Nintendo Gets Directly to the Point of Xenoblade Chronicles X

Nintendo had something of a surprise Nintendo Direct today. Nothing earth-shattering, just an extended look at the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Did I say “nothing earth-shattering”? Poor choice of words, as that’s essentially part of the premise of the game, which is gone over in greater detail along with other new features in the following video:

After this, the Nintendo Treehouse spent the better part of an hour showing off features of the game in the area around the ship. I didn’t get to see everything, as my appointment with a technician from Rogers Cable overlapped with the Treehouse portion of the presentation, but I got to see bits and pieces. Hopefully they’ll have it archived on their Twitch or YouTube channels soon.

If I may offer my own thoughts on what I did see: While I did enjoy the original game for the Wii, I admittedly did so in a more passive role, watching as my wife played and taking in the sights, sound, and story while she– the more experienced role playing game expert between us– handled the actual playing of the game, with me deferring to her for the gameplay aspect of the review. Then and now, with the New Nintendo 3DS XL release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, I’ve had twinges of wanting to give it a try, but I’ve been satisfied as a passive observer.

Xenoblade Chronicles X, however? Considerably less so– I want to immerse myself in this world. The Wii game was awesome, true, but this one just speaks to me on a much more personal level, reminding me in part of some RPG stuff I ran with some friends years ago. I love the premise of having an Earth city/spaceship on an uncharted alien world, and using various advanced technology to explore the landscape. Plus: Giant transforming robots. The Monado is cool and all, but I wasn’t quite feeling it the way I would running around in my own Transformer; that has the touch… and it’s got the power, yeah.

Sadly, there is no release date for this iteration yet. I imagine we’ll see that come the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo, if not a little later in the year and closer to launch. They may need something to help prop up their holiday release schedule, after all, since The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is no longer making a 2015 release a priority. On the other hand, would they be holding a Nintendo Direct for it if they were planning to release it later, rather than sooner? Hmm.

In any case, I’m keeping an eye on this one with ever-growing anticipation.

The Monolith Soft role playing game Xenoblade Chronicles has sparked no small amount of interest over the course of its existence. Wowing gamers with what the Wii was capable of in the right hands, the title soon became highly-anticipated in North America– which made Nintendo of America’s lack of plans to bring the title over following its success in Japan and Europe all the more crushing.

This led to the creation of “Operation Rainfall,” an effort to bring fans together (now a full-fledged gaming website) to convince Nintendo of America to bring this title (along with two others) to our shores. Whether it was the outpouring of support from fans or simply a part of some other strategy altogether, Nintendo did finally relent and released the game here.

However, the game did not see a widespread release. Instead, it was offered exclusively through GameStop in the United States and EB Games in Canada, as well as through Nintendo’s own website– unusual, given that they normally do not sell games directly there. Nonetheless, the retail-exclusivity combined with a relatively limited run wound up leading the already sought-after game to become even more desirable as the game’s accolades spread even further through word of mouth. As one might expect, this has led to the aftermarket price on previously-purchased copies to be driven up considerably.

stpustThat’s why it appears fortunate that, in some way or another, online Canadian video game retailer Video Games Plus Online has acquired some stock of the game. Not only do they have it in stock, but they claim to have it new. As seen in the ad at right, they state that the game comes “brand new factory sealed ‘Y’ wrapped,” and that this is “possibly your last chance to own this RPG masterpiece.”

Their asking price is $69.99 Canadian, a full $20 higher than the $49.99 the game originally retailed for. It seems to go for about that much new and used on eBay, though some sellers want considerably more– not to mention the need to contend with other bidders for the lower-priced copies. Interestingly enough, VGPlus’s own Amazon storefront is charging $20 more than their own website for some reason.

If you’re curious about what me (and my wife) thought about the game, you can check out my review here.

Thanks to Skeldare on the Penny Arcade Forums for the tip!