Tag Archives: Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Seven Arbitrarily Chosen Things You’re Missing Out On If You’ve Been Operating Under the Mistaken Belief that JRPGs are “Dead”

It seems that every time we get a new Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy or Persona release, we have the same old “we’re having a JRPG renaissance!” discussion.

Well, dear reader, with my coverage of Death End Re;Quest on the horizon at the time of writing and plenty more RPGs in our shared futures, I’m here to remind you that RPGs have been alive and well ever since what people think of as their “golden age” — the SNES and PS1 eras. This will not be a shock to some of you reading this, of course, but I’m sure there are quite a few people out there who have passed up some wonderful experiences for one reason or another.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d do a list of seven arbitrarily chosen things that you might have missed out on if you’ve been operating under the grossly mistaken assumption that the role-playing game genre has somehow been “dead” despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Here we go!

Continue reading Seven Arbitrarily Chosen Things You’re Missing Out On If You’ve Been Operating Under the Mistaken Belief that JRPGs are “Dead”

The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Game of the Year 2018

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more here, but you’re out of time to leave suggestions, I’m afraid!

Well, here we are once again on the last day of the old year, awaiting the arrival of the new. And, of course, that means one thing for anyone interested in games: the completely arbitrary declaration of “Game of the Year”.

Everyone has different criteria for selecting their own personal Game of the Year. For some, it’s simply the game they enjoyed the most or which took over their life to the greatest degree. For others, it’s to do with technical or artistic achievement. For others still, it’s all about sales figures.

For me, it’s quite simply the game I played this year that I feel was… “best”, across all its various aspects. A game that is a real showcase of just what is out there today, and which I feel is a shining example of what being interested in video games really “means”.

And the winner is…

Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Game of the Year 2018

The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 4 – Servant to the Gacha

A week later than originally intended, here’s the fourth episode of The MoeGamer Podcast!

We’re a week late because last weekend I’d been struck down by some sort of hideous plague that made me want to go to bed at 2pm in the afternoon and just not get up for most of the weekend. Thankfully that appears to have mostly passed! Stupid summer flu.

Chris unfortunately wasn’t available to join the discussion this week for non-illness-related reasons, so instead I’m joined by a special guest: Joe, host of EriChannel over on Twitch! Hit the jump for the episode and synopsis.

EDIT: The episode is back up under a new YouTube ID! Thanks for your patience and understanding. Hit the jump to watch/listen.

Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 4 – Servant to the Gacha

The One-Liner Challenge

Time for a Community tag post! This one looked like a particularly fun one, and after the lovely Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime specifically requested me to do one about games, who was I to refuse?

The original tag came from The Awkward Book Blogger and was based around, as you might expect, books — but it has since expanded to encompass anime and now, thanks to my contribution, games as well.

So let’s jump right in. After the jump. Jumpy jumpy jump.

Continue reading The One-Liner Challenge

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Bringing the “Niche” to the “Mainstream”

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
<< First | < Previous


An interesting aspect of Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Western release is the matter of its localisation.

I’m not talking about it from a “censorship” perspective or anything like that, mind you — largely because, in my experience, those sorts of discussions often tend to get bogged down and never really go anywhere.

Rather, Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s localisation is an interesting case because, more than anything, it appears to represent an honest attempt to bridge the gap between a genre of game that has come to be regarded as highly “niche interest” over the last few years, and the broader, mainstream audience Nintendo typically courts with its console platforms.

Continue reading Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Bringing the “Niche” to the “Mainstream”

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
<< First | < Previous | Next > | Latest >>


The Xeno series as a whole has always been renowned for tackling challenging themes in ambitious ways… and occasionally not quite being able to match the ambition with the execution.

The Xenoblade Chronicles subseries has been somewhat experimental with its storytelling over its three installments to date. The original Xenoblade Chronicles featured a strong, linear narrative with a number of independent side threads that unfolded as you reached the various locales that were important to the story; Xenoblade Chronicles X de-emphasised its main scenario in favour of strong worldbuilding and a sense that you were just one part of something much bigger; and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, unsurprisingly, takes an approach somewhere between the two.

Does it work? Absolutely, and the sheer scale of the whole thing means that there’s a whole lot to talk about.

Continue reading Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

Waifu Wednesday: Mòrag and Brighid

Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s main cast runs the gamut from spunky, optimistic youths to a few rather more reserved characters.

Mòrag and her Blade Brighid (Meleph and Kagutsuchi in the Japanese original) fall into this latter category, both offering their own distinctive take on being the “detached voice of reason” in most situations.

Both of them are interesting characters in their own right, so let’s take a closer look at both today.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Mòrag and Brighid

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: A Titanic World

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
<< First | < Previous | Next > | Latest >>


While the Xeno series has, from its outset, always been about imaginative takes on worldbuilding, the Xenoblade subseries in particular has placed a strong emphasis on this.

Indeed, as we’ve already explored, the very reason the first Xenoblade Chronicles exists at all is because series creator Tetsuya Takahashi thought it would be cool to have a game set atop the bodies of two gigantic, frozen gods. The concept was subsequently fleshed out into the divide between the Bionis and the Mechonis, and the rest is history.

Xenoblade Chronicles X subsequently provided a somewhat different take on worldbuilding, providing us with a huge, seamless and geographically diverse planet to explore at our own pace. But Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is closer in concept to the first in the series, albeit with a few twists of its own.

Continue reading Xenoblade Chronicles 2: A Titanic World

Waifu Wednesday: Poppi

One of Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s best characters is Poppi (aka Hana in the Japanese voice track), the artificial Blade created by the Nopon Tora as an attempt to finish the work his dadapon and grampypon started.

Always endearing, surprisingly empathetic and understanding to her friends and companions, highly capable in a variety of situations and owner of probably the sharpest tongue in the whole cast — though she has some stiff competition from Nia — Poppi is an absolute delight to spend time with, and a highlight among an already very strong ensemble of characters.

She’s also a character who undergoes some of the most obvious and recognisable growth — in more ways than one — over the course of the narrative. So let’s take a closer look!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Poppi

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Violence Doesn’t Solve Everything

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
<< First | < Previous | Next > | Latest >>


One of the key ways many people like to distinguish the stereotypically Eastern and Western approaches to role-playing games is via non-combat mechanics and progression.

It’s fair to say that, as we’ve already discussed, many role-playing games from Japan place a strong focus on combat both as a core aspect of gameplay and the central aspect of their overall progression. You can contrast this strongly with something like an Elder Scrolls game, which still involves combat at times, but, depending on how you choose to play it, can also place a strong focus on crafting, spellcraft, stealth, exploration and all manner of other aspects.

Xenoblade Chronicles has, since the first installment of the subseries, always been about something of a fusion between the linear, narrative-focused nature of Japanese games, and the more open, flexible, “emergent” gameplay of Western titles. And this tradition is well and truly intact in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Continue reading Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Violence Doesn’t Solve Everything