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Thursday 12 January 2012

What? Content?

In Site updates

Hey, gang, Sponge here.  I recently beat Hero Mode in Skyward Sword and decided to write a review, which you can now find in that game’s page.  I also shelled out a bunch of Christmas money to pick up the Zelda Special Edition 3DS bundle, so I may whip up something for Ocarina 3D in the coming weeks.  I really miss this stuff and would love to get back into making content updates, but the extra free time I’ve been allowing myself to have these past weeks is going to have to come to an end soon as I turn my attentions back to finding a better form of employment.  At any rate, enjoy the review.

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Wednesday 09 November 2011

Zelda-Themed 3DS For Release In Europe

In Zelda news

In what is (I think) the first themed 3DS, Nintendo of Europe are releasing a stylish black, Zelda-themed 3DS. It has the famous Triforce logo on the centre, and a golden pattern around the edges, with ocarinas and harps at the corners. It will be bundled with, what else, Ocarina of Time 3D, and will be out on the 25th of November. Unfortunately, it seems that it will only be released in Europe for the time being, but it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world gets some form of Zelda 3DS, if not exactly the same design.

View images of the new model at Kotaku here: http://kotaku.com/5857367/check-out-this-stunning-black-zelda+themed-3ds/gallery/1

P.S. Remember to keep up-to-date with the Iwata Asks: Skyward Sword interview series. Read the latest volumes here: http://www.nintendo.co.uk/NOE/en_GB/news/iwata/iwata_asks_the_legend_of_zelda_skyward_sword_45404_45405.html

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Friday 04 November 2011

New Skyward Sword Trailer Shows Off Lanaryu Desert

In Zelda news

Nintendo are really building up the hype for the release of the newest Zelda game, and have released yet another trailer. This time the trailer focusses on a new area: the Lanaryu Desert. I would tell you more, but I’m personally avoiding any more trailers to avoid spoiling the game for myself. This doesn’t mean you can’t watch the trailer, though. It’s here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkpq7kJRiQ8

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Monday 31 October 2011

Robin and Zelda Williams Return For Skyward Sword

In Zelda news

I was right! I predicted the future! I don’t care if it was painfully obvious, I was right! Nintendo have continued their stream of TV Zelda adverts, featuring Robin Williams, and his daughter, Zelda. This time it’s for the upcoming Skyward Sword. Here at Zelda Elements we tell you the FUTURE.

As always, you will either love it or hate it. Right now, the only version that exists online is subtitled in a language I don’t recognise, so you’ll have to make do with it for now (not that it detracts much). Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZWzq1nX1iI

What’s next for Zelda, you ask us, having proved our fortune-telling abilities? Well, faithful readers, the next, currently unannounced Zelda game will be on a NINTENDO console. Fancy that!

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Friday 28 October 2011

New Skyward Sword Trailer Actually Shows New Stuff

In Zelda news

As we edge ever closer to the release of Skyward Sword, Nintendo have released another trailer for the game. Unlike the previous trailer, it actually shows new footage, and isn’t just a re-edited version of things we’ve largely seen before. Like the previous trailer (in fact, like ALL trailers), it has exactly the same music, the Zelda’s-Lullaby-in-reverse Skyward Sword theme. I suppose for some reason, Nintendo want us to be sick of it before it releases…

The “Origins” trailer is largely cutscene-based, and shows lots of new environments, characters, and creatures. View it exclusively at GameTrailers here: http://www.gametrailers.com/video/exclusive-origins-zelda-skyward/723205

Skyward Sword releases in just three weeks time. Are you excited? I will be, but I need to stop being excited for Sonic Generations first (which is out in under a week, just sayin’, folks. What do you mean I should write for a Sonic site instead?)

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Wednesday 26 October 2011

Iwata Asks About Skyward Sword *UPDATED…AGAIN*

In Zelda news

Proving once again that he is a very curious chappie, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is once again interviewing Nintendo employees about the games wot they made. And this time, it’s Skyward Sword.

The five-page interview with the creators of the game, including producer Eiji Aonuma, is full of insight into the creative process behind the game, and of course, features Iwata finding things very amusing (laughs).

Read it here: http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/wii/zelda-skyward-sword/0/0

*UPDATE* The second part is now out: http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/wii/zelda-skyward-sword/1/0

*UPDATE 2.0* Report from the Sponge: Volume 3 is out: http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/wii/zelda-skyward-sword/2/0.  Hmmm…I previously hi-jacked the news job and now a whole story.  What’s next?!?!?!

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Friday 21 October 2011

Mario to Use Zelda Weapon in Super Mario 3D Land

In Zelda news

Let’s talk about Mario for a few minutes. No, we’re not becoming Mario Elements, but Mario seems just as keen to celebrate Link’s 25th as much as we are. Nintendo already announced at E3 that a level in the upcoming 3DS game, Super Mario 3D Land, would feature a top-down dungeon level to honour Zelda, but it seems it doesn’t end there. Mario is getting a Zelda-inspired powerup!

Alongside Mario’s famous standard powerups, Mario is getting a Boomerang powerup, where he has the ability to, wait for it, throw a boomerang! Nintendo claims this is another nod to Zelda.

Sounds like Mario and Link are pals after all, despite punching the crap out of each other in Smash Bros. Who knows - will there be more Zelda nods in the final game? We’ll have to wait and see. My brother will be buying it and stealing my 3DS to play it - the cheek - so maybe I’ll have a shot to find out.

View a screenshot of the boomerang powerup here: http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/kotaku/2011/10/mariotop_01.jpg

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Friday 14 October 2011

Fan-Made 25th Anniversary Cartoons

In Zelda news

For Zelda’s 25th anniversary, Nintendo asked DSi and DSiXL owners to create their own Zelda cartoons using the in-built Flipnote Studio software. For cartoons designed on a DS touch screen, you may expect them to be quite static or not so detailed. You would be wrong! The fans have made some quite impressive shorts, and you can view the best of them at Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/5849773/zelda-fans-made-these-incredible-cartoons-on-a-ds/gallery/1

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Sunday 02 October 2011

Quick Thoughts on Four Swords Anniversary Edition

In Opinions

I spent my Saturday playing Nintendo’s free anniversary gift for Zela fans, Four Swords Anniversary Edition. It was a strange announcement to make - that Nintendo were upgrading and re-releasing a game that was originally a short multiplayer extra included with Link to the Past on GBA, but it makes sense if you think about it. Very few people got the chance to play the original, as you needed a copy of the game for each player and a link cable. I almost managed to play it with my friend until it became apparent that for some reason I owned an Australian copy of the game, and my copy and his copy wouldn’t communicate. But this seems like the right time to retry things, as we’re now in the age of wireless handheld communication, there’s now a single player mode and, well, it’s free, so anyone with a DSi or 3DS can get ahold of it. But how does it hold up, and is it worth your time?

I played the game on single player mode, and really enjoyed it. The original game is intact, which takes around two and a half hours for a single playthrough. It’s good fun, encourages replay, and is the perfect Zelda game for a train journey. Where things really get interesting, though, is the “Realm of Memories”, which is unlocked when you complete the game for the first time. Here there are three dungeons, in the visual style of Link to The Past, Link’s Awakening and the original Zelda. These are essentially replicas of various sections of the games (e.g. Hyrule Castle in LttP), with layout changes to convert them into Four Swords dungeons (think Master Quest-style). These are a joy to play for any long-term Zelda fan, and seeing the Four Sword Links retrofitted as Game Boy sprites was one of the highlights for me. These dungeons alone will take you about two and a half to three hours to play through, so already the length of the original game is doubled.

But this is where the fun ends. Collect 30,000 rupees and you unlock the Hero’s Trials - three extra dungeons - and these are TOUGH. You may be able to get through the first one on single player, but I found the second one to be a brick wall. It’s not that the puzzles are hard, but these dungeons throw particularly menacing waves of enemies in quick succession, and these can easily lead to a quick death. And throw in the fact that these can take over an hour to get through, with no checkpoints, and they become incredibly frustrating on single player (especially considering the hardest fights are right at the end). It’s clear these were designed for multi-player, where I imagine they’d be considerably easier. Also, unlocking the second and third endings is more difficult in single player, as they involve collecting 3000 and 5000 rupees in each of the original game’s dungeons. In single player, this is a very monotonous task, involving waiting for enemies to respawn to fight them for their rupees. At the end of the day, despite Nintendo adding a single player mode, it’s clear there are sections of the game that just aren’t meant for single player, and that’s a shame.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check it out if you don’t have any Zelda-loving friends. The original game is still a lot of fun, the Realm of Memories is a nostaglia-filled thrill, and, hey, it’s free! It’s short in length, but perfect for a rainy day, and providing you know when to stop playing due to the difficulty spike, you can have a great time with it. Props to Nintendo for giving this away.

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Wednesday 28 September 2011

Four Swords Anniversary Edition Now Available

In Zelda news

If you are the owner of a DSi or 3DS, you might want to check DSi Shop or eShop, as Nintendo’s free gift to Zelda fans, Four Swords Anniversary Edition, is now available for download. The game, an enhanced version of the GBA game bundled with A Link To The Past, features a new single player mode (the absence of which in the original version is probably the reason you’ve never played it). It also has exclusive levels done in the visual style of the original Zelda and Link’s Awakening. And it’s free!

If you’ve read this far, what is wrong with you? FREE ZELDA! GO!

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