This morning’s Nintendo Direct was full of surprises for Wii U owners. The Wii U-centric presentation revealed several new releases for the console that I’m sure will have owners and would-be owners foaming at the mouth, but one in particular just blew me and many other Xenoblade fans away.
Monolith Soft’s new unnamed Wii U title was revealed during Nintendo Direct with a trailer that gives us a small taste of what to expect. The gameplay and environment look extremely similar to Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles, which was released on the Wii last year. Steven and I sung its praises during last week’s podcast, both dubbing it our game of the year. The red X that appears at the end of the trailer also resembles the Xenogears logo, which gives even more reason to believe this game is related to the Xeno series. Tetsuya Takahashi, who directed both Xenogears and Xenoblade, returns as director for this title, as well as character designer Kunihiko Tanako. I’m a little disappointed that Yoko Shimomura isn’t doing the soundtrack but, if the song from the trailer is anything to go by, Hiroyuki Sawano’s music sounds like it’s going to be amazing.
What really has me excited though is that Monolith Soft seems to be bringing back one of the best features of Xenogears, the ability to fight both inside and outside of a mech. This game seems to take it even further with being able to hover and transform into vehicles as well. And if the world is as vast and fun to explore as Xenoblade’s was, then I can only imagine what they have in store for players this time around now.
I’ve already re-watched that trailer more times than I care to admit, and it gives me chills each and every time. I have to say, this is the game that may convince me to get a Wii U. And even if it weren’t, there are plenty of other reasons for gamers to purchase one after today’s Nintendo Direct. For Nintendo, it looks like the gloves are coming off.
Continuing Composers’ Month, we dived into the music of Yoko Shimomura. We fought Ken in Street Fighter II. We talked to townsfolk in Super Mario RPG. We looked toward the Mana Tree in Legend of Mana. We fought some Heartless in Kingdom Hearts. And finally we fought on the plains of Bionis in Xenoblade Chronicles.
If you want to see the music as it goes up (and not wait every Saturday for these wrap-ups), remember to go to our Tumblr page and follow it. Music for Night-Time Listenings goes up every weekday at 10PM
Well it’s already been a month since Xenoblade went on sale in the U.S. So far I’ve been thoroughly impressed with this game with each gaming session unintentionally becoming a marathon session. But how has Xenoblade done in terms of sales? According to VGChartz* the game has sold a total of 220,503 copies in the U.S. Compare that to Japan’s totals sales of 159,000 copies sold, and Europe’s 176,000 copies sold, and you’ll see that the U.S. was the biggest contributor to the total sales of the game. Keep in mind, Nintendo did next to no advertising for the game, producing one trailer (that they sent to publications twice for some odd reason), making a crappy internet banner ad, and made the game a retailer exclusive. A whole lot of super-safe steps were made by NoA to make sure next to no money was spent in advertising this game. It was up to the fans to spread the word. Operational Rainfall was the primary hub for this, with others joining in to help out in spreading the word (myself included). Not only that, it was up against Mass Effect 3, The Witcher 2, and Nintendo’s own Mario Party 9 (which sells freakishly high numbers). And look, the game sold better than anyone expected considering the circumstances. All territories combined, Xenoblade has sold a grand total of 623,000 copies. Good job people!
Now if only there was a cake to celebrate this occasion.
I wondered about this since the beginning of March if people would be able to buy Xenoblade without having to Preorder. I already preordered the game, but I’m just curious since since Nintendo’s lack of faith in the game selling made it seem like one of those preorder exclusive deals. Thankfully GoNintendo had the answer, and the official word from Nintendo is that they “…can confirm the Xenoblade Chronicles will be available exclusively for purchase through U.S. Gamestop retail locations…Nintendo never stated that it will only be available to those who preorder it.” So going by their word, you don’t necessarily need to preorder to score a copy of the game. But then again, it’s best to preorder anyways to make the numbers look good ahead of time.
Now The Last Story, that’s a different… err story. While you can probably get away with not pre-ordering Xenoblade and pick up on-the-spot, XSEED will be practicing the Niche Publisher Limited Run scheme that has been successful so far for publishers like NIS America, Atlus, and XSEED themselves. In other words, The Last Story will have a limited run in the U.S. and XSEED will print copies close to the number of pre-orders that they get. So if you want to score yourself a copy of The Last Story, you’re better off preordering. Thankfully the game will be stocked “at any retailer that wishes to stock it.” So if you hate Gamestop, you can get it at another store, like Game Champ!
[UPDATE: 3o second version of ~Action~ now up. View after the break]
After seeing that Operation Rainfall made their own trailer for Xenoblade, I decided to jump in and create my own videos for it. But instead of a trailer, I decided to make TV commercials! Three 15 second ones to be exact (with a 30 sec one coming soon). You can read up on the process of how these videos were made in the video descriptions on YT. Now I could’ve made another trailer, but I feel that commercials, particularly the ones for videogames, don’t get as much love. Plus fan-made trailers tend to lean dangerously close to AMV territory. Sure they pop up every freaking time on TV and before a video. But when you sit down and look at a commercial (especially the older ones), you sort of begin to appreciate how the video was made and who it was made for. That and how far we’ve gone in the art of advertising.
But enough about that. We’re here about using them. After the break, the other two commercials and what to do. Continue reading →
I Stand On My Soapbox is a series of editorials that cover more specific topics in the games industry and community. These articles are a little more extreme than normal editorials published here, and could just degenerate to outright ranting. Have fun and enjoy the show!
Over the weekend, the Wii community, and JRPGs as a whole, have been celebrating the confirmation of Xenoblade finally making it to the U.S. I’ve been listening to the music all weekend and have added some songs to my daily playlist. I’ve seen the trailer a lot, saw some gameplay footage, and watched a couple of early cutscenes in the game. I’m ready to preorder this baby this week (even though I really hate Gamestop, it’s my only choice. And no I have no means to pre-order from Nintendo). But in the back of my mind, I fear that this game may not sell well in the U.S. But this time, it cannot happen. It mustn’t happen! Continue reading →
Not too long after the reveal of Xenoblade coming to the U.S., a new trailer was posted. The trailer reveals that the U.S. release will be based on the PAL version, meaning that there will be British voices a-plenty. One thing that has been changed is the title design, which now has “Chronicles” in smaller font and under a line (ignore the IGN thumbnail). I actually like this new design as it’s less busy than the PAL version and downplays the “Chronicles” part of the title (something that many gamers saw as an unnecessary subtitle). You’ll also notice many of the songs that are in the game that are really stunning. I’ve been listening to some of the music all weekend, and it’s really good! Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story) and Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono series, Soma Bringer) are the composers for this game, so you know this is going to be an amazing soundtrack. Xenoblade is set for release in April 2012.
Well guys, it finally happened. Xenoblade will finally be hitting the U.S. next year under the title Xenoblade Chronicles. This comes to us via a report from IGN in which an image from an anonymous Gamestop employee was shown to have Xenoblade in the release schedule. Soon afterward, images of Xenoblade Chronicles popped up on on Nintendo’s Facebook page. At 10:10AM PST, Nintendo posted on their Facebook page:
“It’s confirmed! Next year, Wii players throughout North America can wield the Monado blade and join the epic battle between the Homs and the Mechons in Xenoblade Chronicles. Like this post if you’re ready for an adventure on the surface of two frozen Titans!”
There are some out there that may feel a little manipulated out there after begging, pleading, and potentially boycotting all Nintendo products, and they have a right to be a little disappointed that Nintendo would dangle the carrot in front of gamers like that. But I think it’s time to put the pride aside and just be happy that we’re getting the damned game. The critically acclaimed game is set for release in April 2012.
Usually at the butt of every joke in the videogame community and sometimes more screwed over than gamers in Germany, Australia can celebrate as its getting Xenoblade (under the EU name of Xenoblade Chronicles). At first, the game getting classified by the OFLC sparked rumors that Xenoblade would come out in Australia, But now it has been confirmed. No release date yet, but it pains us NA gamers to see other Nintendo branches become cooler than ours. Ours is run by a Suit in gamer’s clothing.