Rumor: Bandai Namco Announcing Nintendo Switch Games December 15

According to gaming journalist Marcus Sellars, who works for numerous outlets, Bandai Namco is holding an event to announce five new games on December 15. He claims that Nintendo will have a “large presence” at the event.

Liam Robertson has claimed on his Patreon podcast that these are the five games:

  • Dark Souls Collection
  • One Piece Dawn
  • Soul Caliber 6
  • My Hero Academy (My Hero Academia!?)
  • Xenosaga HD Collection (!!!!)

The first four seem plausible enough, but a Xenosaga HD Collection on the surface does seem unlikely. The fact of the matter is though, there may be some things going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about; case-in-point: KOS-MOS being an unlockable blade in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. KOS-MOS and T-Elos also appeared together in Project X Zone, as well as KOS-MOS and Fiora together in the game’s sequel.

Even then, the first and third Xenosaga games were not horrible; Bandai Namco butchered the second game’s narrative, according to then-fired scenario writer Sorya Saga, but even then, it was enjoyable and the story was still great. If the game could get a full remaster, it could do quite well, especially on a system like the Nintendo Switch, with Nintendo and Monolith’s full backing.

Remember, this is just a rumor at this point. If true though, it will surely have fans of the Xeno series excited, new and old alike, especially considering the success of the Xenoblade games.


Final Fantasy Creator Wants to Work on Nintendo Switch

Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy series and is currently the head of his studio Mistwalker. He developed Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey on the Xbox 360 and has been involved in works such as XenogearsThe Last Story, and Super Mario RPG. Now, it seems, he is interested in working on the Nintendo Switch. As of late, his studio has been developing the Terra Battle series on mobile devices and he hasn’t worked on consoles for some time.

However, I do want to develop games on console again at some point. We’re even working on Terra Battle 3 right now and maybe console will be the right fit for that. Just because we are developing heavily on mobile right now doesn’t mean we have completely left console behind. After all, the Nintendo Switch is a very good piece of hardware.

Sakaguchi would be a huge asset to the Switch, and Terra Battle 3 may find a nice home there. The fact that he has such praise for the switch causes one to realize he has high praise for Nintendo’s latest smash hit.

Having someone of his talent would be huge for the Switch. Hopefully, he makes his return to consoles soon, as he is such a talented developer.

Fanart Sunday – Celebrating Xenoblade Chronicle 2’s Release

As we like to focus on video game culture here at VGCultureHQ, we’re introducing a brand new series: Fanart Sunday. Each Sunday, we’re going to spotlight artists, both known and unknown, their fanart, and their drive for excellence.

Today we are featuring Deviant artist GLV-DA. His piece, simply called “Xenoblade 2“, is a stunning interpretation of the world of the latest installment in the Xenoblade series. He actually created this in January 2017, which makes it even more incredible, but it was simply too good not to feature.

Fanart Sunday - Celebrating Xenoblade Chronicle 2's Release

Rex is encountering a monolith in the sky. What is even more impressive in the piece is looking at the clouds. The painting is impeccable. The giant is towering but not too imposing. Rex looks ready to the beast on no matter the costs, and the green highlights on his sword and armor look great.

This is one of the best Xenoblade Chronicles 2 fan pieces I have seen. Hopefully, the artist continues working on the series. Thank you for the fantastic work GLV-DA!

You can also check out more of his work here. There are plenty of Xenoblade-related fan works, as well as pieces inspired by Zelda and Chrono Trigger. Definitely be sure to take a look!

Resident Evil amiibo From Capcom Almost a Reality

In an interview with Famitsu, Capcom revealed that they were on the cusp of making Resident Evil amiibo. They opted for HUNK and Lady HUNK, rather than the popular Jill and Claire. Their reasoning was that these two specific characters had a large role to play in Resident Evil Revelations’ raid mode. Although the deal fell through with no explanation, the director of the game, Koushi Nakanishi hasn’t given up hope. He is hoping to revisit the possibility in the future.

Resident Evil amiibo From Capcom Almost a Reality

This isn’t the first time that Capcom has made amiibo. They created amiibo for their popular Monster Hunter series for Monster Hunter Stories in Japan. What is ironic in this whole mess is that Resident Evil Revelations does, in fact, have amiibo support; not just Resident Evil amiibo figure support.  These amiibo can be scanned once per day and give you ammo or points. If you use a Capcom character, you’ll get better items. I wonder if Mega Man would work?

Resident Evil Revelations was released on November 28 for the Nintendo Switch.

Mass Effect 2 and 3 Available on Xbox One Store

Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, two of the most critically acclaimed games of all time (despite the ending of the latter), are now available digitally on the Xbox One. While the Xbox One has had it tough lately when it comes to new games, they are continuing to build their digital library of older games that gamers yearn for. The games cost $19.99 a piece, which doesn’t include the DLC. If you already owned the titles and bought the downloadable content previously though, you’ll automatically get them free of charge, as you’ve already purchased them.

Mass Effect 2 and 3 Available on Xbox One Store

Mass Effect 2 has a 96 Metacritic score, one of the most renowned games of all time, while Mass Effect 3 has a score of a 93, which isn’t too shabby either. In fact, if the ending hadn’t needed fixing in the first place, the game may have scored even higher. If you haven’t played the Mass Effect trilogy before or a loved one hasn’t and you have an Xbox One, this would be a perfect holiday gift. The Mass Effect Trilogy is one of the best series’ in all of gaming and it’s a shame that Mass Effect Andromeda couldn’t live up to its predecessor’s legacy.

Regardless, these games are a must-have for anyone who doesn’t own them or hasn’t played them and will fill the gap with the lack of exclusive games on the Xbox One this holiday season.

Xenoblade is the New Final Fantasy

Now I have to be completely clear when I say this: Xenoblade Chronicles, as a series, has eclipsed modern Final Fantasy. That is what this article is about. I am not referring to retro Final Fantasy or anything before Final Fantasy XII. As a series though, Xenoblade’s quality has eclipsed Final Fantasy; there is no doubt about that. Nothing is more evident than comparing Final Fantasy XV, which masquerades as an “open world”, with Xenoblade Chronicles X or Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Even the first game, after a game-altering event, offered plenty of exploration and incredibly fun and challenging sidequests. Xenoblade is the new Final Fantasy of this generation.

While X was more character-driven (you could argue the characters weren’t interesting, though I disagree), 1 and 2 are plot-driven with some really awesome characters to boot. Even Noctis’ companions are great characters in Final Fantasy XV and Ardyn is a great villain (ohhh Keiji Fujiwara!), but Noctis himself is so bland. The game is hollow, almost a fraud.

Tetsuya Takahashi’s Beginnings

Xenoblade is the New Final Fantasy

Ironically, Tetsuya Takahashi, the brainchild behind all the Xeno games, originally worked for Squaresoft. His first game, Xenogears, was originally considered to be Final Fantasy VII. That would have altered history quite a bit! The heads of Square thought the game’s themes were too complex though. The religious overtones didn’t help matters. Takahashi and his team were still young though, and contrary belief about budget issues, the development team had trouble meeting the two-year development cycle. That’s why the second disc is gutted, but a cult classic was still born.

Takahashi was still young though. He went on to create Monolith Soft and left Square. He came up with the Xenosaga series, which was meant to span multiple episodes and be a spiritual successor to Xenogears, but in Takahashi’s eyes, the games were a failure.

We released three games in the Xenosaga series, but they weren’t very well received. It was really mortifying. All of the young team members felt that way, not just the leaders. So we all decided, ‘Next time we need to make a game that players will enjoy.’ So that made the atmosphere during the Xenoblade Chronicles development very different compared to other games.

We began Monolith Soft in 1999, with funding from Namco before they became Bandai Namco. The first game we made was Xenosaga, but because we were developing it while we were building the organization, we didn’t have enough people. The programmers and the planners were all rookies. At the time, the director of Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X,  [Koh] Kojima, had just joined the company right after graduating college.”

Xenoblade is the New Final Fantasy

“And, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but the graphics engine 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.

While the stories of the games were incredible, the execution was lacking and the third game was the only one that was enjoyable from a gameplay-standpoint. Sorya Saga, Takahashi’s wife, also claims that after the story was meddled with in production and Bandai Namco took her off the project in the middle of Xenosaga: Episode II. The saga was changed forever. She was the scenario writer of the series.

Xenosaga was canceled after its third game, which was actually pretty good and was a fitting conclusion to the saga. After this, Nintendo bought Monolith Soft, and a new era was born. Takahashi began work on Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii.

Xenoblade versus Final Fantasy

xenoblade is the new final fantasy

The Xenoblade games are all open-world. They lack the “illusion” Final Fantasy XV has, which claims to be open-world but in reality the world is barren and you spend most of your time in a car driving along a road. Sure, there is some exploration, but it was not as advertised. It pales in comparison to Xenoblade, and while not as linear as its predecessor, it is a rather linear game with few rewarding sidequests. Xenoblade puts Final Fantasy to shame in this respect, and reviewers even agree. While Final Fantasy XV received an 81 score on MetacriticXenoblade Chronicles received a 92. This is despite the fact that the graphics were atrocious (they were below PlayStation 2 standards, probably because of the massive world that was created on an underpowered system).

Xenoblade X and Xenoblade 2 are sitting at an 84 on Metacritic, and there’s a chance Xenoblade Chronicles 2 could still rise, as not all reviews are in. Xenoblade Chronicles X has a user score of an 8.9, which is close to Xenoblade Chronicles’ 9.0. The games are rife with exploration, especially Xenoblade Chronicles X. It’s sad that IGN claims one of the faults of the game is that “Getting from place to place can be confusing” and that the minimap is junk. The last part is debatable, but it’s called exploration I don’t want a game that holds my hand. Xenoblade 2‘s world is incredible. The exploration and secrets about are so rewarding. Also, there was no problem with lack of direction in Breath of the Wild.

Xenoblade is the New Final Fantasy

Takahashi has gone back to a story-driven game with Xenoblade Chronicles 2, but that doesn’t mean the world isn’t massive. There are plenty of secrets and unlockables to discover that are actually fun. The combat in the series is top-class as well. While the combat system in Final Fantasy XIII is enjoyable, the game is so linear that it’s laughable. It stops being fun. It is not an enjoyable game and the story is incredibly pretentious. Takahashi learned from previous mistakes and his religious and philosophical overtones are much more subtle.

The Bottom Line

Final Fantasy XII had some story problems and many complained about the gameplay. Final Fantasy XIII was a linear mess with an over-pretentious story no one understood with unlikeable characters. Its sequels were not that much better. Final Fantasy XV was better but not nearly as good as advertised. And it was the kind of open-world game that was promised, although it had a great villain in Ardyn.

Xenoblade is the New Final Fantasy

Xenoblade (all three) are superior in every facet: gameplay, exploration, story, combat (XV’s attempt at live-action combat was sad), and the series is filled with endearing characters. Tetsuya Takahashi has crafted some amazing worlds and has finally surpassed the company he left so many years ago. Nintendo is actually incredibly supportive, as opposed to Square and Namco Bandai before them.

Maybe the sales aren’t there yet for the series, but the Xenoblade games are masterpieces. The original had a limited North American release and Xenoblade X came out on a dying system. Both sold over 900,000 (Xenoblade Chronicles sold over one million if you count 3DS sales) copies. The potential is there. It’s not the 6.5 million units that Final Fantasy XV has sold thus far, but Xenoblade is still in its infancy. It doesn’t hurt that this latest game is coming out on the Nintendo Switch, which could eventually eclipse the PlayStation 4 in sales.

Xenoblade is the new Final Fantasy

Tetsuya Takahashi is a genius. As long as Nintendo continues to guide the series, there are no heights that it can’t reach. And that includes surpassing Final Fantasy in quality, which it clearly has from a quality standpoint. The next step is competing with sales numbers, which may be possible on the Nintendo Switch.

Daisy Ridley is Done Playing Rey After Episode IX

Well, this is a real shame, especially if it turns out Rey is Luke’s daughter. It’s an even bigger bummer because she’s a fantastic character and actress. Daisy Ridley will depart the Star Wars Saga after Episode IX, as she told Time Magazine in an interview. She feels the final chapter in the trilogy rounds out Rey’s story perfectly.

I am really, really excited to do the third thing and round it out, because ultimately, what I was signing on to was three films, so in my head, it’s three films. I think it will feel like the right time to round it out.

Daisy Ridley is Done Playing Rey After Episode IX

This quote is not definitive though. I don’t think they will kill off such a prominent character such as Luke Skywalkers (possibly) last apprentice. Ridley even exclaims “who knows” when faced with a potential return to the saga.

I honestly feel like the world may end in the next 30 years, so, if in 30 years, we are not living underground in a series of interconnected cells, then sure. Maybe. But again, it’s like, who knows.

Daisy Ridley is Done Playing Rey After Episode IX

Whether she’s serious or not, Daisy is saving the world day-by-day as Rey in the Star Wars films. She next stars in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, which opens in a mere 14 days. Mark Hamill has exclaimed that the film is the best Star Wars movie since Empire, and with the stakes so high, that is a bold claim. It’s coming from Hamill though. He wouldn’t just say something like that if he didn’t mean it.

Hopefully, JJ Abrams learns a bit from Rian Johnson and doesn’t try to re-create Return of the Jedi but instead kill our favorite hero, Rey.