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2017 has been a remarkable year for Nintendo, since the launch of its new hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch, in March. Capitalizing on the gaining popularity of Switch, a lot of gaming developers have come up with astounding titles this year. One of the recent entries in this list is Xenoblade Chronicles 2, offering hundreds of hours of content to the gaming enthusiasts in the form of a straggling story and relentless systems.

Through the eyes of a young scavenger Rex, who trades scrap for a living, you see the beautiful ocean world of Alrest, made up of Titans, the flying creatures. During his journey, Rex comes into a permanent bond with a living weapon known as Aegis. While Rex is on a pursuit of an unknown land called Elysium, on which the future of Alrest depends, certain bad elements want to take possession of this weapon. This scenario leads into a series of combats in different situations, which never feels repetitive.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has a great ensemble of characters with Nia, the catgirl standing out amongst the rest, with her fantastic Welsh accent. The whole story revolves around the drivers and the blades. Drivers are the part of Rex’s crew, while blades are the elements (living or non-living) bound to the drivers till they cease to exist. Besides the depth in the storytelling involving darkness, evil, death, and emotions, there is also a message which the games leave that how people of different characteristics come together when their common good is under threat.

Though the visual master class and variety along with the realistic 3D models keep you engrossed in this journey for more than 100 hours, there are a few minor flaws which Monolith could have fixed before the release. The minimap should have contained more information as the marker just indicates whether we have to move up or down, which is not significant enough. This leaves you wandering in frustration for hours. The mechanics necessary for performing combos are also not indicated which you figure out during the journey while specific combats.

Amidst these minor flaws, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a staggering JRPG with an addictive combat system, impressively paced dialogues, fantastic cast ensemble and unique variety of visuals. Though navigating is a bit confusing, but the memorable battles and the never seen landscapes make you forget that. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is something to stick on to your New Year’s List of the must-have title.

Image: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Official Website

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