Tactical role-play game fans are in for a treat with this 100-hour Anime fighting title packed with battle action.
The Xenoblade series has become one of Nintendo’s top games for the hardcore players.
And this all-new game for the Switch really boosts the console’s RPG credentials.
You join Noah, Mio and their friends as they traverse epic landscapes, battle ferocious creatures and fight to break the never-ending cycle of violence that binds their homelands.
The characters, who all bizarrely speak with varying versions of a dodgy cockney accent, start the game often pitted against one another in a birth-fight-death loop.
Their homeworld Aionios is a place of natural splendour but also the backdrop to an endless conflict between two opposing nations: Keves and Agnus.
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Time is of the essence for the people of Aionios, who fight relentlessly to extend their lives long enough to realise a 10-year life span serving the military.
They fight using giant mech robots, magical abilities and huge weapons much-loved in the Japanese Anime style of art design used well here.
Through a chance encounter, a group of six soldiers hailing from rival nations resolve to put aside their differences and work together to save the world.
It sounds grand and it is, because herein lies a very long multi-hours video game that gets increasingly complicated as your progress.
While the characters fight automatically, the real nuts and bolts of the gameplay is you picking the right combos and attacks that will down an often giant enemy and then finish it off.
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With six characters in your core party at any given time, you need to use each soldier’s strengths to your advantage and harness powerful super attacks called Arts to win.
That means placing your mini army in the right spots to take on a villain, tag-teaming resources and combining powers to unleash health-bar draining attacks on your foe.
You can even recruit brave residents of Aionios called “Heroes” to lend their arms and aptitude as a seventh party member.
That’s when the game screen is filled with chaotic fighting stats and action. It can be hard to tactically find your way through it all but when you down a major baddie it’s a great feeling and really brings the best out of this game.
There’s a touch of Breath of the Wild in the colourful visuals and vast open world map design.
Whether scaling mountains on foot, gliding across chasms on ropes or sailing across vast lakes, new discoveries await beyond every horizon.
And I got Monster Hunter and Elden Ring vibes from some of the oversized beasties you encounter in battle.
And the RPG elements tick all the boxes, once you conquer a military colony you’ll find you characters having oddly-written dialogue patches while you cook up a delicious stat-boosting meal, shop for supplies or run a few errands for the locals.
Thankfully, this is an ideal game for new arrivals to join the franchise as it very much eases you into the style of gameplay using easy-to-understand tutorials in the early sections.
But as you progress, you can go deep into the heavy customisation and transformation mechanics to turn your stars into impressive super soldiers.
Overall, a strong RPG packed full of content that’ll last tens of hours.
The dialogue is so awful its almost charming, but the visuals more than make up for it and the action frantic and addictive when it really gets going.
It may be too overwhelming for some, and the length of the game may put others off.
But RPG fans are going to love it and the Switch can now boast of a cracking new title in this genre.
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