Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 – A Dreamy Zelda Year

The Zelda series was basically on a hiatus in 2018 with the only release being the Definitive Edition of Hyrule Warriors, a spin-off game. But this pause quickly came to an end in early 2019, where already in February Nintendo announced the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch with a first trailer.

At E3 2019 the remake then was showcased in great detail with everything around the first dungeon, while we also got a first glimpse at Dampé and the new dungeon building feature, the "Chamber Dungeon". Three months we held the game in our hands and were able to enjoy what's probably one of the most beautiful remakes ever.

The remake of Link's Awakening also saw the release of a new amiibo for Link, as well as Limited Edition with an artbook and in case of Europe also with a GameBoy steelbook.

Sadly, the Chamber Dungeon wasn't able to live up to everyone's expectations, but maybe the latest update of Super Mario Maker 2, which lets you play as Link, gave fans something more of a Zelda building experience.

Other than that we also got Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the Necrodancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda at E3 in June, some sort of crossover spin-off game, where the rhythm-based gameplay of Crypt of the Necrodancer gets a nice Zelda reskin, where you can play as Link, Zelda and others. The game then got a major update in December, which lets you play its villain, Octavo, as well as a dungeon mode.

Cadence of Hyrule also marks the first time, where Nintendo was willing to hand over the IP to an indie studio, which opens the gates for other interesting collaborations.

Overall 2019 really has been a return to form for traditional topdown Zelda games, where thanks to the hybrid approach of the Nintendo Switch we got new 2D Zelda experiences on a home console for the first time since Four Swords Adventures.

At the same time we also got a first glimpse at what's in store for the next, big 3D Zelda game, the sequel to Breath of the Wild. At E3 2019 Nintendo released a first teaser trailer, which shows us Link and Zelda descending into dark underground caves to find a mummified Ganondorf sealed by a mysterious hand, as well as a rising Hyrule Castle. It's really dark and probably creates more questions than it answers, where this game will certainly be a big focus in the upcoming years. For some Zelda fans it already was in 2019.

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