Game Review: You’ll have to fight Xenoblade Chronicles X to get to the fun it’s hiding

Both the best, and the worst, aspects of Xenoblade Chronicles X can be summed up in the game’s most triumphant moment. After roughly 40 hours, your character finally unlocks the ability to fly. Zooming through the sky in a giant robot, blazing across territory that was once a perilous (if beautiful) slog to traverse, there’s a giddy sensation of freedom that has its roots in all the hoops the game has made you jump through to finally get to this point. It’s the apotheosis of the “airship moment” from the old Final Fantasy games, the moment when the world truly opens up, taken to extremes by the beauty of the setting in question and the intense frustrations that were surpassed to see it in its fullness.

But all the pleasures of that moment can’t erase that whole “40 hours into the game” thing that preceded it …

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