Xenoblade Chronicles

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Xenoblade Chronicles
Xenoblade Chronicles logo.png
Xenoblade Chronicles series logo, as seen in its first installment
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Developer(s)
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Creator(s)
Platform(s)
First release Xenoblade Chronicles
June 10, 2010
Latest release Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country
September 21, 2018

Xenoblade Chronicles, [lower-alpha 1] also shortened as Xenoblade, is a series of fantasy and science fiction action role-playing video games developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo. It is a part of the Xeno meta series created by Tetsuya Takahashi, but was formed after Nintendo's acquisition of Monolith Soft. The series began with the original Xenoblade Chronicles game, published for the Nintendo Wii in 2010; it was a critical success and spawned sequels.

Fantasy Genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, manga and video games.

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.

Action role-playing video games are a subgenre of role-playing video games. The games emphasize real-time combat where the player has direct control over the characters as opposed to turn or menu-based combat. These games often use action game combat systems similar to hack and slash or shooter games. Action role-playing games may also incorporate action-adventure games, which include a mission system and RPG mechanics, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) with real-time combat systems.

Contents

The series has been both commercially and critically successful. Xenoblade is well known for its world design, music, and stories. It is often regarded by many as one of the best modern-age RPG series among Nintendo's gaming catalogue. The series has been represented in other gaming medias, including the Super Smash Bros. and Project X Zone series.

Super Smash Bros. is a series of crossover fighting video games published by Nintendo, and primarily features characters from various franchises of theirs. The series was created by Masahiro Sakurai, who has directed every game in the series. The gameplay objective differs from that of traditional fighters in that the aim is to knock opponents off the stage instead of depleting life bars.

<i>Project X Zone</i> Video game

Project X Zone is a crossover tactical role-playing game for the Nintendo 3DS developed by Banpresto and Monolith Soft with assistance from Capcom and Red Entertainment and published by Namco Bandai Games. The game is a follow up to the 2005 video game Namco × Capcom and features characters from Namco Bandai, Capcom, and Sega. The game was released on October 11, 2012 in Japan; June 25, 2013 in North America; and July 5, 2013 in Europe. The game received mixed to positive reviews on release. Praise went towards the games cast, combat system, and presentation, but criticism was directed at its repetitive gameplay and confusing storyline.

Games

Timeline of release years
2010 Xenoblade Chronicles
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015 Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
Xenoblade Chronicles X
2016
2017 Xenoblade Chronicles 2
2018 Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country

There are currently four main games under the Xenoblade Chronicles series. Each game features their own cast of characters, setting, and story.

Xenoblade Chronicles
Shulk and his friends embark on a quest to get revenge against the Mechon for the assault on their home. As they journey along the backs of the titans, they unravel the secrets of a powerful weapon known as the Monado. [1] It was originally released on the Wii and later remade on the New Nintendo 3DS as Xenoblade Chronicles 3D.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
An interstellar war forces humanity to flee their home planet. After crashing on the uncharted planet Mira, Elma and her team race against time to retrieve the Lifehold, a structure that contains thousands of lives. [2] [3] It was released on the Nintendo Wii U.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
In a world of dying titans, Rex meets the living weapon Pyra and promises to bring her to the fabled paradise Elysium to save the world. [4] It was released on the Nintendo Switch.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country
Set 500 years before the events of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Lora and Jin fight against Malos and his army before the inevitable fall of their kingdom, Torna. [5] It was released on the Nintendo Switch.

Future of the series

In October 2018, the 1st production division of Monolith Soft, led by series creator Tetsuya Takahashi, started hiring for a new RPG project in the style of previous Xenoblade Chronicles titles. [6] [7] Takahashi said that while a continuation to Xenoblade Chronicles X is possible, the next game may go in a different direction as he often gets bored with the last project. [8] In addition to pursuing a new direction for the series, series producer Koh Kojima expressed an interest in making Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and Xenoblade Chronicles X2. [9]

Tetsuya Takahashi is currently the head of his own game development company Monolith Soft, Inc. In the past, Takahashi has worked at Square, participating on such games as Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger. His most notable works are those within the Xenogears (Square), Xenosaga and Xenoblade Chronicles series, all of which he directed. He is married to Soraya Saga, who also worked with him at Square Enix, as well as on Xenogears, Xenosaga, and Soma Bringer. He is the co-founder and director of Monolith Soft.

<i>Xenoblade Chronicles X</i> Japanese role-playing video game

Xenoblade Chronicles X is an open world action role-playing video game developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo for the Wii U home video game console in 2015. Xenoblade Chronicles X forms part of the Xeno metaseries, being a spiritual successor to Xenoblade Chronicles without any narrative connections to prior Xeno titles. Carrying over several gameplay elements from Xenoblade Chronicles, players explore the open world planet Mira, completing a variety of quests and unlocking new regions to explore and gather resources from across Mira's five continents.

Common elements

Gameplay

The gameplay within the Xenoblade Chronicles series uses a real-time action-based battle system, where the player manually moves a character in real-time, and party members will "auto-attack" when enemies enter their attack radius, [10] most comparable to the system found in Final Fantasy XII or many MMORPGs. [11] Manually input attacks, called "Arts", may also be performed, but in a limited fashion. Battle Arts are only available after a "cool down" period that occurs after every use, while character specific "Talent Arts" only become available after enough auto-attacks are executed. [10] Both party members and enemies have a finite amount of health points, and attacks deplete this value. Combat is won when all enemies lose their HP, but the game is lost if the player's character loses all their HP and has no means of being revived. Health may be restored by the player by using healing Arts in battle, or the player may let characters' HP regenerate automatically outside of battle. Winning battles earns the player experience points, which allows the characters to grow stronger by leveling up and learning new Arts. Arts for each character must be set by the player on their respective set up, called a "Battle Palette", outside of battles. [12]

<i>Final Fantasy XII</i> video game

Final Fantasy XII is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 home video console. A part of the Final Fantasy series, the game was released in 2006. It introduced several innovations to the series: an open world; a seamless battle system; a controllable camera; a customizable "gambit" system, which lets the player control the artificial intelligence (AI) of characters in battle; a "license" system, which determines what abilities and equipment can be used by characters; and a hunting side quest, which allows the player to find and defeat increasingly difficult monsters in the game's open world. Final Fantasy XII also includes elements from previous games in the series, such as Chocobos and Moogles.

Exploring large environments is a defining aspect of the series. [13] [13] [14]

Settings

While the games within the entire Xenoblade series do not share any direct connections, it is heavily implied that the universes are somehow linked. The two colossal titans known as the Bionis and the Mechonis serve as the setting for Xenoblade Chronicles. Xenoblade Chronicles X takes place on an alien planet known as Mira. In Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country, the world of Alrest contains several titans which house many different nations.

Themes

A recurring element of the series is the concept of "blade". In Xenoblade Chronicles, it is represented in the form of a powerful sacred sword known as the Monado. The "blade" suffix in Xenoblade Chronicles X is represented by a private military organization known as BLADE. For the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, "Blades" are beings that grant their powers to their Drivers.

Characters

The series has several recurring character archetypes, including some originating from the Xeno metaseries. The most famous examples are Vangarre (Vandamme in Japanese) from Xenoblade Chronicles and Vandham in Xenoblade Chronicles X and Xenoblade Chronicles 2; they are all loosely based on Vanderkam from Xenogears and the Xenosaga games. Despite the character names beginning with "Van-", they are not directly related as they each have their own personalities and appearances. Female leads with at least one alternate forms is another character archetype—they are typically revealed alongside a major plot twist or an integral story moment.

<i>Xeno</i> (series)

Xeno is a Japanese science fiction video game series created by Tetsuya Takahashi. The first entry was developed by SquareSoft, and subsequent entries have been developed by Monolith Soft, a company founded by Takahashi after he left Square in 1999. While the various games have no direct story connections, they have common thematic links and all sport the "Xeno" prefix, which Takahashi has variously described as a means of identifying his games and a symbolic representation of the series. All the games in the Xeno series take place within a science fiction setting with some fantasy elements, with its stories frequently featuring psychological and religious themes.

<i>Xenoblade Chronicles</i> (video game) video game

Xenoblade Chronicles is an open world action role-playing game developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo for the Wii. Initially released in Japan in 2010, it was later released in the PAL region in 2011 and then in North America in 2012. A port for the New Nintendo 3DS was released worldwide in 2015. Xenoblade Chronicles is the first entry in the Xenoblade Chronicles series, a subseries which forms part of the Xeno metaseries. Although no direct narrative connections exist to previous Xeno games, it incorporates aesthetic and narrative elements from both fantasy and science fiction. The game features navigation through an open world split into zones, side-quests tied to party members' affinity, and a real-time action-based battle system which incorporates the main character's ability to see glimpses of the future.

<i>Xenogears</i> video game

Xenogears is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation video game console. The debut entry in the wider Xeno franchise, it was released in Japan in February 1998, and in North America in October the same year. The gameplay of Xenogears revolves around navigating 3D environments both on-foot and using humanoid mecha dubbed "Gears". Combat is governed by a version of the turn-based "Active Time Battle" system. The story follows protagonist Fei Fong Wong and several others as they journey across the world to overthrow the all-powerful rule of Deus. The story incorporates themes of Jungian psychology, Freudian thought, and religious symbolism.

A race of small furry mascot-like creatures known as the Nopon have appeared in every title in the series. In contrast to their appearances, the Nopon race, in general, tend to be greedy and selfish by nature. In every game, the names of Nopon NPCs have been carried over to the next installment as the main Nopon character: Satata (Tatsu in Japan) from Xenoblade Chronicles appears in Xenoblade Chronicles X. Coincidentally, the Xenoblade Chronicles X incarnation of Tatsu has a major rival known as Tora, who also appears in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as a playable Nopon character. Much like the "Van-" characters of the series, the Nopon characters do not share any similarities other than their names.

Development

Origin

The staff at Monolith Soft was left in a state of low morale after the commercial failure of the Xenosaga series which ultimately led to its premature end. [15] In July 2006, Tetsuya Takahashi was struck by the idea of people living on top of enormous titans, so he wrote the concept down and turned it into a 3D model. [16] The project was initially called Monado: Beginning of the World, but was changed to Xenoblade in Japan to honor Tetsuya Takahashi's previous work on the Xeno series and for his hard work on the game. [17] Nintendo of Europe announced that they were publishing the game, adding Chronicles to Xenoblade. [18] Due to no plans to release the title in North America, the fans launched a fan-campaign known as Operation Rainfall to convince Nintendo to bring Xenoblade Chronicles to North America along with The Last Story and Pandora's Tower . [19] After months of silence, Nintendo of America confirmed that the title was headed for North America in April 2012. [20]

Monolith Soft began development of Xenoblade Chronicles , an action role-playing game for the Nintendo Wii that was released in Japan on June 10, 2010. [21] [22] The game was later localized by Nintendo of Europe and was released in Europe and Australia on August 19, 2011 and September 1, 2011 respectively. [23] [24] It was then brought over to North America as a GameStop exclusive on April 6, 2012. [25] [26] Some time after its initial reveal as Monado: The Beginning of the World, then-Nintendo president Satoru Iwata changed the title to Xenoblade to honor Tetsuya Takahashi's previous work on the Xeno series. [27] Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, a port handled by Monster Games, was released worldwide in April 2015 for the New Nintendo 3DS. [28]

Reception

Aggregate review scores
Game Metacritic
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) 92 [29]
(3DS) 86 [30]
Xenoblade Chronicles X (WIIU) 84 [31]
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (NS) 83 [32]
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country (NS) 80 [33]

Xenoblade Chronicles sold nearly 200,000 units in Japan by the end of 2013. [34] In a later interview, the game sold better in the west than it did in Japan. [35] As of December 2015, Xenoblade Chronicles X sold roughly 377,000 units between Japan, France, and the United States. [36] [37] [38] Xenoblade Chronicles 2 sold 1.42 million copies as of June 2018, which became the best-selling title ever developed by Monolith Soft. [39] [40] Its sales performance exceeded the company's expectations in western territories. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country was also noted for surpassing their sales expectations in Japan as well. [41]

Notes

  1. Japanese:ゼノブレイド Hepburn:Zenobureido ?

Related Research Articles

Xenosaga is a role-playing video game series developed by Monolith Soft and primarily published by Namco. Forming part of the wider Xeno metaseries, Xenosaga is set in a science fiction universe and follows a group of characters as they face both a hostile alien race called the Gnosis and human factions fighting for control of the Zohar, an artifact connected to a god-like energy called U-DO. Gameplay across the series is similar, with the characters being guided through a linear narrative and fighting enemies using a turn-based combat system. The party fights both on foot and in a variety of mechs.

Monolith Soft Japanese video game development company

Monolith Soft Inc. is a Japanese video game development company. It was originally owned by Namco until being bought out by Nintendo in 2007. The company was founded in 1999 by Tetsuya Takahashi with the support and cooperation of Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco. Their first project was the Xenosaga series, a spiritual successor to the Square-developed Xenogears. Multiple Square staff would join Takahashi at Monolith Soft including Hirohide Sugiura and Yasuyuki Honne.

<i>Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean</i> video game

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean is a role-playing video game developed by Monolith Soft and tri-Crescendo, and published by Namco, for the Nintendo GameCube. In it, the player assume the role of a "guardian spirit" - an unseen player avatar - who guides protagonist Kalas and his party of companions in an adventure across an aerial floating island-based kingdom in the clouds. The game is focused around the concept of "Magnus" - magical cards that capture the "essence" of items found in the in-game world. The concept is used as a plot device, for in-game item management, and as a basis for the card-themed battle system. The game was noted for its unique battle system, which included aspects of turn-based and action-based battle systems, collectible card games, and poker.

<i>Namco × Capcom</i> 2005 video game

Namco × Capcom is a tactical role-playing (RPG) crossover video game developed by Monolith Soft for the PlayStation 2 and published by Namco in 2005. The gameplay combines tactical RPG and action sequences during battles, featuring characters from video game series owned by Namco and Capcom. The narrative sees Reiji Arisu and Xiaomu, operatives for paranormal investigative group Shinra, confront distortions bringing characters from other realities into their own.

Yasuyuki Honne is a video game artist, director and producer. He was employed by Square from 1993 to 1999 and is now working at Monolith Soft. He is known for his work on the Chrono series, Xeno games and Baten Kaitos series.

<i>Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS</i> and <i>Wii U</i> fighting video games

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U are crossover fighting video games developed by Bandai Namco Studios and Sora Ltd. and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U video game consoles. The Nintendo 3DS version was released in Japan in September 2014, and in North America, Europe, and Australia the following month. The Wii U version was released in North America, Europe, and Australia in November 2014, and in Japan the following month.

Operation Rainfall, commonly known as oprainfall, was a video game-oriented fan campaign founded to promote the release of Japan-exclusive titles. Initially aimed at promoting the North American localization of three Japan-exclusive titles on the aging Wii home video game console, it later transitioned into a community blog dedicated to niche Japanese titles and further fan campaigns aimed at the localization of other Japan-exclusive titles. From inception, its stated intention was to show publisher Nintendo the demand for the three chosen titles.

Adam Howden is an English actor who has worked in video games, television, theatre, film, and audiobooks.

Shulk fictional character from Xenoblade Chronicles

Shulk is a fictional character and protagonist of Monolith Soft's 2010 role-playing video game Xenoblade Chronicles, part of the Xenoblade Chronicles series of video games. Shulk gained an increase in attention and popularity upon his inclusion in Nintendo's 2014 crossover fighting games Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. While future Xenoblade entries are not centered around Shulk, Xenoblade Chronicles X features a character creation tool that allows the player to create characters that resemble Shulk, complete with his voice actor Adam Howden, and he was featured in Xenoblade Chronicles 2's "Challenge Mode" downloadable content (DLC).

<i>Project X Zone 2</i> tactical role-playing video game

Project X Zone 2 is a crossover tactical role-playing game for the Nintendo 3DS developed by Monolith Soft and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Despite the game being the official sequel to Project X Zone, the plot is an homage to the events of its spiritual predecessor, Namco × Capcom, whilst retaining a standalone story. The game is a crossover between various franchises from Bandai Namco Entertainment, Capcom, Sega, and Nintendo. The title was released in Japan in November 2015, and worldwide in February 2016.

Lin Lee, full name Lin Lee Koo, is a fictional character from Monolith Soft's 2015 role-playing video game Xenoblade Chronicles X, part of their overarching Xeno series of video games. The character herself was generally well received by critics, though Nintendo's alteration of some of her more revealing outfits between the original Japanese and her Western release in North America and Europe received more of a mixed response, eliciting much discussion about censorship and differences between cultures from journalists.

<i>Xenoblade Chronicles 2</i> 2017 video game

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is an open world action role-playing game developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch video game console. Released worldwide on December 1, 2017, it is the third instalment in the Xenoblade Chronicles series, and the seventh main entry in the Xeno meta series; although it features a different setting and characters than the first Xenoblade Chronicles, it marks a return to a story-driven game, unlike the previous game in the series, Xenoblade Chronicles X, which was oriented towards open world exploration.

Tetsuya Takahashi is a Japanese composer, singer and arranger.

<i>Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country</i>

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country is an expansion pack released for the 2017 action role-playing video game Xenoblade Chronicles 2 released in September 2018 by Monolith Soft.

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