Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hyrule Warriors: Version 1.5 Impressions

While I like the Majora's Mask DLC, the update to version 1.5 is somewhat of a "screw you" to loyal players of the game.

The grind fest continues to Level 200 and I fear that's not even the last raise, because the three DLC characters still didn't get to 45 hearts. I suppose the last update will raise the level cap to 255 (that's the maximum of Rupees in TLoZ), where the original characters don't get new hearts and the DLC characters get their last five.

However, while the new Experience potion really makes things twice as fast, leveling up still is very boring, since there are only few good levels, where you get lots of Experience. Those are basically the last "Rack Up Your KO Count" missions, as well as the last "Divisive Plan" battles, though the latter are only good for Light and Darkness characters. Maybe you use some missions on the Rewards Map as well, but overall Hyrule Warriors sadly doesn't offer much variety in its extensive grinding. The main problem here is that all the other missions, even the very hard ones, just give so little experience. It wouldn't be a problem, if you still would get a couple of levels with each mission, like you did in the beginning of the game.

But by now weapons only deliver around a third of the total damage and to compensate this Koei has released a new set of weapon skill with a 4000 K.O. seal. Mainly "Hasty Attacks", which speeds up all your attacks to Focus Spirit level, is a very powerful ability, which you don't want to miss and you can even have two of the new skills on one weapon.

And to get these skills on your old favorite weapons, they even improved the smithy with features that I wanted for a while now...! But this is where the big "screw you" gets in. Removing a skill costs 300,000 Rupees!! THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND!!! Even if you already have millions of Rupees, this is way too much, rendering this feature almost useless. You can only use it rarely and you really have to think about where to use this feature on. It's a shame really, because I have many weapons, which I would like to improve, but I would never have the money for that, even with the new Rupee potion. So, you're back to luck again, where it's all about being lucky finding a good weapon. Good job, Koei. Thanks for nothing!

It's the same with the inspect skill feature. Remember, how I suggested that it should cost 10 Rupees per K.O. to unlock a seal? Well, Koei took this pricing, but you can't unlock the skills, you can only peak at them. While this is very helpful, it costs way too much. Selling the weapons (which you now finally can do in the smithy) never gets the money back. If the seals would be unlocked, you would at least get more money from selling.

It's good that there are uses for Rupees, but leveling up was already expansive enough, so they could have at least keep the smithy features at a saner level. It would also still be nice, if you could upgrade your weapons by buying stars or additional empty sockets. Anything that helps against the randomness would be great. However, if they would add features like that, it would probably cost 1 million per star or socket...

The new potions finally offer the Material potion, which I wanted for a long time. But now it's already way too late. I did unlock all of Young Link's and Tingle's badges right away and I don't need to grind for materials anymore. And I don't understand, why they keep adding these things update per update. All these helpful tools should have been there from the beginning and you shouldn't have to wait until all updates have arrived, before you really can go fully at the game.

Because by now it doesn't feel like they added these things because of player feedback. It feels more like they planned all these potions and level ups from the start, but they only give them to you in rations. While this might be a good system for the level ups, they shouldn't hold back potions or even weapon skills.

They also improved the Adventure Mode. You can now see your taken damage in the pause menu and have the option to restart. Again very helpful, but still lacking. Why not add the save feature from Legend Mode? How hard can that be? I guess, they don't want you to abuse it for A ranks, but if they would design fairer missions, you wouldn't need that.

Also, for some reason the loading times got tripled after the update... why? This is really annoying and I very much miss the old loading times. Hopefully this gets patched in a version 1.5.1. ... it might even be the reason, why the U.S. release of the DLC got delayed. They probably want to patch this, before they release it. Wouldn't be the first time.

Hyrule Warriors: Majora's Mask Pack – First Impressions

After the Twilight Princess DLC for Hyrule Warriors was quite disappointing, I'm enjoying the new Majora's Mask DLC a lot more.

First of all: I got Fierce Deity Link. I got my most wanted character and he turned out great. While Young Link is used as the medium, it's more like the Great Fairy, where a weapon turns out to be a character of its own. Basically you get two characters in one, though both of them are just variations of Link.

But I do like the Focus Spirit mechanic. It makes a lot of sense, since in Majora's Mask the Sword Beams of Doom were limited to magic as well. And I have to admit that it's probably better than having Fierce Deity Link as his own character, because otherwise they would have to make him a lot weaker than he was in Majora's Mask. Now Young Link gets used for the weak part and Fierce Deity Link looks a lot more impressive in this contrast. You get to wreck havoc with these crazy sword beams, which makes the Master Sword look like a toy. It's amazing and fun and they did it right.

Which makes all of this even better is the C1 mechanic, where Link plays his Ocarina, which turns your SP into Magic. In the "Rack up your KO count!" missions you can basically infinitely stay in Fierce Deity Mode because of that and in other missions you get to use Magic a lot more often than normally. It's an unique mechanic, which makes this whole moveset work really well.

It's also overpowered, as it should be... and I think that Koei found the right solution for this character, which makes me happy. There are only some minor complaints. They did miss that Fierce Deity Link is actually a lot larger, because here he just has normal size. They could have at least make him one head larger or so. And the Kokiri Sword feels also weird, since it doesn't get its upgrades. But I guess it's similar to the Knight's Sword, which Link also uses on Epona or with the Great Fairy. It's just that Young Link didn't get a real default weapon yet. However, it would have been nice to have Tatl talk for Young Link instead of Proxi. But I guess it makes sense story-wise, since he couldn't have the Fierce Deity Mask until after the events of Majora's Mask.

Also, overpowered as Fierce Deity Link is, it actually feels right to keep him as an extra. With Twili Midna I didn't really like that she didn't have any missions or collectibles, but with the Fierce Deity it kind of feels right to have him as this overpowered extra, much like the Fierce Deity's Mask was in the original. And Twili Midna, Young Link, and Fierce Deity Link are all just variations of existing characters, so I guess after all it's not so bad, how they handled the DLC characters.

It certainly also is a good thing with Tingle. If you read some of my Tingle posts on this blog, you know that I really hated him in the past, but grew to like him over the years. And his appearance in Hyrule Warriors certainly does him justice. It's absolutely hilarious and has lots of nice references like the different balloons based on his spin-off games.

But I understand when other people hate him, especially since he got in over Skull Kid. And he looks very odd in this game, mostly because the rest of the roster seems very cool and mature. Well, there already was Agitha as the oddball, but even she kind of fit in nicely. Tingle looks just out of place now... but where he came from, there are many other odd characters in the Zelda series and they probably had to start somewhere. I kind of hope that in a sequel they give Tingle his own design and make the current Majora's Mask variant a costume. He might fit in a little bit better than.

Now off to the Termina Map...

After the torture that was the Twilight Map, I'm relieved that they didn't go for the insane and frustrating damage multiplier again. Missions still can be very tough, as they should be so late in the game, but so far it doesn't seem like a tiny scratch can ruin your A-rank. (Though, I could be wrong about that. I tried missions at Great Bay and Ikana and seemed pretty awful again... the whole concept of not losing more than 10 Hearts is really what ruins the fun in this game.)

I also really enjoy the mechanic of this map. If done wrong, a map reset would have been awful, but they did it right. It's very balanced, you can basically complete the entire map without the moon crashing on you if you stay efficient. And it also gives the whole map a better sense of direction. Finally, those dungeon missions have a real purpose and you basically follow the original game's flow. And now the final level, where you fight Ganon, seems like a real goal, because it deactivates the timer. On previous maps it was just there and didn't feel like an accomplishment.

What's also really nice are the new competitive missions, that's a great idea. It reminds me even more of Unreal Tournament, which is a good thing, I like the sports. This also could be used for a multiplayer versus mode, if there ever would be one.

So, overall I'm enjoying this map quite a lot. And it's just a shame that the unlockable costumes don't seem to be worth it this time around...

I admit that they can be quite funny, but they really just took everyone's default costume and slammed a mask in their face. You don't get to use the mask with the other color variants or anything. The idea of the masks is nice, but in a sequel they need to keep it separate. So, a character can have both costumes and masks and you can combine them. This already makes a lot of sense for Cia, where they had to create three variants of all her costumes.

But... I love that at least Link also got a full Fierce Deity Link costume. I know that quite some people wanted Fierce Deity Link to be only a costume, but it's awesome to have both. They could have called this the Fierce Deity Pack.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hyrule Warriors: Double Helix Sword Tiers

In addition to the mask costumes, crediar also revealed the tiers of Young Link's and Tingle's weapons.

The big surprise is that Young Link actually doesn't have the three different tiers for the Kokiri Sword, but the Fierce Deity gets three different swords:

Makes me wonder, why they are using Young Link in the first place. On the one hand I'm glad that the Fierce Deity seems to be more important than expected, on the other hand having the Razor Sword and the Gilded Sword would have made a lot of sense, unless you compare the Fierce Deity to Epona or the Great Fairy and the Kokiri Sword would be its own weapon in the sequel. But still... the Great Fairy's Sword would have been a much better fit, since it's actually a two-handed sword and it doesn't miss any sword upgrades.

And Young Link feels kind of pointless... but let's see, how this combination plays out in two days to reserve judgement.

About Tingle... he gets three Balloons based on his spin-off games:

Those would be Tingle's Balloon Fight, Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love and Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland respectively. That's certainly a nice idea.

Hyrule Warriors: All Mask Costumes Revealed

crediar did it again. He somehow got his hands on the 1.5 update data already and revealed all 16 mask costumes on GameFAQs with many surprises:

  • Link: Fierce Deity
  • Impa: Mask of Truth
  • Sheik: Kafei's Mask
  • Lana: Deku Mask
  • Zelda: Bunny Hood
  • Ganondorf: Odolwa's Remains
  • Agitha: Don Gero's Mask
  • Midna: Ordon Shield
  • Zant: Circus Leader's Mask
  • Fi: Stone Mask
  • Ghirahim: Kamaro's Mask
  • Cia: Majora's Mask
  • Volga: Giant's Mask
  • Wizzro: Captain's Hat

Man, I didn't get a single mask right... what is it with me and predictions about the game? :D But to be fair, some of these choices are really confusing. For example the Giant's Mask would have been a perfect fit for Zant... However, at least with Midna I thought about the Ordon Shield, but I didn't think they would actually give it her, since I was too focused on the masks in Majora's Mask.

The awesome news is that Link actually gets a full Fierce Deity Link costume. They basically just reused the model from Young Link's moveset and gave it to Link:

So, Fierce Deity Link is both playable (in some way) and a fully fledged costume (instead of being a simple reskin), which is awesome. In that sense I also hope that the Goron Mask changes Darunia into Goron Link with the hat, pants and everything. If that's the case, I got all my costume wishes fulfilled. (Update: of course it's not the case, they all just wear the masks and that's it.)

Well, all but one... Wizzro not getting a Garo costume is a shame. But whatever... I also like that they gave Majora's Mask to Cia. It fits her whipping moveset and also the fact that Lana has the Skull Kid costume. Again they represent two sides of the same being.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hyrule Warriors: No DLCs after the Hero of Hyrule Set

I already expected as much and now it's semi-official, but the Community Manager of KOEI TECMO Europe confirmed via Twitter that there won't be any more DLC for Hyrule Warriors:

HW DLC project had all been final and done a while ago the Dev team is now on new projects

But this makes sense, since it all looks very final to me. With the Majora's Mask Pack and the update to version 1.5 all characters will most likely reach the maximum of 45 Heart Containers. The third row of hearts already got squeezed in for the DLC, so I doubted that there would ever be a fourth row. All original weapons with the exception of the Master Sword are getting an 8-Bit version. The Rewards Map will be finalized. It simply looks complete now and with hundreds of hours of play time no one can complain that this game didn't offer enough to do.

Maybe it was lackluster in variety though. The DLC added new characters, weapons, costumes and Adventure Maps, however, the new missions are all based on the original game's content. There were no new stages, no new troops, no new captains, no new giant bosses, etc. It already felt like only half of the development team was working on the DLC.

Of course they always could add more weapons, characters and costumes, since those are completely separate, but characters are more fun, if you actually have goals for them other than leveling up. And I got my Ocarina of Time costumes for Shiek and Impa, so from my end there's no real need for additional costume packs, though I probably wouldn't mind.

And I would not underestimate the final update. Well, the two new gametypes in the Boss / Ganon pack most likely won't be anything major, since the pack is very cheap. I suspect that it will include a Survival Mode and/or maybe a Boss Battle mode. But it should be something, where you really want to have maxed out characters to get best scores. Something, where all those 45 Heart Containers really matter (they never do in Adventure Mode thanks to the A ranks).

As a reward they could give you the Dark costumes for everyone, including Link (in case you didn't get the Hero of Hyrule set). So, there's an incentive to play the new game modes with every single character, maybe even the DLC ones. Maybe the 2nd game mode gives you the fake / ghost / Wizzro imposter costumes for everyone. The game only shows you Fake Lana and Fake Zelda, but it's probably just a simple filter that can be used on every default model, much like the Dark costumes.

And I suspect that the last update will finally offer more free challenges in Challenge Mode. It makes the most sense here, because this is the point, where you have the maxed out characters to take on some challenges.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hyrule Warriors: Mask Costume Predictions

I decided to split this from my previous post, since I was having some new ideas about this.

So, take a look again at the screenshot of the 8-Bit Fairy:

If you pay close attention to Impa in the lower right corner, you can see her wearing the Mask of Truth! Those are probably the new unlockables on the Termina Adventure Map. This would even explain, why Darunia and Ruto already got Majora's Mask themed recolors on the Master Quest map.

Well, I had this idea a while ago that the characters could get masks as potential costumes. However, there's the problem that you could basically combine the mask with each costume or at least each default costume, like it's done with Cia.

It would be awesome, if it's a separate option entirely. Like pressing Y in the costume selection brings up the mask and it works with all costumes. But I doubt that they went through this kind of trouble. So, it's probably just going to be the very default costume, which gets a mask variant. If we're lucky, all color variants get the mask as well, but this would basically double the amounts of costumes for most characters.

Well, let's think about, what masks could go to what character:

  • Link: Kafei's Mask
  • Impa: Mask of Truth
  • Sheik: Gibdo's Mask
  • Lana: Postman's Hat or Keaton Mask??
  • Zelda: Bremen Mask??
  • Ganondorf: Mask of Scents
  • Darunia: Don Gero's Mask
  • Ruto: Couple's Mask
  • Agitha: Bunny Hood or Romani's Mask??
  • Midna: Stone Mask or Captain's Hat??
  • Zant: Giant's Mask
  • Fi: Kamaro's Mask??
  • Ghirahim: All-Night Mask??
  • Cia: Bunny Hood??
  • Volga: Blast Mask
  • Wizzro: Garo's Mask

Some of these are just wild guesses, others are more meaningful. I marked those, where I'm not exactly sure, with question marks. You might exclude the Keaton Mask and the Postman's Hat, since those are already featured in some other way throughout the game. And maybe the same applies to the Great Fairy's Mask, since there's already the Great Fairy. Majora's Mask might be also off limits, though it would be cool to have it on Midna. And I didn't include the four transformation masks and the four boss remains. That leaves 17 masks for a total of 16 characters. So, basically all but one mask could get featured in this game. The missing one is will probably be the Circus Leader's Mask, because why would you want to make any character look like Gorman?

First of all: Cia. She needs the Bunny Hood. It would look so awesome on her and it's the one mask, which wouldn't get in the way with her normal mask. Of course the Bunny Hood would also be great for Agitha, Zelda or Lana, but Cia's regular mask kind of prevents her from having most of the masks in the game. Unless of course they make it so that only her hatless version gets a mask. In that case she could wear anything, but I still would prefer the Bunny Hood for her, since she would wear that to make herself look cute for Link. :D

The Mask of Scents would be a nice fit for Ganondorf, since it makes him look like pig Ganon. I thought about the Bremen Mask for Zelda, because it would be a nod to the Valkyrie outfit that they had planned for her and maybe even to Loftwings. Sheik gets the Gibdo's Mask because of the bandages. And many wanted a Kafei costume for Link, so I guess that's a good fit. Also, since Kafei is one of the few characters, which the player could control in the main series.

I was thinking about giving Darunia and Ruto the Goron and Zora Masks, but this would be too silly. However, the Don Gero's Mask was originally used by a Goron, so that's a good fit for Darunia. And Ruto could get the Couple's Mask, since she's Link's fiancee.

For Zant the Giant's Mask is the perfect fit. It's very similar to his normal helmet and could simply replace it. And it fits his fighting style very well, where turns into a giant. I'm not sure about Midna though. She could have the Stone Mask, because it reflects, how she can be just a shadow. It also looks similar to the Ordon Shield, which she wore as a mask in Twilight Princess. She could also get the Captain's Hat, if it replaces the Fused Shadow. It could also be a reference to how she commands Stalchilds early in Legend Mode.

Agitha and Lana are also big question marks. Both could have the Bunny Hood, but the Romani's Mask could also work for both of them. Romani always called Link "Grasshopper", which could be related to Agitha, and for Lana it would go along well with Cuccos. But Cia I could only imagine with the Bunny Hood and maybe with the Bremen Mask, but nothing much else. Lana on the other hand could also work with the Keaton Mask or the Postman's Hat, even though I excluded them earlier. But it would allow a partner look for her and (Young) Link.

Looking at Agitha her headband already has a similar shape to the Bunny Hood, so it's actually likely that she will get that one...

I gave Kamaro's Mask to Fi because of all the dancing she does. I'm not sure about Ghirahim... he could have the All-Night Mask though, since it fits his style very nice. Volga is good fit for the Blast Mask, since he likes to go boom.

And I wanted a Garo costume for Wizzro for a while now, so you could just have the Garo's Mask replacing his head. If they also recolor the rest of the costume in brown, I would essentially get the Garo costume that I wanted. Maybe some other mask costumes will also result in recolors. In that case it really will be just one costume and not mask variants for all costumes.

Hyrule Warriors: Faces of Evil / Wand of Gamelon DLC

Check this out.

Way too glorious. Love the humor. Very close to the Tingle DLC. :D

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hyrule Warriors: Version 1.5 Info

In the past I had some ideas for more quality of life improvements in Hyrule Warriors and it looks like Koei Tecmo actually has taken on some of them according to their update page (see Koei Wiki for an English translation).

You can now delete skills in the smithy and also sell weapons, whenever you want. That's both awesome. There's also a new option to "check skills", though I'm not sure what this means. If it's an option to check what's below a weapon seal, then this would be helpful.

It still would be nice, if you could buy stars and additional slots and pay for seals, but the ability to delete skills is very welcome and should help with crafting good weapons. I have quite some weapons, which are near perfect, but have some useless skills on them. However, the thing I still want the most is the option to pay for seals, because unlocking them is getting very tiring.

However, they also increased the level cap yet again, so I will most likely unlock lots of seals anyway, while grinding the characters to the new maximum. Getting to Level 150 was already slow and boring, since you tend to repeat the same missions (like "Rack Up You KO Count 11 and 12" or "Divisive Plan 7 to 9") again and again, since they are the most efficient. But maybe there are also some new options to level up faster.

They improved the Adventure Mode so that it tells you, how much damage is left in percentage to the next rank. And you also have the option now to restart a mission, whenever you want. Both very useful additions. So far you had to keep track of your damage yourself and if you wanted to restart without loading the map, you had to kill yourself. If they now also add the ability to make saves like in Legend Mode, it would be perfect.

New potions get added. By now I don't really need a Materials+ potion anymore, but a Defense and/or Attack mixture would be awesome. Since I got 999 of Fi's Boots from leveling Darkness characters, I wouldn't even mind, if they'd use silver materials. But the game still needs Kokiri Tunic badges to increase defense on missions without any recommended element. That always has been an oversight and missions with recommended elements can be a real problem.

But I really hope that the new level cap doesn't mean that the Moon Map is going to be even harder... it would be nice to play the game normally again, instead of abusing the Power-up Bow all the time, just because every little scratch can cost you the A rank.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hyrule Warriors: 8-Bit Recorder and Portal

crediar has found the last remaining 8-Bit weapons:

They replace the Baton and the Portal, as I suspected. This also means that it really might be the case that the new Adventure Map for Majora's Mask somehow has more to it than first visible. There's definitely more than just five weapons and we will most likely get 16 costumes again. Maybe the moon hides the red zones in the top left corner or there really is like a small Moon Map.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Majora's Mask 3D - Three Years of Nothing

Majora's Mask 3D has been in development for over three years, but it seems like nothing much has happened in that time. They added two fishing ponds and that seems to be it. I never even liked the fishing from Ocarina of Time...

I had quite some ideas for this remake in the past including a Master Quest, a third Skulltula House, more uses for the Picto Box, Miiverse integration and more. Yes, the Master Quest was kind of a stretch, but they had enough time. I mean, this was longer in development than some new games.

It doesn't seem like they added any more features or otherwise they would have already showed them. Graphically it's also not any better than Ocarina of Time 3D. They still use textures for stairs like it's 1998. How hard can it be to model actual stairs?

At least they changed the Song of Double Time the way I wanted! You can now select the exact hour you need, which is super awesome. The new fishing ponds also look great, though I still really want that third Skulltula House.

I also guess that it's still possible that there might be an unlockable Hero Mode. They kept the one for A Link Between Worlds a secret as well. But it probably only will be double / quadruple damage and maybe a mirrored world, because if they went through the trouble of implementing a Master Quest, they would have told us by now.

Hyrule Warriors: Majora's Mask DLC revealed

Well, the cat is out of the bag and it's not a pretty one:

I was at least hoping that they would give Tingle a new design, if they ever add him, since he's a recurring character much like Impa or Ganondorf. Because his design from Majora's Mask is easily the ugliest and Koei Tecmo is really good at making awesome new designs for the characters. The fighting style looks funny, but the super ugly Tingle completely ruins it.

Also... this will create hate without end. Nintendo let their fans preorder the DLC without announcing the characters up front and most people probably expected Skull Kid. Especially in the US Tingle gets a lot of hate and Aonuma was actually smart enough to tell the team to keep him out in favor of a different character. But with the DLC they let many people pay for something, which they might not even want, so here it's even worse. They should have announced the characters right from the get-go. This would have saved us a lot of useless speculation, hype and frustration. The only good thing is that you can completely ignore the DLC characters, since they are not needed for missions.

I personally wanted to have Fierce Deity Link and Skull Kid battling each other, so I'm not entirely happy that they both ended up as attacks for Young Link:

Young Link seems out of place, since so far they created their own incarnations of the characters and prevented them from meeting their past versions. I would have liked to see the Hyrule Warriors Link turn into Fierce Deity, but instead they decided to use Young Link from Majora's Mask for this job.

I really hope that at least in Focus Spirit you can play as the full Fierce Deity, where you fire sword beams. This actually would even be true to the original character, where the sword beams were limited by magic and could break through boss armor. They would probably be too overpowered in Hyrule Warriors as they were, but by limiting the Fierce Deity to Focus Spirit it kind of makes sense. You also get to see the nice effect, where Link transforms into the Fierce Deity. So, they kind of stay true to the original concept with all that, if it really works with Focus Spirit. If not, it will be simply a disappointing moveset. And still all of that could and should have been done by a two handed moveset for Link. There's no reason for Young Link to be in this game.

The main appeal of Hyrule Warriors is playing characters, which you normally can't play as. And in that sense they really failed with the Majora's Mask DLC. Tingle already got multiple games of his own, where you can play as him, and Young Link is playable in multiple Zelda games. Skull Kid on the other hand didn't get playable in both Smash and Hyrule Warriors... which is really disappointing, since he would have lots of potential.

Well, let's talk about the rest:

I made several predictions for the new costumes in the Majora's Mask Pack and "the Ocarina of Time variants for Sheik and Impa" was probably the lamest one. It's still nice to finally have them for the sake of completion. At the same time, it's kind of sad that we only got recolors for Demise and Skyward Sword Impa.

Tingle should have been a costume (for Volga), instead Skull Kid was the one to be turned into a costume, which is kind of disappointing. It looks like Lana is doing the cosplay, who's probably the best fit with her Deku / Kokiri moveset. But in general there are so many nice possibilities for costumes and Koei Tecmo is usually really big with that, so I'm kind of sad that the majority is just some lazy recolors and that we didn't get any additional costume packs (yet).

The Adventure Map looks like it really is using a reset mechanic, which would be awful, if done wrong. I hope that the difficulty at least will be moderate again to compensate for the pressure. But it certainly won't take away the Heart Pieces or costume, but I guess the map will just get covered again, if you fail or so.

It seems that there are no red zones and also less costumes + 8-Bit weapons than in previous maps. I count 13 costumes and five weapons, so at least one of the original weapons is not getting an 8-Bit version (probably the Portal, since the Recorder as the Baton is just too perfect) and three characters are not getting costumes this time. This or there's like a small Moon map, which only contains red fields and the rest of the rewards. This could work also.

However, on the first field it shows only a Heart Piece for Darunia. Which probably means that each character is only getting two additional hearts again for a total of 42. Either they raise the level cap yet again or the remaining hearts will be gotten in future DLC.

Also... no sign of any new stage yet. Clocktown would have been a must.

Majora's Mask 3D New Nintendo 3DS XL Special Edition Announced

So, how many 3DS system does Nintendo expect Zelda fans to buy...? :D Of course this one will sell very well again and they probably just keep doing that with each new Zelda handheld title. I was seriously hoping that they wouldn't go as far with Majora's Mask 3D, since it's only a sequel, but apparently Nintendo is unable to release a new Zelda game without at least two Limited Editions around it.

While I was really mad about the two previous announcement of a Zelda handheld special edition, by now I've gotten used to it. And I'm undecided about it. I might buy this one as well, since I have the money and I like the New Nintendo 3DS for its features. And if I ever get a New 3DS, it should be this one. Don't get fooled though, it will probably be as useless as the Nintendo DSi. In Majora's Mask 3D you can move the camera with the C-Stick, but that's it. But as Nintendo has proven, you can never know...

I'm more sad about the golden Nintendo 3DS XL, which came with A Link Between Worlds. It's about a year old and so far I haven't used it that much. I keep using my OoT3D Nintendo 3DS and I probably will continue to do so. I only use the 3DS XL for certain games, where the big screen is a lot better, e.g. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. But with that New Nintendo 3DS XL on the way, it will be entirely useless. I don't want to sell it either, since it has collectible value for me... and who's going to buy that for a good price, now that the MM New 3DS XL got announced?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hyrule Warriors: Even More 8-Bit Weapons revealed

crediar has posted even more 8-Bit weapons:

We get:

  • 8-Bit Magical Sword as Impa's Naginata
  • 8-Bit Bait as Darunia's Hammer
  • 8-Bit Clock as Ruto's Scale

Hey, I was at least right about the Hammer being the bait on a stick...! :D It's also perfect for the Majora's Mask Pack, since it resembles the Rock Sirloin from the game, which was an item for the Gorons. In hindsight the Clock makes a lot of sense as the scale, because it's already like a pendant. And the Magical Sword was the Naginata after all!

That still leaves the Baton, the Portal and maybe the three original villains. I could imagine the following:

  • Portal: 8-Bit Compass
  • Baton: 8-Bit Recorder
  • Scepter: 8-Bit Heart on a stick
  • Dragon Spear: 8-Bit Bombs on a stick
  • Ring: 8-Bit Blue Ring

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hyrule Warriors: 8-Bit Fairy Revealed

So, crediar actually found the model of the 8-Bit Fairy in the update data of Hyrule Warriors:

She even has an 8-Bit Blue Potion / Bottle to carry Link around, nice! But I suppose during the combos you will see the normal Link.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hyrule Warriors: Tingle Costume for Volga?

You might have seen this interview already, where Aonuma advised the Hyrule Warriors team not to include Tingle, after they had trouble implementing him.

(It's actually funny, how things bounce around the internet. I found this months old interview googling for "Hyrule Warriors Tingle" and posted it on GameFAQs to support an argument, why Tingle is not a safe bet for the Majora's Mask DLC. This got some happy reactions including one guy tweeting the interview. NintendoEverything then picked up the tweet and posted it on their recent news. And now it's on pretty much all Nintendo News sites... and people send me the interview or make new threads on GameFAQs with the interview... but so much about that. :D)

Three new costumes will be part of the Majora's Mask DLC pack and I'm actually hoping that characters, who haven't seen any original costumes yet, will get some treatment here. So, anyone but Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Lana or Cia. And with the interview I have more hopes again that Fierce Deity Link won't just be a costume, but fully playable character. There's even lots of similarities between him and Twili Midna.

And as much as Fierce Deity Link could just be a costume, the same goes for Tingle. There could just be a Tingle costume for someone and that someone is... Volga! Take a look:

Their faces are very similar. You have the small pointed goatee at their chins and you have these black squinching eyes. And he even has this chain with a red pendant, which is very similar to how Tingle wears his clock. Volga is just a manly dragon Tingle! And maybe this design choice was even intentional by Koei. Now put him in a green costume with that clock for some lulz. It's perfect.

While I wouldn't mind Tingle as a playable character, I would love a Tingle costume for Volga!

PS: I also update my previous post, where I speculated about the MM DLC, with this idea.

Hyrule Warriors Twilight Princess DLC 100%

Whew... that was annoying. The Twilight Map was hell. Every little mook can cause multiple hearts of damage. One little mistake and your A rank is gone. It's the recipe for frustration, but luckily I found the solution in form of the Item Power-up mixture. It works on any battle and with any character. Just snipe every enemy, which can be targeted, with the Sacred Bow from a safe distance and blast mooks with the Power-up Bombs. It takes its time, but it's never too slow for the 15 minute time limit.

I haven't exactly gotten the 100% yet. I got all weapons, costumes, Heart Pieces, Heart Containers and Skulltulas, but I'm still missing a few A ranks, as well as the medal for receiving 100 amiibo gifts. I only have the Link amiibo (got one for free from Nintendo), so the latter takes its time. I could just keep changing the date on the Wii U system, but I'm not in a hurry to get that medal, since I think I will play the game long enough to get it eventually. The remaining A ranks on the Twilight map shouldn't be a big issue; for the most part it's missions, where you get costumes, which I have played very early on. By now all my characters are at Level 150, so things go down a lot more quickly.

Well, all characters but one: Twili Midna is still around Level 60. Since she's not required for any missions, I only play her for fun. And it's even better, if I can combine fun with breaking some weapon seals. I'm hoping to get a Legendary seal for her at one point, because then I probably use her more often.

Apropos weapon seals... I really hope one of the updates gives us the possibility to pay for seals. Make it like 10 Rupees for every K.O. at max to unlock them. I always want to know, what's under the seals, in case it's something useful. Sometimes you can test it, if there's an open slot and you already have the same skill on another weapon. If you try to transfer it, it will complain that you can't have the same skill twice (as opposed to having two skills from the same category). But that only works in rare cases and actually breaking the seals is usually not worth the effort, because there are only one or two skills in each category that I find useful, so the majority of the time you get junk. But if you could simply pay for the seals, it would save a lot of time and disappointment.

For the other characters my approach was to focus on one character at a time, after uncovering the Twilight Map. I would level the character to Level 150 and then complete his or her missions on the Twilight Map. While leveling up I also managed to break more Legendary seals for most of the characters. They are actually not that useful, if you only have them on a Lvl 3 weapon. Especially on the Twilight Map the difference in damage output is only minor. They are more useful, if you prefer a Lvl 1 or 2 weapon because of its looks and you want these weapons not to lack in power.

And of course I still haven't A ranked the Boss Rush. But that's because I haven't played this missions with any Level 150 character yet. And I probably won't return to this nasty mission, until all the updates got released. Maybe there will be a defense mixture or something else, which additionally helps you with fighting.

Other than that I'm still hoping that the Majora's Mask Map will aim at an easier difficulty again. While the Twilight Map is doable, it's just a lot more fun, if you can go at things normally and don't have to be afraid to use normal attacks all the time. But I suppose it would make sense to have each aim emulate a different of the four main difficulties, but with a twist. First Adventure Map was just normal and the Master Quest Map was easy, but it had the rules. The Twilight Map is "Hero" difficulty, but it gives double drops. And the Mask Map will have "Hard" difficulty and uses lots of time limits. But we'll see about that soon enough.

Another interesting point is the Wii U ... I really miss the possibility to backup save files. On the Wii it was easy using SD cards, but there's no such thing for the Wii U. Even on the Wii it already irked me that you couldn't backup the savegame of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where I put around 300 hours into the game. But with Hyrule Warriors I'm looking at 500+ hours now. That's not a savegame you want to lose ... ever.

You can copy your savegame on an external hard drive, however, you have to copy the entire game, since you can't just copy save data on its own, which is annoying. Also, if there's an issue with your Wii U and has to be reset, your hard drive needs to be formatted again as well and the existing data won't be recognized. So, making backups on a hard drive doesn't really help...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dawn of a New Year – 2015

The Clocktower in Majora's Mask 3D

Happy New Year, everyone!

This time there's actually not much to speculate about the upcoming year, since Nintendo already laid out the Zelda road map for 2015. Fans of Majora's Mask will be happy that their favorite game will finally receive full attention in the first half of 2015 with its remake, DLC for Hyrule Warriors, and the Symphony of the Goddesses.

The start makes the Majora's Mask Pack later this month. The DLC pack will contain two additional characters, who are still unknown, as well as an Adventure Map with the music of Clock Town, as well three new costumes. In February we will then see the final DLC, which contains two new game modes. There's also the question whether Hyrule Warriors will receive a 2nd wave of DLC or not, e.g. Skyward Sword and Ocarina of Time packs. It's doubtful, where the next step will probably be a sequel, but it's still a possibility. In any case, Hyrule Warriors will entertain us for a while longer.

Ever since Ocarina of Time 3D was introduced, Zelda fans were longing for a similar remake of its dark and mysterious sequel. There was even the "Operation Moonfall" petition to show the strong fan interest. In reality, the development of Majora's Mask 3D had actually started right after Ocarina of Time 3D, where it will now find its way into stores, even with a Special Edition.

GREZZO is again the developer behind the remake, which will see some improvements and novelties. We don't know much yet, but we do know that there are two new fishing ponds, which will make the end of the world more relaxing. The team also wants to make the game more accessible, without making it less difficult. And we will see if they succeed once it release this Spring.

There will also be new songs from Majora's Mask in the "Master Quest" program of the Symphony of the Goddesses, which returns in 2015 to North America and Europe (I'll be in Dusseldorf). Certainly an event to look forward to.

The 2nd half of 2015 will revolve around the new Zelda game for the Wii U. This year they already showed us the visual style, the open world, and a battle against a giant hybrid of an Octorok and Beamos. There's a lot more to learn at the next E3 and the game is still slated for a 2015 holiday release, so in exactly one year we might all be playing the new game!

We also know that there's a new 3DS Zelda game in development, probably based on A Link Between Worlds. However, I suspect this game will be shown and released in 2016 to not steal attention from the new Wii U game. Or it may be the other way around if the Wii U title is long in coming.