Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Other M Gameplay Video

This looks better than I thought it would. It actually looks like a cool mix between Super Metroid and Metroid Prime, Other M could turn out to be the "Best of Metroid"-game. Or it could be total junk, I will only know for sure when I play it myself.

I was actually surprised by the open jungle area. I thought the game would take entirely place on this spaceship and that all the "2D" sequences would be like on rails, but I guess I was mistaken. Even better then. And it seems like there's auto aim in the classic gameplay, because hitting those flying insects so smoothly while running would be impossible with the D-Pad alone.

Voice acting could screw things up if done badly. Samus calling Mother Brain actually "Mother" is quite lame...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nintendo 3DS Announced

Source: Nintendo

Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Minami-ward of Kyoto-city, President Satoru Iwata) will launch "Nintendo 3DS"(temp) during the fiscal year ending March 2011, on which games can be enjoyed with 3D effects without the need for any special glasses.

"Nintendo 3DS"(temp) is going to be the new portable game machine to succeed "Nintendo DS series", whose cumulative consolidated sales from Nintendo amounted to 125million units as of the end of December 2009, and will include backward compatibility so that the software for Nintendo DS series, including the ones for Nintendo DSi, can also be enjoyed.

We are planning to announce additional details at E3 show, which is scheduled to be held from June 15, 2010 at Los Angeles in the U.S.

Okay, this is not also a big surprise coming out of nowhere, it's also quite strange for Nintendo. They care about new ways of playing games, new input methods. Advancing the output alone never concerned them. So, this seems to be quite the opposite of what they've done in the last few years, especially because 3D without 3D glasses sounds very advanced on first glance. BUT looking at this video of a Nintendo DSi game using similar techniques you can see how this could work. It uses the camera to know how it has to change the output. In January Iwata also said something about motion sensoring, which could also be used to generate the 3D view. And this doesn't simply change the output, it could lead to a whole new way of playing Nintendo DS games. That's the beautiful thing about Nintendo. If Sony would use 3D for their console, it would be just for the sake of using 3D technology. But if Nintendo uses 3D, it's because they want to deliver new ways of playing and experiencing games.

The question right now is more or less, since it seems to be already possible on the DSi, why making a new handheld system for this? There must be a good explanation for that. But I guess it doesn't work too well on the DSi and they want to optimize the system for the 3D gameplay. Of course better hardware for the graphics and maybe using two touchscreens instead of just one. And the mentioned motion sensoring could also help to determine the position for the view of 3D images as a support when the camera fails to do it correctly. But let's wait until E3 for more information.

What does that mean for Zelda? It could mean the first portable fully 3D Zelda game, of course. But I would say, they will continue the hybrid gameplay style, which means there will still be the bird's eye view involved or at least a limited viewpoint. But you'll have to play with the perspective to see certain things like in the above video. 3D puzzles. Could be great.

And I guess, I won't buy a Nintendo DSi then. :D And the "Virtual Handheld" with all Zelda GameBoy classics on it will probably be part of the new system.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Zelda Wii and Vitality Sensor


In an interview with games™ issue 95 Miyamoto said the following about the Wii Vitality Sensor:

"So maybe you might like to ask me to incorporate the Vitality Sensor into Zelda so that as you become more scared, the enemies become even tougher."

Of course this is just an example for how to use the Vitality Sensor, so don't be afraid that they will actually do this. The big flaw here is, that you will probably need the Nunchuk to play the game, but it doesn't look like you can use a Nunchuk and a Vitality Sensor at the same time, since both has to be plugged into the Wiimote. So, unless you use a second Wiimote, it's not possible. And even then it would be very uncomfortable to play this game. It's probably very hard to use a Nunchuk with this thing plugged to your forefinger.

But I guess it's a nice example for the possibilities of the Vitality Sensor. Nintendo hasn't shown any software for it yet, so all we can do right now is laughing about this periphal. But in a game like Silent Hill this would probably be awesome, but still you'd have the Nunchuk problem there.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's that Time of the Year

The blog's a little bit on hold lately, I apologize for that. Well, it's the typical "I'm not in the mood for Zelda"-time of the year, last year around that time there weren't many Zelda posts either. I'm also not regularly visiting any Zelda forums at the moment, most of them are back in repeating the same old discussions all over again. Well, I'm waiting for something new, which rekindles the interest for Zelda, but this can take time until E3, where hopefully the new Zelda game will be shown and which hopefully gets me excited. I was hoping for some news at the Game Developers Conference, but there weren't any.

Also, right now I'm playing Unreal Tournament 3, after I finally have the computing power available to play this game. Maybe I will blog a little about Unreal, since I still have the Unreal section here, but most Zelda fans probably won't care for that and there's actually not much to blog about. But Unreal is the only non-Nintendo game series, which I totally love, so it deserves a special spot somewhere and I have real fun with UT3 at the moment.

However, I've prepared some Zelda updates for the near future, but just don't expect the update frequency of the months around the release of Spirit Tracks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spirit Tracks Collector's Guide

Last and eventually least is the Prima Collector's Guide for Spirit Tracks. With its 320 pages it's the thinnest of the three guides and the hardcover is green this time.

I like it how they used a rail pattern for the rim of the cover. The map is this time printend on some thin parchment paper. It's not as awesome as the cloth map from Twilight Princess, but I like it much more than Phantom Hourglass' poster map. However, there aren't any other extras this time around, it's only the map.

There some things I noticed, while skipping through the guide. What I didn't like was that they didn't have any own maps, they just used the ingame maps for everything, which sucked. But the biggest impudence is that they used their self made maps, which they have drawn ingame on the Nintendo DS, for the dark Torch Phantom rooms, that don't have an ingame map. They look as bad as it sounds and they're missing quite some information like treasure chests hidden in the dark. For example in the Lost at Sea Station, they've missed the chest in the east corner of B2. And one of the dark floors in the Tower of the Spirits was drawn totally wrong.

Talking about missing treasure chests, this time they even listed a chest, which isn't in the final game. I looked for all chests, that have to be excavated with the Song of Discovery and they listed one in the Goron Village, the place on top of the hills with the three pots. It's a suspecious place and I thought there would be a chest hidden there too, but you can play the Song of Discovery from every angle there, it won't show up.

And there's a flaw with the ultra-rare treasures, the Regal Ring and the Alchemy stone. While you can win them in some minigames or the lottery, the rest of the places are fixed. Like you'll always get a Alchemy Stone in the Snowdrift Station and you'll always get a Regal Ring in the Lost at Sea Station (try it for yourself). But the guide always says "random treasure" in all treasure location, except for those, where you've been told beforehand what you'll get like in Linebeck's Regal Ring quest or in the Disorientation Station. It doesn't even really hint that you can get one of the two rarest treasures in some of the locations, which is not helping much. There are also no tips on how to get certain treasures, if you're missing some of one kind.

And the guide doesn't cover the third level of the amazing "Get 'em all on"-minigame in Hyrule Castle Town. It does fully cover the first level, briefly mentions the second level, but there's nothing about the third. You can get a quiver upgrade there, if you don't want to buy it for 2000 rupees in the Goron shop, so it is worth being mentioned. And there's Dark Link, who isn't listed in the entire guide at all. My best guess would be, that the guys, who wrote the guide, weren't able to beat the third level and just left it off from the guide. :D I mean, even if they thought, that there's nothing to get there except treasures (which didn't stop them from covering all the minidungeons), you need to prepare the players for the challenges that awaits them there. Like an "if you try the third level, bring two potions, because you'll face all the bosses". Or at least some strategies for the tougher fights like the one with the three giant pirates.

The most interesting part of the guide for me was the multiplayer section. Since I never had the chance to test it, the description of the gameplay and the six maps was very welcome.

At the end one last image of all three guides together:

I guess, the lesson is clear. If you're looking for a guide to help you with the game, look online. Most guides online are free and more accurate. But if you want a nice collectible item, those guides are definitely a good choice. It's something for the fans.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Phantom Hourglass Collector's Guide

Let's take a look at the Phantom Hourglass Collector's Edition Prima Guide. It's make-up is basically the same as the Twilight Princess guide, gilded page edges and a hardcover with a golden Hylian Crest on it, except that this time it's blue.

There are some extra items as well, it comes with a poster map, a small booklet with the images from the opening story and a faux-leather bookmark. Of all the three guides it has the most extra items, but it also has the cheapest map.

When it comes to the content, I didn't notice as many flaws as in the other two guides. But as always I didn't thoroughly look through the entire guide. Well, one thing was that it doesn't cover the places, where it's easier to find rare ship parts. There are certain treasure chests (like the two chests at the end of the Temple of the Ocean King) or other occasions (like when you score more than 2000 points in the archery minigame), where it's more likely that you'll get a golden or other rare ship parts. The guide doesn't cover that, it always just says "here you'll get a random ship part". There are no real tips or strategies on how to complete your ship part collection except for "keep collecting". That's a little disappointing.

The guide also missed some of the golden pots inside the Temple of the Ocean King. Mostly those that get smashed by a Phantom soon after you enter the floor (like B7 or B11).

But except for this I didn't notice anything yet. Tomorrow I will show you the newest guide, the one for Spirit Tracks.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Twilight Princess Collector's Guide

I recently purchased the Prima Collector's Guide of Spirit Tracks to complete my collection of these guides and I thought I could at least show something about them on my little blog.

Well, here we go. First one is Twilight Princess. The best thing about those guides is the awesome looking hardcover. It's probably the only reason, why I got them, they just look nice.

The sites of the pages are golden, which looks awesome too. It also came with a cool cloth map, but sadly it's the mirrored version. Of course it has to be the mirrored version, since the Wii version is the one that sold. There was also a guide for the Gamecube version, but no Collector's Edition.

I never bothered much about the content, since I bought all three guides after I've fully beaten the games. Even if I would need a guide, there are much better guides online for free. So, this is a pure collection thingy. So, I only skipped through the guide, but even that way I noticed some flaws.

First of all, it doesn't have an index. So, if you're looking for something specific, you have no chance of actually finding it without browsing through entire parts of the guide. You have to know, WHEN a certain thing is first available in the game or else it will be very difficult to find it in the 450 pages. For example I wanted to check the information about the fishing pond, but couldn't find it, because it wasn't after the Water Temple part and not before the Snowpeak Ruins quest... so, where the hell is it? :D

The screenshot quality is very bad. Period.

The "legendary checklists" are everything but legendary. I've heard that there are some treasure chests and bombable rocks missing, but I didn't bother to find out which ones. But the missing dig caverns are very obvious, they only have like half of them. Especially the ones, where you can fish are missing. You can easily see this on the cloth map above, for example they don't have the dig caverns on the horse battlefield in Eldin Province. With that they only have a small part of all the fishing locations in the game. Also, while they have a proud list of all the junk, that you can fish, they apparently didn't know, that you also can fish Bomb Fishs and that this will give you an additional Water Bomb. And they missed some of the rare Chuchus as well.

These are the things I noticed, but I'm pretty sure that there are much more. You see people frowning upon the content of these guides all the time. I didn't really took the time to check the actual walkthroughs, so I can't say anything about the quality here. Nonetheless it's a nice collectible item with its hardcover and the cloth map.

Next up will be the Phantom Hourglass guide.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Mirrors play an important role in Zelda games. We have the Magic Mirror in A Link to the Past, that allows Link to return from the Dark World to the Light World. We have the Dark Mirror in Four Swords Adventures, which created the Dark Links. And we have the Mirror of Twilight as a portal to the Twilight Realm. But one mirror in the Zelda series was a real subject of debate...

The Mirroring of Twilight Princess!

It all started at E3 2006 and the demo of Twilight Princess, where people expected that if you swing the Wiimote, Link will actually swing his sword in the game. How dumb of them! :D No, seriously, you would think, that Nintendo would have come up with that idea by theirselves, but actually it came from the reactions to the E3 demo, where you needed to press B to swing the sword. So, the whole sword swinging was more or less a last minute addition and it would require to make Link right-handed, since most people are right-handed. But the way how they pulled this change off was rather cheap. You would think, that they'd change the character models of Link and his enemies or at worst just mirror the models. But no, they mirrored the entire freaking graphics of the game! They just flipped the x-axis and that's it. And this resulted in mirroring the entire world of the game. What was once west is now east and vice versa. And there's no option for lefties like it's that no one cares about this minority anyway.

Getting to know the world of one version and then switching to the other version can really make you confused and give you an headache. I was originally playing the Gamecube version of the game, I completed it twice and I repeated some of the dungeons multiple times just for fun. But when I first played the Wii version it was a total mess. It's so confusing, because you think you know the places, but you really don't. If you want to go left, you have to go right and the other way around. In some of the dungeons with a somehow symmetrical layout this wasn't much of a problem, but in some places like Ordon Village or Lake Hylia it felt like a total different area. It's really confusing.

But the most annoying thing is, that the Zelda team even seemed to be proud about that solution. Just read the "Iwata Asks" interviews about Twilight Princess, there they will tell you how cool the mirror version is, it's like having a total different world. They even admit, that they get confused by it as much as the player. The only difference is that they think this is a good thing. But sorry, Zelda is NOT Mario Kart (and even there I don't like the mirror tracks much). For some reason I fear that they will add a Mirror Mode as a feature to future 3D Zelda games... just to annoy you even more.

Hey, even the final boxart of the game confused the people: