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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 | Review

Posted on January 23, 2018 by Meghan Kass

The original Xenoblade Chronicles was released for the Wii back in 2010 and then surprisingly re-released for the 3DS in 2015. A side game in the franchise, Xenoblade Chronicles X (prounouced Cross, not X) was released for the Wii-U also in 2015.  Now, in 2017, a sequel to the first title has been released and thus we have Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for the Nintendo Switch. Developed by series creators Monolith Soft and published of course, by Nintendo.

For longtime fans this game may have a whole new cast of characters to get acquainted with but what matters is how well those characters are developed and how well written the story is, as well as presented. Does this sequel give us a satisfying return to this world of Alrest or does it leave the player disappointed?

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 takes us back to the Xenoblade world of Alrest, full of titans and god like creatures, only with a fresh set of characters. Shulk is replaced by Rex – a scavenger turned Driver – this go around. As a driver, he is accompanied by his blade, Prya. Prya is very similar to Shulk’s blade Monado, only with a lot more personality, given that she is a fully realized character and not just a weapon. Still, both Pyra’s weapon from and the Monado contain extraordinary power and also grant their drivers the ability to wield extraordinary abilities.

The major difference between the two is that  Prya becomes a character with an artificial human appearance and goes through her own story arc, while the Monado was more a standard weapon. I feel this adds an interesting layer to the game and makes the game more immersive. Prya’s journey to find Elysium with Rex is interesting because finding Elysium is essential to saving humanity from extinction. The Titans who have protected humanity are dying off and Elysium, or Paradise, is their last hope. It’s more than just Prya wanting to “go home”.

The only fault I find with Xenoblade Chronicles II is a slight repetition that happens throughout Rex/Pyra’s journey. I say journey, because saying “story” doesn’t seem right. There isn’t much more story than Rex and Prya exploring the world, searching for Elysium, meeting people along the way and saving the world from various evils. There is a pattern of you continuing on your journey, a roadblock stopping you from continuing and you needing to get past it and usually fight a boss battle. While this normally would bore me, I found the gameplay quite addicting and the characters enchanting and fun to get to know. There is also an interesting history to the world and blades you get to learn along the way which became some of my favorite story moments for me. Exploring the world also helps when everything looks as pretty as this game does – this game has stunning scenery and beautiful character / monster animation.










Even though there are interesting story elements, it really was the gameplay that impressed me the most with Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I enjoyed finding out which blades (weapons) were best against which enemy ty[es, which skills I should use at which time and what items I need to collect to unlock an upgrade for my blade. Blade upgrades are obtained using an item called an aux core. You can also provide buffs to individual party members such as ATK Up or DEF up by equipping certain items in their personal pouch, to help out during fights.

I couldn’t wait to level up and see what my blades would learn next  – I loved finding new chips and aux cores and seeing what skills or buffs they gave my blades. While other JRPGs have similar elements, there is something a bit different about Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in its execution of character progression. It seemed more than just upgrading my weapon, it felt like I was helping to develop a character. Because I was invested in the characters, I had much more of a desire to see them grow and become stronger. It also helped that everything seemed very fluid and easy to figure out.

Now that I had these powerful characters, it was time to dive right into Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s vast combat system. Similar to the original Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii, Rex & Co will automatically perform a basic auto-attack at a set interval. Players are able to equip up to four special arts to augment their damage, provide healing or do massive amounts of damage by partnering up with their blade. Basic arts will only require an individual charge and can be woven into auto attacks seamlessly. As your character progress through their Arts tree they are able to unlock ‘special arts’ which require a bit more time to build via auto-attack. These devastating moves have the Driver and Blade combine their abilities by asking players to perform a quick time event. Successfully pull off the QTE and you’ll be treated to a special arts animation. If one of your A.I party members uses a special art, Rex can follow it up with a supplementary special art based upon one of the elements displayed on the HUD. Chain together 3 complimentary special arts together and you’ve got yourself a Blade Combo, one of the most powerful but complicated maneuvers in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Overall, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a satisfying contribution to the series. While the story I don’t feel is as strong as the first one, the characters are fun and interesting and the game is stunning to explore and look at and has well executed gameplay. If you liked the first game and have a Switch, give it a try to get immersed in this world again.



Xenoblade Chronicles 2 coming to Switch in 2017

Posted on January 14, 2017 by Jason Nason

Nintendo and Mololith Soft announced during the Nintendo Switch presentation that a third game in the Xenoblade Chronicles series is in the works. The game comes after the original Xenoblade Chornicles for the Wii in 2012 and the spiritual sucessor Xenoblade Chronicles X on the Wii U in 2015. In the latest entry of the Xenoblade Chronicles series, a new hero will seek out Elysium on an immense journey through a brand-new world.

Xenoblade Chronicles was also ported to the NEW Nintendo 3DS in 2015 as well as Xenoblade Chronicles 3D.

Not much has been revelaed about the single-player role-playing game, which is listed for a release sometime in 2017. Check out below for screenshots from the game as well as the trailer presented on Thursday.

Read More


Xenoblade Chronicles X Gets North American Release Date

Posted on June 19, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

We’ve seen a lot of footage from Monolith Soft’s upcoming futuristic RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X through various Nintendo Direct events and footage from Japan. Now we finally know when this fantastic looking Wii U game will be available in North America – December 4th 2015. It will also be getting a PAL region release sometime this December as well.

Originally announced in January 2013, Xenoblade Chronicles X transports players to the year 2054 humanity is forced to evacuate earth after a war between alien faction breaks out.  After one of the ships carrying survivors from earth crashes on the planet Mira it is up to the player character and their party to help the residents of New Los Angeles and save humanity from the warring alien factions.

During Nintendo’s E3 2015 “Treehouse” live-streams we got a 40 minute look at the English localization for the game.  All other previous live-streams and Nintendo Direct events used footage from the Japanese version of the game.Read More


Project X Zone | Review

Posted on July 29, 2013 by Broken Joysticks

Namco Bandai × Capcom × Sega. No, you’re not reading this wrong, Banpresto and Monolith Soft have joined together to co-develop Project X Zone. This is not a fighting game (sorry versus fans). Project X Zone is a tactical role-playing game featuring characters across popular series such as Street Fighter, Megaman, Sakura Wars, Resonance of Fate, Xenosaga,and Tales of Vesperia, among others. For the very, very few of you who played Namco × Capcom (not to be confused with Street Fighter X Tekken), this game is no surprise. The story is what is expected of crossover titles: an artifact is stolen from original characters Mii Koryuji and Kogoro Tenzai, which triggers a chain of events where different universes begin to intertwine, which throws characters from different franchises in alternate worlds. Tron Bonne from the future lands at Willamete Mall, where Frank West is from, to give a perfect example. Read More


Monolith Soft Developing Open World Xeno Series Game

Posted on June 11, 2013 by Les Major

Seemingly titled X, Monolith Soft is working on a new game that seems to be in or related to the Xenoblade series. This game is an open world title that looks like it has lots of exploration in a wonderful and detailed world. I’m definitely interested in seeing how this one turns out. Of course, all of Nintendo’s main news is awesome, but X was a pleasant surprise!

Check out the trailer after the break for a look at the wild world outdoors, a futuristic city, and even humanoid mecha from the game.Read More


Wii U Direct – New Xenoblade Game Coming Soon

Posted on January 23, 2013 by Jason Nason

Monolith Soft is working on a new title for the Nintendo Wii U and it looks like it’s going to be in the Xeno series of games, but what it is and when it will be released is still a mystery. Presumably it will be a direct followup to last year’s Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii.

Nintendo unveiled the teaser trailer at the latest Nintendo Direct and the game looks gorgeous.

The game features the character design of Kunihiko Tanaka, music from Hiroyuki Sawano and comes from executive director Tetsuya Takahashi.Read More


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