Review: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Nintendo Switch)

Experience the story of Rex and Pyra, a mysterious being known as a Blade who grants him tremendous power. Together, search for Pyra’s long lost home Elysium, the birthplace of humanity.


  • The graphics are of an Anime flavor looking crisp and visually outstanding.
  • 13 GB Download size.
  • Camera options: Invert axis, Turn speed sliders, Auto camera response, Zoom speed, and gradient correction.
  • Pro controller support.
  • Free Japanese voice DLC.
  • Audio settings- Subtitles, BGM, Voice, Cutscene sliders for voice and music.
  • Strong orchestral soundtrack.
  • Combat tutorial at the start but you get constant pop ups as and when needed.
  • Gameplay is very much an open world JRPG.
  • Landmarks are used for fast travel which can be done at any time from the menu.
  • Minimap can be made fullscreen, Small or turned off.
  • The camera can be controlled on the right stick and zoomed out and so close to its basically a first-person view.
  • Salvage point- Use cylinders to allow you to do a QTE to salvage random loot from the great below.
  • Inn- Used to cash in your experience and level up.
  • Party management screens with a 3 person party max.
  • Save when you want from the menu.
  • Special moves- Combine to do over the top crazy powerful moves by building up your meter by doing “Arts” attacks. This attack can be escalated to a level 3 for even more damage.
  • Arts- These are your attacks and abilities that you build up by auto attacking. They come labeled with where to be to use them like behind or to the side.
  • Two ways to increase your efficiency- WP (Weapon points) and SP (Skill points) are earned in battle and are used to strengthen your weapons and stats.
  • Weapon- You can buy cores to add new attacks and abilities to your weapon.
  • An open world where you can go anywhere you like.
  • Satisfying combat thanks to the ease of its mechanics. You are always auto attacking, You can freely move around to gain an advantage and build up your arts and press the corresponding button. Its all very fast paced but is done in a way to not overwhelm the player.
  • Button shortcuts to hints and tips and the save menu.
  • Towns- Earn dev points to increase your trust/loyalty to the towns to gain better items in the shop.
  • Dig spots are all over the lands and reward you with random loot like materials.
  • Loyalty- Build up the reputation by fighting alongside your party member to unlock perks and better attacks.
  • Tides- The clouds can rise and fall as you play and this changes the game world significantly. Areas can become blocked off by it or make areas accessible when low.
  • Day/Night cycle with weather effects like sun, Rain, and snow.
  • Time of day control.
  • Core crystals- These unlock a random Blade for you to add to your party. Depending on the crystal and any additional materials will depend on the rarity of the Blade.
  • Massive dense world.
  • Blades- These are stronger characters in the world that you as a Driver, Recruit and fight alongside. They will aid you in combat, Unleash devastating attacks or heal you when needed. Each Blade is unique and has its own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Treasure boxes and chest are everywhere and some even have requirements for you to open them like certain stats or Blades.
  • You see the enemies of the land and if not hostile, You can engage them as you like or lure them over one by one. All animals and enemies have a level above their heads so you know the challenge awaiting you.
  • Unique monsters- Different from regular monsters as they harbor much greater strength and resilience but do give up better rewards. Once defeated you can summon them back via a stone at their spawn location originally.
  • Aside from the main story missions, there are 100s of optional side missions and you can set an active mission to help manage them all.
  • Compass- At the top of your screen will show markers in blue and story missions or active quest in a pinky red. An arrow on the marker shows if they are above or below you.
  • Weather report icons. Top left you get a rundown of the time, The current weather, and the tide level.
  • Living breathing world, Animals will fight each other.
  • A Strong decent story that really grabs you from the off.
  • A lot of fun to play.
  • Play how you want.
  • Performance and appearance seem better in docked.
  • Memorable characters.
  • Many secrets to be found.
  •  A lot of WOW moments especially the stunning vistas and creatures that inhabit the world.
  • Full shop system from materials to cores to stones to blacksmiths. Selling particular things to particular vendors garners more money than another and so forth.
  • The game mechanics, in particular, unlock at a pace as to not overwhelm you and let you learn at a much steadier pace. You never feel swamped in information or confused at all the icons and markers on the HUD.


  • The English voice work is not that good with it leaving me cold. The characters don’t feel like they are connected or talking to each other instead sounding like a rough talk through session.
  • Button layouts are shown as the switch itself and not the pro controller I was using. ( The Zelda wired one)
  • Not all areas of the game are voiced and instead resort to text.
  • Quest markers clog up the compass quickly and stack on top of each other making it hard to read.
  • A slow starter as it sets the story and gets the basics down.
  • Has a lot fo grinding aspects to it and doesn’t necessarily let you know its needed until its too late.
  • Easy to get lost and confused in such a big world.
  • No touchscreen support.
  • Some cheesy humor that outstays its welcome quickly.
  • Constant difficulty spikes again linked to the grinding aspect.
  • Hard to read the minimap as it doesn’t rotate with you.
  • The appearance takes a hit when playing portable, Looks a bit blurry and dark.

The Numbers:
  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Accessability - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Fun Factor - 8/10


Man where to begin with this, The game is fantastic, Like proper open world JRPG at its finest gaming. Its just it has clunky menu structures, The constant need to manage resources and party politics and it just drags the fun out of it. I mean sure you get used to it but it just stops the momentum dead and if it isn’t that its a lengthy cutscene followed by you walking around a corner then get another cutscene. My major gripe is with markers and compass, I mean its so hard to read and please God let me have a minimap rotation option! Regardless of these facts, I will be playing this game forever as it is so vast and so rewarding of your time you cannot help but fall for its charms. Yes, the story starts off slow and predictable but it pays off in ways you cannot believe until you see it for yourself. In a lot of fo ways, I still prefer X but that may be because I liked the theme of X more but ah who cares. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 proves that JRPG games fit perfectly on the Nintendo Switch and the Switch is more than capable of producing a banging experience on it. In short, its got its issues but the core gameplay is some of the best you can get this year especially on a handheld!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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