Xenoblade Chronicles X Review Roundup

Here's what the critics think of the Wii U exclusive RPG.

49 Comments

Wii U exclusive RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X promises to be one of the most expansive, content-rich games of the year. Monolith Soft has created an open-world so overwhelming in scale that it will require many, many hours of dedication to fully explore.

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But is it worth sinking that time in? We've collected reviews from around the Internet to give you an overview of the critical reception. Take a look below, where you'll find the scores Xenoblade Chronicles X has received from various publications, as well as a short excerpt from the reviews.

For more on Xenoblade Chronicles X's critical reception take a look at our sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Xenoblade Chronicles X
  • Developer: Monolith Soft
  • Platform: Wii U
  • Release Date: December 4
  • Price: $60/£49.99

GameSpot -- 8/10

"X is a grand adventure that satiates your appetite for exploration and combat in ways that few games ever do, but because getting started is half the battle, it’s an experience reserved for dedicated players who have the patience and energy to unearth its greatest treasures." -- Peter Brown [Full review]

Nintendo World Report -- 9.5/10

"The fact that I plowed that time into the game and want to go back with more information to replay it should say a lot, though; Xenoblade Chronicles X is required playing for anyone with the slightest inclination toward RPGs, and if you need to buy the system then do it. It’s an essential part of the Wii U library." -- Donald Theriault {Full review]

The Sixth Axis -- 9/10

"Xenoblade Chronicles X is a genuinely enthralling game. It doesn't take it easy on you though, and the perseverance and attention required may override the spectacle and beauty found here. Fans of the last game may also struggle with the tonal and technical shift, but if you want to experience one of the most involving, creative, and expansive open worlds ever created, Xenoblade Chronicles X is essential." -- Dominic Leighton [Full review]

Polygon -- 7/10

"Xenoblade Chronicles X finds itself in a constant struggle between scale and bloat. When I crested over the game's first mountaintop and saw a dinosaur drinking from a lake in the valley below, it was amazing--one of those rare video game moments that can be described as "epic" without hyperbole. But the UI is just one example of how X gets in its own way, hiding its beautiful world beneath overly complicated and under-explained systems that just don't add enough. Monolith Soft has once more created something special under the Xenoblade name; it just happens to have buried that something special under a mountain of annoyances." -- Phil Kollar [Full review]

Game Informer -- 7.25

"I began Xenoblade Chronicles X filled with enthusiasm for its intriguing world and gorgeous visuals. But like the hackneyed songs that play ad nauseum throughout, the gameplay doesn't have enough depth or entertainment to sustain such a prolonged experience. Players with great patience for grinding are rewarded with intriguing places to discover and creatures to fight, but for me, only a handful of the 100 hours I spent wandering Mira felt like a true adventure." -- Matt Miller [Full review]

The Jimquisition -- 9/10

"Xenoblade Chronicles X is not so much "deep" as it is complex--a rich spider’s web of interconnected activities that will take hours to fully comprehend. Work is involved in fully grasping this whole show, but once you’ve finally sorted things out and taken advantage of the game's ginormous virtual manual, there's a wonderfully absorbing adventure lying in wait." -- Jim Sterling [Full review]

GamesRadar+ -- 3.5/5

"Like Mira itself, trying to get a grasp of Xenoblade Chronicles X can be inscrutable and vexing at times. But in a way, that quest for knowledge often mimics the plight of the humans who find themselves stranded on the alien planet that becomes humanity's new home. Understanding Xenoblade's complexity isn't easy or always immediately obvious, but stick with it and you'll find a vast, untamed land where simply existing is its own reward." -- David Roberts [Full review]

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excelsciors

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Being a RPG is what keeps me from buying this game. I have never been a lover of RPG's. But I will admit the game looks nice visually.

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megakick

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Edited By megakick

good game but is not very user friendly.

Not much hand holding.

Dark Souls is pretty simple stupid in comparison.

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dctcool

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Learning curves are always going to be decisive with reviewers.

I remember Dark Souls was very split between journalists because of its steep learning curve. Eventually the consensus started to move in favour of it, though it also doesn't help that there was a lot of bully-like quotes thrown around like "Git Gud" and "Filthy Casual"

Will that repeat itself with Xenoblade X?

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dani3po

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I´ll play it on Dolphin, just like its predecessor.

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dhaynes25

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I'll play it on the NX right along with Zelda

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deactivated-578f2053b4a13

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Sounds dull. A shame. The engine powering this game is awesome. I can only imagine what a Monolithsoft game on the PS4 or XBox One would look like.

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Chico86_basic

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Edited By Chico86_basic

@halvedlife: I understand the salt in the wound must be real, but showing it so badly is even worse.

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deactivated-578f2053b4a13

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@Chico86_basic: no wound or tears here, as I own a Wii U. This game just looks very unappealing, other than its graphics.

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Chico86_basic

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Edited By Chico86_basic

@halvedlife: Well, I'm willing to bet you're more of a specs fan and probably give more credit to your Xbox and Playstation because of that. Unfortunately the same could be said for any of those consoles compared to high end PCs. I wonder how exclusives like Uncharted 4 and Halo 5 would look like on state of the art hardware instead of consoles! Or do I? You see... the core of a game can't be measured based on specs. Chronicles had horrible textures (specially up close), but it didn't hinder it from looking absolutely stunning overall thanks to it's art design. Just a simple and overused example, I know, but what I mean to say is if that's your thing and you keep making those kind of comments, I feel this is the wrong section. Specs is just a way to enhance the core. Little extras if you wish. It doesn't change how good a game is most of the time because developers might opt for trade-offs like scale versus resolution and so on, depending on what's more important to the CORE of the game from their perspective, which might not be the same for you anyway.

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Avatar image for deactivated-578f2053b4a13
deactivated-578f2053b4a13

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@Chico86_basic: I appreciate and enjoy "good" games, regardles of their technical merits. I own the first Xenoblade on the Wii, but found the gameplay to be very boring with way too much grinding. The menu's for many of these jrpg's are also overly complicated and busy. They're not my cup of tea, and going by review details, neither is this.

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jasongm

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Isn't this the same game that was on the original Wii system?

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dctcool

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@jasongm: Nope, its a sequel in the same vein as the Final Fantasy sequels: That is completely unrelated, aside from slightly similar combat mechanics.

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timmerous

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I don't really like these articles as they aren't fully representative and I always wonder if they are posed in such a way to justify the score Gamespot gave. In reality, for this to be meaningful, you need to do more than take such a small sample - 35 review of which 19 gave it 9/10+ and 7 gave it less than 8/10 (with the lowest being 7/10). Eurogamer also gave it an 'essential' rating since they don't use scores any more.

You gave it an 8, that's a good (great) score and don't worry if it differs from others' opinions. Picking 3 of the bottom 4 scores though in a review round up of 7 of the 35 total reviews seems to somewhat skew the data to me though.

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shellcap

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First game that has come out for WiiU that actually caught my interest, but since I have ALWAYS been disappointed in nintendo's game selection (focused towards children and family mainly) I won't buy the system for just one game. Other day I actually went and looked at WiiU game library because lately Xbox One doesn't have a library enticing me to by it, but even though it had 1 or 2 more games it's library still does not have enough M rated titles.

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timmerous

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@shellcap: It is funny, when you're young you want to play adult rated titles because you're not allowed to. Then you can play them (usually a lot earlier than you probably should) and it is something to brag about to your mates. Then you get old enough to buy anything and you start to not worry about if it is cool or not and just focus on the fun factor of a game. You can just as easily argue that MS and Sony don't have enough good games that aren't reliant on mature themes as a selling point, by owning both you have all bases covered.

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Stealth____

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Mostly 9s and high 8s. Great game

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jenovaschilld

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Will have to put this on my gaming list, which is filled until sometime next year. I almost miss the time, years ago, when you could literally play every single RPG that came out, with time in between each game.

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ViggyNash

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To the people complaining about the UI, it's still a marked improvement from the previous game where the UI blocked a significant portion of the screen. Also, it just looks cleaner.

It's a shame that the story is rather lacking and the character designs are incredibly anime because its predecessor was really strong in both departments for the most part.

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dominoodle

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@ViggyNash: Being better than the last game doesn't make it not bad.

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Chico86_basic

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@dominoodle: If it's better than the last game this is simply the best JRPG ever made.

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Master_Of_Fools

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@ViggyNash: This is NOT a sequel to the first, the anime look was what THE DEV WANTED. The story is there, you gotta do the side missions to get all the details, backstory on characters and such, which no review seems to want to fucking do.

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superbuuman

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Buy it!!! Wii U owners...stop sticking to *Nintendo made only* game. :P

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jewelbell5

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@superbuumanalready preordered.

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hystavito

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Edited By hystavito

@superbuuman: This is Nintendo, but I get what you mean. At the same time you gotta be realistic though, this game isn't for most people.

EDIT: Oh I think I misunderstood, you mean like made in-house Nintendo. Well anyway, my other point is the important one :).

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BruceWayneJr

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The graphics look excellent, but the character designs took a real hit compared to the last game. If I owned a Wii-U, I would definitely buy this.

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kujel

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I look forward to picking up my copy on friday :)

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Elranzer

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Edited By Elranzer

I survived Fable 2's UI, I can handle this game's.

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Klpire123

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@Elranzer: I appreciated what Fable 2 tried to do by (mostly) eliminating its HUD, but the inevitable result was that the game was too easy.

Let's not even mention Fable 2's travesty of a menu and map system. I still have nightmares about that (lack of a) map.

XCX's "cluttered" HUD doesn't bother me at all.

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Richardthe3rd

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The negatives I'm seeing sound more like they could be perceived as strong positives.

These reviews aren't really giving me enough information to make a decision about this. Sure the mechanics are complex, but do they work? Are they successful and do they add to the experience? Is it actually just bloat and are there any concrete examples if so?

It's like they can't make up their mind, which seems to indicate that several of the reviewers didn't actually get under the skin of the game. For a title like this I think that's at least needed.

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Chico86_basic

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Edited By Chico86_basic

@Richardthe3rd: Expected from someone who "has" to review a 100+ hour game. I would take most reviews without at least double that amount with some skepticism to be honest. I know for a fact I did enjoy the last Xenoblade the more I played! This should be no different. You can finish Xenoblade Chronicles in about 40 hours if you really want to, but you won't get most of it before the 100 hour mark. My clock was above 200 when I finally decided to put it down, and there was still stuff to do.

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Thanatos2k

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As suspected - pretty good, but not nearly as good as the first one.

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Itzsfo0

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@Thanatos2k: nah just bigger, better and more enjoyable - first one only thing about it is a slightly better story MUCH MUCH MUCH better exploration in this game, skells to ride, multiple larger content booths, co-op online play, obviously better graphics for the specific reasons listed above, the original is a tiny spec compared to this game

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Itzsfo0

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@Itzsfo0: 220 hours of the original (in my eyes 7/10) this one will be over 300 and 8/10 or 9/10) overall X has already sold more copies in japan/europe then the original did (and as the produce takahashi explained he loves this game that much more then the previous title ) and btw its not "original" the two games are completely diff in many aspects, the exploration and combat is about the only thing that ties them together...soul successor if anything but they are in no ways related, this game basically improves upon several issues I had with the first, and to me exploration is paramount over story (ANYDAY of the week) if I want story I'll buy some hipster PC title like "gone home" i want big open world exploration and endless grinding (like an MMO) I'll buy this game which many people do like thats the transition for a game like this...in many ways it will be a better game - but everyone is different. I suspected this would be a bigger, better looking more enjoyable game...in a few days I'm sure I'll be rightly pleased.

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ElectricOcarina

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pretty diverse scores, none bad though

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freedom01

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Edited By freedom01  Moderator

overall good scores

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TheZeroPercent

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--too bad Nintendo hasnt been dropping 5-10 games a year 'more like this one'
--for wiiU over the last few years

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Anonymous81

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Destructoid summed it up imho:

"If all of that sounds scary, maybe Xenoblade Chronicles X isn't the game for you."

It's an odd dichotomy in game reviews that difficulty in terms of action games tends to be looked upon favorably, but dense UIs, learning curves, and complexity in a JRPG is seen as somehow detrimental. As Destructoid suggested... if you don't want to take time to learn the game, maybe it isn't the game for you.

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jinzo9988

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@anonymous81: Sometimes things are too complicated, and they feel like over-complication for the sake of over-complication. RPGs in general tend to suffer the most for this. Difficulty in action games tends to revolve around reaction, a degree of memorization, and accuracy. Difficulty in an RPG tends to revolve around over-complicated gameplay systems weaving or layering into each other... and most RPGs don't explain that kind of thing well (if at all), so you're forced to either read up online or learn through trial and error which takes hours in the most obtuse games.

Fallout 4 for example could've added a system where different bullet types work better on different types of armor. On top of that, certain enemies are stronger than others at night. On top of that, it could've had standing, crouching and prone positions all affecting the accuracy of your weapon. On top of that, certain swings of a melee weapon (and certain melee weapons) could be more effective on some enemies than others. On top of that, radiation gives you "magic" abilities... the more radiation you have, the more abilities at your disposal, but it's balanced with your total health pool. And it goes on and on and on and on and on to the point where there's so much at play that it makes you feel like combat was completely over-designed.

There's beauty in simplicity. RPGs are rarely simple. Maybe Xenoblade Chronicles X isn't that complicated by comparison... I mean I don't have the game so I don't know, but over-design is certainly a thing.

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KahnArtizt

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@anonymous81: Having menus that are unintuitive is definitely a con but is one that becomes less of an issue over time. That is my biggest complaint about Fallout 4. Somehow they took Fallout 3's terrible menus and made them worse. It's an inconvenience and definitely a bad design choice, but you get used to it eventually.

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gottago42

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This game shows that gameplay beats resolution all the time

We current-gen consoles owners are so busy fighting over resolution and ignoring great games that runs at 720p like this

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Zloth2

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@gottago42: Gameplay beats resolution for sure. But gameplay AND resolution beats just gameplay.

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Moonco

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Moonco  Moderator

I played the Japanese version this past summer and XCX is one of my favorite games this year.

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freedom01

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Edited By freedom01  Moderator

@Moonco: same, it is definitely also on my favorite Wii U games,

Spoiler below, do not hover your mouse to it if you have not finished the game, or want to be spoiled

I just hope they announce a sequel, because the ending was terrible, not in a bad way since it left you wanting more, but because the story was just getting to the best part only to find out "you just finished the prologue, the real story starts from here"

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Avantyr

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@freedom01: I hate when they do that.

Imagine the wait until they localize it.
If only Japanese devs could build games in both languages rather than have that delegated to a different team after the game is developed. It might even save us from the censoring...

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deactivated-58ce94803a170

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Looking good so far, got an 84 average on Metacritic. Plenty of reviews to come, should be good.

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BobaFettHatesU

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When it comes to exclusives, there's no doubt some platforms have the reigns on quality over the quantity. Although, some quantity is needed to stay alive.

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