|Dev: Monolith Soft|
|Release: December 1, 2017|
|Players: 1 Player|
|Screen Resolution: 720p-1080p||Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence|
There are also the Blades themselves. Each of your playable characters comes with a Blade that factors heavily in the story, but there are also plenty of common and rare Blades to collect from Cores. By equipping and working with them, you can build affinity that gives them new passive or active skills, strengths, and even field abilities that let you perform more actions in the world. You can use earned WP from leveling up to improve the skills tied to each Blade. Equipping different trios of these humanoid weapons impacts your characters’ roles, making them attackers, supporters, or tanks. There are even plenty of moments where you might struggle unless you take the time to get new Blades and switch up everyone’s loadout.
Poppi is an exception. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 takes place in a world where Blades seem to be a natural and accepted part of life, where people with potential can touch one to summon up a weapon and assistant. But it is also one with artificial blades. Poppi, one of your party members, is such a Blade. To improve her, you need to play a Tiger Tiger minigame. While the minigame itself can be a bit tedious to play, Poppi herself is an interesting character and having her alongside the party adds a sense of balance. After all, when you are dealing with older Blades, having a new, artificial Blade with a unique Driver relationship makes for an interesting set of balance. The more you play, the more you get to thinking about things.
Speaking of things getting more interesting the more invested you get, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a game that takes time to build. For the first few hours, it can come across as a rather stereotypical JRPG. The situations will seem familiar. It may be difficult to identify with some characters. But as time goes on, its story does get better. Especially if people are familiar with the previous Xenoblade Chronicles games. The voice acting for some characters is a bit stiff and could use improvement, as Rex in particular is particularly disappointing, but others are quite good! It is especially interesting how different accents can imply origin and help you draw conclusions about characters. As things begin to pan out and the lore grows, things and people become quite interesting.
Fortunately, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 gives you plenty of reason to keep playing. This is an open-world game with many quests. Each area is filled with folks to talk to and things to do. Spending time with people will develop the area. This will make it a richer place to explore, adding to the shops and developing the town. This makes dallying tempting, as you can better prepare yourself for the main story quests. Especially if you visit an inn to distribute the extra earned experience from such encounters to characters.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a game that takes time to grow. People who are patient and invest in the characters, their growth, and the world will be rewarded with a story that eventually goes to some interesting places, people who will be ready to handle any challenge, and a place with lots of areas to uncover. It can take some time to adjust to the speed of the battle system, but even its pace offers opportunities to develop tactics that take advantage of multiple Blades and various character builds. It is a good starting place for the Switch’s RPG library, one which will please existing Xenoblade Chronicles fans and give those new to the series a substantial game to enjoy.