I have been reading up on some interviews by Monolith Soft's Tetsuya Takahashi. A general theme that seems to come up in these interviews has been creating a balanced game with elements from both Japan and the West in order to increase appeal in both markets. As I am playing Xenoblade Chronicles X, I constantly think about this idea of appealing to both Western and Japanese audiences. More specifically, I am thinking of hypothetical ways Xenoblade Chronicles could become more appealing in the West without losing its JRPG soul.
One way to increase appeal is of course through marketing. I personally do not believe that Nintendo has not done a good enough job marketing this game in the West. Moreover, the game being on the Wii U, which does not have a very large installbase nor does it have a huge following (outside of the Nintendo enthusiast audience) does not really help. In addition, the Wii U's hardware limitations do hold this game back in terms of being able to provide a blockbuster cinematic experience mainstream Western gamers have become accustomed to. Personally I think the game looks beautiful (despite some flaws, namely in NLA) and is quite technically competent despite running on less modern hardware. With that being said though, visually it does still seem dated and not quite comparable to the visual standards set by AAA PS4 and XOne games; as a result, I believe it is also harder to market this game based on its visuals.
Therefore, I initially concluded that better marketing and to a lesser degree higher quality graphics (which makes marketing easier) could have increased the appeal of the game in the West. Then I realized that the game's auto-attack style battle system could also have effect on the game's appeal in the West. I noticied this when I showed the game and its predecessor and I realized that they started to get into the game and really liked the experience but as soon as they got into a battle they were immidiatly turned-off by the auto-attack based battle system. In comparison, I showed them YS: Memories of Celceta (an action-JRPG on the Vita), which has a more hack-n-slash style battle system, and I realized that they were able to have a more enjoyable time with that game. Now obviously this is anecdotal evidence based on the experiences of a few people, but I still believe it is interesting. Also, just as a quick disclaimer, I personally equally like both YS's hack-n-slash battle system and Xenoblade's Art System.
Do you guys think that replacing auto-attack style Art System with a hack-n-slash style system could increase the appeal of future Xenoblade games in the West?