Iwata Asks About Xenoblade Chronicles X

Monolith Soft talks more about its open-world RPG for Wii U.

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 05/06/2015 20:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Nintendo recently posted a new installment of Iwata Asks, the company’s long-running series of developer interviews. For this edition, Iwata sat down with the development team of Xenoblade Chronicles X, the sprawling, open-world RPG for Wii U, to discuss the inspirations behind the title and the challenges the team faced trying to realize them. As always, the interview proves to be a revealing and fascinating read!

One of the most notable aspects of Xenoblade Chronicles X is the sheer scale of its setting, the uncharted planet of Mira. According to Monolith, the team set out to create “an environment where players can play in a completely open world.” To aid in navigating this world, the developers added a hexagonal map that players can fill out by exploring the environment.

Tetsuya Takahashi: The hexagon-shaped areas that look like honeycombs are called segments in the game. I discussed with Kojima-san that by having players access many things in the segments, it would be easier for them to figure out where they need to go. I think this conversation was the catalyst for solving the challenge of large fields.

Another topic of discussion is the game’s unique online mode. It seems rather than allowing players to interact with one another directly, the team opted for a “loosely connected” approach to multiplayer. As Genki Yokota, the director from Nintendo on the project, explains:

Yokota: If the Wii U console is connected to the Internet, the game will automatically connect online … Each game connects with up to 32 players randomly, including the main player. Most of the time, you will not see other players or what they are doing, even if they’re in the same field.

Iwata: But, you can feel each other’s presence faintly in real-time.

Yokota: Yes. For example, if a player defeats an enemy and gets an item they don’t want, they can offer to give that item to another player who is connected with them.

The mulitplayer mode isn’t limited to passive interactions, however; according to Yokota, the game will occasionally assign missions to the connected players, which can range from killing a certain amount of monsters to collecting items. Participating in these kinds of missions can even lead to special boss battles that will allow up to four players to team up directly:

“If players clear missions like these, sometimes a special mission like a boss battle is activated. This is the only time when up to four players can actually connect and complete a mission together.”

The interview touches on many other interesting topics, including more information on the game’s robotic suits, Skells, so we definitely recommend giving it a read! Nintendo has yet to announce a North American release date for Xenoblade Chronicles X, but the company did confirm that the game will be launching this year.

Source: Iwata Asks

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