This week on Game Buzz, we chat about the recent reports suggesting a 3-1 PlayStation lead over Xbox in the last quarter and ask what Microsoft can do to turn things around. We also have a natter about EA Access and the likelihood of other publishers coming out with subscription models. But all of that is fairly dry, so it's not long before we find an excuse to talk about how awesome the Zelda games are.
Additionally, there's a spot of further recruiting for My Little Dealspwny - the only Destiny clan you'll ever need.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.
I love The Legend of Zelda games. To me they represent some of the finest examples of game design we've been blessed to enjoy over the years. The adventures of Link have proven time and time again to be some of the most innovative, ambitious, and polished games to have graced this industry. Dynasty Warriors, on the other hand, is a series that's barely changed at all over the years, staying true to its formula of a button-mashing frenzy of smashing up enormous swathes of mindless, characterless AI fodder, punctuated occasionally by the odd absurdly-overpowered mini-boss.
Still, I do have something of a soft spot for Dynasty Warriors.
Hyrule Warriors is not your typical Zelda game at all. It's very much something of a Zelda reskin of traditional Dynasty Warriors gameplay at first glance. I went hands-on with the game at the recent Nintendo E3 showcase and was merrily massacring multitudes of Bokoblins within seconds. The scale is fantastic, and the sense of cathartic empowerment is glorious, helped along by a better draw distance than we've typically seen in the past. One of Dynasty Warriors' foibles over the years has always been an alarming amount of pop-in, but Hyrule Warriors seems to have managed to mitigate that slightly. It's still there, but it's not so offensive to the eyes this time around.
Visually, at least, Hyrule Warriors manages to engage the player to a far greater degree than its spiritual predecessors, eschewing the drab, washed-out palette of previous Warriors games in favour of a brighter, more vibrant colour set and art style that breathes a little more life into proceedings and firmly roots you in Hyrule. There's a distinct lack of detail -- this game won't win any prizes for astonishing beauty -- but generally the game appears to do a decent job of selling the setting. It's actually a little thrilling to feel part of some sort of grand battle for Hyrule, wading into war with Gorons and Hylian guards by your side, as Lizalfos and Moblin generals marshal their troops.
Of course, it wears thin rather quickly, and even over the course of my initial fifteen-minute demo the combat became repetitive. The Warriors games have always been titles that, for me at least, are best enjoyed with a friend by your side, drinking beers, and chatting absolute rubbish. They're the sort of games that you don't really have to focus too much attention on because all you're really doing is mashing the same buttons over and over again. They're a catalyst for conversation, something to be doing in background while you catch-up with a mate you've not seen in some time. Sometimes I don't really want to think when I'm playing a game, and Warriors games are great for that. Hyrule being no exception it would seem.Click here to read more...
Well, we got new Zelda, we even got a new IP, and Reggie squared off against Iwata in the thunderdome! Nintendo's E3 Direct was a wonderfully charismatic, effortlessly charming affair, a stark contrast to the business-like boredom of EA's yesterday. But did they steal the show?
That was almost everything I was hoping for from Nintendo at this year's E3. The opening was fantastic -- Nintendo Robot Chicken, Reggie vs Iwata, Miis in Smash Bros -- the whole thing was just pure fan service, and it only got better when Reggie moved out of the way fairly swiftly and allowed the games to speak for themselves.
Yoshi's Woolly World looks like a hug. It looks like someone took a hug and turned it into a video game. That whole section was so stuffed with whimsy that my cheeks started to ache from smiling. The same goes for the Amiibo announcement -- we've long said that a Nintendo Skylanders initiative that took advantage of the WIi U's underused NFC capabilities would quite possibly print money, it's good to see that finally happening. I will want all of them.
This was the presentation that we'd called on Nintendo to deliver, and boy did they do just that. Mario Maker is an outstanding idea that seems perfectly pitched towards community involvement and fostering a real spirit of creativity on the Wii U. The only question around that is how on earth no one thought of the idea sooner. Xenoblade Chronicles X is still looking absolutely fantastic, though given it was announced back in January 2013, it would have been nice to have seen a bit more of it, and the same can be said of the new Zelda reveal. It's exactly what we wanted, with a drop-dead gorgeous unveiling and the promise of a truly open world, but I desperately wanted them to show me more.Click here to read more...
Is Eiji Aonuma "tired" of The Legend of Zelda as recent claims have suggested? Well, no. It turns out that the series' producer had been rather badly misquoted. Rather Aonuma feels that the series has to change and evolve to continue creating fresh experiences.Click here to read more...
Zelda Producer Eiji Aonuma has discussed a few of the approaches Nintendo are taking when it comes to the revival of the Legend of Zelda series on Wii U, taking up the importance of making its graphical presentation unique, and clarifying his comments regarding the possibility of the game not necessarily being a "lone experience".
"The thing about Zelda is we want everything to be unique, whether it’s the graphical presentation or the gameplay," he told Nintendo Life. "
It has to be something you can't see anywhere else. We wouldn't want it to be ultra-realistic because you can see that elsewhere. But I can't say that it's going to be cartoony-realistic like you mentioned, the fantastic presentation that we've already done in the past. It will be something new."
Aonuma also chatted about the potential for bringing other players into the experience somehow, though not necessarily through direct multiplayer.
"In saying it’s not a single-player or lone experience, I didn't necessarily mean multiplayer. There has actually been multiplayer in Zelda games, in Four Swords for example. But for example in Wind Waker, with the Tingle Bottle - it's not a traditional multiplayer experience but you certainly have the feeling that other people are exploring the same world and sharing information.
"So that's one way that I meant that it's not a single-player experience. We'll continue to explore different ways of opening up this world beyond a single-player experience, but that's not necessarily to say that there will be typical multiplayer."
"I remember sitting down with my music director Chad Seiter for the first time a few years ago and thinking 'Why hasn't anyone done a concert of Zelda music before?'" says concert producer Jeron Moore. "So we did."
This has been a a good eighteen months for video games and classical music. This year saw two pieces of classical music from our industry make it into the top five in Classic FMs Hall of Fame. The reactions were enormously varied, from debating whether or not video game music could even be considered classical, to those embracing new music and a new audience alike. The 25th Anniversary Concert was an enormous success, following in the footsteps of the hugely popular Distant Worlds: Final Fantasy concerts that have become something of a staple as winter kicks in.
Now we come to this: a full symphony in four movements. The shows opens with a grandiose prelude, the overture making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The audience explodes into rapturous applause before, following a series of little single-theme musical interludes, the movements -- Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and A Link to the Past -- take us on a soaring, sweeping journey that plays with Koji Kondo's unforgettable themes, expanding them into a glorious orchestral spectacle thanks to some phenomenal arrangements from Seiter.Click here to read more...
Could Nintendo be working on a double-barrelled helping of Zelda goodness for the 3DS? Well, it's quite possible. There've been one or two rumblings about it, most notably towards the end of last year, and a new image has popped up on 4chan with what appears to hold two logo shots for a couple of new games.Click here to read more...
Ooh, shiny. Nintendo Life has spotted a Legend Of Zelda 25th anniversary 3DS bundle that includes a black 3DS model bearing a gold Hyrulean crest. Subsequent reports have outed a November 25th release date in Europe - and while we're still unsure of whether changing a console's colour is a long-term solution to Nintendo's financial floundering, we also kinda want one.
It's so beautiful.
This year's Ocarina of Time remake is currently tiding us over, but frankly, us 3DS owners are hungry for more Zelda. Thankfully it seems that Nintendo are planning to sate our appetite with a brand new title designed specifically for the system. In an interview with Portuguese site MyGames (translated via Nintendo Everything), Producer Eiji Aonuma revealed that development has already begun, and it won't be a direct sequel to either Spirit Tracks or Phantom Hourglass.
"We are already preparing a new game, a game in the series for the Nintendo 3DS, but don't think that it is a direct sequel to the Zelda titles released on DS. We are talking about a new game, but it takes much of what has been done on previous handhelds."
Awesome. Perhaps it could be a follow-up to Skyward Sword? Regardless, all I know is that the 3DS needs more big first-party heavy hitters in order to stay relevant, and this can't come soon enough.
First of all, a qualifying statement.
We're all for the metaphor of not growing up, of holding onto wide-eyed childlike innocence, with some of the finest examples of art across a myriad of media having dealt with the search for wonder in an adult life of jaded cynicism, lamenting the loss of innocence and the purity of childhood joy. Pieces like Peter Pan, Never Let Me Go, Forrest Gump, Toy Story, Lord of the Flies...these are all examples of art that deals with the loss of innocence. The most successful, the most worthy, often deal with that loss and set about finding a way of recapturing it, with the conflicts and complications of adult life thrown in to provide some obstacles on the way there. Should the piece be a comedy, in the broadest sense of the phrase, a happy ending more often than not sees a reaffirmation of the importance of having a youthful heart at the very least.
When Robin Williams rediscovers that he can fly in Hook, for example, we cheer and smile. Here is another middle aged man, dressed all in green, frolicking about in forests with fairies. But we accept it. The Boy Who Never Grew Up has grown up and been lost, but his return heralds a change of heart in him, and sets the ending up for (SPOILERS) a reassessment of his relationship with his family. Peter Pan's return to Neverland reawakens the child within, a change that he takes back with him to his 'real' life acknowledging that he now has the responsibilities of an adult, but assuaged by the new knowledge that one can still be, indeed one still should be, young at heart.
This is not something we get from observing a rotund, middle-aged mercenary creeping about the place, pretending to be a fairy, selling directions to kids.Click here to read more...
Back in August of '09 when Dealspwn was but a little fish in a vast pond, I wrote a retro review for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was a rather shameless excuse for me to profess my love for my favorite game and earn a little cash on the side. However, this Christmas, courtesy of my wonderful girlfriend, I received a copy of The Zelda Collection, which includes among other titles Ocarina of Time.
As you can imagine, I was beyond ecstatic. Forget turkey, stuffing balls, roast potatoes and, yes, Die Hard. I had my weekend, my week, hell, probably the entire next six months sorted. In the end, however, I finished Ocarina of Time in two days. But in those all too brief 48 hours, I realized Ocarina of Time has yet to be bested, despite twelve years of visual, technical and gameplay-related advances. But how has Zelda stood the test of time? Just what makes it so endearingly special? Read on, as I once again reminisce on Nintendo's finest hour(s).
We're all familiar with the classic Zelda formula; the humble beginnings, the dungeon-solving gadgets and heart-pounding boss battles. Heart pieces. Master Swords. Triforces. All that jazz. Little has changed, and yet somehow it has never become stale, never become all-too-familiar or repetitive. It's endearing. It's wonderful. It's like returning home for Christmas, only to find its a bit dusty but you still love it.Click here to look back on why Ocarina of Time was ahead of its time
We've been raised to expect good triumphs over evil, but as life often teaches us, the reality is quite the opposite. However, in videogames our plucky young heroes and grizzled veterans can rest easy, as their blessed with a roster of rather terrible villians, more interested in pretentious monologues and posing than actually fulfilling their diabolical plots. So, in honor of these unqualified despots, may we present the Top 10 Most Incompetent Villains!
You can't fault his persistence, but Bowser's inability to defeat a squat, plump Italian plumber who hasn't had a job in years is shameful. Bowser commands an entire army of reptiles and other odd creatures, and he himself is a capable combatant with a sturdy shell, chomping jaws and the ability to breath fire. And yet he's done little more than singe Mario's uniform. He's also incredibly predictable, always snatching princesses and then hiding them in looming castles run by even more inept lackeys.
Despite being capable of interstellar travel, the Space Invader aliens made one fatal mistake in the design of their ships; they can only go right to left on a lateral plain, or down by incremental stages. They're also confounded by curious defensive blocks and a fleeting turret. If they just built ships capable of aiming at an angle, dropped remote explosives down the gaps between blocks or simply flew down to ground level from the very beginning, then they wouldn't be on this list. Alas.
He's the clone of a legend, has escaped death by being grafted to another villain's forearm, is often in possession of nuclear-armed mechs, and yet a particular grizzled, chain-smoking spy has, time and again, put an end to his nefarious deeds. It's difficult to get a hold of Kojima's plot-tangled epic, but it's pretty clear Liquid Snake isn't qualified for megalomania.Click here to see who else made Felix's list...
This is a pretty sweet deal for anyone that likes collectible nick-nacks. Only 1250 of these statues were made and they were originally sold for £89.99. Play seems to be the only retailer in the UK that has the statue in stock and on ebay it goes for at least £69.99, while international retailers' prices start at around $100.
The statue is 7 inches tall and depicts Ocarina of Time's adult Link in his Goron tunic which protects him from the extreme heat of Death Mountain Crater. It is made of high quality, weighty polystone, hand-finished and hand-painted.
A friend of mine has the original version of the statue, which is identical to this one except for the colour of Link's outfit and it's a really nice and well made model. It's got good customer reviews all round and seems well worth grabbing at this price; with such a limited production Play are going to run out at some point! However if you already have the original version or the zora tunic edition then it's probably not worth it as it's just the same model with a different colour scheme.
Thanks to Rhys135 at Hotukdeals!