Articles tagged with legend of zelda

'tis the Season

Posted by Mark at 19:11

I bloody love Game of Thrones. It's the best thing.

Every week when the series is running I like nothing more than sitting down in front of the TV to watch these brilliant, well-formed characters played by the best actors working in television absolutely at the top of their game as the deep and engaging story twists and turns, aided by the some of the best production money can buy from their location filming to the CGI special effects.

And the thing is, you don't get that sort of thing anywhere else. I tried watching that Jersey Shore when it was on MTV and it's just not for me. If you've not seen it, it's a reality show about people getting drunk in nightclubs then going home and having sex and/or a blazing row. Okay, GoT has more than its fair share of drinking and shagging but it all serves part of a wider narrative in a way that it doesn't in this.

Either way, Jersey Shore isn't for me. It doesn't offer me what GoT does. Similarly a lot of what makes Jersey Shore what it is is absent from Thrones, and that's what I appreciate about it, and I'm sure the reverse is true.

And you know? That's fine. I don't think they're making Jersey Shore any more, but I'm sure MTV're making something in a similar vein, and if they want to run nothing but Jersey Shorealikes, that's equally fine. I don't blame them- it's cheap to make, and MTV get a hell of a return on their investment. MTV are a business, and Shore is good business.

So they want to fill MTV 2 with it, that's equally OK, and if they want to launch MTV 3, 4, 5, all the way up to MTV 100 and show nothing but wall-to-wall Jersey Shore on all of it that's absolutely A-OK, so long as I've got my HBO and my Game of Thrones. You all do you, I'll be over here.


So it turns out that HBO have announced that the next series of Game of Thrones is taking a bit of a turn. It's not going to be set in the fantasy land of Westeros at some undefined point in what we'd call "The Past" any more, it's going to be set in the modern-day, real world. And instead of being a scripted drama, it's going to be a reality show. About people getting drunk in a nightclub.

And they're also turning Westworld into a shitty mobile Gacha game.

Nintendo's recent announcement that Zelda: Breath of the Wild is going to have a Season Pass has been met with widespread disappointment, from myself as much as anybody else. The reason it's been met with such, is because they've done exactly the above.

As with most criticism that comes from within gaming, there's been an equally loud- if not louder- attempt at shutting the criticism out, mostly by accusing the people of complaining of all sorts of things simply for the act of criticising, but occasionally by coming out with counterpoints that are not incorrect, but also not particularly relevant.

"But business!" cries the journalist. "All the other games companies have been doing it for ages!" exclaims the random on social media. "It's not even the first Nintendo game with DLC!", follows up the smartarse who thinks they've pre-empted the counterargument. "There is such a thing as good DLC!" says someone who's missed the point spectacularly.

Yes, Nintendo are a business and they've have had a hard time of it in the last few years, and the Season Pass model is proven to work as a moneymaker. Equally, the notion that Season Passes are widespread is unequivocally true- a cursory search of XBox One suggests there's 64 of them already, for games as recent as Sniper Elite 4 and For Honor, which only came out this week. Nintendo games have had DLC, even Zelda spinoff Hyrule Warriors (which itself had a Season Pass) and Mario Kart 8's DLC is often cited as a good example of DLC being done right.

All of these points are very true, and nobody is saying otherwise.

But we can make similar points of reality TV, it's good business, it's not a new format (Big Brother started nearly seventeen years ago) HBO- or at least its parent company Warner Brothers- is responsible for The Bachelor, amongst other shows and the first series of The Genius is probably one of my favourite shows of the last few years.

What makes HBO great is the quality of its programming. What makes HBO amazing is that in a sea of trashy reality shows, lazy sitcoms and by-the-numbers police procedurals they stand out for their dedication to not doing that. For them to throw it away on making yet another show in the style of Jersey Shore, even if it was the best possible example of such, would be a crushing disappointment.

Likewise, what makes Nintendo great is the quality of its games. What makes Nintendo amazing is that in a sea of tacked-on multiplayer modes, scummy microtransactions and games being cut into piecemeal DLC chunks so you have to spend £80 to get the same game you used to pay £40 for, they stand out for not doing that, for still making these finely-crafted single-player experiences that the Zelda series in particular is known for being.

Even if Breath of the Wild is still incredible (which I think we all know it's probably going to be) and everybody complaining still goes out and buys both game and Pass on day one to throw that away by sticking a Season Pass on what is really the last bastion of AAA headliners without upsells is equally crushing- and everybody who is disappointed about it is absolutely right to be.
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Posted by Mark at 19:11
There's been an amount made about the state of the event at this year's EGX- and while I'll be trying to focus on the games played, there are a few things that can't be avoided.

First, and the one which created the most noise was Sony's handling of Horizon: Zero Dawn- only available to play in a closed-off area, the 30-minute demo meant that formal queuing was abandoned early on in favour of booking sessions, all of which were filled up by 11AM each day- completely shutting out anyone who didn't have an Early Access ticket to the event.

Sony are not the first people to underestimate the demand to see a title at such a show, but questions have to be asked as to why so few consoles were made available considering the length of the demo, more so when the games immediately next to it on Sony's booth were Overwatch and Uncharted 4- both well-marketed games that have been out for some time, the former of which had its own dedicated booth.

The other two platform holders were also conspicuous by their absences- Microsoft's presence being limited to showing Gears of War 4 in a corner of the 18+ area and Forza Horizon 3 making an appearance on the Twitch booth, and Nintendo not showing up at all.

Microsoft's decision not to showcase the XBox One S and let Sony hog the limelight with PS4 Pro seems like an own-goal, but at least one of their flagship series made an appearance, to an extent doing what Nintendo did at E3 with Breath Of The Wild.

The next Zelda game, like its developer, didn't make an appearance at EGX, beyond a glancing mention in the show magazine (this year just an advert for Amazon rather than telling you anything about the games being exhibited), not even in a closed-off Horizonbox or as a developer session.

Nintendo not being present is almost inexplicable, especially when you consider that in the much less-attended Hyper Japan earlier in the year, Nintendo had a not insignificant showing, including integrating BotW's UK premiere into its stage show and creating a Pokťmon showcase, capitalising on the back of the then-new Pokťmon Go.

Despite what that event's name would suggest, Nintendo's showing there wasn't entirely niche titles with little appeal outside the otaku market, so it probably wouldn't have been too difficult to simply pick up that show and drop it into EGX, maybe adding a bit of Super Mario Run if they really had to.

Mainly appealing to otakudom still probably wouldn't have hurt, if Square-Enix' booth was anything to go by, showcasing World Of Final Fantasy- one of three FF games exhibited (four if Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 counts), a dungeon crawler whose gimmick seems to be that the characters can transform into cute chibis at will, a mechanic which seems to exist solely to sell Nendoroid figures.

More interesting was the adjacent Dragon Quest Builders, the Minecraftalike that Ben has already posted the trailer of.

(And if you were waiting, this marks the first appearance of a game I actually played)

The notion of Minecraft with story and objectives appears interesting, and advanced platformer-y tasks could be seen played on Sony's stage, although the playable demo didn't seem to last long enough to reach that point. The move to third-person, despite certain control changes to accommodate, makes placing blocks slightly harder than it could be, which is likely to cause frustration.

The rest of Squeenix' booth was made up of Rise Of The Tomb Raider and Hitman, promoting their PS4 re-release and latest episodes respectively.

Possibly as a factor of the absence of Microsoft and Nintendo, aside from the usual iterative titles (This year's CoD, FIFA, WWE, Pro Evo and Battlefield) the only other meaningful showing- save for Sega settling nicely into its strategy niche, and Sniper Elite 4 helping Rebellion continue to punch above its weight- from a AAA developer was Bethesda, showcasing Dishonored 2.

The level shown in the demo featured a mansion whose rooms could shift into different configurations at the pull of a lever- meaning in order to complete the level's two objectives (saving a colleague from the first game and taking down this game's antagonist) the player has to creep around the crawlspaces under the floors- a little like a Victoriana latter half of Portal.

The enemies shown, rather than the humans which made up the previous game, were all robots, which added an extra element of strategy to combat. Decapitation causes them to attack anything that makes a noise, meaning they can be used by the player to take down other enemies.

Sniper Elite 4, incidentally, was pretty much Sniper Elite 3, but bigger. Which is absolutely fine by me.

That feels like a nice cut-off point, tomorrow I'll recap the better indie and smaller games of the show.
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Posted by Duane at 11:56
Theres not a whole lot of Monster Hunter 4 information outside of Japan, we know its coming some time next year but thats about it. Those who have been following the game since its release in Japan may remember Capcom and Nintendo collaborating on some Nintendo-themed DLC last year.

Beyond that we didn't really get anything else, however someone has now kindly uploaded a Mario themed quest featuring somebody playing the game dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda.

The video weighs in at a heft 18 minutes, but its great to sometimes see some of the kind of content that the Japanese get for their games that we're likely to never see.

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Posted by Ben at 12:43
Poor Nintendo, absolutely no one is paying attention to them this week, what with next-gen embargoes lifting all over the place. Still if they will release their 2 biggest games (after Pokemon) on the same day one as a big console launch what do they expect?

anyway, we're doing out bit to help them out, below is today's Nintendo Direct, with more footage of Zelda A Link Between Worlds, Mario Party, a new Inazuma Eleven game, and some Bravely Default. There's also details of Miiverse for 3DS, and combined accounts for 3DS and WiiU, some eshop stuff that looks pretty good, and even some WiiU stuff for padding

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Posted by Ben at 11:02

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds feels like a different type of Zelda game. Sure itís a sequel to Link to the Past, but tonally there was something a little different about the demo.

First up it looks great, itís not quite a perfect 3D recreation of the Snes classic but itís pretty close. With the problems Pokemon has when you turn the 3D on youíll be pleased to know that A Link Between Worlds holds its framerate, at least in the section I played.

My demo took me in to a dungeon, I assume itís fairly early on in the game, but I did have a number of secondary weapons at my disposal. Bar your standard attack it seems that all Linkís skills require magic to use, so you no longer need to stock up on arrows for example, but if you spam them then need to use the hammer you might not have enough magic. The magic meter fills pretty quickly, presumably later moments in the game will require more complex actions that do require you to use all the meter, but so long as youíre careful early on you shouldnít leave yourself defenceless.

The biggest use of the magic meter is Linkís new ability to paint himself on to a wall. The dungeon in the demo requires a lot of traversing, and becoming something akin to an Egyptian hieroglyph will mean you can pass through the bars on windows, and even cross gaps in platforms. The important lesson I learnt early on is that whatever height you join the wall at is the height youíll stay, so thereís no falling and no jumping. It makes for some interesting puzzles, and itís where the game feels different from past Zeldaís, itís more cerebral.

The rest of the puzzles were more familiar, requiring you to hit a trigger that will raise or lower barricades. Even here though a sense of verticality has been introduced, making the most of the 3DSí 3D effect. Again they feel slightly more thoughtful than some of the recent Zelda games, and at the very least offer something different than simply being an application of whatever new skill you just picked up.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is shaping up to be pretty interesting, hopefully itís the shot in the arm the series needs
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Posted by Mark at 18:28
Aivi Tran- waltzforluma on YouTube- happened to run into game composer Surasshu at last month's Game Developers' Conference.

The result is this version of the Mabe Village BGM from The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening.

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Posted by Ben at 18:50
It's been a long time coming, but I've finally completed Rage

Steam reckons I've played it for 22 hours, I'd guess about 13, which is a pretty decent length for an fps nowadays, especially as there's still a few side missions I haven't touched.

I've got to say once the game started working properly I really enjoyed it. The shooting is near peerless, which really hit me towards the end when I was using the more powerful weapons liberally. It does tension too, I've talked about it before but playing through the mutant areas wearing headphones was as tense as I've been playing a game for a while.

One criticism that I've heard and would agree with is that the end, while I knew it was about to arrive, it isn't exactly a climax. There's no boss, which is arguably commendable, but what's there was fairly easy and then you get a 10 second cutscene. Great game though, I hope id are allowed to make a sequel.

Elsewhere, and a completely different tone, I've started The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword (that's going to be annoying to type). I'd heard it starts slow and it certainly does. I don't really blame Nintendo for it though, they need to roll out the plot without trialising it, and teach you new controls, it was never going to be done quickly.

I think I'm at the point where the game really starts, it certainly seems like more is being expected of me in combat. I've not really got the hang of it, but you can see that you need to attack a certain way depending on how the enemies are holding their sword. Also the game looks great, both thanks to its filter and my tv doing a bit of work. I don't mind Wii games not looking up to much, I've put up with it for years, but it's nice that my new tv can help smooth some of the rough edges
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I almost feel like thereís still no game more difficult than it. Every time I try to play it I end up getting 'Game Over' a few too many times and giving up partway through.

Zelda man Eiji Aonuma admits to Game Informer that he never finished the first in the series. He'll never work at Treasure.
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Posted by Mark at 21:02
So: leftfield choice of the week is a re-run through The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening.

I remember playing it at the Rik Mayall-fronted ad campaign time, getting catastrophically lost and accidentally finding all sorts of secret bits and collectibles and all of that- a far cry from the mercenary-like approach I've taken this go around, aiming straight for the next objective.

Now, what I'm wondering is, is this how I'm used to playing modern games, where there is so very little off the beaten track and the next objective is king, so there's no point in exploring or simply because I've finished the game a few times already and know exactly where to go? (Or just that I'm older and the whole game feels smaller?)

Other than that it's been an uninteresting week for gaming- I finally jumped on the Deadly Premonition bandwagon, but I haven't started it yet, and that's about it.
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Posted by Ben at 18:28
I reviewed this aaaaaaages ago, in time for the US release in fact.

Well today 3D Dot Game Heroes finally gets a release over here and it's... Ok.

There's a lot of humour in there, and frankjly at points the game is massively endearing. The temples are generally pretty good, the most interesting if not the most colourful area of the game. It's just a shame that the joke starts to wear a bit thin and the gameplay begins to show its age.

Worth picking up though, there's not much better around at the minute

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