Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2

Games TM - - CONTENTS -

When look­ing at the scope and scale of the world in Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2, it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to think that the game is lim­ited in any sense of the word. How­ever, while de­vel­oper Mono­lith Soft is a veteran of the Ja­panese RPG genre, that doesn’t mean that Xenoblade 2 is with­out faults. The game is en­trenched in tra­di­tional JRPG de­sign, and while that may be a good thing for some ex­pec­tant fans, it could turn off many new­com­ers to the se­ries.

The world of Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2 is vast, and takes place in an ail­ing land where con­ti­nents have fallen and all of ex­is­tence lives upon the backs of “Ti­tans”, huge crea­tures who are able to tra­verse the abyssal Cloud Seas. With coun­tries and ships built around these gar­gan­tuan Ti­tans, you’re able to travel and ex­plore the enor­mity of ev­ery one of the dif­fer­ent Ti­tans, and ex­plore ev­ery­thing from de­serted waste­lands to the in­sides of a Ti­tan, all the while dis­cov­er­ing new mon­sters and crea­tures along the way.

While ex­plor­ing the world of Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2, it be­comes clear that the game is one of the rare ti­tles where the world isn’t crafted for player ben­e­fit, which it to say that it feels that sys­tems are not built around player pres­ence or agency. In the start­ing ar­eas of Xenoblade, it’s pos­si­ble to run into im­pos­si­bly strong crea­tures and get crushed im­me­di­ately. There’s a liv­ing, breath­ing world for you to ex­plore, one that’s not just crafted be­cause the player is there, but one that ex­ists in spite of the player be­ing there. Just make sure to not wan­der into a pow­er­ful mon­ster’s ter­ri­tory.

For all the suc­cess of the world build­ing in Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2, its story and char­ac­ters aren’t quite as laud­able. You play as Rex, a plucky, young hero that is in­ex­pe­ri­enced and meets a fate much grander than his birth. Rex crosses paths with Pyra, an “Aegis” - who is ob­vi­ously des­tined to save the world once they get to the world tree at the cen­tre of the Cloud Sea. You pick up and meet a huge num­ber of char­ac­ters

along the way, but none of them seem to have any sub­stance be­yond be­ing anime tropes, even when 50-plus hours into the game.

The anime tropes don’t stop there. The char­ac­ter de­signs are be­yond egre­gious at many points in the game, and fanser­vice is rife. The nin­tendo Switch may be portable, but you wouldn’t want to be caught play­ing Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2 out on the bus. The main story of the game gets bet­ter as time goes on, but the slug­gish start of­ten makes it feel like the open­ing hours are just there for the player to get used to Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2’s huge amount of sys­tems.

When ex­plor­ing, there are a wealth of ac­tiv­i­ties and quests to par­take in, mean­ing that you don’t just have to be go­ing through the story to ex­pe­ri­ence the depth of the game’s world. You’re able to pick up quests from peo­ple and no­tice-boards, all of which can con­sist from gath­er­ing in­gre­di­ents to make a cake, to de­feat­ing unique mon­sters to help some vil­lagers. This im­proves the mas­tery of the con­ti­nent that you hap­pen to be on, which can en­able you to buy new items from shops and more. These never feel like a chore, and are a great com­pli­ment to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the world of Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2.

Where it all gets a lit­tle bit more com­plex is within the bat­tle sys­tems of the game. each char­ac­ter is equipped with three “blade” slots, which you’re able to Switch out and customise. each blade has a dif­fer­ent role, At­tacker, Tank or Healer, which is also com­pli­mented by an el­e­ment. The real-time fights in the game have you ex­ploit­ing en­emy’s el­e­men­tal weak­nesses while also rolling with a team bal­anced out to suit the needs of your bat­tle. You’re able to per­form spe­cial at­tacks once you’ve chained to­gether your three skills, which is all rhythm based upon the game’s auto-at­tack­ing me­chan­ics. If you fol­low up your el­e­men­tal spe­cial, you can ex­e­cute a chain of el­e­ments to do mas­sive da­m­age.

The bat­tle sys­tem can be a lot to take in, but once mas­tered, the dy­nam­ics of the sys­tem all har­monise at once for an en­gag­ing bat­tle sys­tem that feels equally re­ward­ing as it is com­plex. This could be a turnoff to many new play­ers, but once we’d found our groove, it was hard to put down en­tirely. bat­tles all have a rhythm, and never once feel in­signif­i­cant or drawn out, you’re kept on your toes at all times and it never stops feel­ing great to use.

It’s not all fun dur­ing cer­tain bat­tles and in cer­tain ar­eas in Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2, how­ever. In docked mode, there can be oc­ca­sional sig­nif­i­cant slow­down while ex­plor­ing towns or in dense ar­eas with lots of ef­fects. The same can be said of the Portable mode, which runs at a much lower res­o­lu­tion and just plain doesn’t look good.

While play­ing Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2, there are echoes of Mono­lith Soft’s other ti­tles. The gar­gan­tuan Ti­tans, and Cloud Seas re­mind us of Baten Kaitos, while the deep me­chan­ics and bat­tle sys­tems are re­fined ver­sions of those seen in Xenoblade Chron­i­cles and Xenoblade Chron­i­cles X. It feels like the de­vel­oper has come to an apex of open-world de­sign, and while the game makes some mis­steps along the way in its story and char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion, it all makes up for it in the ex­plo­ration of the world.

THERE’S a liv­ing, breath­ing world for you To ex­plore, one THAT’S not crafted be­cause THE player is THERE, but one THAT ex­ists de­spite you be­ing THERE

Xenoblade chron­i­cles X

Per­sona 5

Above: Se­lect­ing the right team of blades is es­sen­tial! Here, we’ve got

Rex equipped with three dif­fer­ent at­tack­ers of sep­a­rate el­e­ments.

be­low: if there’s one thing that’s not too great about Xenoblade Chron­i­cles 2, it has to be the di­a­logue.

be­low: about those anime tropes… yup. That’s a gi­ant ro­bot maid. we’re not mak­ing it up.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.