands to your allies during combat.
Chain attacks also return as well too where after you reach successive hits you can use your party members to deal massive waves of damage to enemies. Certain enemies in xenoblade torna also reward your special bonuses on your journeys as well.
The more you use your weapon the higher the rank gets to access more powerful movies and damage.
Also xenoblade 3 now finally allows you to control “mechs” like in its predecessors xenogears and xenosaga. Ouroboros is where your characters take on mech forms to deal massive waves of damage to enemies once you complete certain parameters while in combat.
There’s also skirmishes where you have to choose a side in battle to help and you can get special rewards depending on who you help.
Theres also a class system as well where you can assign new classes and its perks to your party members to help you out in combat. You can rank up your classes and unlock new abilities the more you use them as well as helping out heroes in their respective colonies.
The music as always by Mitsuda Yasunori is as great as ever. The voice acting as well is as decent as ever.
Camps are the main resting hub to level up and bond with your friends during the story. You can alos cook food as well for bonuses to help you on your journeys.
Freeing colonies increases your affinity chart with your teammates and other bonuses as well. Heart to heart moments are also back as well too. You can also do side quests as well too from the usual mundane stuff that honestly the people who give these quests should have done it in the first place instead of reyling on random strangers to do so as well as the more interesting character driven quests.
Since Noah and Mio are off-seers they often come across dead bodies and you must play the off-seer flute to gain affinity for the colonies.
Material gathering returns from the previous games and so does also gem crafting as well too help enhance your equipment.
Traversal in the game isn’t just running around climbing and jumping certain heroes can allow you the abilty to get through parts you can’t normally get around through with conventional means. You can also press zl and y on the controls to access a feature where it would be the shortest route to take.
The user interface was pretty easy to navigate and so were the controls.
The collectapedia makes its return where you have to find items in exchange for rewards.
The camp feature returns from torna and you can rest and level up with the extra experience points you found as well as clean equipment as well too in case it gets dirty.
The tutorials were kind of hand holding though. In Xenoblade 2 it was minimal instruction on what to do here its excessive on the opposite side.
The game also had a lot of padding and filler as well and also some technical hiccups due to its really large size from slow downs to frame rate stutters.
Gem crafting was a lot easier in xenoblade 1 here its more tedious due to certain items and if you wanna skip it hope you get a lot of gold noppon coins.
Riding the boat in xenoblade 3 did felt kind of clunky at times.
Overall its certainly one huge stepforward for the series.
It gets 5 out of 5 stars.
Xenoblade isn’t done, theres still xenoblade x chronicles to have a focus on eventually as well as more games in the lore to explore as under nintendo, its certainly thrived quite a lot sadly can’t be said the same for the other games which are now just crossoever guest appearances or merch hopefully given how great the hd 2d stuff square has been doing, chrono trigger and xenogears gets the hd-2d treatment one day.
As well as all the cut content of xenogears finally in it as well as also an m for mature rating as not spoiling anything but yeah lots of messed up stuff especially with weltails can happen.
Also hopefully they can work on other projects as well like a new soma bringer or baten kaitos game one day.