Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country brings back Talent Arts

Looking for a bit more Xenoblade Chronicles in your Xenoblade Chronicles 2? You'll be happy to know that Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country will bring back Talent Arts, which were part of the original Xenoblade Chronicles. Talent Art will activate a special ability, such as doing more damage in exchange for sapping away some HP. Every Driver and Blade will have their own unique Talent Art.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Production Notes #14: Torna ~The Golden Country

- work began 3 years ago, as Torna ~The Golden Country was part of the initial plot for the main game
- to be more accurate, it was one of the possible “candidate” stories to be included in the initial plot
- Tetsuya Takahashi realized including Torna~The Golden Country in the main game would push them over budget
- on top of that, they wouldn't be able to complete development in the allotted time either
- without showing it to anyone, Tetsuya Takahashi decided to move ahead without that story
- Torna ~The Golden Country sat on Takahashi’s computer for a while, but was revisited when the idea of DLC came up
- takes place 500 years before the events of Xenoblade Chronicles 2
- tells the story of Jin, Mythra, Malos, and Amlathus, but also Lora and Addam
- the main characters are Jin and Lora
- find out Jin and Lora's past, and the relationship between Addam and Mythra
- the devs upgraded the character models that were originally used in the cutscenes of the main game
- takes place on Torna, a Titan
- here you can find the Capital of the Kingdom of Torna, which is a town that you can explore
- the battle system is slightly different, since the DLC takes place in the past, before Drivers and Blades worked together
- basics of the battle system remains the same
- will feature new music tracks from the same composers who worked on the main game
- the atmosphere of the story DLC is slightly more “mature” than the main game, which is reflected in the soundtrack
- the music “might” feel a little different than in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and Xenoblade Chronicles 2
- there will be some acoustic tracks
- if you play Torna ~The Golden Country first, then you may get to see elements from the main game in a different light

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Production Notes #13: Details on Challenge Battle Mode

Check out more screens here

- Challenge Battle Mode is all about tackling a series of challenges
- take on waves of tough enemies and earn some rewards
- Rex and co. travel to some sort of alternate world where they end up meeting Shulk and Fiora from Xenoblade Chronicle
- Kunihiro Tanaka redesigned Shulk and Fiora
- they are voiced by Shintarou Asanuma and Eri Nakao respectively

Shulk: Light element. He has a special ability called “Future Vision” in the Japanese version of the game, based on the Vision mechanic from Xenoblade Chronicles. When one triggers, you have to press the button displayed on the screen with the right timing. If you’re successful, you will dodge the incoming enemy attack

Fiora: Wind element, and focus on healing.

- you can only battle with Shulk and Fiora in the Challenge Battle Mode at first
- if you get a specific reward, you will be able to bring Shulk and Fiora with you to Alres
- to start a Challenge, you have to talk to the Nopon Archsage
- each challenge has its own set of conditions
- if your characters are over-leveled, their level will be lowered accordingly
- if your characters are under-leveled, they will keep whatever stats they have when going into the challenge
- select the difficulty level for the Challenges
- additional harder difficulty levels will be added at a later date
- Challenges have you battle a wide variety of enemies, ranging from small to big monsters, and past bosses
- enemies come in waves
- when you defeat enemies, they drop items called Ether Cubes
- depending on the amount you collect during the Challenge, you will get a certain number of treasure chests
- you can unlock up to three treasure chests per Challenge, and you can see the chests being filled up as gather Eather Cubes
- take on “impossible situations”, such as a Challenge that has you play as Jin “infiltrating” an Ardainian battleship
- in this mission, you have to defeat 100 soldiers within the time limit
- not all Challenges are available from the start, but more unlock as you complete available challenges
- Challenge Battle Mode is unlocked right away, and can be accessed as soon as you reach the Oltethro Playhouse
- some of the Challenges require specific unique monsters to be defeated first in order to be unlocked
- in select treasure chests you'll find a key item called “Nopon Stone”
- if you bring those to the Archsage’ Orderly, you can trade them for special items that change the appearance of characters
- costumes are for all characters, not just Blades
- these require an Aux Core slot for Blades
- costume examples include:

Mythra outfit for Pyra
prototype diving suit for Rex
sakura (cherry blossom)-coloured outfit for Nia
Tiger-like mange for Dromarch
Poppibuster-like outfit for Tora

Xenoblade Chronicles 2's Challenge Mode DLC launches this Thursday

Nintendo ended their Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC segment on Treehouse Live with a great bit of information. It's been confirmed that the Challenge Mode DLC is going to hit the game tomorrow! You should be able to fire up the game and grab the DLC sometime Thursday night in the states.

Shinobi Refle: Senran Kagura - Yomi DLC added

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A DLC pack featuring Yomi and nine sets of costumes is now available for Shinobi Refle: Senran Kagura. The DLC pack costs ¥1,000, and the main game itself has a temporary price drop to ¥810 until June 27th, 2018.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - Shulk and Fiora return for the upcoming Expansion Pass content

Revealed during a Treehouse Live segment, we learned that both Shulk and Fiora are coming back to appear in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The pair will appear as Blades in Challenge Battle Mode of the Expansion Pass challenge battle mode.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country's retail release doesn't include Xenoblade Chronicles 2

This retail version of Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country is all kinds of weird. Not sure why Nintendo is releasing this at retail and not bothering to include Xenoblade Chronicles 2 itself. Oh well, at least we found out now, and hopefully no one makes the mistake of ordering this thinking it includes everything.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country getting standalone retail release alongside DLC version, due out one week later

Looks like you'll have two options when it comes to purchasing Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country. The official E3 2018 website states the following.

Available as DLC in the Expansion Pass or as a stand-alone Retail Version

This should be a pretty compelling package for those who haven't grabbed the base game yet. Here's a breakdown of the differences between DLC and retail, as well as the release dates.

Thanks to Kitroplious for the heads up!