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:
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:

Thanks to Nate for telling me about this!

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