In my first post about Xenoblade Chronicles 2, I was brand new, running around trying to figure everything out. It’s such a massive game with so many things to master that without a doubt, I still have a ways to go. But here I am, 50-ish hours in, and I’m ready to discuss it some more.
One thing that can be said for sure thus far— no one can complain about the amount of content and depth that is in this game. I didn’t even unlock all the start menu options until after 40 hours in. I’m never sitting around bored wondering what I am going to do next… that being said, anyone who hasn’t played the game for AT LEAST 50 hours is definitely not able to give an opinion of the game. There is just way too much to make up your mind before that. I don’t want to get any further into “review mode” for the time being… for the simple fact that I will review the game when I have completed it.
Last time, I left off around Torigoth. Much has happened since then in the roughly 45 more hours I’ve put into the game. I’ve got more characters, more plot development, more everything. In Torigoth, you run into Tora… a little Nopon with a dream to be a Driver. Only problem is, he can’t be one. I honestly find Tora to be annoying, but he’s kind of grown on me a little bit, I guess? Tora actually shows up when we get into it with Brighid, the “most powerful Blade in the Empire”, apparently. It’s Tora who is able to bust some water pipes that allow us to escape.
Since he wants to be a Driver, of course we volunteer to help him out by assisting him with getting the parts for an artificial Blade. This is really Tora’s saving grace. As annoying as I find Tora to be, I love Poppi a million times over. Poppi is the “artificial” Blade that is built for Tora, and she is a gem… absolutely adorable.
Poppi is also really cool because of the way that she is leveled up and upgraded. Since she is an artificial Blade, she is fully customizable. Her role can be changed between tank, healer, and attack, and all of her parts can be switched out.
She can be upgraded using ether. In order to upgrade her, you have to play a mini game that can be found at Tora’s house in Torigoth, called Tiger! Tiger!. The mini game isn’t terribly difficult but it takes a while to get used to. I have managed to get a perfect score once or twice though.
After Poppi is acquired, it’s time to go save Nia, who is being held captive on a big Titan ship. First we find Dromarch, and then Nia… so far so good.
The escape is all but completed, when Brighid shows up again to ruin the day… this time with her Driver in tow. Now we formally meet another of the game’s main characters, Morag. Morag and Brighid are the powerhouse Driver Blade duo of the Kingdom, working for the emperor directly. Right now, she’s an enemy, but that changes later. I’m thankful for that, since Brighid is smokin hot and I didn’t want to have to kill her.
After we escape, we get a boat from Tora’s Granpon, which is a decent sized quest all in itself. The goal is to sail directly to the World Tree to get to Elysium.
Kingdom of Uraya
It’s anything but that simple. When we arrive to the World Tree, we get completely jacked up by a huge guardian Titan thing that won’t let anyone past. The result is us getting swept up and swallowed by the Kingdom of Uraya Titan… where we hit a whole new storyline, starting with figuring out how to get out.
We get ambushed by Vandham… a Driver who runs a ruthless group of Driver/Blade mercenaries out of the Uraya Titan. Turns out he was just kidding and wanted to test Rex’s strength, and he becomes a party member not long after.
What comes next is basically a bunch of fetch quests with Vandham; they’re all fun though, and the landscape and scenery in this game is beyond fantastic.
So, Blades are supposed to be immortal, it turns out. When a Driver dies, the Blade goes back into its crystal and there it remains until another Driver bonds with it. However, when the Blade comes back, it will have no recollection of its previous Driver. This raises an interesting question considering Pyra remembers her old Driver, and she was not bonded with through a crystal. Hmmm.
The other thing is, Blades don’t really get hurt. If they do, they are basically back to normal by the end of a battle. The only real way to defeat a Blade is by killing its Driver. Plot twist— when Rex gets hurt, Pyra gets hurt in the exact same way, and vice versa. When the bad guys find this out, it spells bad news. Pyra gets hurt. [Insert my tears here] I can’t wait to kill that bastard. No one touches Pyra.
Vandham’s Demise, and Secrets Revealed
There is a ton that gets packed into the next part of the story. The Torna crew has wind of our main character’s locations, and an attack is launched. Rex and crew step in, and it’s all dropped on us at once. Our crew, as it is, is not match for Torna. We get our asses kicked. This is where Vandham bites the dust.
It was an unexpected and very sad scene, but it triggers the next main plot development. In order to escape these enemies to fight another day, the true power of the Aegis is awakened. Pyra shares her body with another… the true Aegis, Mythra. They share the same body and can communicate with one another, but Pyra has been acting as the persona of the Aegis from the get go. The Torna crew was expecting this to happen, however, Rex.. Not so much. But here it is. Now we get a taste of the true power of the Aegis, the power that is strong enough to bring down Titans.
The Truth About Pyra
In the next chapter there are a lot of cut scenes that tell us about Pyra’s backstory. I’ll try to keep it short just because there is already so much to include in this post. Long ago, a dude climbed the world tree to go to Elysium. When he reached it, he found nothing there… but he brought back two core crystals with him as proof of his achievement. One black crystal, one emerald crystal. This dude bonded with the black crystal, which turned out to be Malos. Yes, Malos is actually a Blade, if I didn’t mention that already.
Malos for some reason was like, “to hell with Alrest”, and launched an all out attack. A young hero named Addam bonded with the emerald crystal, Mythra. Thus the Aegis War began, the war between Mythra and Malos, the two Aegis Blades. Mythra and Addam won, but 3 entire Titans were wiped out as a result. This was a HUGE deal. Thus, Mythra created her alter ego, Pyra, basically her “sister”, as a less powerful version of herself.
Addam was responsible for putting Pyra away deep into the cloud sea, sealing her on board the ship where Rex and the Torna originally found her back in chapter 1 of the story. Okay, whew. That’s some heavy development. I say we go to Japan and buy the story writer a drink, because I have no idea how the hell they come up with this stuff.
On The Way To Indol
As everything has happened so far, our crew kinda hit a dead end on getting to Elysium. Until Cole, the old dude from the theatre in Uraya, lets us know that he is a Blade, a “flesh eater”. The remnant of experiments where humans and Blades were merged, resulting in Blades losing their immortality. He says that if they can get to Indol and find his Driver, his Driver will be able to get them to Elysium. Now to be honest, tons more stuff happens after this, but if I hit every single plot point on the road to Indol, I’d be writing for like three days. We meet Tora’s dad, some new artificial Blades..and Morag and Brighid become allies. Sweet!
At this point, I have just arrived to Indol in the game and I am about to meet with the Praetor guy, who I think is going to end up being tied to the backstory with the Aegis and whatnot. I’ll drop by again and write another post when I have another 20 hours…maybe 50 hours… into the game…who knows?
I’ll just end by saying that I haven’t been disappointed so far, and I look forward to a lot more good story and gameplay going forward from here.