The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Hands-On: No-Rule Hyrule Is An Amazing Place

Yep. You need a Wii U. NOW. Or when the game comes out, no hurry! Um, the NX version is supposed to launch the same day, so maybe you can get one of those too?

Yep. You need a Wii U. NOW. Or when the game comes out, no hurry! Um, the NX version is supposed to launch the same day, so maybe you can get one of those too?

 

blurry

This blurry photo is a result of my hands shaking because I was about ten seconds away from firing up the first of two demos. Oops.

Other than a trip into the rabbit hole a few years back after an early teaser trailer, I’d deliberately been ignoring any and all news, gossip and other speculative to factual bits of info about Nintendo‘s new Zelda game because for my purposes, going in cold makes for the best gaming experiences. When the opportunity arose to be one of 500 people who weren’t going to E3 to play the demo, I cleared my calendar and made sure I got my butt down to the Nintendo World Store bright and early to score a slot. Once that was done, the breath holding began with the hope the demo wouldn’t disappoint.

It didn’t. Although a mere 40 minutes was spent with it (two timed sections of 15 and 25 minutes each), the demo of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of the most memorable times I’ve had with any game I’ve ever played and definitely the most interesting Zelda game I’ve sampled.

The team has recreated the sense of wonder of the original NES game, but with a much larger and absolutely drop dead gorgeous open world Hyrule devastated by time and disaster starring a Link who’s been awakened after a 100-year slumber. How this ties into previous Zelda games is unclear at this point, but there are enough visual, aural and gameplay cues that give the new game a sense of familiarity longtime fans will get right away. The lucky ones chosen to play and plenty of onlookers at the demo event got to experience a game long in the making that’s going to feel fresh and incredible to longtime Zelda fans who may not play PC role-playing games like The Elder Scrolls or The Witcher series that offer massive maps and an amazing amount of quests to tackle. Breath of the Wild’s freshness brings manual jumping and climbing everything from trees to mountains to the franchise for the first time, no in-game companion/follower for Link (other than Amiibo support noted in the video below the jump), and a world where there’s a lot to do, but one in which the freedom to do as one wishes actually makes things MORE thrilling.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Trailer Leaves a Few Folks Breathless


 

And that is a mighty good thing. Some (well, TOO many) gossipy babble fight web sites were going on for weeks about the decision by Nintendo to focus heavily on ONE game, complete with too many gullible gamers falling for the rumors that it was the ONLY game coming to E3 (it wasn’t). But as you can see, all that time and type in the rumor mill was wasted. Speculation sucks, doesn’t it? This game won’t. Back in a few hours with some hand-on impressions. Go watch the gameplay demo yourself over at Nintendo’s E3 site. It started at 1PM EST and will be going on pretty much all day. Back in a few hours with a few words on how it plays.

Hello, Zelda! The Crack of Dawn Gets That Golden Ticket in Hand

Zelda Ticket

Whee, you! I was initially going to pick a later date (Thursday, because I have another media event in the evening of the 16th), but thought better of that when I saw 6 and 7pm slots still open on Tuesday.  The earlier times had been snapped up (3 to 5 PM), so I’m going to keep my fingers crossed my session runs fine, I don’t drool all over that Gamepad,  and I get the most out of my demo time.

 

It REALLY pays to get out of bed early in the morning. Or not sleep at all and get one’s butt downtown to wait five hours or so for a once in a lifetime opportunity. May was crappy, but June is looking nicer at least on this front. Back in a bit, as I’m still a bit groggy… but also very happy.

 

Link for Prez backwards

Yeah, I wore this shirt today. One of the Nintendo NYC employees handing out the bracelets got a good chuckle from it. Yeah, yeah. I need a selfie stick, but I really hate them.

Lost Dimension Update: When The End Is Only The Beginning


 

With Lost Dimension coming on July 28 to PS3 and Vita and yours truly almost done with his second play through for review purposes, it’s tough to keep from doing some bean spilling on what to expect from the game. Of course, you’ll have to chase me down and force a lot of real American dollars into my pockets just to get me to cough up the juicy details. I don’t carry change with me (the rustling of bills in a pocket hurts my follicles), so you’ll have to start with one hundred bucks at a minimum before I cough up some answers. But as I’ve already put a decent chunk of time into what’s here, let’s just safely say that the game has taught me how to lie very effectively. You may not get the truth out of me but you’ll at least get a convincing tale that will keep you entertained enough to believe every single word.

Of course, you just may bribe me and get nothing but dead air. Ever since I got my review code there’s been a black van outside my building with tinted windows and an ATLUS logo on the door. Methinks I’ll end up IN said black van if I talk too much.

Lost Dimension Hands-On: Brain Trust And The Tall Tower of Doom

LostD_Vita_CoversheetDon’t plan on getting too attached to your party members in Lost Dimension, developer FurYu’s new RPG headed to the PlayStation 3 and Vita on July 28 from Atlus. Among the cast of powerful teen agents of SEALED are a number of traitors aligned with spiky-haired villain The End and the game rather effectively randomizes who those traitors are on each floor of the enemy packed tower you’re ascending.

While it’s yet another game in which Japan gets partially destroyed and it’s up to a cast of youths with special skills to save the day (and the planet), there’s an added layer of tension here that builds as your party gets whittled down based on your decisions. Even worse, choosing your allies based on how you as the person playing the game feels about them can have some pretty drastic in-game consequences.

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Lost Dimension: Deep Vision Trailer – Getting Rid Of Traitors Is(n’t) A Cinch


 

LD Screens (2)Yeah, that’s right. In Lost Dimension you need to figure out who the traitors are in your party and eliminate them as you climb a deadly tower full of enemies. Why? Well, you’re saving the earth (maybe) and you don’t want to be stabbed in the back by someone you thought you trusted, that’s why. I’ll have a hands-on preview in a couple of days but let’s just say that “Trust No One… or Else” works well enough as a potential tagline here.

Here’s a little more about the game in the form of its E3 2015 trailer:


 

LostD_Vita_Coversheet  LostDimension_coversheet_PS3

 

Now that your curiosity is piqued, you should probably know that Lost Dimension is headed to the PS3 and PS Vita on July 28, 2015 along with some nice free DLC for the first two weeks of its launch window. Atlus loves you, yes they do.

@E3, Sometimes The Treehouse Hides All The Cool Stuff

FFMoBW_screenshot3 


 

If you had the time and bandwidth this week you could have spend the better part of a few days watching Nintendo employees play a bunch of upcoming games at E3 that were part of their big puppet show press event. You also could have gotten to see at least one game not part of that family-friendly briefing that NEEDED to be given some mention outside the Treehouse Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is coming this year, but you’d never know this if you only watched the main event. Anyway, the trailer is above and some 25 minutes of gameplay from the Treehouse trio is below. Listen for the warnings about the game’s content and prepare to chuckle a bit as the gameplay is a bit over-described yet is still unsettling. “Wetness Gauge” and all the uses of the word “creepy” made me crack up, but the game looks nice and scary where it counts and it’s absolutely not for the kids.


 

Metal Gear Solid V: Konami In Stealth Mode, Dodging Bullets


While this demo of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is incredible, not seeing “A Hideo Kojima Production” or his name (or his studio’s name) anywhere on the demo is a bit heartbreaking. Granted, Kojima does get credit for directing and editing the also great E3 trailer (which also has him properly credited as designer at the end):

But for some gamers the upcoming PS4/Xbox One/PC release itself may as well have “Alan Smithee” in the credits at this point. If you want a real laugh, watch the trailer with YouTube’s closed caption option set to ON. The messed up English that results is pretty damn funny considering the language being captioned in such a wacky manner IS English. Anyway, the game looks great and should sell quite well. But for some fans it’ll be a bittersweet play through with its creator ousted from what could be his best work.

Back to the Future: What’s Old Is New Game News @E3 2015

(thanks, magicalmotionmuseum!)
 

It’s a good news/bad news thing today. The good news: time travel DOES exist, ladies and gents. Final Fantasy VII is finally getting a remake for the PS4 and possibly PC. The Last Guardian is now a PS4 exclusive (as I predicted a while back) Shenmue 3 was announced yesterday evening at Sony’s E3 event as a surprising show-announced Kickstarter project for PS4 and was COMPLETELY funded in about twelve hours (breaking a Kickstarter record). Even King’s Quest and HITMAN are making comebacks (and sooner than you’d think).

Microsoft’s formerly forward-looking only Xbox One gets Xbox 360 backward compatibility and legendary developer Rare is releasing 30 of its classic arcade and console games for $30 in a crazy must-have bundle this August (exclusively for the console, of course). Between this and the return of DOOM, the acceptance of indie retro games as necessary for part of a console’s success and other interesting developments, it’s a huge win-win situation for gamers with a good deal of disposable income. And no, I didn’t forget Nintendo in all this. I’m just holding out for a separate post on their always nostalgic ways and means of getting loyal fans continually hooked in. Give me a bit of time on that as it’s still construction central here with more to come.

Now, the bad news: In reality time travel DOESN’T exist at all. With all those new games coming (and this post doesn’t count the VR games invasion happening soon), no one will actually any free time to play them all unless their Doctor has a certain “timey-wimey” prescription that allows them to have their fun and return to reality not having missed much sleep or even a day of work. Oh well…

Mad Max “Eye of the Storm” E3 Trailer: Here Comes The Avalanche

Mad Max Logo

 


 

My poor heart can’t take this suspense much longer. I know Avalanche Studios does some outstanding work and all, but this latest Mad Max game trailer is pretty damn spectacular, classic AC/DC tune and all. Even though the game isn’t anything close to a role-playing game, the open world and car customization are getting some fans to go a bit kooky making comparisons to Fallout 4 or other post-apocalyptic genre titles. I wouldn’t go that far with the comparisons but I’ll admit that this one will be a bigger game than some expect partly thanks to the success of the film. At least on the critical front as I don’t know what the box office take is to date.