The end of a saga…
Xenoblade Chronicles did not need the Nintendo Switch to prove how much of a fantastic series it is. The original game was a masterpiece and then Monolith Soft showed us what they could really do when they brought both Xenoblade Chronicles X to the Nintendo Wii U and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D to the Nintendo 3DS in 2015. Except, they didn’t stop there.
A new instalment in the Xenoblade series was revealed when Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was showcased during the Nintendo Switch presentation. I have no issues in admiting I was a little aprehensive about the game and it did not yet resonate with me as much as i was hoping it would, but things. Despite the beleive that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 would not be released in 2017, it did and, even when up against the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was easily one of the best games of 2017.
With a rich story, a fantastic blend of RPG action and a marvelous cast of characters, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, in my personal opinion, became my favourite RPG since Final Fantasy X. Looking back on it, I can’t believe there was once a time when I was unsure about the game because the more I saw of it and Alrest, there more I learned there was plenty for me to fall in love with. Then, to my own surprise, we got an early review copy from Nintendo themselves, and then I really fell in love with the game.
There were plenty of highs and lows and just when I thought Monolith couldn’t make an already great game even better, along came Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country. Released as both a physical standalone title and available as part of Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s expansion pass, Torna is easily the greatest piece of DLC ever made for an RPG. It had everything. A new setting. New characters to fall in love with and others who were back for another outing. A compelling story and a sense of dread that never went away.
Being the prequel story that it was, if you played Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and beat it at least once, then there’s a good chance you good guess how Torna ended. Before we simply got to hear about it, but with Torna, we finally lived it and it broke me. Knowing about the tragedy did not remove the sting of living it, especially not when playing through it you meet all sorts of interesting characters, become attached to them and then disaster happens. Sure, you could try the emotional detachment route, but then you’re just denying yourself a true gaming experience that is hard to come by.
Except Torna was not the end of the Xenoblade saga on the Nintendo Switch. Despite the bleak ending, it shone a light that illuminated a bright future with more Xenoblade to come. In 2020, came the release of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, a HD remaster of the original game that kicked this whole series off in the first place. Shulk and the game were back, but they were’t alone as the Definitive Edition included an additional story in the form of Future Connected, a new adventure starring Shulk and Melia, with the original voice actors returning to their roles.
Much like how Torna enabled Monolith Soft to tell a story that they weren’t able to fit into the original game, as it was meant to take place between Chapters 7 and 8, Future Connected was Monolith Soft’s way of bringing back the Bionis’ Shoulder and making it playable for the first time. I did not connect with this new story as I did with Torna but it was still enjoyable nonetheless.
Fast forward to 2022 and the mad lads at Monolith Soft would do it again as they released another brand-new Xenoblade Chronicles game that was developed for the Nintendo Switch. While Xenoblade Chronicles 2 with the expansion pass, is my personal favourite game in the whole series so far, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is easily the best developed game in the entire series. The environments look amazing, the gameplay mechanics have been made even better and it serves as the perfect culmination of everything Monolith Soft have created these last 12 years.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a very strong game that stands on its own two feet rather well, whilst trying to bridge the two worlds of Alrest and Bionis together and now, there is just one last story to tell. Available as part of wave 4 of the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 expansion pass, comes Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed. Said to be a prequel (cue Torna flashbacks), which seems to tell the tale of the founders, Shulk and Rex have been brought back for one last adventure and, I’m not ready for it.
Shulk, our protagonist from the very first game, is what gave us Xenoblade Chronicles in the first place and Rex, he was the face, alongside Pyra and Mythra that launched the Xenoblade saga on the Nintendo Switch. Everything started with them and now, here comes a story that will end with them. Sure, there will be more Xenoblade games, but it has already been said any future continuations will not be part of this trilogy. The saga is finally coming to an end and its entirety is playable on the Nintendo Switch.
None of us know what the future has in store for us, be it another Xenoblade game on Switch, doesn’t have to be a new one, I’d gladly accept a HD remaster of Xenoblade Chronicles X with online play, but after everything we have seen and experienced already, when it is time to move on to another Nintendo console, I hope there will be a new Xenoblade game to go with it, preferably as a launch title.
Until such a time comes, for the last time, let us return to Aionios.