Xenoblade Chronicles 2 became one of the great releases of Nintendo Switch … and wants to keep remembering it. It does so through a prequel that adds new environments, characters, stories and even playable features that make this content more than just a DLC. We told you in our analysis of Torna – The Golden Country.
Probably the most surprising thing about Torna – The Golden Country, is that it could be interpreted, in a sense, as a compressed version of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. New story and even some additional regional, but the gameplay is kept as it is, by new characters who experience a progression in their levels from scratch, as if you start a new game: which is actually what you’re doing.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country travels 500 years in the past to tell us the story of Lora and her blade Jin in a bloody battle against the evil Malos. The progression is rhythmic and magnificent. There are a lot of cinematics and dialogues, as in the original title, but they are followed with interest, whether you come from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (you will enjoy it especially), or if you get totally new to the license.
The video game stops to explain how the mechanisms of the game work … Not all, and as it happened in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, it can turn out to be something overwhelming. Sometimes even confused. However, I liked that the game starts without preambles, directly in action. In fact, the 15-20 hours that lasts – at least – the adventure have an unknown rhythm in the game of last year. Here the levels of characters rise at great speed, with the development of events not so leisurely. In short, a great title, which is part of the expansion pass of the game(the original is required), but can also be purchased physically, being fully functional separately.
The adventure reTorna
It should be added at this point, that if you are going to start your journey in Xenoblade, it is recommended that you know the J-RPG genre. If not, you will need an extra effort, and maybe lower the difficulty (there is an easy way). In any case, in this new story, the progression is more bearable, you rise quickly in level, and really it does not take much to light up if you are fulfilling the secondary missions that arise.
They do not leave the typical tasks of exploration, collection, and struggle, but they are well resolved, and each one also has a small narrative arc. It’s something Monolith Software has always taken care of. In total, we can count three great gaming regions, each with its own characters, which erect one of the great novelties: the level of prestige. We are rewarded for talking with NPCs and solving their problems. The best thing is that this increases our popularity, which opens new secondary activities.
It can be acquired in physics, being completely functional separately.
With this said, it is easy to see that the duration is very high, leaving easily over thirty hours. It is again the important task of looting, with the number of materials collected by the stage to create our own objects and consumables. In short, the greatness of the environment (that we saw in Xenoblade Chronicles 2) is still here, with all its dangers, like those huge beings of level 40 that were planted in front of you right at the beginning of the adventure, just to crush you. You can choose auto-save and avoid being attacked unless you activate the battle, but that’s your thing. The truth is that there are many ways to play Xenoblade, and adapt to various types of players. That is the best.
Another of the great novelties of Torna is found in its combative system, which makes a couple of really important additions. One is the possibility of directly controlling the blades, alternating them with others, in addition to the protagonist himself. This gives a greater playable richness to the proposal since each blade has its own abilities. The way combos of elements are made (fire, water, wind, electricity, earth …) has also been modified, and it has even been clearer on this occasion. In particular, we have noticed that the combative rhythm flows with greater intensity thanks to these additions, making the system more varied: simply superior.
To rest from so much skirmish and mission, there are not only inns, but camps, and quite abundant. As in the previous game, it is important to take the opportunity to chat with other members of the group, but above all to spend the night and use the additional EXP points, ideal to raise two or three levels of the pull. The latter is very satisfactory. In Torna, we pass very quickly between levels, an effect that is also transferred to the skill tree and other progression systems. The sensation of advance is very powerful.
Mention that the interface has been partially reformed, making it clearer and that the tips have been added within the pause menu, something that invites us to revisit those tutorials that – for one reason or another – we have been able to jump (or simply not they were clear at the time). This is important since in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 it was sometimes a problem not to have this option.
Add an unknown story about Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that is very worthwhile
Finally, you can not ignore how crucial the scale of the environment remains for the success of the game. The world is not as big as in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and some areas are rescued … but the feeling of novelty is very balanced, and at no time have I felt the typical déjà vu that I am playing the same as a year ago. Nothing of that. Monolith Soft has made an effort to make everything look new. And yes, it is beautiful, both visually and sonorously, with the incorporation of new compositions, which remain absolutely memorable. As we discussed in the analysis of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, there is quite a difference between seeing it in portable mode and TV mode, which is why we recommend this last option.
In any case, mention that the game has a reformed engine with respect to the original adventure, and it shows … It has improved the definition of characters and environment, aspect that we criticized in the previous title because there was a jump too big between playing on the TV or on the portable screen. It is not so much anymore, and it is something worth mentioning.
All this is accompanied by a manganime style in the character designs, an aspect that has proven to be one of the greatest successes of the developers. They show emotions, and that, taking into account the kind of history we have before us – you will see – is fundamental to the success of the proposal. In short, a content that adds an unknown story about Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and that is very worthwhile, whether it is your first time, or if you completed the trip last year on your Nintendo Switch.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country is more than just a DLC. It means the way in which Monolith Soft experiments with new playable proposals, even improving in certain plots the original. A more fluid game rhythm and a very easy progression are the most positive aspects of a content aimed mainly at veteran players, but also think about those who want to start their adventure right here. Without a doubt, another joy for the lovers of the J-RPG in Nintendo Switch.
- Fluid rhythm and interesting story
- The novelties in the combative system endow it with variety and dynamism
- The prestige system promotes a very high sense of progression
- Powerful duration, expandable through numerous secondary activities
- Very careful at the audiovisual level, highlighting the new compositions
- He still does not know how to explain his mechanics properly
- Some frustrations derived from the design of some missions