Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has finally been released today on the Nintendo Switch, and it is quickly rising through the ranks on the eShop in all three major regions. It is currently 5th on the American eShop, 4th on the European eShop and 2nd on the Japanese eShop. This is a relief as the future of the Xenoblade Chronicles series rested on the shoulders of this title.
For a history lesson, the original Xenoblade Chronicles released in Japan on the Wii in 2010. It was well-received but had no apparent plans for a Western release. This was at a time when major Japanese RPGs were rare on the Wii, and the system was suffering from a major drought of serious games. In June of 2011, gamers all over the West organized an effort called Operation Rainfall to garner support for the localization of Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower. After months of fans flooding Nintendo with emails and written letters, Nintendo finally conceded and released all three games in the West in 2012. Xenoblade received a limited release and thus didn’t have as much exposure as would have been desired to fans of the series. Xenoblade Chronicles was also released on the New 3DS but wasn’t compatible with the standard 3DS or 2DS models.
Xenoblade Chronicles X was the spiritual sequel to the first game, but it did not continue the story of the first game. The first game was story driven, whereas X was gameplay and world exploration driven. Unfortunately, having been released on the ailing Wii U console, the game could not live up to its full sales potential. With the release of Chronicles 2 on the Switch, the series finally has its chance to shine, and it is a relief to see it already performing well. If the game sells well enough, it will ensure the longevity of the series going forward.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a single-player, story-driven, open-world Japanese RPG with a battle system reminiscent of online MMO games. The design of the Xenoblade Chronicles series has a major focus on scale. All of the environments are absolutely massive; they dwarf the inhabitants of the lands. Xenoblade Chroncles 1 took place on the bodies of two absolutely massive deceased gods where life evolved on their carcasses. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 takes place on the bodies of many smaller, living gods called Titans and features drastically different environments depending on which Titan you are exploring. Chronicles 2 follows the story of scavenger named Rex who is trying to help a living weapon called a Blade who is named Pyra. Pyra desires to go back to her homeland which is a massive tree called Yggdrasil to try to save the world. Discover distinct cultures, wildlife, environments and treasures as you explore through the massive world found in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.