Xenoblade Chronicles Hands-On Preview

Xenoblade Chronicles teaches us how to kill a shellfish and the value of a good curry in our hands-on preview.

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Xenoblade was released in Japan last year, but Western gamers eager for a slice of free-roaming role-playing action have been left waiting for an English-language release. While a firm release date has yet to be locked down, Xenoblade will be appearing under the name Xenoblade Chronicles later this year on the Nintendo Wii. Though our hands-on with the game at this year's MCM Expo was brief, we did get a flavour of what to expect from this upcoming role-playing game.

Vast fields hold plenty of monsters to battle.

Our journey through Xenoblade Chronicles started in a large green field, surrounded by glassy blue lakes. Our character, Shulk--the lead protagonist--was wielding a typically massive sword and had a partner who followed him around. Taking control of Shulk we explored the lake area, admiring the surrounding mountain ranges and vivid green fields. As we moved down towards the shoreline of the lake, creatures that looked like giant crustaceans appeared. While they were clearly enemies for us to battle, we couldn't do so straight away. To fight, we had to access a menu and select Battle before the enemy would engage us.

Once engaged, we got to grips with the battle system. Battles took place in real time but were semi-automated. Normal attacks, such as the swipes of our sword, happened automatically at regular intervals, while more damaging "breaker" attacks had to be launched via the menu system. Our enemy attacked us too, curling up into its shell and rolling itself towards us. We could dodge out of the way most of the time, but its fast speed often made it tricky to avoid, costing us valuable health points. Our partner lent a hand, hacking away at the enemy while we dodged it, decreasing its health points. Eventually, we destroyed the creature, which left a chest containing items in its wake.

We decided to take those items to a town to see if we could make use of them. We brought up a world map and warped to the nearest town, where we encountered its inhabitants. Most of them were friendly enough, regaling us with tales of monster battles while we explored the many wooden shops and houses. One particularly talkative citizen kept trying to convince us to try the local curry, but sadly our giant sword wasn't well received by the proprietor of the curry restaurant. Others offered us side quests, such as collecting items for them or killing monsters outside the town. Many citizens were also keen to tell us about ether, which is the substance that all living beings are made out of in the Xenoblade universe--even monsters.

No Japanese RPG is complete without battling giant robots.

Unfortunately, there was little else we learnt about the story from our hands-on, though Nintendo mentioned that it revolved around a war between humans and monsters that had been raging for many years. Though it's hardly the most original of setups, we were promised that the tale would evolve over the course of the game, with new areas of the world map opening up for exploration. Judging by the sheer size of the world map we saw, Xenoblade Chronicles players will have plenty to explore too. Look out for it when it launches on the Nintendo Wii later this year.

Discussion

30 comments
LVUER
LVUER

The word Xeno and giant robots usually means a good thing. Finally a game like this in Wii (^_^) Definitely a must buy.

LitterBoxHero
LitterBoxHero

This is the sort of thing we need so very badly for the Wii.

Miollnir
Miollnir

XB already has a full English dub for the EU. Now if someone at Nintendo would get off their lazy butts release it in the US I'd be one very happy gamer!

LJELLZ
LJELLZ

This, Last story and LOZ Skyward sword will keep me going until the Wii U gets here!

wahyudil
wahyudil

never know that this game is that good ... the preview make me cry ... please release it ASAP

gkhalifa
gkhalifa

Ive been waiting for that game so long... . . . .

superbuuman
superbuuman

yup if it comes to Europe means can import in Aust as they are both PAL :D

AmayaPapaya
AmayaPapaya

Awesome. Can't wait for Xenoblade :D

aldronlin
aldronlin

good to hear that this game is coming over, now i am just waiting for Nintendo to bring "last story" over too.

Dekanis
Dekanis

The wii may not have a lot of 3rd party titles, but it does fine without them really... There are some amazingly addictive first and second party titles. There are times where the wii needs some 3rd party support, and games like this, monster hunter, the last story and Pandora's tower come in, among others.

Serbine
Serbine

@Skarwolf: Nope, though Tetsuya Takahashi is the director of this game, he also directed Xenogears and was behind the Xenosaga games too. @Yasviele: Pretty much due to Nintendo buying a huge share of Monolith Soft a few years back.

Mariner32
Mariner32

@Yasviele Ah, but what Wii doesn't have is a catalog of good third-party titles. Which is why I can't wait for Xenoblade and Last Story. I can only hope they'll officially announce a NA release date for either, if not both, during E3.

shadowysea07
shadowysea07

still depressing that this isn't confimed to be coming out in na. but at least its coming out in english. now i just have to fricken import this.

JoSilver
JoSilver

If it's as any good as Xenosaga then sweet... BUT NOT XENOSAGA 2!!!

regix416_basic
regix416_basic

If it's not mentioned, then it probably won't be coming until next year. This and Last Story MUST come over here! PLEASE!

Yasviele
Yasviele

"No Japanese RPG is complete without battling giant robots" that reminds me, everyone should check "Japanese Spiderman" in youtube - Anyway on topic... Why wii? :S as if they didn't had enough anime-style games already T_T

franzito
franzito

I don't think this will make me dust my Wii

twztid13
twztid13

this and last story need to come stateside. WTF nintendo?

Skarwolf
Skarwolf

Does this have anything to do with Xenogears ?

Atheno
Atheno

Now I know the Wii isn't the most powerful system, and I know graphics are not the most important thing, but I have to say, it's looking pretty sharp. This might make me play my Wii again.

Nestor_Elias
Nestor_Elias

I've already purposed that I'm going to play this game whether it comes stateside or not. If it comes stateside, I'll gladly pay Nintendo for it. If not, my Wii is ready for PAL and Nintendo is not likely to see any of my cash in the process...

Eribuster_basic
Eribuster_basic

I really hope this comes out in North America. Trace memory (wii) I can understand a bit, but not a big JRPG from the studio Nintendo bought.

sebetai
sebetai

I want this to come to NA too. Please!

gamefan67
gamefan67

I want this game. Please come to NA. Dont s*** on me Reggie!