Xenoblade Chronicles 3D - Critique
In 2012, when we first tested Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii, we found it exceptional. Here is what we wrote: “Xenoblade Chronicles is the best Japanese role-playing game of its generation. Although it looks straight out of the previous generation, its technical limitations are offset by original art direction, a captivating and innovative combat system, and thoughtful design. It's a nod to the genre's glorious days, proof that there are always new ways to tell a story. If you've always felt frustrated with the lack of epic, detailed Wii games, then this title is for you. "
So how does the port of this epic, exclusively to New Nintendo 3DS, fare? It still offers the same innovative ideas, deep combat, and an expansive world filled with quests for almost 60 hours of play, however graphics quality suffers.
The developers at Monster Games have done an admirable job of compressing the huge world of Xenoblade into a more compact form, only the textures suffered from this transition on a smaller and lower screen resolution. The downside is that some characters and environments don't look very good, up close or at a distance. The 3DS still manages to capture the spirit and emotions conveyed by the world of Xenobalde. We keep the same great outlook, whether you freely visit the wild lands of the Plains of Guar or the hostile jungle of the Forest of Makna, and these technical sacrifices allow this version to run at a rate as fast as that of the previous game for Wii. .
On the control side, the 3DS is well equipped to meet the requirements of Xenoblade. Switching from C-stick to buttons feels natural. The ZL and ZR keys are used to manage the zooming and de-zooming of the camera, and to access the fast travel system. The only disappointment concerns the 3DS touch screen which is not used at all. This is a disappointing omission, especially because the touchscreen interface could have made it easier to navigate through the menus.
Likewise, despite the mention "3D" in the title, the usual use of 3D does not make this version especially better. Some cutscenes have some additions, but this does not impact the gameplay of the game.
So, apart from the possibility of experiencing this RPG in a portable version, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D does not add much to the original. The new collections of 3D character models and music are awesome, but having played on Wii before, I won't buy it for that reason alone.