Xenoblade Chronicles 3 | Preview

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 | Preview

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is undeniably a highly anticipated title, both by its fervent community and by many JRPG fans who are finding a new safe haven in the universe created by Monolith Soft, but it is also a real attack on our health. In the middle of summer, in the middle of the holidays and with a great desire to travel, Nintendo puts its foot down and offers us a colossal adventure that could keep us glued to the screen for days, weeks or months, transporting us to a fantastic world that is really difficult. give up.

If we add to this the release of a classic like LIVE A LIVE, also scheduled for July, an exciting picture takes shape for every fan of the Japanese RPG, which this year is seriously in danger of forget what vitamin D is for your body and how melatonin works, to make room for all the statistics and skills needed to get the better of your enemies. Because with titles of this caliber, the adventure does not end when the screen is turned off, but continues uninterrupted in our heads until the next session. This is the power of works like Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Changing the future is our destiny

Over the years the team has managed to shape stories that shared messages and objectives, in particular as regards finding one's role in the world and the presumed immutability of destiny, offering different approaches each time. The first episode, more classic, offered us a hero's journey built on constant confrontation with visions of a nefarious future. The second chapter instead works on the bonds and promises to guide the actions of a very young and at times immature protagonist, accompanied by a cast more inclined to lightness - at least initially.

All soldiers are in fact young boys who are born and grow up with the sole purpose of fighting to deprive the enemies of life and recover its very essence, which collects itself in the mysterious chronoflame. The value of each colony of soldiers is determined precisely by the amount of essence collected, obtaining food and resources in direct proportion to one's successes.

The protagonist, Noah, belongs to the colony 9 of Keves and is a passer, that is a person who is able to free the remains of the fallen from the earthly world, transforming them into lights full of memories and emotions of the past. The natural sensitivity that led Noah to fill this important role is also the cornerstone on which Yunie and Lanz revolve, inseparable friends who, despite their open and indomitable characters, find in him a calm and poised leader to rely on.

Noah, however, has always lived his short life with the feeling that something was missing, unlike his companions who accepted 'training and fighting as their sole purpose, moved by the righteousness of those who see in Agnus' forces the enemy to be stopped at any cost. This inner conflict, this doubt about the meaning of life, is the trigger of the story that will allow the young man to act as a bridge between his team and the rivals of Agnus, with whom they will find themselves sharing a decisive event for the destiny of the whole world: the appearance of the Uroboros.

The meeting with Miyo, Taion and Sena, members of the rival faction, will put the boys in front of the absurdity of a conflict built on the fear of an enemy who, on balance, sees in you the exact same threat to your own existence. Who started the dispute does not matter, there is no ethical reason to raise arms: what matters is to destroy those who threaten our serenity, letting young people with no future contribute with their lives to fuel a conflict that we do not know if it will have never ending. Ironic, isn't it?

Maintaining the vacillating collaboration between the two different realities are Noah and Miyo, the first to find a harmony as they have always been charismatic legacies and leaders moved in their choices by the need to respect the rules without however lacking empathy and respect for others. And they will also be the first to be able to exploit the power of the Uroboros, which allows you to merge your existences, between memories and knowledge, to give life to a new and very powerful entity. This bond allows the two to understand how much the two factions resemble each other and how each of the boys lives a life of suffering and deprivation, where the only comfort is human relationships cultivated over time - which makes it even more painful to arrive at the moment of separation.

It is with this awareness that the real adventure finally kicks off, facing a mysterious enemy called Moebius, intent on making a clean sweep of the Uroboros by moving the whole world against our heroes. Meanwhile, a mysterious withered-looking figure with over sixty years on his shoulders tells us about a place where people can live an existence that goes beyond ten periods of life and the Return. It's time to move to Pian di Spada!

An immense world, step by step

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was shown to the public, between the trailer and Nintendo Direct of the chance, in an extremely familiar form for its audience of fans, but leaving some doubts in the heads of those who instead see in this third chapter his first approach to the saga. Confusing action, unclear controls, crowded screen and who knows what other reaction have aroused the game mechanics in the eyes of the most fearful.

Don't worry, because from the very first moments the title shows the will to put the player on a very guided and prudent path, letting him learn the game flow step by step at the cost of engaging most of the first chapters with the feeling of not having everything under control. It may seem limiting at times, but it is necessary to properly master a system that hybridizes turn-based action with real-time elements, a bit like in an MMO - if we want to simplify.

While having to respect the classic canons of progression, with parties and abilities extremely limited in possibilities and numbers, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 does not betray its nature and catapult the player into an extremely vast world, freely explorable in its open maps, leaving him at the mercy of the own curiosity. To continue, simply follow the indicators on the screen and activate the plot events, but it is difficult to resist the temptation to discover what lies behind a promontory, inside a cave or following a path that is not well traveled.

The spirit of adventure is a double-edged sword, because while allowing us to discover new places, obtain consumables and money, in an instant we can find ourselves in areas well beyond our reach, even if until a moment before we had the conviction to wander around in a safe place, not far from our checkpoint. To understand, after the very first plot fight we are literally two steps away from enemies of about level 40, with a level 2 party. A creepy contrast, which makes it clear how vast and dangerous the world is, much more than it is. we can imagine.

As events go on, the possibilities available to us increase, being able to change the leader of the group and start playing with specific roles and abilities. Attackers are tasked with initiating combos and dealing as much damage as possible over time, defenders attract the enemy's attention and serve as protection for the party, while healers are tasked with keeping health up while dealing damage and altered status to enemies.

Each role has specific classes, which emphasize certain aspects of combat such as counterattacks, single damage or buffs to companions, and are initially granted to the player 6. It is therefore essential to take advantage of the freedom granted to us to experiment and study the battle system in all its nuances, with the possibility of trying each mechanic introduced at will thanks to the "exercises" menu, which creates an ideal virtual environment to master them and offers comfortable indications on the screen.

Although the battle system is built on automatic attacks and skill cooldowns, we are talking about systems that are not superficial at all, as they require attention in positioning (to maximize the effects of the defenders or the power of an attack from behind) and awareness in the sequentiality of actions.

The Xenoblade series is famous for its combos made by performing one after the other skills equipped with specific attributes: for for example, you can open with a skill with a "weakening" effect with an attack performed on the side of the enemy, following within a certain period of time with a "knock down" effect. amento ”by a defender, and then conclude with a blow with a“ stun ”effect, to make the enemy unable to react for a few seconds. A process that may initially seem complex then becomes a stimulus to do better and better.

Those looking for a "wow" effect that makes fighting more spectacular will find in the power of the Uroboros what he seeks: during the fight the party generates "harmony", which allows the pairs of characters, created naturally by the plot by affinity and roles, to activate the transformation into Uroboros, a being stylistically halfway between the common blades of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and the Evangelions, capable of performing devastating attacks for a limited period of time.

In front of the toughest enemies, the Uroboros become indispensable, being able to offer skills that combine the peculiarities of individual characters and an extremely DPS elevated in a single unit that, although temporary, is immune to enemy attacks. To get the most out of a Uroboros, however, it is necessary to wait for the tuning indicator to reach the maximum level (3), in order to have access to more powerful abilities. It is therefore up to the player to weigh the times, summoning one of these units as soon as possible to defend their characters and have access to an incomplete range of skills or to resist as long as possible and then flirt.

What can represent a complete experience for many productions is only the beginning for Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Dozens (if not hundreds) of hours of gameplay still await us to discover new characters, new mechanics and explore a world that to define titanic seems an understatement. We can't wait to find out what lies behind the curious opening of the plot and how much this world is connected to the first two chapters of the saga.

Meanwhile, the feeling is that this is the most complete and accessible episode as regards the user experience, full of digressions that could take us off the main path at every opportunity, but always offering a high degree of involvement even in the case of secondary quests, which can become fundamental to enjoy the experience to the fullest.

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