A new title from Monolith Soft adds giant mechs to JRPG combat.
If nothing else, you've got to give Monolith Soft points for consistency: No other JRPG developer so frequently includes the "xeno-" prefix in its titles or insists so often that giant, humanoid mechs must be part of the battle system. Take, for example, its new Wii U game. On the surface, this game shares a world, a battle system, and a general aesthetic with 2012's Xenoblade Chronicles, only now players can hop into enormous mech suits to do battle with larger foes. The game goes by the cryptic name of X for now, but looks like a bona fide part of the Xenoblade universe.
As far as content goes, the trailer has all the standard JRPG trappings. A spiky-haired protagonist wields a gun and a sword as the situation demands, as he and his party do battle with a variety of huge creatures. The twist comes later on, when he jumps into a giant mech battle suit, complete with energy weapons, flight, and vehicle transformation. That ought to mix things up a bit.
Kunihiko Tanaka of the Xenosaga series will provide character designs, and Hiroyuki Sawano, a popular Japanese TV composer, will tackle the score. If you liked the original Xenoblade Chronicles, X is a title to watch. If Monolith Soft doesn't keep the old tradition of battle mechs in JRPGs alive, who will?