‘Xenoblade Chronicles’ gets an upgraded version 

Craig McKinley , Staff Writer

If you’re looking to experience a fantasy role-playing game with large landscapes and well-developed characters, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition for Nintendo Switch may be what you’re seeking. 

With a vast world that holds many secrets to discover, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition captures how small the people are and constantly reminds the player of this. 

Not every inhabitant of this world is friendly, though; a mechanical species assaults the world’s biological beings! The first attack in over a year from the mechanical species leads the main character, Shulk, on his journey for revenge, which results in self-discovery. 

Creating one’s own future is a very notable theme in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition.’ Early on, Shulk gains the ability to see visions of the future, and this is both used as a gameplay mechanic and as part of telling the story. With these visions, the player can see when a member of the party is about to be incapacitated and has an opportunity to prevent that from happening. Visions are also part of foreshadowing in the story, though there are also many visions of futures that need to be changed, giving more goals to the characters in their adventure. 

This version adds an extra story that takes place one year after the main adventure. It also features some new music, characters, and gameplay mechanics, along with aspects of each returning from the main adventure. 

There is a lot of music in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition,’ covering several musical styles and applying to many different types of settings. Under similar circumstances, it would be easy to assume that there was a sacrifice in quality for quantity, but the quality holds up to a surprising degree. 

Having started on the Wii, Xenoblade Chronicles had to deal with many limitations of the Wii’s capabilities and released with a low supply. It was later ported to a model of the Nintendo 3DS, but it fought many similar limitations there that it did on the Wii. But with Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition on the Nintendo Switch comes several enhancements. The resolution of many graphical assets has gone up, many character models have been re-done and re-colored, animations have been improved with more noticeable facial expressions, some of the music has been re-recorded, and the user-interface is now more user-friendly. 

The upgrades to the user-interface can help with navigation, though those who wish can turn this feature off. Casual Mode also exists for those who have a harder time getting through combat. 

The main adventure and epilogue can both take a lot of time and effort. While this can be made easier through Casual Mode, there can still be a lot to unpack. If one wants to experience all the game has to offer, they will have to allocate a lot more time toward other individual tasks. The opportunities to complete certain tasks may expire once certain points in the story have been reached. 

Those who want to experience everything Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition’ has to offer should be aware: not quite everything can be done in the first playthrough. Some quests expire, areas become inaccessible, and doing everything is nearly impossible without guidance and planning. 

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition’ features many areas to explore, plenty of story with inspiring topics, a soundtrack with many different tempos and tones, and various enhancements to help make this version more enjoyable than those of the Nintendo Wii and 3DS. With the upgrades made and an additional story on top of the base game, it’s great to see how much better the Xenoblade Chronicles experience has become.