XENOBLADE CHRON­I­CLES X

De­vel­oper Mono­lith Soft For­mat Wii U Re­lease 2015

EDGE - - WII SPEAK -

Xenoblade Chron­i­cles was one of Wii’s great sur­prises, with beau­ti­ful graph­ics, snappy re­al­time com­bat in a genre known for turn-based bat­tles and, thanks to a fine lo­cal­i­sa­tion, an oddly Bri­tish tone de­spite its Ja­panese ori­gins. Xenoblade Chron­i­cles X looks to build on that suc­cess with HD vi­su­als, a vast game world and pi­lotable ve­hi­cles.

The games you make are set in gi­gan­tic worlds. How have you man­aged the tran­si­tion to HD res­o­lu­tion? Xenoblade Chron­i­cles X is the first HD project for Mono­lith Soft, so in­stead of set­ting a num­ber of hard-toachieve tar­gets, we are work­ing on steadily build­ing up key skills. Our goal with this game is first to lay the ground­work for [our] HD game devel­op­ment, so as to not over­reach our­selves and cause prob­lems.

Why are you mov­ing away from a class-based sys­tem for player char­ac­ters? Do you feel that pre­vi­ous games have been too re­stric­tive in that re­gard? The player’s char­ac­ter in Xenoblade Chron­i­cles X isn’t one with a fixed per­son­al­ity like in any of our pre­vi­ous games – it’s more of an avatar for the player. We de­cided that this setup would be the best in terms of this game’s sys­tem. There­fore, if the main char­ac­ter is an avatar for the player, then of course they shouldn’t be re­stricted in terms of class, gen­der or ap­pear­ance. You’re in­clud­ing ve­hi­cles to pilot this time, which sug­gests the world is very large in­deed. How big is it com­pared to Chron­i­cles? Dolls, which are what we call th­ese ve­hi­cles, are roughly five times the size of a per­son, so to get the same feel as Xenoblade Chron­i­cles while us­ing a Doll, the map would prob­a­bly need to be five times as large. It’s ac­tu­ally even big­ger than that, but we’ve made sure to de­sign Xenoblade Chron­i­cles X so that play­ers can still feel com­fort­able nav­i­gat­ing the world, de­spite its vast size.

“WE’VE PUT SOME IM­POR­TANT FEA­TURES RE­LAT­ING TO THE GAME SYS­TEM AND YOUR OB­JEC­TIVES ONTO THE GAMEPAD”

A com­mon com­plaint among Chron­i­cles play­ers was that their quest log quickly be­came in­tim­i­dat­ingly long. How are you ap­proach­ing the quests this time to ad­dress that con­cern? When you take on quests, the ob­jec­tives and rel­e­vant peo­ple will be dis­played on the map. We’ve also in­cluded a num­ber of other fea­tures to help with quests, so it should be a much more user-friendly ex­pe­ri­ence than Xenoblade Chron­i­cles.

How are you us­ing the GamePad? How do its var­i­ous fea­tures suit the sort of games you make? We de­cided that it would be per­fect to use as a nav­i­ga­tion de­vice, in the same way that a lot of tablet com­put­ers are. We’ve put some im­por­tant fea­tures re­lat­ing to the game sys­tem and your ob­jec­tives in the game onto the GamePad, so I feel that this should cre­ate a very user­friendly ex­pe­ri­ence for play­ers.

Pi­lotable mechs, or Dolls, are new to the se­ries, and a vi­tal ad­di­tion given the game world’s size

The game be­gins with two alien races bat­tling in near Earth or­bit, leav­ing the planet in ru­ins and forc­ing hu­man­ity to evac­u­ate to the stars

TET­SUYA TAKA­HASHI EX­EC­U­TIVE PRO­DUCER, MONO­LITH SOFT

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