Xenoblade Chronicles X arrives this week in the West, and we've already said in a number of words why you should strongly consider it, awarding a 9/10 in our review. Planet Mira is a fantastic setting, and beyond that Monolith Soft has taken a number of its ideas and mechanics from Xenoblade Chronicles and expanded upon them; it's a wonderful game on Wii U.
Now Digital Foundry has taken a look at the game from a technical perspective, and the outcome is certainly positive. From a Wii U standpoint the game, and the ambitious nature of its open world, is supported by pretty solid performance. At a resolution of 720p there's praise for the near-solid 30fps performance, albeit with acknowledgement of the visual sacrifices made. Nevertheless the overall tone is one of positivity around what Monolith Soft's team has produced.
Digital Foundry makes an interesting point about The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, too, which will likely be an equally ambitious open world experience. Monolith Soft had some team members contribute to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and is well known to be providing expertise and support to Nintendo on projects that fits its skill set.
Seeing what has been achieved here gives us hope for the upcoming Zelda title on Wii U. Earlier this year, Monolith Soft posted a number of jobs for support roles which was later clarified by the game's creator Tetsuya Takahashi in an interview noting that "Monolith is currently supporting a handful of other Nintendo projects, specifically projects needing map design and 'interesting adventure elements'." Bearing in mind that Monolith Soft previous helped with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, it seems likely that the latest Wii U instalment is receiving support as well. While the team responsible for Xenoblade X is separate from the support team, the experience gained in the creation of the game certainly seems like a good fit for an open world Zelda title.
It's pleasing to see Xenoblade Chronicles X earning plenty of praise; in our view it certainly deserves it. If Monolith Soft can also help to create a similarly engaging world with the Zelda team, it's safe to say that's an extremely exciting thought.
I was hoping for 1080p, but I'll take a solid framerate at a lower resolution over frequent framerate drops at a higher resolution any day.
Sounds cool. Just a few more days guys.
60fps would have been nice, but I imagine there is simply too much information to process for the Wii U, maybe next time
And Eurogamer gave it an "Essential" rating.
Digital Foundry? As in, the unpleasable, anti-Nintendo-biased Digital Foundry? Boy howdy, the whole "we're all better people for Christmas" thing has really caught on with them!
I wish I could hibernate until Friday.
Hopefully, the NX can run a game like this at 1080p, 60fps. That would be great.
Ooooh Nicalis.... Where are yoooooou? XD
Same here, but in my case, it's more like "hibernate until whenever the Smash Direct is". Not "whenever Cloud is released", because that's obviously gonna be the same day... hopefully I haven't jinxed anything!
I know, but I've seen Digital Foundry verbally thrashing the WiiU more than once. Mine was more sarcasm than anything else.
Probably they're trying to convince someone that Xenoblade Chronicles X is somehow graphically inferior to The Binding Of Isaac.
Where the Wii U seems to shine is texture mapping. To me this game looms better than Halo 5 due to better design and better programming. These guys are true experts, makes me feel bad for never having played any of their games. But I will get at least the to Xenoblade Chronicles games,once I have finished Fallout 4 and I have money.
@AlexSora89 Reporting facts about the Wii U's performance doesn't make them anti-Nintendo. If anything, some of their Nintendo videos almost seem to play softball with the Wii U, throwing in random bits of praise to soften the blows when it comes to reporting technical limitations. Notice the way he keeps interspersing bits of praise about the "beauty of the world" and how great it looks with the news that the game has weird shadows, tons of pop-in, and drops below 30 fps at times.
Lol. This aritlce is literally "another website liked it".
I really don't understand the lack of collision detection on the cars. I noticed it in other videos before this, and it really bothers me. It's just so weird.
So does that mean Zelda U will be the first 30 fps Zelda?
@manu0 not the first. All the previous 3D Zeldas were running at 30fps. The N64 ones, maybe lower.
Pre-ordered and waiting for Friday myself.
I am perfectly happy with what they showed, and thankful they didn't give too much of a spoiler. The game looks to do on the Wii U as the original Xenoblade Chronicles did on the Wii, as in push it to it's limits. I just wish there were more third parties that were willing to do the same.
Glad this game is coming out when it is, going to make a great Christmas present and cheer me up during the cold icy months of Jan, Feb and March. Probably April too as I will leave no stone unturned.
I'm not worried about the lack of car collision detection, I'm pretty sure my instinct would always be to not get hit by the cars. And I don't see myself standing in place long enough to notice the shadows not moving.
As or the people pop-in, that's just your standard homage to Shenmue.
What a technical achievement for the Wii U hardware.
I am glad Monolith decided to do what was necessary to get the game running at a decent framerate on the Wii U. Compare that to Bethesda, with Fallout 4's sub-20 fps performance at times on Xbox One.
Real shame it's not at 60fps.
It's fair enough that Monolith had to make some compromises due to wii U not being a state of the art PC but it looks like the sacrifices they had to make result in a more enjoyable game compared to one that was overly focussed on graphics and realism. It's all well and nice to complain about hardware power and tech specs but even the most powerful hardware available has limitations. With creativity and resourcefulness a studio can work around these limitations to create a game that is fun to play first and foremost.
@AlexSora89 Considering how their goal is largely comparing software and hardware on a technical level, I don't think they are too harsh on the relatively weak Wii U. I remember them having plenty of praise for Super Mario 3D World and SSB4.
All those fps and awesome p's.
And this is one of the reasons why third party's don't like to put stuff on Nintendo consoles, they can't be lazy the way they are on Sony and Microsoft and get away with it. They make all sorts of claims about how weak Nintendo's hardware is and then Nintendo first/second party developers put out incredible games that positively sing on the hardware and in turn, Nintendo owners know they are full of crap when they release poorly optimized and lazy ports. On the other hand, Sony and Microsoft's first party efforts are good but nowhere near the quality of Nintendo's so by comparison, third party games with performance issues on those machines seems more like the norm as opposed to the exception. This has been made even more apparent this generation due to Nintendo doubling down on their Wii U software quality while many third party's were extremely lazy or non-existent. Funny thing is, this generation was Nintendo "learning how to make games in HD" and look at how their games have better performance than titles on the XB1/PS4. Just imagine how amazing their first/second party software will be on the NX now that they now have the needed experience with HD! It will be interesting to hear the excuses from third party's if the NX ends up giving them the hardware power and ease of development they keep whining about with past Nintendo consoles.
30 fps... awww. I'm too used to 60 fps nowadays. The graphic style is more realistic than your average Mario or Zelda and this is Wii U so this is understandable.
Good to hear that next to all the positive reviews about the game itself, it is also "nothing short of spectacular" on a technical level, even with the pop-in and non-collision detection. The occasional dip in frame rate is negligible: the intro seems to be the worst at 20fps on average but that's hardly a game breaking issue and in the game the frame rate drops only a single frame every now and then, something that isn't even noticeable if there isn't a frame rate counter on screen. What they say about having good hopes for Zelda Wii U because of this game is obviously also an interesting point.
The 60fps is not really an issue for a game like this, so why all the complaints is beyond me. If it was a racer, flight sim or a fast shooter or beat em up I could agree, but for a jRPG game (or any RPG for that matter) 30fps is just fine.
I have been waiting 3 1/2 years to play this game now I only have 2 days to wait .
High resolution and 60fps are overatted really...
I don't think that I have ever played a open world game with realistic shadow movement. Fallout 4 and minecraft both have static shadows
Anyone know if you can switch out party members? Elma's English voice sounds fantastic, but Lin's makes me cringe.
Anyway, is that horrible pop-in with the data packs installed or without?
The lack of collision detection on the doll walking the city is what got to me. Thought the dude would get pushed aside, but nope.
@jpfan1989 Try The Witcher 3 which are constantly in motion and also on Fallout 4 they do move once every in game hour
@AVahne reading on digital foundry the pop in is with a digital copy, so it will likely be much worse with only some and especially none of the packs installed.
lots of idiots saying it's too bad it's not 60fps when it's an open world game and the other more powerful consoles can't do it ether. Where do these people come from?
Every forum its becoming like a cave... FULL OF TROLLS... I thought this was a NINTENDO SITE so I also dont get why so many people come here saying "my PS/Xbot machine" can do this or that.. GO ELSEWHERE!! I've never played or cared about Skyrim, Fallout or whatever..
This will be my first "modern" RPG & I'm judging it for what it is & not for what its been done by the competition..
@ElkinFencer10 You clearly over estimate the Wii U. It is an excellent system but a technical powerhouse it is not.
@TreonsRealm To be fair Nintendo's games are incredibly attractive - but lets stop pretending they even come close to the level that the PS4 is having to hammer through. Alot of PS4 games are pushing graphics, and 3rd parties have proven themselves to be terrible at optimizing now more than ever.
Anyone who ever thought this game was going to be anything higher than 720p/30fps has no realistic understanding of Wii U's power.
That said, it's a fantastic achievement, and I'm thoroughly happy with these specs. The game looks amazingly fabulous.
@liveswired I agree that the PS4 is more powerful technically but as you pointed out, that doesn't matter if the games are chock full of bugs, glitches, framerate issues, screen tearing and numerous other problems which have to be patched or DLC'd into a working/complete state. The industry's obsession with "chasing the dragon" in graphics (which is the main focus of most mainstream developers) is a big part of what's killing the industry. Development costs have ballooned way out of control, many studios have fallen, innovation has been stifled (indies are the exception) due to developers being scared of taking risks due to costs resulting from this loop. I will happily take the rock solid 30 or 60 fps offered by most Wii U titles over the erratic framerates of most titles on XB1/PS4. If they have to knock the resolution of a game from 1080p to a solid 720p to maintain a consistent experience, I am completely fine with that. Also, the most impressive thing about XCX is that the game largely runs off of the disc, something that isn't even possible on PS4/XB1 due to their stupid requirement that requires EVERY game be installed to the systems. A long experience breaking process that doesn't even fix the supposed problems it's supposed to.
NOTE: I am not bashing or "hating" on those systems before any fanboys get upset or butthurt, I am simply pointing out differences in their approach compared to Nintendo's approach. If you love those systems, more power to you. I am making this note in hopes of avoiding any fanboy flamewars in this discussion.
@A01 In one of the Japanese pre-release short stories it is stated that the cars are actually holograms that are supposed to make NLA residents feel more at home.
After reading some reviews and watching some videos (like this), I can say hype is stronger than ever. Can't wait for friday.
3 more days to go
"Gives us hope for the upcoming Zelda title on Wii U"... "after it launches on NX, of course", is what they meant to say.
Did Microsoft and Sony forget to send this month's check?
Eurogamer and Digital Foundry almost never post positive articles about Nintendo.
Either money exchanged hands or money failed to exchange hands.
@PKUltima Hologram cars? Whoa, I missed that one. That's kind of cool. How do people get around the city, then? They just walk everywhere?
Nintendo better keep ahold of Monolithsoft for good, cuz they're seriously talented people. I can't wait to see what they do when the NX releases!
@liveswired "Alot of PS4 games are pushing graphics"
Well, that depends on your definition of what that means, since even a mid-tier gaming PC will easily run rings around the "almighty" PS4, and the Xbox One as well, for that matter. There is literally nothing that current gen consoles do that couldn't be replicated on a PC, with memory and CPU/GPU power to spare...
Consoles are only pushing graphics in their own confined space in the industry, not in the general sense of the word.
I'm not a PC purist, I'm just debating what you said.
As long as the game doesn't crash, I don't care what the frame-rate is! Give me a stable 30fps and 720p over game-crashes any day.
FAO people complaining about Digital Foundrys supposed bias against Nintendo. Please educate yourself before posting on public forums....
@Luffymcduck 30 fps is pretty standard for this type of game, though. It's not just a Wii U thing. Even on PS4 and Xbox One, there are a plethora of games running at sub-60 fps.
@liveswired PS4 games are pushing graphics? My mid-range PC from a decade ago could out-perform PS4.
a mid range card from 2005 would be the Geforce 7600 GT. it has a passmark score of 187. not even enough to beat integrated graphics. the ps4 is estimated to do 3000-4000 in that same test based on comparable pc GPU`s.
the best cpu of 2005, probably the Athlon 64 X2 4800+ would do a passmark score of about 1300 the PS4 CPU appears to be dual AMD Athlon 5150`s, which should do a passmark score of about 4000.
when it comes to RAM, 2GB PC3200 would be considered high end back then and would do about 3GB per second in bandwidth. the PS4 has 8GB GDDR5 RAM with a bandwidth of 140GB per second.
a mid or even high end PC from 2005 would not be able to touch a PS4
No. No it couldn't mate.
@electrolite77 @Jonencloud Um yeah it's called exaggeration for the explicit purpose of making a point. I didn't literally mean a decade. I forgot that half the people here have Asperger's.
@TheRealThanos You miss the point. The PS4 is pushing a hell of alot more in terms of graphics around than Wii U. It has to be said - you can't compare Nintendo's simplistic (but artistically beautiful) cartoon games running at 720p60 to PS4 games running complex engines at 1080p30 or even 900p60. At what stage did I mention PC?
Of course a mid tier gaming PC is going to better the PS4.
@CHET_SWINGLINE lol. You miss the point. The PS4 is pushing a hell of alot more in terms of graphics around than Wii U. It has to be said - you can't compare Nintendo's simplistic (but artistically beautiful) cartoon games running at 720p60 to PS4 games running complex engines at 1080p30 or even 900p60. At what stage did I mention PC?
A decade ago a mid tier PC featured a 6600GTS with a dual core if you were lucky. The PS3 featured the Cell with a modified 7800GTX. In 2007 I was one of the few to have a Quad Core gaming PC with an 8800GTX which was the boss. Many PC gamers had Quad Core jealousy back then. Lol. I still have that system and it can only do ps3/360 style graphics in higher 900/1080p with very high settings. As for current gen effects it can't compete.
@Xenocity Eurogamer are nearly always positive about Nintendo. They regularly say it has the best games of this generation.
@TreonsRealm It is true but there are many poor ports on Wii U with shoddy framerates, worse than the 360 in cases.
As for Xenoblade running of a disc - it's a majestic game and a technical wonder for Wii U, it's a definite purchase for me. But, on the other hand the Wii U is streaming much lower resolution texture maps, fewer polygons, and simpler/basic physics, simpler AI, static lighting - not exactly a clear cut win as it's dealing with significantly less amounts of data and lower bandwidth making the stream option viable.
PC's have been installing for years. Once you reach a certain stage of complexity it is a nescessity. It is impossible to stream of a disc when games are as complex as those running on PS4.
Now, having said that the Wii U is my all time favourite console but there is no point comparing technical caveats of the lowly PS4/X1 consoles when the Wii U is only just about more powerful than the PS3/360. Power or complex graphics is not the reason to own a Wii U - fun is.
if your comment doesnt reflect what you meant to say, then its not my fault
@liveswired Well, you should have rephrased your statement then, since the distinction I added was your point: it pushes graphics on consoles, but in general it really isn't all that spectacular.
Actually, in quite a few games it isn't even doing any pushing at all, or doing it with frame rate issues, faring only a little bit better than the Xbox One, but the difference is largely negligible, so it is all a bit so so, regardless of the fact that the Wii U is obviously quite a bit weaker.
Besides that, you make a rather big mistake concerning the supposed simplicity of the aesthetics that Nintendo games use. To make fully rounded shapes is actually more difficult than realistic graphics with more angular edges, and especially in their own games Nintendo always takes the utmost care to texture and feel as well, as seen in nearly all 3D Mario games, whether it's Super Mario 3D World or Mario Kart. Third party games with the same aesthetics don't look anywhere near as good and often retain that angular feel, where a lot of in-game objects that are supposed to be round, are octangular or even less rounded than that. (think wooden barrels and such)
To name some examples: the wool in the latest Yoshi game and the clay in the latest Kirby game actually look and "feel" the part (as in how it interacts in the game) and like I said, look much better texture-wise than most third party offerings in the same genre.
As for what you said to @TreonsRealm: some small errors there also...
Games like Wind Waker HD, Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World and Pikmin 3 all use dynamic lighting. (and bloom too in some of them, most notably in WW HD, which arguably could have used a little less of it)
The poor ports on Wii U are due to them not being optimized towards the GPGPU, instead overtaxing the weaker CPU, at least the older ports were, don't know if you mean any more recent ones, if any.
Nearly all Xbox 360/PS3 ports suffered that lack of optimization and as a result have incorrectly solidified the statement that the Wii U is even weaker than the Xbox 360 and PS3, which obviously isn't true. And even if that for some reason still isn't known to some of us, we do all know that besides the lack of optimization there was also a severe lack of DLC, game modes and other extras, making the Wii U version of multi-platform games a near instant fail from the get go.
Having said all that, I agree with him and also don't feel the need to bash other consoles. I play on them regularly at a friends house who has all three, and I can enjoy those games also, so if I come across as some rabid Nintendo fan, I'm not, and like I said before, I'm also no dedicated part of the PC master race, but I have found throughout the years that the internet is both a great place for gathering good information and dis-information, and especially some Nintendo related misunderstandings make my typing fingers itch at times...
It's just one out of the three deviations that any average human has a right to possess, so I hope you don't take it personally. Otherwise, blame my heritage and current habitat: I'm originally from California so I was already pretty much used to speaking my mind, but since I've been living in Amsterdam, what with all the open-mindedness and freedom of speech here, it has only gotten worse, but in a good way, as far as I'm concerned...
@liveswired Um, no I'm definitely not missing the point. I think you're clearly the one missing multiple points. The main one being, PS4 is absolutely not pushing graphical boundaries. For a console? Maybe. I don't think anyone is under the impression that Wii U is as powerful as PS4. But if all you're basing your measurements on is resolution, then that's a pretty meaningless measurement, because Wii U is capable of the same max resolution and frame rate as PS4.
@TheRealThanos "The poor ports on Wii U are due to them not being optimized towards the GPGPU, instead overtaxing the weaker CPU, at least the older ports were, don't know if you mean any more recent ones, if any."
That's basically it. I have a feeling that guy doesn't even know what a GPGPU is though, so that probably won't mean anything to him.
@CHET_SWINGLINE Yeah, might be somewhat of a safe bet to say so, although I wouldn't go so far as to make a definite statement about it, since we don't know the guy or know what he does. Having said that, what bothers me more is that when I take the time to type a serious, polite and elaborate reply, I've apparently done so in vain, since no reaction has come since. But that's the internet for you: very little room for common decency which most of the older members still have because of their upbringing without such glorious technological wonders...
Nowadays it's either silence on the other end or some kind of verbal abuse like you had to suffer earlier, which in this case was still relatively mild because they didn't understand your intent, but it gets worse sometimes, and it's probably kids or nerds that wouldn't even dare to speak out like that in real life, but being an anonymous keyboard warrior gives them a voice where they would otherwise be silenced one way or another. Oh, well. On to the next topic...
@TheRealThanos Oh, I know all too well what you mean. The internet is either a platform that brings the worst out of people, or a platform that draws the worst kind of people, or both. This site is generally better than the kotaku's and ign's of the world, but lately there seems to have been an infiltration of unnecessarily rude people, soft-trolls, and PS4 fanboys, and it just rubs me the wrong way.
@CHET_SWINGLINE As long as you don't let it drive you away, it'll be fine. Because if you do, then they win. Luckily, there are plenty of good people on here, from all walks of live and from all parts of the world and NLife is indeed a whole lot better than the sites you mentioned, and then some.
I could name a few examples myself, which is what ultimately brought me to this site. In the beginning I had some issues with the decidedly British (and sometimes a bit petty) censorship on here, but since I've already been living in Europe for over three decades now, I got used to it pretty quickly and even though the more inventive types do keep finding ways to continue to be insulting [email protected], it does force you to maintain at least a modicum of decency, which can only be seen as a good thing.
@TheRealThanos "I had some issues with the decidedly British (and sometimes a bit petty) censorship on here"
Haha, me too. You could say that's why I'm using this account to post comments and not, say, some other account that no is no longer active here.
@CHET_SWINGLINE Aha, so you've already had your three strikes, then? Just to satisfy my curiosity: with which former NLife user, now reincarnated into CHET_SWINGLINE do I have the pleasure?
@TheRealThanos I would love to tell you, but I guarantee a certain mod would ban me if I outed myself. Said mod did not enjoy me calling them out as hypocritical and overly sensitive. I'll probably get banned just for what I've said already haha
@CHET_SWINGLINE Check my profile. There's more than one way to reach me, should you wish to do so...
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