The original Xenoblade Chronicles was an important game for the Wii. Arriving near the end of the console’s life cycle it constituted perhaps the strongest of the RPG triumvirate: Last Story, Pandora’s Tower and Xenoblade Chronicles. It was a very solid game, and in a generation lacking the number great JRPG’s of previous systems it was definitely worth a play.
That’s more than reason enough to get excited about Monolith Soft’s new game, going under the working title of X. It’s not confirmed that this is a sequel but looking at the trailer, there are certain hints. Check out the teaser trailer for X below:
Now, there are some undeniable similarities between Xenoblade and X. The battle HUD is very similar, the weapon and world design are close and most importantly the character shown at the end looks almost identical to, if not slightly older than, the protagonist from Xenoblade, Shulk.
However, while the X in the trailer looks a lot like the X in the title of Xenoblade Chronicles with it’s brush stroke appearance, it’s new color puts us more in mind of Monolith Soft’s older game Xenogears. What this means is yet to be seen.
Moving past what the game actually is, let’s move onto what the game could be. With news that WiiU has done well, but hasn’t pushed the numbers that Nintendo had been hoping, the software is more important than ever for drawing the gamers back to Nintendo’s typically vivid green pastures after their dalliance in the mud brown territories of the ‘HD twins’. Xenoblades walked the fine line between providing that hardcore, huge experience while retaining the character and importantly, the atmosphere associated with Nintendo’s consoles.
From the trailer we see that blend of Monster Hunter style fights and vast environments that featured in Xenoblade, and that is the exact kind of experience that is needed on the WiiU right now. Similar to the often talked about (and often exaggerated) game drought on the Vita, fans were clamoring for a meaty experience that they could sink their teeth into. It arrived in the form of Persona 4: Golden. X could be the WiiU’s answer. In the trailer you can see a chat box on the side as well as a line saying Player 1/2/3 suggesting an online mode. If this is the case, X could be going in a more ambitious direction than we first thought.
With every new iteration of Nintendo’s hardware there are always complaints about third party support, that it just becomes a Mario and Zelda box. While the direct opposite was true in the Wii’s case the level of quality for the vast amount of shovelware dumped onto the platform was dire at best.
There were gems, of course, like De Blob and Mad World but there were too many Carnival Games for them to get much of a foothold. The WiiU is suffering a different problem. It is victim of the port process. Games that have found success on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 are ported over to the WiiU, touting all new features with very little new to attract gamers at all.
It’s unique content that it needs. Exclusive content that offers something that isn’t available elsewhere. X looks to deliver on that in two ways; after the critical success of Xenoblade and the strong fan reception there will be a lot of hype around this new, HD, ‘sequel’, secondly it will no doubt deliver a solid, fun and engaging JRPG experience, something that has been sorely lacking in recent years.
Sure there are a few concerns such as the environments in the trailer looking more washed out than the lush fields of the first game but overall the game looks like everything fans could ask for. With the possibility of online co-op, a huge game world to explore and likely a chunky story to get through, X seems to be checking all of the boxes for the unique experience the WiiU needs. After the success in Xenoblade Chronicles, we have every faith in Monolith Soft and can’t wait to get our hands on the game.
My name is Davi and in between writing here, watching the latest films and playing an healthy (read: unhealthy) amount of video games, I’m at university, studying English. You can find me @DaviLancett on Twitter, Davi_Lancett on Steam or SecksBom-Omb on PSN, feel free to add me!