A New World Upon Titans
The open world RPG genre is finally opening its doors a little more for the latest in Nintendo hardware. Coming exclusively to the Switch, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will give the hybrid console owners a hearty world to explore full of surreal monsters, quaint villages and tons of quests, side quests and deep character -and blade- development.
The original Xenoblade Chronicles saw its release on the Nintendo Wii with 2010 being its first launched date. The game later came to North America with a 2012 release, still warranting excellent reviews, and later being known as one of the best modern RPGs of all time. A port was also created for the 3DS portable consoles, while Xenoblade Chronicles X released a few years later on the Wii U, acting as a spiritual successor to the original. Now, with the Switch taking the reigns as the latest Nintendo console, RPG fans everywhere are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the titan exploring adventure title from Monolith Soft.
The Xenoblade Series Continues
The first XC introduced the players to the world of which the series is best known for. Exploring the towns, wilderness and vast landscapes located on the backs and bodies of 2 giant titans duking it out in war-like proportions. Though, exploring on the backs of warring giants sounds less like a surreal and scenic adventure, and more like hectic and relentless gameplay similar to the Playstation giant-crawling title, Shadow of the Colossus, Xenoblade Chronicles manages to pull off this interesting concept in terrific, open-world RPG fashion.
The titans from the original XC releases, Bionis and Mechonis, also housed armies and native civilizations that lived in various settlements and other areas throughout the vast open, exotic lands. Bringing the same intuitive elements over to the sequel, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will resume focusing on the lives in the clouds – where the last remaining fragments of humanity continue onward in life. However, with new Titans comes new civilizations, and new characters.
The roster in XC2 is all-new compared to the original and X titles, featuring Rex as the main protagonist, and his newly acquired ally, Pyra, along with a few other new and friendly faces. In typical Xenoblade manner, players will control one character out of a party of three, keeping the real-time combat at the ready for high-adrenaline battles and surprise encounters.
An Engaging and Thrilling Combat Experience
The strategic action combat system featured in Chronicles 2 continues the many different variations of blades, combos and special attacks. During combat players will fight alongside their AI controlled allies, while swinging or hacking away at the vast selection of monsters and beasts. Many different strengths and weakness in both your characters, their blades and the enemies you fight will determine how players will approach certain battle sequences.
During exploration in XC2, players will come across tons of foes, each spanning from low-level grunts to mighty beasts, all depending on where you may be exploring. Upon entering battles, players will not only have specific blades fighting alongside them, but certain characters with special skills and abilities to help with various elements in battle. Having a “tank” character will allow more hits to be absorbed from enemies, leaving the main character open to attack more frequently. A healer, obviously keeps the party healthy, while the warrior class deals the most damage of them all.
Tactically setting up particular combat maneuvers and other strategic aspects will help tremendously in XC2.
Every blade, and there are tons, comes with unique styles of attacks, each needing practice to deliver precise combos. With the many different blades comes unique attacks called “Arts”, which are essentially moves and combos, but each blade requires different button inputs and tactics. Switching the blades mid-battle will be used to help keep combat interesting, engaging and thrilling once mastered.
Many Ways to Strengthen Your Party
Developing your characters, blades and companions comes in quite a few different areas of the game. There is the Affinity Chart for each blade, which increases the strength and skills by completing an array of multiple combat tasks, objectives, as well as building trust between character. Finishing side quests, or having heart-to-heart moments help with this, also acting as major important factors for increasing your strength in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Other areas of increasing your party’s skills and strength can be found in resting at Inns. During every battle players will undoubtedly gain experience points and begin developing Rex and their exotic array of blades by leveling up in conventional RPG standards. However, bonus experience points will also be rewarded by completing quests and side quests, and may only be used by resting at Inns. While not mandatory, resting will ease many players looking to decrease the challenge, so to speak, and help strengthen the party quicker than the game’s standard leveling system.
To gain these bonus exp. points, one must not only complete main story quests, but side quests as well. Much like in Chronicles, there will be tons of side quests throughout the huge sandbox open world. Many quest givers will be spotted out in the open with a helpful speech bubble to easily spot, however, the time of day – as well as completing particular quests, may also determine whether specific quests become available. Fully exploring the lands no matter the time of day will act as the best method to picking up some of the most rewarding quests.
Capping Off and Exciting Year for Nintendo Fans
The vast open world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is looking to expand heavily on what made this Xeno series so special. Exploring atop the back of enormous Titans, undertaking a massive load of side quests, collecting rare and powerful blades to better strengthen your party, and learning about the characters and world around looks more appealing than ever in the upcoming Switch exclusive.
Rounding off the end of a spectacular year for the veteran video game company, Nintendo is saving some of their biggest guns of the year to close out 2017. At the tail end of this momentum-building train is Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which is due out December 1st. This unique, real-time strategy, action RPG title could be the final piece to push Nintendo into one of the best launch years we’ve seen from the Japanese game/console developers.
Stay tuned with Raging Gazebo for more on Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as it nears its worldwide launch, coming December 1st.
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