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.
Hey! Do you live here in the U.S. of A.? Do you like to win random prizes because who doesn’t like to win random prizes? Are you a fan of The Legend of Zelda series? Excellent. Well, the folks down at Merchbro.com want TWO of you lucky Americans to win a nice Bella+Canvas 3001 Unisex T-shirt (that one in the photo to the left – male model not included). All you need to do is click here or on that photo to enter and use the entry code fanboydestroy when prompted.
Winners will be chosen as RANDOM and nope, you can’t enter more than once. Play nice, now. US residents only, please! Merchbro will handle the notification of winners and shipping out of prizes, so make sure you have an actual US mailing address they can ship to!
Call it kismet, serendipity or maybe it’s just some good karma working its way through the universe – I’ll take it. Amusingly enough, I’ve been talking to a few people over the past few months who want to get a bunch of T-shirts and other clothing printed, some using my art, some using theirs. I tend to not think of my own artwork as wearable, but that hasn’t stopped folks from asking if I do design work on the side. Perhaps I should, but my brain tends to flick through ideas far too quickly to settle into a creative groove for long.
Anyway, I got an email out of the blue from Dan at Merchbro, a company that just so happens to do custom T-shirts and other goodies and it looks as if I get to forward that info to the folks that want to put my art and theirs onto assorted gear. How weird is that for timing? As for the quality of Merchbro’s work? Well, that image above is pretty cool, isn’t it? I’m betting some of you may even want one of these shirts, hmmmm? Well, stay tuned – we’ll see what we can do about that…
(Not that Link being able to run would actually happen given Link’s current immigration status. But hey, it really would be nice to see more variety on the ticket in the next election.)
Packing an encyclopedic knowledge of the land of Hyrule and a passion for sharing it freely with others can be a bad thing if you’re wearing a baggy Tingle costume in public while ranting on a street corner to passersby giving you a wide berth. If that’s you, well… here comes the banana truck right… about… now. On the other hand, if you’re a more creative person like Jessica “Allaweh” Brown, you get cracking on a fan-made game that adds to the Legend of Zelda lore and feels quite like a professionally made product for classic game console. Zelda: Sword of Moria is set two years after the events in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but plays much closer to the original game than its sequel. Brown has been releasing updated demo builds as she tinkers away on her project and once completed, the game will be free to anyone to play.
The game will require the Zelda Classic Launcher to run and should work fine on pretty much any PC. Once you’re all set to play, that recently created intro sequence kicks in and it’s off to the races. Sword of Moria actually begins with Link not having a sword (or any weapon at all) and a slight bit of hoofing it around to a new town to get his hands on one. This lets you see Brown’s nice level layouts as well as the tried and true Zelda gameplay where you’re unarmed for a short bit as you learn some navigation basics and see a few enemies you’ll want to avoid. Once that sword is acquired, get set to chop bushes and cut grass for Rupees and hearts as well as some enemies that previously had you scampering away before they drew a bead on poor Link.
The demo features an open world like the classic first game, but Brown’s braininess about Hyrule has allowed her to fill in some geographic gaps in the world map, making for a sensible and surprising journey while it lasts. In this latest demo build (2.0), you’ll be able to explore, fight off monsters, solve puzzles and find treasure in the Town of Saria, Northern Death Mountain, Calta Canyon and Eastern Calatia. Two smaller dungeons and one Major dungeon plus a few villages are also open for exploration. As this is an unfinished game, there are a small handful of areas that shouldn’t be ventured into lest you accidentally get Link bumped off. But the bulk of the demo looks and feels as if it’s a professionally made first-party game circa 1987 or so.
There’s still a good deal of work to go, but from the time spent with Zelda: Sword of Moira, it’s clear that this is going to be one of those great fan-made games that’s not just another remake or not quite “right” pseudo-sequel that goes off a few rails at different points. Her sticking to lore and dedication to making a game as close to feeling like the original and sequel make Ms. Brown someone to watch. And with work on a few sites, a regular podcast, YouTube and Twitch channel, she won’t mind you watching her, by the way.
So, I’m not watching (or, didn’t watch, to be a good deal more precise) The Game Awards because I’d rather play games that actually deserve praise that aren’t getting it than watch awards shows about the ones that almost automatically do. Anyway, I missed out on some cool reveals such as the VERY wow-worthy Metal Gear Online (which I loved looking at and won’t play because I hate being “social” in games and prefer single player story-driven experiences) and a few other upcoming games coming to the new consoles.
Of course, I’d almost forgotten about the still in development new Legend of Zelda title for the Wii U, but here comes legendary creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Zelda director Eiji Aonuma with a nice-looking demo that makes me glad I’ve owned a Wii U since its launch. That new Zelda is still on track for a 2015 release, a good thing, as it will arrive in a year where every first and third party release on the console is important. I’m liking what I see so far and it seems that the game is going to find a wide appeal among both longtime and new fans. Okay, NOW I’m officially going to bed. I was only up because I’d forgotten to take pictures of the kitchen here it’s still a mess, but some work has been done) and decided to poke around in my inbox to see if anything interesting was in there. Yes, indeed there was…
Whether you’re a gamer or not you probably know someone who’s a Legend of Zelda fan. Trust me, even if you don’t THINK you do, all you need to do is ask around and in under five minutes, it’s like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon (And yeah, I have a weird connection to Mr. B as well – live in NYC long enough and that sort of thing happens). Anyway, if that person or person just so happens to be someone you like enough to want to gently drop a holiday or other occasion day present into their hot little hands, one (or more) STL Ocarinas should make them smile for years to come and then some…
Between the cool 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword coming to the Wii soon, the live symphonic concert and a few other treats for fans new and old, Nintendo even has some nice and arty Zelda-themed surprises in these two videos. I like that green DSi XL in the How To Draw Link clip, but we’ll see if it’s actually released outside of Japan. Seeing that Link sketch reminded me that I have a long-unfinished pencil piece here that I need to finally get done one of these days…