Legend of Zelda: Hopes and Dreams

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We’ll be seeing Zelda in less than a week from now (probably in a few days if it leaks, because of course it will) so here’s a few things I’d like to see in the new Zelda game:

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STEALTH: 

Stealth has been a part in most entries in the series. 12 entries in the franchise feature some form of stealth section, so it’s probably safe to assume that Zelda U will feature it as well. After playing Metal Gear Solid V, I felt that it achieved the pinnacle in 3rd person gameplay. The game feel and scenarios achieved were truly outstanding despite the game being released in an unfinished state. It would be a shame if Nintendo couldn’t implement some ideas or at least concepts from that game despite releasing over a year later (3 years after Ground Zeroes).

Stealth sections could greatly benefit from Link’s arsenal of tools and it could add more gameplay variety and ways to play which is something I believe they’re striving to achieve. Imagine having to sneak by powerful robotic enemies like in the first trailer due to their overwhelming power and later being able to return with a tool (again, like in the first trailer) to be able to take them down. Another scenario could be entering an enemy camp that’s filled with a massive amount of enemy combatants in order to capture the camp and free imprisoned villagers. While you’re able to brute force your way through them, it would be very difficult and recommended to try stealth. Freeing these bases could provide fast travel points and perhaps open up new towns where you can buy more supplies and talk to people. These are two scenarios that I think could be beneficial in a big open world setting.

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COMBAT: 

Zelda games have always had rather simple but satisfying combat. It has admittedly not changed too much since OoT outside of some added bells and whistles, and it’s not bad, but it could benefit from some change.

The bow has been very prominent in all the marketing material for the new game, likely being a major component in the game. Based on the little footage we’ve gotten, I can assume a few gameplay mechanics already set in place. Bullet time slow motion can make shooting more effective and usually feels good in games like MGSV or Watch_Dogs. I imagine that jumping off of Epona won’t be the only time this will be activated and it could make for a cool addition. I also noticed that Z-targeting has been altered while shooting. Instead of just aiming at an enemy and making all shots land exactly in the same spot, Z-targeting will instead aim you to the general trajectory of an enemy and you can use gyro controls to fine tune your aiming. A first in the series and it could allow for new gameplay opportunities. Maybe shooting at an enemy’s head will do a considerable amount more damage while being harder to land or maybe you’d need to aim at different parts of an enemy’s body to take off their armor to make them easier to hit with a sword. It shows potential in this regard and I hope it turns out well.

Sword combat has been a major part of Zelda since the beginning, but as mentioned previously, it hasn’t changed much as of late and it’s the aspect of the game that we have the least amount of info on as of writing this article. TP is probably the most recent low point in the series in terms of combat having most of the advanced moves being optional so no enemy is built around these mechanics. Wind Waker is very flashy and satisfying, but the enemies go down too easily and there are very few big enemies which feel better to take down. Skyward Sword’s is pretty good, but Nintendo will need to go back to the drawing board since they’re ditching Wii Motion Plus controls for this game. I think combining all 3 of games could result in an interesting combat system that would fit the modern standards fans have. The advanced arsenal of moves in TP with WW’s flashy combat and Skyward Sword’s parry move should be pretty fun. Maybe combine the parry move with the bullet time slow motion from the bow combat to make something cool and new. Taking some minor elements from what makes action games so good could improve the combat quite drastically, this includes making enemies more aggressive. Late in the game enemies don’t pose a threat since they do little damage in comparison to the amount of health you have and they’re usually not very aggressive. Making them charge at you more instead of waiting and having them do more damage would make players have to change up their fighting style to get through the challenges put in place. Games like Bloodborne have a very similar moveset to Ocarina of Time’s combat but it works out better due to the aggressive nature of enemies.

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WORLD BUILDING:

Since the beginning enemies would drop cartoony hearts for health and large gems called rupees as the game’s currency, this has been a tradition that’s been upheld by every single Zelda game to date. While there’s nothing wrong with it, maybe some experimentation could help improve upon the game’s world building to increase immersion. Enemies could stop dropping hearts and rupees which could provide higher value to chests containing only rupees. Link could recover his health via apples (as Miyamoto stated), having trees regularly bare fruit would make them feel more important and give the world more depth in a way. Additionally, it would also raise the value of each rupee if you had to buy each potion or if you had to buy food. It’s an interesting idea, I feel.

It does bring up some issues as mentioned previously (why would I fight this guy if I’m not getting much in return?) there are a few ways to remedy this. Perhaps successfully executing some moves would recover some health like in Metal Gear Rising. It would add a nice risk reward system as well which could add to the combat system. Resting in tents might be able to recover all of your health as well, but maybe you can’t set up camp everywhere. FFXV does something like that with mixed results. Additionally, enemies might drop more valuable collectables which could be used to make food, gear, weapons, or upgrade items. Adding more incentives to fight is a bit of a must for Zelda which has admittedly been lacking in that regard.

Interacting with NPC has been another staple of the Zelda franchise but not one that has been built much upon since Majora’s Mask which is arguably the best execution of that system in the franchise to date. While a 3 day system might not be the ideal way of recreating it, a real time day/night cycle might be good enough. Having people do different activities thought the day breathes life into a fictional and digital world. Majora’s Mask system of rewarding the player for helping out each NPC is a good one. You’re usually rewarded with something more tangible than exp points or just money, often you receive a heart piece or a priceless mask you cannot obtain anywhere else. This is a good enough system that doesn’t need much changing. Having deeper interactions similar to sidequests in the Witcher would help flesh out the world more, and being fully voice acted as the rumors indicate is a step in the right direction.

Speaking of Majora’s Mask, new equipment like the masks in Majora’s Mask or the tunics in TriForce heroes seems like a good idea that should make a return. Skyward Sword had badges that didn’t display on you, but the idea is the same. Small powerups that you can wear just one or two at a time that slightly alter how the game plays. Nothing as extreme as the full transformation masks are needed, but maybe something like an invisibility hood that makes you invisible while standing still would be a good addition. I’m guessing Link will be able to equip more gear as the game goes on based on the hood in the footage we’ve received thus far.

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Anything else?

I have a few more thoughts I want to share before the game comes out such as the fear of open world design ruining games, the benefits of linearity vs nonlinearity, among other topics. Other than that, I just hope the game is as good as possible. It’s not often we get a new Zelda, in fact they take way too long to come out, I really hope this game turns out great and I’m looking forward to the e3 showing.

 

Large eShop sale taking place in Europe and Japan

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Reggie doesn’t care

The eShop launched on the 3DS 5 years ago this week and to celebrate Nintendo put up a lot of first party games on sale. Take a look

the sale features 50% off many titles including VC releases such as DK64, Earthbound, Minish Cap, F-Zero, Kirby’s Adventure, Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario Wold, Mario 64, Super Metroid, a Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Kirby’s Dream Land, and much more.

Several Wii titles are on sale including the excellent Mario Galaxy 2 and the insane value that is Metroid Prime Trilogy

There are also 3rd party indie games such as the excellent Fast Racing Neo

Yooka Laylee’s Wii U port is being handled by Playtonic; PS4/X1 outsourced to Team17

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With the recent news for the title, Playtonic confirmed how they were handling the Wii U and ports of the other systems.

Due to the large Nintendo fan base interested in Yooka Laylee, Playtonic themselves are working on the port to the Wii U while Team17 is working on porting it to PS4 and Xbox One.

Robinson: We naturally have so many backers who opted for Wii U. Because of the size of the team, we couldn’t take on all the consoles. You can imagine from a developer stand-point, that porting from PC to PS4 and Xbox One is slightly more straightforward than porting to Wii U.

I also think it feels right playing it on a Nintendo system to some people.

But the other versions will be fantastic as well.

Stevenson: We wanted to make sure that Wii U gets the right attention. There is a lot of nostalgia around Banjo, Banjo heralds from Rare’s Nintendo’s days, and we are all massive Nintendo fans as well.
That’s certainly a pleasing development, with the Wii U in the enthusiastic and capable hands of the core development team.

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EShop Digital Download update

imageNintendo eShop update for the week.

Highlights include the previously mentioned Metroid Prime Hunters and DKCR.

Kick & Fennick also make its eshop debut.

Nintendo eShop on Wii U
Kick & Fennick – Kick & Fennick is an action-filled adventure about Kick, a young boy battling to help his robot companion, Fennick. Join them as they blast, bounce and bound their way through 45 challenging levels. Adding a unique twist to the gameplay, Kick’s gun not only blasts baddies, but its recoil can also be used to launch the lad through various areas of each level! Puzzles, platforms and power-ups await in Kick & Fennick.

Virtual Console on Wii U
Metroid Prime Hunters – A ferocious race, now extinct, has left behind relics of its once-powerful warrior culture. Now six fierce bounty hunters from across the galaxy will challenge Samus in a race to claim these relics in hopes of harnessing their power for themselves.

Virtual Console on New Nintendo 3DS
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie’s Double Trouble – In the third game in the Super NES Donkey Kong Country trilogy, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong have gone missing! Play as Dixie Kong or Kiddy Kong and take advantage of each of their unique abilities as they throw each other into action in more than 40 levels.

Nintendo eShop sales:

Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U and Nintendo 3DS), DuckTales Remastered (Wii U) and more games from Capcom are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 6.
Jones on Fire (Wii U), Murder on the Titanic (Nintendo 3DS) and more games from Joindots are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 9.

Nintendo eShop on Wii U
Stone Shire is 35 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $4.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Aug. 1.
Rock ’N Racing Off Road is 50 percent off (reduced from $5.99 to $2.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 23.
The Perplexing Orb is 50 percent off (reduced from $3.99 to $1.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 16.
Art of Balance is 25 percent off (reduced from $8.99 to $6.70) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 23.
Trine 2: Director’s Cut and Trine Enchanted Edition from Frozenbyte are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 23.
Epic Dumpster Bear and Puzzle Monkeys from Log Games are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 30.
Land it Rocket is 65 percent off (reduced from $2.99 to 99 cents) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 23.
Life of Pixel is 50 percent off (reduced from $9.99 to $4.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 23.
Explody Bomb and Hold Your Fire: A Game About Responsibility from Alkterios are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 23.
Astral Breakers and Emojikara: A Clever Emoji Match Game from Intropy Games are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 16.

Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS
Parascientific Escape Cruise in the Distant Seas and Wakedas from CIRCLE Ent. are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 23.
Music On: Electronic Guitar is 50 percent off (reduced from $1.99 to 99 cents) until 8:59 a.m. PT on July 12.
Sadame is 33 percent off (reduced from $14.99 to $9.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 16.
The Magic Hammer, Toy Stunt Bike and more games from Wobbly Tooth LTD are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 30.

New DLC:

Fire Emblem Fates – New DLC Maps: V: Endless Dawn – Led by Shigure, the party storms the enemy. Part 5 of Heirs of Fate for the Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest games is now available for $1.99.

Fire Emblem Fates – Map Pack 2 DLC – Across dimensions, other versions of the Hoshidan and Nohrian children are under attack. Born and raised in the Deeprealms, these fledgling warriors must now rise up to save themselves and their parents as they unravel the mystery of their adversaries. In this six-map series, units leveled up in the main game cannot lend support. Devise a strategy using a fresh team and reap the rewards, but only if all of your units survive. You can receive all six maps as they are released by purchasing Map Pack 2 for only $7.99.

Also new this week:
SSSnakes (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS)
B3 Game Expo for Bees (Nintendo eShop on Wii U)
153 Hand Video Poker (Nintendo eShop on Wii U)

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Pokemon will be featured during Treehouse live. Not only Zelda

That’s good to hear either way. Hope we don’t get too much Zelda at e3

UPDATE: more details on Nintendo’s e3 plans

Nintendo heads to E3 once again and brings the coverage directly to you with a two-day program from Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3! Tune in starting at 9 a.m. PT on June 14 for a day of live-streaming gameplay focused on The Legend of Zelda for Wii U and first live gameplay of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon that kicks off the program! Watch it all here

Day 2 of Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3 will showcase upcoming releases for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, including Monster Hunter Generations, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE! Day 2 will start with a special Pokémon GO developer Q&A at 10 a.m. PT on June 15 at: