Wednesday 13 September 2006
In Zelda news
Oracle of Seasons - Packaging
The Wind Waker - Packaging
Oh man. Oh man. I can’t believe you fell for it again. You’re insane! You’re preposterous! And most of all, you’re probably wondering what on earth I’ve been doing these past couple of days! Promising super ultra mind-blowing ground-shaking updates and then bait’n'switching in some packaging updates?
They are rather lovely packaging updates. I don’t think I’ve seen good-quality Japanese OoS box art anywhere, ever.
“That isn’t the point, you deceitful, mangled mess of a human being,” I hear you say! Well, I’ve been making a point amidst all the fervour and excitement (and also sneaking out two fairly bland updates). If you’ve been living under a Sony-shaped rock for the past few months, let me tell you what’s going on. In around 16 hours, Nintendo is going to blow the lid off the Wii and Twilight Princess over a two-day worldwide program of events. With launch no more than two months away (and no more than £150 away - keep those fingers crossed and psychic chants… psychic), this period of Megatonian proportions will hopefully reveal:
- The price and release date of the Wii and Twilight Princess
- How the new Wii TP controls work
- More about the Twilight Princess story and setting
- Information on a possible collector’s edition of TP
- The Zelda games available on Virtual Console at launch
With a playable version of Twilight Princess at the three events, some of this information is definitely going to be released. Also, look forward to some non-Zelda surprises from Nintendo, as I’m sure they’ll be announcing a few new games, as well as some new (as in, non-emulated) Virtual Console titles.
Until then, everything you read about the Wii launch is a lie. Stories that start “I have a friend of a friend of a sister’s mother’s step-husband’s dead aunt’s friend, and they work at Nintendo and I’ve heard…” should be ignored. The recent ‘revelations’ on the EGM podcast and Matt over at IGN that the new Zelda is “huge,” well, yeah. I have no doubt that the information came from Nintendo, but no-one outside the company (and I’d wager very few on the inside) know specific, reliable details about the game or the Wii launch. The world will find out over the next two days, and we’ll be covering all the intimate details.
Tuesday 12 September 2006
In Zelda news
Tingle RPG - Packaging
Ha! Fooled you! All you get is some Tingle packaging artwork! Though, it does look pretty cool.
My further Tingle adventures have grinded to a halt - for some reason I can’t hire any bodyguards, and I desperately need to. The second dungeon is owning me. I strolled on in, all proud and stuff, then remembered it’d charge me to get in. 500 rupees just to have my ass handed to me? No thanks. It seems like I have to find some way to get the bodyguards talking to me, and before that, I’ll have to spend some time bulking up my wallet. The game’s financial system is still proving bothersome, but language barriers can generally be broken with a quick skim of the GameFAQs forums (just remember protection).
Friday 08 September 2006
In Zelda news
The other day I thought it’d be a good idea to import Tingle RPG. I wouldn’t be able to play it thanks to the language barrier, but the packaging media would come in handy, right? Well, it arrived this morning, so I dutifully scanned away, then returned the insert and manual back to their box, sending the recompleted package to the top of my DS pile, never to be opened again. An hour later, grasped in the mind-numbing claws of boredom, I decided that hey, what’s in a language barrier?
Well, as it turns out, not as much as you’d think. Admittedly, I’ve only managed to finish the first (and frighteningly short) dungeon, and most of my understanding as to what on earth is going on has come from this Game|Life report. Yet I’m still fairly impressed that I’ve stumbled (or staggered, or meandered) as far as I have.
The first thing I should mention is that this game is full of charm. The graphics are vivid and alive, easily making Tingle RPG the best looking 2D Zelda game yet. It dwarfs anything seen in Phantom Hourglass, in all its pixelated, boxy 3D glory. Because everything is so clear and vibrant, character oozes from both Tingle and his supporting cast. The cartoon style pioneered in The Wind Waker can only be recreated using sprites on the DS. Expression and diversity is the chef’s special, and Tingle RPG serves it up in its own fantastically bizarre style. You know a game’s special when you can recruit a green-skinned, purple-lipped bodyguard to help you through a dungeon, who whips out a colour-coordinated boom box to play that tune whenever you solve a puzzle. More than that, the game has a certain atmosphere that proves that even cold, heartless capitalism can provide a warm embrace: while listening to the birds as I walked through the seaside town, I realised that only the DS’s tinny speakers distinguished them from the happy singing outside my window.
As much as I’m falling in love with the game, there are certain things that bug me. My main point of contention is the ‘guess-my-price’ mechanic - the first thing I want to do after making out of a dungeon with exactly 1111 rupees is to run home and save my game, knowing full-well that a couple of wrong offers could decimate my balance (which doubles as Tingle’s life), but of course, my super-sized bodyguard gets stuck in the doorway on our way out. For some reason, he needs payment. His fair cut? I don’t know, but ultimately he can muster enough energy to force his way out the door. With the right offer. Somehow, he manages to siphon away failed offers, leaving me 200 rupees down, 100 short of the amount needed to make the money tower raise another level, bringing me that much closer to Rupee Paradise. I should have let the fat bugger rot - I wasn’t the one stuck in a door, and I certainly wasn’t coming back in a hurry. Another sore moment came in a room full of spikes that jut up from the ground as you walk near them. “Easy,” I thought, “just like in Zelda.” Well, in Zelda, you don’t have to contend with some truly awful collision detection, and I don’t remember bouncing between spikes, losing 8 rupees each time.
But no matter. These nit-picks are, while bloody annoying, hardly game-breaking. Like the language barrier, these quirks will be worked around because there’s so much awesome here. I’ve never understood Tingle, I don’t understand the game, I don’t understand the setting, what it’s trying to say to me, or why my guide is clearly a transvestite (but fantastic boob-job, you go girl), but I do understand that I want, nay, need to see everything there is of this game, to do all there is to do, and to eventually get Tingle into the paradise he deserves.
In Zelda news
Zelda Elements Interactive - Role Play
Huzzah! Salutations! The latest leg of the Zelda Elements Interactive beast has sprouted - the brand-new Role Play boards! Whether or not you’ve ever RP’ed before, we encourage you to try it. We’ve set up a board specifically for people who have never RP’ed, and our Role Play team will help out in any way they can. For those who are already avid RP’ers, you’ll be right at home. The boards provide both a scripted and free RP forum, so you can choose to embark on a written quest (which can be joined at any time) or to simply kick around the Inn, duel other players or have your own adventure. Rupees are handed out for successful role-playing, which can be spent on valuable items in Hyrule’s stores, which well help you in future quests.
Our first scripted expedition begins tomorrow, and you can sign up by creating a character. If you miss the group’s departure, you can still participate at any time. Adventurer’s can be found all over Hyrule, after all.
Wednesday 06 September 2006
In Zelda news
Oh man. Poor Sony. Since their E3 disaster (GIANT CRAB LOL), gamer’s confidence in their new PlayStation 3 system has slid week by week. Huge promises have been made about the system, what with the creation of extra dimensions and pre-rendered gameplay videos, and these promises have been broken at around the same rate as the loss of ports on the system’s rear. This morning, gaming forums across the world exploded when Sony announced that they were delaying the release of PS3 in every territory across the world bar Japan and North America, who would instead see drastically cut supplies. One day after SCEE announced the rollout of their marketing campaign for this Christmas, the Japanese branch pull the carpet from under their feet - they’ll have no new product until March 2007.
Now, usually we wouldn’t report on news like this because we’re a Zelda site, not a Sony-bashing Nintendo site. But I want to offer a response to people who are downplaying this move, citing the horrific PS2 launch as an example. The two situations are in no way comparable. By the time PS2 was released, it’s only released competitor (Dreamcast) was already dead in the water, and it would have the next-gen market to itself for another year and a half before the GameCube and Xbox came thundering over the hill. At this point in time, the Xbox 360 has made significant inroads in the American and British markets, mainland Europe knows of its existence, and Japan… well, I think they have Windows in Japan. Xbox 360 is playing for the same hardcore gamer market as the PS3, and demand sans supply for PS3 will drive American and British gamers to Microsoft’s collective this Christmas.
I’ve heard there’s another console coming out this Christmas, something called the Wii. Wii really will change everything, and it’s just been given a wide-open playing field to do so. As long as supply is good, a worldwide launch will absolutely crush Sony’s chances of succeeding in the upcoming generation. Nintendo DS is storming the mainland Europe and Japanese markets; they’ll eat the Wii up regardless of PS3. In Britain and America, the 360-owning hardcore looking for a little sum’in-sum’in this Christmas can’t escape the Wii60 effect, while the true successor to Western-favourite Ocarina of Time will ensure that Wii is taken seriously amongst Sony expatriates.
Both Nintendo and Microsoft are going to benefit immensely this Christmas - while Nintendo will blitz the DS non-gamer market anyway, it’s nice to know that the Zelda-flagship will have calm seas on which to sail. We only have a week to wait before we find out the full story about the Wii and Twilight Princess - an expose which could completely crush the competition. This may all sound like fanboy ramblings, and to a certain extent, it is. But this generation, Nintendo have something extremely special on their hands with Wii, and as sorry as I feel for fellow Europeans who were looking forward to PS3, I have to celebrate the fact that Zelda is now guaranteed to storm the world.
In Zelda news
Tingle’s Freshly-Picked Rose-Coloured Rupee Land
The latest issue of Rauru’s Return’s Harkinian Zelda zine will feature a comment by me saying that I didn’t know quite what to make of the game better known as Tingle RPG, and until such a time, I’d hold off covering it on this site. Well, I’ve since decided that I don’t think I’ll ever quite know what to make of the game, so instead, I’ll just cover it and let other people decide. Don’t mind the eye-blazing splash page - it doesn’t quite fit in with the site’s palette but I doubt the game will fit in with anyone’s palette. Quite suitable, then.
In Zelda news
Zelda Elements Interactive - Fan Fiction
They say pictures are worth 1000 words, which means that our Fan Art section is considerably larger than our brand new, empty, Fiction section. Which is where you come in! If you’re a Fan Fiction author, then sign up to Zelda Elements Interactive and be one of the first to display your work here.
Things have been slow here at Elements Towers. I haven’t seen the Captors in days, save the occasional delivery of food. Incidentally, Tater’s been joined by a couple of fresh faces, Roast and Mash. Roast comes across as quite hard, but I’m sure once you get inside he’s quite the softy, while Mash is just a sad sack. When Tater and I met the duo, Roast was quite clearly wearing the trousers - Mash just doesn’t show any signs of backbone. Still, I’ll be keeping an eye on the both of them. Not that recent scares have made me paranoid, but you can never be too careful…
Tuesday 05 September 2006
In Zelda news
Zelda Elements RSS Feed
While not exactly an edge-of-your-seat oh-my-god I-can’t-believe-what-I-am-currently-witnessing-with-my-bare-naked-eyes update, I do have a few trinkets to share after pottering about with the site’s back end. First up, and perhaps most excitingly, we now have a comments function, so when I say something particularly wonderful, or maybe particularly dreadful, you can click the bottom of each post and say “Hey. That was awesome/awful. I love/hate this site, and I love/hate you, Nexus Zero”. Which is a function I’m sure will never be abused. Well, no more than once-per-day thanks to our draconian flood-protection.
Monday 04 September 2006
In Zelda news
Zelda Elements Interactive - Forums
Those vile Captors! How dare they insult my work! After the blood sweat and tears that I unendingly poured into the design of the old forums, you’d think the pirates would show a little more respect. But when they came storming into my chamber, demanding an explanation as to why the forums looked the way they did, I had little choice but to embark on a redesign. Arms and legs a-quivering I slaved for… well, it was only about an hour but it seemed far longer under the constant shadow of their threats. The ever-peculiar Mash seemed to revel in my situation, poking fun at me in a doomed attempt to win brownie points with the Captors, though they didn’t seem to notice his sparring under the din of my frantic typing.
Anyway, the point of this… this thing, is that the forums are all nice and stuff and you should check them out. It’ll be oodles of fun! I guess.
Tuesday 22 August 2006
In Zelda news
Link: The Faces of Evil
Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon
The Zelda franchise has grown and matured like a human being. It was a difficult child on the NES - simple but stubborn. It grew a sense of humour during its adolescent years on Game Boy, and started to realise who it was as a young teenager on N64. It went a little bit insane at the age of 14 with Majora’s Mask, but we loved it anyway, and then as a lazy underperformer on GameCube we couldn’t decide whether it was showing cheeky charm or whether it was just “the hormones”. Now, as a young adult, its life has become slightly more complicated on Wii. But, as with any human being, there are times it would rather forget. With a serious tone it speaks of the “lost years” of its childhood, the horrific time when it was sold into slavery to an uncaring, incompetent master. This master forced the Zelda franchise into poor games that didn’t reflect its true personality. While the franchise has imprisoned the memories of these times into a dark box, locked away in the deepest, dankest area of its mind, details are surfacing that make for interesting reading.
While the franchise’s lowest point (Zelda’s Adventure) remains enigmatic, I’ve added fresh new media and details about the two Animation Magic instalments of the CDi Zelda games to their respective game pages.
The recent revelations that our very Wiimotes will become the Master Sword in Twilight Princess have led me to rethink a few things about an article I’m writing about the interactivity of the latest Zelda instalments in comparison to more open-ended games like Grand Theft Auto and The Elder Scrolls. It’s caused a bit of controversy; Nintendo originally scrapped the idea because testers were getting tired - poor things - and disgruntled fans are either crying “hypocrisy, sir!” or “jolly good show!” depending on their position.
My own stance is simple. If I had the opportunity to choose my method of death, it would certainly be through exhaustion from battling in Hyrule. Next time Link buries his sword in Ganon’s head, I want to feel physically, not just mentally, expired.