Written by JM Nuqui
Title: Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Developer: Monolith Soft
It’s rare for an RPG of this beauty would be developed for handheld. With the power of Nintendo Switch in can play AAA quality games anytime and anywhere. One of the games promised with during the NS's reveal last year was Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
A Direct Sequel
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a direct sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles. XC2 follows the story of Rex the Salvager, where he accidentally awakened the power of an Aegis who's asleep for 5 years. Upon resurrection he promised the Aegis to bring her to Elysium, the ultimate paradise of Humanity and their journey hindered by various events and foes trying to get their hands on the Aegis.
A Complicated but Unique battle system
Not everyone will love Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Only hardcore JRPG fans would love the complicated mechanics of the game. I miss JPRG's like this. Its complex, it's difficult, it requires exploration and logic when performing quest. It drains your time while you appreciate the beauty of the game. It might not be as good when in TV mode but it's still one of the best-looking games I've played on a handheld and with AAA production quality. It's 2017 and people don't like stuff like this anymore. You can skip travel but there were times that you cannot perform skip travel and force you to walk and marvel at the surroundings.
MMORPG Size Overworld
The Map is huge. If you've played MMORPG's before, It's as big as that. Lots of open space with just monsters, some treasure and materials you can dig on to. The game shifts from Day and Night and certain events trigger during certain time of the day. There's also a weather system and yes it triggers event as well. Aside from the Weather system there's a cloud sea level. In Xenoblade, Titans hold the world together high above the sky. Certain areas are inaccessible when the clouds are high and accessible when clouds are low. It’s comparable to the real-world seas low and high tide. This adds up with the strategy and in-depth questing. Some areas would require you to use a skill of a certain Blade and it also needs to be of specific power to unlock those areas. There's a skip travel feature if ever you get tired of marveling at the XC2’s beauty. You’d want to update your game since there’s a patch with bug fixes and a much better view of the Map by pressing L stick.
There are lots of things to do in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, you can Salvage for stuff to sell or collect stuff to upgrade cores. You can play mini games or engage on complicated quest to Develop the Titans and gain the benefits from improving the community. You can collect blades and plan your strategy on how you'd approach your next adventure. More features are unlocked as you progress to the game. There are lots of things to do and it requires you to READ and STUDY carefully the mechanics of the game.
Battles may be repetitive during the first Chapters but once you gain access to multiple Blades. This is where combat becomes more exciting and action packed. These Blades are warriors where in you channel their energies to be used in battle. Each Blade has their own weapon, skill and class. Blades that uses swords attacks faster, while those with Axe attacks slower but deals more damage. Some blades have skills like Lockpicking which lets you open rare chest. Blade classes are important during battles. Attackers can deal lots of damage but cannot take much on their own. Tanks can absorb lots of damage and has high HP while healers have skills that heal party members. You can also upgrade their weapons using core parts and add additional stats and skills by wearing accessories. That's the basic part of the Blades. Unlocking their skill is a different story, each Blade has unique mini quest on their own which you need to perform to unlock their full power. Sometimes you need to kill certain enemies, eat specific food and many more. You get notified that you’ve finished a certain blade quest and inform you of its growth. Absorbing all the Blade mechanics can be overwhelming but once you do it'd be fun rather than a boring grind.
Summoning Blades is a game of luck. A lot of fans react to the difficulty on Summoning the blades since it’s a bit difficult to summon blades that fits the characters in game. I prefer my party to focus on each type of blade, Nia for Healing, Rex for attack and Tora for tanking enemies. Trouble will start to roll in if you mix types per character but still it depends on your fighting strategy.
An RPG that will awaken your favorite RPG moments
The games story is one of the best in RPG History. It has full of surprises and a very interesting plot twist that you'd never expect. It can become slow sometimes and it's very easy to get sidetracked due to tons of Side quests you need to finish in game which, for sure you'd need to finish to unlock certain abilities and enhance in game economy. XC2’s characters for me were all interesting, It’s nice that you’d know the background of each character and at times I am having difficulty who to bring to in battle as I’d want to have them all in battle.
I'd also would like to praise the game's soundtrack it's as well one of the most memorable for sure. Moving around feels like old school RPG melody. It's something you'd like to play repeatedly with sometimes I just leave the game open to wonder at its music.
Overall, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is not your typical RPG. It combines traditional and new RPG element that's unique only to this game. The story itself would take you around 80 hours to finish plus tons of quest if ever you finish the game, a new game+ and an expansion pack coming next year. A solid RPG that would be remembered for years to come. Another Monolith Soft Masterpiece.
- Huge AAA RPG that you can bring anywhere
- Grind while on a coffee shop
- Amazing Story
- Tons of stuff to do
- Unique RPG Mechanics
- Wonderful Music score
- Graphics could be polished
- Not everyone will love that Unique RPG experience