Although it might be hard to imagine these days, there was a time where the Xenoblade series was almost completely unknown compared to other major Nintendo franchises. No doubt, one key factor in the series’ rise in popularity was Shulk’s inclusion in the WiiU/3DS installment of Super Smash Bros. as well as his return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Speaking to USGamer, Genki Yokota, a co-producer on the Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, agreed with this sentiment. According to Yokota, Shulk’s inclusion in Smash brought a lot of exposure to the series, garnering interest from players less familiar with RPGs.
“I think getting to introduce the character of Shulk who typically don’t play RPGs was huge. That’s why we added a ‘Casual Mode,’ so that people who aren’t good at RPGs or have never played them before can enjoy the story.”
In the same interview, Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition producer Shigekazu Yamada added that Shulk’s unique playstyle as a fighter also helped make “a lasting impression”, and raise awareness of his character and original game.
“I think this design and the nature of the attacks themselves left a lasting impression on the audience. On top of that, it seems like he’s considered a strong playable character with good performance, so I’m happy about that too.”
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