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Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed Is The Ultimate Send-Off For 2022’s Best JRPG

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Capstone DLC of a JRPG sequel that ties everything together. Kind of. 

Monolithsoft game director and producer Tetsuya Takahashi has finally realized his Xeno epic saga in physical and playable form since his planned-out course back in the late 90s. Stemming from Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii back in 2010, he has launched a new DLC for the third game (fourth if you count Xenoblade X) that links every Xeno piece of game together, including some allusions to Xenogears and the Xenosaga games.

The DLC, dubbed Future Redeemed, starts out innocently enough. Billed as a prequel to the events leading up to Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the game pits you as vagabond Matthew as he is searching for his sister while also fighting Mobius oppressors. He starts out the journey alongside a female warrior named A who happens to brandish a sword similar to the ones in earlier Xenoblade entries. The plot thickens as the duo take two ex-Kevesi and Agni soldiers -Nikol and Glimmer- under their wing, and soon they end up joining the rank of liberators led by Shulk and Rex, both of whom are from Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and 2 respectively. And unlike their previous versions, they’re much older and jacked up now.

Star Of Tears

If you’re hoping to see a ton of callbacks to past games, Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed will sort you out and then some. The DLC throws everything at you from references to past games (via hotspots called Affinity Events that reward you for reminiscing the past) to even main plot tidbits that detail how everything gets tied together, and even allusions to the aforementioned Xeno titles with the mechas and space stuff further on. The whole plot is close to going off the rails, but it’s very engrossing, to say the least.

The game’s real-time combat system and exploration mechanics also get a bit of an upgrade, so it’s not all total fanservice. Replacing Ouroboros attacks are Unity Attacks and Fusion attacks. Unity Attacks let you pair two characters to do a special hard-hitting attack with various results, and fills up on a separate meter. Fusion Attacks are powerful versions of Arts; they are a combination of two Arts fused into one attack that comes with a neat JoJo Stand-like effect as a follow-up. Still, they’re not major combat changes since you still need to rely on Chain Attacks, now with sauced up Unity Attacks to capstone them, to deal massive damage to enemies. A’s Vision art also comes in handy here as it protects the party from all forms of attacks for a few seconds at the cost of being in limited supply.

As some boss fights in Future Redeemed come with massive one-hit kill attacks, this Vision skill is imperative as A is core to the team. It would be nice if some of these enemy attacks came with better telegraphs and actual timers so that you don’t waste your one-time only Vision especially since it’s your first time in these battles.

Exploration-wise, you don’t need to press a button to hear conversations that open up quests. Rather, you have a bulletin board to get some simple fetch quests and bounties, go to iconic locations on the map and activate the aforementioned Affinity Events, and talk to a bunch of people to gain Affinity. In fact, you gain Affinity Points that you can distribute among your party members to open up new passive skills and moves, provided you do your best to keep tabs on people you meet and complete their requests and questlines. All for the greater good, right?

Small Two Of Pieces

To say that Xenoblade Chronicle 3’s final DLC is a loving tribute to the franchise is an understatement. It’s Tetsuya Takahashi’s legacy in full fruition, jam-packed into a 10 to 12 hour bookend to last year’s great JRPG for Nintendo Switch that isn’t a remake. And as a final cherry on top of a magnificent JRPG sundae loaded with flavour, Monolithsoft brought back Joanne Hogg to sing the game’s ending theme.

Yes, THE same Joanne Hogg who sang the touching and emotional ending song for Tetsuya Takahashi’s first JRPG epic Xenogears back in 1997. That is one hell of a throwback, and a recurring theme that the Xeno series will never, ever leave Takahashi’s side. Hell, even the DLC’s main character is the 2023 version of Xenogear’s martial arts lead Fei Fong Wong, right down to the movement and idle animations.

In other words, if you’re a “terpaling” Xenoblade fan, why the hell aren’t you playing this DLC? It’s worth your 10-12 hours just for its prequel tale, its eventual conclusion, and its numerous references alone, not to mention some sweet and small additions to the already-fun combat. If you’re still halfway through Xenoblade Chronicles 3 or if part 3 is your first game in the series, this DLC is not for you because the majority of your enjoyment for it relies on the callbacks and past nods of previous Xeno titles.

And yes, there’s a huge nod to Xenoblade Chronicles X but I won’t say where; you’ll have to find it yourself. It’s worth the US$30 Season Pass asking price; trust me on this.

 

Final Score: 80/100

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  1. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Voice Actress Finds Issue With Xenoblade 3’s Ending; Fans React | Kakuchopurei

    May 9, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    […] Despite the voice actress having an issue with this, the developers have made it clear with the Future Redeemed DLC that Rex’s polygamy is indeed canon and has a kid out of it: Glimmer (technically, since the Glimmer in the DLC is a clone of the real one who probably died ages ago) and maybe Mio. If you haven’t, you should play Future Redeemed. […]

  2. Kakuchopurei’s Best Games Of 2023 | Kakuchopurei

    December 21, 2023 at 11:36 pm

    […] #27. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Future Redeemed (Nintendo Switch) […]

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