I have always been completely baffled by Xenoblade’s reputation as one of the best games on Wii. It always felt like an out of place title compared to the other great games in that library. Unlike a lot of other games on the Wii, it was welcomed with open arms by the very same people who shunned great games like Skyward Sword and The Last Story.
Of course, that means Xenoblade is a terrible game. But just why is it so terrible?
The gameplay itself is not that impressive. Not at all.
Xenoblade, rather like Warriors games, seems to have this idea that quantity is much more important than quality. So what if the environments are really stale and boring to explore? As long as there’s a lot of inane quests to fulfill and monsters to fight, that will keep people invested.
This tactic may have worked (And it did in the Wii U sequel) but not here. Not in Xenoblade. The problems with Xenoblade overall can be divided into two categories.
The problems with combat
And the problems with exploration.
Both of these aspects of the game were botched horribly. Please note that I’m focusing on what’s wrong with the game itself here. The story, although abysmal in it’s own right, deserves it’s own article.
Combat in Xenoblade is simply not fun. There is no real strategy to how you go about your battles, despite the game’s attempts to come off as not complicated than it really is.
Exploring in Xenoblade is not fun. There is no value to do so unless you’re out questing, which is not rewarding enough to bother with. None of the quests in this game are particularly interesting, and many are mere wastes of time.
It’s amazing to me that a game with such flaws as this can have such a following. I strongly suspect the game’s following is primarily due to how hard it was to find in NA, not with anything the game itself did for people.
Xenoblade is a lousy, hackneyed RPG that has no business being as well regarded as it is.