Xenoblade Chronicles X
|Xenoblade Chronicles X|
Japanese cover art.
Koichi Mugitani (CHOCO)
Kusanagi Co. Ltd.
|Distribution||Wii U Optical Disc
Xenoblade Chronicles X, known in Japan as Xenoblade X (ゼノブレイドクロス Zenobureido Kurosu?, pronounced as "Xenoblade Cross"), is an upcoming Japanese action role-playing video game by developer Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo for the Wii U. The game is part of the Xeno series of video games, serving as a spiritual successor to Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii. It is scheduled for release on April 29, 2015 in Japan, and sometime in 2015 for North America, Europe and Australia.
In a similar fashion to the original, the game plays as an open world role-playing video game, with an emphasis on exploration. Traveling can take place on foot, or in large humanoid robots, approximately four times the height of the average playable character, called "Dolls", that the player may opt to control. The Dolls have the ability to fly, traverse water, and transform into vehicles such as motorcycles or tanks. Aerial battles will also take place in the game.
During the game, the player seeks out and recovers the stasis pods that were ejected from the White Whale's hull during its emergency landing, which land in various places across Mira. In order to search for places with stasis pods, the player must expand the "Frontier Net" information system by installing data probes at places called “Frontier Net Spots”. By establishing data probes at various points on Mira, the Net obtains information on the related areas and expands its scope.
The game's battle system will play similarly to the battle system found in the original game, with some improvements. The past game's quest log will also return in an improved form. The Wii U GamePad will be used as an "information terminal" for data the player gathers about native organisms, a map, a way to warp to previously-visited locations, and for Off TV Play.
The game begins in the year 2054, as two alien races engage in battle near Earth - causing significant collateral damage to the planet. With government sensing Earth's obliteration, humanity is forced to evacuate in enormous interstellar ark ships. From there, the story follows the passengers of the American evacuee ship, the White Whale, as they crash land upon the planet Mira and attempt to establish their new home while still being hunted by one of the alien races.
The game was first revealed in January 2013 in a Nintendo Direct video under the tentative name X. The game was further demonstrated in June 2013 at E3 2013, with Nintendo aiming for a 2014 release time frame. The game was shown again at E3 2014, revealing that the game had an official title, Xenoblade Chronicles X, but had its release timeframe delayed into some time in 2015. Despite the similarity in name, the game is not a direct sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles, but rather a spiritual sequel. The game will still retain a similar battle system, quest log, and philosophical elements of Xenoblade, and will even contain similarities to other past games in the Xeno series.
The game is being directed by Monolith Soft president, co-founder, and Xeno series director Tetsuya Takahashi, with character designs by Kunihiko Tanaka, the artist behind the character concept artwork and design on Xenogears, and music by Hiroyuki Sawano. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that the game was developed with the goal of creating a large-scale open world with "seamless exploration", with the development team working on expanding on the knowledge they learned in the past game's development, Xenoblade. Takahashi states he aims to create the biggest game world possible for the Wii U; at one point, the developers considered releasing the game on two discs due to its size. In addition to the freedom to explore the game, the player will be able to customize the appearance of the main playable character, including gender, shape, height, skin, color, voice, and facial tattoos. Some journalists have speculated the game will be a MMORPG or have online game elements, although Nintendo has not detailed such aspects to the game. The game will support online co-op play for up to four players.
In November 2014, Monolith Soft announced that they had entered the final stages of development, morale within the team was high, and they aim to release the game in first half of 2015 in Japan, and the second half of 2015 in North America and Europe. The development team also revealed that they had decided to create their own website for the game, something they created without Nintendo's permission, but was given approval by the time it launched. The team blogs about the game's development on the website. They revealed that the game would have "online elements", but did not reveal any further details. Takahashi suggested that the game would feature a 'deep' and distinctive sci-fi story compared to its predecessor's 'basic' fantasy story, and stated that he asked Tanaka for his cooperation to bring out the "Xeno-ness" in the game's character designs. On December 4, Takahashi tweeted that after 15 years since the founding of Monolith Soft, he finally felt he had successfully created an RPG in which humans and robots could co-exist, something he stated as being a long held vision of his.
Initial reception was largely positive. Following the trailer shown at E3 2013, Official Nintendo Magazine offered strong praise for its visuals and open world. In April 2014, Eurogamer featured Xenoblade Chronicles X in an article about their "Most Anticipated" games, stating that even non-JRPG fans could find something to enjoy due to its "[mixing of] action, strategy and narrative into a delicious, idiosyncratic concoction with broad appeal." In January 2015, GameTrailers ranked Xenoblade Chronicles X as its ninth-most anticipated game of 2015, looking forward to piloting the mech through the skies and exploring the game's "massive" world.
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Everything in X seems lush and massive as if there's [sic] innumerable secrets tucked into its rolling hills and steep mountaintops [...] the thought of soaring through the game's glorious skies in a mech is enough to put it in our top ten.