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A Switch RPG Masterpiece!

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    rainbowTROUT
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    Xenoblade Chronicles 2

    Rating: 5.0 – Flawless

    A Switch RPG Masterpiece!

    Now, this game is absolutely fantastic! Where do I start with this? I found the concept of living on continent-sized Titans, practically living giants to be a very interesting concept to say the least. The storyline is extremely rich with incredible character development, with plenty of backstories for the characters, and I am currently at the fourth chapter here. I honestly have trouble finding too many complaints with this game, as on top of the amazing story that is connecting the characters together in some way, on top of the RPG staples of a world map, shops, and inns are excellent! Another thing to mention here is that as long as you pay attention to the tutorials that are given at certain points in the game, you’ll be good to go!

    There may be a lot of grinding involved, but fighting in this game is actually more fluid than it looks, as you just need to pay attention to your meters, and you can pull potions out of the enemy, or do some very high-damaging attacks that will help you in taking your enemies down faster, and if you grind enough, you can use WP points to upgrade various attributes of the other characters you wield, known as "blades". These are not just ordinary biological weapons; they have personality, preferences, and such, even the seemingly robotic Poppi actually has more to offer personality-wise than just about any other robot in gaming. She has her own personality, and says what she needs to say in mostly human words, instead of the cliche robotic dialogue found in robots in a lot of games. While this game does share the element of having tons and tons of sidequests like the Elder Scrolls games do, they are not too centered around those, and feel more optional than their Elder Scrolls counterparts, though I do like the Elder Scrolls games a lot. Later on in the game, you will come across obstacles in doing some tasks, but you are offered two different approaches to completing the said tasks, if the first one just happens to not work out too well for the player, which is a good thing to know.

    Another thing I love about this game is the ability to fast travel between continents, and other areas within the continent you are in to drastically cut down on the time it takes to backtrack to certain areas. The NPCs are more interesting here than your average JRPG. In this one, not only do they all have names of their own, but some of them provide useful information that allows you to progress further into the game, which adds to the atmosphere. Speaking of the atmosphere, all the towns in the game breathe life with large populations of people to talk to, there are so many various shops that you can go to in each of these towns, with all of the shop owners having their own personalities, which is really nice to see, as there are many JRPGs that probably don’t have that, and another really nice thing here is the ability to collect random assets in different areas that you can sell back to stores if the money the monsters you are fighting are not giving you do not cover the expenses for things you need to do in the game.

    With this in mind, there are a few things that may throw players off. In order to fully take advantage of the leveling up in the game, you must rest in inns at least once in a while to ensure that your characters level up to the levels you need them to be at, which is critical to be able to beat the game. Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to absolutely make sure that you open all of the blade’s affinity charts to ensure that they receive the upgrades that they have earned from experience points in this game. You also want to refine aux cores when possible, and assign the cores that you feel will best work with your character. Coming from someone who has played through and beat Xenogears twice, I can understand some of the frustrations from players who played it back then, and do not feel that this game is true spiritual successor, but this game was not really made to copy all the things that came out of Xenogears, but rather invent a whole new story that does involve some sort of extra weapon to be used in the game, and there is a nice little easter egg in store in one of the cutscenes later in the game that I’m not going to spoil, because I want the player to experience it for him/herself.

    So, I’m going to go through a few pros and cons to fully illustrate the good and the bad points, since this is a game that is huge at an epic scale.

    PROS

    +Fluid controls

    +Vibrant towns and a huge world to explore

    +Very polished character development

    +Excellent soundtrack

    +The option to use Japanese voice acting through a DLC download

    +Very neat sidequests for those who want to go beyond the main story

    +Self-healing of characters after battles, and the ease of healing via potions during battle

    CONS

    -Difficulty of traversing certain areas due to extreme differences in the levels of enemies

    -Grinding may be a bit much for some

    -Difficulty gathering money for the early portions of the game

    No game is without a couple of flaws, and fortunately with the last one I just described, it mostly caught me off-guard when I needed to buy some parts that costed about 2,000 gold a piece and I probably carried less than that, but the good news is that you can get around that through collecting item at collection points, and sell them back for more money than the monsters give you, and the great news is that that they reappear after you re-enter the area, allowing you to gather what you need, and sell them in large enough quantities that will allow you to buy the parts you need, and move along to the next part of the game. This game is an absolute MUST for any Switch owner! This game is the reason I got my Nintendo Switch; it is perhaps one of the best JRPGs I’ve played through so far, and I definitely look forward to any more games that Monolith Soft is going to put out, as this is a quality title, and when I saw the E3 footage last year, I was extremely satisfied with what I saw, and I am not disappointed at all in the results that were delivered in this game! I don’t know how many different way I can say to buy the game, but go ahead and get it! This game is indeed worth the asking price!

    Rating:   5.0 – Flawless

    Product Release: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (US, 12/01/17)

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