Xenoblade Image 1

Nintendo and Developer Monolift Soft have made it their goal to show Japanese gamers just about everything Xenoblade Chronicles X has to offer through 30 minute online presentations; it's an admirable endeavour, even if there are no English subtitles. The last video took a look at Xenoblade Chronicles X's massive, diverse world that you'll get to explore. Today, we got an in-depth look at the real good stuff — the battle system, character progression, and party members. Unfortunately the entire video, which you can view at the bottom of this article, is all in Japanese as well. Don't fret, however. Like last time, we attentively watched and translated to the best of our abilities.

Read on for a comprehensive summary of what makes Xenoblade Chronicles X's combat tick.

The presentation jumped right into things with a brief explanation about the game's target reticle. Once locked onto an enemy, the controlled character will automatically attack with a melee weapon when up close, or a gun when farther away. This frees players up to select "Arts," the skills specific to classes and characters. There are many different kinds, as you would expect in any RPG, and the overall system is naturally very similar to that of Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii and, soon, New Nintendo 3DS. We have Sword arts when in melee range, Gun arts when farther away, Support arts to keep your party healthy, and so on. Most arts work on a cool-down timer; they can't be spammed consecutively. However, also introduced was a taunt mechanic, which will allow players to increase their damage by successfully taunting an enemy. Although taunting can put players in a vulnerable position, it's often worth the risk.

Xenoblade X Party

You aren't hunting massive monsters on Mira alone. Along for the ride are your party members. Characters like Elma, a silver-haired woman, and Lynlee, a short-haired girl with Monado hairpins, tag along with the player character. These characters are controlled by AI in battle, and the video stressed it is very important to listen to what they have to say. AI will call out for assistance, give information, and generally keep you engaged with combat. The video cited communication and listening to your party as a key to success in battle. Certain arts will flash along the skill bar at the bottom when an ally calls out for help or assistance, which will let you know what ability to use next. Furthermore, during combat a quick-time event may trigger where, if B is pressed at the right time, allies will come to the player's aid. Remember: communication is key.

Next up the video covered battle tactics. Combos with arts play a large role as combining arts together will make them more powerful. Creatures will also have weak points to exploit. Furthermore, a type of power bar will fill when certain criteria is met during battle; when it's high enough you can revive downed party members. An Overclock mechanic is also present. Overclocking allows players to fire off arts more quickly and unleash powerful moves for massive damage; if done at the same time as other party members, the power boost is significant. Overclocking at the right time seems essential to defeating more difficult monsters. In short, Xenoblade Chronicles X wants you to use your brain while playing, and not just button mash away.

Enemy icons were also given a short spotlight. Each enemy players face — and there are many, many enemies — come paired with a level and an icon indicating aggressiveness, similar to a massively multiplayer game and this game's predecessor. A red eye symbol means the creature will attack only if it sees you within its range of vision. Another icon signifies the monster will attack if you get too close whether or not it can see you. Another icon still warns you that some creatures will summon some friends and swarm your party. Clearly, paying attention to icons will be crucial for success.

Xenoblade X Armour

Weapons, armour, shields, and how to obtain them came up next. The video showed several weapons equipped on the player, including big swords, little swords, javelins, guns, and rocket launchers. Each had a distinct look, but it was noted that similar types of weapons may have very different functions. Armour was shown for every part of the body. Head, arms, body, and leg armor looked wearable, and there appeared to be different distinct styles for different characters. Elma, for instance, was shown with skin-revealing armor, where the player-character was decked out in bulky knight armour. Of course, with a full set of the same type of armor equipped you'll not only look cool, but will receive a combat bonus as well.

A mechanic called "commercial effect" was briefly explained. Armour and weapons are sold by companies within the city of New Los Angeles. Using armour from certain companies more often than others will level up the armour and improve that company which, in turn, gives you bonuses and access to more equipment. But companies aren't the only way to find new gear. Creatures in the wild also drop equipment to collect.

A tantalizing glimpse at character classes was shown. It looks like base arts will have to be acquired before you can select arts from certain skill trees, like "Samurai Gun" and "General Sword." Unfortunately, that was about all that was said.

The battle presentation wound down with a quick look at NPCs which can join the player's party. Based on which Union, or "guild," players join, certain NPCs can tag along and help fight monsters. You recruit them from within New LA. For example, the Interceptor Union features a boyish woman named Elina and her younger student named Guin; both can be recruited to help out. A "nice, sensitive man" named Doug becomes available in the Avalanche Union, and a trustworthy chap named Rao is recruitable for people of the Path Finder persuasion. Each will likely have their own story and fleshed out personalities.

End Screen New

A brief glimpse at a tentacle alien lady hinted at a bit of Xenoblade Chronicles X's story. Apparently, this alien woman has control of Dolls — robot mech suits — which the protagonists can't harm; it appears solving this issue will function as a plot device at some point in the game.

Well, there you have it. Between this video and the last - which is summarised right here - we now have a good idea what we'll be getting into when Xenoblade Chronicles X releases in Japan on 29th April. Be that as it may, the Xenoblade Chronicles X videos aren't done with yet. Like last time, the video closed with another promise of more videos to come. The next will showcase the aforementioned robot mech suits called Dolls.

Now, with so much new information, what feature has you most excited for Xenoblade Chronicles X?

A special thanks to Sakura for helping us translate the presentation!