OPINION: Make No Mistake; “X” is Coming to the West

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

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January 23rd was a wonderful day for Nintendo fans. The Nintendo Direct that featured global news was tailored to each individual region that aired it. Many didn’t realize this initially and assumed “X” was a title destined to stay in Japan. I can’t tell you how many worried folks I personally helped convince to approach this title’s fate in the west with confidence.

We reported on a celebration of MOTHER 2 that remained exclusive to Japan and was not seen during the other broadcasts. A clip of Monolith’s “X” was posted via Nintendo of America’s Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other means. While this game’s reveal didn’t cause as much of a stir as something like The Wind Waker HD to the majority of Nintendo fans, the fact that “X” was even shown during the Nintendo Direct—much less saved for last, and dubbed “important” by Iwata himself—is an implicit nod to the efforts of the Operation Rainfall campaign, in my opinion.

That’s all well and good. Up until a certain point, I was ready to release a Roundtable in which members of our staff reacted to the news and discussed what this game could be this evening. Instead, my attention has been drawn elsewhere…

Monolith Boy

For those of you who didn’t know, Nintendo released their Financial Results Briefing for 2012 earlier. I recall reporting on similar phenomenon. Perusing the document led many to dissent when…a certain game was missing from the list of announced titles outside of Japan. I don’t know if I should name names or try to put this panic upon any individual(s) in particular, so… I’ll choose not to do so.

But, the fact of the matter is, someone with some degree of influence said that Nintendo had “un-announced ‘X’ outside of Japan” via social media, simply because it was missing from this document. Some immediately called for Operation Rainfall to be active again. The meager amounts of people who follow me were asking for our personal response to this matter.

I am not speaking for Operation Rainfall as a whole with this editorial; I am speaking as Jonathan Higgins, former rabid Nintendo fanboy, former “jump on obscure podcasts and promote Oprainfall because damn it I want to play some XENOBLADE CHONICLES!” I’ve worked behind the scenes with these folks since February of last year. I may not have been here in the beginning, but I promise you there are few among us who think as critically about Operation Rainfall’s “success” as me.

Xenoblade sold “quite well” according to Nintendo of America. XSEED localized The Last Story, and it became their best selling title to date. Hell, XSEED was met with so much success when it came to The Last Story that they announced Pandora’s Tower, a game many of us assumed was far too obscure to ever see a release in America. Regardless of what the masses believe Operation Rainfall accomplished, I think every one of you reading this right now have proven to Nintendo and other publishers that fans of JRPGs have a definitive, loud voice…one that can be heard despite the genre seen as suffering in many peoples’ eyes.

Peoples’ panic at the lack of “X” in this financial document may have been incited by folly, but… your worry is actually a good thing. The reaction to this news, an outcry for support, confirmation, what have you… that just further proves what I just got done saying. People want “X”. The several hundred-thousand views on the trailer via Youtube suggest that…people really, really want “X”.

Monolith Mech

And that’s why I know Nintendo is going to give it to us. I don’t need an armchair analyst’s mind. I don’t need to know what these financial documents do and do not signify, or what people speculate that they signify. I see Pandora’s Tower is missing from their list of third-party Wii games coming out this quarter—does that mean this document damns that game as well? If you want my personal take on what these documents mean, you won’t find it here. I can’t claim to know as much as my peers who are far more experienced with analyzing this data than I am.

But—if you take nothing else away from what you’ve just read: Don’t panic. Because Xenoblade Chronicles was a renowned success, because Nintendo went way out of their way to publicize “X” when it was shown one week ago across the globe, and because of how much faith I have that the ideas and efforts of Operation Rainfall got through to certain publishers and developers…

Everything’s going to be fine.

…Now. Watch the trailer one more time, and go back to “anticipation”. It suits every one of us so much better than worry.

  • The reports on it being ‘un-announced’ is nothing but hyperbole to get attention. I have every faith that X will come to the west. It won’t be this year, that’s for sure, but it will come.

  • James Beatty

    Yeah, there are quite a few mistakes on this list. Professor Layton 6 shows up as japan only for now even though Iwata confirmed it was coming over. Resident Evil Revelations was also confirmed for NA but it doesn’t show up. I doubt Nintendo would translate the trailer, put it on their western Youtube channels, and then decide to not bring it over… especially with what happened last time. Unless they want more advertisement from Operation Rainfall, but i doubt they’ll do that

  • MusubiKazesaru

    it’ll come and it’ll be AMAZING just as its predecessor was

  • I’m looking forward to this game, not worried about it.

  • No worries here. If they didn’t plan to bring it over, NOA wouldn’t put the trailer on all of their social media outlets (separate from those of NCL), nor would the North American version of the Nintendo Direct have featured the trailer as the presentation’s stinger. The lack of the game’s listing on that financial report is not an indication that they have no plans to bring it here.

    • Xenoblade was shown at E3 as Monado before it was released in Japan. Just one reason why people are doubtful about this game releasing here. Even though Xenoblade did better than they expected, they could still find a reason to not release it. One look back on Wii’s past sales data, and they could’ve seen that there was an assured audience for Xenoblade (JRPGs on Wii tended to do better in NA than in EU, heck a few of them did much better than in JP!); they needn’t wait for EU sales data, but they did anyway. Unless of course, NoA really has changed, as evidenced by the support that they’re very strangely actually giving to Fire Emblem Awakening.

    • The problem there is Monado was shown in a montage of games that are “coming soon.” To put it in perspective, Project HAMMER was put in one of those montages too, so montages were never known to be completely accurate. “X” was singled out, made a big deal of, tweeted, facebook’d, etc. I’d say it’s already in better shape.

    • That was a different time, and the Monado footage shown then was just part of other footage of other games that was also shown. They did nothing else to promote or even acknowledge the game on western shores until Operation Rainfall started causing a ruckus. It was otherwise not talked about or elaborated on.

      In the last Nintendo Direct, they prominently included the X trailer in both the North American and European broadcasts. NOA has also published the trailer on their social media outlets, as I previously noted. In the span of a day, they did more to promote X than they ever did to promote Monado in the span of three years.

    • RagunaXL

      too true, it will come out. it’s too early to comb paperwork when the game doesn’t even have a title, there’s no clue as to how complete it is and NOA hasn’t really been able to do any marketing, translating etc etc. like you said it was the presentation stinger for the north american nintendo direct. we’re all okay

  • Worried? No, I wasn’t worried at all…

  • So…no Operation Rainfall 2? I hope no other game will ever require an OpR2.

    • Operation Rainfall 2: Quest for the Golden Moose! Now in stores MSRP: 19.99 Rated: EC

    • *Operation Rainfall 2: The Electric Boogaloo

  • jcl

    I am so freaking excited for this game. I could watch that trailer all day.

    The only thing i could be more excited for than this is the idea of actually working at monolithsoft. Something to keep dreaming on.

  • RagunaXL

    Hear, hear! anticipate i will! for if they will not give us X, we will take it. *snaps pencil with thumb*

  • Can’t really think of anything to fear about this game not arriving to the US, unless someone representing NoA decides to cancel the release entirely and say “it’s not worth the money” or “we don’t own that IP”. That would defeat the whole purpose behind “X” showing up on the Direct Feed with trailers posted all over NoA’s Facebook, Twitter, Youtube page, let alone Satoru “bomb dropping” Iwata speaking to us in plain English.

    Still, it’s good to be cautious while optimistic. And I think all means of productive feedback is encouraged so we can always keep publishers updated on something, even if they know what we want.

  • bob

    Having it all over all over your facebook youtube and twitter page and not having it on a silly piece of paper that’s really only meant for investors and to note that silly little piece of paper also does not mention other games that were announced for that platform. I guess we should all just panic

  • John Ellis

    We may start living in an age where ALL games get western localization in both EU and NA. (Excluding Atlus of course)

  • RagunaXL

    serious question about the ‘X’ trailer: what is that green light floating over the water on the left side of the screen? (at 0:18 secs) please don’t say it’s a barrier, a la phantasy star online

    • I tried to use my pc magnifying glass to zoom in, but still cannot figure out what it is. I hope its not a barrier.

    • RagunaXL

      hey thanks! me either. i think there is one on the other side of the screen around that same time. it’s off in the brush. it may be a ‘pick up’ icon as well. *crosses fingers*

  • Luke Dias

    This game is SO a Xenoblade sequel. The locations look familiar, the battle system looks the same, and that blond guy at the end looks a lot like Shulk. Even the way the characters WALK looks the same. And that convinces me this game will be offered to the Americas. Guaranteed

  • Eugene Ng

    I hope it comes to the west otherwise… It should be since the Xenoblade popularity was raved well!