Today’s Canadian launch of Xenoblade Chronicles for Nintendo Wii lets players jump into an epic story that merges the best elements of fantasy and science fiction – ahead of other North American gamers. The real-time battle system, character and weapon customization and the ability to explore a huge, open world sets this title apart from other role-playing games. The game has already received critical acclaim from both media and consumers since its launch in Europe and Japan.
“Xenoblade Chronicles demonstrates how Wii continues to deliver deeply engaging experiences,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager. “The game appeals to a broad spectrum of video game fans, from role-playing aficionados to anyone who appreciates exploration and a gripping story.”
Set on the bodies of two huge titans, Xenoblade Chronicles asks players to wield the Monado blade to save the world from destruction. With ordinary weapons having no effect on the machine race known as the Mechon, the power of the Monado blade is the only hope. The hero, Shulk, uses it to fight the Mechon and see glimpses of the future. Players control Shulk as they engage monsters in battle and go on quests. Players can also upgrade their equipment and abilities in a variety of ways. Weapons, headgear, body armor, gloves and boots can all be modified, with each change affecting both the ability and the look of the character. The same piece of gear even takes on a different appearance depending on which character is wearing that piece. Players can also enhance the abilities of their existing equipment by using Gems, special augmentations created by collecting resources in game. Gems may improve Arts ability, increase agility or add strength.
Xenoblade Chronicles also features a unique relationship-building element called the Affinity System that encourages players to build rapport with other characters in the game. Doing so will unlock cut scenes that provide new information and backstory.
Sixteen different Arts (spells or actions) are available, though each character can use only eight. Arts can be switched around to fit a player’s playing style or to make a character fit a specific combat role. Players have real-time control of Arts and player positions during battles. Strategic positioning is crucial to unleash the most effective attacks on the enemy.
Though a variety of control setups are possible, Xenoblade Chronicles is controlled most effectively using the Classic Controller Pro accessory, which is sold separately.