Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition Interview: How Monolith Soft’s RPG Resonated With Fans

Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected Artwork

Nintendo of America has posted a Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition developer interview covering topics about the Nintendo Switch RPG.

This has seen the company have the chance to ask questions for executive director Tetsuya Takahashi and producer Shigekazu Yamada from Monolith Soft as well as director Yuki Sakamoto and co-producer Genki Yokota from Nintendo to answer.

The interview was originally posted on the Nintendo News Channel on Nintendo Switch, but, seeing as that is inaccessible online, we’ve copied out the questions that they was asked with their responses in entirety below:

In your own words, how would you describe Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition to someone who is completely new to the series? Do you have any advice for these players?

Shigekazu Yamada (Producer): Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the remastered version of an RPG released for the Wii system about 10 years ago. Back then, the team poured all of their creativity and passion into the game to create a Japanese RPG masterpiece. And that’s why the thrill of adventure felt by people who played the game is still so special to this day.

The game’s most defining feature is the wide-open area spread across the remains of gigantic titans that you are free to explore as you interact with the world. And don’t worry, the new features we added to the Definitive Edition introduce several quality-of-life improvements. Just be warned that Xenoblade Chronicles is the kind of game to let Lv 70 monsters wander areas you can visit when you’re Lv 10, so maybe try not to get attacks. [Laughs]

Yuki Sakamoto (Director): The development team is deeply passionate about story, level design, battle systems, audio and every other element that went into the game, so if any of those click with you, you should definitely try playing it. And if you’re an RPG fan, then I think you should give it a try. This is literally the definitive version of Xenoblade Chronicles, making it the ideal place to start if you have never touched the series before.

But please start by enjoying the adventure on your own without looking at a strategy guide right away. There’s no real right or wrong way to play so I’d like for you to get the full enjoyment of experiencing the world of Xenoblade Chronicles as you choose.

Why do you think Xenoblade Chronicles continues to resonate with long-time fans?

Tetsuya Takahashi (Executive Director): Simply put, I think it matched up with what fans are looking for when it comes to Japanese RPGs. To unpack that a little bit, I’m talking about the setting and story, plus game systems and all kinds of other elements. I think the fact that we took each and every one of these points seriously really resonated with fans.

Genki Yokota (Co-Producer): I think a big factor was how much people loved Shulk and the rest of the cast, and how everyone empathised with how the characters were “fighting back.”

In that regard, the story of Xenoblade Chronicles develops from start to finish in a way that really resonates with people. But what’s most appealing about Xenoblade Chronicles isn’t any specific part of the story, it’s the act of going on an adventure in an open-world to experience the story and characters, to fight with others against powerful foes and to enjoy the daily lives of the townsfolk, all combined with a great soundtrack that helps keep you immersed in the world.

Speaking of the soundtrack, can you tell us how the decision to remaster 90+ music tracks came about?

Tetsuya Takahashi: The hardware advances from Wii to Nintendo Switch gave us the ability to encode 48khz music data instead of 32khz. The actual masters are 96khz, but the 48khz audio quality on Nintendo Switch sounds very close to 96khz. That’s why we felt like we had no choice but to remaster the music. We brought that up with the composers and got to work on remastering the music in order of priority, as long as time and budget allowed.

Do you have a message that you would like to share to the fans?

Tetsuya Takahashi: Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is a remaster, but I think it’s also fair to say that it represents the culmination of how Monolith Soft approaches game creation in 2020. So I would be very happy if it sparks your imagination to contemplate what we could create in the future.

Genki Yokota: To all the fans who played the Wii or New Nintendo 3DS versions, know that we were careful not to do anything to undermine what you remember about those games. We kept the good and added quality-of-life improvements! And the graphics look a lot nicer, which I think makes the game even more immersive. I hope you’ll thoroughly enjoy the world of Xenoblade Chronicles! And I hope you’ll enjoy the new story content [in Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected] as Shulk and his friends set out on a new adventure!

Alex Seedhouse
After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.
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