Xenoblade Chronicles vs. Xenoblade Chronicles X
A few questions often accompany two of Monolith Soft’s RPGs. “Should I play Xenoblade Chronicles or Xenoblade Chronicles X?” and “If I enjoyed Xenoblade, will I like Xenoblade Chronicles X?” are two examples.
A different title might have helped avoid confusion about Xenoblade Chronicles X, since it isn’t a sequel to the original Xenoblade Chronicles, just a spiritual successor. They have similar combat systems, in an almost MMORPG-like style where your character auto-attacks while you choose Arts from a hotbar, but otherwise are quite different.
Xenoblade Chronicles, which is available on the Wii and the New Nintendo 3DS, is a story-driven RPG. Although it has sci-fi elements, its setting and presentation have a lot in common with fantasy games. It has a set protagonist and a typical party size for JRPGs. All of the characters have their own roles in the story. Several large areas make up Xenoblade’s world, and it has lots of side quests, but it is not entirely open. New areas will become available as you progress through the story.
Xenoblade Chronicles X, which is available on the Wii U, is open world and much more exploration-driven. There is a set story to follow, but its worldbuilding and lore are stronger than the basic plot. It is also fully sci-fi and features numerous alien races. Your protagonist is silent and customizable, and a huge cast of party members joins you. Only a few play a role in the story, but all have personal side quests to focus on their character development.
With all these differences, there’s no guarantee you’ll like one because you liked the other. Even the combat has differences, since Xenoblade lets you see future attacks through the power of the Monado, while Xenoblade Chronicles X has you enter a powerful state called Overdrive. (It also eventually lets you battle in giant mecha.) As for which game you should play, it really depends on what you’re looking for.
Story-driven? Xenoblade. An open world to explore? Xenoblade Chronicles X.
Fantasy? Xenoblade. Science fiction? Xenoblade Chronicles X.
A small cast of plot-relevant characters? Xenoblade. A large cast with optional stories to follow? Xenoblade Chronicles X.
Nevertheless, both Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X are excellent RPGs, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Which of the two do you like better?