Quickie Reviews is a super quick run down of a game I don’t have time to dedicate a full review to. That doesn’t mean I won’t come back to it later and drop a full ramble. Basically, if you want a review but don’t want to read 20 paragraphs then these are for you!
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a pretty darn snazzy JRPG for the Nintendo Switch. You play as a Salvager called Rex. He likes to leap boncr first off of monsters so large, entire civilisations have developed on their backs. One day he takes a job to help some guy in a mask, some guy ripped from Fire Emblem and some Welsh Nekko girl. After a whole bunch of stuff goes down and you get a pancreas full of things it shouldn’t be full of – you meet a half naked girl call Pyra who binds herself to you for all eternity. Rex goes on a ragtag adventure with Pyra, a fat flying squirrel and that Welsh lass from before. All so you can climb a really big tree. As far as JRPG stories go, this is pretty dope.
Xenoblade has pretty unique combat mechanics. You control one character, but bring two mates with you to help beat down all the things. Each character has up to three Pokemon, who also double as weapons. Each Digimon fills in a specific role and balancing healing, damage, tanking, elemental combos and slam dunking is pivotal to your success. To get Metabots, you touch rocks and hope for the best. Do this enough and you’ll get some pretty cool minions with unique skills and abilities.
When not slaughtering all of Alrest, you will be questing. There are a lot of quests. These quests range from hitting things, running somewhere to talk to someone – who asks you to hit things, or collecting things followed by hitting things. Ok, there is a load exploration between all of this, and it is mostly fun, but it usually boils down to ramming your fiery sword into the ugly mug of whatever innocent creature has been deemed unworthy.
Despite being on Switch, Xenoblade looks great. Environments are huge, character models are detailed – albeit in an anime kinda way – and animations are hilariously over the top, often times not matching the English dubs. The frame rate can drop from time to time though, and that’s not fun. Oh, basically all the female characters are scantily clad to the extreme. Bare that in mind if this kind of thing is off putting, because you are going to get a face full of short shorts and ludicrously large breasts.
Voice acting ranges from awful to genuinely pretty good. That range is applied to each character, which is certainly an achievement. Welsh Nekko is pretty good in any talking scene, but when she is being stabbed by someone, she is just chatting as if she was dossing in a pub somewhere. Have this bizarre voice work combined with freaky animations, and you have a recipe for immersion breakages. When it works, it works. Luckily the music is top notch.
Overall Xenoblade is awesome. The story is fun, the cast is interesting, combat is deep and it looks pretty good for the most part. Sure the English cast are bit naff, and you are essentially enslaving an entire race of sentient, half naked rock people, but everything else is solid enough that you can overlook that blemish.
Check it out if you want to dabble in an action packed JRPG. Have you played Xenoblade? Let me know in the comments below!
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