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Your Letter Writing Campaign Paid Off: Xenoblade: Chronicles Is Coming to America [UPDATED]

All it took was months upon months of acrimonious petitioning, but finally, Nintendo begrudgingly agrees to release another Wii game in North America.

UPDATE: While it may go without saying, we checked in with Nintendo about whether Xenoblade: Chronicles would come here featuring the same translation that accompanied the European version.

"The game will be based on the version that launched in Europe," said the company in a statement.

That leaves some wiggle room for some changes, but don't expect any drastic differences.

--

Finally, after months of fan petitions, angry emails, and at least one article outright endorsing hacking the Wii for the sake of just getting to play one single, measly video game, Nintendo has finally thrown its hands up in prostration and acquiesced to the demands of its fans: Xenoblade: Chronicles will, in fact, be coming to North America.

Get ready to finally don this sweet techno vest and slay some stuff in 2012.

The release was announced officially via Nintendo's Facebook page, initially teased with a few images of the Japanese role-playing game's central characters, followed by an actual, honest-to-god announcement of an April, 2012 release date. Earlier rumors of the game being a GameStop exclusive have yet to be confirmed, but one way or another, Xenoblade is headed to the States.

This marks at least a partial end to the Operation Rainfall saga. Rainfall, for those unaware, is a dedicated group of Wii owners bent on bringing Xenoblade, alongside RPGs The Last Story and Pandora's Tower, to North American consoles. However, Xenoblade always seemed to be the top priority here, with numerous intense pleas for an official North American release seemingly falling on deaf ears at Nintendo.

Nintendo's reluctance to bring these titles out in America was never anything short of baffling. Given the exceedingly paltry Wii lineup this year, an extra critically-acclaimed RPG or two might have helped pad the coffers a bit, especially given that Xenoblade had already been localized for the English language upon its release in Europe, thus negating those extra costs.

Bizarre timing aside, at least Wii owners can rest easy knowing that once they finish Skyward Sword, they now have at least one more excuse to keep their Wii plugged into their TV for the next four months, before eventually retiring the thing to the plastic storage container that contains all their other discarded consoles of yesteryear. Sort of like a retirement home for consoles, really, except with more tangled wires and less of that old people diaper smell.

Alex Navarro on Google+
208 Comments Refresh
Posted by SomeJerk

Best JRPG of this console generation. No joke. No jerkiness. All serious. It does a lot of new things, it does them right. It learns from others games, and it does it right. It puts every freaking thing that had "RPG" attached to it this generation to shame bigtime.
 
..
 
Of course, I still haven't played Last Story!

Posted by ShadowSkill11

Oh yeah... I remember playing this on Dolphin in 1080p months ago...

Posted by krabboss

Queue the comments of "Another reason to dust off my Wii!" and "I don't know if I can play a game that looks like this in 2011.

HERPA DERPA DOO

Posted by siavm

Thank goodness. Now all the whining can stop. Gamers whining about a worthless cause is annoying. It was coming. No operation weaksauce didn't do it. Nintendo was just trying to stretch the titles because wii u is probably coming in fall and this and Last story are the last big core games for the wii. I preordered it from gamestop. Hopefully the rest of the people complaining day in and day out will do the same.

Posted by upwarDBound

Good news for wii owning jrpg fans!

Not entirely my cup of tea but cool nonetheless.

Posted by Video_Game_King

What the fuck? OH FUCK YES! I did not think it possible, but this day has arrived! If there is hope for the Philosopher's Sword to see a release in America, then mayhap there is hope for other games. The Last Story, Pandora's Tower, and maybe even Shin Monshou no Nazo. OH JOYOUS DAY!

Posted by Cybexx

That is really great, a little surprising since last I checked the game had done fairly paltry numbers in Europe. At the very least this gives Nintendo some hardcore goodwill going into the Wii U and something decent to play in the meantime, Nintendo has been exceptionally terrible in the last three generations with releasing games during the last year.

Posted by misclet

@Woowookins said:

Aqui-... Acque-... Acqua-... Aqua-BarbieGirl... Acquiesced...wha? O.o

Alex's vocabulary is quite astonishing and at other times, absolutely insane. A+

Posted by Duffyside

Isn't the big story here that Gamestop is apparently getting into the business of selling games exclusively?

Posted by motang

Today the fans are victorious! Operation rainfall...actually worked.

Posted by scraz

Good job Nintendo of America releasing a game 6 months after people have either imported or bootlegged it when all you had to do was change the region code.

Posted by Rawson

Imported and played it already. Try to imagine the RPG that Square-Enix have been trying (and failing) to make for the past decade.

Now try to imagine that RPG was actually made, and it turned out to be really awesome. That's Xenoblade.

Posted by masternater27

Too bad they waited so long that the people who wanted it the most went out of their way to get it (imports/piracy). Good work.

Posted by wsowen02

It will sell like shit and they will never do this again

Posted by ITSSEXYTIME

Been looking forward to playing this, but didn't want to emulate/import it.

Going to preorder as soon as available, and I hope Last Story and Pandora's tower also make their way over here. (Will likely depend on how well Xenoblade sells over here)

Posted by MannySavior

@Rawson said:

Imported and played it already. Try to imagine the RPG that Square-Enix have been trying (and failing) to make for the past decade.

Now try to imagine that RPG was actually made, and it turned out to be really awesome. That's Xenoblade.

I agree with you on that one buddy. This is what the FF12 battle system should have been. Square was obviously trying to give it a semi action MMORPG combat feel, but failed to implement the good side of battle systems from MMORPGs, positioning and team synergy.

This was easily one of my favorite games this past generation, and I will purchase this even though I already have the import just to support it. My only real issue with it was the majority of the sidequests being throw away kill/collection quests right out of the MMORPG book. Aside from that though, the main storyline was interesting and kept a great pacing from the moment you leave the starting town and onward (which actually doesn't even take as long as it usually does with most other JRPGs). The music is also fantastic.

Any Wii owners that are or even were fans of JRPGs at one point, owe it to themselves to check this one out.

Posted by bko

You assholes better buy it now. I always feel bad for publishers who listen to rally cries like these, release the game, and then it bombs because people were all talk.

Posted by Aetheldod

Props to the folks who took part on the campaign ... now save those bucks to get the game

Posted by melodiousj

@wsowen02 said:

It will sell like shit and they will never do this again

Very sad... very true.

Posted by Shaanyboi

I see this less as a reach of goodwill and moreso Nintendo realizing "Fuck, we have NOTHING for next year, and we need to prioritize development for Wii U... FUCK IT! Just put those goddamn RPG's out." I'd way rather see Last Story come. It actually has a combat system that looks...remotely interesting.

Posted by SpydrMrphy

Now it's time for us to show Nintendo that is worth listing to their fans and buying a copy. I know I will even if I don't play it, just to show that there is still a market for these games in North America.

Posted by SuperWristBands

@Amphetama said:

Awesome, now just bring out The Last Story and put a bullet in that thing.

I wanted Pandora's Tower. We can never be satisfied can we? :p

Posted by Tackchevy

I'm glad it's coming over, but the information coming out of NOA was needlessly obscure. They clearly have intended to do this, and have just been timing it to spread out sales. Kind of a self-cursing move by NOA. Like many people, I went ahead and imported the game, spend an hour getting the region lock off, played it, and loved it. So NOE gets the sale because NOA felt the need to play games with customers.

Fucking amazing game. Got a little out of control sometimes with the optional fetch questing and could've used a little extra control or something in the combat system, but I mean that in a 9.5/10 way, with story, music, graphics, world design, presentation, everything else really moving the bar for the genre. Just a shockingly beautiful world and concept. There's no excuse for dicking around with consumers and making people grovel and / or work around the system in order to get access to this level of work. NOA, what a bunch of jokers.

Posted by Juno500

Guys, don't fool yourselves here. Nintendo probably looked closer at the sales of Xenoblade in Europe than Operation Rainfall. Hard sales data is always more reliable than the promises of consumers. And the reason why they waited this long to announce it was because they didn't want to distract any attention away from Zelda.

Posted by Trilogy

I don't play jrpgs but I might try it out.

Posted by craig588

I just ordered the PAL version of this earlier today too, I think I can still cancel at this point. I'm not in any rush to play.

Posted by Loopah

Too bad I already imported it >< Oh well. Here's to hoping we'll get Last Story, etc as well.

Posted by paulunga

@dagas said:

@paulunga said:

Now let's see it sell like shit because JRPGs don't really have market anymore. And this isn't a particularly good one either.

yeah because 93.82% on gamerankins means it's shit right?

Not everyone is going to like it, but a game that reviews higher than Oblivion, Call of Duty 4, GTA3 and Bioshock has to be considered a good game even if you personally don't care for it.

Eh, I gotta admit I haven't played more than 2 hours of it. I mostly bought it for the sweet red Classic Controller Pro it comes bundled with in Europe. I think having played White Knight Chronicles II just before that has left a bit of a sour taste for the semi-real time battle system.

Posted by Olu

My greatest giant bomb dream is to see endurance run of this game one day. A man can dream

Posted by nickux

Between Skyward Sword, Rhythm Heaven Fever, and Xenoblade Chronicles, looks like my Wii is going to have a good couple months.

Posted by Hector

Yay! Now I'll go ahead and put it on my Wish List!

Posted by Guided_By_Tigers

Should be on the 360.

Posted by CommodoreGroovy

I've been looking around, and it seems store exclusive releases don't do particular well. If it turns out to be a GS exclusive then Nintendo may be shooting themselves in the foot (sales wise) right from the get-go.

Posted by CitizenJP

I'd wear that vest.

Posted by paradox121

@Olu said:

My greatest giant bomb dream is to see endurance run of this game one day. A man can dream

Yes....

YES.

Please. Yes.

The thought of it....it's like the perfect game for them to Endurance Run. A really cool counterpart to P4. It would be just so....YEEEESSSS!

Posted by phantomzxro

@Amphetama said:

Awesome, now just bring out The Last Story and put a bullet in that thing.

this!

Posted by destruktive

Congrats America. It's a great game

Posted by lamiafusion

As much as I love Chrono Trigger, this game should have been the third endurance run.

Posted by Sooty
Posted by BabyChooChoo

woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

AMERICA

Posted by SatelliteOfLove

"Oh yeah, we really didn't have anything for 2012! Pie in our faces it is!"

Posted by UnrealDP

Cool, now if only my Wii wasn't in some box in my closet...

Posted by Karkarov

This sort of sucks since I already imported it, they even use the same voice actors. Depending on cost I may buy it anyway just to support nintendo for finally doing something that makes sense and doesn't have the word "Mario" or "Zelda" in the title.

Posted by Cybexx

So apparently your going to be able to buy it from Nintendo themselves http://store.nintendo.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Xenoblade?storeId=10001

So this is basically what I recommended they do a few months ago, sell it themselves and through speciality retailers (like the Nintendo 64 version of Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine). I'm going to guess this is going to be the type of game Gamestop and EB (they still exist in Canada) are going to only buy enough to fulfill pre-orders and there is probably only going to be one shipment of copies).

I normally don't advise pre-ordering anything but in the case of limited run games like this it might be a good idea.

Posted by Zippedbinders

@Unknown_Pleasures said:

Should be on the 360.

Really hard to do that when Nintendo owns 90% of the developer.

Posted by Dalai

@lamiafusion said:

As much as I love Chrono Trigger, this game should have been the third endurance run.

And if Nintendo had caught wind of a Xenoblade Endurance Run, Giant Bomb would be told by Nintendo to cease and desist. Because that's how Nintendo rolls.

Posted by Hailinel
@UnrealDP

Cool, now if only my Wii wasn't in some box in my closet...

And you doubted this would happen. Who's laughing now, chuckles?!
Posted by Argyle

I modded, I imported, I loved it, I sold it because my Spidey sense was tingling, and now I'll buy the US version next year. :D

Posted by UnrealDP

@Hailinel said:

@UnrealDP

Cool, now if only my Wii wasn't in some box in my closet...

And you doubted this would happen. Who's laughing now, chuckles?!

I said that nobody buys Wii games, Nintendo waited until they milked the import sales and Wii games still don't sell well so I bet this games going to make tons of money, I mean really. This whole release is just to quell rabid fans, right?

Posted by gla55jAw

Woa, this is awesome news. I will finally buy a Wii when this comes out. I guess sending that letter and posting to Nintendo really did work.