Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 – The Zelda Year of Big Announcements

This year had one big event for Zelda fans and that was the E3 and its announcements of Skyward Sword and the Nintendo 3DS. Uhm, that's basically it. It wasn't such a rich year as 2009, but also not as silent as 2008.

There were no Zelda related releases this year, the Zelda team is working hard on Skyward Sword, which will probably be released next year, and otherwise there were no re-releases or any similar smaller updates. I was hoping for an European release of the newest Tingle game, Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love, but that didn't happen. And I'm also still interested whether Ocarina of Time - Master Quest could make it on the Virtual Console or not. But with the Nintendo 3DS and Ocarina of Time 3D coming closer both ideas get more and more unlikely. But this minor stuff. With no new Zelda game having been released this year, it was the perfect opportunity to replay some older Zelda games or even play a Zelda game, that you've missed so far. I personally replayed Spirit Tracks for the first and I checked out Soul Calibur II during the holidays, which was sadly missing in my collection until now.

2011 is going to be awesome. Maybe even the best Zelda year ever. Skyward Sword looks despite the controverse graphics and the failed live demonstration at the E3 really promising to me, if they can make this a more oldschool, action-packed and dense experience with a lot of freedom, this game could be awesome. Ocarina of Time was the transition of A Link to the Past into 3D, Skyward Sword could be the same for the classic The Legend of Zelda game from the NES. We'll see in 2011. Also, the most successful Zelda game so far will get a fine remake for the Nintendo 3DS: Ocarina of Time 3D. As one of its launch titles it will definitely boost the system's sales, I'm also hoping for some new features like a bonus dungeon or an included Master Quest. But that's not all of it. The Nintendo 3DS will get its own Virtual Console and there some GameBoy Zelda classics will return in the spot light starting with Link's Awakening DX, maybe even with some gimmick 3D effects. And the Oracle games might follow. As you can see 2011 will be full of exciting releases. Additionally Nintendo recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., why not do the same for Zelda? Maybe there are some surprises for Zelda fans next year. So, Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Replaying Spirit Tracks

A good Zelda game has a high replay value. A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, Ocarina of Time... you could play those games dozens of times and they'll never get boring. They're awesome and fun, they offer enough freedom and non-linearity to encourage some experimenting and even speed runs. While some Zelda games are just fun to replay, others might "force" you into replaying them by offering a 2nd Quest and content, that can only be gotten by replaying the games. The Wind Waker and the Oracle games are good examples for this. Sometimes you replay a Zelda game, because you missed an item (I hate missable items), or because it was re-released for a newer system and you don't want the new copy to remain untouched. There are many good reasons to replay a Zelda game, but some of them are just bad in this department. Especially the last ones. Zelda games lately have no replay value and that's sad.

I finished each Zelda game at least twice, I even replayed Phantom Hourglass out of curiosity. The game offers quite some non-linearity, which is rare in modern Zelda games, and I wanted to test if I can get the third and fourth sea chart in one run, so I could play Mutoh's Temple first, then the Ice Temple and the Goron Temple at the end before returning to the Temple of the Ocean King. And it worked. Adding some non-linearity to games is usually a good thing, because it can produce a new experience each time you replay the game.

And achieving the 100% for a second time was really dull. The random factors just make it a very boring, repetitive and tedious experience. Actually the randomness was much better handled in Phantom Hourglass, because there were spots, where you could specifically get rare ship parts more easily (like scoring over 2000 points in the archery or the two treasure chests at the end of the Ocean King Temple). The problem here was the high amount of ship parts, because the chance of getting a specific part is very low. So, if you were down to a couple of missing parts, getting them could take forever... And this really destroys the replay value of the game for completionists.

Well, since I replayed every Zelda game, I recently thought I should do the same with the newest installment, Spirit Tracks, even though I never really wanted to. I usually replay a game willingly if I really liked it. Heck, I even replayed Metroid: Other M shortly after my first playthrough and the game wasn't very good. But for some reason I didn't want to replay Spirit Tracks and that reason is called tediousness. All the slow train travelling and collecting all the treasures for the train cars again makes replaying very unattractive. In Phantom Hourglass the sea travelling was okay, the distances were really short and you could warp all around the sea. But the train travelling in Spirit Tracks takes A LOT of time. You can't just simply go from A to B by using some warp like in most of the other Zelda games and this artificially lengthens the play time with dull travelling.

And then there's the treasure hunting. Actually on the paper the treasure system is a lot better than collecting the tons of ship parts in Phantom Hourglass, because there are only 16 random items and some of them can be even gotten in determined spots. But Nintendo screwed it by making some of your treasures extra rare, which varies with every save file, because they wanted to support trading treasures via the Contact Mode that way. In Japan, where everyone runs around with a Nintendo DS and where they play Zelda in the subway, this might be okay... but good luck finding someone for trading treasures here in Europe or the United States. And it doesn't work online. So, all you can do is try to get all the treasures yourself, which can take a while and is very repetitive. This time, one of my rare treasures were the White Pearl Loops... you need more than twenty of them and I still haven't gotten enough. And I can't see that stupid sword training minigame (which is the easiest way to score some 150 rupee treasures) anymore. I have the Platinum Membership in the Beedle Shop (which is also absolutely ridiculous), but not all train cars yet...

But on the bright side, I got a better look at the game. For example I noticed that all the other side quests are far better distributed than I thought they were. Originally I dodged most of the side quest until the end of the game because of the slow train riding, I was rushing from dungeon to dungeon. And then at the end I had a total sidequest overload. But that's something that can happen in all the Zelda games, when you're playing them for the first time. The main quests are always the obvious choice, a new dungeon is far more exciting than collecting some treasures. But when I replay a Zelda game I always focus to finish all the sidequests as early as possible. And that way I noticed that there are enough side quests before each dungeon and each section of the tower, which is great.

Little Update: Another thing I haven't noticed during my first playthrough was, that if you blow the whistle after picking up one of the Tears of Light in the Dark Realm, your train goes EXTREMELY fast. I love that and it also makes battling the Dark Trains a lot easier. That speed update should be somehow available in the main game, it would be tons of fun. This time I haven't saved after battling the Gannon-Train, so I can always replay the Pacman part. Fast is fun.

So, what we learn here, is that a tedious side quest can be a real replay killer, if you want to go for a 100%. It's the same with The Wind Waker for example and all it's figurines, that's one aweful sidequest. The Minish Cap is actually short and fun, which is why I replayed it like three times, but the figurines there AGAIN were totally annoying and you basically waste a lot of time there in the lottery just to get the 100% again, while the rest of the game is long finished. So, Nintendo, please stop adding random factors and repetitive tasks to side quests. Zelda shouldn't be some grinding game. Also, a Zelda game shouldn't give you the feeling that it's a long and boring task, like The Wind Waker and Spirit Tracks did with all their sea and train travelling. A Zelda game needs to be more dense.

Miyamoto recently acknowledged in an interview with pocket-lint, that they have to focus more on the replay value with Skyward Sword:

“What we are focused on is creating gameplay mechanics so the gameplay experience feels very dense. In fact, the overall experience is going to feel more dense. We hope that people will want to go back and replay the game once they finish it”.

That really sounds good. Less is sometimes more. Have a smaller overworld, but rich in detail, action and exploration. Have less sidequests, but quality ones, not that random crap. Replay value is very important to every game, not just Zelda. What's a game worth, if you can only play it once and then it catches dust? It definitely wasn't worth the money spent on it. And the sooner the Zelda team realizes the importance of replay value, the better for the Zelda series.

The Zelda Checklist

Are you excited for Skyward Sword? Me too. Can't wait for it to be released? Me neither. Well, but the waiting is the perfect opportunity to revisit some of the already released Zelda games. And since there are many, chances are high that you missed something. Why not use the waiting to fill some gaps in your Zelda experience? Here's a complete list of what you can do:
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • The Legend of Zelda (2nd Quest)
  • Zelda II - The Adventure of Link
  • A Link to the Past (classic SNES version)
  • Link's Awakening
  • Link's Awakening DX
  • Ocarina of Time
  • Ocarina of Time - Master Quest
  • Majora's Mask
  • Oracle of Ages & Seasons (beat Ganon)
  • Oracle of Ages & Seasons (Hero's Secret, 64 rings)
  • A Link to the Past - Four Swords (Gold Keys, Hero Keys)
  • The Wind Waker (finish it once)
  • The Wind Waker (2nd Quest, figurines)
  • Four Swords Adventures
  • The Minish Cap
  • Twilight Princess (Gamecube version)
  • Twilight Princess (Wii version)
  • Phantom Hourglass
  • Spirit Tracks
Your goal should always be the 100%. Of course in some games like Oracles, The Wind Waker or the Nintendo DS Zelda games this can be quite some work, but remember, we do this to kill some time anyway. So, if the game has a noticeable 2nd Quest like The Legend of Zelda, The Wind Waker or Four Swords, then you should want to beat it as well. In Wind Waker it might even be necessary to complete your Minintendo figurine collection (you can finish it on the first run though, but that's hard). The Oracle games are a very tricky case here. Beating Ganon gives you the Hero's Secret, that let's you begin a 2nd Quest, where you start with an additional Heart Container, a new ring (Victory Ring for defeating Ganon) and the ability to transfer all your rings from your first playthrough. Use this to play in the other direction and complete your ring collection. If you play in the other direction, there will be also many differences to the link game features. For example the Hero's Cave will be totally different, both versions belong to the most challenging dungeons in the series, so you don't want to miss them. You might even want to play the games a third time, since each of the three animals gives you a different enviroment on the overworld. However, Four Swords is probably the most problematic of them all, because it requires a second player. It has basically difficulty levels with the Gold and Hero Keys, collecting them as well as ten Medals of Courage for the Riddle Quest in A Link to the Past requires quite some determination and skill. It's sadly the only Zelda game I wasn't able to finish until today due to the lack of a second player. Zelda II also offers a 2nd Quest, there you replay the game using your levels and spells from the first playthrough, which makes it much easier. Might be fun, but there's no new content, which is why I haven't listed it here.

Some games received an extended or altered version during the course of time, you might want to play both versions to experience the differences. If there's two versions of one game, why not play both? See it as a replay with some twists. In case of Ocarina of Time - Master Quest this should be clear, since its dungeons provide a completely different challenge. So, you should definitely play both versions of Ocarina. If you've only played the old version of A Link to the Past or Link's Awakening, you should check out the later released improved versions, DX and Four Swords. Next to the coloring of Link's Awakening and the additional multiplayer game that A Link to the Past received, both new versions got several additional improvements, as well as a bonus dungeon and a new sidequest. If you've already played the newer versions, you still might be curious about how the games used to look like. Especially the classic monochrome version of Link's Awakening got its own charme. And then there are the two versions of Twilight Princess. They are mirrored to make Link right-handed in the Wii version, so what's in the East in the one version lies in the West of the other version and vice versa. This can be very confusing, but also interesting. And the controls are obviously different, you might want to decide for yourself, which controls you like more, so try out both.

Well, if you've already finished all the Zelda games in all their variety or if you just want to play something entirely else, there are also the spin-offs and cameos, so here's another list:

  • BS The Legend of Zelda
  • BS The Legend of Zelda: MAP2
  • Ancient Stone Tablets
  • Freshly Picked: Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
  • Link's Crossbow Training (all Platinum Medals)
  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • Soul Calibur II
For the BS Zelda, go to the BS Zelda Homepage and be happy. Yes, you should check these games out, especially Ancient Stone Tablets is fun and those were originally official Zelda games made by Nintendo, just for Japan-exclusive system, which is unaccessible today (for more info see my BS Zelda posts). Link's Crossbow Training is short but fun, try to get all Platinum medals here, this isn't hard.

I only listed the first of the Tingle games, since it's the only game that was released outside of Japan and the only Tingle game that shares some gameplay elements with the Zelda series, like the dungeons. But if you can get your hands on the other games and if you're curios about them, it can't hurt to play them as well, I guess. The fighting game cameos are all fun and you should at least check the Zelda related content in these games out, for example try to get all costumes and weapons for Link in Soul Calibur II. Apropos, most of you probably have played the Super Smash Bros series, but in case you haven't played Soul Calibur II yet, you should get it, it's awesome. I haven't listed the Zelda LCD games, like the Game & Watch one, because they don't offer much content. And I haven't listed the CD-i games, because they're not official anyway and very hard to get - this would really jump the shark. Play the BS Zeldas instead, if you want something rare and strange.

So, found anything on the list, that you've haven't played and finished so far? Then what are you waiting for? Go for it, play the Zelda games, they're all worth it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Game of the Decade

A big surprise came last week, when GameFAQs voted Majora's Mask as the best game of the decade. Seriously, I love this game, it's in my top 3 of Zelda games next to Link's Awakening and Ocarina of Time, but game of the decade? Even beating Super Smash Bros Brawl in the finals? That's an interesting choice and speaks for that GameFAQs actually still has some taste. Normally I would expect some Call of Duty or God/Gears of War on the top. Well...


This is crazy, but I love it. Good voting, people. I hope Nintendo sees this and gets motivated to do a Majora's Mask 3D remake for the 3DS. By the way, my personal game of the decade probably would be Metroid Prime though.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

SoulCalibur II

What's the best Zelda cameo in a video game? Super Smash Bros? Melee? Brawl? Most people probably will pick a game from the Super Smash Bros series to answer this question. And while they're not wrong, there's another great game you should consider when it comes to Zelda cameos: SoulCalibur II for the Nintendo Gamecube. Each version of the game had it's own big cameo, the XBox Version had Spawn, the PS2 version some guy from Tekken and the Gamecube version none other than Link from the The Legend of Zelda series. I guess for a lot of Zelda fans including myself Link's appearance was the main reason to get this game. And I love it.

For those of you, who are not familiar with the SoulCalibur series, it's a fighting game, which heavily utilizes different melee weapons like swords. Unlike in most fighting games, you can move around freely in the environment, while you face the enemy. You can strike horizontally and you can strike vertically, with lots of different combos and variations of course. You can kick, you can guard and you can press multiple buttons at once for different actions. For example pressing attack and guard near the enemy at the same time results in a throw. There are quite some "paper, rock, scissors" dynamics between all those actions. Moving around your enemy usually dodges vertical strikes, while horizontal strikes are effective against those dodges and vertical strikes beat horizontal ones. There is also the "Soul Charge", that powers up your offense or defense, but leaves you vulnerable while you're charging. It's overall quite simple and you don't need any complicated combos to win, but that's what makes the game so fun.

SoulCalibur II offers familiar fighting game types like Arcade, Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle and Practice, but there's also the amazing Weapon Master mode. It's an adventure mode, divided in different chapters, where each chapter covers an area of the map. Those chapters/areas include multiple missions, which have their own story and rules. These fights are much richer in variety than in the default gametypes. You may fight against the clock, your health might be draining or the enemy regenerating. The arena might be trapped with mines or caged or there might be special rules like increased knock back. Or some enemies can only be beaten by using special techniques and so on. But not only that it offers more variety than playing the normal game types, it's also much more rewarding. The Weapon Master mode is where you unlock new characters, arenas, costumes and weapons, as well as some galleries, videos and extra gametypes, which are like the default gametypes with the difference that you're allowed to use the unlocked weapons. Character, additional arenas and the extra modes are unlocked by beating individual missions, all other stuff can be bought in the shops. Each chapter has its own shop with different weapons, costumes and maybe other extras like videos. You receive gold for every fight, even if you fail, and it's not hard to culmulate all the necessary money to buy everything. But some weapons and costumes can also be won in some missions to save some money. Most of the playable characters have a set of ten unlockable weapons, which includes their own version of the disgusting Soul Edge, a legendary blade and a joke weapon. Of course each of the unlockable weapons has its ups and downs, so you have to choose wisely which weapon suits your playing style the most. The Weapon Master mode also has a 2nd Quest, where each mission becomes harder and where you can play two additional chapters with the hardest dungeons.

Talking about dungeons, they are definitely the coolest part of Weapon Master mode. Those are special missions, where you conquer a maze. You start with one room and each room features a fast 1on1 fight. If you beat one room, the neighboring rooms become accessible. The dungeons usually offer some choices where to go next and your goal is to fight your way to the boss room, which finishes the dungeon. But it's always wise to fully explore the dungeons, because there might be hidden weapons. The rooms additionally may have special environments, like an ice floor, quick sand or mines. But the fights are always fast and fair, unlike some later missions in the game, which can get quite frustrating. If you fail to beat a room, you can easily repeat it without any consequences. Only leaving the dungeon is considered to be mission failure. It's a lot of fun to beat the dungeons with Link. You might even joke about how the dungeon experience of Soulcalibur II beats the dungeon experience in modern Zelda games. It actually reminds me of the classic NES Zelda dungeon ways. It heavily focuses on combat and there are multiple ways through the dungeons, while it lacks on puzzles.

I've beaten the entire Weapon Master mode and unlocked everything by only using Link, the secret star of the game. Namco used the Hero of Time for Link's story, which is about a mage who attacked Hyrule and was controlled by the Soul Edge. Link then seeks out to destroy the evil blade. That's basically it, but it suits the game well and it doesn't conflict with the Zelda storylines, even though the game isn't "canon" anyway. Link is quite the exceptional character in this game, in many ways. Well, first of all, he looks a little misplaced. They used the Ocarina of Time art as a base for Link's model, however the other characters have realistic proportions, Link is usually a little smaller than the other characters, while his head is bigger and so on. But you'll get used to it and won't notice this after a while. Also, he's the only character with more than one unlockable alternate costume. However, all his costumes just feature the same familiar tunic in the different colors from Four Swords. Other characters' costumes are far more creative and may let the character look completely different. And Link is the only character to use any other weapons than his melee weapons and even ranged weapons during a fight. He can throw his boomerang or bombs and use his bow to shoot arrows. But I have to say that they're quite inconvinient to use, I usually just rely on a good combination of vertical and horizontal strikes and guarding, like you would with all the other characters. But bombs can be fun if your enemy is on the ground. Link's weapon set is awesome and reminds me how cool blades used to be in Zelda back in the day, today all you get is some Master Sword copy cat. , Well, of course the Master Sword and Hylian Shield are his default weapons, but you can also unlock ten others coming from the N64 Zeldas and the classics. The first one is the Razor Sword from Majora's Mask with shorter reach and lower defense, but higher damage. Then there's the Armos set, which is a really cool idea. Link can also use the Megaton Hammer for heavy damage but short reach. The Cane of Byrna from A Link to the Past heals you during Soul Charge, perfect for missions with low health, but it's weak against other weapons since it's not a real weapon. The Biggoron's Sword offers higher reach and higher damage, which can be really deadly combined with Link's fast stabbing attack, but it also causes some self damage. The Mirror Shield from Ocarina of Time on the other hand causes your enemies to get take some damage when they hurt you. The Magic Sword and Shield set from the NES classics is not only awesome fan service, it also damages through guard. It used to be my favorite weapon before I got the Great Fairy's Sword from Majora's Mask. The latter is Link's legendary weapon, it heals you constantly, offers great range and high damage. It's guard is lower though, but since I'm more the offensive player, it suits my playing style perfectly. I used it in all the later missions of the Weapon Master mode and I love it. And then there's the Bug Catching Net from A Link to the Past as Link's joke weapon. It's obviously not a real weapon and makes funny noises, but every character has a weapon like that. Each of the weapons is well designed and has it's own little story in the Weapon Gallery. (For more information look here.)

Well, expert SoulCalibur players say that Link is low tier, but he's definitely my favorite character in the game. I've beaten the Arcade mode with all characters and Link is the one I'm best with. I can't beat the final missions in the Weapon Master mode with anyone but Link. But I'm bad at this game, I don't know any combos, I rarely kick or use the Soul Charge. I usually don't get the Guard Impact technique working right and I don't use any special attacks like Bombs or Arrows. I would probably suck hard against a skilled SoulCalibur player, but I was never really good at fighting games and I don't like the Gamecube controller, it's very uncomfortable and not suited for a game like this in any way. However, I still could beat the Weapon Master mode and unlock everything with the help of Link and his awesome Great Fairy Sword. But I have to say the game doesn't demand any brutal stuff for unlocking everything. Challenges like beating the Survival mode would have been impossible and extremely frustrating for me.

While there's just Link, his weapons and some Zelda tunes in this game, no Zelda arenas or any other Zelda characters like in Super Smash Bros, it's still an awesome cameo. I could imagine that many copies of this game just were sold because of Link. I know that I got the game just for that, because I wanted it for my Zelda collection. And it's not a bad strategy from Namco, this game might get you interested in the Soul Calibur franchise that way. They even kept the strategy of including big cameos until today, SoulCalibur IV for example features three characters from the Star Wars franchise. But while Star Wars might be more popular than Zelda, I don't think it fits the game so well, Zelda was much more awesome and fitting. Of course the newer Soul Calibur games weren't released for a Nintendo system, so there was no place for a Zelda cameo. But SoulCalibur II definitely shows how a well made Zelda cameo looks like.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Treshold of a Dream

OCR released a new amazing album, this time for one of my very favorite Zelda games: Link's Awakening. The album is called "Treshold of a Dream" and it features 25 tracks in total including some bonus tracks, as well as some nice artwork. You can grab it here:

I didn't have the chance to listen to all of the tracks yet, so I will add a small review later in this post. But if you like stuff like Essence of Lime, you should definitely get it.

Edit: Well, I listened to all the tracks by now and to be honest, it's a mixed bag. A lot of tracks are very calm and boring, I miss the power that I got in Essence of Lime or other good remixes. Other tracks are just terrible, Animal Village or Richard's Village for example. Some of the dungeon themes are really good though. But never look a gift horse in the mouth, it's for free, so just get it anyway.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nintendo 3DS and Zelda

The Nintendo 3DS is a big thing. It feels like Nintendo's next home console and surely will cost as much. But what's in it for a Zelda fan? Most of all: good old times. While there hasn't been an announcement of a new Zelda game for the 3DS yet, older Zelda games return to the spot light.

Ocarina of Time 3D

Ocarina of Time gets ported to the Nintendo 3DS but with enhanced graphics, nice 3D effects, some refinements and maybe even new content. Definitely a must-buy. Taking a closer look at some pictures and videos lets you see, that this in fact not a full remake, because they obviously use the original N64 game as a base. But unlike Link's Awakening DX and the sorts the graphics get boosted quite a lot, Link and elements in the environment (like plants or signs) got new, better looking models, there are new textures everywhere and there seems to be no abusal of sprites or flat textures. But besides that it seems to be very true and close to the original game, it's not a remake from scratch and nothing like Metroid: Zero Mission for example. Can't say much about whether there will be additional content like extra dungeons or not. Both Link's Awakening DX or the GameBoy Advance version of A Link to the Past got a bonus dungeon and an additional sidequest. I'm expecting something similar. And Master Quest could be included as a 2nd quest. If my theory is right and they use the original game as a base, where everything gets replaced with new models, then including Master Quest wouldn't be difficult. They have the content, so why not use it?

After this Majora's Mask might follow this trend and I could also imagine that Nintendo makes an entirely new Zelda game based on the N64 to 3DS ports. Maybe even starring the Hero of Time. Lots of Zelda fans would love that, I guess. It's the logical choice here, another Nintendo DS Zelda game similar to Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks just wouldn't fit the 3DS, because it wouldn't utilize the 3D feature at all. It seems that touch pad heavy games needs to be sacrificed for the 3D. On the other hand if you didn't like the touch screen controls, you will probably be relieved. I personally have mixed feelings about this, while the 3D might be amazing, returning to the N64 gameplay seems to be a step back. I always enjoyed the touch screen gameplay a lot.

Virtual Handheld

Much anticipated, finally happening. The Virtual Console for the Nintendo 3DS. And one of the launch titles is no game less than Link's Awakening DX, still one of my very favorite Zelda titles of all times. If you haven't played this gem before, this is your best (legal) chance, so get it. Next to Ocarina of Time 3D this will be one of the first games I'll get for the 3DS.

And it definitely won't stop here. I would expect Oracle of Ages and Seasons later next year. If they'll add GameBoy Advance to the program later, then The Minish Cap is also a safe bet for the Virtual Console. If you're new to the Zelda franchise, the 3DS will be the perfect opportunity to catch up with Zelda's handheld history. And for Zelda fans, who get these games for their collection, this is always a nice occasion to replay them. I haven't touched the Oracle games in years and a re-release like this would be a perfect motivator to go through these games another time. There was also some talk about classic games getting a 3D effect, which would be a very good reason to replay some classics. Imagine the dungeons of Link's Awakening with some depth to them, awesome.

Another interesting question would be about A Link to the Past: Four Swords or multiplayer GameBoy games in general. Will you be able to play old multiplayer games on the 3DS? If not, this would be sad, for example you wouldn't be able to trade Pokemóns in the classic editions of Nintendo's biggest handheld franchise, Pokemón Red and Blue. So, you would say, that it should be somehow made possible. If yes, then the question is, whether you can play GameBoy games only in local multiplayer or even online. They could make a general online connection system for playing GameBoy classics together. In that case, the most underrated, least known and least played official Zelda game ever could finally find a place in the spotlight: Four Swords. For me personally this is the one and only Zelda game, I could never finish. Simply because I didn't have a second player to join. Being able to play this game online would change everything. And it's quite a good game, in my eyes even the best multiplayer installment of Zelda yet (just check my Zelda and Multiplayer articles). Nintendo doesn't need to make a new Four Swords game. They just would need to make this game more accessible. Most Zelda fans haven't played it yet, so it would be an entirely new experience for them and maybe the most interesting Zelda game on the 3DS's Virtual Console. But this is wishful thinking, like so often, realistically seen it's unlikely. Features got cut in some of the Wii's Virtual Console games (like Rumble or Memory Pack data of N64 games) and while the Nintendo DS (Lite) still was able to play GameBoy Advance games, it didn't support multiplayer, so Nintendo might not care about this.

Long Time no Read

It's been a while, huh... when I changed this blog from something weird into a Zelda focused blog, I said, I always could talk about Zelda. It seems, that this was a lie and I apologize that I haven't been updating this blog in months. Well, I was busy with many other things and the Zelda fire was just not burning for the time, nothing much happend anyway since the E3. I rarely even visited any other Zelda sites or forums. But with the Nintendo 3DS and Skyward Sword coming closer and closer, the fire is starting to grow again. I'm currently replaying Spirit Tracks for the first time, which is actually not as bad and boring as I feared it would be, and I plan to replay the Wii version of Twilight Princess somewhen early 2011 as a warm up for Skyward Sword. In the meantime I plan to update the blog once in a while and with the new games coming out next year it will get hot again.

However, not much happened since the E3 anyway. Metroid: Other M was released and I've written a review in my forums, but in German. I planned to write an English version here on my blog, but I never finished it. Maybe I'll do so and add this post later, because Other M is again a good example, how too much linearity and story telling can kill a good Action Adventure game. The only big news in the last months was probably the announcement of a Virtual Console for the Nintendo 3DS with Link's Awakening DX with one of its release titles. I'll talk about that later. And there was the final season of The Legend of Neil, you should definitely watch it. So much for now, expect some updates in the next days.

The fire burns again. At least for now. :D