Xenoblade Chronicles: DE - Monado about nothing
The return of the incredible Shulk
Alright mate? Xenoblade, yeah? It's all a bit bloody British, innit? That, to my mind, gives me full license to go Full English on your asses. Sorry, arses.
Seriously, everyone in this game went to school with me. It's absolutely barmy. Never heard anything like it, except in Dragon Quest which I don't play because I'm too cool for that series. "Lord love a duck!!" exclaims Shulk in the first scene, "I've dropped me bleedin' Monado down the apples and pears!" Then his best friend Reyn turns up with two packets of Premier League stickers. Shiny Shearer! Yes mate!!
In case you can't tell, I'm having entirely too much fun with the limey-as-all-get-out voicework in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. But there's a game here too - a Wii game, indeed, that came out back in 2010. An RPG with expansive areas more akin to those you'd see in an MMO, but applied to a single-player experience. Extremely well, indeed. And they look better than ever, as this Definitive Edition overhauls the game's graphics to really wow you with its vistas. Though the character models certainly retain their Wii-ery.
Combat is refreshingly different here, too. Not different to the Wii version, but different to most JRPGs I've played. Forgive me in advance, Nauties, as RPGs are not my genre. So if I bollocks this description up, please let me know in the comments - politely. Anyway, Xenoblade is sort of real-time, though your standard weapon swings are automatic in the manner of, say, Final Fantasy XII. The wrinkles come in with the addition of "Arts", skills that reminded of the likes of Diablo 3's different powers in that they're all on cooldowns. They're also often connected to your character's position relative to their opponent, so you've got plenty to stay aware of. This, plus the juggling of other characters' arts in devastating chain attacks (as well as other nuances I'm too thick to elucidate on here) mean the combat is constantly engaging - I found even the most basic enemies could be a potential threat.
The real draw of Xenoblade for me, though, is those landscapes - the vast expanses are a genuine treat to explore, and the game makes sure you're constantly being rewarded with items, experience and brilliant British accents. If you've already played the game on Wii (or New Nintendo 3DS, for that matter), there's a brand new scenario to enjoy; Future Connected, an epilogue set a full year after the main game that ties off some of the story's loose ends. It's a cracking package and an involving RPG that's got a decent sense of humour on top of everything else.
I enjoyed my time with Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition so much that it briefly made me consider buying Xenoblade Chronicles 2 until I remembered that time I saw the "blushy crushy" scene on Youtube and cringed into my own digestive system. My only real complaint is that this re-release should have gone all-in on the English and called itself Xenoblade Chronicles: The Dog's Bollocks or something. Sorry for saying "bollocks" twice. Three times.
A review copy of this game was provided by the publisher.