I was a very big on the Nintendo Wii when it first came around, saying that I would be spending most of my time on the machine for near future and I was somewhat right in that statement.
Having spent 3 years with the machine as my 'first choice' console I had amassed a significant collection and had even helped a UK based Nintendo site with some reviews and opinions. A few years further on and like many other Wii's around the world it sits gathering dust as neither 1st or 3rd party offerings raise a single hair on my neck.
This didn't change when I heard about Xenoblade Chronicles, the fabled 'great last game for the Wii' that everyone who was interested enough to listen, had been waiting for and after watching/reading some reviews it still didn't pull me in enough to pick up a copy until very late last year (part of my 'finish my old games first' decision). So now, 70 hours in I can say only one thing.
Holy crap, this game is superb.
I'm not going to say its the best game on the Wii nor will I ignore its faults but this is one hell of an RPG regardless of what platform it's on. Having spent January trying to delve into several JRPG's on the PS3 that I just found annoying, long winded and poorly designed it was great to see a JRPG which not only did it right but did it better than so many others (Japanese or Western)
Starting off with a generic and fairly mediocre plot of 'boy with unknown origin discovers he's the only one who can wield legendary sword' the first hour or two dont really break any new ground story wise but it does show off the UI and controls at the players disposal. Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the only truly explorable RPG's I've ever known. Similar to Skyrim in a way if you can see an area in Xenoblade Chronicles you can climb/run/jump your way up/to it which covers one of my biggest peeves in RPG games, the chest high walls that games decide I cant climb even tough I totally could normally.
Away from exploration, the system's at Xenoblade's core are superb. save any time you arent in combat or dialogue, switch out the party at any time (even removing the main character if you so wish), players not in combat still level up with you and fast travel to any major location you've already visited anytime. While none of these are features which could be considered new, they are rare in Japanese RPG's and their inclusion in this title made it far more of a joy to play than any other RPG since Persona 3.
All in all Xenoblade Chronicles is simply fantastic to play,