The last of Earth’s survivors after an alien annihilation need to wonder the mysterious Mira planet while fighting the hostile wildlife. Players need to team up and develop strategies to watch out for each other.
When the Earth is destroyed by a mysterious alien race, the last of humanity escapes and crash-lands on the mysterious planet Mira. Facing the threat of extinction, players must survive the perils of their new home in Xenoblade Chronicles X, an RPG set in a massive open world just waiting to be explored in-depth, releasing exclusively on the Wii U on 4 December.
In this new RPG from the creators of Xenoblade Chronicles, players can create their own character and explore a planet five times bigger than the world in Xenoblade Chronicles. A rich variety of hostile wildlife makes Mira an inhospitable place, and players will need to master a deeply strategic real-time battle system to survive.
During combat, your avatar can switch between different battle classes that allow them to become more adept at long-range or close-quarters combat, as well as issue tactical orders to up to three AI partners. Party members will also advise players on when to use special skills, known as Arts, to boost their allies or blast away foes. Each class has access to different Arts, and strategic use of these can be instrumental in turning the tide of the battle.
Outside of combat, players can focus on the necessities of exploration and survival by taking jobs in eight different divisions. Those who want to focus on discovering the massive, open environments and scavenge for new materials can take a job as a Curator, while joining the Harriers will allow players to concentrate primarily on defeating the dangerous monsters that roam the landscape. Another choice, Outfitters, spend the bulk of their time helping to develop the giant weaponised mechs known as Skells. Eventually, players will be able to pilot the Skell themselves, allowing access to places they couldn’t find before, providing even more possibilities for exploration.
By using the Wii U GamePad, players can access the navigation system, which displays a hexagonal map grid to plot the course ahead to avoid ambushes from giant monsters, uncover new resources, and fast-travel between previously discovered locations. The game can also be played on the GamePad screen alone.
Xenoblade Chronicles X brings the series online for the first time, making it possible to team up and take on co-operative missions as a party of four. Players can also join a party of up to 32 asynchronous characters with whom they can trade items and weapons, even if they are not battling together. In addition, avatars created by other players can be recruited into your team as AI party members, providing you with even more avenues for strategy in the midst of battle.
Explore humanity’s final frontier in Xenoblade Chronicles X for the Wii U, as it launches across Europe and South Africa on 4th December. The game will also be available as a bundle with a Wii U Premium Pack console and as a Limited Edition. Users who purchase Xenoblade Chronicles on Nintendo eShop on Wii U will be eligible for a R130 discount on Xenoblade Chronicles X if they buy it on Nintendo eShop on the same Wii U console before 18th December 2015.
Netflix to make SA series
The world leader in streaming movies has announced the first South African production to join its Originals roster.
World leader in entertainment streaming services Netflix this week announced its first Original series in Africa, with South African series Queen Sono.
The news comes immediately in the wake of local rival Showmax announcing it’s first original drama production. In this context, it heralds a new phase in the evolution of streaming video-on-demand in South Africa.
The action-packed series follows Queen Sono, the highly trained top spy in a South African agency whose purpose is to better the lives of African citizens. While taking on her most dangerous mission yet, she must also face changing relationships in her personal life. The series will be created by Director, Kagiso Lediga and Executive producer Tamsin Andersson.
South African actress, Pearl Thusi, will star as Queen Sono, with the character having been created with her in mind. Thusi is also known for her performance in the romantic dramedy, Catching Feelings, available on Netflix.
“We are excited to be working with Kagiso and Pearl, to bring the story of Queen Sono to life, and we expect it to be embraced by our South African users and global audiences alike.” said Erik Barmack, Vice President of International Original Series at Netflix.
“We are delighted to create this original series with Netflix, and are super excited by their undeniable ability to take this homegrown South African story to a global audience. We believe Queen Sono will kick the door open for more awesome stories from this part of the world” added the director and executive producer of the series, Kagiso Lediga.
The series is due to start production in 2019.
Showmax shoots its first local drama
Showmax has completed filming its first commissioned drama, as it builds out its roster of original content.
The Girl From St Agnes, Showmax’s first original drama, wrapped on 28 November 2018 after filming in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Johannesburg. The eight-part whodunnit premieres on Showmax on 31 January 2019. It is the second series in a programme designed to build out its roster of exclusive, original content.
As Netflix takes hold as South Africa’s preferred streaming video-on-demand service, Showmax owner MultiChoice has made a string of strategic announcements designed to take the DStv paid satellite broadcasting service into the streaming era. Original content is critical to this strategy, as Netflix is on track to become the world’s biggest movie studio.
Showmax is available in 70 countries.
“Our first Original – last year’s light-hearted comedy Tali’s Wedding Diary – had the most successful launch day of any series on Showmax ever,” says Candice Fangueiro, head of content at Showmax. “This is a complete change of direction: The Girl From St Agnes is a dark murder mystery that will keep you guessing and taps into the current conversations in South Africa about #metoo and teen sexuality.”
At St Agnes, a prestigious all-girls boarding school in the Midlands, a popular and beautiful student is found dead at the base of the old mill. Fearful of the scandal it might cause, the school is quick to declare the death of Lexi Summerveld a tragic accident.
But drama teacher Kate Ballard doesn’t believe it. On the night of her death, an upset Lexi had been trying to contact her, and Kate had ignored her. Now wracked with guilt, Kate attempts to piece together the terrible truth.
The more she investigates, the more Kate realises that she didn’t know Lexi or the school at all. Behind the imposing walls of St Agnes, Lexi’s killer won’t be the only person exposed…
Newcomer Jane De Wet was handpicked to play Lexi by legendary South African casting director Moonyeenn Lee (Tsotsi), who’s been nominated for two Emmy Awards in the last three years, for The Looming Tower and Roots.
Kate is played by Nina Milner, who modelled for Vogue Germany and at Paris Fashion Week last year and most recently starred in Troy: Fall Of A City as Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons.
Jane and Nina are joined by an impressive supporting cast that includes internationally recognised South African talent like Robert Hobbs (District9), Tyrone Keogh (24 Hours To Live), Tessa Jubber (Wallander), Karl Thaning (Dredd) and Shamilla Miller (Troy: Fall Of A City) opposite local favourites like Celeste Khumalo (The Queen), Richard Lukunku (Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word), Zakeeya Patel (High Rollers), Graham Hopkins (The Lab) and three-time South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) winner Jerry Mofokeng (Heist, Tsotsi), not to mention hot new talent like Paige Bonnin and Tristan de Beer.
The Girl From St Agnes is being produced by Quizzical Pictures, winners of the SAFTA for Best Drama for six of the last eight years, as well as a Peabody. Producer Harriet Gavshon, Quizzical Pictures’ managing director, is drawing on her own private school experiences, which sparked the original idea for the show. This is the first time Harriet has produced a series, rather than just executive producing, since 2009’s Hopeville, which won Best Drama and Miniseries at Rose d’Or, was nominated for an International Emmy, and was a finalist at Monte Carlo.
Catharine Cooke, who won this year’s Best Director In a TV Drama SAFTA for iNumber Number, co-directed the shoot with Cindy Lee, a commercials director helming her first drama series, having previously worked as the social media director on the Emmy-winning Black Mirror. Double SAFTA winner Gillian Breslin (Umlilo; 4Play: Sex Tips For Girls) is head writer. This makes Girl From St Agnes a rare TV series commissioned, produced, written and directed by women.
“What links Girl From St Agnes, Tali’s Wedding Diary and the other Showmax Originals in the pipeline is our aim to work with the best South African talent and be the home for brave, quirky and at times edgy local stories you wouldn’t find anywhere else,” says Candice. “Creating new characters that audiences come to love and follow is an incredibly rewarding experience and we want to establish a platform for more ‘Tali’s’ across varied genres.”
All eight episodes can be binged on Showmax from 31 January 2019.