Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Sep 112020

I love Xenoblade.

I love Xenoblade so much that when my copy of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition arrived, I decided not to jump into the new epilogue content right away but instead replay the entire game from the beginning.

And yes, I still love it.

Xenoblade Chronicles has a fantastic story, great characters, and such a beautiful world to explore. Everything looks more beautiful than ever thanks to the new graphics of the Definitive Edition, and that’s not the only benefit. There are several little quality-of-life improvements (such as marking side quest locations on the map) that made it feel even better.

There are still some frustrating things, like side quests with multiple paths that lock you into one path if you have the necessary items before starting the quest, and I wish it was possible to track Colony 6 restoration materials like side quests, but these are minor.

So much time had passed since I played the original Xenoblade Chronicles that even though I knew it was a great game, my memories of it were pretty fuzzy. Replaying it in the Definitive Edition really reminded me of just how much I love this game.

Backlog or no backlog, I happily put another 100 hours into Xenoblade.

Once I completed the main game, I moved on to the new epilogue added to the Definitive Edition, Future Connected.

Future Connected isn’t quite what I expected when it was first announced. I thought it would tease Xenoblade Chronicles 3 or otherwise tie into certain revelations about the series. It doesn’t do either of those things.

It’s largely just a short epilogue to the original game that helps resolve Melia’s storyline, gives a glimpse of what the world is like after the game’s ending, and makes use of the Bionis’ Shoulder, an area that was cut from the original. It also follows up on a few late-game side quests from the main game.

The story of Future Connected is… okay. Its villain is pretty uncompelling and the major threat is left so vague that maybe it is intended to tease a sequel after all. I don’t know. It just felt a bit bland.

On the other hand, it’s filled with a lot of great character interactions (especially in the “quiet moments,” Future Connected’s version of heart-to-hearts) and the group of Nopons you end up helping and saving are funny rather than annoying. A certain character from one of the main game’s most memorable side quest chains also returns for another side quest here, which was great.

My thoughts on Future Connected ultimately come down to this: it’s more Xenoblade, and more Xenoblade is good. If I’d played it on its own, I’d probably be disappointed, but it’s a nice little epilogue for the game.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition takes the fantastic JRPG that is Xenoblade Chronicles and makes it better than ever. I’m happy I decided to play through the whole game again, and I can’t wait to see what Monolith Soft has planned for the future.

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