Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Xenoblade Chronicles 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network E3 2018 Nintendo Direct Recap: All the Trailers & Release Dates https://www.gameskinny.com/mlgxy/e3-2018-nintendo-direct-recap-all-the-trailers-release-dates https://www.gameskinny.com/mlgxy/e3-2018-nintendo-direct-recap-all-the-trailers-release-dates Tue, 12 Jun 2018 19:58:41 -0400 Ashley Gill

Nintendo going the Direct route for E3 these past few years has been a strange ride, but fans can always count on E3 Directs to have two things: Some anticipated reveals, and a lot of gameplay.

Though today's biggest Nintendo announcements were Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the Fortnite launch, they did reveal a number of other ambitious projects that can find a home in most Switch libraries.

Out of all of Nintendo's showings today, I am most excited to see Kenichiro Tsukuda's DAEMON X MACHINA in action as it's been a long time since we've seen a mecha game from Armored Core's backbone producer. And the Macross guy doing the mecha designs? Yeah, I'll take that.

DAEMON X MACHINA may be my most hyped game out of this Direct, but chances are you're excited about any of the other great titles shown during the conference.

There's something for everyone in Nintendo Direct E3 2018!

Fire Emblem Three Houses trailer

It's been how long since Fire Emblem has seen a release on a home console? Ah, that's right: It's been 10 years since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn was released on the Wii.


Fire Emblem Three Houses
looks to be the most graphically/technically impressive game in the series yet. Look for its release in Spring 2019.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: "Torna -- The Golden Country" trailer

The only expansion in Nintendo's lineup this E3, "Torna -- The Golden Country" is set 500 years before the events in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

 

"Torna" won't just be a story expansion; it will also feature tweaks to the battle system, allowing you to play as both Blades and Drivers in combat. This is a sure buy for fans, look for it on the Nintendo Switch on September 21.

DAEMON X MACHINA trailer

We need more mecha games these days. Fact.


DAEMON X MACHINA
from Marvelous! is headed by Armored Core producer Kenichiro Tsukuda, with designs from Macross's Shoji Kawamori, not to mention the other talent involved. It will be making its way to the Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Super Mario Party trailer

The Mario Party games have come in a lot of numbers, but none of them have had "Super" in the name.


Super Mario Party
will be able to make use of two Switch consoles for unique four-player gameplay and minigames. For the first game in the series to be Super, you've got to assume Nintendo is confident in this entry to their long-running party game series. Expect to see this one on the Switch this fall on October 5!

Overcooked 2 trailer

Overcooked has swiftly taken over as one of the go-to co-op games for many, so it makes sense for developer Ghost Town Games to keep the ball rolling with a sequel.


Overcooked 2
will feature more recipes, kitchens, and chefs to keep returning players engaged -- and if that wasn't enough, the game will also come with online multiplayer. There's no such thing as too many cooks.

Along with all of the above, Nintendo showed the following games briefly during today's Direct:

  • Hollow Knight (2018)
  • Fortnite (Today)
  • Killer Queen Black (Winter 2018)
  • SNK Heroines (September 7)
  • Octopath Traveler (July 13)
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ (2018)

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And that's it! Everything you need to know about the great games shown at Nintendo's E3 Direct! 

As always, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on these titles as they develop. 

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Guide: How to Get T-elos and Poppibuster Rare Blades https://www.gameskinny.com/gqdvv/xenoblade-chronicles-2-guide-how-to-get-t-elos-and-poppibuster-rare-blades https://www.gameskinny.com/gqdvv/xenoblade-chronicles-2-guide-how-to-get-t-elos-and-poppibuster-rare-blades Sat, 28 Apr 2018 17:47:46 -0400 Autumn Fish

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 recently received its 1.4.0 patch update, and with it comes a couple of new Rare Blades, with the promise of more to come throughout the month of May. All players can now find the Rare Blade T-elos, a character from Xenosaga, for absolutely free. Poppibuster is also free, but only for owners of the Expansion Pass.

What's more, you can't just grab these Rare Blades right out of the gate, either. There's a bit of setup required to get each one. But their battle abilities make them well worth it, so let's get this guide started.

How to Get T-elos

T-elos is the easiest of the new Rare Blades to get -- given you've beaten the game. In order to obtain her, you simply need to open Core Crystals in the Advanced New Game mode (aka NG+), which you can access from the Title Menu after watching the credits roll.

As per usual for DLC Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, her encounter rate is actually fairly high, so don't worry about farming too many Core Crystals.

T-elos is a Dark element ATK Blade that wields a scythe under the Greataxe weapon class. Her focus is all about maximizing damage potential, with Battle Skills that increases damage for each defeated enemy. They even increase damage whenever you die in combat. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Rare Blades T-elos and Poppibuster

How to Get Poppibuster

Poppibuster is only available to DLC owners. To get this Rare Blade, you'll nee to complete a tricky side quest. Here are the steps you need to take, all in the proper order. 

First, you need to have Poppy α, Nia, and Morag in your Party and be on Chapter 5 or beyond in order to start the quest. Then, you must accept the Shiny New Power quest from the DLC Blade List -- Distribution 1 gift in the Expansion Pass menu.

Once you've done that, head over to Tora's House in Torigoth, and you'll trigger a cutscene to start the quest. You're asked to gather data by performing specific Special Attacks with different types of Common Blades.

Specifically, this Xenoblade 2 quest will task you with performing the following attacks:

  • Beam Barrage: The Level 3 Special Attack of a Common Female Blade wielding an Ether Cannon.

  • Assault Rush: The Level 2 Special Attack of a Common Male Blade wielding Knuckle Claws.

  • Dual Fang: The Level 2 Special Attack of a Common Dog Blade wielding Twin Rings.

  • Axe Throw: The Level 3 Special Attack of a Common Male Blade wielding a Greataxe.

  • Aerial Shield: The Level 1 Special Attack of a Common Female Blade wielding a Shield Hammer.

  • Flash Bomb: The Level 1 Special Attack of a Common Female Blade wielding a Bitball.

  • Beam Halberd: The Level 2 Special Attack of a Common Giant Blade wielding a Megalance.

  • Multi Raid: The Level 3 Special Attack of a Common Male Blade wielding a Chrome Katana.

Since Special Attacks differ depending on the type of Common Blade you're using, you'll need to have a bunch of really specific Blades on hand in order to complete this quest.

You'll likely find yourself opening more than a few Core Crystals just to try and find the right Common Blades for the job -- especially for the Meglance-wielding Giant, considering the Giant variant is rare enough as is.

Once the data for all eight of the Special Attacks have been collected, you'll just need to follow the quest objective to talk to an NPC. Afterward, pop over to find a treasure chest for them, and then talk to the NPC again. You'll receive Poppibuster.

This Rare Blade is unique because it's not bonded to anyone. In other words, it can be used by any member in the Party.

She's a Light element TNK Blade that wields a Shield Hammer. Her unique combat abilities make her an excellent choice for the Main Tank in your party. Not only is she good at drawing aggro, but she's great at dealing damage when she has that aggro.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Rare Blade Poppibuster

While T-elos and Poppibuster aren't the easiest Rare Blades to get, they are certainly worth picking up, especially for those who want more of this fantastic RPG. 

What do you think of the New Rare Blades? And what kinds of Rare Blades do you think the developers plan on adding next? Sound off in the comments below!

If you need any more help on your journeys in Alrest, be sure to check out some of our Xenoblade Chronicles 2 guides:

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One Community Writer's Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review https://www.gameskinny.com/p6wsx/one-community-writers-xenoblade-chronicles-2-review https://www.gameskinny.com/p6wsx/one-community-writers-xenoblade-chronicles-2-review Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:00:01 -0500 chester0334

Symphonies provide masterpieces that thrill the audience. However, great symphonies can provide exquisite masterpieces while masking and blanketing the flaws in the artist’s craftsmanship. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 offers several unique elements that shape it into a great masterpiece. While Xenoblade Chronicles 2 does have a few flaws, these flaws get buried under the cohesive gameplay elements that Xenoblade offers.

Characters and Plot

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has an amazing cast of characters that support the lead character, Rex. Despite their different backgrounds, each one still stands out as unique and well developed. Additionally, watching several of these characters interact with each other provides humorous moments that never feel forced. The well-developed interactions with each character make the audience care about the growth of each one as they rally around Rex, trying to help him get to Elysium in hopes that the “dying world” can be saved. Rex embarks on his quest to Elysium based off a promise he made with his Blade Pyra. He faces several trials against enemies from Torna, who generally overwhelm him. To overcome these enemies, Rex must seek the “power to protect.” However, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has several additional themes that touch the audience. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 tells a story about the virtues of teamwork, love, beautiful memories, and the importance of friendship. The great characters and important, virtuous themes allow Monolith Soft to string together an excellent story with some plot twists that I won't spoil. This structurally hitched story creates a rollercoaster of emotions that correctly toys with the audience’s emotions. Unfortunately, some emotional scenes get completely ruined by poorly executed voice acting (I’ll go into detail about this later).

Gameplay

In terms of gameplay, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 offers many hours of content. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 took the great gameplay components of the original and added different components. The introduction of blades, which come in the form of core crystals, allows the player to constantly mix and match different blades. Additionally, players have access to rare blades which have special abilities that cannot be obtained from normal blades. However, obtaining rare blades requires a ridiculous stroke of luck, for each core crystal is completely randomized (kinda sucks you can burn through several core crystals without a single rare blade). You can also dispatch blades on mercenary missions. These missions give you experience, gold, and special items in addition to raising your mercenary group's ranking, which allows you to take on additional missions. These missions also help level up weaker blades, which can then help you on your main mission. This allows the player to experiment with several different blades no matter the strength. Additionally, you can upgrade your character's affinity through side quests. Side quests were featured in the original Xenoblade Chronicles and throughout the series. Side quests can grant you experience, gold, and SP, allowing the player to upgrade the affinity of the main characters. Additionally, the player can upgrade blades and characters with certain key items. With the number of customizations, the player has tons of freedom customizing each character.

 Graphics

I never really find myself playing my Switch on the TV (in fact, my Nintendo Switch dock is still in the original box). I bought the Nintendo Switch mainly for the handheld aspect. Additionally, I own a gaming laptop, and thus I never find myself using the TV for gaming (R.I.P., the Steam Link sitting in the corner of my room). Thus, I have never played Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on my TV.

But the undocked version of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 looks poor, graphically, and I have experienced some noticeable frame drops (very few, fortunately) while playing undocked. When fast traveling, backgrounds take a while to load. However, every Switch owner should bear in mind that the Nintendo Switch has limitations in hardware. Additionally, I never found myself bothered too much by the graphics since I was so drawn in by the great story and gameplay. Graphics are not always the most important part of a game.

Voice Acting

The voice acting. The biggest flaw in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Most of the time, the voice acting never bothered me. However, I generally found myself hating Rex’s voice acting on emotional scenes. This truly bothers me, especially when directly compared to the original Xenoblade Chronicles voice actors. The voice acting in Xenoblade Chronicles packed emotion and dynamic flare. Xenoblade Chronicles 2, however, went backwards in this department, and poor voice acting can ruin dynamically emotional scenes. Most emotional scenes featuring Rex had piss-poor voice acting. In fact, I often found myself laughing or mentally facepalming myself listening to the poorly executed voice acting of Rex -- but it doesn't end with Rex.

It carries over into some of the AI, which can create annoying fights (I’m mainly talking about the Ardanian soldiers). Walking into a group of Ardanian soldiers screaming the same broken dialogue -- “Don’t forget me” (trust me, we won’t) or “Think you can take me?” really drill deep inside your head. While you can disable the dialogue, it actually works against you; I often found myself depending on the characters' dialogue in combat because it helps the player hear important battle cues. While the voice acting is not completely terrible, the sections that have poor voice acting truly stick out.

Soundtrack

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has a spectacular soundtrack that strikes each heavenly harmonizing chord in existence. I prefer the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 soundtrack over the original Xenoblade Chronicles soundtrack (come at me!). Each tune, from "Mor Ardain - Roaming the Wastes" to "Torna Boss Theme" stuck with me. Additionally, the tunes that featured lyrics generally struck several chords of emotion. “Drifting Souls” really hit my emotions and made certain cut-scenes memorable. Overall, big fan of the soundtrack. Go experience the soundtrack for yourself on YouTube.

Verdict/Final Thoughts

I enjoyed Xenoblade Chronicles 2 from start to end. It has plot twists, memorable soundtracks, and gameplay features that make it a great game. However, the game does have a few minor flaws. So why would I give this game a 10/10? I found myself devoting 86-87 hours to it, while completing a fair amount of side quests -- however, I never found myself wanting to put my Nintendo Switch away. Instead, I continued to play and progress throughout the story, wanting to continue to watch the characters grow. Being a PC gamer, I found it hard to justify spending $60 on a brand-new game. However, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is worth every penny. I bought the special edition with the art book, which cost $82. It was worth it. Despite the flaws, the great aspects of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 blanket the flaws within the game. It’s the great aspects of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that make the game great. So, what are you waiting for? Go get the game, and enjoy an experience that should be in your Nintendo Switch library. 

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What Makes Xenoblade Chronicles 2 So Special? https://www.gameskinny.com/n4m8d/what-makes-xenoblade-chronicles-2-so-special https://www.gameskinny.com/n4m8d/what-makes-xenoblade-chronicles-2-so-special Fri, 15 Dec 2017 20:09:51 -0500 Allison M Reilly

Nintendo gave Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which came out for the Switch on December 1, a lot of attention. Some of the attention comes from XC2's unique place in the current Switch library. It's the only large scale, big budget JRPG to date for the Switch. True, three Dragon Quest games are scheduled for the Switch in 2018, but that's a ways away yet, and until then, XC2 is representing the JRPG genre.

But why did Nintendo give XC2 all this hype? XC2 doesn't just complement the Switch library for the practical reasons. It also complements because it can pull players in for other reasons that just don't exist with other Switch titles.

Anyone Can Pick Up Xenoblade Chronicles 2

If you've never played a Xeno game before, XC2 would be a fine title with which to start. XC2 features brand new characters, a brand new world, and doesn't connect story-wise to Xenoblade Chronicles or Xenoblade Chronicles X. The games are similar thematically, and XC2 makes some small references to the previous games, but that's about it. Those who haven't played the previous games certainly wouldn't be missing out if they started with XC2.

XC2 is also good for both short and long gaming sessions, which may seem strange to say for a JRPG, but that's part of what makes it unique. Although there's more than 90 hours of content in the game, there are side quests and exploring that can be completed in less than an hour, and they aren't fluff quests either. Many side quests help level up Blades or gain vital experience for the party. If a player's only game for the Switch was XC2, then it's flexible enough for both types of sessions, which is no mean accomplishment.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Isn't Like Other RPGs

But that's not a bad thing. I do mean more than just the "J" part, even though XC2 is really Japanese. It differs from other RPGs on the Switch in that the role playing element is much more in the combat. The combat system in XC2 is elaborate and overwhelming at first (but we've got a guide to help with that). Players run into a ton of tutorials in the beginning, and keeping track of how everything works,  of all those parts for each character, is a lot to manage. However, once the player overcomes the learning curve, the complexity allows players to experiment with varied combat styles and build characters matching their playing style.

Fans of western RPGs may miss the visual customization of the characters. There's no role playing in XC2 in that regard. The way your party works is also different from an RPG like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, where there are so many followers to choose from. In XC2, the party is the party. The combat system can help players tailor the party to their tastes, though, so it's well balanced, even if it lacks the assortment of personalities in games like Skyrim.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is Very, Very Story Driven

Here, story driven shouldn't be understood as "you create the story." Not to say other RPGs aren't story driven or don't have great stories. There's a ton of story to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for example. But in many RPGs, part of the drive comes from the opening in the story to allow the player to ascribe values and decisions to the main character. Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher 3 can be a major Gwent enthusiast, a merciful witcher, or someone who will negotiate top dollar for every job. All of those characteristics are up to the player.

With XC2, though, role playing through choice isn't, well, a choice. The main character, Rex, is always going to be Rex. There aren't dialogue options. There's no Gwent. Rex can never be evil. And players can't cover up Pyra because she may be chilly in that outfit. However, the lack of choice isn't a bad thing. XC2 drives the story through gameplay itself, rather than role play. There's more emphasis on the story because, in a way, the story is inescapable and is what the rest of the game springs from.

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Overall, Nintendo didn't put its money in a bad place. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a way to reach new audiences, while also providing a quality game to the current fan base. XC2 fills a niche in the Nintendo Switch library in more ways than one. It may not be Breath of the Wild, but plenty will find XC2 worth going wild over.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Guide: Best Ways to Grind for Rare Blades https://www.gameskinny.com/sx0fh/xenoblade-chronicles-2-guide-best-ways-to-grind-for-rare-blades https://www.gameskinny.com/sx0fh/xenoblade-chronicles-2-guide-best-ways-to-grind-for-rare-blades Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:14:41 -0500 Autumn Fish

Rare Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are truly awesome. Not only do they have full Affinity Charts and unique skills, but they also have their own quests and mini story segments. It's well worth seeking all of them out, but to do that, you're going to be dealing with a lot of RNG.

However, there are a few things you can do to make the process of searching for Rare Blades easier. You can start by increasing your Idea Levels and Luck to up the chance of getting Rare Blades in the first place. Then, you simply grind for the cores and open a bunch of them up. Once you've collected all of the Rare Blades, you can then take the time to transfer those that wound up on less-than-ideal Drivers onto the characters you want. (After all, it certainly wouldn't do for the Healer to be stuck with four Tank Blades.)

With these tips, you'll have all of the Rare Blades you could ever want before long. Let's dive in!

How to Raise Idea Levels in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Idea Levels are split into four equal parts: Bravery, Truth, Compassion, and Justice. These stats are rather simple, though not well explained. On their own, they influence the elements the Blades you resonate with are most likely to receive.

  • Bravery - Influences your chance to receive Fire and Water Blades.
  • Truth - Influences your chance to receive Wind and Ice Blades.
  • Compassion - Influences your chance to receive Earth and Lightning Blades.
  • Justice - Influences your chance to receive Light and Dark Blades.

If any of these stats are higher than others -- or if you use Boosters to temporarily increase the stats -- then you're more likely to receive Blades of the same elements as those tied to the inflated stat. However, Idea Levels have another function.

The higher your total Idea Level is, the more likely you are to receive a Rare Blade. So by using Boosters, you have a slightly higher chance of receiving the Blades you want. If you have the drive, though, you could grind for Idea Points in order to raise your base levels for the best chances of receiving Rare Blades.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Rare Blades Guide How to Increase Chances with Idea Points Levels XC2

In order to earn Idea Points, you need to fill out Blade Affinity Charts. Each Blade gives different types of Idea Points, so pay attention to the icons shown on the Affinity Chart to figure out how to raise which stats. The best way to fill out Affinity Charts is to take a bunch of Common Blades and send them all on Merc Missions. When Blades come back from a mission, they earn Trust and have a chance of filling out some of the requirements from the Affinity Chart. Common Blades have easier requirements, letting you earn Idea Points more quickly than if you were to send Rare Blades out on the Missions.

Alternatively, you could just equip a bunch of Common Blades and run around beating stuff up, though who wants to do that when you could just complete side quests or grind for the Core Crystals while you wait for Merc Missions to get done?

Idea Levels aren't the only way to increase your chances of getting a Rare Blade, though.

How to Increase the Luck Stat

Luck also directly impacts your potential to resonate with a Rare Blade. It can be raised in a couple of different ways. Accessories are the easiest way to get a quick boost to your Luck, though they aren't always readily available. You may have to raise your Development Level with a few Titans before they'll start appearing in shops.

Of course, simply leveling up your Drivers will also increase your base Luck, so it might be a good idea to hold off on opening a bunch of Core Crystals until you're higher level. However, if you can't wait, at least check your Drivers' Affinity Charts to see if they don't have anything that increases Luck. If they do, save up their Skill Points until they can afford it.

With a higher chance of success laid out, you're ready to begin grinding for Core Crystals.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Rare Blades Guide Luck Accessories and Driver Affinity Chart XC2

How to Grind for Core Crystals in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Depending on your level and how far you are in the game, there are a couple of different places you can go to farm Core Crystals. The method of farming Core Crystals is more or less the same across the board; the only variable here is which monster you want to farm them from.

So before you even think about which monsters you want to track down and farm for Cores, you need to make sure you're prepared. This means setting your party up so that you have the highest chances of seeing Core Crystal drops. Of course, having a Blade with the skill Treasure Sensor helps immensely, but it isn't strictly necessary.

What if I told you that you could increase your chances of finding Core Crystals by making use of a special combat mechanic? It sounds too good to be true, but it isn't! By completing a full Driver Combo in battle, you're far more likely to see Core Crystals drop. Heck, it even boosts the drop rate of Rare and Legendary Core Crystals, so there's really no excuse not to use Driver Combos while farming for them.

Of course, by full Driver Combo, I mean the whole shebang. You must Break the enemy's guard, Topple them, Launch them into the air, and Smash them back down before the bonus will apply. If you mess up at any point in the combo and fail to finish it before the enemy dies, then you don't get the boost.

After building a party that's capable of pulling off a full Driver Combo, find an enemy that's around your level and test it out a few times to get a feel for it. You wouldn't want to mess this up while farming, after all. Once you feel confident in your ability to see a Driver Combo through to the end, it's time to consider where you'll be farming.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Rare Blades Guide How to Grind or Farm for Legendary and Rare Core Crystals XC2

Pre-Credits

If you've yet to beat the game, you'll find that Tolen Krabbles in Mor Ardain drop a lot of Cores. However, the only way to find them is through Salvaging, so you're going to need a lot of Normal Cylinders. Additionally, you'll need to nuke your Salvaging ability to be sure that you get more monsters than chests. Make certain that any Blades with Salvaging Mastery are disengaged so that they don't skew your chances of finding the enemies you're looking for.

Once you're ready, Skip Travel to Kedeigh Gate in Alba Cavanich and take the elevator down. From there, head out the inspection area and go south towards the Salvage Point called Cargo Transpt. Zone. At the Salvage Point, use a Normal Cylinder and miss all of the button-prompts for the best chance of Tolen Krabbels showing up. When you run into enemies, just complete a full Driver Combo before killing them in order to get the boosted Core Crystal drop rate.

These enemies may die before you can get off a full Driver Combo, though. If that's the case, head back to the Argentum Trade Guild and downgrade your weapons with Core Chips before trying again. The Rare Blades you'll get from all the Cores they'll drop are more than worth the investment.

Post-Credits

If you've beaten the game, then chances are you're powerful enough to go after enemies that drop Legendary Core Crystals. While Rare Cores have a higher chance of being Rare Blades than Common Cores, Legendary Cores have an even better chance than that, even if they're still not guaranteed Rare Blades.

Legendary Core Crystals are dropped by Superbosses. A Superboss is essentially an endgame unique enemy with powerful stats and abilities. You'll need to be relatively strong in order to beat them, but if you manage it, you'll be rewarded handsomely.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Rare Blades Guide Farming Legendary Core Crystals from Superbosses XC2

If you're able to pull off a full Driver Combo and kill a Superboss, you'll receive a bunch of Legendary Core Crystals. What's better is that you don't need to waste your money on Salvaging Cylinders to fight them, either. Since all unique enemies can be respawned simply by interacting with their tombstone, you can fight a Superboss you're confident at over and over again until you get all the Cores you need.

Once you've maximized your chances and collected enough Cores, it's time to start opening them en masse. However, when opening Core Crystals, you're not likely to get your Rare Blades on the Drivers you want them to resonate with. In that case, you'll need to figure out how to move Rare Blades to the Driver you want them on.

How to Move Rare Blades Between Drivers in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

There are two ways to go about moving Rare Blades between Drivers. The first and simplest way is to use a limited and rare item called an Overdrive Protocol. You earn these by opening up specific Treasure Troves and maxing out your Drivers' Affinity Charts. Once you expend them, however, there's no way to get them back, so think carefully before using one.

In order to use an Overdrive Protocol, just go to the Manage Blades menu, find the Blade you want to move, and select Use Overdrive. Once you confirm which Driver you want the Blade to go to, it'll use an Overdrive Protocol, and the Blade will be immediately usable by the new Driver.

If you're out of Overdrive Protocols, however, you're going to have to transfer Blades in a bit of a more tedious fashion. The only way to transfer Blades at that point is to Release the Rare Blade you want to transfer and open Cores on the Driver you want them on until they pop up again.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Rare Blades Guide How to Transfer Blades Without Overdrive Protocols XC2

Since only one version of each Rare Blade can be present at a time in any given save file, it makes finding released Rare Blades again much simpler. I suggest waiting to use this method of transferring Rare Blades until you've found them all. If you have all of the Rare Blades and only Release them one at a time, then the next Rare Blade you open from a Core will always be the one you released.

Alternatively, if you're not as antsy as me, you could release all of the Blades meant for a specific Driver and only open Cores on that character until you've found them all again.

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Now that you know how to obtain all of the Rare Blades in the game, do you have any plans for your party? Which Drivers and Blades are you thinking of rolling with? Sound off in the comments below!

For more tips and tricks for getting by in Alrest, be sure to check out our other Xenoblade Chronicles 2 guides. Here are a few to get you started: 

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review: One of the Most Unique RPGs of the Year https://www.gameskinny.com/sj4yx/xenoblade-chronicles-2-review-one-of-the-most-unique-rpgs-of-the-year https://www.gameskinny.com/sj4yx/xenoblade-chronicles-2-review-one-of-the-most-unique-rpgs-of-the-year Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:51:04 -0500 Autumn Fish

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is Monolith Soft's latest JRPG for the Nintendo Switch. It's the official sequel to the critically acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles -- a game which I, unfortunately, haven't sunk my teeth into yet. However, it's not a sequel in the traditional sense, where the same old characters go on a new adventure. Rather, it's a brand-new adventure with all new characters set in the same universe.

You're still traveling around on the backs of Titans, like in the original, but you won't be fighting giant mechanical life forms with the mystical Monado. This game has a truly unique sense of identity that refrains from relying on the success of its predecessor without forgetting its roots. So how does it shape up on its own?

This is a massive game, and there's so much to talk about, so for your sanity and my own, I'm structuring this review with a more traditional format. First, we'll go over my thoughts on the story and plot without getting into spoilers. Next, I'll take a moment or two to gush about the gameplay. Then, we'll touch on the graphics and art style, music and audio, and overall performance. And finally, we'll talk a bit about the replay value before wrapping everything up.

The Story and Plot of Xenoblade 2 (Little to No Spoilers)

From the very moment you hit New Game, XC2 introduces the characters and the world absolutely beautifully. First, you get a glimpse of the main character, Rex, who you find salvaging under the water-like Cloud Sea. Upon snagging his haul, he emerges onto the back of a Titan ship, where he eventually spies another Titan dying and sinking into the Cloud Sea. This entire scene cleverly introduces the main character, the Cloud Sea of Alrest, and the grave state of the world in one fell swoop, and it only gets better from there.

Rex's personality is continually strengthed through the first Chapter as you're introduced to a colorful cast of characters, many with their own motives and desires. You're also introduced to Blades and their Drivers shortly before Rex actually becomes a Driver himself. These aforementioned Blades are essentially living weapons that have resonated with and fight alongside Drivers, lending them their power and their weapon.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review XC2 Story and Plot

On an expedition, Rex discovers a Legendary Blade called the Aegis and, in a twist of fate, resonates with her in exchange for promising to take her to Elysium, the World Tree. Now a Driver, Rex embarks on the journey to fulfill his promise in hopes that they might find something at Elysium to save the dying Titans.

The adventure spans the backs and insides of several Titans, each with its own environments and ecosystems. And of course, everywhere the party goes, people recognize the emerald core crystal of the Aegis, which causes countless problems as others seek to control her fate in one way or another. 

On the way to Elysium, the party accomplishes a lot. What's interesting, though, is that the more quests you complete, the more XC2 runs through cause-and-effect scenarios. The main story questline itself is brilliant about doling out consequences for the party's actions, but you'll even find plenty of nice surprises simply by completing side quests. It gives the feeling that they really put a lot of thought into the plot.

Rather in line with the nature of cause-and-effect writing, though, you'll find the story to be quite tragic. There were several moments where I couldn't help but cry, and even just thinking back on them now makes me teary-eyed.

That's really a testament to how great the characters are. They feel real to me. Their personalities are so strong that I feel like I know these characters after only a few interactions. And then they all somehow manage to get deeper and more layered the more time you have with them.

The humor here is really solid, too, in contrast to the cheesy humor found in previous entries. Some of the environments just lend themselves to hilarious interactions between characters that just seem natural. The heart-to-hearts are even a brilliant extension of that much of the time. However, the humor isn't always tasteful.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review XC2 Fanservice

If you're used to playing JRPGs or watching anime, then you're probably already used to this, but there is a bit of "fanservice" sprinkled throughout. Of course, by that, I mean scenes where a female character is awkwardly exposed or objectified in order to tap in on that sex appeal. While some of these scenes did bring characters closer together, I found them largely unnecessary. What's so jarring about the whole thing is that this kind of fanservice wasn't really present in previous entries. I'm just thankful that these scenes are few and far between because the story is otherwise phenomenal.

So yeah, much of the story is conveyed through cutscenes, and cutscenes may not have the best reputation these days, but these ones are stellar. XC2 may have you sitting through 10-20 minutes of cutscenes at a time, but they're so high quality that I feel like I'm watching a flashy anime. I never once felt like they were dragging on or wished they were over so I could get back to the action. It felt like a natural extension of the gameplay that had me thrilled to see what was next.

Additionally, while you don't need to play the first game to understand what's going on, a friend told me that if you have played it, the ending is a lot more enjoyable. I can't vouch for this since, like I stated above, I haven't gotten past the beginning stages of the first game. However, the story of Xenoblade 2 has me so engrossed that I feel driven to go back and give it a proper go.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Gameplay

Part of the reason I never got invested in the series before now is that the gameplay put me off. I didn't like the idea of scrolling across a hotbar on a controller in order to activate combat abilities. I was able to push through it for X because I wanted to fly in a Skell really bad, but I was never really all that fond of it.

On top of that, I never liked the idea of finding items randomly via non-descript crystals out in the wild or all the fetch quests that went with them. The cherry on top was, of course, the confusing mess of menus that I never bothered to delve into out of sheer intimidation.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review XC2 Gameplay and Combat

Thankfully, it seems XC2 fixes most of these issues. Instead of scrolling across a large hotbar full of abilities to activate anything, Arts are now assigned to the face buttons B, Y, and X, with A being used for Special Attacks. To make up for the reduced number of Arts, you can now switch between three Blades mid-combat and utilize their different Arts and Specials.

On top of that, the combat system has been totally revamped. It has a rhythm to it, and if you get really good at it, you have the potential to unleash attacks that deal enormous amounts of damage. If you want to read up on the details of the combat system, check out our combat guide. It's worth a read just to see how they've changed the combat in this iteration -- and I wouldn't want to take up another 1,800 words expanding upon it here.

The gameplay and combat are slow for the first few hours as the game builds up the story and takes its sweet time introducing you to its many systems so that you don't get confused. I followed along with its tutorials really well, but some things take a little bit of practice to get used to. I wish that they would have added an option to review past tutorials in case you forget or missed important details.

As you grow in level and actually start earning interesting combat abilities, the game slowly ramps up in difficulty. It wasn't long before I started to hit a wall with boss fights and couldn't rely on my knowledge of the combat system to win. I had to actually think about fights and use clever tactics in order to survive. Some bosses wiped my over-leveled party more than a dozen times before I finally managed to clear them.

There's plenty more to do than just beat up enemies, though. There are a bunch of pretty interesting sidequests, even if the tasks are generally similar to ones you'd expect from previous installments. I never felt like I was drowning in too many sidequests, either, and the ones that appeared in each area all seemed to take me to unique places. In a way, it felt like they aided in my exploration of the world rather than wasted my time with menial tasks. The improved Quest Log definitely helps with that.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review XC2 Sidequests and Towns

Of course, there are still collection quests, but at least trying to track down the items you need isn't anywhere near as annoying as in past installments. Those crystals are now Collection Points that drop multiple items when you interact with them, and they respawn whenever you make a lap around the map or Skip Travel. Each Collection Point drops specific types of items, and some of your Blades may have skills that allow you to collect more of them, so all in all, it's just plain better.

Speaking of quests, though, there's this compass thing on the top of the screen now that will track quests for you, but I have such a confusing love-hate relationship with it. It does help give me an idea of where I need to go, especially if the objective is far away, but it's extremely inaccurate at indicating just how far to the left or right the objective is from your position. I found it more or less mandatory to open the full-screen map to track objectives down once I got close enough. I appreciate that the compass is good about indicating distance and verticality, but I do find myself wishing it was just a bit more accurate.

On that note, some quests -- even some main story quests -- are bad about telling you how to get to where you need to go. It's led me to a few moments of wandering around without making much progress (but looking back on it, I'm proud of myself for figuring out where to go on my own). If that's not your thing, you may want to look at a walkthrough for those bits because I can definitely see some people being quite frustrated by them.

As you travel from Titan to Titan, you'll discover settlements and towns. These places are full of shops where you can upgrade your equipment and purchase temporary buffs. If you raise the Development Level of a Titan by talking to the citizens, doing side quests, buying stuff from the shops, and completing merc missions, then the shops found on that Titan will expand their inventory and lower their prices. The development of Titans is further incentivized by allowing you to buy Shop Deeds -- special key items that offer passive buffs and bonuses to your entire party -- once you've bought everything from a shop.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review XC2 Gameplay Town Management and Menus

Then there's the aforementioned Merc Missions, which are essentially expeditions that you can send Blades you're not using out on to earn special items, extra funds, and additional experience for your party to redeem at the Inn. It can be a bit of a pain to dive into the menu and micromanage them every 40 minutes or so, but the rewards were definitely worth the break from the gameplay.

Speaking of the menus, although they're still a hassle to navigate, they somehow managed to make them less intimidating. I found myself diving into and utilizing every menu quite frequently, which is a huge step up from how often I dove in on XCX, and my party was definitely in a better spot for it.

However, the frequency of my menu dives may be due to Blade Affinity Charts, which wouldn't update the skills or Trust levels earned through gameplay until viewed. I loved the way Blade Affinity Charts worked, but I wish they didn't make me open a menu every time I earned a new skill. Admittedly, though, this annoyance is far more pronounced in the beginning and becomes a less frequent problem the further you progress in the game.

Overall, the gameplay has a lot of nuances, and the game does a good job of spreading out the introduction of its mechanics in a digestible fashion. I found the gameplay far easier to get invested in than in previous entries, making XC2 the title that I would wholeheartedly recommend to series newcomers.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Graphics, Audio, and Performance

So we're not going to delve too much into the technical aspect of the game, but I do wanna touch on things like the aesthetics, music, voice acting, and performance.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review XC2 Graphics Art Style and Music

Graphics

The art style has seen an interesting shift. While the series had previously teetered on the edge between anime and realism, the latest installment has doubled down on the former style. As such, some of the character designs have gotten a little wild.

A wide array of artists worked on character designs for this title, and it shows. While some of the character designs are cool and sleek, others are janky and flat-out embarrassing to witness when others are in the room. The word "fanservice" comes to mind, again. Heck, one of the Blades I got had weirdly engorged body proportions and was wearing basically nothing but fishnet made from snowflakes. I mean, I can choose not to use her in my party, sure, but should I really have to hide characters just to save myself from the embarrassment of onlookers catching a glimpse? I'd like to think not, but this is where the sticky topic of censorship comes in, and I'd rather not get into that conversation.

Characters aside, the rest of the game is stunning. The vistas I saw on the back of Titans took my breath away. Staring up at a hill and seeing it sway back and forth as the Titan wanders around the Cloud Sea is absolutely surreal. The design of many of the cities and towns is wonderful to behold. Even the clouds look gorgeous. It's overall a beautiful title if you can work past the misgivings of the character design.

Audio

I'm not going to be nitpicking over sound effects here so much as I want to point out the music and voice acting. Xenoblade is known for its amazing music, and XC2 is no different. Almost every track I heard was delightful and had me whistling and humming along. Ever since the game came out, I've had various tracks from its OST stuck in my head, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. There have only been a few tracks I've heard so far that I was even neutral about, let alone didn't care for. This is easily some of the best music I've ever heard in a video game, and I'm reveling in every second of it.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review XC2 Voice Acting and Gameplay Performance FPS

As for the voice acting, I think it's phenomenal. Both the English and Japanese casts are excellent. I personally prefer the English voices because I think they fit the characters a heck of a lot better, but I can't deny that the Japanese voice cast is strong and recognizable. The lipsync is pretty bad at times, but it never bothered me.

Performance

XC2 runs at 30 fps a majority of the time. General combat is pretty smooth for the most part, and traveling around the world is, too. However, there are some spots where the game tanks down to about 22 fps, and it can be pretty disorienting, especially when you're trying to keep the rhythm of combat going. It's kind of what you'd expect from an open-world game, so it doesn't really detract from the experience, but it's something to note nonetheless.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Replay Value

Is this the kind of game you'd want to replay after finishing it? Or better yet, is this the kind of game you'd continue playing after the credits roll? Well, yeah, probably. And it's in large part due to one specific system.

You acquire new Blades by resonating with Core Crystals. It's fashioned much like loot boxes are in other games, in the sense that which Blade you get is completely random, but thankfully there are no microtransactions involved with them.

There are well over 30 unique Rare Blades to collect, and aside from the 8 or so you find through the main story, the rest are all earned in this fashion. When you open a Core Crystal, you have a chance to get a Rare Blade. On Common Cores, that chance is rather low, but it's still possible. On Rare Cores, you're more likely to get a Rare Blade, but it's far from guaranteed.

What's more is that each of these Rare Blades has a unique personality, and some of them even have skills that are exclusive to them. While it's not required for the story to seek out all of the Rare Blades, they certainly make it worth your while.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review XC2 Replay Value Core Crystals and Blades

Aside from the Blade gachapon, though, each Blade also has its own Affinity Chart to max out for better combat and overworld abilities, and every Driver can upgrade Arts connected to any weapon type, leaving plenty of ways to further strengthen your party after the story has finished.

The rest of the post-game in XC2 is a rather standard affair for the series. There are extra side quests that open up and super-bosses available for you to fight, but there's not any more story to experience past the credits. At least not yet.

The Season Pass does plan on adding a few extra things to keep the adventure going well into the new year. Still to come are new quests in January, a new Rare Blade in spring, a new Challenge Mode over the summer, and finally, new story content arriving in autumn. We'll see how all that pans out when it comes out, though.

Verdict: A Deep RPG That Sets Itself Apart from Its Predecessor

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a fantastic RPG and a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch library. You'll spend several dozen if not hundreds of hours exploring Alrest and all it has to offer, and it only gets better the more time you sink into it. It's shaping up to be my favorite game of the year, which is a tall feat considering how many great games got released this year.

So why only an 8 when I gave other games higher scores this year? Well, simply put, I don't think everyone's going to be okay with the so-called "fanservice" that they sprinkled into the game. It's far from overbearing, and it doesn't really get too in-your-face, but it's still present, and returning fans may be put off by the sudden direction.

Personally, I'm used to putting up with a little bit of fanservice if it means I get to experience an incredible game -- and some of you aren't going to mind at all. However, I felt like the English localization crew did a pretty good job of minimizing the negative impact that these fanservice-y moments could have on players without going so far as to censor it. I suspect that if I had even just played most of the game with the Japanese voices, this issue would have felt more pronounced.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review XC2 Verdict Deep Unique RPG

Fanservice aside, I really can't think of anything else totally wrong with the game. It's greatly improved upon the gameplay of the original all while managing a story worthy of the Xenoblade title. This game captivates me like no other has in a long time, and I'm still reeling from the wonder of it all.

If you're an RPG enthusiast, an anime connoisseur, or a fan of the series, and you own a Nintendo Switch, you need this game in your library. There's a ton of value to be found here, both in the number of hours you'll get out of this title and in the deep RPG mechanics buried within. You won't regret picking up this gem of a game.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is available now on the Nintendo Switch for $60 with a Season Pass that will set you back an extra $30.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get back to playing Xenoblade. Ciao!

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Combat Guide: Excel at Blade Combos, Driver Combos, and Chain Attacks https://www.gameskinny.com/x4uww/xenoblade-chronicles-2-combat-guide-excel-at-blade-combos-driver-combos-and-chain-attacks https://www.gameskinny.com/x4uww/xenoblade-chronicles-2-combat-guide-excel-at-blade-combos-driver-combos-and-chain-attacks Mon, 04 Dec 2017 12:48:14 -0500 Autumn Fish

The combat system in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 gets pretty engrossing once you understand all of its bells and whistles. The problem is, while the tutorial may spread out the introduction of many of these mechanics to make it easier to digest, it doesn't do a great job of demonstrating what it's talking about.

It took quite a bit of trial and error, but now that I have a solid grasp on the combat system, I fully intend to share it with you. Whether you're confused about elemental Blade Combos or trying to figure out how to maximize the potential of your Chain Attack, you're bound to find the answers you're looking for here. It really does make the experience that much better.

Let's dive in!

The Basics of Combat in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Before you can truly master the techniques that deal megatons of damage, you first need a solid grasp on the basics of combat. This section details the revamped Auto Attack, using Driver Arts, Attack Canceling, building up your Special, and switching Blades. If you already feel confident with the basics of combat, feel free to skip on to the next section, but remember to always keep these in mind.

Unlike past entries, your Auto Attack actually halts completely when you move, only starting again once you've planted your feet firmly in one position. While this may not seem like too big of a deal at a glance, you'd be surprised how much the Auto Attack plays into the combat system overall.

For starters, every hit of your Auto Attack slowly builds up the gauge on your Driver Arts. Once the gauge on an Art is full, its icon lights up, and the Art becomes usable by pressing the corresponding face button. Using the Art depletes its energy, requiring you to charge it back up again with Auto Attacks.

However, if you just use Arts as soon as they become available, not only are you making poor strategic decisions, but you're also missing out on dealing a lot more damage. By using an Art at the end of one of your Auto Attacks, you perform what's called an Attack Cancel, indicated by a ring that appears in the middle of the screen when you succeed.

Combat System Basics XC2 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Guide

By Attack Canceling into an Art, it becomes more powerful. The further you are into an Auto Attack chain, the better the result. This means that timing your Attack Cancels on the last hit of an Auto Attack chain is ideal for maximizing your potential.

As if the extra damage wasn't enough of an incentive to Attack Cancel everything, it also serves to build your Special Attack gauge much faster than it would otherwise. Using only Arts, you can build the Special gauge up through three levels of power, each with its own animations and Quick-Time Events (QTEs).

Once at the third Special level, you can reach a fourth by having maximum Combat Affinity with your equipped Blade, indicated by a golden resonance line. You achieve high Combat Affinity with your Blade by simply standing near them and not switching them out for awhile.

When you go to finally use your Special, consider Attack Canceling with it too for a bit of extra damage. You can even Attack Cancel when you go to switch Blades via the D-Pad so that they arrive in battle with their abilities ready to go.

With the fundamentals down, we can finally move on to the fun stuff. By utilizing elemental Blade Combos, Driver Combos, Fusion Combos, Elemental Orbs, and Chain Attacks in just the right way, you can pull off techniques that deal truly delightful amounts of damage.

How to Complete Elemental Blade Combos in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

A Blade Combo begins when you unleash a Special Attack of any level on an enemy. A timer with an element attached to it appears on the top-right of the enemy's health bar alongside a rather confusing pyramid of elemental icons and effects that pops up in the top-right corner of the screen.

How to Complete Elemental Blade Combos XC2 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Combat Guide

Both the countdown timer and the flashing elemental icon represent the element of the Special you just used. On the right side of the currently flashing icon are two different elemental icons. These icons represent different branches that you can go down to reach the end of the Blade Combo.

In order to continue the Blade Combo, you need to switch to a Blade of either of the two elements in the column directly to the right of the starting icon, and unleash their Special after it's been built up to level 2 or higher. If it's not at least level 2, it won't advance the Blade Combo, and you'll lose precious time. You have until the timer depletes to continue the combo or it will fail, and you'll have to start over.

Once in the second stage of the Blade Combo, you'll notice that half of the four elemental icons that were originally available in the final column are now entirely inaccessible. That's because when you decided which of the two elements you'd use to continue the combo, you also locked yourself down a branching path. If you're stuck without a Blade that can finish the combo, then you're out of luck, so it's important to plan ahead and choose a path that you can complete.

To finish the Blade Combo, repeat what you did to continue it by switching to a Blade that matches one of the two elements left in the column directly to the right of the blinking icon and unleashing their Special after it's been built up to level 3 or higher.

Note that if computer-controlled Drivers in your party have Blades equipped that can continue an active Blade Combo, they will automatically switch to that Blade, and the ability to activate their Special via ZL or ZR is locked until it reaches a level that can successfully advance the combo. You can figure out what level their Special is currently at by counting the number of dots circling their character portrait.

Elemental Orb XC2 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Combat Guide

Once you finish a Blade Combo, an Elemental Orb appears to circle around the enemy and seal its potential to perform certain types of attacks. The potential you seal is determined by whatever move you finished the combo off with, while the element of the last move determines which Elemental Orb appears. You can continue to surround the enemy with additional Elemental Orbs to seal more abilities and increase your Chain Attack potential so long as you're using different elements. Trying to make an Elemental Orb of the same element as one already in play will just result in the old one getting replaced.

With the knowledge of how to complete a Blade Combo under your belt, you can take Driver Combos and Chain Attacks to a whole new level.

Driver Combos and Fusion Combos in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Anyone familiar with the series will immediately recognize Driver Combos. These Driver Combos are essentially strings of attacks that juggle enemies, leaving them unable to attack or defend themselves.

Some of your Arts inflict additional status effects -- such as Break or Topple -- when used at the right time. If the proper order of operations isn't followed, however, the status isn't inflicted, and the Driver Combo won't properly advance. 

The order goes Break, Topple, Launch, then Smash. A Break can be activated at any time to start a new Driver Combo and must be followed up with Topple, then Launch, then finished with Smash

When Break is activated, a timer pops up on the top-left side of the enemy's health bar that slowly counts down the time you have left to continue the Driver Combo before it breaks. The Topple and Launch timers count down progressively faster than the first, though, so make sure all of the necessary Arts you need are ready.

Driver Combos and Fusion Combos XC2 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Combat Guide

If you time a Driver Combo so that the timer for Break, Topple, Launch is active when you finish a Blade Combo, you perform what's known as a Fusion Combo. A Fusion Combo's finishing Special deals loads of damage, so make sure you look out for these opportunities.

Now that you know how to perform Driver Combos and Fusion Combos, we can talk about maximizing your damage potential through Chain Attacks.

Maximize Your Chain Attack's Potential in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

You won't be able to use Chain Attacks until they're introduced to you in the game, but you'll quickly find that they are devastating when executed just right. Once all three bars of the Party Gauge are full, you can activate a Chain Attack by pressing the + button.

With this technique, every Driver in the party gets a chance to unleash a Special with any of their equipped Blades. Additionally, this is the point where you burst down any Elemental Orbs you set up with Blade Combos. If you manage to burst Elemental Orbs, you earn extra Chain Attack rounds and can even unleash mind-numbing amounts of damage with a Full Burst if you destroy enough orbs.

In order to burst an Elemental Orb, you simply need to attack it with a Special of the opposite element during a Chain Attack. Opposing elements are as follows:

  • Fire vs. Water -- During Chain Attacks, Fire Specials burst Water Orbs, and Water Specials burst Fire Orbs.
  • Wind vs. Ice -- During Chain Attacks, Wind Specials burst Ice Orbs, and Ice Specials burst Wind Orbs.
  • Earth vs Lightning -- During Chain Attacks, Earth Specials burst Lightning Orbs, and Lightning Specials burst Earth Orbs.
  • Light vs. Dark -- During Chain Attacks, Light Specials burst Dark Orbs, and Dark Specials burst Light Orbs.

Chain Attacks and Burst Elemental Orbs XC2 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Guide

Creating Elemental Orbs with Blade Combos and Fusion Combos and bursting them all during a Chain Attack is the key to dealing maximum damage in combat. It's a lot of setup, but the frightening amount of damage you'll deal in the end is well worth it.

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Now that you have the combat system down, how do you like it? Is it fun to build up and maximize your damage potential, or does it still feel like a slog? Let us know in the comments below!

For more tips on your journey to Elysium, check out our other Xenoblade Chronicles 2 guides. Here are a few to get you started: 

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Beginner's Guide: Tips for New Drivers https://www.gameskinny.com/heu4q/xenoblade-chronicles-2-beginners-guide-tips-for-new-drivers https://www.gameskinny.com/heu4q/xenoblade-chronicles-2-beginners-guide-tips-for-new-drivers Mon, 04 Dec 2017 14:24:29 -0500 Autumn Fish

The Cloud Sea of Alrest is a dangerous place, and you'll need all the help you can get if you hope to survive Xenoblade Chronicles 2. You may already have aptitude as a Blade Driver, but on the Titans of Alrest, you'll find yourself challenged by more than just your enemies.

As is par for the course for vast JRPGs, there are several systems to grapple with while learning the ropes. Thankfully you're introduced to many of these systems rather slowly, but it's not hard to overlook or forget them in the rush to get to the meat of the game.

Because of that, we've put together a few tips on all the things you should keep in mind while just starting out in Alrest. Let's dive in!

Fine Tune the Difficulty in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to Your Preference

There's been a slight change in how Experience (EXP) is handled overall. While you still gain direct EXP for defeating enemies, Quest Experience doesn't apply right away. Instead, the Quest EXP you accumulate all goes into a pool of Bonus Experience that can be cashed in when you rest at an Inn.

The best part is, when you rest at the Inn, you get to choose how many levels to give your Drivers based on the pool of Bonus Experience they've accumulated. You may even choose not to level them at all. Ultimately, how quickly you level is completely up to you, so you no longer have to worry about making the game too easy because you wanted to complete all of the side quests.

Check the Quest Log for Tips When You Get Stuck

Gone are the days where we scour GameFAQs for help on every other sidequest in Xenoblade. The Quest Log in this entry is actually estimable and quite excellent at showing you all the information you need to know.

Improved Quest Log and Sliding Difficulty Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Beginner's Guide Tips

You can pull up your active quest objective at any time in the overworld simply by pressing ZR. With that pop-up open, pressing the Y button lets you dive straight into the Quest Log so you can see more detailed information on the quest. Combine all that with the new compass and solid map interface, and you have a Quest Log that's actually a joy to use.

So whenever you find yourself stuck, just open up the new-and-improved Quest Log. You'll be surprised how much information can be found in there.

Distribute Blade Core Crystals Evenly Across All Available Drivers

Core Crystals are items that Drivers open in order to resonate with new Blades. In order to keep your options in combat as open as possible, it's important to distribute these Core Crystals evenly across all of your available Drivers, lest you run into an issue where one Driver has too few Blades to swap between while others have more than they can handle. Remember, variety is the spice of life!

Remember to Actively Work on Blade Affinity Charts

Aside from Core Chips and Aux Cores, filling out Affinity Charts is one of the main ways you can upgrade your Blades. Rather than using Skill Points to upgrade these charts like Drivers do, you need to build Trust to unlock new upgrade tiers and complete side objectives to activate the bonuses.

It's important to check the Affinity Charts often to keep track of what side objectives you need to complete in order to power up your Blades. Many of these objectives are pretty straightforward, but some of them don't make much sense.

Blade Affinity Chart Core Crystals Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Beginner's Guide Tips

The ones I found to be particularly confusing included the use of a skill that I hadn't heard of. None of your Arts go by the name of the skill, after all, so I was left wondering how to use it for many hours. Later on, however, I found the objective slowly completing whenever I would use certain stages of my special attack.

So, when confused about how to complete an Affinity Chart objective, it's a good idea to just continue playing with that Blade. Ultimately, the objective should eventually complete itself through normal gameplay.

Raise the Development Level of Towns to Access Upgraded Shops

If you raise the Dev Level of different towns, their shop inventories will expand to offer greater variety and better deals. In order to raise your Dev Level, you need to chat up the citizens, complete side quests, and purchase deeds to the shops in town.

Don't think buying the deeds to shops is a waste of money, either. Even if it didn't contribute to the Dev Level, you still earn amazing passive abilities for owning these deeds. There are just so many benefits to upgrading towns that you seriously have no reason not to.

Return to Previous Areas When the Cloud Tide Shifts

The Cloud Sea goes through periods of High Tide and Low Tide in Alrest. Unlike the tides in the real world, however, the Cloud Tide isn't exactly affected by the time of day, so your fate is left up to the Titan you're riding upon. When the Tide does shift, however, it's a good idea to go back to old areas in order to see if you can't discover any cool secrets.

Development Level Cloud Sea Tides Long Rest Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Beginner's Guide Tips

You can manually affect the Tide if you wish, but it's a little more complicated than fiddling with the Time options in the menu. In order to shift the Tide, you'll have to find an Inn to stay at that offers Long Rests. When you awaken, the Cloud Tide will have shifted.

Don't Be Afraid to Avoid Strong Enemies

Anyone familiar with Xenoblade is also familiar with disproportionately strong enemies littering beginner areas. If you're new to the series, you should know that you're by no means expected to take down every enemy that stands between you and your objective.

Sometimes you'll find a strong enemy right in the middle of your path. No matter where it's found, however, don't be afraid to run away and return once your party is more prepared. You may even choose to simply walk around it.

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Take your time learning how each game system works, and Alrest is sure to reward you. For help figuring out the combat system or the secrets of the Cloud Sea, be sure to check back with GameSkinny for more Xenoblade Chronicles 2 guides

Here are a few to get you started: 

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Direct Reveals Tons of Info on Blades, Characters, and Upcoming DLCs https://www.gameskinny.com/3y9bc/xenoblade-chronicles-2-direct-reveals-tons-of-info-on-blades-characters-and-upcoming-dlcs https://www.gameskinny.com/3y9bc/xenoblade-chronicles-2-direct-reveals-tons-of-info-on-blades-characters-and-upcoming-dlcs Tue, 07 Nov 2017 12:11:01 -0500 Autumn Fish

Today, Monolith Soft presented us with a Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Direct to finally cover more details on their upcoming exclusive RPG -- and about time, if I do say so, myself. We're barely a month away from sinking our teeth into this crazy fantasy world, yet we've hardly been told a thing about it. They certainly had a lot to talk about, today, though, to make up for it.

Let's dive in!

Japanese Voiceover Available as Free DLC on Launch Day

Before they dived into the meat of the Direct, they revealed that they're adding a Japanese Voiceover for those of us who want to experience the game in its original language. It will arrive with the game on launch day and must be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Story and Character Introduction Trailer

Following the announcement for the Japanese Voiceover, they revealed a new trailer that covers some of the Characters found in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, along with a peek at the role they play in the story. At the end of the trailer, there's even a minor glimpse of a unique Blade for Rex called Mythra.

More Info on Blades, the Living Weapons

Blades are essentially artificial lifeforms who can be used as weapons by forming a bond with people called Drivers. These bonds form when a Driver finds a Core Crystal and resonates with the Blade that's born from it.

One Driver can bond with multiple Blades--some of which are rare. Each Blade is special and comes with its own weapon, abilities, and design to really set itself apart. Seek out many Blades and bond with them by building trust in order to grow the strength of your team.

Beautiful Landscapes Packed with Colorful Wildlife

The Direct shows off many different landscapes that you'll be exploring, including grassy plains, caverns, winter wonderlands, deserts, and cloud beaches. No matter where you end up going, though, you'll find all sorts of wildlife.

Wildlife found in each area changes depending on the time and weather. You might find peaceful herbivores or aggressive predators roaming the land. Many of these creatures have interesting AI that breathes extra life into the world, such as traveling in herds or performing rituals, while others still could show up in the middle of a fight or even call for help.

There are many especially strong monsters that drop rare items when defeated. If you manage to kill one, it drops a tombstone in its place. Interacting with this tombstone allows you to fight the monsters again and show it who's boss.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Nintendo Direct Recap 

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Blade Abilities

Blades have a wide array of support abilities. For example, while you're out in the field, some Blades may increase the number of items you find while others may open up new pathways. In battle, they may use Blade Arts to protect or buff their Driver. Each Blade has their own unique weapon type, elemental type, and support abilities to make use of.

Blades can be strengthened in three ways. Aux Cores are essentially accessories that come with various passive boosts to enhance abilities. Core Chips directly alter weapons by boosting its stats and altering its appearance. And finally, you may boost a Blades abilities by filling out their Affinity Chart. As the trust between Blade and Driver grows through use and Heart-to-Hearts, you unlock more of the Affinity Chart to utilize stronger abilities.

Excess Blades can be paired together into Mercenary Groups. Send these Mercenary Groups out on Missions and the Blades in it will come back with Experience Points, Rewards, and extra Trust for the Affinity Chart.

Exploring the World of Alrest

The Cloud Sea goes through high and low tides just like any other sea, which means, depending on the time of day, you may be able to go cloud swimming and reach sweet new areas. As you explore, you'll find Collection Points reminiscent of older Xenoblade Chronicles titles. Interacting with these points allows you to collect items for use in all sorts of things.

There are also Salvage Points to be found near the Cloud Sea. Certain Drivers can use these Salvage Points to dive below the clouds and collect unique items. You may even drag a few monsters back up with you, while you're at it.

As you explore Alrest, you'll come across various landmarks. These landmarks are found all over the place, from centralized locations to hard to reach places. Unlocking a landmark allows you to fast travel back to it at any time. Here the DIrect also reveals that you may manipulate time by changing the in-game clock and even take the mini-map off the screen, or use a fullscreen translucent map to help you find your way around.

Exploring Alrest Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Nintendo Direct Recap

Of course, you'll find tons of cities while exploring the world of Alrest.  Each one is unique and packed full of people. There are merchants that will trade you gold or other items for packs of items that you put together. Other citizens you meet may even have requests for you to complete for rewards.

Interesting Collectibles and Unique Customization

The Trade Guild has many shops set up for all of your many needs. Here you can buy miscellaneous items like musical instruments or books that, when placed in a characters belt pouch, may greatly increase certain battle stats. There's even an accessory shop where you can buy items that increase your Drivers' stats while worn. 

There's a unique Blade called Poppi that can be customized by playing a special mini-game called "Tiger! Tiger!". The rewards earned from the game are used to upgrade her abilities and change her elemental type. No other Blade has unique customization quite like Poppi.

All About Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Battles

A party consists of up to three Drivers with three Blades each to switch between (four for Rex). Auto Attacks will charge up the more powerful Driver Arts. If you overfill your Driver Arts gauge, you begin charging a powerful Special Attack. If you continue to charge the Special Gauge, you can level it up to a maximum of four for more powerful attacks. Allies will even wait for your command before they use their own specials.

There are three different types of Blades: Attackers, Tanks, and Healers. The combination you wind up bringing into battle determines the Driver's class. The class will determine what sorts of bonuses your Driver earns.

Each Blade has four Driver Arts to choose from. A Driver may pick only three of the four Driver Arts to bring into battle, leaving a Driver with up to nine Arts to choose from between their three different Blades. As a Driver levels up, they may learn new skills and buffs for their Arts.

Battles and Combos Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Nintendo Direct Recap

The Combo System

There are three different types of combos in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Driver Combos are performed by chaining together Arts to essentially juggle a monster. You can break a monster's guard, then topple it, launch it, and smash it back down to the ground. If you manage to get an enemy stuck in a Driver Combo, it won't even be able to attack or defend itself.

Blade Combos are performed by using a special that uses one of the specified elements on the HUD. Keep the combo going by following up with your allies' special attacks. If you reach the end of a combo, a mysterious Elemental Orb will appear and circle the enemy. If you start a Blade Combo while in the middle of a Driver Combo, you'll execute a Fusion Combo that deals massive damage.

As you battle, the Party Gauge will slowly fill. While it's normally used to revive fallen allies, it can be used to perform a Chain Attack when completely full. During a Chain Attack, each Driver performs their Special one right after another to combo the enemy. Normally this ends after three turns, but the Chain Attack will continue going if you manage to burst Elemental Orbs.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Expansion Pass DLC

They also announced an Expansion Pack available for $29.99 that comes with five unique DLCs that are set to release over the span of the next year.

Expansion Pass Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Nintendo Direct DLC

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is also getting an update on November 9th. The game will receive a new side quest that you can complete to earn Rex's costume.

Pro Controller, Special Edition, and eShop Pre-Purchase

A brand new themed Pro Controller will also release alongside the game on December 1st.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Pro Controller

They even revealed a Special Edition for the game that comes with 220-page hardbound art book, a CD of some of the best songs from the soundtrack, and the game in a metal game case. Buying or pre-ordering the Special Edition will set you back $99.99.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Special Edition Nintendo Direct Recap

On a closing note, the DIrect ends off with an announcement that the game is now available for pre-purchase on the NIntendo eShop. If you snag it now, you'll have it all pre-loaded and ready to go when the game finally launches at midnight on December 1st.

That's all, folks!

Today's Nintendo Direct blew us away with a wealth of new information on the upcoming RPG. Thankfully, the game is just around the corner, so we won't have to wait much longer before we can finally play this gorgeous-looking game.

In the meantime, be sure to check back with GameSkinny for all sorts of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 coverage and all things Nintendo.

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Special Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Nintendo Direct Announced https://www.gameskinny.com/v9y78/special-xenoblade-chronicles-2-nintendo-direct-announced https://www.gameskinny.com/v9y78/special-xenoblade-chronicles-2-nintendo-direct-announced Fri, 03 Nov 2017 23:45:34 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

In a surprise announcement, Nintendo revealed a new Nintendo Direct focusing specifically on the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for Nintendo Switch. Set to air November 7 at 6 a.m. PST/9 a.m. EST, it is the latest in a line of promotions featuring Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The game was showcased during this year's Gamescom and was also the focus of a sizeable portion of the September Nintendo Direct. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the numerical sequel to Monolith Soft's highly-acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles that debuted on the Wii North America in 2012. However, it appears to be more of a spiritual sequel than a literal one, with a storyline unconnected to its predecessor.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 takes place in a world called Alrest and has you playing as Rex, a young scavenger on the Titan he dubs "Gramps." (Titans are the continents of Alrest).Rex eventually meets a mysterious young woman named Pyra, who turns out to be a Blade -- the manifestation of a weapon. Blades form bonds with Drivers, those who use a Blade's power, and help them in battle.

Other than the overriding goal of recovering the lost paradise of Elysium and saving all humanity, story details are scarce as of now. However, the game's developers have promised an even more expansive world than other Xenoblade games and plenty of content to keep players occupied. 

You can watch the stream below when it airs and, of course, we'll be keeping you updated with any news that breaks.

Are you excited about adding this to your JRPG collection? Let us know in the comments below!

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Nintendo Announces Legend of Zelda Themed Black Friday Deals https://www.gameskinny.com/7hblq/nintendo-announces-legend-of-zelda-themed-black-friday-deals https://www.gameskinny.com/7hblq/nintendo-announces-legend-of-zelda-themed-black-friday-deals Wed, 01 Nov 2017 17:43:05 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

It's that time of year folks. Halloween is over, pumpkin spice is everywhere, and Black Friday is just around the corner. As with any other major retail holiday, Black Friday seems to come sooner and sooner every year, which is why Nintendo is already announcing many of their Black Friday bundles along with some of other special goodies that will be available over the course of the Holiday season.

First up is Black Friday goodies.

 

  1. A Legend of Zelda Themed 2DS with Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D preloaded onto it for $79.99. Note: This is the standard 2DS not the NEW 2DS. (Yes, Nintendo naming conventions are terrible.)
  2. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild- Explorer's Edition includes the original game, a 100-page "explorer's guide", and a 2 sided map all for $59.99. (The header image depicts this item.) Note: This release does not include any DLC.

In addition to these Black Friday specific deals, there are also some other bundles that are available currently.

  1. A Nintendo Switch - Super Mario Odyssey bundle comes with a Switch, along with a Mario themed red Joy-Con controller, a download code for Super Mario Odyssey-- which we here at Gameskinny really loved by the way-- and a carrying case, all for $379.99. Considering the Switch + controller is usually $300 and SMO is $60, this isn't a deal per se, just a bundle. 
  2. White and Red 2DS with New Super Mario Bros 2 preloaded onto it for $79.99. There will be a similar bundle with Mario Kart 7 pre-loaded onto a blue 2DS.
  3. White and Orange NEW 2DS XL for $149.99.
  4. Pokeball Edition NEW 2DS XL for $159.99.

 

Finally, getting away from the various consoles, we have a Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Special Edition that will come with a metal game case, 220-page hardback art book, along with a CD loaded with a part of the OST. This will set you back $99.99.

Continuing with the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 theme, there will also be a special XBC2 Nintendo Switch Pro themed controller for $74.99.

 

 

Personally, I feel this whole batch of deals is a little underwhelming. In particular, the Nintendo Switch is a trending purchase, so it's disappointing to see that there is not going to even be a moderate discount to the system over the holiday season. The good news, however, is that just because Nintendo isn't putting a product you want on sale, it doesn't mean a retailer near you won't be. So keep your eyes out for more news on Black Friday deals and continue to be a savvy shopper. 

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Nintendo @ E3: Everything You Need to Know https://www.gameskinny.com/f78mb/nintendo-e3-everything-you-need-to-know https://www.gameskinny.com/f78mb/nintendo-e3-everything-you-need-to-know Tue, 13 Jun 2017 14:14:12 -0400 David Fisher

Once again choosing digital mediums over a live event, Nintendo launched its E3 Nintendo Spotlight with promises of upcoming games for 2017, as well as some surprises during the first hour of the Treehouse Live presentation. With fans eager to hear about more games for the new Switch console, expectations were high, and Nintendo delivered.

If you didn't catch it yourself, here's what you missed!

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey took center stage for Nintendo's E3 presentation. New worlds, including an ice world and a dinosaur world, were revealed, further increasing the variety of worlds featured in the game.

Mario will also have the ability to change hats and costumes, and use his hat to possess various creatures, world objects, and more.

Several amiibo (seen above) will release alongside the game as well. These are all wedding themed amiibo, something that is a recurring theme in the game as Bowser tries to finally marry Princess Peach.

Super Mario Odyssey is set to October 27.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Elysium is the setting of the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and follows the story of a boy who wants to escort Pyra, a "Blade" who requires him as a driver to bring him back to the World Tree. A slew of characters was revealed, and it appears that the game is not a direct sequel to the Xenoblade Chronicles title found on Wii and 3DS as originally theorized. It looks fairly interesting overall and seems to be much more cinematic than previous Xenoblade titles.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is still set for release holiday 2017.

Kirby (Tentative Title)

A new Kirby title is on the way for Nintendo Switch, and this time it has four player co-op similar to that found in Kirby Super Star, where players could take control of Kirby enemies. Not much is known about the title so far, but it is currently set for a 2018 release.

Metroid Prime 4

Metroid Prime is back on the Nintendo Switch! There are no details yet, but the game has finally been confirmed to be in development. Hopefully, Nintendo has brought Retro Studios back on for what should be an amazing Metroid title!

Yoshi (Tentative Title)

A new Yoshi game is on its way, and this time the main mechanic is full 3D movement in alternating 2D and 3D environments. It also features the ability to flip 2D environments around, so it will be interesting to see how these mechanics will change the typical Yoshi formula.

The adorable cardboard Yoshi world will be hitting shelves sometime in 2018.

Fire Emblem Warriors

New details on Fire Emblem Warriors were released at Nintendo's E3 Spotlight. The first detail is that the story will follow two protagonists whose kingdom has fallen after the dragon that protected them went rogue. Secondly, heroes from other Fire Emblem titles will come to their assistance. These characters include Marth, Chrom, Corrin, Xander, and Ryoma.

No specific release date has been revealed for the game, but it still has fall 2017 as its release window.

Pokemon (Switch)

Game Freak has begun work on a dedicated Pokemon RPG title for the Nintendo Switch. No information was revealed ath the E3 Spotlight, but the promise is there, and that alone is something to be excited for.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC

New information has been released for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's DLC. While we already knew what would be included in the DLC for some time now, we now know that the first pack, "The Master Trials", will be released on June 30. Meanwhile, the second pack, "The Champions' Ballad", has been pushed back to holiday 2017.

What's interesting to note is that there was a certain focus on the champions in the trailer. What their role in the DLC story will be remains to be seen, but it should be interesting to see more of the colorful characters that were otherwise only seen in memories.

The Champions will also be featured in a new line of amiibo that will be coming out soon, with a to-be-announced release date.

Rocket League

Rocket League has been announced for Nintendo Switch. The game will come with exclusive items and arrive holiday 2017. This release will also come with cross-platform support to play with players on other consoles.

Metroid: Samus Returns

We now know why AM2R was shut down. Metroid 2 has been remade as Metroid: Samus Returns. The game is a classic 2D Metroid title, and features full range aiming, melee counter abilities, and more. While the game still looks a bit rough, it's definitely a good showing to have as Metroid fans have felt somewhat rejected as of late.

Metroid: Samus Returns will feature plenty of new features and level designs, which is great for those who want to re-experience the title in a reimagined way.

The game launches September 15.

That's All Folks!

Nintendo's presentation was a big surprise with several huge announcements and is hopefully a sign of things to come for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo's dedication to 3DS titles is reassuring as well because it means fans will still have plenty to look forward to on the legacy handheld.

If Nintendo keeps this up, they will undoubtedly gain a lot of fans over the coming years. As always, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Nintendo news and all things E3!

But what did you think of Nintendo's E3 lineup? Are you impressed or left out in the rain? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

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E3 2017: Nintendo Predictions https://www.gameskinny.com/j9vx0/e3-2017-nintendo-predictions https://www.gameskinny.com/j9vx0/e3-2017-nintendo-predictions Thu, 08 Jun 2017 13:20:08 -0400 Curtis Dillon

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Well, there you have it, our predictions for Nintendo's E3 2017 Spotlight. As has become customary, Nintendo will not be hosting a live showcase like Sony or Microsoft, but a Direct video that will come to us at 12 p.m. EST on June 13.

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The E3 Spotlight will be followed by a Treehouse stream, in which Nintendo will showcase the games coming in the near future. This could be a huge E3 for Nintendo; the company will look to give Switch owners plenty of reasons to be excited for the next 6-12 months, and also give potential buyers a reason to dive-in and see what all the hype is about.

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The E3 2017 briefing will focus largely on Super Mario Odyssey, which is going to be Nintendo's big fall game. That alone is reason enough to get excited about E3, but we should be getting at least a few more announcements.

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Let us know in the comments your wildest dreams and what you think is actually going to happen! Don't forget you can find more of our E3 predictions on GameSkinny by following the links below:

\n"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-0e8ca.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-0e8ca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161031","description":"

Metroid On Switch

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Nintendo has said this current E3 will focus on games coming this year, but I expect one surprise to come at the end -- and that's a new MetroidMetroid is one of Nintendo's longest-running and most mishandled franchises. Some gamers will argue that point but the fact of the matter is Nintendo has neglected the iconic series and it's struggling as a result.

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Of course, we know Metroid doesn't sell well. Every time you hear someone question why we don't get more Metroid games, the reason is pretty simple: it doesn't make enough money. Contrary to popular opinion, Metroid is not as big of a franchise as people think, at least not in regards to sales numbers. The highest-selling entry in the franchise is Metroid Prime on GameCube, which sold 2.82 million copies. Wii Music sold better.

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All that being said, I do think there is ample reason for Nintendo to make a Metroid game on the Switch, and I believe the company has been doing just that. Nintendo isn't deaf and the company heard the community the second it announced Metroid Prime: Federation Force at E3 2015. The backlash to the 3DS title was severe and, if they hadn't already known it, the bigwigs at Nintendo would've quickly realized how beloved the series was.

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With that in mind, it seems inevitable that Nintendo would have commissioned a full-blown Metroid title for the Switch. This is a perfect opportunity for Nintendo to shed all of the baggage that comes with Metroid and make a fresh start; a new story, a new setting, even a new protagonist.

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Of course, that's just one idea. The new Metroid could also be a sequel to Other M or Prime 4.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2

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Xenoblade Chronicles released on the Wii in 2011, and it received critical acclaim. The pseudo open-world RPG blew expectations out of the water and proved itself to be more than just a Monster Hunter/Final Fantasy clone.

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A follow-up wasn't expected when it appeared back in January when the Switch was revealed, especially considering Xenoblade Chronicles X only released two years ago on Wii U. To say the least, it was a nice surprise.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was also a sight for sore eyes because it was another huge open-world title for gamers to look forward to after Breath of the Wild. Beyond Zelda, there haven't been a lot of big titles for Switch gamers to sink their teeth into, but Xenoblade can give them exactly that. 

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I would expect Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to sell very well on the Switch, so Nintendo will want to heavily promote it. The game is due for release sometime this year, so we should be seeing a lot more of it at E3.

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SNES Classic Mini

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Another poorly held secret, the SNES Classic Mini seems destined to be fully revealed at E3 and released later this year.

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Last year, Nintendo revealed the NES Classic, a mini version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, equipped with 30 built-in games. The system was marred by constant demand issues -- whether real or manufactured by Nintendo -- before being discontinued after five months and selling 2.3 million units. The system was not only a complete shock to everyone but quickly became the most sought-after toy of the year!

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With all that in mind, a follow-up seems inevitable. Pretty much the second the NES Classic Mini was announced, gamers were calling for the Super Nintendo to get the same treatment. An SNES Mini -- surely with a longer controller cable or even a wireless controller -- could also come with 30 built-in games, including Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, A Link To The Past, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, Final Fantasy III, and Super Mario Kart. That short list of games alone would be worth the price tag!

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We can expect a reveal of the SNES Classic Mini at E3, along with a price tag, release date, and hopefully a lot more stock than the NES Mini.

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Super Mario Odyssey

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Super Mario Odyssey came as a surprise to many when Nintendo revealed it back in January. Not because we weren't expecting a new Mario title, but because the setting took everyone off-guard: New Donk City, pitting our hero in a realistic location for the first time.

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Seeing Mario run around a New York-style city was weird but awesome -- although it was jarring to many. But that was only part of the reveal, which then showcased a variety of beautiful locales, including a vast desert and a lush forest, keeping with the theme of real-world inspired locations.

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Odyssey is the first open-ended, exploration-based Mario game since Super Mario Sunshine way back in 2002! That's incredibly exciting because both Sunshine and Mario 64 are two of the best video games of all-time, and it's been far too long since we've gotten such a Mario game. 

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This is Nintendo's next big game, and we can expect it to take center stage during the E3 Spotlight. We will hopefully get a lengthy gameplay demo as well as a specific release date!

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Wii U Ports

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Before Nintendo gets to the big guns, I believe the company will announce a few more Wii U ports. Since the Nintendo Switch released, it has become a haven for overlooked games seeking a second life. Many games released on the Wii U to zero fanfare, no matter how good they may have been.

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One such title I would expect to see is Xenoblade Chronicles. We're getting a spiritual successor to the 2011 Xenoblade on Switch, so it only makes sense for the majority of the Switch adopters to get a chance to play the original.

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The same could be said for Super Mario Maker, Yoshi's Wooly World, Bayonetta 2, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. There's a lot of games that Nintendo could justifiably port from the Wii U, not to mention older titles like Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2. So don't be surprised if a chunk of thNintendodo Spotlight is devoted to games you've already seen or played!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/w/g/wwgmariorabbids-208253-4900c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/w/g/wwgmariorabbids-208253-4900c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161030","description":"

Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

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Now for the worst kept secret heading into E3 2017 -- well, not counting Assassin's Creed: Origins.

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Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle had been rumored for several months before it was leaked back in May -- and it is a dead lock for E3. The game, which is being developed by Ubisoft, supposedly features turn-based combat, two-player local co-op, and, predictably, a ridiculous sense of humor. Also, despite what the title suggests, Mario won't be the only playable character, as you'll also get to take control of Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, and Rabbids dressed as the aforementioned icons.

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Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is reportedly coming this fall to the Nintendo Switch, making it one of Nintendo's biggest holiday releases. With that in mind, we can expect a full reveal, with gameplay and a release date, during Nintendo's Spotlight. This will likely be a fun title but not the Mario game everyone is desperate to see.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/z/e/l/zelda-miitomo-8cce5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/z/e/l/zelda-miitomo-8cce5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161025","description":"

Breath of the Wild DLC

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This one is a no-brainer. We already know that DLC packs are coming (we even know what's in the packs), but it seems obvious that we will get a real look at them here.

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DLC Pack 1 will come with new armor, a new challenge mode titled Trial of the Sword, a hard more, Hero's Path Mode (which allows you to track your path throughout the world), and a Travel Medallion that allows fast travel. I wouldn't be surprised if this was briefly discussed, then announced to release then and there.

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The second DLC Pack is the more interesting of the two, as it comes with a new dungeon and new story content. Nothing more is known about this DLC pack as of now, but following the release announcement of DLC Pack 1, I would expect a trailer for DLC Pack 2. This would give fans a reason to go back to Breath of the Wild, as well as stay excited for the title for the remainder of the year.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-2017-d7c8d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-2017-d7c8d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161033","description":"

Our E3 2017 predictions are rolling on today, with the focus on Nintendo!

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Nintendo has seen an amazing turn in fortunes and public perception this year with the release of the Nintendo Switch. Even though the Nintendo Wii sold insanely well at first, its sales also basically fell off of a cliff around 2008/2009, meaning the company had almost a decade of negative mindshare and poor sales. There was even a worry amongst gamers, myself included, when the new system was revealed at a terrible event that had all the hallmarks of old, stuck-in-the-past, stubborn, Nintendo.

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All of that changed, however, when the Nintendo Switch released. Once gamers finally had the hardware in their hands, it no longer mattered what silly things Nintendo's reps said or did at a press conference; the tech was fantastic, and we had Breath of the Wild to go with it. All was well in Nintendoland for the first time in too, too long.

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So, with all this momentum and good will, Nintendo will look to capitalize and produce a memorable E3 showing. If everything on this list comes to fruition, Nintendo will stand a good chance of winning E3, as it were. So, let's put on our hype hats and get started!

"}]]]>
Has the Evolution of the JRPG Come to a Grinding Halt? https://www.gameskinny.com/9keaa/has-the-evolution-of-the-jrpg-come-to-a-grinding-halt https://www.gameskinny.com/9keaa/has-the-evolution-of-the-jrpg-come-to-a-grinding-halt Fri, 10 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Bryantcpereira

The JRPG genre is one that is fueled by nostalgia, and most fondly regarded through older titles like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 7. Once remembered as the dominant, most progressive type of game, the genre has seen better days in terms of sales and popularity.

The past two home console generations have seen a much smaller number of AAA games in the JRPG genre than previous ones, as it has mostly shifted towards the handheld market.

Ask nearly any JRPG fan what their favorite game is, and you will almost always garner an answer from before 2006. The last generation saw a few successful hits like Final Fantasy XIII, Tales of Vesperia, and Xenoblade Chronicles, but other than that the PS3/360/Wii era saw very few JRPGs. While Final Fantasy XIII evolved the formula the most, it was met with backlash from the community and mixed reviews due to linearity. Tales of Vesperia received stellar reception but followed many of the standard JRPG tropes found in previous entries in the series.

While JRPGs were stumbling to make an impact on the home console scene, the handheld market was a thriving ecosystem for those types of games. Bravely Default mixed classic JRPG elements like job classes and random encounters with a brand new battle system and engrossing story. Etrian Odyssey 4 was the best-selling game in the series, despite playing very similarly to previous entries in the series. The 3DS and Vita show that interest in old-school JRPG titles is thriving, and the low-cost for developing on these systems makes it the best environment to do so.

Some console games, like I Am Setsuna and Tales of Berseria, exemplify JRPG gameplay are still in high demand, but that doesn't mean there's no room for advancement. Final Fantasy XV is the best example of a rooted franchise expanding past what it’s known for. A pioneer of JRPG gameplay, the Final Fantasy series continues to break the mold and redefine the genre. Just like Final Fantasy VII did in 1997 with its jump into 3D and introducing the Materia system, Final Fantasy XV changes the way JRPGs are meant to be played. The game mixes action RPG elements along with deep character progression through skills and experience. The game also pushes Square Enix’s reputation of bringing cutting edge graphics to the next level, with stunning character models and a vast detailed world.

Other than a few key titles here and there, the JRPG formula remains mostly untouched. Protagonists are still mysteriously being struck by amnesia, a huge world-ending twist is almost guaranteed in these games, and grinding continues to be hugely prominent. JRPG developers could take a lot of cues from western RPG games like The Witcher 3 and Mass Effect that are booming right now. These western RPG games generally have more open-ended stories, impactful decisions, and thriving living worlds.

Luckily, JRPG games are by no means doomed. The handheld market keeps the market alive, and with huge games like Persona 5, NieR: Automata and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 coming out, there are many opportunities to evolve the genre. The original Xenoblade Chronicles showed that JRPGs don’t have to follow a specific formula to be successful. The Wii game has no random battles, a completely unique combat system that mixes real-time with MMO-style commands, and a completely non-linear explorable world. The game was adored by JRPG fans along with people who don’t normally play those games.

Games like I Am Setsuna and the recently announced Octopath Traveler emphasize the demand for SNES-era JRPG games. Nostalgia has proven time and time again that it sells, and developers like Square Enix will continue to release remasters and remakes of games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy as long as they keep printing money. However, the JRPG genre is not completely trapped in the 90’s. As developers see success through games like Xenoblade Chronicles and Final Fantasy XV, they will continue to evolve to meet customer expectations. Money talks -- and as long as developers are profiting from ambitious titles like the upcoming NieR: Automata and Persona 5, the genre can prosper with new ideas and execution.

]]>
A Comprehensive List of 11 JRPGs Coming to the US This Year https://www.gameskinny.com/17qw8/a-comprehensive-list-of-11-jrpgs-coming-to-the-us-this-year https://www.gameskinny.com/17qw8/a-comprehensive-list-of-11-jrpgs-coming-to-the-us-this-year Tue, 07 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 gbarber98

It's a good year for video games, with games like Resident Evil, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Zelda Breath of the Wild coming out. But what about those wonderful JRPGs which are finally making their way to the US, or which are releasing alongside their Japanese counterparts? Let me tell you about the JRPGs which are coming to the States this year.

1. Tales Of Berseria

Tales Of Berseria is set in a wasteland of a world, known as Glenwood, in the distant future. This is the first tales game with a lead protagonist named Velvet, who once was a kind hearted person turned to the path of revenge after a series of events which changed her life forever -- shock and horror. Now she is on a quest to destroy the balance of peace, and possibly destroy the world to quench her thirst for revenge -- which makes an interesting take on the tried and tested revenge motivation.

Tales of Berseria is available now for PS4, and PC.

2. Nioh

Nioh has been called a Samurai version of Dark Souls, due to Nioh being a dark, gritty, and mature action RPG. Player take control of Williams Adams, a real-life Western Samurai who existed in the 1600s at the end of Japan's Warring States Period. In Nioh you will hack, and slash everything in your way as you fight through the beautiful but twisted world. I love games that take the risk, reward method like that of the Souls games, and thoroughly challenge you.

Nioh was released on on February 7.

3. Persona 5

Persona 5 is one of the most stylish JRPG's coming out this year. This series has made so many fans over the years, from the PS2 era Persona games, to the animes, and even to the remake of Persona 4 on the PS Vita. The Persona series itself has always brought a unique take on JRPG's, thus making them totally traditional. What make this series special is in its relationships with in-game friends and family -- you hang with friends, and grow to become greater friends. Persona 5 really kicks it up a notch with vibrant contrasting colors, and a sleek UI -- the trailers are to be believed.

Persona 5 will be releasing on April 4 2017, for PS4.

 4. Neir Automata

Before playing the demo for Neir Automata I don't know much about the series, but after the demo I can tell you it's pretty damn good -- and so can many others. Neir Automata takes place in a time where humans have basically been wiped out, and the world has been taken over by robots. You will play though the game as a character simply named "2B." The perspective will seamlessly shift between a standard 3D, to 2D (well more 2.5D), to top down bullet hell style -- and it's not jarring at all.

Neir Automata is releasing on February 23 2017 for PS4, and PC later.

5. Summon Night 6 Lost Borders

Already out in Japan, Summon Night 6 will be coming to the States  in 2017, yet people here don't know much but the games. They are a unique blend of strategy RPG (reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea), and anime. They have also added a unique bonus of letting you choose not only your main character, but your main partner as well. This lets you customize your story the way that you want it to unfold.

Summon Night 6 is coming some time in 2017.

6. Dragon Quest XI

Dragon Quest XI is the next instalment in the Dragon Quest series. The game continues it's traditional gameplay, where player will traverse a open world full of monsters to fight. The Nintendo 3DS version of the game will show off a 3D art style, but players will be able to shift between 3D and 2D graphics on the fly.

Dragon Quest Xl will be releasing in Japan in 2017, while nothing has been said for a worldwide release. We do know that it is coming to Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, and PS4 so expect a US release date soon.

7. Final Fantasy Xll: The Zodiac Age

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is a remake of the original PS2 game released in 2006. The original FFXII added many systems to the Final Fantasy world that have been improved upon by future games, like the latest Final Fantasy XV. Fans will return to the world of Ivalice with a new HD look, while newcomers to the series will be able to see how it influenced FFXV.

FFXII will also feature the previously released (Japan only) Zodiac update. This features the ability to assign characters to different roles, thus giving each character unique skills and individual stat growth.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will be releasing on July 11 for the PS4.

8. Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a sequel to the first Xenoblade on the Wii. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was announced at the Nintendo Switch event, and will be the first JRPG to make it to the Nintendo Switch. Despite being a sequel, it will not have the same main character as in first game, instead you will play as a new character who is searching the world for Elysium.

Xenoblade chronicle 2 will be releasing sometime in 2017.

9. Kingdom Hearts 3

Kingdom Hearts 3 is the next instalment of the Kingdom Hearts series. The game will continue the story of Kingdom Hearts 2, so to get ready, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is available now, and it features a small piece is what is to come in the third installment.

Kingdom Hearts 3 does not yet have a release window, but the full HD collection of Kingdom Hearts series will release on March 28 2017.

10. Ni No Kuni 2

Ni No Kuni 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Ni No Kuni. The game was announced at PSX 2016, with a incredible trailer showcasing the incredible world of Ni No Kuni, and it's amazing anime like look. This is a game I missed out on sadly, so hopefully they will make a remaster of the first game so people can play that before 2 releases. This game is one of the best looking games coming out in 2017, the only negative thing I have heard about the game is that they are removing familiars from the game, but other than that people are very excited.

Ni No Kuni 2 has not been given a fixed release date, but it is coming in 2017 for the PS4.

11. Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII is a remake of the original game for the PS1 made in 1997, it was was announced at E3 2015. FFVII will retell the story of ex-military Cloud Strife, as him, and eco terrorist group named AVALANCHE, fight against the Shinra megacorporation, and rouge soldier Sephiroth.

This game is still most likely a way of but we can hope to see something at E3 this year, or hopefully come out into 2017.

These games should be all coming out this year, except for any delays which can happen. If you have never played any type of JRPG's, you should start by playing Tales of Berseria which is available now, or look out for Nioh releasing on the 7th.

Have I missed out any JRPGs which are coming in 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

]]>
Nintendo Switch's Popular Upcoming Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/2ni8b/nintendo-switchs-popular-upcoming-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/2ni8b/nintendo-switchs-popular-upcoming-titles Fri, 13 Jan 2017 08:08:39 -0500 Marc Anthony

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The Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 saw the announcement of the Switch and its upcoming and developing games that will be released in the future. The presentation is shown in full to incite opinion and conversation.

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Important timestamps:

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  • 33:31 -- Event Begins
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  • 48:45 -- New game "1-2 Switch"
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  • 53:53 -- New game "Arms"
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  • 59:43 -- "Splatoon 2"
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  • 1:04:56 -- New Game "Super Mario Odyssey"
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  • 1:05:30 -- "Mario being a sociopath and ruining a perfectly good Taxi car" 1:09:30 -- New Sequal Xenoblade Chronicles 2
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  • 1:15:02 -- New Game "Project Octopath Traveler"
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  • 1:24:58 -- Montage of Games
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  • 1:34:18 -- "Legend of Zelda Breathe of the Wild teaser"
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Other confirmed releases to be released on the Switch so far include:

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  • 1-2 Switch
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  • Arcade Archives
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  • The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth
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  • Cube Life: Island Survival
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  • Disgaea 5 Complete
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  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
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  • Dragon Quest X: The Five Awakening Races Online
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  • Dragon Quest XI
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  • Dragon Quest Heroes 1 and 2
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  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
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  • Farming Simulator
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  • Fast RMX
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  • FIFA
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  • Fire Emblem Warriors
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  • Has Been Heroes
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  • I am Setsuna
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  • Just Dance 2017
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  • Lego City Undercover
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  • Minecraft: Switch Edition
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  • Minecraft: Story Mode - The Complete Edition
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  • Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom
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  • NBA 2K18
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  • No More Heroes
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  • Project Octopath Traveler
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  • Project Sonic 2017
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  • Rayman Legends Definitive Edition
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  • Redout
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  • Rime
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  • Shin Megami Tensei
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  • Shovel Knight
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  • Skylanders Imaginators
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  • Snipperclips- Cut it out, together!
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  • Stardew Valley
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  • Steep
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  • Super Bomberman R
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  • Syberia 3
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  • Ultra Street fighter 2: the Final Challengers
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  • Yooka-laylee
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Which games are you most excited for? Any you're disappointed not to see in this list? Let me know down in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9824f2e91fda29fba64fdf222f7b9567.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9824f2e91fda29fba64fdf222f7b9567.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10209","description":"
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been announced for the Nintendo Switch. The trailer speaks for itself as fans await its arrival.

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This is Nintendo's 18th installment of The Legend of Zelda franchise, following Link once more in his adventures across the ruined kingdom of Hyrule. Link will travel across the land and discover new destinations, lands, and shrines while fighting enemies, hunting game, and gathering for ingredients to sustain himself on his adventures.

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In this installment, Link will also need the assistance of particular gear, outfits, and weapons that allow specific perks, skills, and special effects dependent on the task at hand. For example, specific outfits can make Link more stealthy and quick. And he'll have to wear different clothes dependent on weather; bundling up for cold weather areas as opposed to clothes better suited for the desert.

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All weapons, food, and clothing must be obtained through playing the game by crafting and discovering these specific items while strategizing against new enemies with unique design and attack patterns.

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In addition the game will allow amiibo support for several Legend of Zelda pieces, such as Wolf Link from Twilight Princess.

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The incredibly beautiful sandbox world is being released on March 3, 2017 alongside the Nintendo Switch.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/ebdea3b4e60997fa83108135a9dd9051.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/ebdea3b4e60997fa83108135a9dd9051.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10208","description":"
Super Mario Odyssey
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Mario jumps into several new worlds with Nintendo's newest installment, Super Mario Odyssey. (You can almost hear him say the title just like Galaxy.)

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Mario returns to an open world sandbox much like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, traveling to several new worlds populated by forest life, desert lions, and the most obscene of all...people!

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Introducing a personified hat mechanic into the game, Mario can now throw his hat or climb on it in order to overcome obstacles. But this the feature is only available on Switch according to Koizumi.

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Be ready to break up the most awkward wedding of all between Bowser and Princess Peach when Super Mario Odyssey releases this holiday of 2017.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/ff63d2e136f2d2ca9771681eb0063679.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/ff63d2e136f2d2ca9771681eb0063679.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10207","description":"
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
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Not much can be said concerning the upcoming RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2, except that it follows an all-new hero in a new world on a quest for Elysium.

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The past Xenoblade Chronicles was an open world sandbox RPG, split into specific areas for exploration along with missions and side quests with a real-time battling system -- one that's hopefully making a return to its sequel in a more advanced format with updated battle systems, and new characters to learn about and develop.

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Check out the trailer above to get a better look at the sequel, set to release this year. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b042c7d4dfdca9898096a6eb04389aaf.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b042c7d4dfdca9898096a6eb04389aaf.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10206","description":"
Sonic Mania
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*Insert original Sega theme here*

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Everyone's favorite Blue hedgehog, Sonic, has returned to his roots with the new Sonic Mania.

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Sonic Mania brings Sonic the Hedgehog back to his 2D pixelated adventure with new zones and classic stages, along with his two friends and playable characters Tails "Miles" Prowler and Knuckles the Echidna. Sonic Mania also features a new drop dash feature in Sonic's new game celebrating his past roots.

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Sonic Mania is expected to release in the Spring.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/523219446eb97664f4bd2da5f4f6b1d0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/523219446eb97664f4bd2da5f4f6b1d0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10204","description":"
ARMS 
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A new title has emerged from the presentation with Nintendo Switch's ARMS. 

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DISCLAIMER  *Nintendo Switch does not have arms or is packaged with arms. I promise.*

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ARMS is a play on boxing games with an obvious and significant twist -- elongated arms when fighting. Using targeting functions and allowing punches to hit an opponent, ARMS allows motion controls with the Joycon in both hands, where each controller acts independently of the other to create physical movement in the game.

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ARMS has been announced with a projected release this Spring. It will be playable on split screen, online multiplayer, and Switch vs. Switch.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7f890f95ee38f9e04a6677ee68266dbb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7f890f95ee38f9e04a6677ee68266dbb.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10202","description":"
Splatoon 2 
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Splatoon 2 has been announced to hit the Switch as the sequel to (you guessed it) Splatoon. The sequel is expected to be available this summer, packed with new weapons, fashion options, new arenas and more. 

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The Splatoon Stage presentation also introduced the "Splat Duelies" and the super jump mechanic. These duel wielded weapons not only can shoot ink from each hand, but also propel you at a high rate of speed to outmaneuver opponents. The super jump allows you to instantaneously jump to a teammate after viewing the map and pressing the button assigned to that specific member.

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The game can be played on the Joycon and Switch Pro controllers, with gyro aiming controls for play in addition to online and local multiplayer capabilities. Splatoon 2 can be played on a television screen as well as the Switch's handheld mode.

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Splatoon 2 plans to continue continue the in-game events player got in the first game.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3f26db486ec5dd9bf6072d2fd1699325.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3f26db486ec5dd9bf6072d2fd1699325.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10201","description":"
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
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Revving up this list is the announcement of the new Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The deluxe version of Mario Kart 8 will still feature all tracks and characters from its Wii U predecessor, but will add DLC tracks and characters as well -- such as King Boo, Inkling Boy and Girl, Dry Bones, and Bowser Jr. There are also new tracks including Urchin Underpass and the new battle stadium for balloon battle and Bob-Omb blast.

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The game will feature a new item mechanic that allows players to hold to items at once and sees the return of the feather and boo items. In addition to the item mechanic, there is also a smart steering feature that will allow easy control for new players.

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe comes this April.

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(Luigi can't wait that long for it.)

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/q/q/q/qqqqq-6e1e9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/q/q/q/qqqqq-6e1e9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147348","description":"

Aftr a long way, the Nintendo Switch has finally been revealed during the Nintendo Switch Presentation -- with a confirmed release date of March 3, 2017. Along with the announcement of its technology, specs, and features, Nintendo has also announced some upcoming titles to the new console in the future.

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This list just scratches the surface of the 80 games currently in development, according to Nintendo conference.

"}]]]>