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Confirmed: Xenoblade North American release a go

Xenoblade Chronicles image

It's been quite some time since North Americans dared to be optimistic about a North American release for Xenoblade Chronicles, the Nintendo-published RPG from Monolith that has seen release in Japan and Europe. Over the summer, a fan campaign was launched to convince Nintendo to bring Xenoblade Chronicles, Pandora's Tower, and The Last Story to the west. It sort of worked, as all three games have been announced for or released in Europe, though when they finally responded to requests for them in North America Nintendo responded with a cheerful "You fans are the greatest, we love your enthusiasm, no."

It's been quite some time since North Americans dared to be optimistic about a North American release for Xenoblade Chronicles, the Nintendo-published RPG from Monolith that has seen release in Japan and Europe. Over the summer, a fan campaign was launched to convince Nintendo to bring Xenoblade Chronicles, Pandora's Tower, and The Last Story to the west. It sort of worked, as all three games have been announced for or released in Europe, though when they finally responded to requests for them in North America Nintendo responded with a cheerful "You fans are the greatest, we love your enthusiasm, no."

Well, they seem to have changed their minds, at least concerning Xenoblade. Above is a picture of what is allegedly a GameStop release list, posted on NeoGAF. Note that the listing refers to the game as a GameStop Exclusive. This could be referring to the game itself or just a specific version of the game. Time will tell.

Adding fuel to the fire, Nintendo uploaded Xenoblade art to its Facebook album mere hours ago. It could be a coincidence or a sick joke to play on the hopeful, but it could also be evidence that an announcement is imminent.

The game is listed for release on April 3rd, 2012.

UPDATE And as if on cue, Nintendo has confirmed Xenoblade's North American release for April. Commence celebration, and take a look at the announcement press release below.

It’s man vs. machine in a new game coming to Nintendo’s Wii™ console in spring. Xenoblade Chronicles™ asks players to use the Monado blade to take on a seemingly endless series of invading Mechon robots in a sweeping role-playing adventure.

The main character is Shulk, a weapons researcher who must confront the Mechon by wielding the ancient Monado blade. It’s the only weapon that has any effect against the Mechon, and it also enables Shulk to see the future.

Players can customize their characters with a variety of weapons and armor choices, as well as headgear, boots and gloves. As in many role-playing games, players can then gain experience and upgrade their characters. Players can watch their enemies, learn their tactics and unleash real-time counterattacks.

The vast open world of Xenoblade Chronicles is ripe for exploration. Players can avert their focus from the main story and venture out looking for other challenges and side quests. Hidden areas and unique monsters are scattered throughout the game’s massive world, which players can explore freely.

Xenoblade Chronicles has already launched in Japan and Europe, and has received unanimously positive reviews, including several perfect scores.

Xenoblade Chronicles will be available exclusively through U.S. GameStop retail locations, http://www.gamestop.com and http://www.nintendo.com at a suggested retail price of $49.99 in the United States. Additional information about the game will be announced in the future. For more information, visit http://xenobladechronicles.nintendo.com.



Roto13's avatar
Staff article by Rhody Tobin (December 02, 2011)

Rhody likes to press the keys on his keyboard. Sometimes the resulting letters form strings of words that kind of make sense when you think about them for a moment. Most times they're just random gibberish that should be ignored. Ball-peen wobble glurk.

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Suskie posted December 02, 2011:

I think the JRPG genre has really been stagnating over the last generation or so, but this game looks incredible. So this is very good news.
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honestgamer posted December 02, 2011:

Gamestop is the exclusive retail partner, according to a press release from Nintendo, but you'll also be able to order the game directly from Nintendo's web site if you prefer. Nintendo is the publisher. This is good news and not entirely unexpected. I wouldn't be especially surprised to see a similar arrangement for The Last Story (particularly if Xenoblade Chronicles does reasonably well). This arrangement allows Nintendo not to spend a bunch of money on distribution when it has limited confidence that the game will move enough units to justify that effort. It was a good idea.
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zigfried posted December 02, 2011:

Several friends tell me that this game is absurdly good.

//Zig
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Roto13 posted December 02, 2011:

This is the only Operation Rainfall game I'm really interested in, though I might give The Last Story a go if it's also brought over. I'm also assuming GameStop exclusive means EB Games in Canada, since they seem to be phasing out the GameStop brand up here.
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joseph_valencia posted December 02, 2011:

You might be disappointed, Zig. A lot of people compare it to FFXII.
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zigfried posted December 02, 2011:

Thanks for the tip. That could be good or bad -- I didn't care for FFXII's combat, but I still thought the first half was pretty great anyway. (I later found out that they actually did switch directors halfway through development)

//Zig
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Genj posted December 02, 2011:

Looks like I'll have to go preorder this.
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jerec posted December 02, 2011:

It's definitely one of the most detailed RPGs I've ever played. Fairly challenging, too. The difficulty sort of spikes once it's taught you all the tutorials and suddenly you have to play properly.
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bbbmoney posted December 03, 2011:

Like FFXII? Sign me up.
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JoeTheDestroyer posted December 05, 2011:

(I later found out that they actually did switch directors halfway through development)

That explains a lot. :P
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jerec posted December 05, 2011:

Did that happen at the Moogle Gate? The game seemed to suggest that you wouldn't have to do any mundane little fetch quests at the start, and then you've got to find moogles to open gates for some reason.
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joseph_valencia posted December 05, 2011:

I hated that one part of the game where you had to do a long string of fetch quests so you could get access to a taxi or something.
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overdrive posted December 05, 2011:

Yes. The "everything stops until you do a dozen or two favors for people to get chops for the cab ride". That was just mindbogglingly boring. I have no idea why Square remotely thought it would be a good idea to put something like that into any game...let alone a big-money title.
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zigfried posted December 05, 2011:

Yes, it actually did happen at the Moogle gate.

//Zig

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