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Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
When Xenoblade Chronicles released on the Nintendo Wii, it was a masterpiece. However, the weak processing power of the Wii left a little to be desired in the graphics department, with characters looking downright ugly at times, textures jaggy and blurry, and a poor resolution giving the world a less-than-ideal appearance. Despite these issues, the game was still beautiful, just not perfect. The Definitive Edition gives graphical improvements to the characters and a new, fresh look to the world, as well as a whole new epilogue chapter centered around Melia, who is much deserving of more screentime and a further conclusion to her story.
The Definitive Edtition also sports several quality-of-life improvements, which include an auto-run feature, better UI, a newly arranged soundtrack while retaining the option to toggle back to the original, the ability to change appearance without changing armour, a time attack mode, and an expert difficulty. The English voice acting still sounds great and, unlike the 3DS version, players can once again choose the Japanese voice cast, which features the likes of Ryo Horikawa (Vegeta of Dragon Ball Z). Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is a revamped version of a masterpiece, and it deservedly earns the acclaim of RPGamer’s Best Re-Release Award.
Enhancing an already fantastic and well-loved title, Persona 5 Royal offers undoubtedly the definitive version of the game. Its new content adding a good amount of freshness while tweaks elsewhere ensure it keeps even more in step with players. Some understandably balked at the prospect of playing for another 100 hours so soon after the original game came out, but spending time with the Phantom Thieves is such an enjoyable experience that many more relished the opportunity to do so again. Persona 5’s gameplay was already the sharpest in the series, and Royal polishes it further. The enhancements and new content permeate across the game, with a number of quality-of-life features and other small touches addressing the few flaws in the original. Persona 5 already made an incredible mark when it released, and Persona 5 Royal just adds to Atlus’ richly-deserved reputation among RPGamers.
There isn’t much more to be said about Demon’s Souls that hasn’t already been said. The game that spawned a sub-genre is rough around the edges, esoteric to a fault, and has very little to ease new players in. But Bluepoint Games’ remake of the PlayStation 3 classic is surprisingly faithful, capturing the game’s weirdness for a whole new audience while simultaneously providing the marquee showpiece for the PlayStation 5. It’s a fascinating capsule of a time when a Souls game had no expectations, leading to a unique and memorable title that holds its own even today.
by Elmon Dean Todd, Alex Fuller, and Zack Webster