This week, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is featured in Famitsu magazine, with a massive 14-page article. Within those 14 pages there’s an interview with Tetsuya Takahashi (General Director) and Yasunori Mitsuda (Main Composer), shedding some more light about the game, its development, and more.
Important notes: the details below come from leaked excerpts of the interview, and therefore are not 100% complete or accurate. Make sure to keep that in mind while reading.
The first thing we learn is that the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 project began in July 2014. At that time, Monolith Soft. was busy with Xenoblade Chronicles X, but they worked on both in parallel. That explains why they were able to complete Xenoblade Chronicles 2 so soon after Xenoblade Chronicles X (less than 3 years), besides them using everything they learned and built from that game.
Unsurprisingly, the development team didn’t know what the specs of the Nintendo Switch would be when the project began (it was in July 2014, even before the first mention of the console as “NX” in March 2015, and more than two years before the reveal in October 2016).
However, they had a rough idea of what the console would be like, and so they made a proposal for the game. They got the OK from Hitoshi Yamagami, who told them: “Yes! This is it!”.
Xenoblade Chronicles X, while sharing many aspects with its predecessor, changed the formula by a fair bit, which didn’t please all fans. Some of them wondered why Monolith Soft. changed the formula so much in the first place.
Tetsuya Takahashi explains that Xenoblade Chronicles X was developed to allow fans to enjoy exploring a wide open world, but in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the focus is more on the story (like the original), so it’s a more “orthodox” game than its predecessor. Of course, if you’ve seen the various trailers and presentations for the game, you know there’s still many large areas to explore, even if it’s not a full open world game.
With previous games, some fans complained that the battle system made it hard to both move your character and select Arts on the Arts Palette. But in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the development team came up with a much more intuitive system, that makes uses of the ABXY buttons (with the Direction buttons used for switch Blades on the fly).
Regarding the music, Tetsuya Takashi explains that Yasunori Mitsuda is a pretty important composer for him, so he really wanted to work with him again. The soundtrack is said to feature no less than 120 tracks, with 25 composed by Yasunori Mitsuda himself. In Xenoblade Chronicles, people really liked the field tracks by ACE, and the battle tracks by Kenji Hiramatsu, so they were asked to compose the same kind of tracks for this game.
And since the soundtrack for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is of pretty high quality, Yasunori Mitsuda would really love to have an orchestral concert featuring music from the game… it’s not just him, though: there’s no doubt fans would love such a concert, too!
As for Blades, if you’ve been following the regular Twitter updates, you already know there’s a loooot of Rare Blades in the game, designed by many guest chara-designers. The reason they thought of asking those guest chara-designers for help is precisely because of the large number of Rare Blades to be found in the game. Also, since they do not have a chara-designer internally, they had to ask people outside the company.
The chara-designers in charge of Rare Blades were given some elements to work with: weapons, attributes, rough materials, and they were free to design whatever they wanted using those as base… and they ended up with a lot of female Rare Blades as a result. It doesn’t look like it’s something the development team asked for specifically.
And in true gacha fashion, some Rare Blades can be… extremely rare. Tetsuya Takahashi hopes that players will discuss the kind of Rare Blades they end up getting with other players.
Finally, an aspect of the game people have praised is the improved character models (especially the faces, which received harsh criticisms in the previous two games). But the thing is, the staff working on that hasn’t really changed compared to the past two games!
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch) comes out on December 1st, worldwide.
Via: Hachima Kikou