When it comes to games JRPG series called Xenoblade, with me always befall with awe. Every game in this franchise takes the players a huge amount of time to explore a giant virtual world. The passage of such works go for tens or hundreds of hours of real time. Such luxury can afford not every game journalist. I really liked the game and so I just could not pass direct sequel to the first one, which I will try to tell you all the details.
Game: Xenoblade Chronicles 2
the Platform: Nintendo Switch
the Genre: Action/RPG
the release date: December 1, 2017
the Developer: Monolith Soft
the Publisher: Nintendo
If you read my reviews, you probably remember that the events of Xenoblade Chronicles (game of 2010, which was released first on the Nintendo Wii and then was ported to the Nintendo New 3DS) unfolded in a fantasy world where humans and other races lived on the bodies of giant creatures known as titans. Action Xenoblade Chronicles 2 takes place in the same universe. The world Arrest is a vast ocean, the surface of which is covered with white clouds. Fans of the first game will certainly be happy to be back in this fantastic world.
In the center of the cloud ocean is a giant World tree, on top of which in the perfect world of Elysium, according to legend, lives the Supreme deity who created all things, is an Architect (just like in "the Matrix"). All other living creatures are forced to sleep on a few titans, furrowing the ocean. On the backs of these giant creatures, but also inside them, humans and other races Alresta base villages and big cities. But the titans are not eternal, they gradually grow old and die, carrying away behind themselves at the bottom of the ocean of settlements with their infrastructure and existing ecosystems. The lack of territories and resources gives rise to numerous military conflicts and becomes the cause of growing world tension.
Another important point of the game is the fact that among the creatures inhabiting Arrest there are so-called "drivers" — those who are able to awaken and subjugate the power of ancient crystals. Crystals are born into the world "blade" — a synthetic life form, giving drivers the unique magic and fighting skills. Something like you might see in a famous series of Japanese role-playing Persona. Roughly speaking, each blade is the same "person", is inextricably linked with his master and supports him in battle. The blades are divided into three classes: offensive, tanks and healers. Skillfully using their advantages in combat, the driver can cope with any opponents.
The protagonist is a boy named Rex. He roams the oceans on a small old Titan named Gramps ("grandpa" — eng.) and earns on life that dives in a special diving suit on the bottom of the ocean, rising out different values (in memory immediately POPs up the famous movie "Water world" with Kevin costner). Most of the money Rex sends the residents of the village where he was born and raised. The only way he can save them from starvation. And that is why, when trading Guild suddenly invites him to take part in particularly dangerous missions, thereby earning the impressive sum, he, without a moment's hesitation, agrees.
In the course of this job Rex and other members of the expedition find themselves on a mysterious space ship, raised from the bottom of the ocean, within which is stored a capsule with an ancient blade called the Aegis. According to legend, this blade was created by the Architect. Rex accidentally starts a chain of tragic events, which resulted in killed. It turns out that the mission was for him dear in the one end, and a trade Guild just wanted to use his talents and experience, and then get rid of the boy as unnecessary consumables. It would seem that this is the end. But there it was!
To life it returns the same legendary blade, which turns out to be a charming girl by the name of pyre. She gives Rex half of his life force, thus forever linking his soul with him. Of Payr explains to him that her in whatever was necessary to get back on top of the World tree in Elysium, where the Architect lives. Otherwise, all living in Alresta will cease to exist. Rex, being a very kind and sympathetic young man, of course agrees. In addition, it says a sense of gratitude to the Pyre – after all, she literally brought him back from the dead. So begins the most exciting and long adventure in the life of the protagonist.
Unlike Xenoblade Chronicles X, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the main character — not impersonal being, but a complete person with its own character, strengths and weaknesses. In my opinion, this approach to character creation more interesting, no matter what anyone says. Remembering XC X, I can't say anything about the protagonist, it seemed to me a soulless doll (although, in fact, it was even from the point of view of the plot). Pacifier, to associate themselves with which most of the players was quite difficult. I am very pleased that the developers are back with a pre-written characters, abandoning the former, not very successful idea of "depersonalization".
But how would the characters of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 nor pleased me from the point of view of characters, design them, and stereotyped behavior in most situations cause a number of issues. Externally, the characters are too anime that will resonet eyes even fans of traditional JRPG. In previous games in the series artists on the characters gave them some zest, a feature that distinguished the appearance of the characters from the rest. This time something went wrong. The situation does not save even a part in the creation of games by the famous artist, Tatsoi of Nomura, responsible for the appearance of characters such legendary games as Final Fantasy VII, VIII, X and Kingdom Hearts.
The game World is no longer open, Xenoblade Chronicles X, but instead is broken into huge locations, discovering that the story progresses, the player can return to them at any moment using the map fast travel. Art study locations and their detail are impressive. They are all unique from the standpoint of the "internal architecture" and flora is inhabited by an amazing fauna and teeming with hundreds of secret places and treasures. In order to get to some secret places, players will have to pump special Field Skills. For example, to get rid of the fallen on your way up a giant tree, you will have to use a special fire magic one of your blades. And to open the complex lock on the treasure chest, you will need a completely different skill.
The Game locations are incredibly beautiful. Sometimes I just stopped to admire the magnificent scenery. Draw distance allows you to see even what is in the player at a great distance (with the exception of small parts, of course). It's amazing how tiny a Nintendo console Switch copes with all this beauty. Pleased with how the level designers designed the game world. Almost every location consists of a plurality of levels located at different heights and connected by numerous transitions, which makes the study environment very interesting. Personally, I still love the thrill when you jump out of some incredibly high cliff into the lake located at its foot.
Unpleasantly surprised me is that imperfect navigation system where in all this splendor easy to get lost. The player only sees the direction in which to move and also the distance to the target. But given the multi-levels and intricate the structure of the transitions between these multiple "floors" you can easily lose a lot of time trying to find the right road to the goal. At any time you can activate as their goal the current story quest or one of the many optional tasks. World map switches between miniature "radar" or translucent plan of the area on half of the screen. But even that usually does not remedy the situation, so the player continues to wander between the three pine trees.
The Combat system in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is one of the most advanced in its genre. As I said, the heroes of the game depend directly on the blades. A list of these artificial life forms is not limited to only those that become available to the player according to the story. You can get new blades, completing various quests, thereby adding to his Arsenal of new techniques and elemental attacks. Yes, each blade possesses a certain elemental magic like fire, water or air. The driver and his blade connects thin luminous thread. The closer the blade to its owner, the stronger becomes his physical attacks. And the longer you fight with the blade shoulder to shoulder during this battle, those attacks become faster and more accurate. The thread gradually changes its color from blue to gold, strengthening your bond.
Physical attacks to happen in automatic mode as soon as you pull out your weapons and aim at the enemy. It is important to be from the enemy on the distance at which a strike becomes possible. The weapons in the game are very different, and it kind of depends on each individual blade, because these creatures are themselves weapons. To improve the weapon by using special items. So you will increase the damage, accuracy and other parameters. If you are familiar with the series, Xenoblade Chronicles, you should remember that plays an important role here, which side you are bombing the enemy. Some of them are more vulnerable to side attacks, and ...
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