With Chapter 3 easily being the best one yet, Chapter 4 of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has a lot to live up to and thanks to one specific character, who really knows how to steal the spotlight, Chapter 4 easily becomes one of the most interesting chapters so far and now I shall explain why:

Having hailed Chapter 3 of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 as the chapter where the game really opens up in terms of exploration and optional side quests, but Chapter 4 is where story and character development is heavily focused. Each character gets their moment to shine, but whereas Noah and skip have predominantly featured heavily throughout, it’s characters like Taion and Eunie who get more spotlight this time around and boy oh boy, does Eunie shine.

As a ballsy character who often says exactly what she’s thinking, Chapter 4 has plenty of enjoyable Eunie moments where she does not pull any of her punches. From your basic witty put downs to sarcastic comebacks and all out swearing, Eunie has a clever counter to any and all situations, but it is her relationship with Ashera that is completely unmissable, which is ironic because if you completely devote yourself to advancing the story once you’ve reached the Keves Castle region, it’s all too easy to miss out on the delights of Colony 11.

Instead of going right, should you have an hour or two to spare, go left when in the Syra Hovering Reefs and you’ll come upon a question mark on the map. Once close enough, a cutscene will play out, introducing the six main heroes to Ashera, one of the best characters in the game, with regards to her class and Defender role, but it is in her reckless behaviour that really makes her stand out.

First, she assists you in fighting Keves soldiers, only to find out she was once the Commander of the very soldiers she helped you fight. Before you know it, you’re setting out on her Hero Quest and taking the battle directly to Colony 11. The deeper down the rabbit hole you progress, the crazier she seems, which makes it all the better when Eunie constantly calls her out on all of Ashera’s crazed shenanigans.

The rest of the game are constantly appalled by Eunie’s conduct, believing her of going too far, whereas Ashera can’t get enough of it and basically ends up wanting to be total BFFs with Eunie and I loved every second of that exchange. The chemistry between the voice talent behind Eunie and Ashera, is like magic in the air. Like I said before though, Eunie does a magnificent job of shining throughout the entirety of Chapter 4 and the character arc she receives at the end of the Chapter, as part of a boss battle, is utterly delightful, given what happened to her in an earlier Chapter and how it affected her.

In terms of content not pertaining to story advancement and the raising of the stakes, Chapter 4 offers very little in terms of new gameplay mechanics. The only real addition is a new Traversal Skill, “Rope Sliding,” which allows our heroes to slide down ropes and access areas that were previously unavailable.

There’s also fewer Heroes this time around and what felt like a handful of quests, with some varying in length, purely because they require you to have a specific number of specific items. You could get lucky and strike it lucky with amiibo presents and items spawned in the over world, thus speeding up the process, or you could end up taking forever just trying to find one Shiny Rose.

What’s more, depending on how much grinding you have done up until this point, will partially determine how much of Low Maktha Wildwood you will be able explore, as the enemy monsters here are very powerful indeed, well over 60+ and it’s not always an option to sneak past them real quiet like, as they are quick to hunt you down, starting a battle if you’re lucky to survive that long as some, depending on your level, could kill you in a single hit.

Whilst in my own personal opinion, Chapter 3 is still able to just about hold its own as my favourite Chapter yet, Chapter 4 is easily one of the most enjoyable and rewarding so far. The new locations offer plenty of new visuals that largely differ to the locales that came before it and Great Cotte Falls continues to be my favourite area yet. All I know at this moment in time is I have now passed the halfway mark with three more chapters left to go. Bring… it… on!

[Editorial] Exploring Aionios (Xenoblade Chronicles 3)

By Jack Longman

In 2015, when rumours of the NX and Zelda U were everywhere, my brother and I started Miketendo64 and we've been running it ever since. As the Editor-in-Chief, I have attended video gaming events in three different countries, been to preview events, and penned more than 4,000 articles to date, ranging from news, to features, reviews, interviews and guides. I love gaming and I love all things Nintendo. I also love Networking, so don't be afaid to reach out. Email: contact@miketendo64.com / jack.lo@miketendo64.com Website: https://miketendo64.com/ YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyVMO4QgcniAjhLxoyc9n8Q

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