Friday, March 27, 2009

Majora's Mask coming to Virtual Console

And even more Zelda news (what a week!), The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask will finally be released for the Japanese Virtual Console in April. Release dates for the US and Europe versions are yet unknown, but I guess somewhen this year. This surprising release may be related to storage issues solution, which went online this Wednesday during Iwata's keynote on the GDC2009. The new Wii 4.0 interface let's you load software from a SD card and the Wii supports now SD cards with up to 32GB size, which should be enough to get some larger games including Majora's Mask.

Let's just hope, the games runs better than on the Colletor's Edition version.

Source: VC Reviews

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks announced

Finally some Zelda News! Finally! In 2006 Iwata announced The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass in his keynote on the Game Developer Conference, today, three years later, he announced the Phantom Hourglass sequel called "The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks" on the very same event. So, like I've expected last year here, they're releasing another DS Zelda before the next BIG DAMN ZELDA for the Nintendo Wii. According to a Nintendo DSi won't be mandatory to play the game. But I guess, that there will be some extra DSi features like downloadable content or an optional sidequest using the camera motivating Zelda fans to buy a DSi system. Nintendo does these kind of features all the time.

Spirit Tracks will feature... well, a train. Link is riding on a train and shooting with a cannon on the video materials. Well, basically so far it looks like Phantom Hourglass with a steam train on the mainland instead of a steam boat on the ocean. Everyone, who hated the Ocean King Temple and its Phantoms, will be pleased, that the Phantoms are now are supportive units. Link can control at least one of them to attack enemies and solve puzzles using a conductor's whistle. There is also some kind of a blowgun, that shoots whirlwinds.


My thoughts:

Well, if you take a look at my articles last year about the future of Zelda and the Nintendo E3 2008 event, you will notice, that I was expecting a second NDS Zelda and that I was excited about it. I love the gameplay of Phantom Hourglass, I'm a person, who really enjoyed the controls of the latest Nintendo DS Zelda. Also, in the article about the Valley of the Flood fake I stated, that the idea of a train running through Hyrule actually sounds nice. You put both of this together and somehow you get "Spirit Tracks", which is why I was totally surprised by today's news. But still I don't like the fact, that a good portion of the mainland won't be walkable. It's one thing to do this with the ocean, but with mainland? Right now it feels like it will completely take away the feeling of freedom. The other areas better be larger and somehow connected, and not just "islands" in an ocean of grassy fields. On the other hand, it's seems like the best opportunity of using Phantom Hourglass' 3D sea travelling engine again without actually having sea travelling in the game for a third time. That way you're going to see the new land in 3D, which is great and wouldn't be possible with a sole isometric perspective. Also, it does has some potential. Think of the minecart tracks in Capcom's 2D Zelda games, those always were clever puzzles and the railroads don't work that different.

We don't know anything about the story so far, whether it's a sequel to Phantom Hourglass, where Tetra and Link found a new land, which is somewhen in the future in danger. Or a prequel to The Wind Waker, which takes place in the Hyrule, which will later be flooded. Valley of the Flood, toon style.

And I love the idea of controlling Phantoms, it's a very nice twist after all the Ocean King Temple stress. I guess, in the later dungeons, you can control more and even stronger versions of Phantoms. And this game needs more items than just seven, one of the main complaints I had about Phantom Hourglass was the limited number of useable items. And considering that the Gale Boomerang in Twilight Princess already combined the two items shown in the Spirit Tracks trailer, this new blowgun feels like a damn waste right now. So, don't you dare to make a game with just seven items again. If there are going to be DSi related features, I would like them to be downloadable content, no camera crab. If there's a multiplayermode like in Phantom Hourglass a stage builder similar to the one in Smash Bros Brawl, which lets you design your own multiplayer levels, definitely would be nice. But it's still too early to say anything more specific about "Spirit Tracks", the trailer doesn't give away much. But I'm open minded about this game and looking forward to more infos.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Unless I find DM-Instinct somewhere, this will pretty much be the last of my old maps being released here. This is my only UT2004 map and basically this is still a beta version, since I've actually never finished this map. Doesn't really matter though, everything making this blog less boring is welcome, I guess. I've even mentioned this map before, it's a remake of my favorite map from the N64 game Turok: Rage Wars called "Hopeless".

"Rage Wars" had a limit of four players, so basically all maps in this game were very small. Though this version is a bit larger, it's still meant for 1on1 only. The original setting was somehow futuristic, but this remake uses an atmospheric industrial setting, pretty much like DM-Rankin did. There are some triggered sounds, you will hear when somebody walks over metallic stairways or wooden ramps. Each of these spots have their unique sound, so if you study the sounds, you will know exactly, where your enemy is. The new sound effects are imported from Unreal and Unreal Tournament (basically like in DM-Spirit), I love the sound effects in these games.

The layout stayed true to the original version. And I've put the weapons in places, I've associated with the corresponding weapons the most. For example the Rocket Launcher is located, where you could find an explosive ammo pack in Rage Wars. There are a lot of weapons for a small map like this one in DM-1on1-Hopeless, but I "like to have my options open". :D However, that's it. There's still an UT2003 version of the Quake III Arena map "Fatal Instinct" I've made, but I can't find it anymore. And the rest of my selfmade maps are just crabby tryouts and already in digital heaven. I haven't worked on any new maps for four years now, which is actually pretty sad, because I had so much fun doing it. But I plan to get a new rig in the near future, which should give me the possibility of mapping for UT3. I would really love to create some maps for the newest installment of the Unreal series, maybe even a new and more finished remake of Hopeless.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


Time to add something to my old map collection. I've found two more maps on my old home computer while visiting family. This one was actually never released before, in many cases. DM-Molten was an official map, which was planned to be included in UT2003, but never made it. It was released in Unreal Championship though, but unlike CTF-Smote it still didn't find its way into UT2004. So, back then I've decided to make this map playable using a file from the beta version of UT2003 (build 927).

DM-Molten is pretty much just a larger version of DM-TrainingDay. It isn't really a good map, but it's fun. Since I've never played the UC version of it, the weapon and pick up placements may be different. Here's the list of things, I've added to the original beta version of the map:

  • removed floating weapon bases
  • added new weapon bases
  • weapon bases now provide weapons
  • added ammo, health and adrenaline pick ups
  • added SuperShield and DoubleDamage in the long corridors
  • fixed positions of some static meshes
  • added some path nodes for bots
  • added music
  • added player count, author and level information
  • added 3 screenshots for the menu



Thursday, March 5, 2009

UT3 Titan Pack released

Today Epic released their free UT3 add on and it looks amazing. Grab it over at BU. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the new Stealthbender vehicle and its Link station deployable:

You can find more screenshots at BU or in my older newsposts:

BU Titan Pack Screenshots
Torvus Blog Titan Pack Preview 1
Torvus Blog Titan Pack Preview 2