Monolith Soft's upcoming Wii U JRPG might not have a title just yet, but based on the game's mech-filled trailer, it's undoubtedly a new entry in the Xeno franchise. There's no word yet on any sort of release date, and we're hoping we won't have to fight to see a Western release as we did for Xenoblade Chronicles.
So, what do we know about the unnamed game? Well, lots of things, actually, the most important of them being that it might be an MMO. After rewatching the trailer several times, we've highlighted every last interesting detail we could find. Here's what we came up with...
The protagonist isn't a returning character from a previous Xeno franchise
In the trailer's opening sequence, we get a from-the-back glimpse of the man we presume to be the game's main character. His noticeably black hair indicates that he is not Shulk, the protagonist of Xenoblade Chronicles. Unless, you know, Shulk decided to dye his hair.
The game is gorgeous
Seriously, take a look at that landscape. To the left, you can see the mist from waterfalls covering the lake, while a monster's chilling on the beach. Admittedly this scene is a tad on the brown side, but it's pretty nonetheless.
You'll have battle companions
This is the first time we get a glimpse of your party members. They all appear to be carrying firearms--even the main character, who earlier had a sword. Unless they're other players...
...but it might be an MMO
Here's where things get interesting. The box on the left side of the screen is a chat interface, suggesting this game supports some sort of cooperative play. You can see online handles of players within the chat box. Starting at the top of the chat box, the Japanese text translates to:
"Hello, nice to meet you."
monocap: "Nice to meet you, too!"
kojimaru: "Good evening."
moniburl: "What should we do today?"
monocap: "Ok, let's do it!"
Also notice the placeholders for Players 1-3, again suggesting you can form a party with other players online. As for the main character, our guess is you'll create a custom character from scratch. The Japanese text under "LV" in the top left corner translates to Anficoerias, which appears to be the name of the giant enemy.
Other players can flank
To the left of this image, you can see a small character off in the distance flanking the giant dragon thing. That seems awfully far away for an AI-controlled NPC, and perhaps this serves to showcase how tackling giant enemies with other players might work.
The user interface remarkably MMO-like
Revisiting an image from earlier, you can see the UI looks an awful lot like it did in Xenoblade Chronicles. In the top right, you can see a minimap as well as the game's 24-hour clock. Below is your ability bar.
As per our translation, the center ability causes the player to unsheathe his sword and attack an enemy in one continuous motion. Our guess is that this ability simply lets you engage enemies to initiate combat.
It employs Xenoblade Chronicles' interactive battle system
The combat in the trailer looks almost exactly like the MMO-like combat featured in Xenoblade Chronicles. Auto-attacks on enemies will occur so long as you're in range of their hit boxes, and you'll select an ability from the battle palette to amplify damage or inflict status effects upon your foes. Take notice of the center ability icon: It's the chain attack icon from Xenoblade, and in that game allowed you to perform a simultaneous attack with your party members for huge damage.
The player goes from sword...
The main character is once again brandishing his sword. But wait! Suddenly...
He seamlessly switches to his gun. Notice that the ability bar did not change once he transitioned to a ranged weapon. That means either the abilities on the hot bar can be used with any type of weapon, or some are specific to only one type.
You might be able to target specific parts of an enemy's body
See that bulbous green thing sprouting from that giant bug's body? Hopefully it's not what we think it is, because it's about to get removed with a giant sword. After chopping it off, the main character proceeds to attack other sections of the humongous insect.
At the very least, you can dismember some foes
There's nothing worse than spiders--especially ones the size of small houses. At least you can delimb them!
Magic spells might reappear in the form of Ether
Anyone who played Xenoblade Chronicles may fondly remember Sharla healing the team by shooting them with magic bullets. Our guess is this is some sort of Ether magic-based healing or buff spell in projectile form.
You can perform some aerial attacks
Though this image might be hard to digest, it's a shot of the main character performing an awesome upwards cyclone attack. More importantly, this isn't the only attack in the trailer in which a character launches into the air. Maybe we'll see a variety of really cool ground-to-air attacks?
Mechs make an appearance...
Fact: Mechs are awesome. Another fact: fighting a mech while not inside a mech is probably a bad idea.
...and you can pilot them...
One of the most jaw-dropping moments of the trailer occurs when the main character hops into a badass stationary mech--called a Doll, as indicated by the upper right corner of the screen--then starts flying it around. Note that Dolls use fuel as a resource to move. We can't think of any cooler way to get around than by flying a giant machine.
...and you can fight with them
Of course, simply flying in a Doll would be merely a tease without the ability to battle in one. Some of monsters in the trailer are absolutely gargantuan in size, and beefing up your attacks by wearing a humongous suit of armor is probably a good way to take them on. As with movement, attacks also require fuel to execute--now we're curious what happens if you run out of fuel mid-fight.
Doll fight + air = awesome
Sure, your character might be able to perform cool aerial attacks, but Dolls can fight while flying. We imagine aerial combat is a lot more intense than fighting on the ground, and proper positioning to avoid attacks might be tricky to get the hang of. Again, you'll have to keep an eye on your fuel reserves.
There might be third-person shooting segments
Now this is interesting. This appears to be an over-the-shoulder shootout with a giant dragon-like monster. Are these scripted scenes? On-rails shooting bits, perhaps? How many will there be? We just don't know yet.
In addition to piloting Dolls, you can drive a sweet motorcycle...
Not only does this slick cycle seem like a fast way to get around, it has a ginormous sword affixed to its anterior. That's... a good way to kill monsters, we guess? Whatever--it looks awesome.
...which is actually A DOLL IN MOTORCYCLE FORM
Excuse us while we go change our collective pants. You can pilot TRANSFORMERS in this game!?
Kunihiko Tanaka is designing the characters
Do you recognize the name? Tanaka is the man who designed the characters in 1998's Xenogears, as well as episode 1 of Xenosaga. He was noticeably absent from Episodes 2 and 3, as well as Xenoblade Chronicles.
The score will be composed by Hiroyuki Sawano
If you haven't heard of Hiroyuki Sawano, that's because his background as a composer is primarily in anime and Japanese television. We're curious to see if Yasunori Mitsuda and Yoko Shimomura (who have had a hand in the musical scores of just about every prominent JRPG) will be making a return for this new game, as the two collaborated in Xenoblade Chronicles.
Tetsuya Takahashi is the executive director
Why is this important? Because Takahashi is the man who directed Xenogears, Xenosaga Episode 1, and Xenoblade Chronicles. He's got some credible past experience under his belt, and it's fitting he be the one to call the shots when it comes to this new game's design.
It might be a sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles
Near the end of the trailer, there's an image of Shulk, the protagonist from Xenoblade Chronicles. Perhaps this new game is a direct sequel with an online component? Or maybe the image of Shulk is shown simply as a graphics comparison, meant to highlight the leap from the Wii's visuals to the Wii U. Either way...
It's definitely a Xeno game
The splashy 'X' symbol that comes at the end of the trailer all but confirms this is a new entry in the Xeno series. Whether it's a sequel to an existing Xeno franchise or the start of a whole new one remains to be seen.
What a bunch of jokas!
Did you see anything in the trailer that we might've missed? Do you think the new Xeno game will end up being an MMO--or perhaps a Monster Hunter clone? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
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