New game allows you to explore new world

Chris Miller, Reporter

Xenoblade Chronicles X is a true successor to the original Xenoblade Chronicles and manages to provide everything a JRPG, or Japanese Role-Playing Game, fan could ever want in this type of game.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is a JRPG exclusive for the WiiU that released in early December last year. It is a spiritual successor, not a direct sequel, to the original Xenoblade Chronicles.

The characters, story, and setting are all new and completely different from the original game which may disappoint any fans of the first Xenoblade Chronicles.

However, what more than makes up for this is the fact players can customize their very own main character. Customization and micromanaging are the core of the game play for Chronicles X. Players can customize the character progression, behaviors, and aesthetics for each party member. There is a lot to customize and keep track of in Chronicles X, but the game does an excellent job of introducing new core game mechanics at a pace that doesn’t overwhelm the player.

Chronicles X takes place on a planet called Mira after a race of alien life forms known as Xenoforms destroy the Earth, and the humans who managed to survive crash land there on accident.

The open-world of Mira is filled with a variety of regions that are massive in scale and offer beautiful environments to explore. The world in Chronicles X is vast and players can spend dozens of hours exploring and still find new things to discover. This makes backtracking and searching for rare materials or enemies enjoyable. Even the most determined completionists in the world will never get bored of exploring every nook and cranny in the game.

Chronicles X is a massive game. In fact, this is the most ambitious game in the WiiU library to date. That not only correlates to the large open-world to explore but the insane amount of quests and enemies to tackle throughout the game as well.

The story in Chronicles X isn’t as well rounded or enticing as the story was in the original. But, the scale of the story is much larger this time around and it throws in some very shocking and unexpected plot twists M. Night Shyamalan could only dream of coming up with.

The story and fate of the human race is experienced through the 12 story chapters accessible at various points throughout the game. The chapters themselves are short and at times a little dull, but it’s what players do in-between those chapters that will really entice them.

Every single side or Affinity quest has its own unique story arch and provides some much-needed character development for both main and side-characters alike. The character development is so interesting during these quests that it’s easy to forget that the fate of humanity still hangs in the balance.

Players will be so busy trying to play matchmaker for other characters or discovering back stories of the many playable party members that the main storyline becomes a mere afterthought. The side quests are just that interesting.

The side quests are just a small piece of the pie. There are a plethora of monsters and super bosses known as Nemesis to hunt down and challenge both online or off. That’s right, there is a fully functional online multiplayer mechanic that allows players on the same server to team up with up to three other players to take on end-game level bosses. These bosses are next to impossible to fight solo so the help from other competent players is crucial.

The only downside to the multiplayer is that, similarly to Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, it’s linear, and once the players kill the target enemy, the multiplayer session is over.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is far from the perfect game. There are no volume or sound options in the game, which becomes a huge issue during cut scenes or major plot points when the music’s too loud to hear any of the character dialogue. Thankfully, there is an option to add subtitles but it doesn’t fix the audio issue.

Another problem is the enemy monster Aggro-range. There are lots of super high-leveled monsters walking around which are simply unbeatable early and mid-game that will randomly attack and kill the player. To make matters worse, it’s sometimes impossible to escape these high level monsters because the monsters will still hit the player at ranges which make absolutely no sense.

Lastly, the main storyline wraps up in a way that leaves the player with too many questions. There are many unexplained plot holes and the outcome of the entire ordeal isn’t solidified. The developers may have left the answers to these unanswered questions out on purpose in the hopes of making a sequel, but that doesn’t justify leaving an ending with that much of a mystery.

Despite these flaws, Xenoblade Chronicles X is an amazing game that gives even the Final Fantasy franchise a run for its money. It’s not the most revolutionary JRPG ever made, but it sure does prove that the WiiU is capable of so much more than what most people give it credit for.

Xenoblade Chronicles X may not appeal to the casual crowd looking for a game to spend a few hours off and on like Star Wars Battlefront does. But gamers of all kinds don’t even need to like JRPGs to appreciate the several dozen hours worth of exploration and content offered in this game.