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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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Tuesday 28 June 2011

Iwata Asks About Ocarina of Time 3D #3 Available Now

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You know the drill about Iwata Asks. You also know that the interview series is currently hosting a collection of Ocarina of Time 3D interviews (if you don’t, look at the post below!) And thanks to this article, you now know that the third interview is now up!

This interview is with members of Grezzo, the team responsible for updating Ocarina of Time for the 3DS. It includes lots of interesting tidbits. For example, in order to keep the experience as similar to the original as possible, they actually strived to recreate some of the game’s original bugs! Now that’s dedication, albeit in a strange way.

You can read the interview here: http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/3ds/zelda-ocarina-of-time/3/0

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Monday 20 June 2011

Iwata Asks About Ocarina of Time 3D

In Zelda news

Nintendo fans may be familiar with the “Iwata Asks” interview series,m a long-running staple of the Nintendo website. The concept is simple: Nintendo head Satoru Iwata asks questions to Nintendo developers. You see where they get the name from? Clever!

It’s common for an interview to be put up for each big Nintendo game, and the release of Ocarina of Time 3D is no exception, having two separate interviews so far. Lots of interesting nuggets are revealed, including the fact that Ocarina of Time was originally going to be a first person game!

The first volume, concentrating on the music of the game, features an interview with long-time Zelda composer Koji Kondo, and Mahito Yokota. It can be viewed here: http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/3ds/zelda-ocarina-of-time/0/0

The second volume is focussed more on the development of the original Ocarina of Time, and features a roundtable of many of the original game staff, including, of course, Zelda director Eiji Aonuma. It can be viewed here: http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/3ds/zelda-ocarina-of-time/1/0

We’ll let you know when more are published!

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Sunday 19 June 2011

Ocarina of Time 3D Released

In Zelda news

Nintendo’s much-anticipated 3D remake, Ocarina of Time 3D, is now available in all regions (bar Australia, they unfortunately have to wait until the 30th). The reviews are almost as universally positive as the original Nintendo 64 game, with a Gamerankings score of 93.68%. From the sound of things, this is more than a cheap port, and definitely a remake worth buying.

Marketing for the game is well and truly underway. I have seen the (rather unremarkable) UK TV ad for it countless times. The American ad features Robin Williams, and his daughter, Zelda, who, yes, was named after the princess. I think that has something to do with why Nintendo hired them to advertise a Zelda game. Could be wrong, though.

I haven’t picked up a copy yet, personally. I’ll get ahold of one when I actually have the time to play it! Oh, quick tip: if you live in the UK, and you suddenly want a 3DS now that OOT3D is released, Morissons may be your best bet. You can get the console and game together for £200, which is a great deal.

Anyone got ahold of it? What do you think? Does it live up to the original, or spoil it? Let us know.

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Tuesday 07 June 2011

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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Thursday 26 May 2011

Another Ocarina of Time 3D Trailer

In Zelda news

Nintendo released a new, short trailer for Ocarina of Time 3D today, showing of three of the remake’s new features. You can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H-D0zsttCA

The first new feature showed off in the trailer is the inclusion of hint movies. These are movies similar to the Super Guide seen in recent Mario and Donkey Kong games, and essentially show stuck players how to proceed. This wisdom is imparted by Sheikah Stones scattered throughout the world.

The trailer also shows off the new touch screen item menu, which allows for quick and easy swapping of items, such as swapping boots when underwater (which Nintendo assumably included in the trailer to scream “LOOK! WE’VE MADE THE WATER TEMPLE EASIER, ALRIGHT?!”).

The final new feature included in the trailer is the “Boss Challenge” mode. This allows players to fight against previously beaten bosses once more. There was previously no way to do this, so it will be doubt be a welcome addition for fans who enjoy the boss battles.

And that wraps up the trailer. Will there be more new features revealed throughout the weeks in the run up to its release, or will there be some surprises left unannounced for the fans to discover? Will there be some new challenges in the game, such as bonus dungeons or mini-games? Nintendo are keeping tight-lipped, so we’ll need to wait and see.

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Tuesday 01 February 2011

New F4F Statuette (Again) - Dark Link!

In Zelda news

Expensive video game statuette makers First4Figures never seem to cease announcing new entries into their numerous collections, and today they have released shots of their most recent Zelda item, again a fan favourite - Dark Link. Their fifth variation on Link (excluding Wolf Link), you know the drill by now - the attention to detail is almost as large as the price, it comes in limited quantities, has an even more limited online exclusive with glowing eyes, and it won’t be out for ages.

The regular version, limited to 2,500 pieces, will set you back $169.99, and can be viewed and pre-ordered here: https://www.first4figures.com/component/option,com_myphp/Itemid,3/product,86/

The exclusive version is limited to 500 and will cost $20 more at $189.99. Get it here: https://www.first4figures.com/component/option,com_myphp/Itemid,3/product,87/

Both will be available in Q3 of this year. So, has the coolness-factor of Dark Link finally won you over to buy one of these?

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Thursday 28 October 2010

New Ocarina of Time 3D Footage

In Zelda news

The first footage of Ocarina of Time 3D has hit the web. Youtube user LOGICTOILET (I don’t know either) brings us this footage of the game. Unfortunately, it’s a “shakycam” recording (and thus has 3D blurring), and takes place while a Japanese man and woman (I don’t know who they are) at a Japanese place (I don’t know where they are) talk about the game (I don’t know what they’re saying). But it’s the first proper footage, so who’s complaining?

The woman has a run around Kokiri Forest as Young Link - the start of the game. At the times when the footage is not blurry, it looks very good. The game has had a major graphical polish, with the polygonal graphics and low frame rate of the original game gone. The game looks surprisingly smooth, and Link’s character model is impressive.

The game is out… oh, we don’t know yet. But I’m putting money on it launching alongside the 3DS next March.

View the footage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W68CPInmYc

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Wednesday 29 September 2010

First Ocarina of Time 3DS Footage Unveiled UPDATED: Screenshots

In Zelda news

Nintendo held their annual press conference in Japan today, and it came with lots of information about the 3DS (though, sadly, none about Skyward Sword that has been reported).

So, the 3DS. When is it coming out? February 26 2011 for Japan, and the less specific “March” for the west. How much will it cost? ¥25,000 in Japan (which equates to $300 or £190, though the western prices are always more expensive in practice). What games are coming out on it? Do I have a trailer for you.

The 3DS games montage trailer (which can be viewed at Kotaku here: http://kotaku.com/5650702/watch-almost-every-3ds-game-in-action) shows off the impressive range of games available, and their impressive graphics (but not their impressive 3D, for obvious reasons). One of the games shown is, yep, Ocarina of Time 3D.

Some footage from early in the game is included (Kokiri Forest and the first dungeon), which shows the game’s vastly improved graphics and character models, which we can only assume will look even cooler in 3D.

No word on whether the game will be launched alongside the console, or if we’ll have to wait a bit longer for it, but hopefully we’ll find out soon.

*UPDATE* Four new screenshots of the game have been released by Nintendo, giving a closer look at the updated Young Link, and more importantly, a look at the new touch-screen menu. Have a look here: http://kotaku.com/5650816/four-new-screens-from-ocarina-of-time-3ds/gallery/

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