It has been a very good year for Nintendo, the Nintendo Switch was a huge success and they released tons of huge first party triple A games every month. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the last big game in the line up for 2017. Maybe there are some people who have never heard of this amazing gem because Xenoblade Chronicles was released at the end of the Wii life-cycle and the sequel, Xenoblade Chronicles X was a Wii U game so I bet it did not get the love and attention it deserved. I even think most people know the series from Shulk in Super Smash Brothers. But I think everything will change with Xenoblade Chronicles 2…
Xenoblade Chronicles is an realtime action RPG that has both a fantasy and science fiction setting. The series in general is heavily focused on exploring the stunning open world and this is no different in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and the world has never looked so beautiful which makes your journey all the more mesmerizing. In many ways did this game feel like the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild but I definitely mean that in a good way.
The thing I loved about previous games from the franchise is the always amazing and intriguing story. At first it seems like a story you heard before but the longer you play the more depth the plot gets and you just keep grinding just to know more of the story. In Xenoblade Chronicles 2 this is none other. Although the name suggests that it’s a sequel, thus returning to the story of Shulk and his friends but the game takes place in a totally new setting. The story takes place in Alrest a world covered with clouds and populated by enormous Titans that are slowly dying. The main character is Rex, a young salvage who works very hard to be able to send money to his poor family. When he comes in contact with the mysterious girl Pyra they learn that the only way to save the world is to make it to Elysium, some kind of promising land.
Another thing that makes Xenoblade so great and unique is the amazing combat system. In my opinion one of the best combat system in an RPG game. When in range you automatically attack the opponent you have targeted. Your attacks go in groups of 3 and do more damage each time you do a consecutive attack. As a player you have to decide if you want to keep attacking to do more damage or change your position to avoid damage or strike a weak point to inflict more damage. Auto-attacks help you stack you arts, these are powerful attacks each with their own ability and utility. The way you use these arts are completely changed in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. In the previous games they had to be selected in a menu but now, they are mapped to buttons so you can quickly access your arts when you need them the most.
One of the biggest changes to the gameplay is the addition of blades. These are best compared with a support. They buff your fighters and allow them to perform special moves. The better the bond and trust between drivers (the =fighters ) and blades the better your stats get. Another thing that blades allow you to do is perform a special move. This move is like the art attacks, they also stack by performing auto attacks but are extremely powerful and work with a level system. Each time they are completely stacked, you gain a special level. The higher the special level, the more damage you do. So it’s up to the player to decide when you use it. Upon casting the move the players have to time a button command to increase the damage.
I think the way you will be using the blades will evolve the further you get in the game and will make a great addition to the already wonderful combat system. I’m only in the beginning of the game but I’m sure the blades are going to have a very big impact on both the combat system and the outcome of the story.
The combat is passive at first but gets more intense very quickly, especially if you fight with a lot of party members, especially if you can combo with them. There are a tons of fighters with a lot of different fighting styles that can work greatly together. It’s totally up to the player to pick a fighter that suits his/her play style, although this is not always possible, it’s still a lot of fun to change between fighters.
The Xenoblade franchise has a reputation of making incredibly deep and long stories, the previous games took at least 70 hours just to beat the story so I’m almost 100% positive that this won’t be any different in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I have played the game for a few hours but I’m sure that I’m still just at the beginning of this game. A lot of new things will be added when I’m further into the story. This is just a preview for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, a lot can change and maybe things will get boring when I have put + 50 hours into this game but for now, I’m totally in love with this game. I’m sorry Mario Odyssey but for now all my game time is going to Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Be sure to keep an eye out for the my review when this game officially launches.