Tetsuya Takahashi, director at Xenoblade Chronicles 3D developer Monolith Software says that he never imagined the game would be available to play on handheld devices when it was originally made for Nintendo’s Wii, but now that it is, it raises the bar for portable role-playing games.
“Now we can play Xenoblade Chronicles on the New Nintendo 3DS XL, and…now, this may sound a little egotistical, but I thought, ‘This is really going to raise the bar for RPGs on portable devices,'” Takahashi said in the latest Iwata Asks interview series, in which Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata sits down with different developers.
Takahashi said he was surprised the game found an audience in the West, and discussed the differences between protagonists in Western RPGs and Japanese RPGs.
“One difference is that [Xenoblade Chronicles] did a good job of incorporating the innate heroism of JRPGs…allowing the user to become the hero, to become the protagonist,” Takahashi said. “On the other hand, games made in the West – and this is only my personal opinion – they are very well made, down to the last detail, but there’s something stoic about them, and often the heroism aspect seems to take a bit of a back seat.”
“In JRPGs, the protagonists aren’t very strong,” Iwata said. “They seem like people you could meet on the street who just happen to be born to a certain destiny, and are drawn by some force into doing things that they could have never believed possible… But if Westerners really didn’t like that kind of story, Star Wars wouldn’t have become such a hit. Because that movie is just this type of story.”
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a re-release of Wii RPG Xenoblade Chronicles coming on April 10. It’s the first 3DS game that will require the New 3DS in order to play.