Early in december last year we got this addition to the Nintendo Switch library, and while I wasn’t a big fan of the other games in the series, I couldn’t ignore one of the first Rpgs made specifically with the Switch in mind and eagerly started playing it as soon as I picked up my Special Edition copy.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 takes advantage of certain jrpg tropes like anime cliches and minor fanservice without damaging the compelling narrative told to us through Rex and his journey of helping Pyra find Elysium. Through this journey in the world of Alrest we see people living on titans that are slowly on the verge of death, armies of said people dealing with the lack of resources and war that comes from it, and deep lore that connects it with the other games in the xenoblade universe. I found myself deeply immerse in how everything played out while exploring the world and seeing Rex, Pyra, and the other main characters grow.
Like with its predecessors, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 uses a combat system similar to certain mmorpgs where characters auto attack while you press buttons at certain times to use special attacks. This was a total turnoff as it felt more like i was watching battles happen then actually contributing. It wasn’t until some other abilities (chain combos, blade switching, etc) became unlocked that i felt more immersed.
Graphics and Quality
Everything from the character models to the textures on a Titan’s back were vibrant and beautiful even with me playing on the lower resolution in portable mode 99% of the time. I did notice however that while things transitioned seamlessly without lag it came at the cost of certain textures and objects taking a good couple of seconds to appear while near the entrances of towns and dungeons.
The User interface in the main menu felt a bit overwhelming and crowded compared to other menu layouts in rpgs, and the split second tutorials they show you don’t really help uncomplicate things since you don’t have access to read them again until you get them from informant NPCs.
Music and Sound
While only a couple songs really stood out to me; I did appreciate how every song seamlessly transitioned from one to another whether it be from walking around a city at day, Resting at an inn with your party at night, or heading into battle after roaming around on the map.
Since I started playing this after the Japanese language DLC was available , I did not have many complaints about the English voice acting. I only really noticed how annoying it was during battle and world map segments due to the repetition and tended to avoid switching it to English except for some cutscenes.
Conclusion: Even with certain things like the constant tutorials and lack of control during battle slowing things to a crawl early game; the story, characters and massive explorable world more then make up for it. A must play for any switch having rpg fans!
By Glenn Brooks, the JRPG Guru
*Review Copy Purchased by Reviewer*