Xenoblade @ Famitsu
Xenoblade Director Tetsuya Takahashi Famitsu Interview
It's not a new entry in the well known PlayStation series, Xenoblade - "The world setting, story and other elements have no relation" "It's a completely new title"
- The design philosophy with this game is diferrent. Past titles from Monolith have focused on events and scenario, Takahashi admitted. However, he feels that this type of development has reached a "dead end." The Xenoblade project started off by looking at the origins of the RPG genre. Takahashi says he wanted to make a game where it was simply enjoyable to adventure.
- He suggested that players consider the "Xeno" part of the title to be just a symbol. "I wanted to to have some sort of common point with the games I've made."
- "Xeno" has the meaning of "different nature" or "uniqueness," he explained. As for the "Blade" part, Takahashi asked that we refer to the game's ending to find out.
- Xenoblade's background story starts thousands or maybe tens of thousands of years in the past as two great gods waged a great battle. In the end, all that was left of the two gods were two giant corpses. Xenoblade is set on top of those two corpses.
- Takahashi came up with the idea for this unique world setting after a meeting about Soma Bringer, a past Monolith project. "It seemed like it would be enjoyable to adventure on top of the body of a giant god". He immediately returned to the office, wrote up a design document, and showed it to a number of other people, getting a positive reaction in the process.
- In order to better get the point across about his plan, he had one of the Monolith staffers create a model of the two gods in their final resting position. The Famitsu article has an image of this model. The two gods, one winged, are facing each other, with their swords clashing like they're engaged in battle. One is kneeling while the other looks like he's about to fall to one knee. This model, the magazine notes, was created far before actual production began on Xenoblade. "It was of great help when explaining the project to Nintendo," said Takahashi.
- The entire game world is set on the top of the corpses of these two gods. The rest of the world is nothing but ocean. It's an entirely enclosed space. You won't find outer space if you look up. And it does not seem to be the case that the two gods are resting on a planet.
- Takahashi on the size of the world- "From one end of the corpse to the other, the world is about the size of Japan". Although It may be larger than it looks. Areas of the world will open up as you progress through the story, and you'll eventually enter the body of one of the gods.
- The game is set on these humanoid god figures, Xenoblade's world has a lot of height. "From the start of the project" - "we thought it would be interesting if we could make use of a vertical construction."
- Areas of the world correspond to parts of the gods' bodies. You'll find a wide variety to the world, from different weather to varied monster ecology. As an example of some of the regional features, Takahashi said that you can head to the top of one of the gods to see an aurora.
- Residents of the two corpses are enemies. The player is on one god, which is home to a population of organic life. The other side of the world has mechanical life - "It's simple -- the fight against mechanical life that threatens the peace of mankind."
- The adventure starts on the right foot of the player's god, in an empty cave. This was actually something that was decided upon when the god model was first made. You'll initially make your way to the head area of your god.
- The game will keep track of where you should be going, both for the main story and for sub quests that are unrelated to the story. You'll also be able to make use of warps to transport to areas that you've previously visited. Monolith even has some systems in place to keep you from losing your way when you're physically moving about the areas.
- Your movement through the world will be seamless. "We've put effort into this" - "because we felt that in order to show a living world, we needed an overwhelming sense of scale, like that of an MMORPG."
- Takahashi said that he hopes players will simply walk around in search of special unexplored areas which have beautiful settings. You'll get experience for just finding these. Some areas include monsters that can't be defeated at first. Once you've powered your character up, you'll want to return to take on those beasts.
- Enemies in Xenoblade roam the fields alongside you. Encounter an enemy, and the game will transition seamlessly into battle.
- Since battles take place on the same fields across which you and the enemies roam, you'll find that nearby enemies will join in on the battle. As a strategy, you'll want to engage in battle in areas where there aren't any other enemies.
- Your main character will adventure alongside two AI-controlled party members. Your character performs his attacks automatically while you watch the action and select special skills, known as "arts." Arts include attack skills, recovery skills and so forth, and are learned as you progress through the game.
- The game will offer an adventure of around 50 to 60 hours. This time will not consist of endless leveling up. It won't consist of endless event scenes.
Because Xeno as a name was an insane seller by the end of the Xenosaga series (3). Not. The Xenosaga games also weren't a direct continuation of the story seen in Xenogears (though it was based on unreleased episodes of it or something) so this is nothing far from the normal for the way they name their games.
Better, full size scans are in the OP now. It does look a bit PS2 flat, but the art direction in the environments is top and more than makes up for it. I can't wait.
I really like the sound of an open world with a huge scope. It doesn't look like auto-attack for the main character though, to me it looks like Takahashi is bringing back AP from the little bars under the portraits. I think but automatically attack they mean that he'll just go into battle, or at least I'd hope so since I'd rather full manual control.
" I have a hard time believing those are actual screenshots. Some of these look way better than what the PS2 or GCN could've produced. "
Those are all Wii screens. Monolith have been working very closely with Nintendo in order to maximise the Wii capabilities.
" @Meowayne said:Yeah not sure how it is unbelievable, not saying it looks ugly or anything (as I just said above it is pretty) but it isn't that mind blowing or anything." I have a hard time believing those are actual screenshots. Some of these look way better than what the PS2 or GCN could've produced. "
Those are all Wii screens. Monolith have been working very closely with Nintendo in order to maximise the Wii capabilities, just as another developer did with another title that was originally planned for PS3. "
The scale and scope appear comparable to Tales of Graces, though it seems that the camera will give great views more often, not being top down as it often is in that game. Of course, it has a completely different style. They focused on the scale and design of the world over other elements, like the lacking character and environment shadows (which ToG has better of). So, it's evident that's all within the Wii's capabilities, but it also doesn't fail to impress in terms of design. ToG is probably more technically accomplished but this isn't far behind. All I have to say is, I hope this kind of scale and design is a sign of things to come from Nintendo's own high caliber titles, like Zelda, considering Monolith isn't quite to their high level (as, again, even Namco did better with ToG).
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