Enlarge / Rex's "stare at the sky" POV is all too commonly shared by the game's actual camera.
Lock an infinite number of monkeys in a room with an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time, and I’m not sure they’d ever come up with Xenoblade Chronicles
2. The action-JRPG so greatly lacks a cohesive style—mechanically and artistically—that its very absence becomes
its cohesive style. It’s a mishmash of ideas from MMOs, anime, gacha games, science fiction, fantasy, management sims, satire, melodrama, and probably a load of other stuff I haven’t even seen.
But just like the classic adage about simians writing Shakespeare, given enough time, it kind of works.
It does not give that impression at first. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 leads with some of the most generic setup and characters I’ve seen since the PlayStation 2 era, when everyone and their uncle put out six 80-hour RPGs a month. You start as Rex: a determined young man on his own. He meets a magical girl who is wanted by an empire, among others, and goes off on an adventure where he slowly accrues party members of various stripes. Some of those party members get amnesia, of course, because what JRPG is complete without an amnesiac subplot?
If that all sounds like the plot of every JRPG in the past 20 years to you, you’re not alone. That familiarity, plus the game’s well-documented and tacky ogling of its female lead, had me ready to roll my eyes right off the screen for the first couple hours or so. The poor start is especially egregious given the incredibly evocative intro to the original Xenoblade Chronicles—which was set on a world made from the interlocked corpses of two continent-sized colossi.
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