I'd be the first to say that I don't have much experience with RPGs as a genre, so I admit I felt a little apprehensive when this game first arrived on my doorstep. Would I be able to handle it, I wondered, or was this yet another impulse buy which would end up gathering dust on my already packed shelves.
Having immersed myself almost entirely in Xenoblade for a good ten hours or so though, I'm pleased to report that this game not only met my wildest expectations, it surpassed them entirely. The setting is awesome, the world believable, in the way the stunning cast of characters live and interact with one another, yet suffused with fantastical wonder. After all, it's not everyday you encounter a story set on the frozen corpses of two giant robots. A thrilling soundtrack, comprising everything from heart-rending violins at the most poignant moments to an infectious rock anthem during combat, only adds to the experience.
I'll admit I struggled a little with the controls at first, but once I picked everything up I was well rewarded with gameplay that was fun, challenging and never wore on me in the slightest. Combat is fluid and well-animated, not just a matter of button-mashing either. Thinking tactically and landing quick-time events in the thick of battle are key. I do recommend picking up a classic controller if you don't have one already, as the wiimote/nunchuck combination is somewhat more awkward to use, especially in the absence of any motion control.
All in all, whether you're a veteran of games in this genre, or a mere novice like me, I cannot recommend Xenoblade Chronicles highly enough to you.