Since it was first shown off back in back in January of 2013 under the name X, Xenoblade Chronicles X has been one of the most anticipated upcoming Wii U games. Yet unlike other Wii U games, information about the game has been coming out at a snails pace. Luckily, because the game is right around the corner for Japan and is coming out later this year for North America and Europe, we’re finally beginning to get some solid information on this upcoming title. If you seen anything on Xenoblade Chronicles X, you know that the game has giant robot mech-suits in it. We’ve also already learned earlier this year that the game will indeed have multiplayer functions. Thanks to yesterday’s Japanese Presentation, we finally have some solid information on both of these!
I should note, the above video is only a partial translation that has different things cut from it. Much of the info in here comes from the translation in the video, watching the uncut untranslated presentation in extreme detail, and other places around the web.
The first part of the presentation focused on the giant mech suits, named Dolls. There are three types of Dolls: Light, Middle, and Heavy. Each type of Doll has different models. Light Dolls have low health but good evasion abilities. Light-type models include Formula, Wels, and Urban. Middle Dolls are balanced and easy-to-use. Middle-type models include Lailah and Inferno. Heavy Dolls have a lot of health and high defense but aren’t agile and require more skill to use. Heavy-type Dolls include Mastema and Amdusias.
The previously shown vehicle transformations are dependent on doll types. Light-type Dolls transform into 2-wheeled bikes. We saw a clip of the Urban model drifting though it’s not known yet if that is unique to that model or if other Light-types will have drifting as well. Middle-type Dolls transform into four wheeled vehicles and are balanced. They showed a tank-like “caterpillar” transformation that the translated video didn’t directly say was a heavy type. However, it appears the footage shown for it was using the Amdusias. Various different Doll models have different appearances in vehicle mode. For instance, the Mastema model has a spider-tank vehicle transformation.
Along with the previous bit about transportation comes the ability to fly with the Dolls. You’ll need a Flight Pack in order to take to the skies but once you develop one you’ll be able to fly freely. According to Siliconera, you’ll also be able to test drive and fly around in NLA (New Los Angeles). I should note though that it isn’t clear if they mean test driving new Dolls or testing out your own Doll. Either way, when flying you’ll need to pay attention to your Doll’s Fuel meter. You can also purchase new Dolls and new parts for your Dolls in the shops. Don’t get too happy though, because stuff in the shops isn’t cheap.
Just like how your character has different arts and attacks, so does your Doll. The arts and attacks your Dolls can use are dependent on what you equip them with. You can equip weapons on both the left side and the right side in the Hand slots, Arm slots, Back slots, and Shoulder slots. Each slot position uses different weapons and determines the type of attack that will be used. Auto attacking for instance is done with Hand Weapons. There are weapons such as swords and rifles available in this category.
Arm Weapons are the categories for things such as Beam-shields and Mini-guns. They’re used in a variety of different Arts besides just damage. For instance, some Arm Weapons can put a buff on you while others can debuff enemies.
Spare Weapons consist of things such as Beam Sabers and Grenades. They aren’t very powerful but their attacks have a low recast rate. Back Weapons are harder hitting then Spare Weapons. Unlike Spare Weapons, specific Back Weapons can only be used on the left or right side. Back weapons on the right side are for offensive skills while back weapons on the left side are more supportive. They also have more powerful ones that require both slots to equip.
Shoulder Weapons work similar to Back Weapons but are even more powerful. Again, offense on the right and support on the left. There are also even more powerful weapons dubbed Extreme Weapons in the video and Super Weapons elsewhere. These are the most powerful weapons you have.
It should be noted that not all weapons can be obtained in the stores. Super Weapons for instance can only be crafted if you have the the recipe to make them. They also use more weapon slots, so you won’t be able to equip as many weapons while using them. This is the trade off you’ll have to make considering their power though. Think of Super Weapons as a game changer attack you earned. You can’t always use them but when they are used, they do insane damage.
On a side note, it appears in the footage that you receive 100 fuel each time you land the hit with Back, Shoulder and Super Weapons. I could be wrong about this as it only shows the attacks in motion, not you initiating the attacks. Maybe it was a special effect with different equipment?
You can also customize your Dolls color scheme’s on individual parts and give the Dolls names. Not a whole lot was shown here but going off of what was shown, it’s more then I was expecting but less then other games with Mech customizing. While it isn’t the most in depth for a game with Mechs (this isn’t Chromehounds), it’s pretty in depth considering the Dolls are just one aspect of a pretty huge game. As I said though, not a lot was shown here.
Just like traveling, combat for the Dolls introduces a new mechanic into the equation, fuel. Using Arts on your dolls uses fuel and generally uses more fuel for more powerful attacks. In order to use your Doll effectively, you’ll need to manage your fuel consumption as you fight. You only have two ways to replenish your fuel. You either leave your doll or shell out big money in NLA. This means you won’t want to blow all your fuel in a fight so you can fly when you need to.
The actual core of fighting remains similar to playing as your human character with some slight differences. On your characters there’s a Topple and Break system however in the Dolls you have a Topple and Catch system. While enemies are inflicted with Catch, players get free hits on enemies for a few seconds with increased damage and accuracy. This is a good chance to open up on enemies to maximize damage.
Sometimes when you use Arts, you’ll go into a Cockpit Mode. It happens completely by chance but when it does, trust me, you’ll be happy. All recast times (cooldown timers) for your Arts go away so you can use them again. Also, like your characters, Dolls can go into Overclock Gear Mode. Just like Overclocking on your human, there’s a variety of different effects you can get such as no fuel usage for a limited time, increased damage, no recast times, critical hit up, etc. What effect you get depends on what you equip.
Like enemies, your Dolls can have parts broken off of them. They can even be destroyed. You can repair damaged Dolls but you’ll want Doll Insurance for when your Doll is destroyed. Doll Insurance covers three deaths so you don’t have to pay anything to get your Doll back three times. If you don’t have Doll Insurance, expect to pay some crazy prices. When your Doll isn’t in battles, your Doll and its parts will recover its health automatically. This means you’ll need to fight smart. If your Doll is near death it’s better to run or get out of your Doll then let it be destroyed.
When a member of the group is fighting in a Doll and another isn’t, Doll Defense will activate. Doll defense raises the attack power and defense of human fighters. For each Doll out, Humans receive a 20% boost. If there are three Dolls and one Human, that Human will be 60% more effective. Humans can also wear Doll Suits, which aren’t that great when fighting as a human but increases their performance when in Dolls.
The presentation mostly focused on Dolls. This is good because we literally knew nothing about them and there was A TON of information to show. That said, they also shared some information about the Network Mode. I should note that the video doesn’t do a good job explaining this part and even cuts out several important clips. Also while some of the information around the web is concrete, some information isn’t talked about at all and some of the information reported on the Network Mode is conflicting.
A good example is the basic information about grouping. In the video, it says you meet other Blade members and add them to your party. Gematsu says a similar thing. Both describe it as fighting and gaining experience points together. Gaminformer and Siliconera however are saying you recruit AI versions of other players, kind of like how you get any other NPC ally. This makes me think of how you can use an AI copy of your friends in Phantasy Star Online 2. The question is, which one is it? Real players, AI copies of players, or both? After examining the footage of it, in the top left above the name of the ally is the word rental, which leads me to believe in this case the AI information is indeed correct.
Another part that has conflicting information is the 32-player Squad system. Some places describe them as a room that you join when you go online. Other places describe them as a group that you join separately when playing online. The information on this is murky and unclear but at least we know that Squads exist and play an important roll in online. There’s also Blade Reports which seems to have information that’s missing in the video and online. It’s described as a way players can share information about quest objectives, what they find, and what they discover. Anybody can see the reports and even rate them. Really good reports will be shared with everybody, even people out of the squad. What isn’t described though is that the reports are typed in with the gamepads software keyboard. Also there’s even a screen of one of the reports in the menu’s having a medal icon which changes to a Miiverse icon.
There’s also Treasure Deals which lets you post items you’ve found for Squad members to obtain. You just select the piece of equipment you want to part with and put it up on the Squad Board. Doing so will allow Squad members who want it to essentially roll on it as it picks a person at random out of the people who wanted it.
There’s also Squad Missions which are five random quests that all players in a Squad can work on without directly playing together. Each time an objective is done for one of the Squad Missions, the counter changes for all players in the Squad. When a Squad Mission is completed players can meet together at a terminal in the Blade Headquarters to do Squad Quests.
Squad Quests can be done with other players or NPC allies such as Rin. Completing Squad Quests increases research with the planet and your Conquest Development. Being far along enough in conquest unlocks powerful bosses called World Enemies.
There will also be eight Unions you can join. Unions are different factions of Blade members compete with each other via contributions. Each Union will have different activities available to complete. Completing the activities for your Union helps your Union get a higher rating. Unions will also have various different rankings. This is pretty much a leaderboard system that tracks all sorts of statistics.
While everything wasn’t exactly clear, there was a ton of information in this presentation. Much of it people have been wondering since the game was first shown off. Either way, whatever wasn’t answered here will be answered soon. Xenoblade Chronicles X is releasing April 29th in Japan and later this year in North America and Europe.