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Masatsugu Saito discusses main character design in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – part two

Gigantic RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is out now, exclusively on Nintendo Switch, and whether you're already deep into the adventure or getting ready to dive in, you might be interested to learn more about the game's character design! Previously, main character designer Masatsugu Saito gave his initial thoughts about his work on the game, and this time you can find out how he approached some of the main characters!

Here's what Mr Saito had to say:

This is Masatsugo Saito again, and this time I’d like to talk about Rex and the other main characters.

To delineate the age difference between Rex and Pyra, we designed the characters to have a clear difference in height. Although this makes Rex look small, adding slight emphasis to the size of his arms and legs allowed us to make his movements look bigger while he fights or performs actions in the field, all of which helps to cover for his smaller stature. Rex’s outfit is a diving suit because he is a salvager working in the Cloud Sea.

Check out the full blog here

Monolith Soft’s Tetsuya Takahashi on upcoming updates for Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Greetings to everyone playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2. This is Director Takahashi at Monolith Soft. Today I’d like to talk about the main updates that will be seen in the Ver. 1.1.1 update, which will be distributed next week on Friday December 22nd.

In addition to some bug fixes, we will address the following points:

An easy mode will be added to Tiger! Tiger!
When you press the X Button, the Skip Travel screen will open the map to your current location. We hope this will make it easier to spot Skip Travel locations and Salvage Points on the map.
An additional 1:1 zoom on the mini map will be displayed by pressing the L Stick. This will allow improved visibility of your surroundings and make it easier to check quest locations.
We will further improve the convenience of the mini map as we add more quests and additional elements for second playthroughs next year. We appreciate your continued patience.

Note: The second playthrough elements will be available for all players, not just those who purchased the Expansion Pass.

In your second playthrough, you will be able to have “those” Blades join your party! You can also dispatch Blades like Pyra and Dromarch as a Merc Group, and unlock the “LV 4 Special” of a certain Blade.
We will distribute the following useful items to those who purchased the Expansion Pass:
Driver Essentials Set: 10 x Rare Core Crystal, 1 x Legendary Core Crystal, 3 x Overdrive Protocol
Upgrade Parts for Poppi: 30,000 ether
Pyra’s Favourite Things: 5 x Jenerossi Tea
Nia’s Favourite Things: 5 x Ardainian Bear Carving
Monolith Soft will continue to add improvements that will make the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 even more enjoyable for a long time. And even though there may be times when we cannot address every need immediately because we are working on these improvements in parallel with the Expansion Pass, we truly appreciate your continued support for Xenoblade Chronicles 2!

Thank you, Mr Takahashi!

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Ver. 1.1.1 coming Dec. 20th, 2017, Version 1.2.1 coming Jan. 2018, DLC Pack 1B details

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Ver. 1.1.1 (Dec. 20th, 2017)

- fixes camera glitch caused by watching the “Something in Common” cutscene in Event Theatre (make sure NOT to save after watching it, or you will be stuck with the glitch until the update is released!)
- fixes issue with the quest items for two quests in the Gormott Province not being registered in the Quest Log, therefore preventing you from completing them;
- fixes various other bugs
- adds Easy mode to the Tiger! Tiger! mini-game
- pressing the X button immediately brings you to the map of the area you’re currently in, on the Skip Travel screen
- adds improvements to the mini-map
- adds second set of bonus items for Expansion Pass owners

DLC Pack 1B: Support Items For Your Journey

- Release date: December 20th/21st
- Requires: Ver. 1.1.1 or more recent

Contents:

- Driver’s Essentials Set: Rare Core Crystal (x10), Legendary Core Crystal (x1), Overdrive (x3)
- Materials for Poppy: Ether Crystals (x30 000)
- Pyra’s Favourite Pouch Item: Jenerossi Tea (x5)
- Nia’s Favourite Pouch Item: Ardainian Bear Carving (x5)
- Important note: you need to have reached certain points in the game in order to claim the items.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Ver. 1.2.1 (Jan 2018)

- adds further improvements to the mini-map
- adds ability to add Pyra or Dromarch to a mercenary team
- adds LV4 Skills for Blades

Xenoblade Chronicles 2's director looks back on the daunting process of creating art for the game

The following comments come from Tetsuya Takahashi, director of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The comments are found in the art book included with the Limited Edition of the game. In the blurb below, Takahashi looks back on the creation of the art for Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Two hundred and twenty… That sounded like a daunting number of pages to fill when I first heard it. But when I saw just how much artwork had been created in total, I came to realize that maybe, probably – no, without a doubt – there was no way we’d be able to include it all.

So I should begin by thanking all the artists for accomplishing this feat. The games we build require lots of design and concept sketching, but this time, those efforts reached new heights. This in itself isn’t hard to believe, given that these days, it’s rarely possible to complete a game simply with the staff you have on hand. The contributions we receive from our many external partners elevate the quality of our creations to something we’re proud to show the world.

In development environments such as this, the power of art can’t be overstated. A single piece of art can convey the look, feel, and nature of the object that designers then set out to craft in-game. Trying to communicate the same qualities with words alone… Let’s say it would be difficult, if not impossible, to get the same point across.

While it’s true that concept art exists primarily as a basis upon which to design in-game models and assets, it fulfills other important roles as well. This time around, the artwork breathed life into the characters we were designing from an early stage, right down to their facial expressions. As a result, the in-game versions of those characters are all the more refined, and their emotional range comes through in the final product.

For the original Xenoblade Chronicles game, this character design artwork simply didn’t exist; all we had were costume designs for the clothing the characters wore. This meant we were forced to create the CG character models to fit those costume designs. And what’s more, the only artwork released of those characters were retouched versions of their CG models – there was no concept art to speak of, not like this at any rate. This exposes one of our shortcomings at Monolith, but for this project, Saito-san (Masatsugu Saito – Main Character Design) and Tek-kun (Tetsuya Nomura – Torna Character Design) covered for and supported us on the character design front, and I’m truly thankful to them for their efforts.

On the other hand, at Monolith we pride ourselves on our design of backgrounds and technological gadgets. When I’m setting out to make a game, nothing stokes my creative fires more than all the detailed, high-quality assets our artists turn out, and I’m incredibly grateful to them. As I wrote this on an evening in August, just before our game masters up, I’m still not quite sure how many pieces of art will be included in this book you’re holding. But if the selections included here help to convey the craft and care we pour into our creations, I’ll feel we’ve done our job well.

Comparing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in English and Japanese

It's no surprise that some dialog in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 differs whether you're playing in English or Japanese. The video above gives a good look at just how different some of the conversations and dialog is.

Japan - Xenoblade Chronicles 2's debut beats out debuts for Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X

As we shared earlier today, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 took the second spot on this week's Japanese software charts. The title managed to move 96,274 units. This debut is actually higher than what Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X pulled in in their debut weeks. The same thing happened in the UK earlier in the week. It's awesome to see such excitement surrounding the game!

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - Twitter update for Dec. 6th, 2017





Blade Combos

- you can launch one when you see the icons with Drivers’ faces in the center left and center right of the screen
- Drivers automatically chose the element of the move to be used from the selection of Blades they have at their disposal,
- if you take a close look at the icons with the Drivers’ faces, you will notice some “orbs”
- these indicate the level of the Special (from 1 to 3)