Nintendo's upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is much more than a simple port or remaster of the original. Developer Monolith Soft has rebuilt the Wii cult classic from the ground up with new visuals and even new content in the form of Future Connected, a playable epilogue to the game.
Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming JRPG's story, gameplay, new features and enhancements, along with more details about Future Connected.
When is the Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition release date?
When it was first announced, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition received only a vague 2020 release window. When Nintendo's Direct Mini rolled around on March 26, Nintendo confirmed previous leaks by revealing that Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition will launch on May 29, 2020.
It was originally going to share a release date with The Last of Us Part II, but Sony pushed that game to June 19 because of launch concerns related to the coronavirus. We are just over a week away from the release of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, and Nintendo is still confident that the game will launch on May 29.
What is the story of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition?
Xenoblade Chronicles follows a young orphan named Shulk, who you probably recognize as the weird anime sword guy with different forms in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
He lives on Bionis, a giant titan that lays dormant after a legendary battle with the opposing Mechonis. That said, the species living on the two titans are constantly at war with each other, and when something I won't spoil here happens, Shulk is inspired to travel across the titans while wielding a legendary weapon called the Monado.
Players will see many different parts of the Titans over the course of their adventure and will even run into other races like the cute Nopon and the advanced High Entia. Shulk amasses a large party of interesting characters as well, including his best friend Reyn and a royal High Entia named Melia. Xenoblade Chronicles is a well-written game with an engaging plot, and that all remains intact in this Definitive Edition.
What's the gameplay like in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition?
While Xenoblade Chronicles is a single-player game, it actually incorporates some MMO elements. Battles all take place in real-time and your team of three party members will automatically attack. Players then must use a variety of "Arts," more powerful attacks and abilities, at the right time to maximize damage and overall effectiveness. Combo-based combat systems like this are common in MMORPG's like Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, though Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is solely a single-player experience.
The combat system also incorporates mechanics like activating Talent Arts to aggro enemies or a vision system that lets Shulk see battle-ending attacks before they happen. Combat is the most daunting part of Xenoblade Chronicles, but if you can wrap your head around the complex mechanics, you'll find a deep system that's fun to toy with and incredibly rewarding once you get the hang of it.
What gameplay and visual improvements have been made?
Even though Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the same game at its core, its visuals have been entirely reworked. Character models and environments have all been updated to have a clearer cell-shaded, anime-inspired look like Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
The unwieldy menus of the original Wii release have also been reworked, and appear to be much more digestible for newcomers. The game will also feature over 90 remastered music tracks, which only makes an already sublime soundtrack that much better.
More details were revealed in an interview with Famitsu relayed by Twitter user @Sephazon on May 20, 2020. The interview confirms a new auto-save function, a casual mode, the ability to lower difficult enemy levels, a theater where players can watch cutscenes, a time-attack mode, and new equipment. Even if you've played the original, there's a lot of new additions to enjoy, and we haven't even gotten into Future Connected yet.
What's featured in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Future Connected?
Future Connected is new to Xenoblade Chronicles and incorporates a new epilogue, of a sort, that was supposed to be in the original. "A new story, Future Connected will cap off the main game," Nintendo stated during the game's reveal during the March's Nintendo Direct Mini. "If you've played and loved the original game, you can not only revisit it but look forward to one more adventure with Shulk."
As of now, we know this epilogue will follow Shulk and Melia as they explore the Bionis shoulder with two new Nopon characters. The aforementioned Famitsu interview also reveals that Future Connected will last 10 to 12 hours for most players, though those who want to see everything can easily spend up to 20 hours in it.
Do I have to beat the game to play Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Future Connected?
Here's the best part for those of us that are returning to Xenoblade Chronicles with this remake for Switch.
"A new epilogue adventure, Xenoblade Chronicles Future Connected will be playable immediately when you begin Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, even if you haven't finished the game's main story," a tweet from Nintendo revealed. Even if you aren't interested in replaying the base game, Future Connected will be playable from the start for more hardcore players.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition will be released for Nintendo Switch on May 29, 2020.