Monday, February 20, 2012

End of 25th Anniversary

This is it. The 25th Anniversary ends today. If you haven't downloaded the Four Swords Anniversary Edition, this is your last chance to get the game (for free). It's still unknown, whether the game will be available for purchase after or removed from the eShop alltogether. But it's likely that they will sell the game later because of "popular demand".

Well, the 25th Anniversary delivered without any doubt the greatest year, the Zelda franchise has seen. Ocarina of Time 3D, the Four Swords Anniversary Edition and Skyward Sword were released during the time span of the anniversary and to celebrate Nintendo offered many different events and merchandise. Here's again the overview from my 2011 article:

  • Robin and Zelda Williams commercials for Ocarina of Time 3D,
    Four Swords Anniversary Edition and Skyward Sword
  • Ocarina of Time 3D Soundtrack CD for all early registrations
  • Link's Awakening DX as the first GameBoy Color Virtual Console game
  • a special remake of Four Swords dedicated to the anniversary available for FREE
  • a Zelda Flipnote contest
  • Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony orchestras spawning the Symphony of the Goddesses tour
  • Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony CD bundled with all first edition copies of Skyward Sword
  • Golden Wiimote bundled with the Limited Edition of Skyward Sword
  • special Zelda stage in Super Mario 3D Land
  • three 25th Anniversary Zelda eShop cards
  • Zelda 25th Anniversary Nintendo 3DS Limited Edition Bundle
  • Golden Nunchuk (only Japanese Club Nintendo so far)
  • Hyrule Historia Artbook (only Japan so far) revealing the official Zelda timeline
  • other merchandise like t-shirts and posters

Nintendo really has put A LOT of effort into the 25th Anniversary of Zelda. A lot more than what they did for Mario and Metroid hasn't seen any celebration yet. My personal favorites have to be the Four Swords Anniversary Edition and the Hyrule Historia book. Both offered things I've been waiting to get for YEARS. An accessible Four Swords and the official timeline. Finally I can enjoy all of Four Swords whenever I want without being dependent on a second player, I'm really happy about the singleplayer and the new levels are great. And I never was someone, who enjoyed all the timeline debates, so I welcome the official one, which might not be flawless, but is still pretty good.

The Zelda themed hardware is also nice, though I had my troubles with the 3DS, as you all know. And there are some things, where I still didn't have the chance to enjoy them, like the Zelda orchestra. I still hope that the Symphony of the Goddess tour comes to Germany and to a city nearby, I would definitely go there then. And I still couldn't get any of these Zelda eShop cards, it seems they are only available at GameStop and I don't have one nearby. Maybe next time I go to Berlin, but I don't have any plans yet. And because of the Zelda eShop cards I don't want to buy any normal ones, which is why I have yet to enjoy Link's Awakening DX (or any other GameBoy game) on my 3DS.

And there isn't really anything Nintendo could have done more to celebrate the anniversary. I was only disappointed, that here in Germany the Club Nintendo didn't offer any interesting Zelda merchandise, except for the Golden Link and Epona statue, which nobody can effort, and a Link towel. Yes, a towel. I still have tons of bonus stars and I was hoping that for the anniversary Nintendo would offer some nice prices. But there weren't any, I'm still sitting on my Club Nintendo stars. And there was quite some good merchandise made by Nintendo (like posters, pens, small ocarinas), but they didn't offer any of it for the Club Nintendo, which is a shame. And of course they could have released more downloadable Zelda games. Like the Oracle games or the Game & Watch Zelda. But focusing on Four Swords and Link's Awakening instead was probably the smarter choice, one free game to lure them in and another one for purchase. Link's Awakening DX was (and probably still is) the best selling eShop game. And it's good that they saved games like the Oracles for later to fill the empty void we're heading through until the release of the next Zelda game.

Well, you can't say it enough, this was probably the most exciting year for a Zelda fan ever. We got nice games, great merchandise, cool music and a constent wave of Zelda related news. And the above list shows only the official efforts done by Nintendo. Zelda fans all over the world celebrated in their own way and done their bit to the anniversary, there's tons of great art to consume, funny videos, epic artworks, nice cosplays and many more. It was a great year to be a Zelda fan. And it's doubtful that there will be another big year like this until the golden anniversary in 2036. Nintendo didn't celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Zelda and that was the year when Twilight Princess came out. Only few people recognized the 20th Anniversary of Zelda, I personally didn't even think about that at the time. But celebrating an anniversary seems like a big deal in the video game industry at the moment. Mario 25 years, Zelda 25 years and now Street Fighter 25 years, Mega Man 25 years, Epic Games 20 years. Everybody celebrates. So, it's hard to tell, whether this trend will continue and Nintendo will celebrate the 30th or 40th Anniversary or not. Or if it's really just the silver/golden quarter century anniversaries that get celebrated. It's also a question of marketing. On an old system like the Wii Skyward Sword needed every boost, which is probably the reason, why Nintendo did so many things to get attention on Zelda.

On to 25 more great years...

1 comment:

K2L said...

On the 50th year, Nintendo will not celebrate any anniversary. It will in fact lose the rights of the franchise, because it will become part of public domain.