Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Why Does it Hurt?

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an action RPG set loosely after the events of Chronicles 1 and 2. Since I loved the second game (I still need to complete the first) I thought I would give this sequel a try. As of writing I’ve completed the main story, sat listening to the main menu music. The ending had a lot to unpack, and I feel completely lost now the story has finished.

Is This Final Fantasy X?

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is set in a world of war. Every human is born a soldier with a limited lifespan of ten years. They grow rapidly fast, and once their time is up they die. There are colonies all over the land aligned with either Agnus or Keves. The colonies fight other colonies of the opposite faction and by defeating them, they can feed their flame clock. The fuller the flame clock the higher the rank of the colony. Which means better supplies from their faction’s castles.

Where Xenoblade Chronicles 3 mirrors Final Fantasy X is in a few ways. The protagonist is fighting against the status quo. Another similarity is the sending. When battles are over, an off-seer plays an instrument which sends the life force off on their way.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a slow burn to begin with. But once the squad meets with an Agnus squad and are turned into Ouroboros things start to ramp up. The Ouroboros are gifted with abilities to allow them to break the cycle. This includes the ability to combine with another member of Ouroboros into a single entity which can’t be harmed. It comes in handy when characters are one hit away from death.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Combat

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an action RPG. Which means that combat is fought in real time. When you target an enemy your character and party start attacking them. Auto attacks cause little damage, but it is the special arts where the real art of war comes into its own. Arts are special attacks that have various effects. Each character has their own set of Arts they can use depending on the class they are playing as. There are special combo arts that linked together cause the enemy to drop extra items and move out of rage mode. Managing to work with your party to pull off one of these combos is a satisfying experience.

On top of combo attacks are chain attacks. You have a chain attack bar and once it is full you can perform a chain attack. Time stops and you can then select a character to perform an art. The aim of the chain attack isn’t just to do damage, but also have enough Chain Points to trigger a special move. Each character has their own special move and it is a lottery on which options you have.

2 Characters morph into one super strong combatant

Another feature of the combat is Interlinking. This is where 2 characters morph into one super strong combatant. These interlink versions have their own arts and special abilities. They also don’t suffer damage and are time limited. The best time to initiate interlink is when one of the pair is low on health, giving you plenty of breathing room.

Should you get too powerful for the monsters in the area, there is an auto battle option. This enables your character to take control and make decisions on their own. Once you get near the end game content, I used it plenty of times as most of the enemies were way below the level of my character.


Classes are the core of the combat. At the start of the game you only have six classes available. One for each playable character. But once you start completing quests and meeting other heroes, the number of classes you have available. Each class has its own levelling up system independent from the party members levelling system.

The classes can be broken into three groups; attackers, defenders, and support. Each of these groups then have short, medium or long range classes. Many of the classes are very similar to each other. There is only one unique class which enables the user to learn monster attacks. This is unfortunate as the class system is where this game could have shined. Unlike Monster Hunter or even Final Fantasy X-2 the classes don’t feel that much different from each other. Even Xenoblade Chronicles 2 had a better system which I wish they had gone back to. And that’s the big issue with this game. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 felt far more polished.

It’s Biggest Foe

I loved Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It was and still is the best game I’ve played on the Nintendo Switch and possibly of its generation. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 feels lack lustre compared to it. Even when Xenoblade Chronicles 2 had some generic blades that you collect they felt like they contributed to the game as a whole. While in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 it felt like you could complete the game just by sticking to each characters starting class. But, the story of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is where the game really shines. At almost every moment I wanted to discover the secrets of the world. Especially when it was hinted that it is connected to the other 2 Chronicles games.

The characters are full of personality and were the highlight of the game. Mio was my favourite character by far and that she didn’t let the fact she was close to the end get in the way of enjoying the moment with her new and old friends. If the combat and class system was improved upon, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 would easily kick Xenoblade Chronicles 2 off the Nintendo Switch throne.


Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an almost perfect game, slightly tarnished by it’s combat and class system. It is worth playing, and the story really pulls at the heart strings. Its one of the best RPGs on the Nintendo Switch and I would recommend any fans of either the series, RPGS or Anime/Manga to pick this game up. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 gets a solid 4 out of 5.

<strong>Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Why Does it Hurt?</strong> - Gamesmix
Xenobladechronicles3review cover

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes you on a grand adventure.

Operating System: Nintendo Switch

Application Category: Action RPG

Editor's Rating:


  • Grand story.
  • Interesting characters.
  • Vibrant world.


  • Combat becomes boring.
  • Class system offers nothing unique.
Brendan Freeman
Brendan Freeman

A new dad, who loves his video games. he's been playing games since he was 2. He likes RPGs and racing games.

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