Wednesday 26 October 2011
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?!?!?!
Tuesday 13 September 2011
In Zelda news
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!
Sunday 03 July 2011
In Zelda news
Remember the Zelda Wii U tech demo on display at E3? It looked stunning, and showed off a taster of how Zelda might look and play on the system. Can we expect a Zelda game on that console to look similar, whenever it happens to be released? Well, Wired talked to series director Eiji Aonuma about the demo, and he had this to say:
“You probably remember that when we introduced the GameCube, we showed a somewhat realistic Zelda demo (...) And what we actually created was the cel-shaded Wind Waker. So when we show a graphic demo, people think, ‘Oh, this is what the next Zelda will look like,’ but that’s not necessarily the case.”
So he seems to be hinting that we shouldn’t be confident that the first Zelda game on Wii U will have a realistic art style, as the tech demo does. Some fans did that before, and things certainly got ugly when The Wind Waker turned up on their doorstep…
Aonuma talks a bit more about the game in the full article (also featuring an interview with Mario producer Yoshiaki Koizumi), which you can read here: http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2011/07/wii-u-mario-zelda/all/1
Tuesday 28 June 2011
In Zelda news
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
Monday 20 June 2011
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!
Wednesday 08 June 2011
In Zelda news
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.
In Zelda news
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!
Tuesday 07 June 2011
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.
Saturday 14 August 2010
In Zelda news
Okay, I have a confession to make. I just spent half an hour summarising an interview with Zelda director Eiji Aonuma about Skyward Sword in Nintendo Power. It was witty and insightful and wonderful. Then I clicked submit, and my connection died. The article was lost. I do not have another half hour to spare. So, will you forgive me just this once if I just link you to another site’s summary? Honestly, the effort was all there, but it was wasted thanks to a terrible connection. So… here’s the link.
Thursday 22 July 2010
In Zelda news
The timeline. Mention it in any Zelda forum, and no matter what you’ve all been talking about, the subject will change into a heated debate about which game comes where, or whether there even is one. Try it and see for yourself! Luckily, series director Eiji Aonuma has come to set us right. Sort of.
In an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine, he had the following to say:
“Yes there is a master timeline but its confidential document! The only people to have access to that document are myself, Mr. Miyamoto and the director of the title. We cant share it with anyone else! I have already talked to Mr. Miyamoto about this so I am comfortable in releasing this information – this title [Skyward Sword] takes place before Ocarina of Time. if I said that a certain title was ‘the first Zelda game’, then that means that we cant ever make a title that takes place before that! So for us to add titles to the series, we have to have a way of putting the titles before or after each other.”
So, there you have it. There is a timeline, but we’re never going to see it. That’s not exactly going to stall any arguments. But still, he does state that Skyward Sword will be set before Ocarina of Time, which a lot of people see as the first in the series. That should be interesting, if only to see it affects people’s vastly-varying theories. Thanks, Aonuma!