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.

1 comment:

romplayer said...

>> Maybe I'll wait until next year when Nintendo releases a "Nintendo 3DS Dura" or something offering longer battery life. <<

Haha, you made my day :D

I would also wait for something like that, though I don't think it will come as quickly as the DS Lite did.