In June 2010 Japanese Wii owners saw the release of Xenoblade Chronicles, a Wii exclusive JRPG developed by Monolith Soft which featured a vast open world to explore, a customizable party and a ton of side quests. On top of that, Xenoblade Chronicles had a unique feature that allows the main character “Shulk” to have a brief look into the future during cautious moments in battle giving the player an idea of how to prevent death to one of the party members. Many people (myself included) had this game down as easily one of the very best games the Wii had to offer and maybe one of the best JRPG’s to see release on any console in the 7th generation. I was very grateful to see its release on European shores in August 2011 and thanks to a fan made movement called “Operation Rainfall”, the game was eventually released in the US in April 2012.
After being sold out several times on American shores and after numerous reports of the game being sold on Ebay for ridiculous amounts of money, it became clear that Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii had a place not only just in the US but also in the industry. At this point, Xenoblade Chronicles has reportedly sold just under 900k units worldwide (VGChartz) so it goes without saying that a sequel might have been on the cards at some point if not now. JRPG’s have not been at their best since the days of the old school Final Fantasy games so having a game like Xenoblade Chronicles release and turn out to be as good as it was was a breath of fresh air. It was big, bold, fresh and full of wonder, and in my opinion didn’t win any game of the year awards because it wasn’t in HD, unfair in my point of view.
Although Xenoblade Chronicles really was as good as everyone who has played it made it out to be, there are a couple of improvements that could be made for its sequel. For example, I found that rotating the camera was awfully slow and quite frustrating when it came to changing my viewing angle in the heat of a battle. While I am unsure as to whether this has been improved in Xenoblade Chronicles X, I am happy to report that my next issue with Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii has been ironed out. Not everyone may have shared this opinion but I found following side quest a little confusing, it seemed a little hard to keep track of how far I had gotten with quests and the whole quest log layout wasn’t too neat. So hearing that Xenoblade Chronicles X has ironed this issue out was a big plus for me.
So what can we expect from Xenoblade Chronicles X? A Wii U exclusive game that could potentially rival the likes of Final Fantasy XV in terms of sheer scope and fantastic role playing. If you played Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii then you will expect to see a huge world with many different areas to explore. You should expect to be following the games main story but not feel that this is all you can do in the game, but you can also wander around the game world aimlessly just exploring the stunning areas and taking on huge beasts that are 15 times your size at your own leisure. The developers have already come out and said that Xenoblade Chronicles X is much bigger than Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii which gives me reason to believe that I am going to be able to spend hours upon hours on this game without even touching the main storyline. Will this be a game that will guarantee you getting your moneys worth? You bet!
While the battle system looks largely the same as how it looked in its predecessor, one outright difference in Xenoblade Chronicles X is that we are going to be able to battle bigger and more badass monsters whilst riding in huge mechs known as “Dolls”. These will be used to take down huge beasts that we will not be able to defeat normally, not only that, we will also be able to travel around the map in them making traversing a lot more quicker. But we will be able to take on monsters with pretty much an identical battle system to Xenoblade Chronicles with the Arts at the bottom of the screen and using either a melee or a ranged weapon as your standard attack. No issues with this battle system as it was the battle system that all Xenoblade Chronicles fans came to know and love and having more of what we love is never a bad thing is it?
Lets go over some of the footage that have already been released on Xenoblade Chronicles X, we got to see a lot of gameplay from Nintendo’s live Tree House event at E3 earlier this year. We got to see that you will be able to choose how your main character looks and apply his or her own uniqueness into the game. On the very first trailer that we saw on the game back when it was first announced in a Nintendo Direct in January 2013, we saw a shot of “Shulk”, the main character from Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii. However, there has been no mention of whether or not he will even make an appearance in the Wii U title but many “Shulk” fans are holding out as he did make an appearance as a playable character in Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS. During the Tree House event this year, we discovered that Xenoblade Chronicles X will likely be more of a spiritual successor to Xenoblade Chronicles rather than a direct sequel, but will retain some of the philosophical ideas. Also, Xenoblade Chronicles X will contain the “Nopon” species that appeared in Xenoblade Chronicles.
The game begins in the year 2054 with two alien races fighting a war against each other in space over Earth. Earth starts to get damaged in the conflict and is eventually left devastated and humanity is left without any choice but to flee the falling planet in search of new worlds in massive ark ships. Unfortunately, most of the ark ships get destroyed with only a few surviving, one of which being the “White Whale” which is the American ark ship. After two years of searching for salvation, the “White Whale” comes across a planet called “Mira”and ends up crash landing on the planet due to an attack by the pursuing alien race causing severe damage to the ships engine. After crash landing, many of the ships escape pods get scattered across a wide area of the planet containing cryogenically frozen residents. Gameplay begins after a character named “Elma” awakens “Cross” from one of these pods and soon the residents of the ship come to terms with the fact that they will never return to Earth and decide to accept “Mira” as their new home calling their settlement within the “White Whale” New Los Angeles.
The games Director Tetsuya Takahashi of Monolith Soft has stated that the game is almost complete and will be released sometime in 2015. While I do not in any way want the game to be rushed and released quicker than it needs to be causing possible hindrance to the games overall quality, I am so pumped for Xenoblade Chronicles X I just don’t know if I am able to wait much beyond March for its release. There is honestly not much more you can ask for in a game that is shaping up to be possibly one of the best JRPG’s of this generation which will reportedly release in Japan in the Spring of 2015. What about online multiplayer you ask? As it happens Tetsuya Takahashi has already stated that he aimed to create a “seamless open world with online play”. While no exact details have been announced yet, I think that after that comment we can feel safe to assume that the game will feature some online functionality, we just don’t know to what extent yet. Although the first footage we ever saw of the game appeared to show us what looked like a chat box on the left hand side which ideally would be used to communicate with other players online. Not only that, the fact that you can create your own character is a hint that you will be able to play online and differentiate between your character and other players.
Tetsuya Takahashi also stated that he wanted to create a more sci-fi story within the game and the game will contain various different alien races and will have a much deeper story than Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii. I can only begin to imagine the sheer scale of this game as I read over all the details that have been bestowed upon us over the past year or so but also I often wonder how certain mechanics will work in the game. For example, how well will the Gamepad be used? Off TV play should be a given really as near enough every new game on the Wii U is using this feature although it has not yet been announced. We were treated to a few details of how the Gamepad is integrated with the game on one of Nintendo’s recent Directs. We saw the Gamepad being used as a map and being able to make commands on the map screen, we also saw some buttons on the map screen including one that looked like a keyboard icon. Again raising the question of whether or not it will be used to communicate to other players online. Also there is one button with what looks like a figure of a man holding his fist in the air and shouting, while I cannot figure out what this might be the guys at IGN had a pretty interesting though. Could this be for Amiibo support? The “Shulk” Amiibo figure is a Gamestop exclusive in the US but might using it in Xenoblade Chronicles X allow you to play as “Shulk”? It is an interesting thought.
So there we go, Xenoblade Chronicles was my favourite Wii game by far! Throw in a bigger world, a better story, huge mechs, stunning HD visuals and online play and you can consider me extremely pumped for Xenoblade Chronicles X! The Wii U may not reach the heights of success that it might deserve but after this generation, Xenoblade Chronicles X will be looked back on as one of the very best the Wii U and this generation had to offer in JRPG’s. There is simply no reason why this game should not be on any serious gamers radar right now.
What do you all think? Are you as pumped for Xenoblade Chronicles X as I am? Will it iron out any minor issues you might have had with its predecessor? What do you think the online functionality will feature? I would love to know your thoughts so let me know in the comments section below. Also to help get you pumped, please enjoy the following Xenoblade Chronicles X all trailers in one trailer.
Uploaded by Asleep in the Fantasy
Written by Sammy J on 13 December 2014