Nintendo recently honored a classic company tradition by delaying the next Zelda game, Breath of the Wild 2, in the spring of 2023. While a little disappointing, the news means other Nintendo games will have a chance to shine this year. One of those games is another long-running Open World series, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, which, listen, you’re going to have to deal with if you want more of the good Zelda stuff.
When Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was first announced during this February Live, it was received on Twitter as “more anime bullshit” and “WHY ARE WE GETTING THIS SHIT INSTEAD OF BOTW 2.” After this latest delay, this question seems more relevant than ever. What is this weird British anime game? And what does this have to do with my precious Breath of the Wild 2? To answer that, IIt’s important to consider how influential the Xenoblade series and Monolith Soft, the studio behind the games, have been in helping the Zelda franchise sport a mountaineer’s bandana and scale the mountain that is the Open World genre.
Here’s a brief overview of Monolith Soft: Monolith Soft was founded in 1999 by Tetsuya Takahashi, who left Square Enix frustrated with a lack of creative freedom, and was acquired by Nintendo in 2007. There he made games like Xenoblade Chronicles, about a blond-haired young man setting off on a journey to save his crush from a dark ruler while befriending eccentric party members along the way. (OK, so maybe it wasn’t parcel-based on the creative freedom he sought). Corn Xenoblade Chroniclesan ambitious open-world game that embraced exploration and discovery, was a surprise hit in 2010 and after a popular campaign, was localized in 2012. Nintendo knew they had talent on their hands, which is why they rewarded the company’s success with the highest honor in game development: working as a support studio for games like pikmine 3, splashand Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer.
Corn breath of the wild was to be a bold step forward for Nintendo. They couldn’t rely on how cool the motion controls moved the master sword anymore (which everyone admitted was VERY COOL and something they REALLY WANTED in a video game).
If you’re Nintendo, who can help you revitalize a series that’s kept pretty much the same formula since the days of Nintendo 64? Gamefreak’s revolutionary minds? Jesus Christ, no. Nintendo went with Monolith and it was a perfect fit.
So why is it important? A video game company hired another video game company to work on a video game? Big deal. That’s how video game companies work, I think. I do not know. Why are you trying to get me to like those anime characters with more pockets than a Rob Liefeld drawing?
Well it looks like these Xenolame games served as a testing ground for ideas that were honed into breath of the wild. So if we want breath of the wild games to keep getting better, we’re all going to have to accept that Xenolame is an essential part of the process.
If you love the lush world of Hyrule, filled with mechanical guardians that can shoot you, you have Bionis’ original Xenoblade lush world, filled with Mechon that couldn’t be damaged unless you use an ability, to thank. specific. If you enjoyed Zelda’s inventive quests like Tarry Town then guess what, you must actually enjoy the groundwork laid in Xenoblade Colony reconstruction quest 6.
Even the least discussed Xenoblade Chronicles X shares a similar open-world approach to breath of the wild focusing less on the story and more on rewarding the player for exploring the world. And just like Calamity Ganon, Nintendo also sealed Xenoblade Chronicles X into a hellish dimension known as the Wii U. If you don’t believe us that connection exists, take it from longtime Zelda project manager Eiji Aonuma, who explained in an interview how vital Monolith was in designing the large levels and natural environment present in Hyrule. That’s why Nintendo expanded Monolith’s involvement in the sequel, hiring an additional 40 people to work on the game at Monolith.
Unfortunately, if you like breath of the wild, you need to accept some Xenoblades. And yes, Xenoblade Chronicles is a really wacky series. It can be full of cheesy characters, unnecessarily extra character designs, and grunts that seem sexually charged enough for me to cut the game. Hopefully some of those things won’t breath of the wild 2Like the horny sex robot armed with a closet full of maid outfits in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Or worse, British accents.
So while it’s disappointing that we have a whole year before we can return to Hyrule, perhaps we can expect Xenoblade Chronicles 3 give us an idea of what awaits us. ‘Cause they’re gonna be a big part of Breath of the Wild 2 Whether you like it or not.