Xenoblade Will Release in Time for Summer Playthrough
What is it that makes a Nintendo Direct Mini a mini? It seemed kind of like a maxi to this author, but presumably Nintendo has their reasons. Maybe it is because a new first party Nintendo game was not announced. Either way, a bunch of release dates were given, and a bunch of other things were released, so it feels like quite a significant presentation.
The biggest news for this site is that our Summer playthrough of Xenoblade can go ahead! The Xenoblade Chronicles remake will be releasing on May 29, Corona-chan permitting, so we will have the game in plenty of time for the playthrough (and we will have the Trump bux with which to acquire it)! The first half of this year has been just crazy for JRPG releases. January saw the release of Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Persona 5 Royal (censored edition) is about to release this March, and then next month Final Fantasy VII Remake, Sakura Wars, and Trials of Mana will all see release in quick succession. Then bringing up the rear will be Xenoblade Chronicles this May and the Switch release of Trails of Cold Steel III this June. That is a deluge.
The Xenoblade Chronicles remake will be available physically, and to sweeten the pot it will also be available in a collector’s edition which comes with a 250 page art book, and other assorted goodies. If further enticement is needed, then know that the game will come with an all new epilogue titled: Future Connected. The epilogue will feature Shulk and Melia, and featured prominently in the trailer is a swirling vortex in the sky, which looks to be a rift between dimensions. This is presumably a retroactive attempt to explain Shulk’s presence as a blade in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and will link both games together in a more than thematic sense. This also has people speculating that the epilogue will be used to establish the premise of a forthcoming Xenoblade Chronicles 3 – which could star both Shulk and Rex as dual protagonists.
Whatever the case, it will be very interesting to discuss the ramifications of this epilogue during our Summer playthrough of the game.
Bravely Default 2 Demo Now Available on Switch
Bravely Default 2 will release in 2020. The Direct Mini revealed this much, yet it was not the most important information imparted. Square Enix has made a demo for Bravely Default 2 available right now on your Switch, with the promise that they will be sending out a survey soon in order to incorporate fan feedback into the game. It is a little bit perplexing trying to understand what kind of feedback Square Enix are looking for though. On paper the game sounds like a known quantity already – it uses the same brave and default systems from the original duology of games, it also uses the jame job system, with jobs earned by defeating enemies; so what is the aspect of the game that is potentially up for revision? They might just be doing the demo and survey because it made for such effective marketing for the first game. At any rate, one is more than happy to receive a demo.
In this follow-up to the original BRAVELY DEFAULT, four new Heroes of Light embark on a grand and glorious mission guided by the elemental crystals. Like the first game, BRAVELY DEFAULT II features a battle system that emphasizes strategy, with players deciding when to attack (Brave) or hold back and wait for the right moment to strike (Default). With beautiful places to explore and new jobs to acquire, some of which can even be combined, BRAVELY DEFAULT II is another epic RPG in the Nintendo Switch library. A free demo is available today!
What an amazing year for JRPGs! Bravely Default always had a kind of interesting art style. On the 3DS town backgrounds were hand drawn watercolour drawings, which were imbued with depth through that console’s 3D capabilities. For Bravely Default 2 town backgrounds are now fully 3D, but with textures made using hand drawn watercolours – and the visuals really pop! The visual style is actually very reminiscent of Alliance Alive, but at a much higher fidelity. Look forward to playing the full game later this year.
Odds and Ends
Xenoblade Chronicles and the Bravely Default demo were definitely the biggest items from the TDT perspective, yet there was a generous assortment of other content that may be of interest to TDT readers.
The Panzer Dragoon remake is available right now for purchase, and it is set to remain a timed exclusive, with versions for other platforms thought to be releasing toward the end of the year. Physical copies of the game are available through Limited Run, yet they will in all likelihood sell out any minute now. To be honest, the game looks pretty rough on Switch. One is tempted to wait for a more refined PS4 version, yet information about a potential PS4 port is relatively light on the ground at present.
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is also available for purchase right now, with the promise that Episode I: Racer will be coming soon. Nintendonlies will likely have fond memories of Episode I: Racer from the N64, though it is a pity that the console/PC version of the game seems to be the one coming to Switch, when a superior arcade version of Star Wars: Racer was developed by Sega AM5.
Three big 2k properties are coming to Switch on May 29 in the form of Bioshock the Collection (featuring Bioshock, Bioshock 2, and Bioshock Infinite), Borderlands the Legendary Collection (featuring Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and the Pre-Sequel), and Xcom 2 Collection (featuring Xcom 2 plus all DLC and its expansion campaign). Borderlands seems like a pretty good fit for the Switch, as it seems like it would feel pretty novel being able to play those games in online co-op wherever you go. It would also feel pretty novel being able to play Bioshock on the go, but unfortunately 2k chose to port the really bad ‘remaster’ version rather than the superior PC original. Xcom 2 also seems like a pretty good fit, offering a huge volume of tactical gameplay wherever one goes. These games will be available physically, notionally speaking, but not really. 2k cheaped out and used literally the smallest game cards that Nintendo offers, and as a result they require a huge download in order to function. Because of that people may as well buy digitally so that the games can be played without having to keep the game card inserted.
Finally, the Switch version of Trails of Cold Steel III was announced for a June 30 release, while Catherine: Full Body got lowkey announced, and given a July 7 release. Smash will have a DLC fighter based on the Arms franchise released this June, and the Pokemon Isle of Armor expansion will also be released this June. Owners of the Sword and Shield expansion pass will be able to determine whether they want their new Kubfu Pokemon to specialise in single strike or multi-attack moves based on which challenge tower they opt to tackle.