This weekend is a very special one for Nintendo RPG fans in the US, as will be the first weekend they’ve had to spend with their brand spanking new copy of Xenoblade Chronicles, which has finally been released for the Wii in the US as a result of a concerted campaign of fan power (Operation Rainfall) following on from the Japanese and UK launches of the game. The epic adventure merges the best elements of fantasy and science fiction, and features a real-time battle system, character and weapon customization, and the ability to explore a huge, open world.
The game is set on the bodies of two huge titans, with players getting to wield the Monado blade in a bid to save the world from certain destruction. The blade is their only hope, as normal weapons are powerless against the machine race known as the Mechon. By wielding the blade, the game’s hero, Shulk, is able to see the future. In the game, equipment and abilities can be upgraded in a variety of different ways: weapons, headgear, body armor, gloves and boots can all be modified, with each modification affecting both the ability and look of the character. The same gear will even look different when worn or used by different characters. Players can also use Gems – special augmentations created by collecting resources in-game – to enhance the abilities of their existing equipment.“Xenoblade Chronicles demonstrates how Wii continues to deliver deeply engaging experiences,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “The game appeals to a broad spectrum of video game fans, from role-playing aficionados to anyone who appreciates exploration and a gripping story.”
Xenoblade Chronicles also features a relationship-building element called the Affinity System ,which encourages players to build rapport with other characters in order to unlock cut scenes that feature new information and backstory.
Sixteen different Arts spells or actions are available in the game, although a character is only able to use up to eight. Arts can be switched around to fit your playing style, or to make a character fit a specific combat role. The player has real-time control of Arts and player positions during battles, with strategic positioning being a vital element when it comes to unleashing the most deadly and effective attacks on the enemy.
It’s been a long time coming and a hard fought battle by the fans, but it's finally in stores right now. Let's see if you can finish it before the third and final Operation Rainfall game to be released, Pandora's Tower, comes out next Friday!