The nicest person on this forum
- Mar 22, 2017
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country is a great supplementary experience that adds another layer to the story of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It’s a meaty expansion that clarifies a lot of important details in the histories of several central characters inside the main game. I enjoyed the laid back vibe throughout this story expansion. Its musical score leans hard on mellow jazz tunes that I totally dug, and XC2: Torna’s new battle theme is downright awesome. I also liked quite a few of the new, cozy night themes.
While many of its gameplay systems remain the same, Monolith Soft did a tremendous job tweaking battles to make them a bit faster-paced and more digestible all at once. Even though the expansion has its share of problems, like gating progress with forced sidequest thresholds, I still found it a lot of fun and people who loved the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will have an absolute blast with this new perspective of the stories they’ve heard before.
Torna didn't need to re-invent the wheel beyond its swap conceit. Monolith Soft is already perfectly capable of crafting giant worlds worth exploring and characters worth listening to or getting invested in. Torna also sports a slightly unique adventuring tint, with the need to discover campfires to rest at (and thus, level up or engage in said crafting) rather than the cozy benefits of an inn. Inns and campsites are ostensibly the same, but the new theme allows Torna room to breathe and be its own thing. The same goes for the micro-feature "community," which is a cute meta-attempt to tie in NPCs with the world and your band of merry Drivers.
In case you're curious Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country does mostly work as a standalone RPG, like a sort of pointed gateway for the daunting series. You might not pick up on some of the relationship-centric nuances or worldbuilding cues, but as long as you're paying attention you'll be able to piece that together.