Xenoblade Chronicles, Monolift Soft’s sandbox-style RPG for the Wii, is finally headed to America, according to posts by numerous Gamestop employees on NeoGAF. If the posts are to be believed, it seems that the highly demanded and well-reviewed RPG, previously only available in Japan and Europe, will be available in the US on April 4th of next year, and will only be sold at Gamestop.
Xenoblade Chronicles, originally titled Monado: Beginning of the World, is developed by Monolith Soft, creators of last gen’s semi-popular Xenosaga and Baten Kaitos franchises. The game received rave reviews upon its release in Japan and Europe, and gamers in the US, including Nintendo fan-group Operation Rainfall, have spent the last few months inundating Nintendo with requests to bring the game over to America. Fans have spammed Nintendo with emails, written letters, and phone calls, and even launched a campaign to preorder the game on Amazon (via an outdated listing,) that briefly made the game #1 on Amazon’s best-seller charts. While Nintendo of America previously stated that they had “no plans” to bring the game over to America, it appears that the fan’s campaigning has successfully convinced Nintendo to backtrack on that decision.
Personally, I’m hoping that the rumors are true, because by all accounts, Xenoblade is a fantastic game, and Nintendo desperately needs core-focused titles like Xenoblade (and Last Story and Pandora’s Tower, which will hopefully also make it to the US,) in order to repair their reputation with “core” gamers. I usually don’t trade in games or system (I still have my NES and Sega Master System, after all,) but I was seriously considering selling my Wii after I finished Skyward Sword, simply because it didn’t seem like there was much of a reason to hold onto it. News like this changes all that, and if Xenoblade is indeed coming to the US, then I hope Mistwalker’s apparently even more epic The Last Story will follow suit.
I’m not going to thank Nintendo of America for bringing Xenoblade over now, as its something they should have done months ago, but if the rumors are true, I’m certainly glad and appreciative for the chance to play this apparently great game, and am hopeful that this is a sign that Nintendo has finally remembered that they need to support their core fanbase in addition to casual gamers.
Update: Nintendo of America has begun uploading images and artwork from Xenoblade to their Facebook page, so it’s starting to look like the rumors were true.
Update 2: Yep, it’s official — the game is coming to America in April of next year, as the rumors stated. Despite Gamestop listing the game as an “exclusive” to their stores, Nintendo will also apparently be selling the game direct from their own website.