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Run the Developer 4: Monolith Soft

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Run the Developer - is where we look at a specific game development studio's work and discuss our experiences with their games. In this second installment we turn our gaze to

Monolith Soft - is based out of Japan and best known for the Xenoblade/Xenosaga games. They were formed by ex-Square developers in 1999. They were a third party publisher until 2007 when they were acquired by Nintendo and have since become one of the most prestigious of N's first party studios. Check out their website for more details

Games by Monolith Soft

Xenosaga Series

The first game developed by Monolith soft was Xenosaga Episode 1 for the PlayStation 2 in 2002. Other games in the series include Xenosaga Freaks (PS2, 2004), Xenosaga Episode II (PS2, 2004), Xenosaga: Pied Piper (Mobile, 2004), and Xenosaga Episode III (PS2, 2006). The first two episodes were combined and released on Nintendo DS but only in Japan.

Baten Kaitos

The first Monolith Soft game to hit a Nintendo system was Baten Kaitos. Both the original Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (2003) and the sequel Origins (2006) were released on Gamecube.

Disaster: Day of Crisis

With Nintendo controlling Monolith Soft, the company released this action-adventure for Wii in 2008. The game was released in Europe and Australia but not North America, due to Reggie's lack of confidence in it.

Project X Zone

This pair of 3DS tactical RPGs by Monolith are successors to Namco x Capcom (PS2, 2005). Project X Zone was released in 2012 and Project X Zone 2 was released in 2015.

Xenoblade Series

The series that most people now associate with Monolith Soft debuted with Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii in 2010-2012. The game is considered one of their best and has since been re-released on 3DS (as a new 3DS exclusive) and Switch (2020). Other games in the series include Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U, 2015) and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch, 2017).

When will they announce Xenoblade Chronicles 3?
Do you want Monolith Soft to make games outside the Xenoblade series?
Have you played any of the Japan only titles they developed?

Just put Xenoblade X on Switch. Maybe also improve the faces like with Xenoblade DE

Played Xenoblade Wii, then Xenoblade 3D, Xenoblade X, Project X Zone 2, Xenoblade 2 and most recently Xenoblade Definitive Edition.

Monolith Soft is my favourite developer. I enjoyed the Wii it was a good little console, but it would be fair to say that my interest in the Wii U, the Switch are directly tied to my experience playing the original Xenoblade.

It was an influential game on my tastes. The grand story, great battle system, genre defining soundtrack, memorable characters, a fully realised world to explore the length and breadth of, tightly choreographed cutscenes with excellent British voice acting. I remember watching the trailer on the Nintendo Wii channel over and over, the IGN review as well, I wanted this game and it lived up to my expectations.

3D was a good port, but ultimately a novelty and a New 3DS showpiece. I played about 80 hours but never got round to finishing it.

Xenoblade X I adore. Mechs are always cool and this game does mechs right. What other open world mech games are there? I can't think of any. While the main story didn't reach the highs of Xenoblade 1, there was a lot I enjoyed about the side content that was on offer. I sunk over 300 hours into this game and still didn't do everything. (It's also my favourite soundtrack of the Xenoblades, despite also being the funniest).

Project X Zone 2 is not very good. It's got the characters, the music, but the gameplay just isn't there. It's repetitive and each level takes an eon. I love strategy games, but for this one they needed to go back to the drawing board as there is very little fun to be had with the strategy elements. I intend to finish this some day, taking it very slowly.

Xenoblade 2 I like a lot. It has the best battle system in the series, with Torna the Golden Country being the absolute pinnacle of that. The story and the music I liked, but the game gets bogged down with some of the design choices. Quests, merc missions, gacha and field skills hurt the game for me, but I'm glad they at least tried something different. It's a great game and my most played game on Switch with 100's of hours, but my least favourite of the main 3.

Xenoblade Definitive Edition is my favourite game of all time. It is a remake with zero compromises. There is not one element that isn't the same or better than the original. That's rare for Nintendo and the industry as a whole. It's a technical marvel that Monolith Soft took this decade old game and not only ported it flawlessly, but re-examined every aspect of the game for ways they could make subtle improvements. After replaying it years later, my passion for this game is just as strong as when I first played on Wii. The visuals are a bigger jump than you typically expect with a port with added reflections, UI, new lighting effects and character models. It's night and day when you compare how Mechon look in the original vs definitive edition. The re-arranged music gives the soundtrack that extra oomph you never realised was missing, and if you want the old music you can change it back with the press of a menu option. The new quality of life features make the Wii and 3DS versions seem antiquated in comparison, and there's a whole new post game story?! Are you kidding me! I love this game and I'm glad that the definitive edition truly lives up to its name.

When will Xenoblade 3 be announced?
I'm feeling gullible and I want to believe these recent rumours, so I'm going to say that the announcement is imminent.

Do you want Monolith Soft to make games outside of the Xenoblade series?
Yes I would love that. Please be as creative as possible, but I hope that they continue making RPGs, as this is clearly their forte.

Have you played any of the Japan only titles?
No I haven't, I would like to though.

Isn't the poll supposed to have checkboxes? At the moment you can only pick one game.


--- Quote from: azeke on December 04, 2021, 01:57:52 AM ---Isn't the poll supposed to have checkboxes? At the moment you can only pick one game.

--- End quote ---

I fixed that, it should let you pick more than one now.


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