Monday, September 5, 2011

Four Swords DSiWare and Singleplayer

This is probably the last chance to speculate about the DSiWare port of Four Swords before any news are rolling in. Well, I already talked about an online mode for Four Swords and dismissed it. And Aonuma also recently mentioned in an interview with Industry Gamers, that the game will be local play (only). So, no online. Now Nintendo is releasing this as a free game, probably because they want to make it as accessible as possible. However, though it's getting easier to set up a game and a larger number of people will own the game (who doesn't like free games?), I'd say there will be still a lot of people, who won't have the chance to play the game.

Me for example. To play the GameBoy Advance version I had to buy a second GameBoy Advance, a second copy of the game and a cable, so I could get to play this with my friends, who do not own any Nintendo hardware or games. This is not getting better with the DSiWare version. I don't have a DSi and I don't plan to buy one, maybe a 3DS at some point, but not for now. And my biggest complaint about the GBA version was, that I couldn't play this game whenever I want. I am dependent on a second player, which also wouldn't change with a simple DSiWare port. If I can't find someone, who wants to play this with me, I'm screwed. And this is sad.

The solution? A singleplayer mode.

Because a singleplayer would be the only way to ensure that this game gets enjoyed by EVERYBODY. Previously I thought, that such a thing wasn't possible. Simply because the Four Swords Adventures play style wouldn't work. But after my last alone time with the game I had some ideas.

There are many obstacles, which are impossible to overcome with the Four Swords Adventures play style. But this doesn't mean it's entirely impossible to implement a singleplayer. It should be based on the two player mode, so you only get to control two Links, anything else would be too complicated. You should be able to control them individually and switch between them at any time. But there also has to be a mode, where the other Link follows you around (so you wouldn't have to carry him all the time, lol) and "reacts" to certain situations, like an AI buddy. If you get near certain objects, puzzles, enemies or similar he should place himself in a useful way and/or perform certain auto actions. If you get near a large block, he should get to your side and push it as well. If there's one of those enemies, which need to be pulled from both sides, he should automatically start pulling one side, etc... Because of the great variety of tricky situations it would be complicated to implement, but easy and very comfortable to play.

Well, of course I doubt that Nintendo would go through the trouble of adding a singleplayer mode to a free game, where they don't make any profits, but it would be awesome and totally redeem the game. There are many people, who would get to play this game for their first time, if it features a singleplayer. Maybe let the guys, who made Four Swords Adventures (and also the Nintendo DS Zelda), do the job, it would be fitting.

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