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    Neosmith

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    Post by Neosmith on Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:22 am

    So, with X coming out soon, there have been more and more posts from gaming websites. I thought I'd make a section where we can upload the latest articles about the game.

    Gamespot has just conducted another Hashi interview: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/xenoblade-chronicles-x-will-have-different-play-fe/1100-6426561/

    Here's a quote:

    Takahashi: I think Xenoblade Chronicles X will have a different play feel from the first Xenoblade Chronicles game. Xenoblade Chronicles is a pretty linear game, but Xenoblade Chronicles X is non-linear, and I think a lot of the gameplay will depend on that.

    Xenoblade Chronicles’ core thrust is centered around its story, but Xenoblade Chronicles X is shaping up to be a game with more focus placed on action elements that take advantage of the open world instead of the story aspects.

    Meanwhile, Game Informer has info on the latest Japanese direct: http://www.gameinformer.com/games/xenoblade_chronicles_x/b/wii_u/archive/2015/04/10/final-japanese-direct-details-dolls-and-network-features.aspx
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    Post by RadicalDreamer on Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:35 pm

    @Neosmith wrote:

    Here's a quote:

    Takahashi: I think Xenoblade Chronicles X will have a different play feel from the first Xenoblade Chronicles game. Xenoblade Chronicles is a pretty linear game, but Xenoblade Chronicles X is non-linear, and I think a lot of the gameplay will depend on that.

    Xenoblade Chronicles’ core thrust is centered around its story, but Xenoblade Chronicles X is shaping up to be a game with more focus placed on action elements that take advantage of the open world instead of the story aspects.

    About this... some fans are freaking out a bit. We all knew the game would be built differently than Xenoblade (and a good majority of jRPGs). There is worry that the story will suffer a lot.

    Saying that Xenoblade was built around its story is also a questionable statement from Takahashi (that or the translation messed up). Xenoblade is not exactly built around the story (Gears and Saga were). It is built around the world concept : 2 titans as worlds to explore. Takahashi said it himself years ago that they came up with the story after the world concept. Those are two different things to me (there are games built upon world concept with no or minimal story, after all). Not to mention how exploration is Xenoblade's main selling point/what people remember/praise most, not/less its story.

    However, Xenoblade has a linear progression that depends on the storyline, YES. It's like that in a majority of jRPGs, old and new.

    What Xenoblade X is doing (and what I'm not surprised to see Takahashi doing... his new philosophy on game design started with Soma Bringer, evolved a bit with Xenoblade and goes much further on borrowing western RPG design element with Cross... who knows what he'll do next time... a full MMORPG, maybe... he's really close to this with XBX) is allowing the player to travel anywhere and whenever he/she wants in the world Monolith built. Xenoblade only allowed the anywhere part (not completely, Alcamoth is not fully explorable if you noticed *and you still can't visit people's house in general*... but overall, you could go anywhere).

    There IS a main story for XBX but here, it's implemented into the game like a puzzle to complete (I even assume it will be possible to miss recruitable characters). And the only way to complete that puzzle will be to do quests and explore everywhere (aka : interacting with the world). Done well with tons of lore/story to discover, it has the potential to appeal to me MUCH more than the first Xenoblade. But only if the story/lore delivers. I think, one of the reasons that make me love Xenogears so much... isn't because the story is linear. It is because it is very detailed and has a lot of small stories put together (some that are also mostly left to your imagination... though that is also due to the fact that only 1 episode out of 6 could be produced). The game's story feels like a jigsaw puzzle. And I find that really appealing. That's why I think it's interesting to see how Xenoblade X will turn out. Even with Takahashi not writing anymore (and Soraya Saga not working on his games anymore... or Kato doing... WHAT is he doing these days, exactly ? Is he even part of Monolith anymore ?), which is kind of disappointing but... eh (unless he's just not talking about his involvement in the plot). At least, Takeda's short story pleased me. That surprised me, in a good way.

    As far as I'm concerned, it's really important that they improve the sidequests and lorebuilding compared to Xenoblade. They need to really add something to the experience. Or else, the game will probably disappoint old Xeno fans, some Blade fans included (I hope not, with Takahashi recently talking about story/gameplay balance being important and saying that most wRPGs are lacking in the epic department).

    In Xenoblade, the majority of quests were fetch/hunt missions that didn't affect in any shape or form the main storyline or character development (or barely... it's extremely rare to hear a party member revealing something new about him/her during quests). EXCEPT for one thing : the sociogram for NPCs. This was a brilliant idea and the only thing that motivates me to complete the poor sidequests (no really, as I play, it comes to a point I don't even consider the rewards anymore *that I already have or are obsolete considering my characters' level* and focus more on finding the right party member for discussion with NPCs and improving relationships between NPCs).

    Heart-to-Heart for the party members were/are a good idea but imo, they were a bit too light and didn't trigger new sidequests (I remember that one between Shulk and Sharla in the mines... guess that Sharla will wait forever to see her watch fixed).

    And, really, if Monolith wants to go down the dating sim route (one of the reasons why I actually love Persona... I don't get why some people hate the social parts of those games... if anything, it's the dungeons that need work... and Atlus seems aware of this, judging by Persona 4 but especially what we've seen of P5), might as well go all out and offer romance options, if you want the friendship to become a romance (you sure couldn't do that in Xenoblade where romance was fixed... and I probably wasn't the only one who wasn't a fan of the romance in Xenoblade... really forced for most of them *the main one was okay-ish though... but still the most forced romance EVER in a Takahashi game*).

    Without a linear story approach, Xenoblade X NEEDS to improve on the sidequesting part. A LOT. And without the original concept of the titans, the lore also needs to be MUCH more developped to make Mira actually interesting (or give me underwater exploration at some point, gosh, that would be a fantastic surprise). ESPECIALLY considering the crazy size of Mira (which still looks like a tiny planet lol... that or the White Whale/Moby Dick is really as big as an Earth continent, which is crazy *how big was the Eldridge in Gears by the way? Would it fit a continent from Earth? In any case, Xenogears' planet seemed kinda small too, according to PW... *).

    Maybe the online will be required to complete that "story puzzle" but I hope not (really now, online gaming sucks when you consider how ephemeral it is in the long run... especially as we're talking about the WiiU... how many people will keep using that console in ten years ? How many years will Nintendo support the online on it ?).
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    Post by Neosmith on Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:13 am

    So, here's another Hashi interview: http://venturebeat.com/2015/06/22/xenoblade-chronicles-xs-director-on-building-an-rpg-for-multiple-audiences/view-all/

    GamesBeat: A lot of the Xeno games aren’t tied to each other directly, but do they have an overarching theme, going back to Xenosaga and Xenogears?

    Takahashi: The theme is actually a little bit different every time. I don’t think there’s necessarily a thematic link between each game. Rather, I think of what sort of game I want to make, what sort of challenge I want to take on. There are links between each game, but they’re not quite that clear.

    GamesBeat: Is it almost more like a director’s signature? All your RPGs have a “Xeno” on them.

    Takahashi: Yes, that’s right.

    GamesBeat: Are the Skells an intentional callback to Xenogears?

    Takahashi: Yes, there is a little bit of a reference there. Although I want to point out that in Xenogears, we had to separate dungeons that were meant to be cleared by characters on foot from the dungeons that were meant to be cleared by the characters inside their Gears. We had to do that because of tech and cost limitations. But now we’re able to do those together, where you can have the ability to choose whether you want to fight in the Skell or fight on foot.
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    Post by RadicalDreamer on Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:53 pm

    @Neosmith wrote:So, here's another Hashi interview: http://venturebeat.com/2015/06/22/xenoblade-chronicles-xs-director-on-building-an-rpg-for-multiple-audiences/view-all/

    GamesBeat: A lot of the Xeno games aren’t tied to each other directly, but do they have an overarching theme, going back to Xenosaga and Xenogears?

    Takahashi: The theme is actually a little bit different every time. I don’t think there’s necessarily a thematic link between each game. Rather, I think of what sort of game I want to make, what sort of challenge I want to take on. There are links between each game, but they’re not quite that clear.

    GamesBeat: Is it almost more like a director’s signature? All your RPGs have a “Xeno” on them.

    Takahashi: Yes, that’s right.

    GamesBeat: Are the Skells an intentional callback to Xenogears?

    Takahashi: Yes, there is a little bit of a reference there. Although I want to point out that in Xenogears, we had to separate dungeons that were meant to be cleared by characters on foot from the dungeons that were meant to be cleared by the characters inside their Gears. We had to do that because of tech and cost limitations. But now we’re able to do those together, where you can have the ability to choose whether you want to fight in the Skell or fight on foot.

    Really nice. Thank you.

    I kinda liked being forced to get out of my mech in both Xenosaga and Xenogears in order to access smaller areas. I heard so many things about XBX (one of those being that having a Doll *sorry, I like it better lol* trivializes on foot exploration)... but I hope there are still moments like these. But I know what he means. I mean, what if we were given more choice while exploring/climbing Babel Tower ? The danger is making on foot exploration obsolete with the mechs. When/if I end up buying XBX, I wonder how much I will use the mechs. I get the feeling I'll try to restrain myself at times and mainly use Dolls when it's necessary.

    Takahashi: We’re happy that we’re having the releases so close together between the Japanese, European, and American version. It makes it all a much simpler process for us.

    Time is relative, I guess. The game comes out in December in the US and westerners are feeling the waiting. And I still don't know about Europe/France... Oh well... I don't care anyway. As long as the translation is good (also I heard japanese VA is in again, it's cool).

    Takahashi: What you’ll find quite often is that a lot of the markets outside of Japan are interested in games where you can do anything you want. They put a high priority on a great degree of freedom. In the Japanese market, it’s more common that people will demand a certain flow to the events in a game. We find that they’re more comfortable with a linear framework. We have our own theories about why this might be. For example, in the Japanese tea ceremony, there’s a very specific order of events. People feel comfortable with that. They even seek out that kind of framework. But I feel like the west is a bit different.

    That's one way to see it.
    I see how he wants to merge the two philosophies together to create something epic... but according to the reviews I read, it's not satisfactory yet (it's Monolith/Takahashi's first open world game, after all). It's insanely difficult to merge interesting lore/well developped characters and great story with the sandbox genre. I guess some wRPGs are better at it than others (people praised The Witcher 3 a lot lately but I never played the games so) but I only played Skyrim and Morrowind and I'm incapable to care for my character or the story (the lore and mods make those games in the end). There IS Planescape Torment, though. But it's a wRPG genre that is unfortunately barely imitated.

    I'm curious about his next project. I really want to know if Takahashi really planned to make
    Spoiler:
    an open world Xenosaga type series (meaning... sci-fi and direct sequel titles) out of XBX... which would maybe justify what I heard of the ending. If that's really his plan, I'm not sure if it's a good idea for the type of games he's making now (mainly because they're longer to make than Xenosaga... and it seems most fans prefer his linear plots). I mean, yeah, the Elder Scrolls always did this... but the difference is that the overall map of Tamriel is known to us and there is a constant desire to visit the other countries (and I'm used to Bethesda and minimal/non linear story... though I do wish they'll tell better ones one day). But eh... I stayed safe from spoilers about XBX. Maybe the ending gives you a reasons to want to see other specific planets.
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    Post by Valkyrie on Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:23 am

    Hi.
    If you are interested, I also found these various recent interviews of Tetsuya Takahashi (or other Monolith Soft members) :

    Xenoblade Chronicles X director reveals how long it will take to get a Skell :
    http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/06/20/heres-when-youll-get-a-skell-in-xenoblade-chronicles-x?utm_campaign=ign+main+twitter&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social


    Xenoblade Chronicles X Devs Already Working On A New Game :
    http://attackofthefanboy.com/news/xenoblade-chronicles-x-devs-already-working-on-a-new-game/


    Xenoblade Chronicles X Developers Weigh in on the Term "JRPG" :
    http://www.gamespot.com/articles/xenoblade-chronicles-x-developers-weigh-in-on-the-/1100-6428409/


    Xenoblade's Director Talks Witcher 3, Zelda Wii U, And His Favorite RPGs :
    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2015/06/23/xenoblade-39-s-director-talks-witcher-3-los-angeles-and-his-favorite-rpgs.aspx#.VYwX9BLmAqk.twitter
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    Post by Neosmith on Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:02 pm

    Thanks for pitching in you guys.

    I think it's interesting how Hashi admits he has transitioned towards world-building/exploration. These were definitely his strong suits in Xenosaga, where he struggled with reconciling them with linear narrative storytelling.

    Regarding the mechs - I don't think it's a good idea to let the mechs be almost always interchangeable with the characters, as that can easily make one of the two seem obsolete - XSE1 suffered from this, with the AGWS becoming superfluous.
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    Post by katimus_prime on Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:47 pm

    In agreement here with the worry about the mechs becoming superfluous. I never had a problem with switching in and out of my Gears in Xenogears, but then again, I really liked the Gear battle system (my best friend from high school didn't, though, so I'm familiar with that complaint). As for the step away from the story, that's a bit of a red flag for me, but one of the main complaints about the game when it released in Japan was that there were too many cutscenes. So, a step back from story, but still full of cutscenes seems like something's off or mistranslated.

    Either way, maybe if X isn't story-heavy, they could set a story-centered game within the same universe now that title rights are no longer an issue. (I know I might be obnoxiously positive, but I really do love Monolith unconditionally.)


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    Post by Valkyrie on Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:47 am

    Hi !

    Recently I have found 2 interviews of Monolith Soft (and notably Tetsuya Takahashi) about XCX. There will be probably more interviews in the next days, I guess.

    Monolith Soft and Making RPGs for Everyone
    The head of Xenoblade Chronicles X studio discusses developing JRPGs for global appeal
    http://www.gamespot.com/articles/monolith-soft-and-making-rpgs-for-everyone/1100-6432551/

    Designing Xenoblade Chronicles X
    Monolith Soft discusses the intricacies of designing Xenoblade Chronicles X.
    http://www.gamespot.com/articles/designing-xenoblade-chronicles-x/1100-6432549/
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    Post by Yikari on Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:36 am

    Considering how Xeno franchise is not really as mainstream as, say, Fallout is, the likelihood of the terribleness that accompanied the release of Fallout 4 - people spamming unmarked spoilers in thread names on thematic forums, in chats of videostreams on Twitch, etc, etc - is less likely to occur.

    But, considering also how Xenoblade Chronicles X is going to include chat-like functionality in-between ~31 or so other people you'll be grouped with in case of active internet connection... Let's just say that I am disinclined to believe better of other random people over the internet I don't know and I would recommend you to do the same.

    XXX

    Closer to the actual topic at hand, much kudos for finding these articles for us! I do hope you'll forgive me for not reading them until I am through with the game though. Smile


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    Post by katimus_prime on Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:43 am

    Yes, thank you for posting these! Very Happy The Designing Xenoblade one was linked to me via a friend from work and I read most of it. I'm glad for the described "more hardcore" approach for sure.

    And I agree with you there about not trusting random people with spoilers.


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    Post by RadicalDreamer on Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:09 pm

    Thank you for posting. They're interesting and nicely presented interviews (I wish I was able to get the artbook *the art is simply gorgeous* with the special edition but considering I won't buy the game anytime soon, seems like I won't be able to get it... not at a fair price at least  No ).
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    Post by katimus_prime on Sat Nov 28, 2015 2:05 pm

    I'm sure the artbook by itself will end up on Ebay once the initial round of people have gone through. What I really just wish would happen is that the original book be available in PDF format for purchase. I'm done scanning things unfortunately.


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    Post by Valkyrie on Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:53 am

    Here is an interview of Tetsuya Takahashi from Gamereactor :

    Tetsuya Takahashi Talks Xenoblade Chronicles X
    We talk to the creative force behind one of 2015's biggest and best games.
    http://www.gamereactor.eu/articles/368023/Tetsuya+Takahashi+Talks+Xenoblade+Chronicles+X/

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