Friday, June 30, 2017

Breath of the Wild EX Log, Entry 1

Breath of the Wild got its first DLC Pack called "The Master Trials" and with that I'm fully back to the game. This will continue my Adventure Log series, just with focusing on the new features from the DLC, since I was mostly done with the base game.

The main attraction will be playing through the game in Master Mode again, but at first I will try the other additions in Normal Mode and I also want to fully complete my Normal Mode save file. I still need to collect 190 Koroks, where I want to use the new Korok Mask to find them all.

Hero's Path

The first thing I checked out was the new "Hero's Path Mode", which almost fills my entire map:

Thing is that I've played over 400 hours now and except for some Koroks I've found everything already, so this isn't really that interesting or helpful. I will certainly check out some of the gaps, but because this doesn't cover all of my game time, it shows gaps in places, where I've already been. For example there's this peak to the northwest of Hateno, which I've clearly have been avoiding, but the map shows that I've already found a Korok on top.

Enter EX

Because the Korok Mask is probably the most useful addition in the DLC, I aimed to get it right away. However, I wanted to try finding some of the new armor pieces without reading the new Rumor Mills or Misko's journal. And at least for the Korok Mask this worked quite well.

It didn't go as well with any of the other items. I thought that the Tingle costume might be located on the Tingle Islands, but this wasn't the case. And it probably would have taken forever to find the Travel Medallion...

Anyway, you can't place it inside Hyrule Castle, so there goes my shortcut to the top again... I will probably place it near the Deplian Badlands to access the Lynels there more quickly or on top of Hebra Peak for some snowboarding fun.

Ruins Chaser

Instead of wasting a lot of time trying to find the new items on my own, I decided to simply read Misko's journal and follow the leads. And those were rather single-minded, because all eight new armor pieces were hidden in the ruins in and around Hyrule Field and Hyrule Castle Town. So, I donned the new Korok Mask and my Ancient Armor to hunt for the new pieces...

And this wasn't all that difficult. If you're using the Sheikah Sensor+ to target treasure chests, you instantly know that you had the right answer. The only riddle that gave me some trouble for some reason was the "battleground where brave souls tested their skill". But it struck me, as soon as I saw the place in the distance, while wandering around Hyrule Field.

Anyway, I found all new armor pieces today:

But I have to say that I don't like, what Nintendo did here. Like with the Nintendo Switch Shirt, you can't enhance or re-obtain any of the DLC armor pieces. And the abilities are a joke, too.

Majora's Mask is essentially broken, because it combines all other enemy deceiving effects in one single item. It makes all of Kilton's masks completely obsolete, while at the same time it's much easier to get. It's one of the first items that you can find right after leaving the Great Plateau. Come on, Nintendo!

All the other new armor pieces are completely useless on the other hand, simply because you can't enhance them. In case of the Phantom Armor this would have been overpowered, because it combines the best armor values with Attack Boost of the Barbarian Armor, but they could have just given it some other bonus like Critical Hits.

Also, the Tingle costume could have had some gliding stamina boost and maybe a set bonus, where Rupees count double, instead of the silly Night Speed boost. I'm not sure about Midna's Helmet, but anything would have been better than just giving it "Guardian Resist", while there are already two head pieces in the game with the same effect and better stats...

With the new costumes the DLC really looks half-assed. This gives me the same feeling as when they first added paid DLC characters to Hyrule Warriors, which looked good, but were completely useless, because they didn't have any missions. Bad DLC can taint a good game.

The Trial of the Sword - Beginning Trials

Well, I also got a taste of the new trial dungeon, where I've beaten the Beginning Trials on my first try. Hardly, I might add, because the Hinox at the end almost killed me. I usually don't enjoy playing these types of challenges for the first time, where I'm heading into the unknown and where each mistake might throw you back to the beginning. I feel quite stressed, when playing these dungeon types, and it always feels like it's taking forever.

With that I'm quite happy that they have split it up in three individual trials, where I can make a good pause between each one and where I have some visible progress with the Master Sword getting 10 additional points of damage.

I think that they went somewhat overboard with the difficulty in some of the rooms, though, especially if you consider Master Mode. You don't get any armor in the beginning and only weak weapons, while they still let you fight two Black Lizalfos. And those would be two regenerating Silver Lizalfos in Master Mode.

Overall I was looking forward to Master Mode, but on the overworld you always have the option to avoid enemies as a strategy. In the Trial of the Sword you have to beat them all, where things might get ridiculous in Master Mode, which lowers my anticipation quite a bit...

It's also interesting to note, how they deactivated the Champion abilities (or the Master Sword itself) in this trial. It shows that this system of regenerating abilities doesn't work in such an environment, because some players probably would wait on each floor, until everything was regained. It works in the base game, because you often can move on from difficult fights and do something else, while you let your powers regenerate in the meantime. But in this room-based environment it would probably result in unnecessary stalling.

Current Progress:
  • EX Side Quests: 6/7
  • Koroks: 721/900
  • Map Rate: 85.19%

Breath of the Wild: The Master Trials DLC Released

The "The Master Trials" DLC Pack was released exactly 4 hours ago containing the Trial of the Sword, Master Mode, Hero's Path Mode, the Travel Medallion, the Korok Mask and "Misko's Treasure".

On the Wii U downloading the DLC might behave a little weird. After installing it, the game will tell you that you have to perform a System Update first, while there is none. Afterwards it will download and install another small update.

Unlike with the chests in the Purchase Bonus, which got dropped on the Great Plateau, they actually left hints for where to find the new items. It starts with a series of six new EX Side Quests, which are left in your Adventure Log. Those lead you to places with some new journals or books, which then lead you to the new ingame items. So, you don't have to walk all over the world with your Sheikah Sensor+ to find the chests.

They also added a telepathic Sheikah Monk message and another EX Side Quest for the Trial of the Sword, which leads you to the Deku Tree, who explains the whole thing:

So, Nintendo made sure that you won't miss any of the new additions.

As a side note, the Hero's Path Mode also keeps track of "deaths", where you used up a fairy.

Also, from what I have heard, Master Mode does more than just upgrading all enemies and adding floating platforms. There will be tougher enemy placements as well, which is very good news!

(I still have to work today, so I won't be able to check it all out until today's evening. But I will dedicate my whole weekend to the DLC in my new "Master Log" series as a continuation of my Adventure Log.)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Return of Macho Tingle

Breath of the Wild is getting its first DLC tomorrow with the "Master Trials" and to celebrate Nintendo published developer posts about each of the new outfits, almost as if dropping some costume pieces in treasure chests all over the map is something special. Well, at least the post about the Tingle costume made me realize that this actually marks the return of Macho Tingle, as seen in the above illustration.

Originally this was part of the intro of Color Changing Balloon Trip of Love, but Link's new costume is certainly close enough:

I guess, after they made such a big thing out of each single costume, the "Champions' Ballad" DLC will probably also have armor pieces, which are all fan service material and based on characters / things from past Zelda games.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Metroid: Zero Mission Revisited

After the announcement of Samus Returns, I decided to return to my endeavor from last year, where I started revisiting various Metroid titles, both Metroid II - Return of Samus on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console and Metroid Prime Hunters at the time. For now I want to replay several 2D Metroid games on the Wii U Virtual Console, where I started with Zero Mission, because there was a discount available at My Nintendo and because I haven't played this game since 2008, where I first got into the Metroid franchise.

Similar to Metroid Fusion, I've never owned Zero Mission on my original GameBoy Advance. And I'm kind of glad that I didn't, because I can't imagine myself ever completing this game without the help of Restore Points. The amount of pixel perfect input perfection required to perform the various Shine Spark stunts in order to get some of the pick ups is just ridiculous. Especially the one Energy Container at Chozodia, where you have to hit several slopes and quickly store another Shine Spark, probably would have broken either my fingers or my GameBoy Advance if I ever had tried this on the original version. With Restore Points it's doable, because if you screw up a single part, you just have to repeat this (given you saved right before it) and not start over from the very beginning.

What also took me quite a while was the Missile Expansion in the lower right corner of the Ridley area, because I tried getting this as early as possible... Other than the Shine Spark sequence to get there, you also have to get through a maze of dissolving blocks. It's a lot easier to do with the Space Jump ability, but then you would have to return there later in the game, which costs a lot of time. So, this time I tried to do it without it, which took many tries... There's lots and lots of mastery in this game.

Another infamous example would be within the tunnels of Brinstar, where you can get a Super Missile very early in the game, right after obtaining the Speed Booster and the Spring Ball:

It's probably even necessary if you want to get a 100% item rating under 2 hours, which is required for some of the endings. I'm not gunning for this, though, I'm settling with completing the game on both Normal and Hard with 100% items. Other than Other M I hadn't beaten any Metroid games on Hard / Hyper Mode yet, because usually I felt like the games were hard enough on Normal Mode or I had trouble getting past the first big boss. But this time I'm up for a challenge.

Hardest part was probably the Mother Brain boss fight, which is absolutely atrocious in any difficulty. I actually had to go back and collect some missing Super Missile packs (6 of them do the trick), because otherwise this fight is just endlessly frustrating. Again having Restore Points made the whole thing more bearable.

But I like how in a New Game+ it does show how many items there are in each area and how many you found already. This is really helpful, because on my first playthrough I had to study maps on the internet in order to find some of the last Missile Expansions that I had missed.

In general, Zero Mission isn't one of my favorite Metroid games and probably never will be, despite this being a solid title. I really enjoy how they remade the first game and translated it into the style of Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion. That's really well done, but they had to up the ante and that's where this remake failed me. I don't like running away from invincible foes in video games, so I ultimately found the whole Zero Suit section of the game to not be enjoyable. It even kills a good part of the replay value for me, which is probably why I never bothered with replaying this game up until now...

It's also a very long section of the game, where they've created this massive maze on top of a game world that already wasn't very easy to navigate to begin with. You can waste a lot of precious time just getting from A to B. And this makes me look forward to the teleport stations in Samus Returns even more, because this feels like one of the best possible additions to the franchise (they had teleporters in Hunters, but there it wasn't all that helpful).

It also ruined a part of the continuity, which Retro Studios tried to establish with Metroid Prime, where Samus has some of the abilities from the first game ready in the beginning, but she loses them. It's almost like Sakamoto actively wanted to discredit Metroid Prime, where he likes to remind everyone that he isn't involved with the Prime series. That they added the Gravity Suit, Power Bombs, and all the other typical upgrades to the remake also felt a little bit uninspired and to a degree unnecessary.

Anyway, it was still quite fun and I'm looking forward to replaying Super Metroid next month.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES Announced

Nintendo announced the Mini Classic version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System with the following list of games:

As I thought last year, when the NES Mini was announced, the main problem with a potential SNES Mini would be missing games. In my case I only was worried Terranigma, because this game never appeared on any Virtual Console, but I'm also missing one of my other favorites: Harvest Moon. Those two were my absolute favorite SNES games next to A Link to the Past and Super Metroid.

And there are plenty more renowned titles missing from that list: Donkey Kong Country 2 & 3, Secret of Evermore, Seiken Densetsu 3, Lufia II, Chrono Trigger, Illusion of Gaia - to name a few. The SNES is known for its great RPG library, but Nintendo didn't make good use of that.

Starfox 2 is certainly an interesting surprise, however, where I would like to see more of that in the future. I'm sure Nintendo has some more interesting unreleased goodies up their sleeves.

Anyway, it's not for me, I'm happy with the Wii U Virtual Console, where I at least can play Harvest Moon. And I won't have to worry about getting one of these things, which might be difficult, because Nintendo doesn't like to match the demands these days.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Breath of the Wild Adventure Log, Entry 36

Star Fragment Farming

Overall I have taken a pause from Breath of the Wild for the last month, but now and then I returned to farm some Star Fragments, usually to do something at the side while voice chatting with people. So far I have been gunning for Silver Lynels, but because the drop rate of Star Fragments is so low (around 5%) and because you have to wait for a Blood Moon to do it again, it felt quite stagnating.

This is why I was trying the Dueling Peaks method, which you often see on GameFAQs as a recommendation for Star Fragment farming. All you have to do is warp to the Shee Vaneer Shrine on top of the Dueling Peak, get to the top and observe the sky towards the northwest between 9PM and 2AM. You want to look between the Great Plateau and Hyrule Castle:

Don't look at Lake Hylia or the swamp area, because otherwise the Star Fragment might drop into the water and disappear.

Anyway, at first this method didn't work for me at all. I had luck in the first night, but then I didn't get any more Star Fragments. This had me frustrated, because this method seemingly wasn't more effective than the Silver Lynel fights, while standing around and waiting for nothing was super boring...

But I was doing it wrong. I made the mistake of skipping to the next night with a fire right after 2AM. And that's where the mistake was. You have to skip to the next morning first and then skip to the night. And voilà! A Star Fragment! In fact, this method was so effective that I got one Star Fragment on every single night. With within a few hours I was able to farm all the Star Fragments that I still needed for the amiibo armor and more.

When one falls, just mark it with your scope and teleport to the nearest shrine. The Star Fragments usually dropped around Wahgo Katta Shrine for me and were very easy to collect. And contrary to some statements that you might find, this works on any moon phase, even during a Blood Moon:

Just make sure to bring a Flame Blade. This way can quickly ignite a fire on top of Dueling Peaks and it will also keep you warm so that you don't have to equip any warmer clothes.

Well, I now got enough Star Fragments to upgrade all remaining amiibo gear, including the ones from the new Link amiibo released last Friday. And this concludes my efforts to upgrade all armor in the game, so the DLC may come.

Current Progress:
  • Koroks: 710/900
  • Map Rate: 84.28%

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Metroid: Samus Returns - Legacy Edition Pictured

So, we're getting this in Europe:

Steelbook that looks like a GameBoy module of Metroid II - Return of Samus, a Virtual Console copy of said game, Morphball key-chain, Screw Attack pin, artbook and the soundtrack from the North American Special Edition. Looks nice, definitely getting this!

This also balances the fact that we didn't get the Master Edition of Breath of the Wild in Europe. But overall everyone would be happier, if the Special Editions were the same in all regions. Because as it is right now one region will always be jealous of the other.

But Nintendo seems to have lots and lots of problems these days with providing the fans with the goods. It's getting quite frustrating to be a Nintendo fan and collector.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Ever Oasis: Random Dungeons

Grezzo's new game is going to be released this Friday and marks the return of Koichi Ishii to the Action RPG genre after the Mana series. There's a demo right now available in the Nintendo 3DS eShop and it was also showcased at the E3 Treehouse Live stream this week.

I think the game looks quite enjoyable, but I probably won't be getting it anytime soon. I still can't help but wonder, how this game would have been as The Legend of Zelda: Ever Oasis. The main character feels very similar to Toon Link with his behavior and attitude, while they could have used different races from the franchise as your party members, e.g. the weasel girl could have been a Gerudo. But having this as its own unique IP is probably for the better.

However, there was one thing that really had me intrigued: the randomized dungeons. Randomization in Zelda is something that I've been thinking about for some time now and that Grezzo now showed the skill to create randomized dungeon was a very welcome surprise. I wish that they'd already did that with Tri Force Heroes. If each area in the game had randomized levels, similar to how Four Swords did, the game could have offered a much longer replay value.

In the very least I think that random dungeons are the future of Multiplayer Zelda games. And it's good to know that Grezzo has the ability to provide them.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Breath of the Wild: The Master Trials @ Treehouse Live

In today's E3 2017 live stream Nintendo showed off the first DLC contents for Breath of the Wild. You can watch this here. It's somewhat painful to watch, but it gives away some new information...

They did showcase all the armor and it's quite underwhelming. Other than the Korok Mask, which signalizes nearby Koroks, and Majora's Mask, which makes it harder for enemies to spot you, they don't seem to offer any special functionality. Midna's Helmet has Guardian Resist and the Phantom Armor more Attack Damage, but those are no new abilities. The Tingle costume even doesn't seem to have any special attributes other than a "Night Speed Up" set bonus. Why not let it make you float longer? Or find more Rupees?

To make things worse, all of the DLC armor behaves like the Nintendo Switch Shirt. If you (accidentally) sell any of it, there's no way of re-obtaining the pieces. And that's just not acceptable, because everything in the game should either be locked or re-obtainable. They could have just easily added it all to some merchant, like Granté's collection, or make it so that you can't sell them. But instead they went through the trouble of inserting a "If sold, this rare item can't be replaced" sentence to the descriptions of all the new pieces...

This is all quite disappointing and seems to lack a certain level of refinement.

The "Trial of the Sword" works similar to the Den of Trials in Tri Force Heroes. You will be able to enter the Middle Trials and the Final Trials, once you've reached them, however this will be at a disadvantage, because you start with nothing at the respective floors, while starting from the beginning might net you with valuable items. In Tri Force Heroes it was similar, where collecting fairies in the easier zones will come in handy in the "Baneful Zone".

It also seems like you're not allowed to use your Champion abilities within the trial. So, the only thing that will be of help from the outside are upgraded Runes and any additional Heart Containers and Stamina Vessels.

Overall it looks like an interesting challenge, but it's just put together cheaply by recycling various assets in the game to create a new series of shrine-like levels. As with the new armor it almost feels like a different, less experienced team is developing the DLC...


Day 3 had a second segment for the "Master Trials" DLC, which you can watch here. It was pretty much the exact same showcase as the first one, but they did show the "Trial of the Sword" in Master Mode briefly. It confirmed that there really are no red enemies in this Mode, while in Normal Mode you probably won't find any golden ones.

It might even be that Hyrule Compendium in Normal Mode really is fully completed already and any new enemies only appear in Master Mode. Instead of introducing a new boss for the upcoming dungeon in the "Champions' Ballad" they probably could also just use all four Blights again... But let's wait and see, how the first DLC really behaves.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Metroid: Samus Returns Announced

Watch the trailer here and the Treehouse Live segment here.

This was a welcome surprise for Metroid fans next to the announcement of Metroid Prime 4. And this will already be available September 15th in Europe and get two nice amiibo and a Special Edition with a soundtrack (the European version even gets more extras).

I personally had envisioned a 2.5D Metroid game for Nintendo 3DS for the longest time now. Last August in my Future of Metroid article I also described, how Nintendo could remake Metroid II - Return of Samus in the style of Metroid: Other M. And now it looks like I'm getting all of this.

This also explains, why Nintendo took measures against the fangame AM2R, because these projects are very similar. I can still advise every Metroid fan to try it out, if you can still find it on the internet, because it's really well done. But from what I've seen I'll probably like Metroid: Samus Returns even more.

It feels more like a real Nintendo product, despite it being developed by MercurySteam. But they are doing a good job here and even seems like they were reacting to some issues that have arisen with AM2R. One of the biggest problems of the fangame was how most damage is dealt by enemies running into you. And the melee counter attack is such a nice answer to this! The fights look a lot more dynamic and the different Metroid stages so much more threatening. The Gamma Metroid shows a lot of new tricks (it can even walk around), while the Zeta Metroid seems to be on a similar level to the Omega Metroids in AM2R.

I also find the "Aeion Abilities" intriguing and I like, how they improved the SR388 world design with teleport chambers and alike. It really feels like a proper remake by Nintendo standards. AM2R was still great and I enjoyed it a lot, but this is the real deal.

My only gripe I have with the game is that the graphics could probably be better. But since it's developed for the years old Nintendo 3DS this is to be expected.

It's still nice, how the Nintendo 3DS is still getting new games and finally a proper Metroid title after all these years. MercurySteam even has experience Metroidvania-like games thanks to their Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series, so this was probably a good choice. At the same time Sakamoto doesn't seem to insist on any narration this time, so that we don't get another Other M story here. So, this looks overall very promising.

Metroid is back, Baby! And the title couldn't be any more fitting, since it has been exactly seven years since Samus' last game.

Metroid Prime 4 Announced

All Nintendo had to do was display a big "4" in space to win E3 2017. Metroid Prime 4. That's all we wanted from this E3 and that's all we needed to hear to be happy.

After the debacle with both Federation Force and the shutdown of Another Metroid 2 Remake last year, it's nice to finally get some real Metroid from Nintendo again with both this and a new 2D Metroid for the Nintendo 3DS.

That they're willing to tease a game this early in development already shows, how Nintendo wanted to make it up to the Metroid fans after last year. It's still a shame that we didn't get to see any actual gameplay yet and we might have to be patient until E3 next year.

The shocking news was that Metroid Prime 4 actually isn't developed by Retro Studios. What can happen, if some other team under the direction of Kensuke Tanabe takes over Metroid Prime, has been effectively demonstrated with Federation Force, which had very low sales. I don't want to bash the game all that much, because I still have to play it and it didn't feel that bad from when I tried it, but it's still not what people wanted from Metroid.

On the other hand the Retro Studios that we know and love isn't the same anymore after several key members have left the company. So, even if it still was developed by Retro Studios you would have to be cautiously optimistic. But let's hope for the best, because this is certainly a game that Nintendo doesn't want to screw up. The Metroid Prime Trilogy contains three absolute master pieces and we wouldn't want the sequel to face any drop in quality. Quite the opposite.

Breath of the Wild: Champion amiibo Announced

Called it!

They haven't announced a release date yet, but I take it that it they might get released alongside the "The Champions' Ballad" DLC Pack later this year, because this ties in perfectly. The German press release also states that they are going to be released "end of 2017".

The game also needs an update to support them and it's doubtful that the June 30th update will provide this so soon. But maybe it will, since the three upcoming Link amiibo were already supported by the base game months ahead.

I'm not particularly excited about the quality of the amiibo, because they all ended up with poles. But it's certainly hilarious and somewhat fitting, how they put a large pole right between Urbosa's legs. Gotta get that one, before they alter it like the Dildo Edition Zelda amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. line for obvious reasons.

They also didn't say a word about functionality, but they probably just give weapons and items similar to most other Zelda amiibo. It's just a question of whether the Champion weapons will be a part of it or not, but since they are seen in the actual figurines, it would be a shame, if they aren't.

Breath of the Wild: Expansion Pass - First DLC Trailer

Watch the trailer here. It gave us the first moving pictures of the first DLC Pack called "The Master Trials", as well as a teaser for the second DLC Pack called "The Champions' Ballad". The first pack will already be released in two weeks on June 30th, so we can return to the game with new content pretty soon.

It does confirm the existence of Golden Enemies, as you can see with the impressive illustration above. It almost makes me wish for a Golden Lynel amiibo to be released alongside the pack.

The "Trial of the Sword" seems to offer some good variety, especially with the designs of the individual rooms and challenges. And it seems like you will be able to grab some armor pieces along your way, because Link is wearing the Flamebreaker Boots in the last bit.

It's nice to see the new armor in motion, but other than the Korok Mask we still don't know what they will do.

Nintendo also released a fact sheet and the best news here is that the new "Master Mode" will offer a separate save slot. This takes away one of my concerns in my wishlist for the game. I wouldn't want to delete my current savegame or create a new profile on my Wii U or Nintendo Switch just so I can start playing Master Mode...

The mode itself still looks kind of underwhelming, despite the golden foes and the floating platforms. They should have done a little bit more with it, e.g. adding more Guardians to the world, switching some stuff around and so on. But I'm still looking forward to replay the game in this mode and I also like the name "Master Mode" much better than "Hard Mode".

They also teased the 2nd DLC and gave it a theme, where it revolves around the four Champions. You can see Kass standing in a new location offering to play the "Champions' Ballad":

This is above Zora's Domain and I always felt like there should have been a shrine or something else up there... But it might be that Kass can be found in view of all four Divine Beasts and his additional encounters trigger some new memories about the Champions, for example how they got into their positions in the first place. So, the DLC could fill some more gaps in Link's memories.

But it doesn't seem to be an epilogue story, like I originally hoped it would be in my predictions. You can clearly see Vah Ruta in it's firing position with the beam going at Hyrule Castle, which only happens during the game and not before or after.

It's also unclear, how all of this will tie up with a new dungeon or whether the dungeon might even be entirely separate from the "story".

E3 2017: Roundup


Nintendo's main presentation is over and I'm fairly happy with the result. About half of my E3 2017 Predictions became a reality. They showed us more of the Breath of the Wild DLC, where in this turn they also confirmed two of my major predictions:

No Breath of the Wild movie, though. Also, there wasn't a Smartphone Zelda announced, but the Spotlight focused on Nintendo Switch anyway, so this still might happen.

And finally they have announced Metroid Prime 4! But sadly it seems they aren't far enough into development to show any of it this year, so it's probably something for E3 2018 and they just made the teaser to give us something. Otherwise there probably would have been a riot from the Metroid fanbase.

The biggest surprise to me probably was that they didn't announce a Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch, because after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Pokémon Tournament Deluxe and many more Switch ports this seems like an obvious cash-in. Still can happen, though! It seems like they want to focus on ARMS and Splatoon 2 this E3, where Smash Bros. for Switch would have taken away a lot of the attention.

More thoughts about the individual announcement coming soon!


Metroid: Samus Returns announced for Nintendo 3DS! Nice! This is another prediction I got right. Last year, after they shot down AM2R, I made the prediction that they are working on a Metroid 2 Remake themselves, probably based on Other M (see The Future of Metroid - a future now confirmed). Also, this really confirms that there are currently two Metroids in development, one classic title and a Prime game.

E3 2017: Last Minute Predictions

I've updated my E3 2017 Predictions from last month with some ideas I had just now. If there's really going to be a Metroid Prime 4 announced today, then Sylux might also join the roster of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch and there might be an HD Remaster of the Metroid Prime Trilogy coming to Switch.

Enjoy the show, everyone!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

World of Hylia - Zelda RPG Concept

This is an idea, which I had early on while playing through Breath of the Wild... Essentially all Nintendo would have to do is take the world of Breath of the Wild and use it for more of a RPG-like gaming experience. The key aspect here is that you would create your own character in one of the following races:

  • Hylian
  • Sheikah
  • Zora
  • Goron
  • Rito
  • Gerudo

While Link is the all-rounder, who can do it all, here each race has specific traits. Sheikah would be good at stealth, but they are weaker in general. Zora can swim fast and swim up waterfalls, but they are weak to electricity. Gorons can roll around using stamina and swim through lava, but they can't swim through normal waters. They can also swing two-handed weapons at ease, while they can't use bows or smaller weapons. Rito can fly around using their stamina and they are good archers. Gerudo are good fighters in general and show better heat resistance, but are weak to the cold. And the Hylians are simply the default characters with no specific perks or disadvantages.

The player would go through a typical character creator in the beginning of the game, where he can also define the gender and the looks of the character to his liking. And depending on the tribe, he or she will start in a different location of the world map. Then you take on quests, try to improve your character or do whatever you do in a RPG like this.

The world would be the same as in Breath of the Wild, but the RPG would take place either ~100 years before or after the game. This way Nintendo could recycle the game world of Breath of the Wild, where the players would already be familiar with the environments, while at the same time it could explore new things. Hyrule Castle and Hyrule Castle Town could be there in full glory with a real population, instead of being some decayed ruins full of Guardians. Nintendo could also extend the world at some of the borders, where you currently just run into invisible walls.


Now, there's the question, whether this should become a singleplayer experience or a multiplayer (MMORPG) experience, where you play together with other people all over the internet. This could be even a potential direction, where multiplayer Zelda is headed.

Minidungeons could appear all over the world similar to the Sheikah Shrines, where for each a certain number of people is required or at least recommended. This could work similar to the pedestals in Tri Force Heroes, where everyone has to step into the "Triforce" to enter the next area.

Only problem with multiplayer would be the new fighting mechanic of Breath of the Wild with its slow motion parts. This would be really hard to get right in multiplayer. Hyrule Warriors partially has the same issue with Special Attacks during coop, where the other player can essentially walk around the frozen enemies and look at the attack at different angles. It could work similarly in a multiplayer game based on Breath of the Wild, at least for melee combat and flurry rushes. The mid-air archery is what makes things complicated. You can't just freeze the game for everyone in your proximity, while you do this.

Another issue would be inventory management, where you can spent quite some time within Breath of the Wild's menus. Even switching weaponry over the D-Pad shortcuts can take its time. Here the game normally pauses, which also wouldn't be possible in a multiplayer experience. So, if Nintendo ever wanted to try this, there are certainly some technical hurdles to take.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Don't Be Fooled by Their Similar Names

My Nintendo has currently an offer, where you get 40% off of Oracle of Ages, Oracles of Seasons and Skyward Sword. What caught my attention is the following description about both Oracle games:

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons are Game Boy Color classics. Don't be fooled by their similar names - both games offer a unique story and are packed with adventure, puzzles and classic Zelda action.

Even 16 years after their release, Nintendo seemingly is still afraid that there might be confusion about this being one and the same game with different features. And there really might be. They have Pokémon to thank for this mentality. And even at the time of the release, Nintendo had to do a lot of advertising to communicate that these are actually two fully developed Zelda adventures. I still have some flyers and magazine ads from that time stating "an adventure too big for just one game". And even up to this date Nintendo is still fighting the Pokémon stigma about the Oracle games.

This might even be the reason, why Nintendo never tried something similar again with the Zelda series. This is somewhat of a shame, because the games were ahead of their time and today they could function without any complicated password system. But of course today they can put 32GB of data on a cartridge, so there isn't even a good excuse to release two similar games separately at the same time. Just the opposite, like with A Link to the Past & Four Swords they could put two games on one cartridge. Even at the time of the GameBoy Color, it was technically possible to put both games on one cartridge (the games used 2MB cartridges, while 4MB and 8MB GameBoy cartridges existed - you could even find a version with both games on one cartridge). Or if Breath of the Wild is any indication, they could just develop one big game, instead of two smaller ones.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Breath of the Wild: DLC Pack 2 Speculation

This still might be too early, because at this point we haven't even seen the first DLC in action yet. We don't even know yet, when the first DLC will be released. But I've already put a lot of thoughts into this, where I want to share some ideas. Also, with the first DLC I came too late for some predictions, where it's probably best to share all of this as early as possible.

Here's what the official website says about the 2nd DLC's contents:

  • New dungeon
  • An original story
  • More new challenges

New Dungeon and Story

I think that these two will probably go hand in hand. So, you will play the new dungeon as part of the new story and the new story will lead you to the dungeon. Simple as that. The real question is, what kind of story and what kind of dungeon will we get?

So far the game has three different types of dungeons: the Sheikah Shrines (as mini dungeons), the Divine Beasts and Hyrule Castle. Hyrule Castle does have similar visuals to the Divine Beasts, but it's fully intertwined with the surrounding overworld. And it seems that the "Trial of the Sword" will use the same visuals as the shrines, but mixes it with overworld assets and enemies. It's doubtful, but possible that the new dungeon will come up with something entirely new.

At first I thought that they could just add another Divine Beast, after all you can play any number of them, before facing the final boss. Another Divine Beast then simply would add to the damage. However, they can't just add another boss like that, since because of the Boss Rush it would make the "early Ganon" challenge even harder by buying the DLC.

Also, it would break a certain pattern within the four Divine Beasts that the game already has established. Each Divine Beast dungeon represents one of the game's main elements and focuses on a specific Sheikah Slate Rune. The same goes for the four bosses, where each boss also fights in the style of one of the main weapon types in the game, which is the same as the Champion weapon that you get afterwards. So, you have a pattern like this:

  • Vah Medoh: Wind, Stasis, Bow/Distance
  • Vah Ruta: Ice, Cryonis, Spear
  • Vah Rudania: Fire, Bombs, Giant Blade
  • Vah Naboris: Electricity, Magnesis, Sword and Shield

Unless they also introduce a new rune, a new weapon type and weapon element for the DLC, I would doubt that there's going to be a fifth Divine Beast. Another problem would be the actual placement. It needs a large space to wander around and afterwards it needs to be placed somewhere, where it can sit and fire at Hyrule Castle. And it doesn't seem like there's any space left for this, despite there being quite some empty areas. In general the Faron region could use a dungeon, because it's only big region named after a Goddess that doesn't have one. But it's quite the overgrown area...

Also, from a story standpoint it would feel weird to introduce this now, since the Calamity Ganon lore ever only depicted four Divine Beasts and four Champions. Of course it's still possible that a fifth one was made and still needs to be excavated, where they even could bring back the Mogma race for the task. But all in all this would completely feel like it's coming out of nowhere.

Of course this is a general problem with the DLC, which is probably why Nintendo sneaked in the "Trial of the Sword" via the Master Sword pedestal to make it fit without altering the rest of the game too much. But the Sheikah Shrines and Towers also appear out of nowhere, where the 2nd DLC could make use of this "habit" to actually place a new dungeon somewhere in the environment. Finding a large shrine somewhere wouldn't feel entirely out of place.

And the Sheikah Shrines themselves are the closest that we got to a traditional dungeon in the game, you even have the typical Small Keys in some of them. It could be that they simply add a large, special Sheikah Temple to provide a classic Zelda dungeon experience.

Storywise it would be interesting to learn more about what happened 10.000 years ago at the rise of both Calamity Ganon and Sheikah technology. And it would also be interesting to know, how the Triforce still fits into all of this. We only briefly see it in the Calamity Ganon tapestry and it also seems to be part of Zelda's sealing power, but it never gets fully put into the picture or even mentioned by name.

I could even see the Triforce as the fifth dungeon icon. Right now you have the four animals of the Divine Beasts as icons on your loading screen (and for the Champion abilities), where another additional dungeon could represented as a Triforce icon. In the Four Swords Anniversary Edition they even added a new stage in form of a Triforce with the "Realm of Memories", which is why a Triforce-based DLC-dungeon would have a familiar tone to it.

Also, so far Nintendo has used the following artwork to advertise the DLC:

This doesn't have to mean anything, but it creates the impression that Zelda will also play an important part in the DLC story. It could technically even be possible that you're going to play in the epilogue scenario, where you travel together with Zelda after the defeat of Calamity Ganon to explore new shrines that have been appearing all over Hyrule, including a large temple.

However, this might be difficult to implement with the current system. You would enter this new stage of the game by defeating the final boss (so, everyone with a fully completed save file would simply have to beat Ganon again to get into the DLC). But this only should work, after you've freed all four Divine Beasts, because otherwise this might create a mess, especially if Zelda's supposed to be your companion in the DLC part. They probably would use the same requirements that you need to see the current epilogue, where you have to collect all 18 memories to get there (which includes freeing the Divine Beasts).

The rest of the game could stay the same, so you could still complete any other missing tasks with Zelda at your side. If you enter a shrine, she would wait at the entrance (and probably be annoyed), similar to how Marin waits for you in Link's Awakening, if you enter the Southern Face Shrine. Hyrule Castle would be still in ruins and you could explore it normally to find any missing Koroks or whatever, maybe even with Zelda at your side all the time, who could be giving some comments about her destroyed or study and other things. But the Guardians all should probably be gone, which makes this a little boring. But they could add new threats to this stage of the game...

This would also remedy the current ending of the game, which feels somewhat lackluster. But on the other hand we probably shouldn't expect as much, if the first DLC is any indication.

Additional Challenges

This could mean absolutely anything, but what I would like to see the most is new Sheikah Shrines, eight in total. Why exactly eight? Well, this would make this a total of 128 Sheikah Shrines, which is a pretty number in information sciences, an exponentiation of base 2, two times 64. Numbers like these are often used by Nintendo anyway. And considering that the new dungeon might give an additional Heart Container, it would allow you to reach the maximum of Heart Containers and Stamina Vessels in the game by collecting eight more Spirit Orbs.

It would also be nice to have a couple more travel points, for example the northern border of the Eldin region could desperately use a shrine there. Or there's nothing on the mountains north of Zora's Domain.

These new "EX shrines" could be made part of the epilogue scenario, where they look differently from normal shrines (similar to the EX chests) and where they suddenly have appeared all over Hyrule. Other than new Spirit Orbs they could hold the keys to the new Sheikah Temple dungeon. So, at first you'd have to find the eight new shrines, before you can explore the big new dungeon. Maybe they even contain eight Triforce Shards, where you'd have this classic Zelda quest in a new garb. Or it could work similar to the current game with the Divine Beasts, where finding the keys is optional, but helpful in the new dungeon, just on a much smaller scale. This way the players wouldn't be forced to look for the new shrines, if they don't want to.

What other "challenges" could there be? If it's a really just new shrines, they probably would have said so. Nintendo could come up with something entirely new here, which the game hasn't seen yet. They could also add a new type of overworld boss for another Medal of Honor. Or they could add new Side Quests, which might fill some gaps, for example there is currently nothing to do with the Lord of the Mountain.

New Armor

Most of the new rewards in the first DLC are new armor pieces, nine in total. And as chance would have it, the current armor menu then will have only room left for exactly nine more pieces of armor, if you only got one copy of everything. So, the armor menu will probably be filled at the very end, if you have all the DLC and all the amiibo gear.

The first DLC will add three different masks and for the second DLC I would like to see more pairs of boots. One could be the "Spiked Boots" that would provide the much needed ability to climb in the rain. The other could be the classic "Pegasus Boots" that make you walk faster without any food/potion effects.

As for full sets, I would love to have something similar to the Sword Master Suit from Tri Force Heroes, something that makes Link look like the most epic and glorious knight ever. With the release of Super Mario Odyssey they might also put Link in a Mario outfit, which makes him jump a little higher. And in general I would expect something super silly like an Agitha outfit (including the dress), which makes it easier to collect bugs. If Tri Force Heroes was any indication, then anything is possible when it comes to Link's wardrobe.

If it's just about pure functionality, I would like to have Bomb Outfit, where the bombs do (much) more damage and the set bonus prevents you from getting hurt by your own bombs.

Also, I would like to get more horse gear, like a Dragon Bridle and Saddle or an Ancient Bridle and Saddle.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Breath of the Wild: Boss Rush?

Did you know that there's actually a Boss Rush in the game?

And this gives me the idea that I'd really like some boss rush like this somewhere else in the game. The upcoming "Trial of the Sword" in the first DLC Pack could make you face all four main bosses again as well, maybe even all of them one after another in the last room. This certainly would be a nice challenge.

But going through the entire "Trial of the Sword" will probably take very long and ideally I would be able to replay the above scenario at any time, because it looks pretty epic and like a lot of fun. But the upcoming "Hard Mode" for example could still feature the boss rush at the end in any case just for kicks.

Hyrule Warriors 2: First Predictions

Hyrule Warriors has proven to be a great source of entertainment for Zelda fans during the years of waiting for Breath of the Wild. And it shouldn't come as a surprise, when Koei Tecmo develops another Hyrule Warriors title for the Nintendo Switch, after they are done with Fire Emblem Warriors. While this could be yet another enhanced port of the same game, we already had that on the Nintendo 3DS with Hyrule Warriors - Legends. For the Switch it would be nice, if we get a proper sequel with improved gameplay, new ideas and more.

So, here are some first thoughts about a potential Hyrule Warriors 2. After Fire Emblem Warriors has been showcased at E3, it might also be possible to say more. However, right now it doesn't look like it has any meaningful improvements over Hyrule Warriors on Wii U and 3DS.

Focus on Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild has become a big success and wildly popular, the game finally delivers a new base for the Zelda series in many ways. And with a new Hyrule Warriors game, they should set a clear focus on this. They could start by developing a roster based on Breath of the Wild, where the artworks of the game already look like they were made for a new Hyrule Warriors game to begin with, because they depict each character with a distinct weapon:

  • Link (Bow and Sword)
  • Zelda (Sheikah Slate)
  • Mipha (Zora Trident)
  • Daruk (Hammer Sword)
  • Revali (Rito Bow)
  • Urbosa (Gerudo Scimitar)

Some of the Champion descendants also could get their own character slots, especially Sidon and Riju are quite popular. In case of Riju she could even be different enough from Urbosa, if she uses the Thunder Helmet as her weapon type and unleashes lighting-based attacks on her enemies. With Sidon it might be difficult to find a weapon that's not just a copy of Mipha's or Ruto's fighting styles, because he never uses any special items in the game, just his charming personality. Yunobo also has his own charm, but his signature move is already used by Daruk. But of course you could say the same about Riju and lightning attacks. Teba is probably the least interesting, who doesn't really stand out when compared to Revali.

Another possible character from Breath of the Wild would be the "Old Man" using the Paraglider on the battlefield.

The story of the new Hyrule Warriors itself could take place some time after or maybe even before Breath of the Wild, in the era of ancient technology. Cia and Lana would still be the gatekeepers to other eras and they could receive visual upgrades, where both have more "technological" looks. Technology is the new magic after all. It even does fit their previous characters, where the Summoning Gates (probably based on the Gate of Time) seemed like a piece of technology, instead of something that's pure magic. So, Cia and Lana entering the age of technology could fit rather well.

They would also be the bridge to previous eras and summon various of heroes from all times for help, including the four Champions of Hyrule and characters from the previous Hyrule Warriors game. Koei Tecmo usually keeps all previous characters in a Warriors sequel, while there certainly also will be new characters from past Zelda games, not just Breath of the Wild.

Naturally we'd also like to see more stages and troops, where Breath of the Wild will be front runner. Zora, Rito and Gerudo warriors could be based on the game. There could be Guardian armies with the weakest type of Guardian Sentinels as the base enemy. And the game's Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos and even Lynels also provide excellent entries for new enemy designs.

However, what makes the fighting in Breath of the Wild so great is the new combat system with its versatile enemies, the perfect dodging, the mid-air archery, the shield parrying and more. Ideally Koei Tecmo would also try to incorporate some of the new mechanics into their game and make the fights a little bit more challenging. Especially the Lynels shouldn't become some super-easy jokes with their Warriors renditions.

The stamina system could also become a part of the game and potentially replace the current magic system. Running around swiftly would deplete stamina (but not as much as in Breath of the Wild) and so would certain attacks. This way characters could also collect Stamina Vessels, instead of having too many Heart Containers (and Pieces).

Callable Mounts and Weapon Swaps

In Hyrule Warriors only Link could ride over the battlefield by using Epona as his "weapon". A sequel could introduce a slightly different system, where you can call mounts to cross the battlefields in a faster pace. Your moveset (and weapon) would change during the riding phase. So, instead of being a separate weapon, Link's horse would be something that he can call at any time and dismount at any time to return to his normal moveset.

Of course he wouldn't be the only character with such an option. Zelda could call her royal white stallion and Ganondorf could call the giant horse. Riju and Urbosa could use Sand Seals (Patricia in Riju's case). Goron characters could use some gecko-like Dodongo creature. Or Twili Midna could summon a large shadow wolf. But of course not every character would qualify for a mount, for example Fi would look really weird riding anything... It would only apply, where it makes sense.

Another possibility would be that characters could bring multiple weapons onto the battlefield and switch between them at any time. Only in certain cases the "switch" might feel awkward, e.g. Link switching to the Great Fairy. But she could become her own character to begin with, using a "Bottled Hero" as her weapon type.

Also, certain characters could share weapon types among each other. For example Cia and Lana could both use the Summoning Gate, while the Dominion Rod could be another weapon for Twili Midna.

New Adventure Mode

Overall Adventure Mode needs something new. Legends had a total of 10 different Adventure Maps with the tile-based mission system and if you've gone through all of that, chances are that having the exact same Adventure Mode again would lack any kind of motivation.

For the sequel a 16-bit variant based on A Link to the Past could be an interesting option. They could also stay with the classic 8-bit look and use "2D Zelda Prototype" that got created during the development of Breath of the Wild as an inspiration:

They could turn the entire Hyrule of Breath of the Wild into 8-bit, which certainly would be amazing and offer enough space to include enough missions for dozens of characters.

Apropos missions, in both cases the Adventure Mode wouldn't utilize a tile-based system anymore. Instead you would wander around with your 8/16-bit character and interact with the Adventure Map more like you would do in a Zelda game. "Challenge Battles" would be represented as enemies and "Adventure Battles" as shrines, caves or dungeons. So, by attacking an enemy that you see on the map, you would initiate a specific Challenge Battle. Different enemy tiers could even represent the difficulty level of the mission, where the toughest Challenge Battles are hidden under Golden Lynels for example.

Overall Adventure Mode would play more like an actual Zelda game, but at the same time it's still a "menu" and should allow for quick navigation of some sort, e.g. with a zoom out function.


Following Breath of the Wild, implementing a new Adventure Mode and of course adding many new characters and possibilities. Only this way Hyrule Warriors 2 could become a worthy sequel.