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Xenoblade

Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Japanese Xenoblade Chronicles X cover is pretty badass


Does this mean I have to buy a Wii U now?
Feb 07
// Robert Summa
If video game box covers hype you up, then this newly released Japanese cover for Xenoblade Chronicles X found on Amazon Japan certainly has the potential to get you mega excited. Whether or not we will see this bad...
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Nintendo reveals Xenoblade Chronicles X multiplayer details and more


The spiritual sequel to a spiritual successor of a spiritual succesor
Feb 06
// Jason Faulkner
I'll be the first one to admit how confused I am as to the connection between Xenogears, the Xenosaga series, and Xenoblade Chronicles other than director Tetsuya Takahashi. Especially given that Xenoblade Chronicle...
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D photo
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D roams to New 3DS in April


Old 3DS owners will have to upgrade
Jan 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is coming to New Nintendo 3DS XL in April, Nintendo announced today. The RPG is exclusive to the New 3DS platform, which arrives in North America this February.
Xenoblade 3DS photo
Xenoblade 3DS

Xenoblade Chronicles confirmed for New 3DS


In what capacity and when is unknown
Aug 29
// Chris Carter
So that's why Shulk is in Super Smash Bros. After showing off the "New 3DS" model during their Japanese Direct, Nintendo cut right into some footage of Xenoblade Chronicles on the 3DS. Very little is actua...
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X has a massive in-game world


And it's not even compensating for anything
Aug 27
// Brittany Vincent
The latest issue of Edge states that map in Xenoblade Chronicles X is going to significantly dwarf the world of the original Xenoblade Chronicles. Think five times bigger, in fact. Director Tetsuya Takahashi elaborates in the...
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Looking pretty good!
Can't get enough Xenoblade Chronicles X? Nintendo has you covered with a 45-minute stream of the presentation of the upcoming RPG from Nintendo's Treehouse presentation. Be forewarned though, folks, this is drool-worthy terr...

Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
HNNNNNNNG!
Epic space battles. Huge mecha. And a gorgeous Xenosaga-style art direction. Monolith Soft's new game is called Xenoblade Chronicles X and it looks absolutely stellar. Do want. Hiroyuki Sawano, composer on numerous anime series like Attack on Titan, is handling the music on the upcoming Wii U project, which should be launching sometime in 2015.

Xenoblade, Metroid pricin photo
Xenoblade, Metroid pricin

GameStop to sell Xenoblade, Metroid Prime Trilogy for $40


$40 each, of course
Oct 18
// Steven Hansen
Just a couple months ago, GameStop was selling copies of Xenoblade for upwards of $90. The retailer has exclusive rights to the title, you'll remember. This monopoly and price hike raised a number of issues, especially when i...
Xenoblade photo
Xenoblade

GameStop taking heat amid Xenoblade controversy


Gamers accuse retailer of scamming customers
Aug 13
// Tim Sheehy
Over the past few days, GameStop has found itself in the midst of a controversy surrounding the used sales of Xenoblade Chronicles, a fan-favorite and a game which the retailer had negotiated an exclusive contract to distribu...
Localized Wii U games photo
Localized Wii U games

SMT X Fire Emblem, Monolith Soft's X reconfirmed for West


Confirmed before, EXTRA confrmed now
Apr 25
// Tony Ponce
[Awkward Zombie by Katie Tiedrich] Two of the more mind-blowing Wii U announcements in the past few months have been Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem and Monolith Soft's "X," the spiritual successor to Xenoblade. For the soft...
Xeno-something for Wii U photo
Monolithsoft is at it again
Nintendo and Monolithsoft are working on something for Wii U, and I want whatever it is. The team behind Xenoblade Chronicles have something beautiful lined up, but all we got this morning from this morning's Wii U Direct br...

Why Xenoblade Chronicles HAD to look like shit

Apr 26 // Jim Sterling
Let's face it -- games are ridiculously expensive to make. Expensive to the point where the entire business model looks pretty damn broken. We have developers decimating their workforces or even closing down before or after releasing a major "AAA" title. We have games costing millions of dollars to make, and publishers expecting success on par with Call of Duty in exchange for their investments. Games are big business, throwing big money around, and graphics are a huge part of that system.  As games get prettier, they tend to get more expensive. Building new engines to take advantage of graphically insane consoles and computers takes time, effort, and lots of cash. It also tends to require some restrictions on what you can do with your game. For example, Gears of War still looks pretty damn lovely, but its action takes place within very tight and linear corridors. Had the game opened up, it would have had to have taken a graphical hit. The only game that has managed to look amazing and retain large environments has been Crysis, but it is still an anomaly in this industry. There are few studios capable of what Crytek is capable of. Certainly, there are few makers of traditional RPGs with the cash and the resources for that kind of craziness.  Huge games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim can look pretty thanks to good art direction, but they're also damn glitchy, and have to cut corners by reusing textures and environments. They're almost pieced together like LEGO constructs, with pre-made building blocks pieced together, and you can clearly see the proverbial puppet strings if you look at it long enough. It gets the job done, but it's a very Western thing. It's not the long, huge, open, varied, handcrafted kind of chicanery we're used to from Japanese role-playing games.  For an example of what the high definition generation has done for the genre, one need look no further than Final Fantasy XIII. The game took over half a decade to make, and whether you like it or not, there's no denying that it still lacks the scale of past Final Fantasy games. I got a lot more out of the comparatively ugly Final Fantasy VII than I'll ever get from XIII. A greater sense of freedom, a longer time spent playing, and a far deeper sense that I was part of a large, fully realized world.  By its own admission, Square Enix has struggled to get everything it wants in a Final Fantasy while also providing the kind of visuals we expect this generation. No less than an entire game's worth of content was cut from Final Fantasy XIII, because the size had to be kept down. Square has also said in the past that HD technology is too demanding to make the kind of big JRPGs we used to enjoy, and this demand is also the reason why we haven't had any confirmation of an HD remake for Final Fantasy VII.  Final Fantasy VII took up to four years to produce, but Yoshinori Kitase suggested that it would take over a decade to get VII looking as good as XIII. It makes sense -- VII is simply a far bigger game, far more ambitious than XIII in every way (outside of graphics). There's a reason why so many good JRPGs have found homes on portable systems like the DS and PSP, rather than home consoles. You can actually make traditional experiences there, without the crippling graphical expectations holding them back.  This is why I am saddened when I see someone complain about Xenoblade Chronicles being on the Wii. I feel that if we'd had it on any other system, it wouldn't be Xenoblade Chronicles anymore. Yes, the graphics are muddy and jaggy (I started playing it without glasses to make it look smoother!) but I don't think I'd have had it any other way. To get those sprawling open fields full of monsters, to get that wonderful level of variety and intricate world design. To get that huge experience and the sense of a world that truly was alive, I think Xenoblade needed to be on a system where there was no pressure to produce visuals on par with Crysis or Final Fantasy XIII. You can keep your prettier graphics -- I want a better game!  The Wii was a great place for mid-sized developers, and while the system never quite realized its potential as an oasis of creativity, I nonetheless appreciate the titles we've seen on it. I think games like Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story have only been possible because the Wii "holds them back" in the visual department. The precious visual department holds games back in every other way. As much criticism as the Wii has had (and I've shared mine over the years), I will be grateful for it standing as the last bastion of the term, "gameplay over graphics."  The Wii lacking HD output has, in my opinion, been a good thing in the long run. Without that expectation for high definition visuals, it's allowed developers without Square-levels of money to focus on creating good games first, and worrying about the juicy eye candy later. It's the kind of focus that few games on the Xbox 360 and PS3 could dream of getting away with. Yes, when you upscale a Wii game to HD it tends to look much better, but the fact that the upscaled version isn't the expected version eliminates the consumer's demand for ridiculously pretty games and allows the developer to focus on what really matters. When we play a PS3 game, we expect it to look very good, unless it's a budget game (which carries its own stigma). When we play a Wii game, we're expecting something far less flashy. I can't imagine the relief such reduced expectations must be for some studios.  I am a little worried about the Wii going away, replaced as it inevitably shall be by the high definition Wii U. I'm worried that the makers of Japanese RPGs with modest budgets will no longer have anywhere to go if they want to make an ambitious game on a home console without getting snubbed. The handheld market will truly become their only sanctuary. At least until game development gets significantly cheaper, and I don't see that happening anytime soon. Not with modern technology consistently pushing the goal posts back.  Games like Xenoblade Chronicles have to look like shit. They have to make Game Informer editors want to punch kittens. If they didn't, they wouldn't be the same games anymore. Yes, they'd look nice -- and I love a gorgeous game as much as the next person -- but they wouldn't be all they could have been. To think that a game's potential is only unlocked when it reaches a certain graphical quality is a little blinkered, if you ask me. As far as I am concerned, Xenoblade Chronicles reached its potential, and it did so because it was focused on being a game, as opposed to an art department's masturbation session.  Soon, those who have spent years complaining about Wii games not being in HD will get their wish, and we'll have HD games forevermore.  I hope they like the imprisoned, neutered, but oh-so pretty games they were asking for.
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This week, Game Informer guest editor Chris "Warcraft" Kluwe confessed that Xenoblade Chronicles wanted to make him punch a kitten. However, it wasn't due to the game being bad, it was due to him loving it, and the resul...

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Live show: Xenoblade Chronicles on Mash Tactics


Apr 10
// Bill Zoeker
King Foom is back from PAX East and, with his batteries recharged, he's ready for a "New Release Showcase" today on Mash Tactics. The game this time is Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii. This highly rated JRPG almost didn't se...
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Jimquisition: Cutscenes aren't a failure state


Apr 09
// Jim Sterling
It's become increasingly popular to disparage cutscenes and the games that use them in the past few years. It is argued that interactive art should never force a player to watch a movie and, while there's merit in that, that...
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So ... who's buying Xenoblade Chronicles today?


Apr 06
// Jim Sterling
The day has finally arrived. After months of campaigning, the fruits of Operation Rainfall's efforts have become ripe for the plucking, as Xenoblade Chronicles releases across North America. So ... who's going to get it? ...

Review: Xenoblade Chronicles

Apr 04 // Jim Sterling
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)Developer: Monolith SoftPublisher: Nintendo of AmericaRelease: April 6, 2012MSRP: $49.99 (GameStop exclusive) Xenoblade Chronicles may bear many hallmarks of a traditional RPG, but from the outset Monolith Soft has worked to craft something quite different from the norm. Its premise is one of the more inventive I've seen in years, telling the story of two ancient Gods who remain eternally locked in combat, now frozen like statues, and serving as glorified planets for the lifeforms that live on them. The Mechonis is home to a race of robotic constructs called The Mechon, who strike out to attack the varied creatures of Bionis -- chiefly the Homs (humans), Nopon (Pokémon), and High Entia (bird-elves). The Mechon can only be killed with a magical sword, The Monado, which finds itself wielded by a man named Shulk in his quest to take vengeance upon the metal-faced robot that destroyed his colony.  Xenoblade's story of vengeance and cast of upbeat characters is a far cry from the usual save-the-world tales with their brooding protagonists. While the narrative does expand to something a bit more dramatic, the theme of revenge serves as its backbone, while the Monado's ability to show its wielder glimpses of the future delivers regular musings on the subject of destiny. As far as JRPG plots go, Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the best in years, avoiding the self-indulgent misery and trite love triangles that have dutifully served as lazy crutches for the uninspired game writer.  [embed]225166:43262[/embed] That said, many major protagonists, especially Shulk, come across as a little plain at times, with only a handful of heroes -- Reyn and Riki, mostly -- showing any defined personality. It's hard to tell the likes of Shulk, Sharla or Dunban apart, since they serve more as vanilla reactionaries with only vague snatches of individuality. Yes, Shulk is out for revenge, but I'm hard pressed to say much more about him. The same cannot be said for the villains, whose London gangster accents and sincere love of being evil make them memorable and hilarious. An army of oversized robots who sound like the cast of Eastenders? I can safely say that's a first for role-playing games of any kind.   It would be impossible to describe Xenoblade Chronicles without heavily emphasizing its similarity to MMOs, for its quests, combat, and loot systems are directly ripped from the likes of World of Warcraft or The Old Republic. Combat is in real-time, with the player initiating battle against monsters on the map (or vice versa), and characters attacking automatically once in range. Each member of your three-person party has a range of special abilities, known as arts, that must cool down every time they are used, while characters fulfill distinct battlefield roles that MMO players will easily recognize -- from tanks to healers to DPS specialists, all the traditional playstyles are catered to. You can choose which member of your party to control, and the others will perform their tasks independently.  Xenoblade encourages players to think tactically and work together with your team. Some arts work in conjunction with arts from other characters which, when used together, can severely cripple the opposition. For example, Shulk has a number of arts that inflict a "break" status on an enemy, and a broken enemy can be "toppled" by certain other arts, rendering it helpless and unable to fight back. There are also arts that deal extra damage or inflict debuffs when used on the back or side of an opponent, and characters with such arts are best teamed with a tank like Reyn, who can draw aggro and distract monsters. In between, you'll be pressing the "B" button at timed moments to encourage allies and recover from missed attacks, lending a very light "QTE" element to the melee. It's impressive how well Monolith Soft has made battles feel as strategic as they are chaotic -- and they can certainly get chaotic. There's an interesting revival system in place, since players lack the ability to use healing items or spells to bring characters back to life. There's a special gauge that fills up every time an art is successfully performed, comprised of three smaller gauges. When totally filled, this gauge allows the party to perform a chain attack, where special abilities can be fired off without interruption. However, there's a risk-and-reward element at play, as one of the three smaller gauges can also be spent to revive a fallen party member. Should the player's character get taken out while no bars are filled, it's game over, so players must choose wisely between spending the resources on chain attacks, or saving them to keep the party alive.  As well as allowing the team to damage Mechon, the Monado's ability to predict the future plays a crucial gameplay role. When a monster is preparing a particularly devastating attack, Shulk will have a premonition, allowing players to see who will suffer the blow and how much damage it'll deal (usually enough to kill). Armed with the knowledge, players can quickly fire off arts that counteract the attack or warn teammates to select an appropriate response from their arsenal. Although certain arts specifically counter enemy abilities, it's more enjoyable (and sometimes more practical) to find alternate ways of altering the future. For instance, you could get Reyn (the tank) to draw the monster's fire, changing its intended target to someone who can easily take the hit. You could topple or even kill the attacker, or you could get a character like Sharla to fire a shielding bullet that absorbs the impact. Changing or even destroying the future is surprisingly satisfying and really lends an extra edge of excitement. However, this is a massively lengthy RPG, and having gameplay repetitively broken by Shulk's intrusive visions can get incredibly tiring, especially toward the end. When you're fighting a particularly tough boss or if you're just trying to run away from one, the last thing you need is to be forced to watch all the ways in which you get to die. I know I'd rather be able to concentrate on fighting at times.  Combat is a heap of fun, though it gets repetitive once you've worked out a suitable party and get used to all your abilities. Battles, even against bottom feeding opponents, feel a bit too lengthy, with each fight proving to be a time commitment. A.I. allies can be a little unreliable, sometimes blatantly ignoring the player's combat orders and rushing off to attack enemies that are far into the distance. Controls can prove surprisingly unresponsive, with instances where you'll select an art, even hearing the confirmation sound effect, yet the ability won't be performed. Switching targets suffers from this same issue, which can be a real pain in the backside.  Characters level their stats automatically, but each of the arts can be manually trained using "AP" gained in battle. As arts grow stronger, you'll need to purchase more advanced levels from merchants, in order to further increase their effectiveness while reducing their cooldown timers. There are multiple skill trees for every hero, each one granting a number of passive bonuses. Trees can be selected at will, even if you're halfway through learning a skill, and every skill can be gained during the course of the game, so choosing trees is more a case of what you'd like to learn first, rather than worrying about losing certain abilities forever. Your progress on each tree is recorded, so you can switch around without sacrificing any progress.  Every map is filled with a mixture of low-level monsters and terrifyingly powerful creatures that you won't be able to defeat until much later. This can prove a problem, one that I've noticed in a number of MMOs, where you'll accidentally initiate a fight with some regular monsters and not realize you were in the set patrol route of something ten times your level. Having a level 75 behemoth invite itself to a level 14 fight is a regular occurrence, and not exactly a welcome one. Since this isn't an MMO, it's not like you can team up with others and take down these creatures early, either. Still, the game is kind enough to change the music to a "You're going to die," theme giving the player ample warning to pack up and get the Hell out of there.  There's an absolutely huge amount of content in Xenoblade Chronicles, with a massive world full of hidden areas, secret subquests, and tons of NPCs who want you to slay certain monsters and collect an arbitrary number of items. As with MMOs, most of the optional missions are comprised of assassinations and fetch quests, which can be completed or ignored at leisure. Maps are dotted with "heart to heart" areas that can be activated when certain characters have grown to like each other (accepting missions and fighting together raises the affinity between party members), and there's a full-fledged crafting system, where raw materials are combined to create gems which slot into weaponry and armor. The most expansive sidequest, Rebuild Colony 6, is tacked onto an already huge story campaign, for a ton of gameplay that will keep hungry gamers fed for weeks.  With all this content, it seems a shame that Xenoblade Chronicles would resort to a shameless amount of padding in the latter half. There are whole chunks of the game that could be deemed totally unnecessary, even in a genre famous for fatiguing its players. Once on Mechonis, progress devolves into a weary cocktail of lever-pulling and backtracking through poorly designed, sprawling maps that are painted in a dismal shade of rusty brown and lack any of the inspiring sights seen in earlier portions of the adventure. Huge walkways full of nothing and monsters positioned over chasms, designed to knock players into oblivion, drench the latter portions of the journey, and all seem to be desperately, shamelessly, playing for time. The game's already bursting at the seams without these areas, and they run the risk of ruining all the good that has been delivered up until then. At one point, I wanted to throw my controller in frustration, just due to the insulting busywork that was being inflicted upon me. I was begging Xenoblade to do its business or get off the lavatory.  That said, the game had delivered hours upon hours of genuinely engrossing entertainment up until that point, and it would be unfair to judge Xenoblade solely by one forgivable misstep. Although the game is graphically poor, even by Wii standards, Monolith Soft has been able to craft inspiring maps, taking us across plains, forests, jungles, and snow-capped mountains, all corresponding to different bodyparts of the game's intriguing God-worlds. The cutscenes are some of the most thrilling I've seen in years, and work together with an absolutely gorgeous soundtrack to create some unforgettable moments. Xenoblade Chronicles does what I feel JRPGs have failed to do for years -- truly make players feel like they were taken on a real adventure. The voice acting may put some players off, as the game has not been localized beyond what was done for the British release. As a result, the cast is entirely made up of English actors, some of whom are enjoyable to listen to, while others aren't quite so affable. Reyn, in particular, sounds like the kind of person I want to punch, and his repetitious stock phrases in battle ("It's Reyn time!" "Let's not lose our 'eads, though!") can really crawl under the skin. Still, it's worth putting up with the heroes just to listen to the bad guys. The Mechon leaders Xord and Metal-Face steal every scene they're in with their gleeful nastiness, and it will be a crime if they're not hailed among gaming's greatest baddies in years to come. At any rate, it's refreshing to not listen to the same stock voice actors that American publishers seem to have on speed dial.  I am incredibly grateful to Xenoblade Chronicles, for it has rekindled my love for console JRPGs, a love that had been systematically throttled by the likes of Square Enix and tri-Ace for the past few years. Not since Lost Odyssey have I been so thoroughly entranced by a Japanese role-player. As I type this, the beautifully sweeping music from the Bionis' Leg area is washing through my head, accompanied by fond memories of successful chain attacks and expertly crafted gems. There's no denying that Xenoblade has its low points, but those high points are some of the highest of the genre. If you own a Wii, there's very little room to question -- this is a must-have game for Nintendo's humble little system. Now if only I could forget the word "Monado" after hearing it twelve million times over the past month. 
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Xenoblade Chronicles will be remembered for its controversial release history more than what it does with its story, its gameplay, or anything else. It has had a long and tumultuous past, released as it was in Japan, then in ...

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Nintendo of America seems to be knocking news out of the park today in an effort to draw attention away from the PS Vita. If you're an RPG fan, it might just be working! Alongside announcing The Last Story for 2012, the publi...

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Fans get to choose Xenoblade's alternate cover art


Feb 06
// Jordan Devore
For as much as some of us passionately argue over minor issues, game companies sure do like having us vote on things. Nintendo is allowing you to decide what the reversible box art for Xenoblade Chronicles' North American rel...

Destructoid's most wanted Wii / Wii U games of 2012

Jan 11 // Jonathan Holmes
Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii) Developer: Nintendo SPD Group No. 1, TNXPublisher: NintendoRelease: February 13, 2012 Minna no Rhythm Tengoku (renamed Rhythm Heaven Fever for the US) was one of my favorite games of 2011; it's the only game of 2011 that I'm sure I'll be playing over and over for the rest of my life. I brought the game to several parties over the winter holidays, and despite the fact that I was playing to generally non-gamer crowds, the game still went over like gangbusters. It's instantly fun, endlessly replayable, and packed with content, and it plays upon gaming's greatest strength -- the ability to use controls, visuals, and sound to create a seamless bond between the player and the game. That's something that a lot of rhythm games do well, but I think Rhythm Heaven Fever does it better than almost all the rest. At its budget price, you would have to be a true hater of goodness and light to pass it up. If you think it looks too "weird" or "casual," do yourself a favor by ignoring your own perception and relinquishing your judgment to me. Buy this game as soon as you can. You won't regret it (unless they screw up the English localization again, in which case just import it). The Last Story (Wii) Developer: Mistwalker, AQ InteractivePublisher: NintendoRelease: February 24, 2012 (EU) Speaking of imports, I've already imported The Last Story, and I can say that it stands alongside Super Mario Galaxy and Skyward Sword as one of the best-looking, most painstakingly crafted games in the Wii's library. Sadly, my Japanese is crap, so I'll be importing this game from Europe or, hopefully, picking it up in the US later this year. I need to know what the hell is going on! Fans of Hironobu Sakaguchi's prior games (Final Fantasy I-IX, Lost Odyssey, etc.) or anyone who loves inventive third-person action-RPGs owes it to themselves to check this one out. It's not everyday that you get to witness one of the most influential developers in the history of the medium reinvent the genre that they helped create. Dragon Quest X (Wii, Wii U) Developer: Square Enix, Armor ProjectPublisher: Square EnixRelease: 2012 (Wii) / TBA (Wii U) We still don't know a ton about Dragon Quest X other than the fact that Square Enix has been working on it forever, as well as how it aims to combine the strengths of MMOs with the traditional single-player RPG experience for something that will please both audiences. The game is about one of two twins who is magically transformed into one of the game's other races, sort of like the Melvin Van Peebles classic Watermelon Man, only less racist. That's all well and good, but what I really want out of Dragon Quest X is the opportunity to explore a huge, Akira Toriyama-created world alone or with friends, experiencing all its fine details and, in doing so, creating my own story.  Honorable Mentions: Kiki Trick, Pandora's Tower, Retro City Rampage Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) Developer: Monolith SoftPublisher: NintendoRelease: April 2012 See what happens when a company digs out its ears and listens to the fans? It was pretty much like pulling teeth with Nintendo, but now Xenoblade Chronicles is on its way to the US. Sure, I could have imported the European version, but having a cheaper option is always nice. I'm stoked, and I'm not even that big of an RPG guy! I've played several Final Fantasy titles, tried and failed to get into the Tales series, enjoyed Golden Sun, and dabbled lightly elsewhere. Still, all the positive word of mouth from our friends across the Atlantic is making it really hard to not get overly excited. La-Mulana (WiiWare) Developer: Nigoro, NicalisPublisher: NicalisRelease: 2012 Speaking of games that have been out in Japan forever, here's indie platformer La-Mulana. The game is finished, having gone through some last-minute bug fixes following the Japanese release, and now is waiting on Nintendo of America to give the go-ahead. Who knows how long that will take. There is non-console port on the way (PC, though a likely platform, isn't actually specified), and it would be a laugh riot if it came out before the WiiWare version. It's no secret that my poison of choice is a nice, juicy 2D platformer with wonderful pixel art and a hefty amount of challenge. A game that tosses Castlevania, Metroid, and Indiana Jones into a blender and hits "frappé"? Obviously, it's going to be a winner. If you want to play the game right now, the original has been available online for free since 2005. However, as with Cave Story, I'm curious as to the extent of the changes and upgrades in the remake. Retro City Rampage (WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade) Developer: Vblank EntertainmentPublisher: Vblank EntertainmentRelease: 2012 I feel bad for Vblank's Brian Provinciano. I like to joke about Retro City Rampage's lengthy development, and I enjoy hitting Brian up on Facebook with such constructive comments as, "What are you doing right now? BREATHING!? When you should be WORKING!?" In all honesty, I don't envy his situation. The game has been in the works for nearly a decade, back when it was known as Grand Theftendo. Since then, Brian has had to jump through so many hoops just to see his baby through. Next time I see the man, I have to treat him to a steak dinner or at least some froyo. At one point, Retro City Rampage was a Grand Theft Auto parody. I don't know what it is anymore -- it defies classification. It's a love letter to 80s, an homage to videogames throughout the ages, and the debut of many Destructoid editors as game characters. You ask Brian to include something in the game, and the guy will probably find a way to squeeze in that reference. If nothing else, Retro City Rampage is going to be huge. Honorable Mentions: Rhythm Heaven Fever, The Last Story, Pandora's Tower, Rodea the Sky Soldier As for the Wii U, no real exclusives have been firmly announced for the thing yet, though we'll be keeping a close eye for more news on Pikmin 3, Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS, and Miyamoto's new secret project. Then there is the promise of an enhanced Wii U version of Dragon Quest X, Batman: Arkham City, Darksiders II, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and many others. I'd also be highly surprised if we didn't get a compilation of some of the Wii U "experiences" that were on display at E3 2010. I'd love to see that Metroid-themed multiplayer shooter, Mario-themed hide-and-seek, Rhyhm Heaven-style pirate game, and (Shannon's favorite!) Measure Up, all crammed into one Wii Sports-style, minigame collection pack-in. Then there is No More Heroes 3, which Suda51 told me TO MY FACE is still headed to the Wii U. So while there is still a lot left to see confirmed, there is plenty to be excited about in 2012 for the wacky, wonderful world of Wii U.   Additional staff picks for the Wii / Wii U: Chad Concelmo: Rhythm Heaven Fever, Pikmin 3 Sean Daisy: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, Dragon Quest X, Darksiders IIAndrew Kauz: Dragon Quest X, Xenoblade ChroniclesTara Long: Retro City RampageKyle MacGregor: Retro City Rampage, Rhythm Heaven Fever, The Last StoryAllistair Pinsof: Xenoblade ChroniclesMax Scoville: Actual Wii U games that aren't tech demos about birds and cherry blossoms Josh Tolentino: Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story 
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There were a few excellent third-party releases on the Wii in 2011 (Bit.Trip Complete immediately comes to mind), but for the most part, last year marked the end of an era for the console. The Wii didn't even get th...

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This rumor seems to be coming out of left field, so don't put too much stock into it.  GoNintendo has some information from an anonymous source that says that GameStop reached out to Nintendo to get Xenoblade Chronicles ...

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The DTOID Show: Xenoblade, Minecraft, and... Tetris?


Dec 02
// Tara Long
If you've ever wondered what it looks like when two sick people host a live show together, then look no further. Technical difficulties be damned, today's live taping of The Destructoid Show has explored the boundaries of wh...
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Xenoblade trailer confirms British voices for NA release


Dec 02
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo of America put the icing on today's news cake by releasing a trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles. The video confirms that the rather nice British voice cast is remaining, which is hardly surprising considering the fact...
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Nintendo of America finally did it! After earlier rumors and teasing, it has finally been announced that the looooong awaited roleplaying game, Xenoblade, will be coming to North American Wiis in April 2012. It'll go by its E...

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Rumor: GameStop to sell Xenoblade in US (Update)


Dec 02
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Nintendo has thrown fuel on the fire, updating its Facebook page with Xenoblade images! The plot thickens] According to a NeoGAF Sherlock, Xenoblade Chronicles will finally come to North America despite Nintendo of A...
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Reggie Fils-Aime gets swamped with Xenoblade Tweets


Oct 24
// Jim Sterling
Before the weekend, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime appeared on Twitter but didn't quite get the welcome he bargained on. Last Friday, the meat-flavored executive was spammed with Operation Rainfall Tweets as people...
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Xenoblade Chronicles seems to be doing okay in Europe


Aug 23
// Jim Sterling
Xenoblade Chronicles launched in Europe last week, and it seems to have had a pretty solid debut. The RPG that Nintendo of America won't localize debuted at number two on the British Wii Charts. If you're thinking that says v...
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Pandora's Tower, The Last Story coming to Europe in 2012


Aug 17
// Jim Sterling
It has now been confirmed that all three of the three titles Nintendo of America won't publish are coming to Europe, with news with Pandora's Tower and The Last Story will join Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii in 2012.  O...
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Operation Rainfall Phase 2: Buy Final Fantasy on Wii


Aug 12
// Jim Sterling
Operation Rainfall is not finished in its quest to get Xenoblade, Pandora's Tower and The Last Story released in North America, and has begun phase two of operations. As well as encouraging Europeans to buy Xenoblade and show...
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Nintendo of America watching Xenoblade 'very closely'


Aug 11
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has dripfed a bit more hope to JRPG fans like the cruel little sausage that he is, stating that Xenoblade may yet come to North America if "business opportunities" are there. He ...
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Nintendo writes back to Operation Rainfall via snail mail


Jul 18
// Jonathan Holmes
Maybe I'm just desperate for some happy Nintendo news on this bleak Monday night, but I'm actually feeling encouraged by this token gesture of acknowledgment for Nintendo of America. Ms. (or Mr.?) Sissy Barner of Nintendo of ...

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