Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - A Zelda Year in Review




To appreciate the year 2009 we just have to take a look at the previous year. 2008 was a very silent year regarding Zelda, there were no new Zelda games coming out, not even re-releases of old games and nothing at all was known about the upcoming Zelda games, besides the fact that they were working on a new game for the Wii. The only thing we got was Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where the Zelda franchise played an important role. The year, where Ocarina of Time celebrated its 10th birthday, was the most silent year for the Zelda franchise since the mid-90s. The only thing left was speculation and my first article on this blog was about the future of Zelda. I predicted another Nintendo DS Zelda and the release of Majora's Mask on the Virtual Console amongst other things.

In March 2009 the silence was finally broken. The newest game in the series, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, was announced for the Nintendo DS and would be released at the end of the year. It was topic of much debate, whether the train idea will fit the Zelda universe or not. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask then was also announced and released for the Virtual Console, it was one of the most anticipated titles for the Virtual Console service at that time. And unlike the version from the Collector's Edition on the Nintendo GameCube, the Virtual Console worked fine and was a perfect reason to replay this amazing game.

In June then Nintendo showed us the first artwork of the upcoming Zelda game for the Wii. And the fairy girl, that resembles the Master Sword, was the subject for a lot of speculation.

Also, in Japan Tingle got two more games made by Vanpool, a collection of DSiWare applications and the sequel to Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, called Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love, which became more of a point and click adventure. It is still unclear, if the new Tingle games will be released outside of Japan.

Next to Majora's Mask, the first Super Smash Bros. game also made it on the Virtual Console. Europe got it in June, while the US got it at Christmas. It doesn't have as much Zelda content as Brawl and it feels very outdated, but it might be still worth a look.

In December 2009 Spirit Tracks was finally released and despite all the previous skepticism it managed to please and surprise Zelda fans with some creative puzzles, good sidequests, an interesting story and a great soundtrack.

2009 in overview:
  • In March The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks was announced at the GDC
  • In April The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask made its come back on the Virtual Console
  • The first artwork of "Zelda Wii" was shown at E3 2009
  • In June Super Smash Bros. was released on the Virtual Console
  • In June the Tingle Pack was released in Japan for the DSiWare service
  • In July Color Changing: Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love was released for the Nintendo DS in Japan
  • In December The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks was released world wide

About Hyrule Blog

Since there was more and more to talk about Zelda and Zelda is my biggest and longest lasting hobby, I decided to transform this blog from something chaotic into a pure Zelda blog, called "Hyrule Blog". The change was the right thing to do and I had a lot of fun writing about Zelda. My personal highlights this year were probably the BS Zelda Tour, my Rail Diary and a series of interesting articles. Be sure to check everything out.

What to expect from 2010?

2010 will be all about the new Zelda game for the Wii. Nintendo aims to show something at E3 2010 and if we're very, very lucky, the game will be released by the end of the year. But considering the latest (confusing) news, that they haven't even decided the art style yet, a 2011 release is much more likely. My prognose is, that we're getting Zelda for Wii Christmas 2010 at the earliest and Christmas 2011 at the latest.

Besides Zelda Wii it should be interesting to know, what the Nintendo DS Zelda team will be working on, now that Spirit Tracks is finished. Will they simply join the main team to work on Zelda Wii or will they approach a new project? Maybe a classic 2D Zelda for Wii(Ware)? Or a third Nintendo DS Zelda? (Doubt that.) Whatever it is, it'll be nice to know.

As for the little things next to the big main titles I expect Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love to be released in Europe this summer. And I'm still positive, that Ocarina of Time: Master Quest will be released for the Virtual Console sooner or later. But they might save it as a teaser when Zelda Wii comes out. Also, by now it looks like Nintendo has no interest in releasing GameBoy games on the DSi's download services. It's a shame, but it still can't be ruled out completely and if it really would happen, then there are some Zelda classics back in the spotlight including the fan favorite Link's Awakening. Or they save it for the next handheld generation, whenever that will be. And maybe Aonuma gets his way and makes "Link's Crossbow Training Plus" or another spin-off title.

Here on Hyrule Blog I will continue writing articles. The last two months were all about Spirit Tracks and I saved some ideas for new articles for the next year. I'm also thinking about doing something more casual like a small thought every day in contrast to the bigger articles. But I'm not sure yet how to play it off. And I want to say thank you to everyone, who is reading my blog. Well, I mostly write it for myself, simply because I love writing about Zelda, but I regulary get some feedback and it's nice to know, that some Zelda fans out there actually enjoy reading my blog. Thank you and Happy New Year.

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