I have been looking forward to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 for a while. Not super excited like Stray or games like the upcoming Callisto Protocol, but happy it’s coming out. Kicking back Saturday morning, I realised Xenoblade Chronicles 3 had been out for a day. So I jumped on the Switch eShop and nabbed it!
I played Xenoblade Chronicles years ago on the 3DS. I will say upfront that it’s not a series for everyone, like another franchise I enjoy called Ys. I keep meaning to go back and play the Definitive Edition rerelease on Switch. I still haven’t gotten around to it. What a surprise. So if you are wondering if you should jump straight into Xenoblade Chronicles 3, read on.
Don’t be fooled by the title – Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is actually the fifth game in the series.. This doesn’t count the larger Xeno series that Chronicles is a branch of. Each story is a continuation, but not a direct continuation. You don’t play the exact same characters or even the same time period. Important historical story beats and references are shown in flashbacks. This means players can jump in at any point in the series and not be too lost.
That said, starting up Xenoblade Chronicles 3, I felt completely out of place. I started being concerned that things weren’t what I remembered.
I shouldn’t have. This is pretty much the formula for the series. Bit of video story, start in a battle revealing it’s a flashback, walk back to town to start the tutorial. But it took me about 5 minutes to remember this. That said, that’s because I realised I had a blank on Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I don’t remember the story of 2 at all!
This had me a little concerned. Did I put 2 down thinking I would come back to it later and missed it? I looked at the plot on Wikipedia and that started prompting memories. So I am in a weird situation. I know I played the first on 3DS, I think I played 2, and now I am jumping into Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
So in the future, I may sounds like a series veteran or I may sound like a newbie. It will be interesting to see where Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes me.
I can see a lot of people complaining about the ‘poor’ graphics in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Would it look sharper and clearer on PlayStation or Xbox? Probably. Remember the series started on the 3DS. On the Switch in handheld mode, everything looks amazing. The world is open with lots to explore, but Xenoblade isn’t like Final Fantasy XV.
As I am writing this, I am 90 minutes in. I have unlocked about a quarter of the games systems, looking at the menu system. Game mechanics, a lot goes on in these games. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will keep feeding you mechanics over the first few hours, then drop you into the deep end.
So I am thinking a dedicated couple of hours each week to keep going with the game. This will let me make progress and stay on top of mechanics and what is happening. I once dropped into a Xenoblade Chronicles save after a year, and I had no idea how to play. Can’t let that happen again!