Xenoblade chronicles x
Chronicles Of Ridiculous
RELEASED OUT NOW! Publisher Nintendo Reviewed on Wii U
videogame After romping up and down the legs and shoulders of two colossal gods, few JRPGs have come close to matching the visual ambition of Wii’s Xenoblade Chronicles. Once you’ve watched the sun set under the looming arches of a vast kneecap, it’s hard to imagine getting excited for anything less.
Until, that is, you meet Chronicles X’s space whale: a flying luminescent beast that dances in the moonlight beneath a shimmering Aurora Borealis as misty spray from a 200ft waterfall fills the air. Once again developer Monolith has our full attention. Welcome to Mira, the last human stronghold in the galaxy – and, more importantly, your new benchmark for virtual sci-fi tourism.
Mira is a huge world of astonishing imagination, and rather than gate off higher-level beasts in late-game nooks and crannies, it throws them all in together, making for a more thrilling ecosystem as you weave your way across its plains and valleys. Engaging Mira’s bloodthirsty wildlife is, for the most part, an absolute treat, as X’s combat system arguably improves on Monolith’s previous Wii scraps.
Throughout X, however, there’s a distinct lack of welcoming charm, particularly compared to its predecessor. Xenoblade’s effortless blend of quests, exploration and combat is buried under heaps of acronyms and division names, and the wonder of discovery is bogged down by the tedious chore of planting data probes to expand your map – this kind of bureaucratic nonsense has no place in this world.
For all its flaws, though, there’s no denying that Mira’s beauty takes your breath away with every new horizon, and the breadth and depth of each biome only makes it that much more satisfying to discover. It may lack the heart of Wii’s JRPG stunner, but the rest of X’s anatomy stands shoulder-toshoulder with giants. Katharine Byrne
You come across some awe-inspiring sights, but names like Whale Nostril don’t really do them justice…
Well it sure beats a wet weekend in Wales.