The game I will be featuring as my 3DS Game of the Month for April is one that can only be played on the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL consoles. The physical game comes in a black case, as opposed to the usual white, and it is one of the best RPGs to exist.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a handheld port of the original Wii game, featuring Shulk setting out on a journey to destroy the mechanical threat known as Mechon.
At the start, the game establishes that the world of Xenoblade Chronicles was nothing but endless ocean until two titans came into existence. These were the Bionis and the Mechonis. They engaged each other in combat, eventually dealing a strike that left them both as lifeless corpses eternally frozen in combat.
However, life flourishes on the corpses of the titans – organic lifeforms on the Bionis, mechanical on the Mechonis.
The protagonist of the game is Shulk, who many will be familiar with from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U. Some of us, however, played the original Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii.
Anyway, after a Mechon attack on his home, Colony 9, Shulk acquires a legendary blade – the Monado. This weapon is able to harm Mechon, unlike normal weaponry. With that blade on his hand and his friend Reyn accompanying him, Shulk sets off on a journey to rid the land of the Mechon threat.
During his journey, Shulk meets many other characters who join him on his quest.
The sheer scale of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is incredible. See a particularly interesting sight far-off in the distance? You can walk over to that sight for a closer view. There’s also plenty of different environments to explore, such as the iconic Guar Plains or the tropical Makna Forest amongst others.
Inhabiting these different environments are many different people. Often, they will present quests for the player to complete. These could range from defeating certain monsters to locating certain items or even just delivering items to the right person.
Completing quests, or just talking to the named residents of a place, increases your affinity with the area. Higher affinity means better items to trade, as well as more quests becoming available. It pays to get to know everyone you meet.
As you progress through the game, you’ll eventually come across a place that you can help to rebuild. This means gathering the necessary materials and funds. In addition, you can invite people to the rebuilt place. This sidequest is one that lasts throughout most of the game.
The battle system in the game is pretty great. When you engage an enemy, your characters will auto-attack. At the bottom of the screen you will see your character’s Arts which can be activated when you choose. After using one, it will enter a cooldown period.
You can only activate the lead character’s Arts, but the AI for your partners will co-operate.
You also get Chain Attacks, where you choose all three characters Arts in succession. With decent affinity between your characters, you can unleash some majorly damaging attacks.
Since this is a port of the Wii title, there has been a few additional features added. First, the title is compatible with the Shulk amiibo… which would be great if the Shulk amiibo was actually easier to acquire for a reasonable price…
There is also StreetPass – both the amiibo and StreetPass earn tokens which can be used to unlock models and music tracks in the collection mode. A third way to acquire tokens is with Play Coins.
The collection mode allows you to view the 3D models from the game, or listen to music from the incredible soundtrack.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a quintessential RPG. Get yourself a New Nintendo 3DS and this game – you probably won’t be able to experience anything else like it until Xenoblade Chronicles X is released.