Friday 18 June 2010
In Zelda news
Gamespot have uploaded a video interview with Eiji Aonuma, director of Skyward Sword, in which he talks about the inspiration behind the title, the plot and just how Wii MotionPlus is used in the title. He also mentions a little nugget right at the end of the video, which is probably the most important point made - the team really want us to experience the game as soon as possible, so he’s hoping for an early 2011 release. That’s a lot more specific than the previous “2011” we were given at the press conference, and pretty much the best 2011 date we could wish for!
Mind you, Twilight Princess was notorious for its delays, and Aonuma said he was “hoping” for an early 2011 release, not “aiming” - a subtle, but important difference. So don’t be surprised if Skyward Sword floats back a few months, or even a year! It’s all for the good of the title, though - odds are, we can rest assured that no matter how long we’ll be left waiting for this game, the end result will be fantastic.
Watch the interview here: http://e3.gamespot.com/video/6266421/
In similar news, in a Kotaku interview with Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime (http://kotaku.com/5566671/nintendo-testing-healthiness-of-3ds-advising-young-children-to-avoid-3d), he confirmed that the 3DS will be released by the end of March 2011. That’s another “early 2011”, then! And if the 3D Ocarina of Time remake is a launch title, we Zelda fans can expect a very busy year start. It’s going to be an exciting quarter.
Wednesday 16 June 2010
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!
Tuesday 15 June 2010
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.
In Zelda news
Well, Nintendo’s E3 press conference just finished, and the general reaction on the twittersphere is overwhelmingly positive. After two shaky years of showing shovelware and mediocre third-party titles as major games, Nintendo have learned their lesson, and showed a huge number of new titles from well-known first-party franchises. The new 3DS was shown, Donkey Kong, Kirby and Kid Icarus all make a triumphant return, and Iwata and Shigsy got sucked into a DS and chased by Bowser while Reggie looked on and laughed. No joke. But we’ll get onto that in a later post. Because there’s one reason why you’ve came to our lovely new Zelda site today: the next Wii Zelda game was finally announced, Skyward Sword.
The game was the first thing to be shown at the conference, kicking off a huge stream of announcements. Two short trailers sandwiched a gameplay demo led by Shigsy (who made an appearance with his now signature “I’m announcing a Zelda game” Master Sword and Hylian Shield). So where do we start? The game has an art style which is directly half-way between the cel-shaded cartoon graphics of the Wind Waker, and the dark, atmospheric Twilight Princess - the character designs are similar to that of Twilight Princess, but the whole thing has been given a pastel shading effect, leading to a very soft, but very colourful feel. This is bound to polarise fans, so form your opinions now.
Two main areas were shown in the trailer - a colourful mushroom-themed land (possibly part of the overworld), and a generic lava cave. Shigsy talked us through the game’s controls in the mushroom area. As announced, the game uses Wii Motion Plus - Shigsy first showed off the sword, which moved more or less as he swung it. Showing how this would be useful in the game, he fought with chomping plant enemies who had to be slashed across their mouth, and moblin-type enemies that used their sword to block in certain directions. Holding the sword to the sky powered it up (Holding your sword skyward, eh? That sounds familiar). He also demonstrated the shield, which can be used to block and reflect attacks, the slingshot, which works pretty much as you’d expect, and the bombs, which can be dropped, thrown and (new to the franchise) rolled along the ground. All the weapons had new motion controls based around the Wii Motion Plus.
Then things started going wrong. The dreaded Technical Difficulties started to arise as Shigsy wrestled with the new bow mechanics, which he joked were due to too many people using wireless - ring a bell?
Finally, he showed off two new weapons - the Beetle, which looks kind of like a flying variant of the bomb-chu, and the whip, making its first appearance in a home console Zelda. He then closed the demo by apologising for the technical difficulties, but assuring the press that when they play it on the show floor, they will see the controls for themselves. He confirmed that the game will be in development for the rest of the year, and won’t be out until 2011.
And that was that. A very brief glimpse of the next Zelda game. We saw a lot of how the game will play and feel, and the art style, but there is still a lot to show. For example, we still have no idea about the plot and scenario, and we were shown very little of the game’s world. We’ll just have to wait and see what comes next, as Nintendo begin the trickle of facts, screens and trailers.
You can view the whole press conference here (http://www.gametrailers.com/e3/livefeed/nintendo) - the Zelda segment starts at one hour and two minutes, and lasts about 17 minutes. Sorry for the ugly link - as a mere newswriter I still need to work out how to work this new site!
We’ll be writing some more about the conference in the coming hours. But right now I have a pizza on the way. Stay tuned!
Tuesday 18 May 2010
In Zelda news
Uh oh. In news that is likely to rile up a few Zelda fanboys, Shigeru Miyamoto recently claimed that the next major Zelda game on the Wii, due to be announced next month at E3, will be “Easier”.
German gaming site Gaming Media sat down with Miyamoto for a chat about the upcoming game (1UP translates the major points of the article here), and amongst other things, Miyamoto had this to say.
“We are trying to make Zelda, which has become very complicated, easier to play.”
Oh no! How dare he make our precious Zelda series… easier! Say it can’t be true.
...That’s the kind of comments we’re expecting on this one, but in reality, the quote says very little. He only claims that the game will be easier to play, not to master, if you get what I mean. So let’s not go rallying in front of Nintendo HQ yet, eh? All will be revealed next month at E3.
However, if this news has got your blood boiling, feel free to have a look at the brilliant, but gory fanart, to let off some steam.
(Disclaimer: This post is written in a light-hearted manner, and is intended to offend no-one. If you feel I am being too opinionated and feel the need to write hate-mail about how unprofessional and unjournalistic I’m being in the comment box, have a nice think about the better ways you can spend your time. You could draw a picture. Walk the dog. Even wash the dishes - you know they’ve been piling up!)