Exploration a la Xenoblade

May 6, 2010

You never can be sure when developers praise their own games. In the case of Xenoblade they didn´t lie. “We want the player find a certain spot and simply enjoy the look of the environment“. From simply watching the following trailer, called “Field Introduction“, this appears to be proven now.

Xenoblade-Field Introduction – trailer

The scale of Xenoblade´s world is enormous. Not only is it big, but it looks alive, natural. And enemies aren´t mindless attackers, no, they seem to actually live, walk around, and ignore you. The game isn´t an all around fine looking game, but where you see short comings in the character-models, you see where Monolithsoft spent their resources on. And even though I realize that I´m getting annoying: Will Zelda Wii be able to top this sense of exploration?


A simply enjoyable adventure: First details of Xenoblade

February 17, 2010

The latest issue of Famitsu did not disappoint. It features a multi-page article on Xenoblade, the upcoming JRPG of Monolithsoft. The magazine features some definitely gorgeous screenshots of the world of Xenoblade – a rather interesting world. The game is supposed to take place on top of the bodies of two frozen-in-motion deities. These two deities once fought each other. Now, each of their bodies is populated by a different culture. The hero´s Deity marks the home of organic life. The other giant body is inhabited by mechanic life. The story starts by mechanic life stirring up organigc life´s peace.

Besides the already interesting setting and story, the actual gameplay bits sound even better: The whole world is one seamless world that Tetsuya Takahashi, director of the game, said he wanted the player to explore. And indeed, taking a look at the new screenshots totally makes me want to explore that world. Part of what makes the scale of Xenoblade that fascination is its similarity to MMORPGs that Takahashi himself mentions. Not only is the world´s scale supposed to be like that of a MMORPG, also the combat-system sound a lot like World of Warcraft. Enemies are visibly running around on the overworld. Once you engage them in a fight, your character will fight automatically. You as the player have the option of choosing special attacks, recovery skills and other special abilities. Nearby enemies even will join your current enemy, something  I only experienced in Etrian Odysse. If that´s still not enough great news, then let´s tell you that Takahashi mentiond how the game will take supposedly 50-60 hours to complete – without endless grinding or cutscenes.

Xenoblade is shaping up to be a very promising game. And no matter how it turns out in the end, the fact that Tetsuya Takahashi himself said that Xenoblade is supposed to be a simply enjoyable adventure, a return to the origin of RPGs, is a great realization that most, if not all, modern developers are missing. Let´s hope that everything comes well together…and please no circle shadows, Mr. Takahashi.


New JRPGs for Wii announced

January 31, 2010

Many hate it, some love it: Nintendo´s new announcement policy. There wasn´t any kind of special conference, yet Wii-gamers got two new titles to look forward to. Both of the are JRPGs, a genre that had been lacking on the Wii.

Both will be released in 2010, with Xenoblade making it as soon as this spring. Xenoblades is technically no new game, as it is the game formerly known as Monado: Beginning of the World. The Monolithsoft developed JRPG has only been shown in one trailer, presenting a game world that looked a lot like Final Fantasy 12. The new artwork shows two giants, one of them possibly being a battle mech, the other one looking more organic. It is unknown if the game uses any kind of motion controls or if it is completely classic.

The other announced JRPG is The Last Story, developed by Mistwalker that are known for their Blue Dragon-game. Hironobu Sakaguchi is working on it, with seemingly Nobuo Uematsu working on the soundtrack. Release date is some time in 2010 as well.

If you follow the links to these games´ official websites you can hear nice pieces of music. Really beautiful tracks, especially the Xenoblade one.

The Last Story – Official Website

Xenoblade – Official Website