Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Before You Buy
File Photo via Gamespot
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was announced as a first year title for the Nintendo switch. First of all for anybody unfamiliar with the franchise, it is a huge open world J-RPG developed by monolith soft. This is the third game in the series. Xenoblade Chronicles X was on the Wii U and the original Xenoblade Chronicles was on the Wii. This is of course the second Xenoblade Chronicles X, was more of a spin-off that didn't really have a whole lot to do with the game. For the most part this is a standalone adventure that you can enjoy without having any experience with the previous title. Although you did not play Xenoblade Chronicles, you will still find a lot of enjoyment here and you won't be lost whatsoever it is a standalone story and adventure.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has a charming and eclectic cast of characters. The hero of the story, Rex and his blade Pyra serve as the entry point to the game and of course you began your adventure with them. The characters to be actually pretty cool, the gameplay is something that isn't the best part of the game for anyone unfamiliar. It is an action based RPG and it's not turn based. So just walking up to an enemy just automatically begins the attack. You don't really have to press a button and that does sound weird but the combat system does get a little bit more layered. You have arts that you have mapped to the face button and each one of those arts does different damage and effects on the enemy. You have to wait for the arts to recharge before you can use them again. The higher the level the more powerful the attack.
The combats it seemed pretty simple, you walk up to enemies and you just start attacking. There are also arts which serve as special moves and of course you also have elemental attacks. There's a lot of advanced techniques that you will get into when it comes to the combat.
The game focuses on powering up abilities and leveling. The higher you get, the more points and you can go through your skill tree. The blades before are beings that kind of like fuse with a little bit by touching these crystals and those of course can also be changed in the middle of combat. It does tie into comboing and all sorts of other stuff that of course you can discover on your own. You can have up to three blades and four arts on your face buttons and your d-pad at any given time.
In Xenoblade Chronicles 2 there are a ton of side quests, some are very simple such as hey go defeat these enemies here and bring me back this item or they can get way way more layered. The more you care about the story and these characters that you meet throughout the adventure, the more invested you'll be in the side quests. Then you will be rewarded with things like experience and other items that will help you customize and power up weapons. The one thing that cyclists do is also help towards the town's reputation or renown for the most part f you go and do a ton of side quests. there is a five star level system for each area and the more stars you have the more likely you are to get better prices at shops and as well as other incentives. So you are incentivized to do the side quests on top of having them just be fun.
The open world is humongous and really good to explore. There are a lot of little hidden little crevices and caverns and waterfalls that you can go down. There's water slides that just launch you somewhere completely different. There's a lot to this open world and exploring is one of the favorite parts of the game. You could getting lost and ending up in areas where you can't really fight any of these monsters, but you can still trying to find these secrets there are hidden chests with all types of cool loot. Let’s talk about the game's performance both in docked and in handheld modes. In docked the game doesn't run in 1080p. There are frame drops every once in a while when you are in a busy town center, there can be a lot of NPCs walking around in shops. There are some times that are a lot of enemies might be on screen and the frame rate will like stutter a little bit. So other than the mild stuttering though and the occasional texture pop-in it doesn't happen very often. There are slight technical issues like that when docked.
When on handheld, the game runs good but the resolution is pretty low. It's like sub 720 and again the slowdown does show up in similar instances. Again whether there be a busy town center or a lot of enemies. But really none of it was enough to detract from the main game experience. The world is huge and there is so much going on.
The game that made by a Japanese studio and then has been localized for an American audience. So you can find sometimes the language doesn't necessarily have direct translations. The voice cast is perfect, you will grown to love each and every single one of them and they do a good job. The game also has fantastic phenomenal great wonderful music. The music is great and there was honestly times where you just stopped and listened for a little bit.
There is complexity and a very cool story in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The arc of these characters and the surprises along the way side quests are entertaining. The traversal and exploration of the open world is top-notch along with the music. Final verdict, If you love JRPGs this is an absolutely awesome pick you should have. And as always, thanks for reading.