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Tuesday 07 June 2011

Full Skyward Sword E3 Trailer

In Zelda news

The snippet of Skyward Sword footage we saw in the opening of Nintendo’s E3 press conference actually belongs to a full-length trailer, which Nintendo have just released! In it we see more of Link’s hometown, a floating island in the sky. We also get a hint of the plot: It seems that Link has what appears to be some form of female friend who is eaten by a big flying fish, and he kits up in the traditional green suit to go out to save her. We also get some more gameplay footage, showing some new environments. And the end of the trailer seems to confirm that instead of having a horse as your main mode of transport, you will be able to ride a flying bird! This matches up with cryptic comments Eiji Aonuma made a good while ago about wanting to include flying in the new game. So will this (literally) add an extra dimension to the world of Hyrule, or will it be on-rails or confined to certain areas? I suppose we’ll find out soon!

View the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rwGKsE1S5k

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Zelda at E3 - TONNES of News

In Zelda news

Well, Nintendo’s press conference has just finished, and while there has been lots of excitement about the announcement of the new Wii U console, and the 3DS games coming our way, there was another big player at the show: Zelda. The whole first segment of the event was dedicated to the franchise’s 25th anniversary, with the show opening with a montage of earlier Zelda games, leading up to some new Ocarina of Time 3D and Skyward Sword footage (the latter of which hints that Link will be able to ride a bird, and has some kind of lady-friend who gets swallowed by a giant fish), backed by a live orchestra!

Shigeru Miyamoto took to the stage, and fooled around with the orchestra as they played familiar jingles and melodies from the series. He then went on to make many, many announcements about Link’s anniversary year, all of which are bound to excite Zelda fans. Here they are:

Firstly, Skyward Sword will be released this holiday season. This will surprise very few, though some may have been hoping for an earlier release. Shigeru promised that the game is packed with content, and thinks it will be the most satisfying Zelda title yet. As Skyward Sword requires a Wii Remote Plus, and many players will be buying one just for Zelda, a special edition golden Zelda remote will be released alongside the game. Whether this is a pre-order bonus, or will be sold packaged with the game, or separately, we don’t know. I’m guessing it will probably be packaged with the game.

You may have noticed that Game Boy Color classic Link’s Awakening DX was missing from today’s Nintendo eShop launch, despite previous info hinting it would launch with the service. Well, you only have a matter of hours to wait before getting your hands on everyone’s favourite handheld Zelda, as it will be available by the end of the day. Nintendo obviously wanted to incite warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia to all who watched the conference before making many people’s first experience with Zelda available once more. Marketing!

Nintendo also announced that, as a free download, multiplayer Zelda title Four Swords will be available on the DSi (and assumably 3DS, too). They didn’t specify whether this was a port of the original GBA game, or an entirely new adventure. Whatever it is, it will be available for free download in September. Pretty generous!

Now this is where things get really interesting. Nintendo have announced that there will be actual Zelda 25th Anniversary events, that you can actually physically go to! To start things off, there will be a series of Zelda symphony concerts throughout the world this year. Assuming they stick to the standard format for these events, you can expect a live orchestra playing classic Zelda melodies, with footage from the games on a big screen above the orchestra. No specific dates or locations were announced, but they were confirmed to take place in Japan, America and Europe during the fall (that’s “Autumn” for people like me in the UK). I’d guess that the concerts will take place in select big cities (i.e. Tokyo, London, L.A. etc.) rather than a full world tour, but I could be wrong. Nintendo will also release two Zelda CDs this year, something which is rarely done outside of Japan. The Ocarina of Time 3D Official Soundtrack will be available for those who are first to register their copy of the game with Club Nintendo, and there will also be a CD based on the anniversary concerts (assumably a recording of the show) which will be released in conjunction with Skyward Sword.

Finally, Shigeru announced there will be “other activities”, but didn’t specify further. There’s more? After all that? Us Zelda fans sure are in for a busy year!

Shigeru ended the Zelda segment by bringing some key figures from Zelda’s history, purely so they could be applauded. Takashi Tezuka, Yoshiaki Koizumi and Zelda director Eiji Aonuma were called up front for a round of applause. But then Shigsy pulled the “it’s all about the fans”, and thanked us for their support throughout the 25 years, giving us all a wee round of applause. Charming!

But wait! There was even more Zelda! In the announcement trailer for Nintendo’s new home console, the Wii U (featuring the much-rumoured touch-screen controller), a very short clip of a gorgeous looking HD Zelda game was shown. It featured Link fighting a huge spider in a huge temple. The user could swap their equipped weapons using the touch screen on the controller. As the footage wasn’t given a name, it may just be a concept and not a game in itself, but it shows quite nicely what the system is capable of, and what future Zelda games on the title could look like.

And that’s all the Zelda we got at this year’s Nintendo presser! LOADS. I actually had to watch the thing through again to make sure I didn’t miss anything. It will certainly be a big year for Zelda, and a big year for the fans. Thank you Nintendo for making my job hard. And thank you for giving us plenty to look forward to.

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Two New OOT3D Commercials - One in 3D!

In Zelda news

Well, Nintendo’s E3 press conference will be underway in a number of hours, and to gear up for it, they have released a couple of teasers for Ocarina of Time 3D.

The first you can watch right here, right now. It is the official US commercial for the game, featuring some new pre-rendered footage of some of the key plot moments in the game. You can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFuzClAvAJ0

The second one, well, you’ll need to get out your 3DS, install the latest system update, and go to the new Nintendo eShop. There you will find a short, but fully 3D trailer! If you haven’t played the game at an expo, this will be your first 3D experience of the game, so it’s well worth a look. If you don’t have a 3DS, well, you miss out for now. But then you can’t play OOT3D anyway, so it’s probably best you don’t hype yourself up for something you can’t play!

There are also two free apps for download from the store - Pokedex 3D, and Excitebike 3D (which is only free for today, so get a move on!)

Nintendo are bound to announce more Zelda info at their conference, particularly about Skyward Sword, so stay tuned for a writeup directly after the show.

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Friday 03 June 2011

Zelda 25th Anniversary Celebrations at E3?

In Zelda news

You may have noticed that Zelda turned 25 this year. But there’s also a big chance that you didn’t notice, as Nintendo pretended not to, with not a single mention of the legendary franchise’s major milestone on the day. With two new Zelda games coming out this year, you’d think Nintendo would want to give this landmark some kind of recognition, right?

Right!

It looks like Nintendo will be announcing plans for the celebrations at E3. This announcement has been leaked in the most obscure of forms - an E3 lanyard posted on Twitpic by Masahiro Sakurai (i.e. Mr Smash Bros). The pretty piece of ribbon seems to confirm two things - Skyward Sword will be at E3 in some form (duh), and there will be some 25th Anniversary News. You can see the lanyard here: http://twitpic.com/55wqbk

So what will these celebrations entail? We’ll find out in only a handful of days, at E3.

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Thursday 12 August 2010

Skyward Sword to Supposedly Show at Game-Scom

In Zelda news

Gamescom, Germany’s E3, is coming. People have paid more attention to it in recent years, so there have been more and more major titles appearing at the event. Nintendo will be there, and among a whole slew of games will be Skyward Sword. Will there be some new footage or a new demo, or will it be the same demo that was at E3? Who knows. Wait and see.

Want to see the whole list of games featuring at the event and their European release dates? What a coincidence! I’ve posted them right below this sentence.

Art Academy: Learn Painting and Drawing Techniques with Step-by-Step Training (Nintendo DS) - Released
Metroid: Other M (Wii) - 3rd September 2010
Tetris Party Deluxe (Wii & Nintendo DS) - 3rd September 2010
Wii Party (Wii) - 8th October 2010
Professor Layton and the Lost Future (Nintendo DS) - 22nd October 2010
Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii) - 2010
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (Nintendo DS) - 2010
Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii) - Q1 2011
Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Miniland Mayhem (Nintendo DS) - Q1 2011
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii) - 2011

Gamescom begins on the 18th of August. Just a week away. See you then!

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Friday 09 July 2010

Truth Phones!

In Community

Hello, how are you all doing? Coping with the lack of E3 news? Here’s something to tide you over.

In my opinion, Mega64 are very much hit-and-miss. But their interpetation of this year’s E3 is very much a hit - I laughed out loud at the end. If I say too much, I’ll spoil it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaMyMCVg28I

And yes, it is Zelda-related!

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Wednesday 16 June 2010

Nintendo’s E3 Roundtable - Loads of New Info Announced *UPDATED*

In Zelda news

It’s tradition every year for Nintendo to host a roundtable conference at E3, where developers of the recently-announced titles discuss and expand on them. This year, among others, Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s famed game designer, and Eiji Aonuma, who having directed pretty much every Zelda title since Majora’s Mask, is the most important man in Zelda today, were attending to discuss, you guessed it, Zelda.

So what was revealed? Lots. So here’s a quick recap about went on.

First, some plot details were revealed. In previous titles, Link has been everything from a ranch worker, to an island dweller, to a forest lurker. This Link comes from the sky. He’s an inhabitant of the floating island Skyloft. When we meet him in the game, he discovers that there is a whole new land below his feet, and finds it rife with evil. During the game you’ll travel between Skyloft and this land below (Hyrule?). This adds some meaning to the game’s title, and also the skydiving Link in the trailer. It also may have something to do with Aonuma’s hint from a few months ago that the game will feature flight.

The new art style, and its inspiration, were discussed. Miyamoto revealed that he found inspiration in nineteenth-century impressionism - the likes of Monet, as he claimed to be a fan of the art from that era. He said it not only affects the backgrounds, but the enemies, who have exaggerated dimensions and movements. The lush sky is a tribute to Cézanne. You’ll have to excuse my ignorance, as I have no idea who Cézanne is.

They also discussed the soundtrack, which you’ll be glad to hear is going to be fully orchestrated for the first time in the series. Miyamoto said that after Mario Galaxy 2, it wouldn’t be right not to do the same for Zelda.

Some gameplay aspects were expanded upon, too. The screen-consuming Wiimote HUD which was permanently attached to the side of the screen in the demo can be turned off, so hooray for that. They also said that maps will be easier to follow, as they felt previous games used maps which were difficult to read. Finally, they mentioned that the game will use MotionPlus and the sensor bar to track the player’s actions, even if you’re pointing away from the screen.

They also shed some light on the mysterious Ocarina of Time screenshots that appeared out of the blue yesterday. Miyamoto acknowledged them, and said that they were having a look through their back catalogue for titles that could use a 3DS version, by adding new features or simply giving them an extra dimension. Referring to Ocarina of Time, he said he enjoys the openness of Hyrule Field, and wanted to see how it looked in 3D. He confirmed that the game, and Star Fox 64 3D aren’t just tech demos, but they are being “actively developed”. Whether that development will result in a game on store shelves remains to be seen, but after revealing so much, I don’t think the fans will let them get away with not doing it!

And lastly, in reference to the remake, Aonuma revealed possibly the best news of all. He admitted that the game’s Water Temple stage was tremendously difficult (if you found it easy, you’re lying), and said that the new game could be improved by making it easier. He mentioned the touch screen could make the ability to change boots quicker and easier. Hear that? The Water Temple is going to be easier. Playing Ocarina of Time won’t make you bald.

*UPDATE* The existence of Ocarina of Time 3D has now pretty much been officially confirmed, thanks to this handy tweet from the official Nintendo twitter account: http://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/16268409393
So you can look forward to your 3D classic!

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Tuesday 15 June 2010

First Skyward Sword screenshots

In Zelda news

NeoGAF forumer Cygnus X-1 has gone through the trouble of downloading and resizing the screenshots from Nintendo’s E3 media pack, which we’re uploading here. The game looks absolutely fantastic, a real return to form and this time playing to the strengths of the Wii hardware.

Rumours are abound that Nintendo are also planning on releasing an Ocarina of Time 3DS remake because of some screenshots found on their E3 press site. Now, these screenshots are definitely real, so the question remains, is it a full game or just a tech demo?

The screenshots are beautiful but also fairly sparse, with Link so far only shown riding around Hyrule field. It’s also odd that Nintendo haven’t yet said anything about this as yet.

Edit: It’s confirmed! A full 3D remake! Awesome E3.

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Is This Ocarina of Time 3D?

In Zelda news

After the little hint about a Zelda 3DS game at Nintendo’s E3 press conference, we knew that a Zelda game would be coming out on the platform. But did we expect news so soon? A set of six images have unexpectedly and unexplainably popped up on Nintendo’s E3 site, and they look very much like a graphically enhanced Ocarina of Time. Could this be a 3DS title? If so, it means we’ll be experiencing what is often thought of as the series’ highest point in portable form, and in full 3D. That’s pretty exciting!

We’re still working on the new site, so we can’t share the screenshots with you here, but one of the many places you can view them is on Kotaku, here: http://kotaku.com/5564395/rumor-3ds-gets-ocarina-of-time-remake/gallery/

Thanks to Nate for telling me about this!

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3DS - Zelda Confirmed

In Zelda news

While Nintendo showed off the next title in the Zelda franchise at their press conference, it was the reveal of the 3DS that really stole the show. A new DS with a glasses-free 3D, widescreen top screen, vastly improved graphics, a motion sensor, a gyro sensor, a 3D camera, so you can take photos in 3D, an anologue stick… it goes on. And if that wasn’t enough of a bombshell as it was, president Satoru Iwata showed off the first 3DS game - a new Kid Icarus title, which fans have been demanding for years (view the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWp2MXmFRnQ). Nintendo really ended the show with a bang. While the console doesn’t have a release date yet, their swiss army knife of a handheld is officially in the wanted list of many a gamer.

But one of the smaller hints about the console was in this wacky “trailer” for the console It involves Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto getting sucked into a DS and getting chased by Bowse… actually, you’re never going to believe me, you need to watch it for yourself (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oLvWE7xUAM). Notice the Zelda imagery? I think we can assume that there will be a Zelda game for it. Well, that goes without saying, but this counts as a semi-confirmation of that fact. Is the game being worked on right now? The 3DS is still a while away, so we will need to wait to find out.

So, who wants a 3DS? I do.

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