Soapbox options allow our particular person writers and contributors to voice their opinions on sizzling matters and random stuff they have been chewing over. Right this moment, Alana says it is best to do all the sidequests in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 as a result of they’re that good. Or at the very least most of them…
The Xenoblade collection is thought for a lot of issues. Unimaginable soundtracks, stunning worlds, philosophical concepts and questions, and – most significantly – billions of checklist-type sidequests could have you amassing the identical merchandise or killing packs of monsters repeatedly.
Okay, that final one does not sound interesting, however sidequests are an important a part of RPGs, and — hear me out — Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has a number of the finest each within the collection and within the style.
I’ve lengthy been a little bit of an advocate for Xenoblade’s sidequests – not as a result of I would like individuals to place themselves by means of the ache of repetitive fetch quests or menial duties – however as a result of I believe they actually enrich the sport world. They get you to discover extra hidden areas, kind human connections, and aid you develop and enhance communities. In consequence, you get a good larger sense of how the Bionis, Mechonis, and Alrest – current and previous – work and the way every society/settlement features. However simply fascinated with filling out the Affinity Chart in Xenoblade Chronicles, or getting each Uncommon Blade for his or her quests in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, or the story-gating in Torna – The Golden Nation provides me the shivers.
Doing all the sidequests remains to be going to be intimidating, for certain, however I urge you to hunt out what you possibly can.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an train in “classes discovered” in some ways, and its sidequests are one space specifically that the sport has improved upon its predecessors. These are essentially the most constant quests within the collection, with unbelievable writing and character-building moments that should be seen. They’re additionally essentially the most accessible ever as a result of they are not as overwhelming as in earlier video games. You aren’t getting tons of latest sidequest icons each time you enter a brand new location, and also you by no means really feel bombarded.
A lot of the earlier video games’ fetch quests have now been boiled right down to Collectopaedia Playing cards, requests for objects that Colony dwellers put up so that you can hand in (nearly, with out going to them in individual). They’re now simply little unobtrusive checklists that by no means cover any story or character growth behind them. I do not ever really feel like I have to do these, whereas, in earlier video games, I did.
In order that leaves the much-meatier (hear that?) Normal Quests and Hero Quests. The previous are your typical sidequests, whereas the latter unlock Hero characters (and their respective lessons). Admittedly, generally these too could be a bit checklist-y, however almost each time, the writing and characters received me over, as a result of just about each single sidequest ties into the sport’s principal themes, giving Aionios’ quite a few characters goal, letting them grieve, or permitting them to kind friendships.
There can be very minor spoilers about some Hero Quests, Colonies, and some of the sport’s villains going ahead. Nonetheless, there aren’t any principal story spoilers.
One in every of my favorite Normal Quests sees Noah serving to a rookie off-seer, Schoon, be taught to ship off the useless. She does not assume she will be able to do it and struggles together with her confidence. What might have been a really chilly, unhappy quest turns into a wonderful acceptance and understanding of loss of life, and an examination of a blossoming friendship. It is attractive and melancholic, and that is only a regular sidequest.
What elevates it, past the empathetic writing, is that off-seeing is an in-game mechanic and story focus within the recreation — a small funeral-type affair for fallen NPCs that garners Affinity factors for whichever Colony that individual was related to in life. Each Noah and Mio are off-seers, and this quest provides us an perception into how Noah specifically offers with this function, whereas additionally exhibiting us how the opposite residents of Aionios deal with it. All of those little particulars work collectively and assist bolster your emotional attachment to the characters – and I am not simply speaking about the principle solid.
Then, on the exact opposite finish of the dimensions, you may have Dorin and Bambam, a hilarious pair from Colony 4 who finally depart their ‘house’ and find yourself in some fairly amusing conditions. And whereas Noah and his associates are sometimes dismayed on the bother these two get themselves into, they by no means actually put them down, regularly serving to them all through the duo’s a number of escapades. So even on this mournful world, there’s nonetheless a splash of humour, as a result of the individuals who reside there are people (or Nopon, or Excessive Entia, or cat individuals… you get it) and nonetheless reside as regular a life as doable regardless of the continued warfare.
The way you purchase some quests is one more factor that helps make the world and the Colonies really feel lived in. You may get quests by discovering query marks on the world map that are often close to uncommon monuments or locations. Different occasions, you may see a bit “i” above a personality’s head, which suggests you overhear that character’s conversations. Then, your social gathering discusses the conversations over a meal, going over the intricacies and – if wanted – deciding to take the initiative and assist. Different occasions, you may get some enjoyable dialogue (that nearly all the time includes teasing Lanz), fascinating world-building, or some really touching moments.
Whenever you do get quests out of those conversations, it feels far more pure than merely coming throughout a random one that simply occurs to want ten Slugger Bunnits slaying proper this very second. Even when the sidequests do match these “acquire X quantity of this merchandise, kill X quantity of that enemy”, I did not care as a result of I felt just like the characters’ reactions and Colony relations bettering was greater than sufficient reward.
Just about each single sidequest ties into the sport’s principal themes, giving Aionios’ quite a few characters goal, letting them grieve, or permitting them to kind friendships.
Just a few quests I’ve picked up have additionally taken me again to locations and made me discover landmarks I might missed or Distinctive Monsters I might handed by. One explicit quest from Colony Iota has you discover a degree 40 space branching out from the Eagus Wilderness. My jaw dropped after I obtained there — sprinkled with delicate, glowing timber, flora of all completely different shades of blue and purple, and fruit that glistens in the dead of night, I used to be each staggered at how a lot larger the Fornis Area map was nonetheless and at simply how serene and delightful this space is.
I’d by no means have recognized concerning the hidden storage that Colony Iota saved there with out this quest, and I’d’ve doubtlessly missed a whole space. Stumbling throughout it accidentally would have been superb too, however the added factor of it being tucked away and a sidequest with significant stakes and character relationships being varieties made it all of the extra great.
Hero Quests may be even higher at tying this world collectively. These give attention to a specific Hero – oftentimes a Colony Commander – and do an enormous quantity to determine your social gathering’s relationship with them (previous and current), their relationship to Keves and Agnus, their Colony, and the world at massive. A few of these are literally gained by means of the principle story, however even those that are not nonetheless really feel vital.
One of many first elective Heroes you may doubtless get is Zeon. His quest includes you serving to him save his Colony from an impending Agnus invasion. The warfare is a pervasive a part of the sport, however what shocked me was who else popped up within the quest – a Consul, a member of a bunch of armour-clad individuals who appear to carry all the chips in Aionios. Many of those flip up within the story, whereas others maintain an iron fist in a few of these quests. Having this group — nonetheless over-the-top they appear to be – seem in these sidequests makes the subplots really feel simply as vital as the principle story. The narrative beats in the principle story permeate all the pieces – they’re current in every single place and have an effect on all the pieces.
What branches off from Zeon’s Hero Quest are quite a few new Normal Quests, a few of which give perception into his management or the individuals who serve below him. And finally, you’ll perform an Ascension Quest, a second Hero Quest that ‘unlocks’ the Hero’s full potential (together with the category). Zeon’s Ascension Quest is an ideal instance of what I discussed earlier – I do not care a lot about forwards and backwards or fetch quests if the writing is nice. And seeing how a lot Zeon has modified, and does change all through this quest, is outstanding. It is also an ideal reminder of the tangible distinction Noah and his associates are reaching in Aionios; Zeon’s angle has shifted in a number of other ways due to the social gathering’s actions, and we get to see how his Colony and subordinates react.
Zeon is only one instance; I do not wish to spoil every other Hero Quests, however virtually all of them do one thing significant that helps enrich Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s world and narrative. The truth that most of them aren’t a chore to get by means of is an actual deal with, making these sidequests completely important to the narrative.
All of those little particulars work collectively and assist bolster your emotional attachment to the characters – and I am not simply speaking about the principle solid.
Once I began diving into the quests correctly and fascinated with how they helped develop the world and characters, I instantly thought again to Xenoblade Chronicles X. Within the Wii U unique, the sidequests shine and really feel just like the actual story of the sport as a result of they helped me perceive the characters, the planet Mira, and discover this huge, alien world.
I believe Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes it a step additional. The quests all department off from factors in the principle narrative and assist to feed into the sport’s principal themes. They present Noah’s variety nature and willingness to vary issues and the world. They let characters uncover issues, develop, and be taught naturally – each playable and non-playable. They train us about Aionios, the Colonies, and the other ways of life. All of this makes this stunningly huge world all of the extra private and a bit bit much less scary.
Doing all the sidequests remains to be going to be intimidating, for certain, however I urge you to hunt out what you possibly can (at the very least do the Hero Quests!) and uncover new pockets of Aionios, and new individuals in every of the Colonies, that you’re going to fall in love with.
How are you discovering Xenoblade Chronicles 3? Are you having fun with the sidequests up to now? Share your ideas within the feedback!