With its expansive world, beautiful visuals, immersive battle-system, compelling story and hundreds of hours of gameplay, Xenoblade Chronicles wasn’t just one of the best games on the Wii, but one of the best games of all time. It should come as no surprise then that there’s a tremendous amount of excitement building about Monolith Soft’s next project.
At last month's Nintendo Direct presentation a short teaser trailer was released from Xenoblade’s developer of their upcoming Wii U RPG that is currently in development. All it took was that one brief minute-long teaser to get fans speculating about this new title, and we at Gamnesia just can’t miss out on the fun.
One of the most prominent aspects of the trailer is just how strikingly similar to Xenoblade the overall feel and style of the game is. The on-screen interface indicates that the fundamental basics of the battle system have been kept from Xenoblade. The massive expansive world and the gargantuan beasts roaming around them are also reminiscent of Xenoblade.
Another similar facet in the trailer was the science-fiction aspect, which this time around featured mechanical vehicles that transformed into hovering robots. Some fans have referred to the new title as a combination of Xenoblade and Monolith’s 1998 PlayStation title Xenogears which, from the trailer, is a seemingly apt comparison.
The glimpse that we’ve gotten of the game so far was an extremely impressive showing. The graphics are stunning, especially at the showcased lake, and the brief score that we heard added to the epic style. Its far too early to tell, but so far the game is looking like a worthy successor to Xenoblade.
Such vast games obviously take a decent amount of time to develop, so it’s likely that the game remains in fairly early stages. The sea location highlighted in the trailer was eerily similar to Xenoblade’s Eryth Sea, just without Alcomoth. Could it have merely been an upgraded location to show off the graphics and battle concept of the game?
Regardless, the biggest points of speculation came at the end of the trailer where a character very similar in appearance to Xenoblade’s Shulk was featured. Perhaps it is just a similar design, but perhaps it is Shulk. It raises the question of whether we are dealing with a sequel here.
Those who played the original Xenoblade should be well aware of how underwhelming a direct sequel would be. Having overcome Zanza, or God, and having been through a story that involved the destruction and rebirth of the universe several times, a sequel is just too much of a shallow ploy, clinging to its predecessors success. Xenoblade was a game that involved an all-encompassing story and a direct-sequel would be redundant.
A direct sequel remains a possibility, but a disappointing one. Some people embrace the idea of a prequel, but that would be just as irrelevant. What we’re most likely looking at here is a spiritual successor, which features a similar style, but a new scenario and plot, just like in Final Fantasy.
While the trailer gave a strong showing for gameplay, the world, the battling and the concept, what it didn’t really contain at all is any story-aspects. It could be that Monolith is keeping the plot under-wraps for now, or perhaps have barely even begun on it. Whatever the plot, let us hope that Nintendo of Europe once again deals with localization, as nothing fits voice acting in an epic and mythical RPG better than the British Accent and more traditional English.
The trailer conclude with a red X, which more than just alluding to being a “Xeno” title once again goes back to the late ‘90’s Xenogears title. Whatever this Wii U journey becomes by the time it reaches release, it sure has some big shoes to fill to follow Xenoblade.
If Monolith Soft manages to pull off another RPG experience on the level of Xenoblade then they will not only have achieved their mission to become Nintendo’s version of Bethesda, but they will even surpass the developer behind the Elder Scrolls franchise.