Welcome to this week’s edition of Industry Chatter. The rumour-mill has been working at full capacity this week, and the news which has everyone worked up in a flurry of excitement is not only the announcement of a new and original RPG from Square Enix but also final confirmation that Xenoblade Chronicles, the game that many of us here at Nintendojo (especially me) have been harping on about for the last four months, is finally getting released in the US. We’ve rounded up every last shred of information about these tantalising announcements for you, so hold onto your hats, readers, and get ready to hit the “hype” button.
Square Enix working on unnamed “massive, original action-RPG”
The latest edition of Famitsu has revealed that Square Enix will be using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 to make a “massive, original, action role-playing game.”
It will be developed internally at Square Enix and headed up by Ryutaro Ichimura, the producer behind Dragon Quest IX and many other Dragon Quest titles. It’s planned for launch on consoles, but Square Enix have also been exploring the possibility of releasing the game on next generation platforms as well depending on development time.
Famitsu have made very clear that this game will not be a Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest game.
It might be nameless, but it sure has some amazing concept art.
Early reports suggested that the game will target overseas markets in particular, but according to Andriasang, Ichimura has since stated that the game “is meant to represent a challenge where Japanese developers create an interesting game that is meant for worldwide release.” The development staff are working closely with overseas staff to preserve authenticity though, as the game looks set to be in Middle Ages Europe.
Over the past two years, Ichimura and the development staff have travelled all over the world to conduct user surveys in order to research art and gameplay direction for the project, and Ichimura said that they are taking an approach which will accomodate what users want in the game. They will use their feedback as their main starting point as opposed to forcing what they themselves want to make into the game.
Square Enix’s website is advertising for staff to work on the project, so it will be a while before we hear anymore concrete news, but we can only hope that it will make it to Wii or Wii U in the future.
Xenoblade Chronicles coming to the US in April 2012
It started as a rumour on NeoGAF when their forums posted this image from a GameStop computer database:
If you cast your eyes downward, you’ll see Xenoblade is scheduled for 3rd April 2012.
Comments were sought from Nintendo of America, and the rumour was verified. GameStop confirmed that they’ll have the retail exclusive of Xenoblade and Nintendo updated their official website, Twitter feed and Facebook page with images, trailers and links to pre-order the game from both GameStop and directly from Nintendo themselves. Is that enough confirmation for you?
It’s scheduled for an April 2012 release, so pat yourselves on the back, Operation Rainfall– it’s finally happened. If you need reminding of just how much we loved the game or can’t decide whether Xenoblade is the game for you, make sure you read our glowing review.
New Animal Crossing 3DS details
Animal Crossing series producer Katsuya Eguchi has revealed new details about the upcoming Animal Crossing game for 3DS in a new developer round table discussion (seen below and on Wii’s Nintendo Channel).
This time you’ll be taking on the role of town mayor. This will give you a lot more freedom over the look of your town, and you’ll be able to add things like benches and street lamps to give your town that extra bit of character.
You’re not the only one with a new job either. Tom Nook will be trying his hand as a real estate agent, managing the “model homes” of other players you pick up via StreetPass.
Likewise, as you’ll no doubt have seen from early gameplay trailers, character proportions have also undergone a dramatic change. As design lead Koji Takahashi explains, “The big thing is that now there are separate tops and bottoms. So girls can wear pants and boys… well…”
That’s right, guys, skirts are no longer out of bounds!
But the customisation doesn’t stop there. Don’t like the cushion design on your couch? Take it down to the furniture shop and change the design! And if you fancy a new exterior to your house, well, you can change that too, right down to the very last fence post.
Your town is also a lot bigger than previous games as it now sports a shopping mall on the other side of the train tracks as well as a bigger beach.
For more juicy morsels of information, check out the whole discussion below:
3DS System Update will now hit December 8th
Back in October, Nintendo announced that 3DS will be getting a big November update. Well, now it will be getting a big December update instead as the update was still in the final stages of internal testing last week.
It will now be available from December 8th, so make sure you remember to perform a system update on your 3DS on Thursday. This update will let you capture up to ten minutes of 3D footage with the inbuilt 3D camera, transfer downloaded software and data from one 3DS to another, and create stop-motion photography masterpieces. Streetpass Mii Plaza will also be receiving additional content, including a “Find Mii” sequel, new puzzles, and a map of the Miis you meet out and about.
Mario Kart 7’s Community feature was originally meant to be part of 3DS firmware
In a new Iwata Asks, Mario Kart 7 director Kosuke Yabuki has said that the game’s social features were based on a concept originally meant to be incorporated into 3DS’ firmware.
”At first, we wanted to include a feature where friends could gather like this directly on Nintendo 3DS, but schedule-wise it was tight and wouldn’t fit,” Yabuki revealed. “So I said, ‘I’ll do it with Mario Kart 7.’ Having said that, I knew I had to think of something and drew a rough plan on a big sheet of paper.”
The main attraction of Mario Kart 7‘s Community is that it allows players to gather online without the need to exchange friend codes. It also lets players determine their own custom racing rules, much like how Super Smash Bros. allows you to exclude certain items from play.
Landing on a runway full of bananas could be tricky!
“You can limit the ways items appear,” Yabuki said, “like having a race in which only bananas appear. After three laps, there are bananas everywhere! (laughs) You can play a different way than ever before.”
Is this yet another sign that 3DS shouldn’t have launched in March? You decide! Either way, we’re just glad that this feature finally found its way to Mario Kart 7.
And thus we draw this week’s jam-packed Industry Chatter to a close. What are your thoughts about Xenoblade‘s US release? Are you excited about a new Square Enix RPG, or are you too busy playing Mario Kart 7? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!