Yep. While the disappointment of the release slipping possibly into next summer is a bit annoying, the fact that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild now has an official site chock full of too much info is a really good thing. Go poke around, please. Especially if you’re a big, cranky skeptic who didn’t get the chance to play the demo this past June and think an open world Zelda is somehow a bad idea despite the series being chock full of open world goodness from the very first entry.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Image courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York.
Before you even ask, yes, there is a National Toy Hall of Fame. It’s part of the National Museum of Play up in Rochester, NY and I’d say it’s a bucket list trip for anyone with even the slightest interest in any sort of toy or game from their childhood. Today the Museum inducted a trio of all-time classics into the Toy Hall of Fame and some of you are already grinning at that photo above. This year’s inductees made me laugh out loud because as soon as I heard the news this morning, I was hoping to heck that someone at the Museum would have made a cool diorama with a few squads of Army Men on some alien or other landscape (maybe Washington D.C.?) fighting off an “invasion” by a giant Rubik’s Cube with Bubbles floating in the shot to give it the look of some low-budget sci-fi flick.
Courtesy of The Strong®, Rochester, New York
Hey, Mario Bava would have done it up right, I bet. That said, the Museum’s presentation was certainly creative and entertaining. Dancers from the Rochester City Ballet appeared in life-size Army Men outfits, there was a gigantic Rubik’s Cube mosaic (made up of 200 pounds of Rubik’s Cubes), and the Bubble Man himself, Doug Rougeux doing his amazing thing at the event. Okay, all that was MORE creative than my crummy diorama idea maybe two people would have gotten the joke about. What can I say other that I like obscure references only a handful of people would understand…
Um, yeah. Sure, you can buy one of these masks and wear it around here, pal. Just don’t wear one of these around me because I’m a native New Yorker and we don’t take to seeing over-sized pigeons and squirrels lightly at all. I’d be the one swinging the Manufacturers Hanover bank souvenir Yankee baseball bat and I’m sure some old lady would be coming at you with a can of illegal mace she keeps in her big old lady pocketbook. “Swing batta-batta-batta” POW! Actually, that old biddy would be packing some smelling salts in her bag to wake you up from the unconscious state. THEN she’d spray you like a cockroach with that mace. Yeah, you had it coming. Good thing they don’t make a rat mask. You’d get both barrels from the transit cops if that were the case…
So, I’m walking home last week from the library and about a block from my place, I hear what sounds like a small commotion and a bark followed by the sound of a supermarket shopping cart rolling towards where I’m about to stroll. I stop and take a step back figuring it’s one of the delivery guys from the nearby grocery store running into some dog trouble and the last thing yours truly needs to do is get plowed over by some guy with a big metal cart who may or may not be outrunning a pissed-off pooch.
As I stood there out of harm’s way (I hoped), the rolling cart sound gets closer and closer until it slows down and I see the cart slowly come into view from my right… with a pit bull sitting in it looking as if it’s smiling. What. The. What? As my brain is filing this bizarre scene under “Now I’ve Seen It All”, the cart comes to a stop about a foot from the big green relay mailbox on the corner. I look at the dog, who looks at me, then behind it. From my right I hear “Come on man, one more, one more!” as two young guys step into view.