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Reasons I Skipped Xenoblade Chronicles 3

I was thinking about buying Xenoblade Chronicles 3 but eventually, close to the release date, I decided, for several reasons, to skip it. This post is about my opinion only and I share my thoughts about the game based on gameplay that I’ve seen so far. Having said that, always remember, that nothing replaces actually playing the game and finding it out yourself, so I need to be fair here.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is one of the anticipated and hyped game for the Nintendo Switch, and it’s an exclusive as well.

So what made me skip and decide not to buy this RPG-Adventure game?

Visuals — For me, the game looks underwhelming when it comes to graphics. I know it’s better than the previous one but still, I just saw the gameplay and I got bored looking at the environment. Low textures, low poly and unattractive overall look of the world felt more of a distraction. It happened to me in many Switch games, like Pokemon Arceus for example. How can I enjoy exploring the world with such ugly details? I mean, I got accustomed to seeing beautiful open-world games, and I’m sure with better graphics, this game would be so much better. It’s an open world game after all, wouldn’t you enjoy exploring the world with more details and higher-quality visuals?

Slow combat — I don’t know what about Xenoblade Chronicles, combat just feels so slow. It’s like it doesn’t know if it wants to be turn-based or real-time. It feels like I really want to cooldowns to be twice fast so it can be real-time. It’s like playing real-time combat with very long annoying cooldowns. I don’t mind turn-based games, but this feels like you have the intensity of real-time combat with very slow cooldowns. It’s weird and I don’t like it.

Stretched out Gameplay — It’s a slow-burn game. I’ve seen Xenoblade Chronicles 3 gameplay on Twitch. The game feels so stretched out ,with the prolonged bullet sponge enemies (probably to allow combo-ing), long distances to walk and huge maps which in total is 5 times larger than XC2! All that leads to a very lengthy gameplay with less substance.

Horrendous UI — What with all the colors, the game looks like a complete color mess. Bright orange UI with tons of gradient and flashy colors. Maybe they did it to revive the look of the game so it won’t look boring. Some UI elements look sleek, others look like they have been taken from another game, total lack of consistency. When you add all the visual effects to the mix, it’s a complete mess of what’s happening on the screen.

Very long cutscenes (if you care) — I think one YouTuber uploaded all the cutscenes and it turns out to be around 7 hours in total. I don’t mind cutscenes but very lengthy ones bore me. Maybe because I am not a big fan of the series that leads to it, so I won’t see it as a disadvantage unless you are like me and hate lengthy cutscenes. One of the cutscenes that I’ve seen was like I think 15 minutes in length crazy. I want to play a game, not watch a movie.

I think that hype might blind many players. I was in the same place with other Nintendo Switch exclusives that turned out to be very boring. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Switch, but some games, especially large-scale open-world games suffer from the lack of graphics computing power of the Switch, with frame drops and very lacking environments.

Lack of Immersion — I think that maybe one reason the world is stretched out is to reduce the total of 3d models the game needs to render at any given time. Elements far from the user will render at a lower resolution or not at all. Having a huge world means spending hours over hours just walking. Lots of empty space full of nothing special in particular. You won’t see lots of trees, and it’s mainly rocks and desert because they CAN’T put lots of details in the scenes. I want to explore lush beautiful environments, sprawling with trees and animals. All you get is lots of empty space, without those details (that’s why they made the textures of rockets and other background elements so “texturized” so it appears that the world is detailed.

The result is like many other boring open-world games, a world that lacks immersion and one that you really don’t enjoy walking through it. Your eye will just be on the next item or enemy as otherwise, nothing is really good looking in this world.

The reason the world looks like that is not that to the lack of creativity and imagination, it’s because of the Nintendo Switch graphics processing limits. This is why you are playing such a game. The developer needed to put some colorful items (flowers, fire) here and there so it won’t look boring, but even then they can’t use it a lot, again, because the frame rate will crumble.

You and I deserve more as gamers, especially when we pay a premium price for a game. But yet again, this is not the developer’s fault, the hardware just can’t manage anything better, thus the creativity and reimagination of these worlds suffer incredibly.

Stretched out thin Progression — When you have such a grand-scale game, you want players to enjoy the exploration. One of the things developers will do is cut many of the RPG elements that are related to stats, progression, etc–and spread them thin to make you find more items in the world. They’ll create side quests for those, so you’ll have “more things to do” and spend more time going there and doing that, so you’ll feel that “the game has a lot to offer”. But at the bottom of that, it’s just cutting things into small pieces and making you run and grab those puzzle pieces.

In many games, it’s proven to be unnecessary, leads to a boring experience, and is something you’ll find a lot in MMO games. Again, just to stretch the game out so you get “better value” and justify the cost of a “triple-A” game.

Suddenly you find the game to be overcomplicated and you wonder why is that. Well, because if you wouldn’t have that, and all the scale and time-wasting boring activities, you will complain about the game being short, lack of things to do, etc. But thing is, that this is still the case, it’s just a kind of a “bluff” to make the game appear grand-scale, feature-rich, and complete.

Then you play the game and you don’t know why it’s boring, it’s because of the artificial extension of the gameplay. This become so common in open-world games and why many players just don’t enjoy them. Some are better than others of course.

Also, some developers are afraid of taking risks, so they stick to the same formula and don’t innovate. So you play a game that feels old, boring but you’ll still, as a big fan, will find an excuse to convince yourself that this is the best and find ways to get out of the denial state and force yourself to enjoy a game that you actually don’t enjoy at all.

Again, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like there will be people who will enjoy this game, but if you feel the same as me, you probably wouldn’t.


Then I decided that I won’t put a triple-A worth of money into the game, even though I am craving to play another Nintendo Switch exclusive. Nintendo Switch Pro couldn’t come soon enough. I feel bad for developers being stuck with that hardware trying to deliver a great open-world gameplay experience, feels bad man.

I love my Nintendo Switch and there are so many great games I enjoy playing on it, but when it comes to open-world games, it’s a big mess and as I said, the Switch Pro couldn’t come sooner.

The game cover is beautiful though. But I don’t judge a game by its cover.

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