The Mechonis Sword. The Urayan Titan. Both are restless, intersecting one another and overlooked by a grassy plain. Striking key art that every Xenoblade fan remembers from early 2022. Looking back to September 2020, the rumor of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 felt too good to be true. A sequel where both beloved worlds of the first two games intersect, bringing together all of the characters we all know and love? It sounded like a fantasy. That is until it became reality in February 2022 with the title’s reveal.
From the moment the trailer started, it was clear that this was Xenoblade. A brand new cast of characters was shown, alongside gorgeous vistas and all sorts of new machinery and weapons. Ending off with teases of Melia and Nia, the scene closed to Noah and Mio – two of the party members, playing their flutes as the logo appeared. Fast forward to the present, where Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has received a nomination for Game of the Year at The Game Awards.
Since the game’s release, I have garnered over 300 hours in Monolith Soft’s latest title. I have completed every quest, Collectopaedia, and just about everything in between. With Xenoblade Chronicles 3 recently debuting in front of millions of eyes at The Game Awards, there has never been a better time to dive deep into my personal game of the year. After five months, I’m finally ready to share my thoughts in this Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review.
A World Of Wonders
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes place in Aionios, which is easily Monolith Soft’s biggest world yet. Aionios pits two nations, Keves and Agnus, against each other in a timeless battle involving all of the nation’s people. The tone is set immediately as you start the game and are thrown onto the battlefield with giant mechs, or Ferronises, towering over you as you battle. As our main protagonist, Noah, opens with a monologue, bodies of soldiers plop to the ground as the camera pans the battlefield.
The people of Aionios all have a time limit: 10 years, or terms as they are called in Aionios. Each character throughout this world is marked with a marking somewhere on their body, which indicates how long they have left to live. Aionios is cruel, grim, and ruthless. This endless cycle continues for eternity as new life is born to serve each nation. To survive, you must kill. And to kill, you must battle.
The nations and Keves and Agnus are forced to kill each other to fill their Flame Clock, which is how their people stay alive. Bodies of dead soldiers release life force, which rises into the air and is absorbed by the opposing nation’s Flame Clock. Keves and Agnus are split into different colonies, scattered across the world. These colonies are massive machines with the ability to move. Colonies from each nation engage against each other constantly to survive. The beginning of the game takes us to the battlefield of Colony 9 and Colony Sigma, where our protagonist is slashing away.
Enter Noah, the protagonist of this story. Noah serves as Colony 9’s off-seer, a person whose duty is to send off those lost on the battlefield. A somber melody is played by a flute as life rises from the countless corpses on the ground. At the end of the 10th term, a grand celebration called Homecoming occurs. One is sent off by the Queen herself, fulfilling their entire life. It is so incredibly rare for one to reach Homecoming, though it is every soldier’s goal. Off-seers like Noah exist to give life that was lost on the battlefield their send-off since they did not make it to Homecoming.
Noah, alongside his childhood friends Lanz and Eunie, receives a special mission from Colony 9. This mission tasks them with tracking an airship, which eventually leads to an altercation with Agnian soldiers over the airship. These soldiers are Mio, Taion, and Sena, the other three members of the main party. Whilst fighting, the Kevesian and Agnian soldiers are broken up by the lone survivor of the airship. He warns them of the “true enemy”, and shortly after the party receives a mystical power from a glowing device within the airship cargo. This power is called Ouroboros and allows Kevesians and Agnians to fuse to become one being.
The party then bands together and travels to the ends of the world to defeat the real enemy pulling the strings. The goal: reach Swordmarch, the giant sword plunged into the world of Aionios. It is said that the key lies there, and to save this world the party must make it there. It is a taxing journey of emotion, loss, and most importantly, life. Life sits at the core of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. From beginning to end, this theme is strung through the narrative, characters, world, and so much more. Monolith Soft has crafted a narrative that allows you to watch the party grow and learn together. To live and love. The party begins to fight for themselves and not sit idle and confined to the ideals chosen for them. They learn what it truly means to live.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s narrative and storytelling are right up there with the prior games in the series. The narrative is primarily told through cutscenes as you might expect, however, a large amount of narrative-enriching detail is found throughout Aionios. Side content throughout tied in with the narrative much stronger than in previous entries. The narrative itself, while spectacular, did feel predictable at times. With a few of the main twists, I predicted the outcome in the first few hours of the game, which was disappointing, to say the least. While not diving into specifics, the surprise factor from most twists was not the same as it was in prior titles.
Despite this, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes some of the boldest decisions made in the series thus far. A particular major story event had me (and many others) with my jaw on the floor. I was in a state of shock that I had not felt since Chapter 10 of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Various segments of the narrative slightly dragged, however, I never lost any interest. This is partly due to our party members, who have some of the best writing in the series so far.
The main cast of characters is phenomenal. Each character is fully realized and fleshed out to the point of feeling for these characters and their struggles. When segments of the story slightly dragged as aforementioned, the characters were right there to keep me engaged. Whether it was their banter with each other, or learning and growing together as their pasts were uncovered. There was never a moment where I became disinterested in a character, which is due to the quality of character writing found in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. This writing excels thanks to the structure of the narrative. In the previous entries (and in most games), your party naturally grows over the game as you meet new members. For example, look at Final Fantasy VII Remake, where we have yet to meet half the party in that journey. In Xenoblade Chronicles 3, each of the main characters is introduced in the first chapter, which allows for the characters to grow equally throughout the entire game.
Mio ended up being my favorite character in the game, and one of my favorites in the entire series. I loved the development she got and felt that she shined throughout the entirety of the game. Mio has some of the more mature writing in the series, and you feel the weight of this as you play throughout the game. She is the oldest out of all of the party members, and in a world where you only live 10 years, you can probably picture what that means for her character. Another character I loved was Eunie, who is the complete opposite of what you would expect a High Entia to be. High Entia have been known for being elegant and royal figures, however, Eunie defies all of this. She curses, runs her mouth, and practically says anything on her mind. I love it. It’s a blast to have a change of ideals like this so suddenly and makes for one hell of a ride.
With Ouroboros, the party naturally formed pairs. These were Noah and Mio, Eunie and Taion, and Lanz and Sena. Throughout the narrative, each of these characters got extremely close to one another. For the first time in the series, Heart-to-Hearts were nowhere to be found. Instead, these moments you would normally find in Heart-to-Hearts are now scattered consistently throughout the game. You naturally get to see the bonds forged between these characters, who were once sworn enemies. It’s a beautiful thing seeing these moments happen so often, and it is something that I hope the series continues going forward. I would argue that this approach allows for the thoughts and motives of the characters to come out much more strongly than in previous titles. The consistent heart-to-heart moments allow the entire party of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 to grow in a way that previous entries in the series have strived for, but have never managed to hit.
Voice acting also was phenomenal, as expected with the Xenoblade series. The voice actors for the main party were all exceptional, especially Harry McEntire as Noah, and Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Mio. These two in particular had some intense and emotional moments that were brought out thanks to the sheer quality of the voice acting. Additionally, standouts returned from prior games like Jenna Coleman, who reprised her role as Melia Antiqua. The voice acting quality does not stop with the main cast, however. Side characters, especially the various heroes you encounter, all offer great performances that complement the party well.
With the incredible characters designed by Masatsugu Saito, who also served as the main character designer for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Monolith Soft was able to transfer the initial design into the game incredibly well. There’s another layer of polish on top of the character models you would find in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which were already incredibly detailed. This is an area where it truly blows past its predecessors. An aspect of the models you will notice right away is the eyes. The eyes are so incredibly detailed and expressive with Saito’s art style. They seem to be multiple layers stacked on top of one another. This is further brought out with the new rendering techniques for hair, in addition to the lighting and shadows on each character’s face. It is brought to life beautifully and allows for each of the characters to truly convey emotion across the screen.
Internal designers from Monolith Soft designed almost all of the non-party characters in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, such as Riku & Manana, and did a fantastic job. Masatsugu Saito’s wonderful character designs were complemented extremely well with brilliant designs throughout the game. This also translates over to mech design, including the designs of the Ouroboros forms, which were designed by CHOCO. Koichi Mugitani, or CHOCO, has served as a freelance designer for Monolith Soft since Xenosaga, so it was a delight to see them return to the series to create new designs.
Beauty at Every Corner
Aionios is ridiculously big, with an unfathomable amount of areas for players to explore. The overall explorable map is five times bigger than the one found in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. With Aionios being a world that resulted from the clash of Alrest and the Bionis & Mechonis, the sheer size of this map begins to be understandable. It’s a testament to the growth of Monolith Soft from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which was released in the launch year of the Switch. Trekking across the map you will find very familiar setpieces and areas, as, after all, this world is the result of the Bionis, Mechonis, and Alrest merging. Luckily, this map might be easier to navigate than the previous games for some. Monolith added a faint tracking line that you can enable in the game, which shows you the quickest path to your destination.
Some of the sights and setpieces found are gorgeous and mindblowing, especially considering this is running on the Nintendo Switch. It is clear that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has pushed the Nintendo Switch to its limits, but Monolith Soft got every bit of performance they could out of the console for this game. The areas seen in this game are some of the prettiest available on the Nintendo Switch. The grand sights the Xenoblade series is known for are all present, with some being grander than the previous entries at times. Monolith Soft at times almost encourages you to shy away from the path, which is something I loved. There are countless secret passages or areas that you can not find unless you explore Aionios. I spent dozens of hours just running around trying to fill my entire map.
The world of Aionios is rich with detail in its environments, especially with all the things you can find. As you pass through areas, you will often come across dead bodies of soldiers, waiting to be sent on. As Noah or Mio, you can play the melody to send these bodies on, which truthfully holds a weight that you feel. These types of details enhance the experience greatly, with the overall turmoil of this world being consistently shown everywhere. Creating an environment that can truly immerse is challenging. Monolith succeeded with Aionios.
I was slightly disappointed by the areas offered in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. It’s understandable – Aionios is meant to be a war-torn landscape. It’s a somber place, full of nature, yet decimated by war. Another part of this also might be the way Aionios is set up, with the entire world being together. This is surprisingly a first for the Xenoblade series, with the first two games taking place on multiple living and breathing titans. Many of the areas found, while pretty, just felt lifeless and dull in comparison to Xenoblade Chronicles 2. That’s not to say that Aionios doesn’t have vistas brimming with life and beauty, however, upon looking back at areas like The Kingdom of Uraya, Satorl Marsh, or especially The World Tree, it is very disappointing.
One of my favorite areas in the game is Erythia Sea, acting as a perfect example of how Xenoblade can immerse. It is a result of Eryth Sea and the Leftherian Archipelago merging. With Erythia Sea, this area feels to be the biggest area the Xenoblade series has seen to date. Introducing the series’ first vehicle as well, Erythia offers such a grand area to explore. This is home to all sorts of sights to see, including some of my favorite sights in the game. Lost Colony, for example, offers a gorgeous glimpse at some of the trees that used to be found in Uraya. Swordmarch was another highlight in Aionios. With it being the focus of the game, you’d hope it would deliver, which it absolutely did. While I won’t dive in for spoiler purposes, this area is one of my favorites in the entire series. Its existence was a mystery and after reaching the base of the sword, it was incredibly satisfying and fulfilling to see what awaited you.
The Melody of Life
Music is at the heart of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, with Noah and Mio playing melodies on flutes while serving as off-seers. Yasunori Mitsuda, Manami Kiyota, Kenji Hiramatsu, ACE, and Mariam Abounnasr have once again created a top-of-the-line soundtrack. The dedication of these composers is unmatched, with the team going to incredible lengths just to record the best soundtrack they possibly can. This was evident in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and even more so now, with Mitsuda going as far as to create instruments for the soundtrack. For the game, custom shinobue flutes resembling Noah and Mio’s flutes were created. These flutes are the instruments that were used to record the soundtrack, which gives titles like A Life Sent On such a distinct and wonderful sound.
The flute is at the heart of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and with such a distinct sound with the custom shinobue flutes, it is no wonder that the soundtrack turned out so wonderful. To go through the lengths of crafting instruments for a score is astounding, and Mitsuda should be recognized for it. He wanted to “create a sound that hasn’t been heard before”, and he succeeded greatly in doing so. The flutes gave XC3 such a unique voice and identity. The main motif is sprinkled through dozens of the game’s tracks, which embodies the themes Aionios, the narrative, and the characters convey. I still can hear the beautiful melody played by Noah and Mio, with their distinctive sounds both in different keys.
The soundtrack for this game is different than the previous Xenoblade titles. It goes for more of an atmospheric approach to area themes, which is also due to the somber and mournful tone felt in the land of Aionios. It works well and truly is just a testament to the talent of these composers. I found the underuse of specific tracks, like The Weight of Life, disappointing. What justified only using one of the greatest tracks on the soundtrack twice? The scenes that these tracks were used in were always extremely impactful and memorable, yet I yearned for more of them, especially in later moments of the game.
With an industry that I feel underappreciates the value of music, Monolith Soft embraces the soundtrack as they always have, by blending and twisting the narrative’s themes within the melodies of life played. The themes made by Mitsuda, Hiramatsu, Kiyota, ACE, and Abounnasr tell the story of Aionios and elevate the immersion crafted by the characters and storytelling. No cutscene is “just a cutscene”, especially with the usage of OST and fantastic voice acting. Despite some underutilization of tracks (which is on the Sound Director), the moments of emotion hit grander and harder than any recent game I have played in the past year.
A Perfected Battle System
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 took everything great about the previous mainline entries’ combat systems and perfected it. The best of both worlds is here, and although I would prefer a few tweaks here and there, this battle system is some of the most fun I have had with the series. The auto-attacking that the series is known for returns, alongside some massive upgrades. The biggest addition to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the ability to switch characters mid-battle. This has revolutionized combat by allowing you to not be stuck with one character, but instead switch to your heart’s content, now not having to worry about AI doing its job properly. AI is much improved from prior titles though, which is a huge relief regardless. This ability to switch opens up combat so much more than ever before, with infinite combos and strategies now in your hands.
There are two types of art cooldowns available in the game. In Xenoblade Chronicles, arts were on a timed cooldown, where they had a set time they were unusable after using against an enemy. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 took this idea and threw it out, with arts building up from auto-attacking. Both of these types of cooldowns are used in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, with the timed cooldown arts coming from Kevesians, while the auto-attacking arts came from Agnians. That is indeed purposeful, with the Kevesians representing the world of the first game, and the Agnians representing the people from Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It is a neat touch that really elevated combat. You can choose which arts you’d like on each character, mixing and matching to your heart’s content.
Chain attacks also return, and besides the incredibly annoying cut-off of the battle music, are so fun. Chain Attacks in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 focus on building up a meter to 100%. Each of the three distinctions, Attacker, Healer, and Defender, applies different effects to the meter. At the start of a Chain Attack, you select a Chain Order, which determines the effect of the completion bonus. From there, you utilize members of your party in order to fill enough TP to activate the Chain Attack completion. It is quite fun and offers a lot of strategies. Utilizing the correct order and members can allow you to deal millions of damage.
And if you thought the additions stopped there, Monolith Soft has finally added class swapping. Each character in the game can have whatever class you choose, allowing for possibilities that no one could have imagined when this game got announced. Your party could be all attackers if you wanted to. Six healers? Sure. Each class has the ability to be leveled up to level 10 on each character. Once you progress further in the game, you can up the level cap to level 20. This is done through a specific type of quest, called an Ascension Quest. These quests appear later on after you have certain obligations and objectives completed. Each playable character in the game has an Ascension Quest. This includes the party members, each of which explores some of the deeper thoughts and past of the party members. The grind for maxing each character in all classes is real, but it sure as hell is a fun and rewarding one.
Perhaps the greatest feature of Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s combat system is the Ouroboros system. Tied in with the narrative, Ouroboros allows two party members to fuse together and deal devastating damage. Each member of the party has an Ouroboros form, which you are able to switch between depending on what character you choose to interlink with. Each has its advantages, with some utilizing speed over damage or defense over agility. Ouroboros has a whole separate package of arts, which can be upgraded by utilizing the Soul Tree. Abilities like canceling, increased damage, longer attacks, and more are available with the Soul Tree. SP, the currency used to upgrade the Soul Tree, is obtained from battles, quests, etc.
Designs by Koichi Mugitani are fabulous as aforementioned, and truly stand out from the dark world of Aionios as a signal of hope. They are drastically different in design and functionality than their Mobius enemies and are a true joy to play within the complex combat system. Their usage is limited thanks to the Overheating, which if reached will cause the form to be unavailable for some time. Ouroboros was a great addition and assisted in making Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s combat stand out from the previous Xenoblade titles.
Heroes of Aionios
New to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the addition of Heroes, a large number of side characters you will encounter throughout the game. Heroes are special because they are able to join your party, taking up a seventh party slot. Each of these Heroes brings with them a brand new class that can be transferred to any character you may choose. For each party member, you will have to complete certain requirements to unlock the different Hero classes. Heroes can be utilized in Chain Attacks with their own Chain Order. While you, unfortunately, cannot take control of them in combat, you can utilize their abilities in Chain Attacks. I liked the approach of the Hero system as I felt it allowed the game to have a grander cast while not relying too heavily on side quests.
Heroes are obtained through quests titled Hero Quests. With a feature like Heroes, you would think they would be required to obtain, for the most part, right? Wrong. These Hero Quests are somehow optional. It almost feels like a crime considering each one is fully voice-acted, in addition to unlocking a brand-new playable character. Each of the heroes comes from either Keves or Agnus, along with an interesting back story that is usually explored. The dynamics between some of the heroes and the main cast are a delight to see, with many connecting with each other on a deeper level. There are definitely a few standout heroes, who I felt stood above the rest of the options. My personal favorites serve as postgame content, which I will not spoil for anyone who has not played the game yet.
As you progress and level up your Heroes, you will be able to unlock their Ascension Quests after certain requirements are fulfilled. This is a quest that allows you to explore more of each Hero’s background, goals, and character. By completing the quest, the Class Rank cap will be raised to Level 20 instead of Level 10. This helps keep things fresh, with more content always looming on the horizon. The cutscenes were a great insight into each of the Heroes, and I felt that they felt just as important as the main story.
In future titles, I would like for this to be expanded to allow Heroes to be playable characters you can control. With a model like Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s, this would allow for there to be over 20 playable characters technically. With a game so massive, that might be a tall ask, however, being able to control your favorite heroes mid-battle in addition to the party would be an amazing feature.
Questing for Days
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has a ridiculous amount of quests. Without including the main story, there are over 190 quests available for you to take on in Aionios. Collectopaedia also makes a return, which is another outlet you can complete tasks through. The overall quest quality in XC3 might just be the series’ best. While there definitely is a fair share of traditional “fetch” quests, most of the side content in the game felt meaningful and useful. The small quests helped build the overall world throughout each colony, which is something previous games in the franchise failed to do.
This is clearly evident with the fact that Hero Quests are considered side content – full voice acted side quests with new characters to unlock. It seems just wild that this is the case, but it is and there are players out there that never collected the Heroes of Aionios. Additionally, each of the party members has a quest titled Side Story, which dives more into their background and past before the game started. Two of these are required to be beaten in order to progress the story. The other four, which include Eunie, Taion, Lanz, and Sena, are all wonderful and explored some of the smaller details hinted at over the course of the game.
The approach to collecting quests is quite interesting. You must listen in on conversations throughout Colonies and then discuss at Rest Spots the information you gathered. It can get quite tedious, especially when you have to hold ZR and listen to a bunch of conversations that mean nothing to you. I feel this approach kept me engaged with the side quests for the most part, however, towards the end of wrapping all the side quests up I started to grow tired of the listening feature.
As for the main story quests, almost every quest in the story felt purposeful and enjoyable to play through. There is a specific quest just before the final chapter that is a full-on fetch quest, however, it did not bother me too much. It was a confusing addition but not one that affected my playthrough at all. Each of the main story missions felt unique and fresh, then leading you to new areas of the map as Xenoblade games tend to do.
There is a great deal of polish everywhere in this game, especially with the UI and menus. The menus are carefully designed and have a neat orange finish on them. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 also had distinct menus, with the various Titans found in the Cloud Sea passing by as you went left to right in the various menu options. Features such as changing the time, customizing character outfits, and more all return from previous entries.
Features like the Pouch from XC2 do return, though in new forms. The Pouch effect is essentially now ordering food from Manana at Rest Spots. You are able to use ingredients you find throughout the world and use them to craft dishes, which in turn will give you unique buffs and status effects for a limited duration. Fun additions like changing the way your party appears in the menu screen are also added, by going into the System Options and changing the Background Lineup. In addition, the new combat mechanics like class switching are effortless and extremely clear. From the start, everything is outlined for you through a ridiculous amount of the one thing everyone thought the previous entries lacked.
Monolith Soft clearly took the complaints surrounding Xenoblade Chronicles 2‘s tutorials to heart, as the tutorials in this game are… insane. While they are night and day compared to prior entries, the tutorials are extremely overbearing and continuously popped up as I was well over 17 hours into the game. It is slightly frustrating as someone who has spent hundreds and hundreds of hours in this series, however, I understand the reasoning behind it. In future games, I’d like to see tutorials not be forced and only optionally offered in the main menu after the first few hours.
The Switch is in overdrive running Xenoblade Chronicles 3. It is optimized in a mind-blowing way, offering so much detail with the incredibly dated hardware. It is evident that every drop of performance was squeezed out of the Nintendo Switch to make this happen, especially considering the changes with playable characters, foliage, etc. There is a heavy amount of techniques utilized in the clouds, draw distance, and anti-aliasing to make the game run as well as it does. As aforementioned, the character models look incredible, and this also goes for all NPCs throughout the game. There is a level of expressiveness that beautifully captures Saito’s art style as if the characters were hand drawn and stylized in-game.
Handheld mode took a vast step up from the prior entries on the Switch, with the game looking significantly better on the go. I spent quite a large amount of my time post-game in handheld mode on my OLED Switch, which was a beauty with the colorful world of Aionios. The image quality in handheld mode exceeded my expectations, and even though it is flawed, it is a phenomenal experience portable. Fulfilling quest objectives while away from home was a breeze, which was what really ended up pushing me over the 300-hour mark. The Nintendo Switch has been pushed to its limits in performance, and I cannot wait to see what Monolith’s next game looks like on the new Nintendo hardware hopefully coming soon.
The End Of A Trilogy
The beauty of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is, like prior titles, the game can be experienced completely standalone. You can play any game in the Xenoblade Chronicles series without any context or knowledge of prior entries. I, however, heavily advise against this. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has so many references that you would almost be doing yourself a disservice by choosing to play it first. Especially since both Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are such phenomenal games as well. While not integral to the plot of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the game’s narrative and world mean so much more when you have the weight of the previous two entries. XC3 is meant to be the closing point of the trilogy, offering a conclusion to everything that has happened in the series so far.
I do not think this conclusion was perfect. I have a wide range of issues surrounding unanswered questions, as well as almost thwarted expectations from the reveal of the title. While I did predict many elements that did occur throughout the third title, I was almost left puzzled as I expected there to somewhat be more of a focus on the previous titles. I believe this was deliberate, especially with how the Xenoblade titles are marketed and written. The game is fully playable standalone, and that is something extremely important to both Monolith Soft and Nintendo. I believe that the upcoming story DLC will be the fan service that series fans were looking for, with returning casts from the first two titles if the key art is anything to go by. This DLC will also likely close the chapter on the trilogy, giving the satisfying conclusion the ending shied away from.
The Future Of Xenoblade
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 received three nominations at The Game Awards 2022. It was nominated for Best Score and Music, Best Role Playing, and the behemoth itself, Game of the Year. This is an incredible honor and long overdue for a series consistently overlooked. With Xenoblade Chronicles 2, it launched in December which unfortunately cut it off from receiving any awards in 2017. It was not nominated for anything in 2018, leaving the game stranded. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition also failed to receive any recognition, though this is more understandable considering the game is a remaster.
Tetsuya Takahashi and the team at Monolith Soft should be incredibly proud of this title and the entirety of their prodigious series. This is a culmination of decades of hard work and passion getting recognized on the biggest stage of them all after years of no recognition. 12 years later, what was almost called Monado: Beginning of the World is now looking to be the face of JRPGs on Nintendo’s platforms. Even with XC3 not winning any awards, the fact it was recognized on the stage is monumental for Monolith Soft. Hearing The Weight of Life played in the Game of the Year Orchestra Medley was a powerful moment for this series that has long deserved more attention.
With recognition of this caliber, I would be surprised if Nintendo does not funnel more money into Xenoblade going forward. 2022’s Game Awards were viewed by over 100,000,000 people. Recognition like this is going to bring attention to Xenoblade Chronicles 3, which will most definitely bring a surge in sales. The game as of now has already become the fastest-selling title in the series, but I fully expect it to pass Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s 2.44M copies before the end of next year. It’s a testament to the hard work of Monolith Soft and their dedication over the past decade to building larger-than-life experiences.
More Xenoblade will be on its way within the next few years, as the series won’t be ending anytime soon. After launch, Tetsuya Takahashi sent a note out to players stating that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 marks the “end of a chapter”, with more Xenoblade coming in the future. He teased that the DLC will tease the future of the series, so hopefully, it is a bit more clear than Future Connected was. The future of Xenoblade is brighter than ever, and this is only the beginning of what could easily become the next JRPG giant.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes everything loved about the Xenoblade series and throws it all together in a package. Complaints from prior titles are taken into account and improved upon, offering one of the grandest JRPG experiences in the past decade. Additionally, the game brings in and builds upon a fantastic group of characters. Despite my few issues regarding the story and villains, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 goes above and beyond creating a narrative and experience that sticks with you.
Overall, I had an unforgetful experience with Xenoblade Chronicles 3. The issues I had with the game are extremely easy to look past, mainly a result of a few personal gripes on the narrative. Even with this title having some of the darkest moments in the series, the narrative still shines through its heartfelt and somber writing. It is a story of life, hope, and dreams. This is an experience that I will look back upon for years to come.
Xenoblade is my favorite series for a reason. The passion behind the development team and the emotion conveyed through the stories told are able to create some of the rawest, strongest emotions I have experienced in games. It’s not every day I can experience something like this, so I am extremely grateful to have had the chance to stumble upon this series five years ago. I’m ecstatic about the upcoming story DLC, which will even further enrich the world of Aionios, and hopefully bring back fan-favorite characters as well. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is one of the greatest JRPGs of recent memory, and a true testament to the hard work of Tetsuya Takahashi, Koh Kojima, Genki Yokota, and the entire development team at Monolith Soft.