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Quick Look: Xenoblade Chronicles 2

We check in with our resident Anime experts, Brad and Ben, about some serious anime! Talking dragons, giant swords, huge skill trees, and more in Xenoblade Chronicles 2!

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Dec. 15 2017

Cast: Brad, Ben

Posted by: Jan

In This Episode:

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

147 Comments

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jouhn

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Edited By jouhn

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charliejz

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Edited By charliejz

I'm REALLY FEELIN' IT!

also Nia (cat girl) is Welsh, not Irish.

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hiscores

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Edited By hiscores

Irish?! That's not Irish boyo. That's Welsh!

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Larsa

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THINK YOU CAN TAKE ME?

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Michaele82

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I like your attitude!

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steveurkel

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This is my favorite switch game, bounced off of Mario after an hour and Zelda I made about 20 hours in before I gave up. This game is charming.

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metalliccookies

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DON'T FORGET ME!

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Gyoru

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Edited By Gyoru
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Quantris

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So great that Brad did this just as the game introduces Poppi!

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planetfunksquad

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Welsh cat girl. Welsh.

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Bowl-of-Lentils

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Edited By Bowl-of-Lentils

Why does every Quick Look for an "anime" game have to have a joke about how confusing the story is? Xenoblade 2 is pretty straight forward and isn't any more confusing than any other fantasy plot. Movies like The Never Ending Story have just as much weirdness if not more.

Anyway, I'm playing Xenoblade 2 right now. I like it a lot. Accents are awesome. Also the gameplay becomes a whole lot funnier once you get a full party.

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SgtExo

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Wow, the voices sound terrible.

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DavidGameUK

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Edited By DavidGameUK

I hope you stick with it Brad. The combat starts off basic but when you start utilising the blade arts system to its fullest and timing the combos, I think it gets very satisfying. I've sank 180 hours (had to review it) and still want to jump back in, despite a whole heap of flaws from my perspective. Glad you and Ben did a QL for it!

Also: Nia is Welsh, but I'm certain you'll have received many a.... "pleasant" message on that front. It could have been worse though; you could have called a Scottish person English :-P

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umbaglo

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I get what you mean when you say that handheld looks "low res", but I actually... really like the look? Like, it SUPER comes across as like you're playing an old PS2-era prerendered cutscene, even with a little bit of that grain effect those videos used to get. It gave me a lot more of the feeling of "You're playing a cutscene!" they were trying to express during the PS1->PS2 and PS2->PS3 transitions then those eras ever did.

Everything just looks like it's always a prerendered cutscene, and they manage to make the characters generic animations good enough that it manages to come across as hand-crafted all the time.

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WesternWizard

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At work so can't watch this yet, but they think the combat is basic? Oh boy... if they stick with it they're going to have a bad time. If you don't master the combat it is an utter slog going through mobs with massive HP bars that are proportioned based on full driver combos, full special combos, cancelling attacks for maximum bar, chain attacks....

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shadow961

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@sgtexo said:

Wow, the voices sound terrible.

The lip syncing is so bad too. Add both of those on top of the ridiculous/offensive character designs and I'm just being bombarded with elements that take me out of the experience. This franchise is never going to be anything more than niche it seems. That's not something you'd expect to say about a Nintendo owned dev.

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darkjester74

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Edited By darkjester74

Yes the English voices are terrible. That is easily remedied by installing the Japanese voice DLC which is free. It improves the experience considerably. The lip sync also works when Japanese voices are enabled.

The mechanics in this game are so many layers deep it can make your head spin. Takes a while to get your arms around it, frankly. Personally, I'm really enjoying, I've already dumped 80 hours into it and still looking to play more.

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Robaota

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As a guy from the UK, the accents in this game are fucking wild to listen to. In a good way, it's a bit hit-or-miss in terms of actual delivery, but the fact they have people of all sorts of dialects (and actually kind of fit lingo with the script) is actually kind of awesome?

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Quantris

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@sgtexo said:

Wow, the voices sound terrible.

The lip syncing is so bad too. Add both of those on top of the ridiculous/offensive character designs and I'm just being bombarded with elements that take me out of the experience. This franchise is never going to be anything more than niche it seems. That's not something you'd expect to say about a Nintendo owned dev.

There *isn't* lip syncing; the animation is for Japanese.

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Puchiko

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I want to watch this but the Engrish voices make my blood curl..... Also not surprising how early on in the story they are based on the thumbnail.

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ChrisFlavin

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I could go for a JRPG on the Switch, but the style of this is not appealing at all :/

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Vicious17

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Edited By Vicious17

I feel like this game is several steps backwards from XBC1. There's some design decisions thata re just... mind numbingly insane. Like say, the Core Gacha System without actually being a Gacha System because no real money is ever ivolved. But instead, its just very VERY low odds and a pain to open for seemingly no reason whatsoever.

Then there's the map. Oh god, the map...

@quantris:

It isn't, strangely enough. The animation just seems randomly generated, because the Japanese VA doesn't match up either.

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SethMode

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So, this might be silly of me to ask, but if I don't speak Japanese, why would the Japanese language improve the experience for me? I might as well just turn the voice volume off since I can't understand anything that they're saying.

Sorry, don't mean to side track, I just never really understood that solution to bad voice acting.

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onkel

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This is a pretty good representation of what is bad about Anime.

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TwoLines

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@sethmode said:

So, this might be silly of me to ask, but if I don't speak Japanese, why would the Japanese language improve the experience for me? I might as well just turn the voice volume off since I can't understand anything that they're saying.

Sorry, don't mean to side track, I just never really understood that solution to bad voice acting.

Well, have you ever seen a foreign movie? Or anything with subtitles? Even if you don't understand the words, the intonation, and acting- those still carry a lot of value. And if the acting is better in Japanese, I'd pick that one.

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Vicious17

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@sethmode:

Some people think the Japanese VA sounds better overall. Like the inflections and the like. I personally couldn't disagree more. To me, MOST of the English VA is... fine. Maybe not perfect, but its fine. I especially like Pyra's.

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Puchiko

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Edited By Puchiko

Wow.... way to generalize a whole genre. Its like saying Harvey Weinstein is a good representation of what's bad about men or the Patriots are a good representation of whats bad about the NFL

@onkel said:

This is a pretty good representation of what is bad about Anime.

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SethMode

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@twolines said:
@sethmode said:

So, this might be silly of me to ask, but if I don't speak Japanese, why would the Japanese language improve the experience for me? I might as well just turn the voice volume off since I can't understand anything that they're saying.

Sorry, don't mean to side track, I just never really understood that solution to bad voice acting.

Well, have you ever seen a foreign movie? Or anything with subtitles? Even if you don't understand the words, the intonation, and acting- those still carry a lot of value. And if the acting is better in Japanese, I'd pick that one.

Sure, I'm not trying to completely write it off, it's just I find most of the voice stuff I hear in games specifically is kind of background noise as I'm playing the game. And while I can often tell emotions via expressions vocally and physically in movies that are in a language I don't understand, I don't think games are there yet. Maybe this one is though, I haven't played it yet nor have I gotten to watch the QL.

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soulcake

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i have being playing this game for 50 hours and i am liking it and i am not the person who likes jrpg's in general.

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Edited By soulcake

@sethmode: Jrpgs purist like to hear "san" i guess.

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Zeeman155

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It really seems like Brad needs more time with the systems and should try buying items and filling out his party with useful equipment/items. He had nothing on Tora going into the first dungeon. Sidequests help acclimate you to this. Also resting and leveling at inns is a thing if you feel underpowered. A lot of this stuff isn't fun doing in a QL format but maybe getting a bit further and being more prepared would have been useful. Especially if this is his first XC game.

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soulcake

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Also fuck nopon's and gramps is pretty dope.

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test0r

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I read Poppiswap as Poppiswag at first and got a little disappointed when i realised it wasen't swag.

Anyway, this is really making me want to replay the first one. Really one of the best games on the Wii. And I will definitely be picking this up whenever I actually get around to buying a Switch.

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kdr_11k

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- Reviving takes one pip of the top left bar, if that's empty you can't revive.

- You can sleep in an inn if you need some XP quickly.

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Jijipose

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I love anime. Anime is good.

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Decaped

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Edited By Decaped

@sethmode: Yeah, even rudimentary facial animation can go a long way toward making the original language worth it. If you aren't getting enough from the performance context in a second language, the one you understand completely is better, even if the acting is bad.

Once your to the point where you can recognize common words or phrases, it might be worth switching for animation.

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kdr_11k

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@soulcake said:

Also fuck nopon's

You're wrong, nopon are awe-pon!

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Subscryber

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Edited By Subscryber

I've seen a good bit of the beginning of this game, and I'm super interested. I don't care for modern JRPGs, they are full of drip-fed stories and poor plot pacing. This seems to actually be properly paced, with just enough story rewards and moment and revelations thrown in to keep things interesting, as a classic JRPG should. The heroes are likable, if a bit twee, and the villains are clear, drawn in sharp lines, but also mysterious. Compare to Ni No Kuni or Persona, where nothing happens for 15 hours and you're just inundated with distracting menu-based gameplay. I just can't do it. Obviously, this game has probably too much tutorializing and its share of JRPG tedium, but as long as the plot moves at a good clip, those elements can be forgiven. That was like the core experience of JRPGs for a while, until they turned into more systems-oriented things, with excessively padded stories that kind of didn't go anywhere.

Probably going to buy a (another) Switch in January or February (I sold mine after Odyssey, because I thought it was a boring and trivially easy retread of familiar territory), and I'm really looking forward to playing this. Maybe it's not to people's tastes anymore, but I really just think this is how a JRPG should be done. Yeah, it's anime as hell, but I'm okay with that, because we just don't see this kind of game anymore.

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Edited By pslyy

You can only revive other characters if you have at least level 1 party gauge

The tutorials in this game are really crappy. I had to read some of the combat mechanics from a guide since I didn't remember them from 10 hours of game play ago. But the game is good when you finally get into it.

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MattGiersoni

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Edited By MattGiersoni

Game looks ok. Aside from bad designs like Pyra's, the rest of the characters actually look pretty alright though. The voice acting seems ok, I personally thought the japanese one was miles better. The thing I dislike the most is the combat. It just seems really slow and not fun. The enemies seem to be incredible damage sponges. The world seems really cool though, sea of clouds, huge monsters and all that, and the story seems pretty alright too. Again, I haven't played it, only watched the QL and some streams on Easy Allies yt, so I know it's not completely fair to judge it, but 83 on opencritic seems fair. I guess the ability to take this kind of huge game on the go is a great aspect. Switch is killing it this year and this is another good title! Fully agree with Brad: "It's a good game not amazing, but not terrible either."

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mrbubbles

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I'm glad this game continues the trend of having a welsh lady in a game who I could listen to talk all day.

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CasinoGhostt

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Edited By CasinoGhostt

Why does most of the cutscene music sound like Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), but in a major key?

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CasinoGhostt

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Also, everyone is Northern. Ey'up.

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You can force the party to focus on your target using the left arrow button.

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Zoidberg

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Edited By Zoidberg

Really have been enjoying this game so far! I'm about 40 hours in currently, and the story feels very rewarding thus far. Character designs can be hit or miss (and sometimes extremely bad), but generally the characters housed in said designs are charming. Gameplay can be repetitive, but it is a lot deeper than shown here--the game unfolds that stuff pretty slowly, but I personally think it's better for it.

Also really haven't had any issues with the voice acting--maybe I just have a higher tolerance for this stuff? Your mileage will certainly vary, basically.

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ThePebble

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If they would give me an option to cut out the fanservice, I would buy this game in a heartbeat.

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WillyOD

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British-ish voiceovers sound so bad. Like how the heck are they in the final game level bad, yikes.

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mak_wikus

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Is it me or has audio become a little... overbearing in recent videos?

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Chicken008

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Edited By Chicken008

@onkel: Says more about you and what anime you choose to watch.
You should just watch good anime.

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"irish" catgirl