Xenoblade Chronicles (series)
After the disappointing sales of Xenosaga Episode III, Namco Bandai saw little interest in continuing the series. Around the time when the game was being completed, Tetsuya Takahashi began brainstorming for a game unrelated to either the Xenosaga series or Xenogears. In 2006, Takahashi and Yasuyuki Honne created a model of the titans that would become Bionis and Mechonis. Monolith Soft's majority share was bought by Nintendo in 2008 after they have previously published several of their games including Baten Kaitos Origins, Disaster: Day of Crisis and Soma Bringer. Their next big game was announced at E3 2009 under the name Monado: Beginning of the World for the Nintendo Wii. However, the game would later be renamed to Xenoblade. According to Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata, the name change was meant to respect Takahashi's previous works. Despite originally not being planned as a game in the Xeno series, many parallels to Xenogears and Xenosaga can be found. The game was released in 2010 in Japan.
After over a year, Nintendo of Europe localised the game and released it as Xenoblade Chronicles in 2011, with no North American release planned. Because of that, the game uses british voice actors and spelling instead of American ones. At the time, Xenoblade Chronicles was the one of only two Xeno game to be released in Europe together with Xenosaga Episode II - Jenseits von Gut und Böse. In North America, a fan campaign was launched called Operation Rainfall as an attempt to bring the game together with The Last Story and Pandora's Tower to North America, two other RPGs localised by Nintendo of Europe. The game eventually released in North America in 2012 as a Gamestop exclusive with no changes to the text or voice acting.
In early 2013, Monolith Soft's next big game was revealed for the Wii U under the working title X. It was eventually changed to Xenoblade X (Xenoblade Chronicles X outside of Japan) at E3 2014. The game was released in April 2015 in Japan and in December 2015 in Europe, Oceania and North America. The western release included all DLC from the Japanese version. Unlike the first game, this game's localisation was done by Nintendo of America. The game's plot is unrelated to the first game, but creatures like the Nopon and the Telethia can be found here as well.
Also in 2014, two other anncouncements were made: The original Xenoblade Chronices was announced to be rereleased exclusively on the New Nintendo 3DS as Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. It was released in early 2015. The port was developed by Monster Games and saw few changes compared to the Wii original. It was also revealed that Shulk would become a fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. This would later increase the popularity of the game.
At the Nintendo Switch press conference in January 2017, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was announced as a true sequel to the first game. The game was using the same engine as Xenoblade Chronicles X and was released in December of the same year. Just before release, a special Nintendo Direct was broadcasted announcing a season pass for the game. The final elemt of the season pass was revealed at E3 2018 to be Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country, a prequel that played 500 years before the main game. It was also released physically as a standalone game including a download code for the rest of the season pass in September 2018.
In 2019, Nintendo announced Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition in a Nintendo Direct. It was released on May 29th, 2020.
Unlike previous Xeno games, the Xenoblade series features real-time Action RPG gameplay. Each game varies in its gameplay, but all games ahare its core battle system. When battling enemies, the characters perform auto-attacks at certain intervals and have a variety of arts they can use. After an art is performed, the player is unable to use it again until it is recharged after a certain amount of time. Arts can cause statuses like Break, Topple and finally Daze (Xenoblade 1 and X) or Launch and Smash (Xenoblade 2 and Torna) to deal extra damage or stop the enemy from peforming actions. When a party member dies, they can simply be revived if the Party Gauge is filled enough. If the gauge is completely full, it can be used to perform a powerful Chain Attack (Not in Xenoblade X).
Outside of battles, the series is known for its vast, open worlds the player is relatively free to explore. Xenoblade Chronicles X features a real open world that the player can even fly over using Skells. Every game features a large amount of Side Quests.
All Xenoblade games have their own specific features like Visions in the original, Skells in Xenoblade Chronicles X, Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and their cooperation in Torna: The Golden Country.
The series has achieved to gather a large fanbase since the first game. The games are especially praised for their unique battle system, huge open worlds and their soundtracks.
- Xenoblade Chronicles
- Xenoblade Chronicles X
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2