Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review
This review is basically spoiler free.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the third installment in a franchise that has become one of the big ones since it’s first game back in 2010. With this third installment, they’re taking it to the Switch. This game is a JRPG to its core and with a story that sucks you in, gameplay that’s in one word amazing, a humongous world and music that tears you up. Honestly, this was the first real JRPG I played, so you’re going to get a fresh opinion in this Xenoblade Chronicles 2 review.
While playing this game the story was one of the aspects that made me want to play more and more. You play as Rex the protagonist of this story, a kid who is a salvager. He hauls up all kinds of treasure from the cloud sea. When taking on a job he encounters a legendary Blade, Pyra, a living being who he makes himself the driver of. This Blade is one of the most powerful ones in existence, and of course, there are a lot of people who want this power for themselves. In his journey together with Pyra, on their way to the mystical land of Elysium, he will travel through different lands where he will encounter a lot of enemies and a lot of the same bosses. But every time in a different setting and with a lot of different twists to keep your attention on the screen. Every character has their own backstory which keeps you asking questions as you get little bits about their character story and you want answers! This is a story that sucks you in and keeps you sucked in until the end!
Now onto the most important part of a game to keep you playing, the gameplay. As mentioned before this is a JRPG to its core. You’re able to explore a huge world with a lot of different secrets and of course a lot of different enemies. There are also a lot of quests to find in this huge world, they are obviously optional so they don’t break a game, but they can get a bit tedious at times.
The main gameplay focusses around the battling of different enemies and bosses. The combat is too complex to cover all in this review, but we’ll keep it simple. You can fight enemies in a party of three allies, which you’ll encounter in the story. Every Blade has a different role being Healer, Fighter or Tank. You can fight as any character in your party not only the protagonist, but you’ll control only one at the time. With the Driver you’re controlling you’ll always auto attack, landing those hits will charge up you’re Arts. Which are special moves exclusive to each type of blade and they have 4 of them. Using these Arts will charge up your Specials. I should mention that every Blade has a certain type (Water, Fire et.) different types can make different Special combinations.
That’s all we’ll say here about the combat let’s get to the even more JRPG part of this game, leveling and powering up your Blades and Drivers. With killing enemies comes Exp. which levels up your Drivers and in certain ways your Blades. You can level up your Arts and build out the Charts of the Blades and Drivers to learn different skills or grow your stats even more. You can also give your Driver different accessories to power them up. Plus you can also give your blade different items to keep on making them stronger. There is a lot to the upgrading system, but if this is not your thing you can easily beat the game without using all the complicated things! This may seem complicated, but you’ll get used to it while playing!
As for the art style, this installment takes a full 180 in comparison to the previous games in the series. But before going there let’s explain about the graphics. As a Switch game, it’s 1080p in docked mode and 720p in handheld mode. Handheld mode is really nice since its a JRPG, the grinding when you’re out and about really fits well with each other. In cutscenes, the 720p seems fine enough, but when in gameplay mode there is a huge difference with docked mode, but certainly not unplayable at all! In my opinion, this game is fully enjoyed in docked mode, the 1080p gives it just that little bit extra. But let’s go back to the art style, the looks in this game are way more cartoony/animélike. Which in my opinion, totally fits this game and doesn’t take away from the seriousness at all. So don’t let it scare you away!
You can either say a lot about this subject or keep it simple. Let’s keep it simple, it is BEAUTIFUL. There are a lot of emotional cutscene tracks, which can tear you up in an instant. But let’s not forget about the more adventurous themes in the overworld. They will really make you feel like you’re on an adventure. En then there is the battle and boss theme which makes the intense fights even more intense. The music in this game works!
So let’s talk replayability, of course, you don’t want to play a game just once and let it catch dust on your shelf. The story is very replayable. There might still be little bits and pieces about the lore you didn’t figure out on your first run. If you’re really into the lore then that might be a reason for you to replay the game. But before you do that let’s not forget about everything there is to do in the post game. You can still try to maximize all your stats and levels. Finish one of the many side quests. You can try to get every blade and there are a lot of post-game bosses to battle. But if a lot of grinding and fighting is not the thing you love about this game then there is not a lot left to do.
So we talked about a lot in this review. Let’s summarize:
- Story; sucks you in!
- Gameplay; well put together and you’ll learn gradually through the game.
- Music; 10/10
- Graphics; in my opinion works, can scare people away though.
- Huge overworld, with a lot to do (Sidequest, Secrets, Named Enemies)
I honestly couldn’t find anything that I didn’t like about the game, the only thing is that I found a lot of the sidequests pretty tedious, that doesn’t break a game though.
The game is huge and I can’t even touch every single aspect, so if I missed anything that you didn’t like or something that you loved, please let me know down below! That being said, I didn’t 100% the game, but I finished the storyline and played a little after. I loved the game. I played it for one week straight to finish it and I didn’t get bored at any point. Now there are a lot of bad reviews out there, saying that they don’t like the art style or how they don’t like one certain gameplay aspect. Well, honestly they shouldn’t let an amazing game get broken like that. Even if you’re not into JRPGs, I wasn’t either, give this game a chance! It will suck you in and you will probably love it!