If you weren’t already aware, Mythra and Pyra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 were added to Super Smash Bros Ultimate earlier this month, and since their inclusion was announced, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 completely sold out in Japan. The power of Smash Bros strikes again — having your character in Smash is the best way to market your game these days.
With this recent surge in popularity for Xenoblade 2 — a personal favourite game of mine — I felt it was absolutely necessary to write up something about why you guys should also be picking up the game if you haven’t already.
What is Xenoblade Chronicles 2?
According to legend, the people of Alrest originally resided with their creator, the Architect, in Elysium, atop the World Tree. However, for unknown reasons, they were later expelled from the land. The Architect then sent the Titans to save them, and since then the Titans have been the home to all inhabitants of Alrest.
A young man named Rex lives atop the back of a Titan he refers to as “Gramps” and it’s here that the story begins. Rex is a young salvager who dives into the depths of the cloud sea to uncover the treasure that rests below. After arriving at the Argentum Trade Guild, Rex is offered a job by a small but strong-looking group that he absolutely can’t refuse.
After arriving at their set location, they uncover a huge vessel below the cloud sea and after infiltrating the ship Rex finds himself standing in front of a sleeping beauty — the Aegis. In front of the woman is a glowing stone, a core crystal, which Rex touches and begins to resonate with. Suddenly Rex is stabbed in the back by one of the group members who originally recruited him.
He awakens in a mysterious place known as Elysium — the legendary home atop the World Tree from which humanity supposedly originated. He then notices the same sleeping woman now standing beneath a tree ahead of him. She reveals herself to be Pyra, a legendary Blade known as the Aegis, and after sharing half of her life force in order to save Rex, one of the most memorable stories of “boy meets girl” truly begins.
Driver and Blade relationships
Blades are organic weapons that begin as a core crystal and upon resonating with specific people, they take on their true form. Blades are incredibly powerful beings that draw ether from the world and offer it to their Drivers as a form of power. Drivers are the wielders of the power that is offered by Blades, and the reason that Blades are able to exist.
The relationships that the main cast of characters have with their Blades is an incredibly appealing aspect of the game. The relationships can take many forms: servant and master, absolute loyalty, platonic love, maids and, of course, romantic love. Each one of these relationships is appealing in its own right, but I’m personally a sucker for lovey-dovey romance and that’s why this aspect is so appealing.
The main relationship in the game is between Rex, Pyra, and Mythra. Pyra is the form that the Aegis takes upon their first meeting, but we later find out that there are two sides to this coin, the other being known as Mythra. Before going into her long slumber, Mythra created Pyra as another personality within herself, so the two are both the “same person” and very different from one another.
Pyra and Rex’s relationship is wonderful and Rex learns more about what it means to be a Driver, the two become ever closer. Mythra, meanwhile, starts out as someone much more distant and cold. This is because of events that took place five hundred years prior to the events of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 — before she went into her dormant state.
As her walls begin to break down, we learn that Mythra is scared of being accepted in full; her power is something terrifying and she herself is scared of it. The incredible scenes later in the game show Rex’s feeling of determination towards her; his willingness to accept everything that she is and live for her brings a tear to my eye every single time.
It may sound odd that Rex is involved with two “different” love interests, but it’s important to remember that Pyra and Mythra are two sides of the same coin. While they certainly deal with things in different ways, they are fundamentally the same person.
The last thing I want to talk about is the Blades themselves. Now, there are definitely a couple of controversial things that surround some of the Blades so I want to give my opinion on them.
The way that Blades work is essentially through a gacha-style system. As you play through the game you will come across Core Crystals, which are the dormant form of Blades. When you bond with these Blades, they will awaken into their true forms. This means that there is some randomness when pulling a Blade, meaning it’s mostly up to chance as to whether or not you pull that one specific Blade that you might be searching for. This can, in all fairness, be really frustrating at times.
There are definitely parts of this system that I dislike, the main one being the issue regarding Core Crystal rarity. There are common, rare, and legendary cores that can be found throughout the game and one would assume that a legendary core crystal would net you a guaranteed legendary Blade. Wrong! A legendary core simply increases your chances that you will get a legendary Blade, and this is the major issue I have with this system. Finding a legendary core would make this rare occurrence so much more enjoyable, but instead, it only makes you more annoyed when you end up pulling a common Blade.
The other controversial area is with regards to some of the Blades character designs; this is a complaint I can understand, however have no issue with personally. One of the main “offenders” is Dahlia with her rather insane proportions — though it’s interesting to note that she is actually designed by a female designer, and that the image of her that sparked the controversy on social media is not entirely representative of how she appears under normal circumstances. But then even Pyra received some heat from people claiming that she was “too fanservicey”.
As I say, I personally find no issue in the character designs; I enjoy some fanservice, and other than an unnecessary jiggle physics every now and then, I don’t think any of the designs detract from the game. I LOVE strong female characters in any form of media, and there is an abundance of strong female characters in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 with numerous different body types and I think that’s great! A character like Morag is the complete opposite of Dahlia and, other than Pyra/Mythra, she is my favorite female character.
Now, go and play Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It’s a fantastic game with some amazing characters, a fantastic story with some really emotional elements, and most of all it’s a ton of fun!
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