Tetsuya Takahashi Talks Xenoblade 3D and Xenosaga Development
Xenoblade Chronicles was a 'reaction' to the failure of Xenosaga.
03.31.15 - 3:27 PM
With the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D just around the corner and the future of the series, Xenoblade Chronicles X, on the horizon, Monolith Soft founder and series creator Tetsuya Takahashi and Nintendo president Satoru Iwata sat down to discuss all things Xeno. In the interview, Takahashi talked about some of his goals in developing the original Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii and how these decisions were influenced by the perceived failure of his earlier Xenosaga series.
"My first thought was that I wanted to build a masterpiece within the JRPG genre... So while I worked towards completing the game, I carefully gathered all of the many elements necessary to make that happen," says Takahashi. He then proceeded to talk about how surprised he was regarding the positive reaction to Xenoblade Chronicles overseas, prompting Iwata to comment on how Xenoblade may have "offered hope" to fans of JRPGs in the 90s looking for that next evolution of the genre.
Moving on, Takahashi talked about how a number of JRPGs, including some of his own, focus a little too much on the story side of things to the detriment of gameplay, and how one of his goals when developing Xenoblade Chronicles was to balance this out. "We released three games in the Xenosaga series, but they weren't very well received," he says, and that the response from his team to Xenosaga's reception was "next time we need to make a game that players will enjoy."
"And, it's a bit embarrassing to admit, but the graphics engine [for Xenosaga] was only completed six months before the development deadline. That's the schedule we were on. So- and this is a bit of an excuse- but at the time, I felt that because no one on the team making Xenosaga had any experience, it might be a little too difficult for us to make our ideal game yet," he mused. In a sense, the development of Xenoblade Chronicles required some "burning bridges" with Monolith Soft's old habits.
Personally speaking, I've been a big fan of Takahashi's work ever since Xenogears, and while I can admit to being slightly disappointed by Xenosaga, I'd love for him to revisit those ideas in the future. Perhaps we'll see something along those lines when Xenoblade Chronicles X comes out? Who knows, but either way, it's interesting to hear some more about the development process of these games and the struggles the developers encountered. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D will be making it's way to the New 3DS handheld on April 10th, and you can read Robert Steinman's review of the original here. Xenoblade Chronicles X, on the other hand, is due out in Japan in April and in North America and Europe at an unspecified date.