Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fanmade 3DS Zelda Bundle Boxart

Deviant art user wasa-bi-redux made the following fake box art for a 3DS Zelda bundle:

What's this bundle missing? Right, a Zelda 25th Anniversary banner. Because something like this would be the perfect choice for the anniversary. But I don't like the Ocarina boxart too much, it's over the top, too much fancy stuff. And it's "Ocarina of Time", not "The Ocarina of Time". I don't see why they would change the logos for the games anyway. However, I love the design of the 3DS. It simply looks stunning, it's gorgeous and it's perfect. If Nintendo would release a 3DS like this, I would instantly buy one, even though I don't really want a 3DS yet.

Source: Kotaku

Friday, January 28, 2011

Slowly Get Ready for Skyward Sword

After the Zelda community raged about a probably distorted or badly translated quote from Miyamoto, that Skyward Sword is "over half complete", Nintendo now says the game is in its finishing touches. They even mention the 25th Anniversary of Zelda, so better get ready.

There is no official release date yet, so don't expect it to come out tomorrow or in the next two or three months. The Nintendo 3DS is going to hit the market in March and it would be bad to put this year's biggest Wii title in this window. But the game feels definitely closer now, yesterday I was still expecting a late 2011 release. Now I'd say a release around the E3 sounds good, doesn't it?

UPDATE: Apparently Nintendo wants to release Ocarina of Time 3D first, which won't available until after the E3. And since they probably won't release two Zelda games closely one after another, it still might takes its time. But it's good to hear that they are at the end of the development phase and now polishing the game.

Source: Zelda Informer

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Replaying Twilight Princess and Link's Crossbow Training

As I announced I was going to replay both Twilight Princess and Link's Crossbow Training and I'm now finished with that, so it's time to share some thouhgts.

Twilight Princess isn't really the ideal game to be replayed. A problem, which it shares with the NDS Zelda games, and a problem, which was recently acknowledged by Nintendo and which they want to fix with Skyward Sword. The game is lengthy, the 100% took me about 30 hours, which isn't bad, but it's also a very linear and stiff game, which doesn't add to the replay value. Especially combined with the amount of time required to play through the game. Unlike older Zelda games it doesn't encourage you to break from the normal game course and explore things on your own, in fact at most times you can't even do that. Also, it's very story-heavy, but if you already know the story, it's not so exciting anymore, you will probably even skip some of the cutscenes. So, why even replay the game? I finished the game twice on the GameCube and once on the Wii, so why go through it a fourth time? Well, it's not a bad game after all, I enjoy the style as well as some of the fighting, especially the Darknut fights in the Cave of Ordeals. I also wanted to play with its controls again, say as preparation for Skyward Sword. And I was still curios about the mirroring, I wanted to see if it's still as confusing as the first time.


The Wii powered controls are pretty gimmicky, but can be fun. There's actually not much motion involved, most items just require the pointer, wiggling the Wiimote replaces the sword button and the Nunchuk is used for Shield and Spin Attacks. The latter one can be somehow unreliable, but it's still very satisfying to cause a Spin Attack by shaking your wrist. After playing A Link to the Past, wiggling the Wiimote to swing the sword felt really strange and inconvenient, actually at first I used Jump Attacks triggered by simply pressing A to fight the enemies, because this felt more familiar. But you get used to the controls and later they can be so much fun that you're really into the fights. In the moments where the bosses are on the ground and the music changes, I usually stand up and swing the sword in exaggerated movements, even though it's not necessary. Well, I guess I'm prepared for the MotionPlus powered Zelda game.


The mirroring of the game is still an issue. It's not like in Mario Kart, where the courses are pretty straight-forward and you just have to adept. And even there the Mirror Mode can be sometimes confusing. But in Twilight Princess this is a completely different level. It feels like totally different but yet familiar places. You know what is there and what you can do there, but it's just not the same place. Basically it would be as simple as "what's left is right and vice versa", but it can be so confusing, that I fully lost orientation here and there. And I normally don't have any problems with orientating through video games, it's just that you know the original places so well, that their maps are still in your head. For example if I want to go to Kakariko, I'm thinking about going to the east, even after finishing the Wii version two times, where the village is located in the west. It's really weird and you have to experience this for yourself by playing both games.

Sidequest Overload

If you're into sidequests, you will notice while replaying, that the sidequests are not too well apportioned. There's a huge sidequest overload after the point, where you got the Master Sword and where you're finally able to freely switch between human and wolf form. 36 Poe Souls can be collected at this point, as well as the last bugs except for one, lots of hidden grottos wait for you to be discovered, there are two more complex caverns, there is the Malo Mart Quest and the Magic Armor, you can get a Quiver upgrade, as well as some Heart Pieces and TONS of rupees. And if you went straight for the Lakebed Temple instead of inconveniently navigating Hyrule without warping to do some sidequests early, you also have some more bugs left, even more rupees, two additional Bomb Bags, the Bomb Bag upgrade, and nearly all fishing related sidequests including the infamous, feared and hated Roll Goal. It's lots and lots of stuff to do and all at once. You can spent multiple hours at this point in the game just completing side quests before you continue into Arbiter's Grounds. It's crazy actually. And after such a side quest raid there won't be much left, the new items from the later dungeons don't offer many uses elsewhere. However, this part of the game was the most fun for me, because it offers a lot of freedom, unlike the rest of the game, and I see remembering all of the stuff, which can be done at that point, as a good challenge.

Rupee Overload

Did I mention the Rupees? The TONS of Rupees? I don't know what this game wants me to buy and the "it won't fit into your wallet, so let's put it back" message gets annoying easily. There are two major donations in this game, the 598 Rupee Magic Armor and a cannon repair for 300 Rupees. That's it. The only other use for money is running around in the Magic Armor, which you will have to do in order to open all the treasure chests containing hundreds and thousands of Rupees. Here we see, that the treasure system introduced in the Nintendo DS Zelda games isn't that bad at all. It simply offers more variety and you basically can't get enough of one treasure. If they don't screw up the probabilities, like they did in Spirit Tracks, or if they simply offer fixed places for all treasures, this system could be very successful in later Zelda games. Of course a good collecting quest would be also great. You need a collectible item, that can be potentially found anywhere. In treasure chests, in the ground, in shops, in minigames, in the grass, in the water, anywhere. Like the Secret Seashells in Link's Awakening or the Spirit Gems in Phantom Hourglass for example, these were great collectible items. The Poe Souls or the Golden Bugs have a too obvious and limited pattern, while everywhere else in the game the only hidden thing are just Rupees, Rupees, Rupees...


However, there's another way to easily waste lots of Rupees in Twilight Princess: Rollgoal. Probably the most hated and most annoying minigame in all of the Zelda games and you need to beat it at least once to get the Frog Lure. A real replay killer, because this game is one of these things, which you simply don't want to do ever again. And there's just no excuse why this is actually part of a Zelda game and not just some cheap Wiiware title, that no one wants to download. It's actually not that much of a deal, with enough practice you can do anything. But you'll need patience and to stay calm. In case you wonder, how I managed to beat this game on the Wii even for a second time, I'll tell you. The trick is only to tilt the Wiimote sideways, never tilt it back and forth, which lacks the accuracy. Simply adjust the camera after each move and continue. Support your forearm on an armrest or your legs, so you won't accidently lose stability. If you follow these rules, you can do it. But it's still annoying as hell.

Crossbow Training

After lots of hours the credits roll for another time. At the end of the credits Link gets on his horse and leaves Ordon to... test his newly aquired Phantom Crossbow of course. I thought after playing Twilight Princess I should also play another round of Link's Crossbow Training, since there most of the first game's content got reused to create some sort of epic version of Duck Hunt. Actually it's not even worth mentioning, the game is so short, it's practically negligible compared to the amount of time needed for replaying Twilight Princess. It takes maybe an hour and getting all Platinum Medals isn't hard, if you concentrate on consecutive hits. They could have easily set the limits for the medals higher. And I wish the game had some more levels, there are even quite some areas from Twilight Princess that weren't used as a stage, for example the Forest Temple, Goron Mines, Lakebed Temple, Lake Hylia or the Fishing Pond could all have been reused for some target shooting. And a simultaneously played multiplayer mode would have made this small but nice Zelda spin off game perfect. But it's still fun and I enjoy going through this game again from time to time.


Well, I'm done with replaying for now. In the last two months I replayed Spirit Tracks, A Link to the Past, Ancient Stone Tablets, Twilight Princess and Link's Crossbow Training, which was quite the mixed bag. Replaying is always very different from playing a game for the first time. You already know what to do, when to do it and how to do it. For me personally it's more a memory game, it's about memorizing and remembering all the ways and possibilities. You'll internalize the game. I try to play faster and more efficiently and I'll always try to finish the game's sidequests as early as possible - of course for that you need to know exactly what can be done at what time. This is the kind of challenge I seek from replaying.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Item Menu in Ocarina of Time 3D

Yesterday was the long anticipated 3DS press conference and as expected we didn't get too many new infos, most of it was already shown at the Nintendo World 2011 in Japan. However, we know the prices and launch dates for Europe and the US, it will be released at March 25 and cost 250€ here in Europe. And we know a list of titles, that will be released in the first two months. Interestingly Ocarina of Time 3D is not in that list. The price is "okay", of course cheaper would be nicer, but it's the price that I expected. But I won't get a 3DS until there's a game available for it that I really want to play and I won't be interested in Ocarina unless there's some new content in the game. The new looks might be nice but they alone are not a reason to buy the system. I would definitely get Ocarina along with Mario Kart, Super Street Fighter IV 3D and Dead or Alive: Dimensions, when I buy a Nintendo 3DS. However, none of these titles are actually a reason for buying the Nintendo 3DS, since these are just remakes or new editions of games that I already own. And I normally wait a while until I buy a new system. For example in case of the Nintendo DS I waited until Phantom Hourglass was released, which was a good choice, because by then the Nintendo DS Lite was available and I'm still happy with that one. It might be the same here with the Nintendo 3DS, maybe I'll wait until next year when Nintendo releases a "Nintendo 3DS Dura" or something offering longer battery life.

But enough about the 3DS in general, there are some hands-on videos of the Ocarina demo from the Nintendo World at Kotaku. I suggest you take a look at them, they are nice, the player turned the 3D effect off so you can see the updated graphics. One thing I noticed is that they changed the item menu. It's now actually similar to the item menu from Link's Awakening. Instead of 24 fixed item slots like in the original game there will be only 20 loose item slots. The four missing items are the ones assigned to the X, Y and touch screen buttons and they will be probably swapped with the items in the item menu if you change them. This also would mean that the items will have a chaotic order, unless you directly organize them by swapping. Well, anyone who played Link's Awakening should know how this works. However, this is just my assumption of how it will work, he doesn't actually show any of it, since there are only three items and two bottles.

[insert screenshot of item menu here]

With slots for all 24 items I don't expect any streamlining at all. They could have handled the magic arrows like in The Wind Waker, where you cycle through the arrow types by pressing R instead of selecting individual items. But of course with the touch screen swapping the arrows is already easy enough. Or there's no need for the Magic Beans or the trading items to be actual items, they could just simply change the interaction with the soft soil spots and the characters involved in the trading sequence. But since there's enough space for all original items, I don't think anything will get cut, it looks like the items and their handling will entirely stay like they were in the original version. The only main difference is that you can change your gear on the fly, but this benefit solely comes from seperate touchscreen menu and not from some actual change in the game. So, Nintendo actually isn't streamlining anything, it just happens that the game can be more comfortably played with a second screen used for the menu. But I guess this automatically works with most games.

Also, you will notice that all the distance fog is gone. Fog was used a lot in the Nintendo 64 games and older 3D games in general because of performance reasons. But it also added a lot to the atmosphere, I'm not sure if it's a good idea always to remove the fog entirely. On the one hand it's nice to see Gohma's room in full glory, but on the other hand it's just not as spooky as before.

Litte Update:
According to Kotaku we shouldn't anticipate any extra dungeons. Looks like Nintendo doesn't want me to buy a Nintendo 3DS, too bad. Also, this would break the "tradition" of adding a bonus dungeon to an enhanced version. Sadly Kotaku forgot to ask about Master Quest, which is a burning question, hopefully there will be an update soon. The remake of Starfox 64 on the other hand will receive lots of cool new bonus content including a new Score Attack mode and new multiplayer additions (source). This is a remake done right.

Metroid Stage in Dead or Alive: Dimensions

I recently talked about how an awesome cameo looks like with Link starring in SoulCalibur II. Now it seems that Dead or Alive: Dimensions is trying something similar. As you may recall Team Ninja worked on Metroid: Other M and they were smart enough to reserve some rights for a Metroid cameo in their 3DS outing of their popular fighting franchise. There will be a stage based on Other M's Ridley battle. Ridley will fly in the background, shoot fireballs and grab players, who get tossed out of the arena. Also, there's an appearance of Samus, where she goes into Morphball mode and drops a Powerbomb. According to Eurogamer she will not be playable, but she may support you in the fight. Find a video of the Ridley stage and more info at Kotaku.

I'd say Zero Suit Samus as a fighter would have been an awesome addition to this game, but Team Ninja says they rather want to focus on making the best version of Dead or Alive. I guess Samus would have simply stolen the show from Kasumi, Helena and the other girls. The game would be all about her appearance, much like Link is the star in SoulCalibur II. But they should reconsider it, the competition in the form of Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is very strong and a Metroid cameo like that would really boost the game. All the talk about the "best version of DOA" is bullshit anyway, since when are fighting games best on handhelds? The stage is still nice, though. However, if Team Ninja also makes a 3DS version of Dead or Alive Extreme / Paradise, they should use the chance then and add a Zero Bikini Samus. Just kidding.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Link's Awakening Forum Set

You may have noticed this already, but next to writing on this blog I also administrate a German One Piece forum, the Pirateboard. My current avatar and signature set there pays tribute to one of the Zelda classics and one of my favorite Zelda games: Link's Awakening. So, I thought I should present it here as well.

In case you wonder, the logo with the Triforce in the middle - which I use for myself and which I've originally designed for this blog - comes from the popular TV show LOST, probably my favorite show ever (though the finale was disappointing). It's used by the so called DHARMA Initiative, that conducted experiments on the show's mysterious island. There are usually symbols in the center of the logo representing different departments and stations of the Initiative. But with the Triforce in the middle it comedically stands for "DHARMA Initiative Video Game". However, it could also symbolize Link's Awakening in some way. The story of the first GameBoy Zelda game and the story of LOST actually share some similarities, in both the show and the game you're stranded on a mysterious island, where you explore underground "stations" to uncover some of its secrets, for example.

Well, the placement of the sprites on the signature is quite random actually. I may change that later. But you get the overall picture of how the set looks like. The orange sandstone texture for the background is also used in some of our forum's graphics and three of its styles, that way the avatar and signature sets perfectly fits into the board.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Missable Items in Zelda

Missable items in Zelda can be a pain if you're a hundred percent completionists like me. Do not cross the point of no return before getting the upgrade! Remember to pose with Richard at the gate for a photo before you open it! Don't beat that boss before Carlov approves its photo! Don't forget that treasure chest under the library! In worst case you've forgotten something and you have to play the game a second time to achieve the 100%. Especially if it's your first time playing the game things like that are very easy to miss and when you realize that you've missed something, it's already too late.

The only two Zelda games that don't have any occurrence of missable items are A Link to the Past and Spirit Tracks. Congratulations. Ah, yeah, and the Four Swords games, but there you can't keep items anyway. Other games only have minor stuff, where you either won't notice that anything is missing or where you have to be somehow stupid to miss the item. For example in Zelda I there you can chose multiple times between a Heart Container and a potion. In some cases between the loss of a Heart Container or the loss of money (2nd Quest only). Of course you'll always get and keep the Heart Container. In Phantom Hourglass there's the Heart Container from the Ghost Ship, but you really have to deliberately avoid it in order to miss it. Zelda II has some missable P-Bags, but you'll never notice. Majora's Mask got one treasure chest in the area at the beginning of the game, where you can't return to. But that's really, really minor. And Twilight Princess has two missable letters from Ooccoo if you do use him in the Forest Temple and never use him in any of the other dungeons. Again, this is minor.

The classic version of Link's Awakening has some missable sea shells including one in a treasure chest, that you can only get with the Flying Rooster. However, you only need 20 out of 26 available seashells, so you'll never notice. However, in the DX version the photo sidequest got added and four photos are permanently missable. Three of them while traveling with Marin and the other one at the still closed gate of Kanalet castle. Also, one photo requires you to steal from the shop, which results in the loss of your name (you be called THIEF from now on) and in a kill, if you ever enter the shop again. A bad deal.

Interestingly one of the most evil and bizarre cases of missable items happens in Ocarina of Time. It's the second Deku Nut Capacity upgrade aquired in the Forest Stage. To get it you have to show the Mask of Truth to the Deku audience, but you'll only be awarded with the upgrade if you show the mask before ever pulling the Master Sword out of its pedestal. There's only a small window in the game, where this is actually possible. The running man, who buys the Bunny Hood, only appears after you've received the Zora Sapphire. And in that moment you are probably too excited to progress into adulthood, you won't come up with ideas like "hey, before playing the cool part of the game, let's first trade some masks and show them at the Forest Stage" unless you really are aware of the above problem. The thing is, this is probably not even intended and a glitch, because it doesn't make much sense to have such strict restrictions for one upgrade, so I really hope this will get fixed in the new 3DS version.

The Oracle games, while they don't have any missable items, give you a series of choices to make. First of all, you have to decide, which game will be your start, Ages or Seasons. This choice heavily influences the rest of the game, the linked quests and the bonus dungeon will be completely different depending on what game came first. You can't even get all 64 rings, no matter what game you chose as a start. Because of this you'll get the Hero's Secret at the end to link your first playthrough with more save games, where you'll possibly play in the other direction, play the other quests and complete your collection. Also, you can only have one of the three animals per playthrough and this heavily effects one environment in the game. Additionally the child of Bipin and Blossom may grow into one of four possible outcomes. So, it's not possible to have one save file that covers everything, but you can cover as much as possible with multiple play throughs. It's some work.

The Wind Waker is the king of missable items. However, everything you can miss is related to the figurine quest only, you can miss 15 figurines from 9 snapshots there. This includes Tetra and the Pirates, the Helmaroc King, Zephos and Cyclos, the Big Octo, Kogoli (some random Rito that disappears after the Eart Temple quest), the Wizzrobe miniboss, Phantom Ganon, Puppet Ganon and Knuckle. Some of them are quite tough, for the (mini)-bosses you'll have to save and quit during the fight, deliver the photo and check if Carlov is happy with it. Because if he's not and you've already beaten the boss, it's over. The missables here are so hard, that Nintendo designed a 2nd Quest specifically for you to complete your figurine collection. There you'll receive the color Pictograph from the start and all your figurines from the first quest save file will be transferred. But even then Knuckle can only be gotten if you finish some of the Tingle Tuner sidequests before getting all other figurines. If you don't have a GameBoy Advance or a cable you're screwed.

Last but not least, The Minish Cap. Here you can miss the Light Arrows if you don't free Gregal from the ghost before reaching the Cloud Tops. This happened to me on my first play through, so I had to beat the entire game again just to get the Light Arrows... yeah, and there's a treasure chest missable in the cave under the library, but that's not as important and you'll never notice if you've missed it. And some versions of the game have a glitch, where you can screw up the fusions with the scarecrows, which results in the loss of one bottle and the Mirror Shield.

No matter how you see it, missable items are unpleasant. If you really want the 100% you'll be forced to start over and replay the entire game making sure that you don't miss the item another time. On the other hand you could say that missables are a nice motivator to play through a game again. You want those Light Arrows? Just beat The Minish Cap a second time!

Permanently Missable Items Guide @ ZU Forums

Replaying A Link to the Past and Ancient Stone Tablets

It's replay time. After replaying Spirit Tracks I thought I should go through some other Zelda games again as well, mainly as a preparation for Skyward Sword and to refresh some memories. My first choice was A Link to the Past, I never really touched my copy of the Virtual Console version and I thought this would be a nice reason to beat this game again. Also, A Link to the Past is turning 20 years old this year and this is my way of celebrating. Unlike Ocarina of Time and Link's Awakening I haven't played this game all too often, so it also refreshed some memories here and there.

But the game is really inviding you to replay it. The start in the Light World is awesome, exploring the areas and getting additional items like bottles, the Magic Shield or the Ice Rod is fun. And the second half of the game is pure and intense dungeon crawling. You can play the dungeons in many orders, which adds to the replay value. For example this time I played Thieves' Town right after finishing the Dark Palace to get the Tempered Sword early. And the classic SNES version still let's you use the Cane of Somaria in the Ice Palace to avoid the massive backtracking before the boss, in the GameBoy Advance version you can't do that anymore. But concerning everything else I actually prefer the GBA version. Primarily because it doesn't count saving as Game Overs and the item menu was handled much nicer with the bottles. And I really miss the additional ninth warp point on top of the hill with the portal that leads to the Turtle Rock dungeon. If you decide to take a break or get some potions, you have to get all the way up on the mountain again...

Well, there isn't much to say about replaying A Link to the Past, except that it's fun. However, after beating the game today I thought I should also play the BS-X add-on Ancient Stone Tablets for a third time. I mean it suits, since it's practically a 2nd Quest for A Link to the Past. And replaying the BS Zeldas after a while is nice, because the BS Zelda team always works on patches and upgrades. So, it adds something to the experience. Since my last playthrough for the BS Zelda tour in 2009 they've added intro and outro sequences for each chapter as well as "sublines" which display the spoken Japanese from the original broadcast in English. That way the game informs you about all important timed events except for the hidden mole and thanks to that the game is actually playable without a guide giving you information about what happens when. There's also some official artwork shown at the end of each chapter and they added a result screen - in the following picture you can see how I performed:

I don't know if this is actually a good score, but I got all hidden treasures in the game as well as more than 12.000 rupees (try to cumulate that much in any other Zelda game :D). But I got hit by enemies 147 times (I'm always so careless...), which got quite some minus points. I never died, however, but that's really hard to do, because the bosses die very fast unlike the original versions in A Link to the Past. If you play both games one after another you really notice the immense differences in the difficulty level between both games. The dungeons in Ancient Stone Tablets are a rush and the bosses get blasted away like nothing. I never used a potion in the entire game. However, the real difficulty is the immense time pressure, completing two dungeons and clearing all sidequests in 50 minutes requires perfect timing. (Luckily in the ROM based version you can easily repeat a chapter if you've missed something, which I had to do for chapter 3.)

I'm not sure which Zelda game I should replay next. But I'm thinking about playing the Wii version of Twilight Princess a second time, it fits the idea of preparing for Skyward Sword the best. However, playing this version of the game always is very confusing for me, because I'm used to the GameCube version. The mirroring gives me a headache, so I'm not sure yet. But in case I play Twilight Princess it would be just fitting to replay Link's Crossbow Training right after that, the games actually have a similar relationship like A Link to the Past and Ancient Stone Tablets...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ocarina of Time 3D at Nintendo World 2011

Currently the Nintendo World 2011 event is held in Japan showcasing the Nintendo 3DS. I guess most of you have already seen the news including the footage of Ocarina of Time 3D. There are some screenshots and informations about the title.

First of all, the looks. While the models and textures have been updated and all sprite based graphics are gone, the game looks very close and true to the original. So, I guess my theory still holds that they use the original game as a base, where they just replace everything with prettier models and textures. But it looks like they've put quite some work into the new models, especially if you look at King Dodongo, who gained some mass and details like a tongue. What I don't like is the total absence of anti-aliasing, I thought the 3DS would be more powerful than that. It really looks unappealing in these screenshots. But there's also some video material with some sequences from the game including Shiek playing the harp, Darunia dancing or a Great Fairy (3D boobs), in motion it looks much better. The worst thing in my eyes is the water, it looks terrible, but this might be deceiving.

The demo of the game features three savegames as a starting point, Kokiri Forest, the Deku Tree dungeon and the Gohma boss battle. The touchscreen is intensively used as a menu, where you select your items, talk to Navi and change the view mode. First person view now supports the gyro feature of the 3DS meaning if you turn the system physically the view will change accordingly - very nice. But I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the touch buttons, because I normally avoid touching the screen with my fingers, I always use the stylus. But it looks like this the new standard for DS games, the 3D screen will be utilized for the action while the touch screen serves as a menu or for additional buttons. In Super Street Fighter IV 3D for example you can assign special moves and combos to four fields on the touch screen. Well, since the menu is active all the time you can now easily switch between tunics and boots while playing the game. I guess, you just have to select the equipment menu and touch the items.

However, Ocarina of Time 3D won't be a launch title for the Nintendo 3DS. A release date isn't confirmed yet, but it probably should join the lineup soon after the release. Sadly, there's no info on any additions like Master Quest or new content like a bonus dungeon.

Next to some additional content I'm actually curios if they'll fix the second Deku Nut Capacity upgrade, that you can only get if you show the Mask of Truth at the Forest Stage BEFORE ever touching the Master Sword, which is easy to miss. I hope they fix this, so you can get the upgrade later as well. It's not the most important thing for this remake, but it would be nice to have a version of Ocarina withouth any missables. Other possibilities for improvements would be saving and starting from any entrance and text speed control like in most of the later Zelda games, but there's no word on that.

Well, I personally am relieved that Ocarina isn't a launch title. I usually don't buy video game systems at their launch and in case of Nintendo it's always a wise decision to wait as long as possible. For example early versions of the Wii had some flaws like the cords or the lenses. And Nintendo likes to release new versions of their handhelds all the time, there probably will be a Nintendo 3DS Lite/SP/whatever next year and so on. So depending on how much or little the remake of Ocarina of Time 3D has to offer, I might be waiting for some time until I'll buy a 3DS. And nothing really from the Nintendo World demonstration got me excited for now.

Some links and sources:
Andriasang: Ocarina of Time 3D Impressions
Andriasang: Ocarina of Time 3D Screenshots
Andriasang: 3DS Launch Lineup
Zelda Universe: Ocarina of Time 3DS - More Details
ZeldaInformer: Ocarina of Time 3D Screenshots Compared to the Original Release

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More BS Zelda Curiosity

Clan of the Gray Wolf (some sort of AVGN team) released a nice review video of all the BS Zelda games:

They explained the whole BS-X and St. Giga mechanics a lot better than I ever could in my BS Zelda Tour, so you should definitely take a look at this video, if you're interested in the BS Zelda games. Interestingly they also think those games would be a nice way to celebrate the 25th anniversary, I can only approve. And again this should prove that there's quite some interest in these rare Zelda games, Nintendo would get a lot of Zelda fans excited by re-releasing this content.

Thanks to Zelda Dungeon for the news.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

25th Anniversary of Zelda: Speculations

Last year Nintendo celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Super Mario Bros. with red colored special editions of the Wii and the Nintendo DSi XL, as well as the Super Mario Allstars box for the Wii, though the latter one was rather disappointing with a mere Virtual Console game being released on a disc and some boring bonus material.

Still, you might wonder, if Nintendo plans to do something for Zelda as well. The original release date for the Famicon Disk System was at February 21st 1986. That date is close and nothing official has been announced yet. Of course all the celebration won't happen on the exact date and NES release date was more than a year later. Well, but we'll have quite some Zelda releases this year, including Ocarina of Time 3D, Link's Awakening DX for the Virtual Handheld and of course Skyward Sword. Any of this could be labeled under the 25th Anniversary banner, well maybe not Skyward Sword itself, since it would look like they made this game for the anniversary, which definitely isn't the case. But for example there could be a golden Wiimote bundled with the game in a 25th Anniversary package. Or aspecial 3DS bundle, a golden 3DS coming with Ocarina 3D and a preinstalled Link's Awakening DX, I would probably buy this. And this is probably one of the most likely things, if we get anything for the anniversary.

Well, I recall, that there was also some showcasing of a "3D" version of the original The Legend of Zelda game at one point. Just imagine that the dungeons have some depths to them and that the sprites are on different depth layers, something simple like that. This probably would be the perfect choice for the anniversary of this game. The game should stay the same of course, but the graphics would be sharper and in 3D. Additionally they could also add the levels from the first BS Zelda game as additional quests. So far Nintendo hasn't shown any interest in remaking any of the BS-X games. So far. One interesting news from the E3 2010, which I haven't covered here yet, was that Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow for the Nintendo DS will include remakes of the levels from BS Fire Emblen: Record of Akeneia Wars as a bonus. That's pretty amazing and the first time that Nintendo touches any of the BS-X content. And maybe it's not coincidence, maybe Nintendo heard all the curious fans, who want a remake of the BS Zelda games or BS games in general.

Whatever they'll do, Nintendo should know, that there's still quite some demand for and interest in the BS Zelda games. There's always a huge curiosity when it comes to Zelda, which is why some fans even play the CD-i games. The BS games were a hit on the BS-X system and if they were remade somewhen somehow every Zelda fan would definitely be interested.