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Axe of the Blood God: Our Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review and Secret of Mana Report #3

PODCAST | A eulogy for Demon's Souls; a deep dive into Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and a return to Secret of Mana!

Article by Kat Bailey, .

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey and Nadia Oxford. You can find the previous episodes here.

In this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God (download link here), Nadia and I dive deep into Xenoblade Chronicles 2. And I finally circle back to Secret of Man!

It's been tough for me to play Secret of Mana of late because my partner and I are both pretty busy, which makes it hard to make time for it. But I managed to squeeze in a couple hours last night, which was a good opportunity to see how it plays solo. Listen for my thoughts!

Also in this episode: A deep dive into Xenoblade Chronicles 2's systems, characters, world, and everything else. And yes, we talk about Pyra. Plus, a eulogy for Demon's Souls!

Want to share your thoughts on RPGs? Email us at usgamer@usgamer.net. We may read your letter on the show! Keep those Perfect RPG Teams coming, folks!

Where to find us (Subscribe, rate, and review!)

Show Description

Kat and Nadia team up to talk about the week's biggest RPG news as the bid farewell to Demon's Souls, discuss Bungie's decision to throttle XP gain in Destiny 2, and Final Fantasy XV's ongoing run of DLC. Then they turn to the main topic: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 [22:52] Is the gameplay really too complicated? Are Blades slaves or friends? And what is going on with Pyra? Nadia and Kat cover all that and more in their review. Finally, Kat checks in with an update with Secret of Mana Report #3! [58:56].

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Chappelle, who has also contributed the themes to Active Time Babble and Roleplayers' Realm. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at rpgmaker.net. Check it out!

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 10

  • Avatar for tvsadam #1 tvsadam 10 days ago
    What is a Man? A miserable little pile of Secret!

    (sorry)

    Edit: See because when this first went up there was a typo in the title so it said "Secret of Man Report" and I made this Castlevania reference which is actually a bit forced and you know what forget I said anything now I'm just embarrassedEdited 1 weeks ago by tvsadam
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #2 riderkicker 9 days ago
    I'm on the Fence on buying XC2 right now, as I still have not gotten Breath of the Wild yet. I've read reviews, watched the Tim Rogers video, and it's a hot mess that I shouldn't spend the $65 on on just yet. But I am glad that you guys are finding much fun. There haven't been any AAA releases I've wanted since Super Mario Odyssey, so I am catching up on the backlog.

    I Made a little more progress on Chrono Trigger since the last episode, defeating Masa and Mune on the first try, when I utterly failed in the PS1 version many moons ago.

    Considering this podcast and VGApocalypse, I would really like the PS2 SMT games announced for the Switch, especially the Devil Summoner ones. Not many Persona fans have played it and those that did say it's a rocking good time.
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  • Avatar for daverhodus #3 daverhodus 9 days ago
    I had a pretty sweet boombox with detachable speakers that I plugged my SNES into.
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  • Avatar for FTLMantis #4 FTLMantis 9 days ago
    Great podcast as always guys (girls, whatever). I agree with your take on Pyra Nadia, I think her voice actor is amazing and makes her seem like enough of an adult that the battle lingerie doesn't dominant her character. Wish they had made other design decisions, but not about to give up on the game over it.

    On a semi related note, this discussion of Demon's Souls led to me thinking more about the series, and deciding I'm never playing a Souls game again that doesn't have an Estus Flask system. I never finished Demon's Souls and I never finished Bloodborne, despite having beaten each of the other Souls games several times. The decision to punish you for exploring in a long term manner goes so completely against the structure of Souls games that I can't believe they ever made the mistake of going back to that system. I'm sure that for real Souls experts for whom these games are a lifestyle and are easy this system is fine, but for a "casual" (and I use that in the loosest sense of the term) the threat of having to grind for potions ruins the whole flow of the game.
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  • Avatar for victorehunter #5 victorehunter 9 days ago
    Thanks for reading my novel about Pokemon! Wasn't expecting that.

    Also, if you want to keep the "Pokemon is an MMO" metaphor going, investing in a new iteration is kind of like paying your subscription fee for that season. Which I will still gladly do rather than having a single Pokemon Client that gets updated every year. Patching and updating like that digitally means limiting the availability of those intermediate points that are valuable to the series. I understand Kat's distaste for playing through the story mode again, but when the developer's have proven they can make meaningful sequels like Black/White 2 I don't want to remove that possibility from the table.

    I think the solution that would please people like Kat who are in it for the late game content, would be to have some kind of companion app that comes out alongside the release of the full game with a focus on competitive battling and team-building. Something more akin to a Pokemon Stadium. A Switch app that exists purely to receive an update anytime there's new developments in the battle system. And players use that to exclusively focus on combat while maybe earning points that can be used to transfer items to the main games or something like that. I guess Pokemon Battle Revolution, but good?

    Also, shout out to Xenoblade X's soundtrack. People heap a lot of totally justified praise on XC and 2, but X had some killer tracks. I'm hoping for a Switch port just so more people get a chance to play it.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #6 SatelliteOfLove 9 days ago
    I will go into Demon's Souls for a while since you let me!

    Aaaaaaaaaaactually I don't have time. But I will say the atmosphere, variety, secrets, level design, and on-line quality is exemplary. Game is scary as SHIT. Old Monk was easily EASILY the best boss fight of Gen 7.

    Roots in the best of the gaming's past, the wings to a better gaming future.

    Also, Xenoblade 2 feels like Tales of Zesteria from all this Blade stuff (but WAY less bland).
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  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #7 SIGGYZtar 7 days ago
    The Secret of Mana pre-order is up on Gamestop (it's an exclusive). WTF is this such a way to stop Westerners from playing Secret of Mana 2.
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  • Avatar for moochan #8 moochan 7 days ago
    Nadia you should explain how magic stacking works if you know about that. Where if you time the magic animation before it actually hits you can build up to deal big damage without having to wait for the enemy to come back. Also it's a fast way to level up which I feel Kat would like.
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  • Avatar for R.A.D. #9 R.A.D. 3 days ago
    Why is Kat grilling Nadia on Kotaku's review, rather than asking about Nadia's opinions?

    Seems like someone wants the game to fail.
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  • Avatar for R.A.D. #10 R.A.D. 3 days ago
    @SIGGYZtar Better than no physical release at all.
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