Every action-RPG has three things in common: an engaging story that is always throwing curveballs at 85 mph, an easy-to-pick-up combat system that takes time and strategy to master, and characters that we can attach to and feel for. Xenoblade Chronicles has all of these things and then some. Unlike your traditional JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game), Xenoblade Chronicles has an open-world to explore with a fast-paced and unique combat system that will really get your clock ticking. Your mission: Use the Monado, an ancient weapon that can reveal the future, to lead the battle against an army of mecha-robots. Prepare for sacrifices to be made, all in the name of saving the people. Xenoblade Chronicles can be found on the Wii, and is also available for the New Nintendo 3DS under the title Xenoblade Chronicles 3D.
For those craving a deep story that isn’t necessarily dark and serious, look no further than the love-child of Disney and Square Enix: Kingdom Hearts. After Sora, our main character, ends up in a different world after his own is ripped apart by darkness, he begins his quest to find his friends, which turns out to be a lot bigger deal than he intended. The main point of the game: Travel to numerous Disney-themed worlds with Donald Duck and Goofy at your side as you beat up embodiments of darkness known as Heartless in order to save the Disney-galaxy. Did I mention that your weapon is also a big key called the Keyblade? Find this action-RPG on the PlayStation 2, or the remastered version on the PS3 called Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX.
Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance
If you are looking for an action-RPG with a little more old school beat-’em-up style, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is your type of game. The big draw to this game is that it’s set in the “Dungeons and Dragons” fantasy world of Forgotten Realms. You play as a lowly adventurer out for revenge against some thieves that stole your possessions. However, things quickly escalate and you find out you are only at the tip of the iceberg. Best of all, this game has a simple battle system that allows anyone to be able to pick it up and play. This top-down beat-’em-up can be found on Xbox, PS2, Gamecube, or Game Boy Advance, and can be played solo or split-screen with a friend.
Recommendations by Scott Watne