It was only a few years ago where I heard about mumbling of this highly sought after game on the Wii. That was Xenoblade Chronicles, which was heralded as an instant JRPG classic that fans fought to have brought over to North America. I sadly missed out on the game initially on the Wii, but got an opportunity to enjoy it on the New 3DS when Xenoblade Chronicles 3D was ported over.
Although the game had some issues and kept it from being perfect, and even magnified themselves in the follow up, Xenoblade Chronicles X, the game was ultimately very charming for me. I loved the story, the characters, and even the voice acting, and quickly became attached to everyone. More importantly however, I became very attached to the world.
Although playing a game of this magnitude may have better been experienced on the big screen, having it in the palm of my hands was nothing short of spectacular. Sure cut backs had to be made in order to make the game run properly. There was a significant drop in resolution, and some textures and lighting effects were downgraded. The end result though was still a great looking port that running next to it’s Wii counter part, holds up very nicely. As a first time player, I looked very much past it’s graphical limitations and truly appreciated being able to play this on the 3DS.
Being a JRPG, it naturally was a very long game. I think average play times clocked in at roughly 80 hours, and my time with the game saw it somewhere closer to 100 hours. In my current state of affairs, getting time to sit in front of the TV of PC to play a game for that amount of time takes dedication. What with all that’s going on in life, it’s very hard to dedicated that kind of time to a game, no matter how good it is.
Being on the 3DS though, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D fit perfectly into my life. Being able to play the game anytime, anywhere was a huge benefit. It made being able to grind and do side quests in between main story segments a breeze. I could quickly pick up the 3DS from my bedside and play for a quick 15 minute session, or get lost and play for hours. What makes this even better? With a simple close of the lid, followed by that satisfying click-clack sound the 3DS made, my games state was retained until I opened the 3DS again.
This may not sound like a big deal, but being able to do this for a game as big as Xenoblade Chronicles was a big deal. It meant if something were to come up, say, the dog puked, or someone was at the door, or an emergency came up, I didn’t have to call it quits. Closing the 3DS lid was one of the easiest, and most satisfying things I could do to end my session.
You’re probably asking right now, what’s the big deal about this? We’ve been able to put games into stand by mode for quite some time now. Hell, the Nintendo Switch does it way better than anything before it! Well, that’s exactly my point. At the time I was playing Xenoblade Chronicles 3D and opening and closing the lid of the 3DS over and over, little did I think this simple feature would shape how I would game in the future. I could not perceive being able to do this on a bigger, more powerful device, for even more demanding and prettier games.
We are now at the point where the Nintendo Switch can take games like Breath of the Wild, Skyrim, Doom and so many more and with a quick press of a button, retain your game state for whenever you’re ready to resume. This is why this Friday, why the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a very exciting moment for me. Not only are we getting the next big release in the franchise, but the whole aspect of being portable and saving your game states has fully been realized now. Having come from a place where I played Xenoblade Chronicles 3D and discovered the joys of being able to do this, to soon being able to do it for it’s successor on the Switch is nothing short of incredible.
With Xenoblade Chronicles 2, I’ll be able to enjoy this game not only in portable mode, but even put it on the big screen whenever I like. Little did I think when I was playing Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, that this was going to be the future, and what I experienced then was only the tip of the ice berg. We truly live in a great time for gaming. Not only are the games of 2017 something special, but the advances in technology are starting to take us away from simply being a graphical arms race, to making gaming fit that much better in our day to day lives.
Are you excited for Xenoblade Chronicles 2? Did you play Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii or 3DS? Are you as crazy about Nintendo Switch’s standby feature as I am? Let’s discuss in the comments!