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Friday 21 October 2011

Link Makes Unrealistic Dressing Room Demands For 25th Anniversary Concert

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You may be wondering why on earth I just typed that headline. Link is fictional! He won’t be attending any of the the 25th Anniversary Concerts. But that hasn’t stopped Nintendo from having some fun, leading to hilarity in the process.

The first Western date for the Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Tour is tomorrow, in LA, and Nintendo have submitted a “contract rider” to the venue, the Pantages Theatre, letting them know just what the concert’s main star, Link, requires in his dressing room (or rather, dressing rooms - he wants three). This includes fairy fountains, two gallons of Lon Lon Milk, and a secret room, reachable only by bombing a wall. Also, no octoroks, stalfos, moblins or skullturas are allowed anywhere near the venue (aside from golden skullturas - they come in handy). Link sure is a bit of a diva…

The whole thing is hilarious, and a great piece of viral marketing from Nintendo. There are only three concerts scheduled for this year - Japan (in the past), the LA show, and London (on the 25th of October). But Nintendo have promised to put the show on tour next year, so hopefully you will be able to see it at a venue near you.

View (and laugh at) the contract rider here: http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/kotaku/2011/10/308165_229086483819156_170177419710063_610086_1833413079_n.jpg

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Tuesday 13 September 2011

Zelda News from Nintendo’s TGS Conference

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It’s that time of year again, where “Japan’s E3”, the Tokyo Game Show, kicks into gear, and we get the usual slew of press conferences and game demos on the show floor. And kicking the thing off this year was Nintendo’s press conference.

First off, some news about Skyward Sword. Miyamoto took to the stage and claimed that the game would take 50-100 hours to complete. That’s huge! I’m inclined to believe he may be slightly exaggerating here, but we can rest assured that Skyward Sword will certainly be a meaty adventure. The game will also feature a helper mode, as seen in recent Mario and Donkey Kong games, and the recent Ocarina of Time 3D, which will give you hints in beating a puzzle if you get stuck. Saves the trips to GameFAQs, I suppose!

Miyamoto also showed off a demo of the game, but not much has been reported about that. Let us know if you find some sources that explain what was shown. In the meantime, there has been some new gameplay footage released to tide you over. Check out the footage towards the end of this new Zelda history video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulaSHjVxfuU) and this exclusive skydiving clip revealed by GameInformer (http://www.gameinformer.com/games/the_legend_of_zelda_skyward_sword/b/wii/archive/2011/09/12/exclusive-video-flying-to-eldin-volcano.aspx). *UPDATE* Here is video footage of the whole Zelda segment of the conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StXfwq4GU3g The Skyward Sword stuff starts at around six minutes. We see countless new environments, bosses, and… the return of Beedle.

Secondly, more information about this new Four Swords was revealed, which will be given away for free download for the DSi/3DS, starting September 28 to February 20. The game, titled “Four Swords: Anniversary Edition”, appears to be an upgraded version of the GBA game (NOT the completely separate Gamecube game, as many are reporting), and has new features such as a new single player mode (the original was multiplayer only), and stages in the visual styles of the original NES Zelda, and the Gameboy game, Link’s Awakening. For a free gift, this is pretty cool! Now all I need to do is find three DSi/3DS owning friends, pronto! View the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iX7B6WnS4w

One final piece of information, between October 3 and February 20, select retailers will be seling prepaid 3DS cards with an image Link fighting Ganon. No news if these are Japan-only or will have a wider release.

Nintendo are certainly going all-out for Zelda’s birthday. The first main new game in five years, a free game for all DSi/3DS owners, a symphony tour, and even small things like Zelda-themed 3DS cards. It’s a busy year for Zelda!

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Monday 29 August 2011

Golden Zelda Wii Remote Plus, CD, To Be Bundled With Skyward Sword

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Looking forward to Skyward Sword? Aren’t we all. But isn’t there something in the way of you playing it? Say, a Wii Remote? More specifically, a Wii Remote Plus? You need one to play the game, and as there hasn’t really been any great games that use the upgraded controller (which has the same functionality as a Wii Motion Plus extension, only built into the remote), this may finally be the time that you lay down the cash for your own. Well, the money-grabbers at Nintendo are way ahead of you.

Nintendo are releasing a special edition of Skyward Sword, featuring the golden, Zelda-themed Wii Remote Plus we saw at their E3 press conference. It will set you back $70, if you live in the US. Problem solved! Now not only will you be able to experience 1:1 sword motion, you can do it with 100% more Zelda in your right hand. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be an accompanying golden nunchuck, so you’ll have to put up with clashing colours. Sorry, perfectionists.

Also, the first run of both versions of Skyward Sword will contain a CD featuring music from the Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Tour (also mentioned at E3). Certainly a nice, free extra!

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Sunday 21 August 2011

Zelda Symphony Tour London Date Announced

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In news that completely slipped under my radar (sorry), Nintendo recently announced a London date for their 25th Anniversary Symphony Tour. Previously thought to have only one 2011 date (in Los Angeles), Nintendo have confirmed that there will instead be three 2011 dates, with the second in London and the third in a yet-to-be-announced European country, before the show goes on tour properly in 2012.

The London date will be on the 25th of October at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo, and prices range from £38.50 to an extortionate £110.50 VIP ticket, which includes a meet-and-greet with the stars of the show (presumably including Zelda composer Koji Kondo?) You can buy tickets here: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/36004702D26C5B5D

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Thursday 21 July 2011

Zelda 25th Anniversary Tour: First Date Announced, Then Becomes 26th Anniversary Tour

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Good news! The first date for Zelda’s 25th Anniversary Symphony Tour has been announced, and it’s October 21st, at the Pantages Theatre in L.A. Bad news! The tour is subsequently being postponed until 2012, missing the 25th anniversary entirely. Nintendo didn’t give any reason for the delay of the tour, set to travel through the US, Japan and Europe. So if you were looking forward to some live orchestrated versions of the classic Zelda melodies, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a bit longer. Unless you like in L.A.

If you want to get tickets to the L.A. show, you can buy them here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0B0046F3F2235ED2

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Sunday 19 June 2011

Zelda-themed Level in Super Mario 3DS

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It appears that one more Zelda-related nugget of info was revealed at E3, which was mostly overlooked in the wake of the many announcements.

At Nintendo’s E3 roundtable conference, the new Super Mario game for 3DS (appropriately titled Super Mario 3DS) was shown off. But the game has a treat for Zelda fans: the developers announced that in honour of Zelda’s 25th anniversary, a Zelda-themed level would feature. This takes the form of a top-down dungeon with individual, fixed-camera rooms, a format taken from the earliest Zelda games. In one of the rooms, Mario had to throw fireballs at its corners to open a locked door, which sounds like a very Zelda-esque puzzle.

This is just a single level in the game, but it sounds like it might be enough to encourage Zelda fans to buy the game. Well, is it working? Do you want it now?

You can see a brief clip of the level here: http://uk.kotaku.com/5811152/heres-a-look-at-the-zelda-tribute-level-in-super-mario-3ds

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Wednesday 08 June 2011

Eiji Aonuma’s Skyward Sword Demo Shows Dousing Mode, Mirror World

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So, Skyward Sword may have been playable at the E3 show floor, but would you believe that it doesn’t end there? At Nintendo’s E3 roundtable, Eiji Aonuma showed off some exclusive gameplay, demonstrating some of the new features in this new incarnation of Zelda.

The first demo he showed demonstrated “dousing mode”. In this demo, Link must search for five pieces of a key buried by mole-like enemies (named “Mogmas”). To find the pieces, Link must use “Dousing Mode”. In this mode, a first-person view is taken with Link’s sword in the middle of the screen. Link can then move the sword to identify where the pieces are - identified by increasing beeping. Kind of like a metal detector! When Link finds the pieces, he can dig them up using a special pair of gloves.

The second demo Aonuma showed off demonstrated something more interesting. It seems that there is some kind of alternative world in the game, similar to the dark world of A Link to the Past. The demo took place in the Mushroom Hill-like area from the E3 demo last year, but with a twist. Striking Link’s sword into the ground morphed the surroundings into a bleaker, more abstract world, littered with living statues named Guardians. Link can’t use his sword in this mode - it’s stuck in the ground, so he’s helpless against the Guardians. The aim in this mode is to collect a number of green orbs, and there are also tear-shaped items which freeze the guardians for a certain amount of time. It sounds fairly similar to gameplay from the two DS titles, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, which also has you avoiding scary statues to collect items.

Well, we certainly know a lot about this new game now! What do you think? Excited? I think I am.

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So what is the Skyward Sword E3 demo like?

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Well, with the press conferences wrapped up, E3 is well underway. And that means one thing: game demos. The show floor is littered with demo pods, allowing the lucky few who got an invite to test out the latest games before they’re released. Skyward Sword is no exception, and at the Nintendo booth, there are not one, not two, but three different demos to play through!

Personally, I am not at E3. I’m pretty much at the other side of the world right now. So I haven’t had the chance to play these demos. But I do know what they entail!

The first demo is a flying demo. Showing a small piece of the plot, it takes place on Link’s hometown (homeisland?), and showed off the new flying mechanic. Link, in regular villagers’ gear, yet to don the famous Peter Pan costume, takes part in the “birdrider’s ceremony”. He, and two others (including Zelda, who doesn’t seem to be a princess in this incarnation - at least at the beginning), must ride their birds to catch up with a golden bird and steal a golden statue from its claws. The bird is Wii Motion Plus controlled.

The second demo is a dungeon demo, and showed off some of the weapons available in the game, such as the flying beetle. The last demo was a boss battle, against an enemy called Ghirahim - a fast-paced opponent which requires lots of quick moves and dodging to beat.

Well, I can’t really tell you any more as I haven’t actually played the demos! But lots of people have, and they can tell you much more. For example, Gamespot has a nice writeup here: http://e3.gamespot.com/story/6318187/e3-2011-the-legend-of-zelda-skyward-sword-preview/

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Shigeru Miyamoto to Skyward Sword Developers: Make the Best Zelda Game Ever, or No More Zelda

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Yes, that is apparently the demand that Shigeru has made of those poor unfortunate souls making the next Zelda game. At Nintendo’s traditional E3 roundtable, held a few hours after their press conference, Shigeru claimed that he has told the team working on Zelda (and the team working on Starfox 3DS) that if Skyward Sword isn’t the best Zelda game ever, he’s axing the series.

I don’t think this is really cause for concern. There’s no way Nintendo would kill one of their best franchises due to one poor game. But it shows the dedication and perfectionism that is behind the development of the new game. I think we can be assured that we are going to have another classic on our hands here!

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Tuesday 07 June 2011

Footage of Zelda Wii U Tech Demo

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Gaming blog Kotaku have posted a video of the Zelda Wii U tech demo shown briefly during Nintendo’s E3 conference, confirming that, yes, it is just a tech demo and not a full game. Intended to show off the graphical power of the new console, the demo plays out footage of Link fighting a giant spider. The player can change the lighting and camera angle (to prove it’s not a prerendered video), overlay a map on screen and move the video onto the controller’s touch screen. It certainly looks impressive, and while it’s not a game in itself, we can be sure that whenever Zelda hits this new console (and it certainly won’t be for a while), it will look pretty amazing.

See the video here: http://uk.kotaku.com/5809555/zelda-games-on-wii-u-could-look-this-stunning

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