Friday, June 10, 2011

25th Anniversary Roundup

Last year Super Mario Bros. turned 25 years old and Nintendo celebrated this with red DSi XL and Wii bundles including a copy of New Super Mario Bros. (Wii) and a preinstalled Donkey Kong on the Wii. They also re-released Super Mario Allstars, which came with a CD and a booklet and sold surprisingly well. There was also a special Iwata Asks interview, a special Flipnote gallery and lots of coverage for the Mario series amongst other things.

This year it's Zelda turn and Nintendo promised to celebrate this Anniversary as well, but it would be different and something special. And it really was special, the Anniversary of Zelda became one big feature at this year's E3 and they opened the press conference with an impressive live orchestra Zelda medley. Beatiful. But that's not all, here's a summary of all the efforts by Nintendo to celebrate our favorite game's birthday.

Music always played an important role in the Zelda series and this year Zelda games will finally receive an orchestrated soundtrack. Since the music is so awesome, there will be concerts around the world and they will even sell a special 25th Anniversary CD covering the music from the orchestra. People, who register their copy of Ocarina of Time 3D early, will receive an Ocarina of Time 3D soundtrack CD, which includes a new orchestrated medley and other extras.

Ocarina of Time 3D on the 3DS and Skyward Sword on the Wii will definitely be two big hits and Nintendo says that these games are released to commemorate 25 years of the Zelda franchise. I guess, those games would have been released anyway, but oh well. However, Link's Awakening DX got to be the first GameBoy Color title for the new eShop on the Nintendo 3DS, which is quite an honor. And because they wanted to have a new release for all current systems, they are going to re-release Four Swords as a DSiWare game, which was a pleasant surprise.

And there will be more nice extras than just new games and music CDs. Skyward Sword will be bundled with a golden Wiimote Plus and a nice Triforce Eagle emblem on it. Super Mario 3DS is going to include a special top down view Zelda stage, which is really cool. And according to Nintendo's official E3 Zelda 25th Anniversary site there are "more exciting news to look forward to throughout the year as Nintendo honors this important milestone". Well, here's an overview:
  • 25th Anniversary concerts and CD
  • bonus Ocarina of Time 3D OST
  • Link's Awakening DX as the first GameBoy Color eShop game
  • Four Swords to be re-released as DSiWare
  • Skyward Sword gets a golden Wiimote bundle
  • Super Mario 3DS to include Zelda stage
This is already a nice list and we can really be happy with Nintendo's efforts. I would even say, that this is on the same level as the Mario Anniversary, if not even better.

And there might be more to come. I actually wondered, that Nintendo didn't announce The Legend of Zelda as part of the 3D Classics games on the eShop. Excitebike already got this treatment and we now know, how 3D Classics will look like... it's basically the same old game with sharper graphics and 3D layer effects added to sprites and backgrounds. But it would definitely work fine with The Legend of Zelda. I originally expected the 3D Classics to have a larger graphical update and I even suggested to include the BS Zelda levels as a bonus, but I can forget about that (though this still is an awesome idea for a future remake). Still I'd say, that this game should be part of the 3D Classics service. It's after all THIS game, which is turning 25 years old now, and this is why this should get a special treatment.

More downloadbale games next to Link's Awakening DX and Four Swords are also an option. I'm fairly certain, that both Oracle games will be released for the eShop later this year. This is most likely, however that's not all they could do. A Link to the Past was already mentioned as yet another possible candidate for the 3D Classics service. Also, they remade Game & Watch games for DSiWare and maybe the Zelda Game & Watch game will get the same treatment at some point. After all they wanted to have some new Zelda for the DSi. And there's still the option to release Master Quest for the Wii Virtual Console, though Nintendo probably won't do this after they remade Ocarina of Time and it's Master Quest for the 3DS. But if they want to have something downloadable for the Wii as well, then this would be a possibility.

The golden Wiimote is definitely nice and I will get this one, but I'd still like to see a golden Nintendo 3DS bundle as well. The fear, that Nintendo will release something like this at some point, is even preventing me from getting a Nintendo 3DS right now.

No comments: