Xenoblade Chronicles

Spotlight

VideoXenoblade Chronicles interview footage

Directors chat on realising vision.

VideoNew Xenoblade Chronicles gameplay

Final walkthrough vid released.

Xenoblade Chronicles

Standing on the shoulders of giants.

Key events

Games of 2011: Xenoblade Chronicles

The year's nicest surprise.

Xenoblade Chronicles isn't the best-made game released this year. It's not quite my personal favourite, either. It's not the greatest role-playing game in what was surely a banner year for the genre; nor is it the most exciting new game from Japan or the most welcome comeback. It's not even the best Wii game of 2011. But it was something none of those games were: a lovely surprise.

Xenoblade gets US release as GameStop exclusive

Xenoblade gets US release as GameStop exclusive

Operation Rainfall finally gets its way.

UPDATE: Nintendo of America has confirmed an April 2012 US release, via its Twitter feed.

ORIGINAL STORY: Xenoblade Chronicles, Nintendo's phenomenal Wii JRPG that so far has only been released in Japan and Europe, is finally getting a US release, judging by an eagle-eyed NeoGAF poster.

According to a retail database listing, it'll be out in The Land of the Free on 3rd April 2012 as a GameStop exclusive.

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With each passing year, the Gamescom convention in Cologne in August provides a more fascinating contrast with E3's marketing blowout in Los Angeles two months earlier. This week has been no exception.

Nintendo sorry for Xenoblade error

Online orders miss posters.

Nintendo has apologised to fans who put down money for the Wii RPG Xenoblade Chronicles' pre-order bundle at Game or Gamestation but didn't get what they were promised.

Nintendo confirms Wii JRPGs for Europe

Nintendo confirms Wii JRPGs for Europe

Last Story, Pandora's Tower in 2012.

Nintendo has confirmed European releases for Japanese Wii RPGs Pandora's Tower and The Last Story.

Both games will be here next year.

Wii gamers have campaigned for Pandora's Tower and The Last Story to head West. This week's release of brilliant JRPG Xenoblade Chronicles was proof that such action could work.

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Xenoblade Chronicles

Xenoblade Chronicles

Standing on the shoulders of giants.

It's not clear precisely when the Japanese role-playing game crumbled from one of gaming's core pillars to a battered monument to outmoded design. In the wake of Final Fantasy VII's global popularity, this weave of grandiose storytelling, menu-based battling and lavish production values seemed set to dominate the future of interactive entertainment. But as budgets strained ever harder to fill the widening technological boundaries of each new wave of console hardware, publishers took fewer and fewer risks with their money. Creative repetition led to stagnation led to decline.

Today, the release schedules are peppered with remakes and re-releases of seminal 'JRPGs' from the Super Nintendo's golden era and fans are routinely made to look backwards, rarely forwards. On the few occasions that we are treated to a strong fresh release, such as last year's outstanding Dragon Quest IX, that success leans more heavily on familiarity than novelty.

Xenoblade Chronicles is a rare exception. Here is an endlessly lavish, detailed production based in a newborn universe that is not only filled with unfamiliar faces but also brims with daring ideas and mechanics. Indisputably, this Wii game - released in the twilight months of its host console - is the strongest JRPG to emerge in years. Its vision is so bold and assured that it's difficult to imagine how such a creature could have risen from this brackish swamp of a genre.

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Out This Week - 19/08/11

Xenoblade! Age of Empires! Soldiers!

The warm and fuzzy till-ringing sound of capitalism returns to shops this week, as the games industry escapes the annual drought of summer.

New Xenoblade Chronicles release date

New Xenoblade Chronicles release date

Launches two weeks early.

Wii exclusive action role-playing game Xenoblade Chronicles will launch two weeks early, Nintendo has announced.

It was down for 2nd September. It now releases 19th August.

Nintendo's Game/Gamestation exclusive pre-order bundle includes the game, a red Classic Controller Pro and a poster tube with three A1-sized posters, electronically signed by the founder of Monolith Software, Tetsuya Takahashi.

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Nintendo disappoints US fan campaign

No plans to release Last Story, Xenoblade.

Nintendo has finally responded to the widespread fan movement campaigning to get Japan-only titles The Last Story, Xenoblade Chronicles and Pandora's Tower localised for the US market, and the news isn't good.

Fans spam Nintendo for Last Story release

Xenoblade, Pandora's Tower demanded too.

Wii users disgruntled at Nintendo's reluctance to localise a number of its Japan-only titles have launched a spamming campaign in an effort to coax the platform holder into action.