Thursday, July 22, 2010

Twilight Princess 2

A new Zelda game is just around the corner and like always Zelda fans don't like what they'll get. It seems, that there are a lot of Zelda fans complaining about the new art style of Skyward Sword. That they would prefer the realistic looks of Twilight Princess. But let's face it, if Nintendo just would have used updated Twilight Princess graphics, everyone would complain right now, that "Skyward Sword is just Twilight Princess with MotionPlus".

To be fair, I have to admit, that I initially didn't like Skyward Sword's art style as well. But the more I hear and see about the game, the more I like it. I think it could use some more polishing and details, but it looks really beautiful. Especially the background landscapes in this impressionistic art style, they really capture this old, magical flair like an artwork from an old game's manual. Something that has been lost since the N64 days. And in my eyes it fits Zelda more than any "realistic" visuals ever could.

But what I really dig is the MotionPlus action. I'm really excited about this. But there are also people, who dislike the thought of playing with MotionPlus. They want an option to play this game with a classic or GameCube controller. Which would be absolutely ridiculous, since the whole game was developed around MotionPlus action. It's like in the Nintendo DS Zeldas, where some people wanted optional button controls. But it wouldn't have worked, because buttons lack the precision of the touchpad controls, like aiming with the bow in 360°. With the D-Pad I can only shoot in eight directions. We have the same here with MotionPlus. You can't do precise strikes with your sword by using a normal controller. It just wouldn't work. Either the game is really designed around MotionPlus or it's just half-assed motion controls as an optional gimmick. And I really don't want the latter.

But let's sum this up. Some don't like the graphics, some don't like MotionPlus and some don't like both. So, let's take Skyward Sword...

and now let's remove the new visual style and the MotionPlus controls. Angry Zelda fans are really getting excited in this very moment. "No stupid comic graphics? No stupid wiggle waggle motion controls? This sounds so awesome and exciting!" Let's put these Zelda fans out of their misery and show them, how the next Wii Zelda game could have been. The curtain drops, ladies and gentlemen, this is how the improved Skyward Swork looks like:

Yes, we would get Twilight Princess. Again. But do we really want a Twilight Princess 2? I wouldn't be so sure about that... In fact I would even go so far and say that everyone would whine about a Twilight Princess 2 as much as they whine about Skyward Sword right now.

The Wii Sports Resort Check

It's summer time and the perfect summer game is definitely Wii Sports Resort. It has this great vacation feeling to it and the minigames are perfect for a time, where you don't want to play videogames all day long. I also got in the mood for Wii Sports Resort because of Skyward Sword, since most of Wii Sports Resort's mechanics are going to be used in the next big Zelda title. So, I'm doing the "Wii Sports Resort Chech" right here and now. Which sports do have an influence on Skyward Sword and which might?


I have to admit, I don't like the swordplay in Wii Sports too much. It's because it's not real swordplay, where the blades clash. You have this blocking mechanism while holding down B and if you hit someone's sword, while he blocks, you will be stunned for a moment. I see, that this was necessary for the duel play, because otherwise people probably would just mindlessly attack each other. But on the other hand it feels quite awkward and doesn't have these sword fight dynamics, which I want.

Zelda could make up for it. In Skyward Sword you'll get the real deal, swords clashing, no stupid stunning effects, real men sword fights. And it's gonna be tons of fun.


It was weird, that they didn't include any Boomerang item in the Skyward Sword E3 demo, that could work similar to the Frisbee. But if you think about it, throwing a boomerang like a real boomerang would lack the precision. And that would be annoying. So, maybe there's an item in the game, that will replace the boomerang and works more like the Frisbee from Wii Sports. Or it might be there's no Boomerang at all and the Beetle is the replacement.


My favorite of all the sports in Wii Sports Resort, I just love it. Yesterday I forced myself to play the archery like you would do in Skyward Sword. Which means I held the Wiimote in my right hand and the Nunchuk in the left. Additionally I was sitting in my armchair all the time. That way I could support my right hand on the arm rest to improve the precesion. And guess what? It worked fine. In fact it worked so good for me, that I broke all records. I achieved the Superstar rank, got the "Secret Target" stamp and nearly got the final stamp, "Sharpshooter" (all times bullseye), as well. I never could do that in the classic play style, where you stand and hold the Wiimote in your left hand.

Additionally in Zelda you will have a real crosshair and not this big circle. Which will make the aiming even more easier. So, I'm very confident about the bow in Skyward Sword.


I guess, throwing bombs will be somehow similar to Basketball, just heavier. I don't want to stretch it, but remember the bomb basketball minigame from Majora's Mask?

Table Tennis

Yeah, no. I don't see how the Table Tennis mechanics could find their way into Zelda. Maybe real tennis though, the energy ball tennis (Agahnim, Ganondorf, Phantom Ganon, Puppet Zelda, Cubus Sisters, ...) was always very popular in Zelda games.


Like Table Tennis I don't see this happening unless you play Golf with your sword.


You can bowl bombs. And maybe there will be a bomb bowling minigame (hopefully better than Ocarina of Time's Bombchu Bowling).

Wake Boarding / Power Cruising

The point of these water sports was the steering via Wiimote. I could only see this happening while riding the horse. Remember that weird inflateable horse seat patent from last year? There you would use the Wiimote to steer and the Nunchuk to attack with your sword. Could be in the game, but I'd prefer it if the game would have a more intense overworld without any space or use for a horse.


That's a must. I always thought, that the canoing in Twilight Princess didn't hit it's full potential without real Wii paddle controls. It was one of those things, where the old Wiimote without MotionPlus just was not suitable enough. This changed and Wii Sports Resort shows how it could have been.

I really hope that the fishing on a canoe returns. Fishing was one of the sports, that was planned for Wii Sports Resort, but then got scrapped. But we all know Nintendo and this idea will probaly find it's way back into Zelda once again. The fishing Twilight Princess was really good, but with MotionPlus it could be the perfect fishing experience. Yay!


No. Just no.

Air Sports

This is probably where the Beetle came from. The airplane controls are very similar and what they have both in common is the exploring. I loved the Island Flyover mode, where I could collect all those sight seeing points and shoot all the white balloons. It was great. And I guess, the Beetle will be very important for exploring Hyrule as well.

There's also the Sky Diving. In Skyward Sword. Link will descend to Hyrule and we already saw the sequence where he jumps down from a cliff. And he also wears these saggy skydiver pants. So, maybe Skydiving is in the game as well.

What remains the most important question to many is, can you play while sitting? Zelda fans are afraid, that they have to stand all the time while playing the game. Because they are irrational and play a new Zelda game for ten hours straight, when it's out. But I say no, stay calm, you can sit down while playing. Archery worked fine for this and I guess during the swordplay small gestures from your wirst will be suitable for most situations. You may have to lift your arm for sword fighting tougher enemies, but as soon as it gets more intense you will probably stand up automatically. I mostly did that in Twilight Princess already, standing up during the boss fight, because it's cool and epic. But don't be afraid, my guess is, that you will be able to play most of the time while sitting in your couch (even though it might be better for most people, if they'd get their asses up :D).

Skyward Sword's Timeline Placement

Aonuma confirmed in the latest issue of the Official Nintendo magazine, that there's indeed an official timeline document and that Skyward Sword will take place before Ocarina of Time.

"Yes, there is a master timeline but it is a confidential document! The only people to have access to that document are myself, Mr. Miyamoto and the director of the title. We cant share it with anyone else!"

"I have already talked to Mr. Miyamoto about this so I am comfortable in releasing this information, this title [Skyward Sword] takes place before Ocarina of Time."

"If I said that a certain title was 'the first Zelda game', then that means that we cant ever make a title that takes place before that! So for us to add titles to the series, we have to have a way of putting the titles before or after each other."

Both news aren't very surprising. We knew about the timeline document for a long time now. I guess, it's very simplistic and just shows the basic relationships between the games. Because that's the only way it could work fine. Zelda fans tend to get too much into details, when it comes to the timeline. Like which side character appeared in which game or what's up with the Master Sword in the Oracle games and so on. As a Zelda fan, who likes to write about Zelda, I surprisingly talk very rarely about the timeline. Maybe it's time for an article about that. :D However, even if the official timeline might be simple compared to most fan timelines, it's still very confusing and complicated. Which is why Nintendo will probably never show this to the public. With all the different eras, the different Links and Zeldas it's probably quite a mess and not as clear as the Metroid timeline for example.

About Skyward Sword's timeline placement, we could have guessed this pretty much since the artwork from last year's E3:

At E3 2010 they even confirmed, that the "Skyward Sword" is the girl and that it will become the legendary Master Sword at one point in the game. So, if the story deals with the origins of the Master Sword, the game pretty has to be placed before Ocarina of Time. This should be logical. But what's interesting is that in Ocarina we were told the origins of Ganondorf. Which could mean, that there's no "Gannon" involved in the new game.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Metroid: Other M Boxarts

Remember the nice red New Super Mario Bros. Wii boxart? Yeah, that was a cool one. "Must buy the red box." Well, Japan now brings out quite a cover for Metroid: Other M:

This is a great cover. Simplistic and striking. Even if the game turns out to be bad, at least the cover looks awesome. UPDATE: It's also a slip cover, we got a younger Samus under the red helmet. Nice effect. Now, let's take a look at the US/European cover:

Duh... boring, duh. What's this? The cover of a boring Star Wars novel? Who came up with that? Metroid is about the exploration of an isolated Sci-Fi world, but this cover tells me, the only thing, that I'm going to explore in this game, will be Samus' feelings. I will probably call the game "Metroid Mother" from now on. Not only because "Other M" is an anagram for "mother", but because Samus' maternal feelings for the Baby Metroid will probably more important than anything.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Taking the Sword Away Again...

Aonuma in an interview with Gamespot:

“If you look at The Legend of Zelda as a series, there are some things that are fairly traditional in the structure of the game in that you have a traditional field area and then a dungeon area. So, maybe we won’t have the dungeon area be that place where you go and you fight enemies and you solve a puzzle and beat the boss, but maybe we can make some field areas that operate sort of like dungeons. Or maybe we’ll have dungeons where you’re not just going in to battle enemies, but maybe a dungeon where you go in and you lose your sword, and you have to flee from the enemies and solve puzzles.”

Arggghhhhh, why the hell would you want to do this? How stupid is this? And how's that new? I mean, why does it sound so familiar? Huh...?

Remember this? We already had that concept twice in the Nintendo DS Zeldas and it wasn't that much fun. And it's surely not innovative for that matter. And why would they reuse that idea in a game, which heavily focuses on MotionPlus sword combat? That's absolutely ridiculous. I want to KICK ASS, blow my enemies away with the sword and not run away from them. Running away in fear is not fun. If I would enjoy running away from invincible enemies, I would buy Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. I haven't bought Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. I absolutely don't get it, why they would want to do this. And I really hope, it will be just one dungeon. Or that this was just a stupid example and it's not going to be in the game, where they actually will offer some good ideas, which Aonuma just doesn't want to spoil. But with ideas like the above, they'll never surpass Ocarina of Time. I see, that they want to include challenges in Zelda games, that's nice, but there are other ways to offer challenges than just throwing invincible enemies into the game.

Don't take it away, Nintendo. Don't!

About the field areas that work like dungeons. We already saw that in the demo and it's basically nothing new (Forsaken Fortress for example). It would be disappointing if this is all they had come up with in their "change the dungeon field formula"-plan.

Zelda Universe