Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tri Force Heroes: DLC Costume Ideas

Best thing about the upcoming DLC and updates: I can keep on speculating about new costumes, even after all 36 costumes are now basic knowledge. So far I'm quite happy with the selection, even quite some of my ideas, which I had in the last months, made in into the game, though some of them ended up being a little different. But there's the Zora Costume, the Dunewalker Duds, the Cozy Parka (basically an Anouki parka), the Sword Suit, the Tingle Tights and so on... I'm really happy, how this feature turned out and what abilities there are. The only one, I dislike, is the Lady's Ensemble, which basically makes two other costumes obsolete, one of which I didn't even have yet. And there's no real visual upgrade, they just combined two abilities in one costume without any drawbacks, which was a bad design choice. But the rest of the costumes turned out great.

And to be honest, I have little ideas left. It has been revealed that there will be at least five DLC costumes, probably even six in total, since it's numbered up to six, so I'm going with six ideas for now. Most of them I even already had in the past, they are just more refined now that I know the mechanics of the game a lot better.

  • Fairy Costume: Adds one more fairy per player wearing it. So, a total of six fairies would be possible.
  • Bee Costume: Cutting grass randomly lets bees appear, attacking your enemies. Chance of a Golden Bee also exists.
  • Heavy Armor: You get knocked back less and your damage taken is always one heart.
  • Roc Suit: Glass and ice floors don't crumble and you can sink-fly without a Cucco.
  • Muscle Suit: Makes you throw things farther.
  • Shield Suit: Upgrades your shield to defend you from elemental attacks.

The "Heavy Armor" idea basically combines the Steadfast Ring and the Protection Ring from Oracle of Ages & Seasons. Previously I was thinking about having the half damage of the Blue Ring / Blue Armor, but in this game there are no quarter or even half hearts, which I like a lot for a change. So, the minimum damage is always one heart and for the most time, this armor won't do much. It might be very helpful in the arena though and with the 50% Attack / Defense challenges. It might also help you with the strong winds in the Sky area, kind of acting like Iron Boots. It's one of the few hazards in the game, which didn't see a costume dedicated to it. Of course this kind of ability also could be combined with my "Roc Suit", which I have based on the Roc's Feather and the Roc's Ring from past games.

The "Muscle Suit" is based on the Toss Ring and I feel like it would come in handy in a couple of missions, especially with those Hinox boss fights. I really have only the ability here in mind, not a clear outfit. I was thinking of Rosso at first, but he's more Goron than anything. And Link looking like a bodybuilder could be hilarious. It could also be an outfit that makes you look like a catapult.

As for the rest, there seem to be two new areas for the Drablands, each of them bundled as a DLC pack. And each area could potentially come with a new item to make it more interesting and appealing. And these new items then will need a new costume each to upgrade it. I still would like to see some sort of shield in the game, where the costume gives you the effects of the Hylian Shield in A Link Between Worlds.

The other item could be some other classic returning, something completely new or a bit of both like the Fire Gloves. I don't have any good ideas here yet, but I will update this post, if I do. And next to new items, these new areas might also provide new hazards, where a costume could help. Like for example there could be a swamp area, where you have a costume that lets you walk over the mud. But this would be too similar to the already established Dunewalker Duds.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tri Force Heroes: Updates and DLC Incoming!

Check this out!

I'm excited about this. I know it's actually breaking one of my three golden rules for this game. The main problem with paid DLC was that it's stuck on a system, but I got the eShop version anyway, so it's not a big deal for me anymore...

Also, today I thought, it will be nice to have DLC for this, since it can be structured very easily: by drabland areas. You basically buy an area pack, which gives you one new area in the drablands with four stages, 12 additional challenges and one new Coliseum arena, as well as new materials and costumes befitting that area. Maybe even new items. That Ice Shield idea is still possible, folks! So, the DLC could very easily be bundled. And for playing with random people, you chose the area anyway at beforehand. DLC will also keep the people returning to this game, which will be very important...

But what's maybe even more important, are free updates. This game needs some serious fixing, primarily the singleplayer mode. We're talking about GREZZO here! They added an awesome singleplayer to Four Swords, which I loved! How could they screw this up so badly? Well, according to this interview the bad singleplayer was even intentional, but they got some terrible reviews for it and deserve it. It's an horribly tedious experience and it would be so easy to fix with a couple of Four Swords tricks and improvements...

  • Let me chose outfits for the doppels!
  • Every character should have his own Energy Bar.
  • Have them follow me, as long as I'm on the same level, by pressing R.
  • Let me steer the totem at any level!
  • Maybe even have an auto totem feature, where your current player is on the top, by tapping your current player on the touchscreen.
  • Etc.

Just do it, Nintendo! Also, a local two player mode, where we have one puppet, would be nice. And it should work a lot better than the singleplayer actually.

Friendly Tokens are also an issue. Well, I have the luxury that I can farm them, since I got a total of three Zelda themed 3DS systems in the past. I can just keep formatting my oldest system and get a new token each time, which already scored me the awesome Timeless Tunic. And later this year I will also attempt at a Zelda fan meeting, where I potentially could collect more than enough tokens. However, not everyone has three 3DS systems at hand or knows many people playing this game personally. And online only counts, if you have befriended the player locally... but maybe Nintendo should consider that all online friends should count. Yes, people will just "cheat" on forums to get them, but it's certainly better than formatting 3DS systems over and over again. Meeting so many people with a 3DS is simply a rarity.

It would also be nice to get Shadow Links for the Coliseum for practice or for when the servers are offline (like right now).

Monday, October 19, 2015

Zelda's Dress in Project Zero V

Zelda's costume for Mia

Project Zero V, also known as Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, will come with costumes based on Princess Zelda and Zero Suit Samus. The Zero Suit is for the protagonist, Yuri Kozukata, and the Zelda dress for one of the other two playable characters, Mia Hinasaki.

You might recognize this dress from Hyrule Warriors, where Koei Tecmo has been the developer (and partly also publisher) of both these games. Anyway, it looks pretty awesome and might be a strong incentive to get this game for me personally, where it looks quite good overall.

However, there is a catch: these costumes replace some sexy swimsuit and lingerie outfits from the Japanese version. And I think this is ridiculous. This horror game is rated 18+, where it's certainly not for the faint-hearted, but it couldn't include some outfits that show more skin? Come on... I personally can't stand such censorship, where apparently violence is a non-issue, but something perverted is too problematic to make it into a game for adults.

Oracle Rings to Tri Force Heroes Costumes

Up to this point Nintendo has revealed 33 of all the 36 costumes in the game! They really love spoiling everything in advance. I'm not too mad though, because you probably could just check the crafting recipes to see what's there. And at least I know now that the costumes won't disappoint, unlike the Medals in Skyward Sword. That was so much wasted potential and I kept hoping through the game that there would be more of the Medals. But the costumes seem to be a very good feature adding strategy and replay value to the game. Check out the full list of all known costumes on Zelda Wiki. Or don't and stop reading this post now, because there will be costume spoilers!

In the demo there were six different costumes: Hero Tunic, Kokiri Clothes, Legendary Dress, Lucky Loungewear, Tingle Tights, Spin Attack Attire. It was only one sixth of what the final game has to offer and I already have been intrigued by the options...

Now, the costumes are very similar to the Magic Rings from Oracle of Ages & Seasons - so far one of my absolute favorite collectibles in the series. The costumes might be less in number, but they are more fleshed out and offer better variety. But they also bring back some of the abilities from the rings. Especially the Cozy Parka and Dunewalker Duds really take me back to the rings, because the abilities to walk on ice and quicksand only ever appeared in the Oracle games... it's nice to have interesting perks like this back.

And you might even make better use of these perks than back then. You could only wear one ring for the effect and only carry five rings around. To switch them you had to back to the ring shop and for the most time you would probably just bring something very valuable like the Red, Blue or Green Ring, but forgot about the small perks like the Snowshoe Ring. And only if you really knew the dungeons, you were able to bring the right rings for the job. But in Tri Force Heroes you simply select one costume from your entire collection before a level, which then mostly adds to the replay value. At first you might pick something to strengthen one of the three available items and later on, if you know a stage well, you know what costumes will be the best choice for the stage.

Well, here is what costumes you could compare to what rings (though some of them are only similar or related, not the exact same abilities):

  • Bear Minimum Digs ↔ Cursed Ring
  • Big Bomb Outfit ↔ Blast Ring
  • Cheetah Costume ↔ Pegasus Ring
  • Cozy Parka ↔ Snowshoe Ring
  • Dunewalker Duds ↔ Quicksand Ring
  • Legendary Dress ↔ Blue Joy Ring (even received from Zelda!)
  • Rupee Regalia ↔ Red Joy Ring
  • Spin Attack Attire ↔ Spin Ring
  • Sword Suit ↔ Red Ring + Light Ring
  • Timeless Tunic ↔ First Gen Ring
  • Zora Costume ↔ Swimmer's Ring (and maybe Zora Ring)

The Jack and Queen of Hearts costumes also are akin to the Life Medals in Skyward Sword. They are also one of two cases, where a costume has a better version available making the first one obsolete. The rings did this in many cases, in some cases the L-2 was even easier to find than the L-1 (e.g. Heart Ring). But here the better version cost a lot more materials and Rupees, so you start with the easier to get costumes. The second case is the Lady's Ensemble, which replaces Zelda's Dress. I really don't like this, because they look too different and it even feels like blasphemy to have that ugly thing over the Legendary Dress. They could have given the Lady's Ensemble some other strong ability, like the slow Regeneration of the Heart Rings...

Other abilities I'm still missing are the Blue Ring and the Steadfast Ring. Both could even be combined in some sort of heavy knight armor. You take half damage and enemy attacks won't throw you back as far. This would be quite helpful in the Bomb Storage stage from the demo, those Hardhat Beetles could be really dangerous. And we still haven't seen a costume, which upgrades the Gripshot, or a Bee Costume to replace the Bee Medal from A Link Between Worlds and to bring back bees. Let's see, what the final three costumes will be, but those would be my bets.

PS: The Lantern actually was turned into a costume. Nice idea! And I still hope that there will be a(n ice) shield in the game, because having no shield at all feels really weird. Of course then we would need another costume to upgrade said shield.

Update: No shield apparently, too bad. :( There's a funny Robo Suit upgrading the Gripshot, a "Show Stopper" costume attracting enemies and a "Sword Master Costume" (probably giving you something akin to the Master Sword, I don't know yet). And it seems you "only" need eight of the 15 Friendly Tokens for the costumes, you only get these tokens by playing locally with different people. And I was afraid that there would be another costume costing 7 of these.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tri Force Heroes Demo Impressions

This weekend Nintendo of Europe hosted 10 hours of online time for the Tri Force Heroes demo and I tried to make good use of it. And there I was between enjoyable THUMBS UP spamming rounds and looking like this:

The experience is very different based on who you play with. On Saturday I had two or three really good teams with enjoyable playthroughs. When everyone knows what they are doing and keeps throwing thumb ups at each other, it's a good feel. On Sunday I didn't have much luck and with certain people you might need a lot of patience. I have to admit that I disconnected a couple of times, because the people I played with seemed like a hopeless cause. The demo only worked online for a limited time and I didn't want to spent this time explaining, how to use bombs properly.

For example in the Bomb Storage level the guy with the bombs is the crucial part of the team. Mostly I went for the bombs myself to make sure, everything goes well, but one time I wanted to play with the Gust Jar again. But then I had a guy, who didn't even understood that he had bombs. When we tried to activate the second switch, he went back to the Bomb Flower at the first switch and tried to bring it back in time! He was like these silly Gorons in Ocarina of Time, trying to open Dodongo's Cavern. My attempt of spamming the "Come here!" and "Item!" icons didn't came across. I even picked him up to put him in the exact spot... Maybe he was trolling, maybe he never played Zelda in his life. In any case, what should I have done?

But for the most part this system of communicating is very interesting and enjoyable. I just wish, there would be a couple more icons. Like "Lag!" and "Facepalm!". On a more serious note, "Push" and "Pull" could make sense. Of course you can just actually push or pull to show what you want, but the animation is very subtle and once I had a hard time to explain that you have to move the big block in the Fire Temple to the right spot and not throw me on top of it...

It's somewhat a new era of playing Zelda, if you think about it. As a Zelda veteran Zelda games have been "too easy" for an entire generation now. They are still easy, but now you have to teach the new players, how to move a block, by using eight different emoticons. The communication becomes the puzzle. (I'm pretty sure that Aonuma said the same, so saying it myself feels a little cheesy now.)

It also adds to the replay value. The levels seem to be all very static and linear, so the singleplayer certainly won't have the same replay value as in Four Swords, but playing it with different people offers a different experience every time. And you can take different roles by selecting the costume and the item, which makes it interesting. This was especially clear in the Bomb Storage level. And the levels with different items will probably be the interesting ones.

However, due to this you can already tell at the start, which players might not be experienced. For example why would you use the Kokiri Clothes in the Bomb Storage level, which has no Bow? Or why would you take the Bow in the Fire Temple, when someone else chose the Kokiri Clothes? It's like paying attention really hurts some people. Also, in the Buzz Blob Cave it did make the most sense to use the Kokiri Clothes in any case, so if anybody didn't chose them, there was a good chance that they could be a problem. One way or the other. I had one guy, who insisted to be on top of the totem, while he was the only one, who didn't wear the Kokiri Clothes. He just made it needlessly complicated. The Spin Attack Attire is also useful in the level and I saw one guy making good use of it, but there were others, who selected this costume and then never did a single Spin Attack, even in the part where all the blobs appear.

Another example is the Legendary Dress. If someone in your team has it and you're low on health, he should break pots and kill enemies, not the others. I really like the costumes and they add a good deal of strategy to the game, but some people will just wear them because of the looks without paying attention to the effects.

Good thing that the final game will have a Black List. (I even like, how they explain the story with hero candidates and false heroes.) Still, I'm really excited. Before the demo I was skeptical about playing with random people, but after the demo I think this might be what makes the game last long. Even with only three levels and a handful of costumes the demo didn't become boring. I'm really looking forward to the full experience now.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tri Force Heroes European Demo Codes!

Remember, how I said that it would be nice to get the demo for Tri Force Heroes? Well, Nintendo just did it now. You can play it online this weekend at certain times.

If you need codes for the EUROPEAN version, I got 200 code packs from Nintendo for ZeldaEurope.

Just follow @ZeldaEurope on Twitter and retweet this to win 3 demo codes!