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Sunday 21 August 2011

Zelda Symphony Tour London Date Announced

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In news that completely slipped under my radar (sorry), Nintendo recently announced a London date for their 25th Anniversary Symphony Tour. Previously thought to have only one 2011 date (in Los Angeles), Nintendo have confirmed that there will instead be three 2011 dates, with the second in London and the third in a yet-to-be-announced European country, before the show goes on tour properly in 2012.

The London date will be on the 25th of October at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo, and prices range from £38.50 to an extortionate £110.50 VIP ticket, which includes a meet-and-greet with the stars of the show (presumably including Zelda composer Koji Kondo?) You can buy tickets here: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/36004702D26C5B5D

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Thursday 21 July 2011

New Skyward Sword Trailer Shows… Nothing New

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As it is Comic Con in San Diego right now, and as Comic Con seems to have transformed into a mini-E3 recently, Nintendo have released a new trailer for Skyward Sword. Hooray! Shame that it’s largely footage from the previous trailer. Boo.

On the plus side, I think the footage of Link swinging on a rope is new. And it’s now 100% CONFIRMED that the game will feature a man unnecessarily wearing a helmet in his own house and sticking a fork into an unidentifiable metal object. That’ll set the fans at ease.

You can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8E4Y_P5Rv8

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Sunday 03 July 2011

Aonuma: Don’t Expect Zelda Wii U To Look Like the Tech Demo

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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

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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

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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

Zelda-themed Level in Super Mario 3DS

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It appears that one more Zelda-related nugget of info was revealed at E3, which was mostly overlooked in the wake of the many announcements.

At Nintendo’s E3 roundtable conference, the new Super Mario game for 3DS (appropriately titled Super Mario 3DS) was shown off. But the game has a treat for Zelda fans: the developers announced that in honour of Zelda’s 25th anniversary, a Zelda-themed level would feature. This takes the form of a top-down dungeon with individual, fixed-camera rooms, a format taken from the earliest Zelda games. In one of the rooms, Mario had to throw fireballs at its corners to open a locked door, which sounds like a very Zelda-esque puzzle.

This is just a single level in the game, but it sounds like it might be enough to encourage Zelda fans to buy the game. Well, is it working? Do you want it now?

You can see a brief clip of the level here: http://uk.kotaku.com/5811152/heres-a-look-at-the-zelda-tribute-level-in-super-mario-3ds

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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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Wednesday 08 June 2011

Eiji Aonuma’s Skyward Sword Demo Shows Dousing Mode, Mirror World

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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.

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So what is the Skyward Sword E3 demo like?

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Well, with the press conferences wrapped up, E3 is well underway. And that means one thing: game demos. The show floor is littered with demo pods, allowing the lucky few who got an invite to test out the latest games before they’re released. Skyward Sword is no exception, and at the Nintendo booth, there are not one, not two, but three different demos to play through!

Personally, I am not at E3. I’m pretty much at the other side of the world right now. So I haven’t had the chance to play these demos. But I do know what they entail!

The first demo is a flying demo. Showing a small piece of the plot, it takes place on Link’s hometown (homeisland?), and showed off the new flying mechanic. Link, in regular villagers’ gear, yet to don the famous Peter Pan costume, takes part in the “birdrider’s ceremony”. He, and two others (including Zelda, who doesn’t seem to be a princess in this incarnation - at least at the beginning), must ride their birds to catch up with a golden bird and steal a golden statue from its claws. The bird is Wii Motion Plus controlled.

The second demo is a dungeon demo, and showed off some of the weapons available in the game, such as the flying beetle. The last demo was a boss battle, against an enemy called Ghirahim - a fast-paced opponent which requires lots of quick moves and dodging to beat.

Well, I can’t really tell you any more as I haven’t actually played the demos! But lots of people have, and they can tell you much more. For example, Gamespot has a nice writeup here: http://e3.gamespot.com/story/6318187/e3-2011-the-legend-of-zelda-skyward-sword-preview/

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Shigeru Miyamoto to Skyward Sword Developers: Make the Best Zelda Game Ever, or No More Zelda

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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!

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