Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dawn of a New Year - 2014

Let's start the year 2014 with a little preview of what will and could happen throughout the year for Zelda. We can already say for sure that this is not going to be a silent year, where Zelda takes a big pause (like in 2012), since some announcements already have been made. But there might be even more.

One of the first things will be the Zelda level for Sonic Lost World. Nothing special, but it might be interesting to see how they will incorporate elements from Zelda into a Jump'n'Run like that. Super Mario 3D Land also got an unique Zelda level during the anniversary, but that wasn't all too special.

It's also for sure that we're going to learn about the Wii U Zelda game. How is it going to look like? How is it going to play like? These questions will definitely be answered in 2014. At E3 at the latest. Maybe even earlier in another episode of Nintendo Direct. We don't know, how far they are into development, so it's hard to make any other predictions. The best bet right now is that the game is slated for a late 2015 release and that we're only getting some first impressions. But considering that Nintendo was ready to show the game half a year ago and that Nintendo likes to keep their games close to the chest these days (A Link Between Worlds got announced seven months before its release), it even might be that the game is scheduled for 2014.

It all depends on how much progress they made in the last two years. It's hard to say. With Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword they took four and even five years, but it took so long, because they kept changing directions with these games. On the other hand they made Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker both in less than two years. A three year development cycle would be the perfect middle and that's probably what they're aiming at with this new Zelda game. But it might happen that they need the typical "extra year" for quality assurance. Or because they decide to change the controls again...

But in any case the Wii U will get some new Zelda fodder with Hyrule Warriors. It's a spin-off, it's not made by Nintendo and there's lots of skepticism about this, but it still might become some entertaining filler material. And it will get released in 2014, so the Wii U is slowly becoming more and more interesting for Zelda fans, even with the new Zelda game still on the horizon.

And I should not forget about the new Super Smash Bros., which will be released in 2014 for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. We already saw Link, Toon Link and Zelda as characters, but also the Skull Kid and maybe a Phantom as assist trophies (the Phantom might be a new move of Zelda though). Skyloft, Gerudo Valley and the Spirit Train have been shown as Zelda stages and there's probably more. Maybe even new fighters from the Zelda series.

The Nintendo 3DS has already received its big share of Zelda love in 2013 with the excellent A Link Between Worlds. I'm positive that Nintendo will definitely be working on a follow-up to A Link Between Worlds, the engine and everything is way too good to not be used again in a second Zelda game. However, if they're producing a sequel, it won't be ready until 2015, so that's nothing to be concerned about in 2014. However, there's still the possibility for DLC. Fans (including myself) have been asking for boss battle and online battle modes and maybe Nintendo might consider this. A Link Between Worlds has just been released in Japan last week, so things are still going there and DLC for A Link Between Worlds might happen in the near future.

What also has been on the mind of both the developers and fans lately is Majora's Mask. There are quite some references to the game in A Link Between Worlds and the Skull Kid recently got announced as an Assist Trophy for the next Smash Bros. On the side of the fans this recent video shows how the people are still deeply fascinated with the world of Majora's Mask. And one of the most common posts on the A Link Between Worlds Miiverse community is about Majora's Mask 3D, usually with a screenshot of Majora's Mask in Link's house...

And I'd say that there's a fair chance that we get Majora's Mask 3D in 2014. Grezzo, the team that made Ocarina of Time 3D and the Anniversary Edition of Four Swords, finished their last project in June with the StreetPass Garden game. Their current project is unknown, but I wouldn't be all too surprised, if Nintendo announced Majora's Mask 3D for next summer. The timing is perfect.

1 comment:

K2L said...

Zelda Wii U for this year is unlikely. 2015 is the most likely, as you suggested.