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  1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild towers as the Nintendo Switch’s most anticipated title for good reason. In addition to being a new Zelda, thus being a big deal by default, the latest entry in the long-running franchise expands on the series’ formula by featuring a vast open world for players to explore freely. After much anticipation, I had the opportunity to spend roughly 20 minutes of hands-on time with Breath of the Wild. It felt like a fraction of that time because I was completely enamored with Hyrule’s wealth of possibilities. From what I understand, the demo I played was identical to last year’s E3 demo, so the opening events are likely familiar if you’ve read impressions for that version. Link awakens within an ancient temple, beckoned by a mysterious voice. After being bestowed with the magical Sheikah Slate, a multipurpose tool that serves as Link’s map, among other functions, I found and equipped basic clothing. Breath of the Wild’s vibrant world welcomed me with open arms as I exited the structure. There was only one question: Where do I head first? I could have immediately veered off on my own path, but I opted to follow a mysterious hooded man. After catching up with him and absorbing some sage tutorial advice, I embarked on my journey. My first order of business was to climb everything. Link can scale virtually any surface, his actions dictated by a stamina meter ala Skyward Sword. The ability to climbing vastly opens up exploration options. Instead of seeking out a main path, I just scampered up cliffs and improvised my way through areas. Link’s stamina drained rather quickly in the demo to the point of becoming a mild nuisance. Hopefully, it won’t take too long to for players to build up his strength in the full release. I quickly procured my first weapon: a branch. Not quite the Master Sword, but I had to start somewhere. It was a fortunate discovery, since I immediately encountered my first adversary in a lone moblin. Combat itself felt largely identical to previous Zelda games. I slashed, rolled, and leapt in and out of engagement with my foe. The controls felt smooth and responsive as we clashed. The presence of weapon degradation was the most prominent new wrinkle, as it forced me to monitor the state of items. Unfortunately, my branch splintered into pieces before I could finish my adversary, forcing me into a hasty retreat. In an unexpected and humorous moment, the persistent moblin gave chase for several yards. It even followed me down a sheer cliff drop. Even the Nintendo representative guiding me through the demo was taken aback at the beast’s determination. After a lengthy pursuit, the moblin finally decided I wasn’t worth the effort and backed off. That wasn’t the end of my troubles. I turned to discover that I’d accidentally stumbled upon a camp teeming with moblins–and I was completely defenseless. In a stroke of intentionally designed luck, though, I noticed a bow and quiver of arrows laying by a log nearby. There were also a few more branches. Now that I had a larger arsenal, I messed around with Breath of the Wild’s inventory system. Players can quick select weapons in-game on the fly by entering a separate menu. Additionally, hot key options also streamlined selection. I adapted to this new system swiftly, swapping items with ease. Before I tackled the enemy base, my Nintendo rep instructed me to slide the Switch out of its dock and continue playing in handheld mode. The transition from big to small screen was as quick and seamless as advertised. Best of all, the performance didn’t skip a beat and looked great on the smaller display. With my new bow, I took aim and sniped distant enemies, drawing their attention. As the now-alert moblins hurtled towards me, I spotted a nearby shield and quickly equipped it. With my beat-down stick and shield ready, I fought my way through the remaining horde, rolling and collecting additional arrows and sticks mid-fight. Once the last moblin fell, I began collecting the spoils. Among the loot was an actual sword. Hooray, no more branches! That sense of improvement defined much of Breath of the Wild’s experience. Every time I nabbed a new item, I eagerly compared it stats to my existing inventory and wanted to continue searching in hopes of finding greater riches. That’s a fun and necessary incentive to achieve in an open world game. After clearing the area of its riches, I decided to continue towards the main story objective. The waypoint led to a small ruin with a plate to insert the Shiekah Slate. I placed the relic, which triggered a scene where a massive tower emerged from the Earth. Interestingly, the Nintendo Rep pointed out that during this cinematic, moblins are typically present since the structure sprouts near their base. However, since I wiped out the camp before summoning the tower, the moblins were absent. I always appreciate little touches of continuity like that. I’ll have to wait for the full release of Breath of the Wild to see what follows after that tower arose from the ruins as my demo wrapped up shortly thereafter. Although I barely scratched the surface of the tip of the iceberg, I left the demo anxious and excited to get my hands on the full experience. Roaming the open world, discovering items and locations with little to no guidance felt like playing a big-budget remake of the NES Legend of Zelda. It’s a freedom that’s been lacking in the last few console entries, and the next logical leap after A Link Between Worlds (a personal fave) began the shift towards a less linear direction. Breakable weapons largely irritate me in most games, but Zelda tempers that annoyance by sprinkling items all over the place. I was always picking up new equipment, and even though most of them were fragile branches, I had a supply of them to rely on until I found something better. Most importantly, Breath of the Wild was just plain fun. Combat works fine, the picturesque world was a joy to run around in, and the loop of exploration and loot has its hooks. If the gameplay continues to evolve in positive ways, and if they story is up to snuff, Breath of the Wild could be a Zelda game for the ages. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launches for Switch and Wii U March 3.
  2. If you ever wondered about the origins of the Skull Kid and his titular mask from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Ember Lab, an animation outfit based out of California, has put together a short film to give their take on the enigmatic character's backstory. The short, titled 'Terrible Fate,' is a frankly impressive piece of work that manages to be at turns mysterious, playful, and frightening. Visually, Ember Lab seems to have thrown their full talents at this project. Environments pop with life. Characters, even in the short run-time, have arcs that work to flesh out their roles in the game. Terrible Fate adds details to the already rich narrative of Majora's Mask that highlight the tragic ascent of the Skull Kid as a villain. While Ember Lab handled the animation work, the soundtrack does some heavy lifting as well. Theophany, a regular over on the video game remixing site OCRemix, lent his considerable talent to craft a compelling soundscape for 'Terrible Fate.' The result is an incredibly effective synergy between the visuals and orchestral score. Theophany was so passionate about this project that he's committed to releasing a full multi-disc album to accompany the short. While the full composition has yet to be completed, interested fans can listen or download the first disc on the site for 'Terrible Fate.' There have been multiple animation stingers for Majora's Mask appearing on the internet over the last few years, but this might be the most impressive. Even if we never get a live-action Legend of Zelda film, I hope Nintendo sees work like this coming out of their fanbase and gives some serious consideration to a feature-length animated production.
  3. If you ever wondered about the origins of the Skull Kid and his titular mask from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Ember Lab, an animation outfit based out of California, has put together a short film to give their take on the enigmatic character's backstory. The short, titled 'Terrible Fate,' is a frankly impressive piece of work that manages to be at turns mysterious, playful, and frightening. Visually, Ember Lab seems to have thrown their full talents at this project. Environments pop with life. Characters, even in the short run-time, have arcs that work to flesh out their roles in the game. Terrible Fate adds details to the already rich narrative of Majora's Mask that highlight the tragic ascent of the Skull Kid as a villain. While Ember Lab handled the animation work, the soundtrack does some heavy lifting as well. Theophany, a regular over on the video game remixing site OCRemix, lent his considerable talent to craft a compelling soundscape for 'Terrible Fate.' The result is an incredibly effective synergy between the visuals and orchestral score. Theophany was so passionate about this project that he's committed to releasing a full multi-disc album to accompany the short. While the full composition has yet to be completed, interested fans can listen or download the first disc on the site for 'Terrible Fate.' There have been multiple animation stingers for Majora's Mask appearing on the internet over the last few years, but this might be the most impressive. Even if we never get a live-action Legend of Zelda film, I hope Nintendo sees work like this coming out of their fanbase and gives some serious consideration to a feature-length animated production. View full article
  4. [Updated with confirmed titles available at launch and beyond - 2/23/17] Nintendo revealed a number of details on their upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch, late last night. The company revealed the price, release date, and a number of games over the course of their livestreamed event, which you can watch online. The night's information dump began with the reveal of the Nintendo Switch release date: March 3. That means the next generation of Nintendo's console line is less than two months away from hitting brick and mortar stores and that's certainly hard not to get at least a little excited about. Moreover, the Switch will retail for $300 making it roughly competitive with the consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo also revealed some scant details on how Nintendo will alter its approach to online with the Switch. Their plan is for players to be able to link a smart device, presumably a smart phone or tablet, to the Switch via an app. This app will allow players to invite friends to games and interact in various ways with the digital environment of the Switch. The online services will be free when the console initially launches, but sometime during Fall 2017 online services will change over to a paid subscription. In order to more fully embrace the new digital age, Nintendo will be doing away with region locked hardware with the Switch. The company stated that this would be a general approach, so that still leaves open the possibility that some select things could still be region locked. Nintendo began to get more into how the console will actually function. Players can enjoy it in TV Mode, which functions like a traditional console. Tabletop Mode transforms the console into a portable screen that can be placed on a table while gaming outside the home in a party or travel situation. Handheld Mode slips the left and right Joy-Con controllers onto their respective sides of the Switch console and turn it into a portable gaming device. One of the most talked about aspects of the Switch prior to Nintendo's reveal event was how long the battery would last when gaming on the go with the Switch. Nintendo estimates that the Switch contains 2.5-6.5 hours of battery life depending on what game is being played. While it can be played while it is being charged, the short battery life almost certainly limits the amount of usable time the console can be in use away from a power outlet. Nintendo dedicated a significant portion of time to explaining the rather strange Joy-Con controllers. Each console will come packaged with two Joy-Con controllers, left and right, that can be clicked together inside the Joy-Con grip to form the basic Switch controller. Each of these functions separately, enabling the console to support a two-player co-op experience right out of the box. Both controllers house a light sensor that is capable of distinguishing shapes and movement; the example used highlighted its ability to recognize the symbols for Rock, Paper, Scissors. The two controllers also make use of Nintendo has dubbed "HD rumble" - a high-precision internal rumble pack that can deliver very specific rumble sensations. On top of all that, the controllers include gyroscopes and motion sensing technology that allow them to incorporate movement into some games. The Joy-Con controllers will be available in different colors at launch: grey, neon red, and neon blue. It will also come with a wrist strap accessory called the Joy-Con Grip that seems to make the individual Joy-Con controllers more ergonomic and hand-friendly. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC reader, and the left Joy-Con houses a button that can take screenshots and capture in-game video. The video capture function doesn't seem like it will be functional when the console launches in March, but that function will come eventually, according to Nintendo. Screenshots and recorded video can be shared on social media, which raises a question about how Nintendo will be handling YouTube and Twitch monetization with the Switch, given their past policies regarding Nintendo IPs and Let's Players/streamers. All of these features come with a price, though. The base cost of the system, $300, seems pretty reasonable for a console launch, but Nintendo aims to make a killing on the cost of standalone accessories. If you are thinking of perhaps getting a second dock for another location in your home for the Switch, the $90 price for a single docking unit might put you off. Want to pick up two extra Joy-Con controllers to have four individual/two traditional controllers on launch day? That will cost you another $80 - more if you buy the Joy-Con controllers separately for $50 each. If you opt for the Pro controller, which is only sold separately, it isn't that much cheaper at $70. Anything beyond the base system will significantly increase the cost of buying into Nintendo's next generation. Just one extra controller nudges the cost of the system close to $400, a number the console will easily break as games are being sold separately at launch. Nintendo envisions the Switch as a party-friendly device. Up to eight Switch consoles can wirelessly connect for local multiplayer games. Titled 1-2 Switch and slated to be available at launch, the first game shown during the conference highlighted the company's focus. 1-2 Switch consists of a number of minigames that involve person-to-person interaction with friends and family. The one highlighted most, a Western-style quick draw game, pits two players face-to-face and determines who can draw their Joy-Con the fastest. Other games briefly shown included sword duels, boxing, yoga, and more. As far as we know right now, there are no plans to bundle 1-2 Switch with the console, making it a separate purchase on launch day. The second game shown for Nintendo's impending console packs a punch. Arms looks to be a combination of Overwatch and Punch-Out!! pitting players against one another or the computer in the boxing arena. The major distinction between Arms and a typical boxing title seems to be that every character has extendable arms and a number of unique abilities to get the better of their opponent. The game's producer described it as a mixture of shooting and boxing. Arms makes use of the motion control elements of the Joy-Con to simulate boxing in a way that feels very reminiscent of Wii Sports' boxing, albeit highly refined. With a roster of colorful characters and a truly endearing aesthetic, Arms definitely catches the eye and should be one to watch as we inch closer to its release date. Unfortunately it will not be available when the Switch launches on March 3, but it will be coming sometime this spring. Splatoon 2 made a splash with a new trailer showing new, inky gameplay. New special weapons can be activated when enough ink has covered the stage and players can use the Joy-Con motion controls to aim their tools of colorful destruction. Splatoon 2 turned out to be another game we will have to wait a while to see, launching sometime this summer. Much like the first Splatoon, Nintendo will support it post-launch with new stages, weapons, and ongoing, in-game events. Hand it to Nintendo, they paced the reveals during their Switch presentation just right. Just as it began to seem odd that no major franchise names had yet made an appearance, they blew open the lid on a brand new Mario title. Super Mario Odyssey might just be one of the weirdest Mario games ever made, and that is saying a lot of a franchise that includes some of the most fever-dream worlds in gaming. Nintendo wanted to convey the idea that Mario was journeying to unknown lands and the trailer certainly establishes that, showing obscure and never-before seen enemies and locations - including what looks to be New York City, complete with realistically proportioned humans. I cannot stress enough how jarring the juxtaposition between a realistic human and a cartoon Mario appears. Oh, and Mario's hat seems to be alive now? Outside of the real-world areas, the game looks incredibly gorgeous and inviting. Bowser makes an appearance in a dapper white suit having kidnapped Princess Peach yet again. I don't know how any of this fits together, but the sheer oddity of it all has me on board, even if the ride could end up being a bumpy one. Super Mario Odyssey won't release until the 2017 holidays, so more details will almost certainly be shared during E3. Monolithsoft is back with a sequel to their Xenoblade JRPG titled... Xenoblade 2. It might have been the stream, but some of the in-game footage seemed to be stuttering. Details on the game were practically nonexistent and Nintendo did not provide a release date. Koei Tecmo appears to be continuing their relationship with Nintendo by creating another hack-and-slash fighting game. However, instead of adapting The Legend of Zelda, this time the developers of Dynasty Warriors will be tackling the venerable Fire Emblem series. The teaser was pretty short and didn't display any gameplay, but color Fire Emblem fans intrigued by such a strange marriage of genres in Fire Emblem Warriors. From this point on, Nintendo adopted a more rapid-fire approach toward unveiling upcoming titles. Nintendo claims that, between their studios and third-parties, over 80 games are in development for the Switch at this point in time. Dragon Quest X and XI are slated for a Switch release in Japan, while Dragon Quest Heroes I and II will also be coming to the Switch. A new Shin Megami Tensei has just gone into development for the fledgling console, though nothing beyond that and a short teaser were shared. Square Enix unveiled a new IP called Project Octopath Traveler, a game that appears to update the old-school 16-bit aesthetic with a few modern twists. Todd Howard from Bethesda to confirm that Skyrim will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, laying to rest the rumors that Skyrim's appearance might have simply been for the promotional trailer. Suda 51 from Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio behind the recent free-to-play game Let It Die, took the stage to let everyone know that he would be resurrecting Travis Touchdown for an as yet unnamed title for the Switch. People might remember the name Travis Touchdown from his protagonist role in the game No More Heroes. EA confirmed that FIFA would be coming to the Switch, too. Presumably we could also expect to see other EA Sports titles like Madden on the console, but so far only FIFA has been confirmed. A montage of games revealed and hinted at a number of other titles that Nintendo will be bringing to the Switch. Glimpses could be seen of Minecraft, a few Telltale titles, Farming Simulator, Rime, a Sonic title, Bomberman, and a flash of a futuristic racing game that might just be the first F-Zero game since the GameCube. The Switch will come in two different packages when it hits shelves on March 3. Both will be the same price of $300 with the only difference being the color of the Joy-Con controllers. One system will be packaged with grey controllers and the other will have Joy-Con in red and blue. The system will come with the left and right Joy-Con, a Joy-Con Grip, the system dock, console, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. The final announcement was one that many were hoping for: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch and available on March 3. This was accompanied by what might just be one of the biggest hype-inducing trailers in gaming history. The game includes voiced dialogue! It has weird sci-fi elements! Epic scope in both landscape and story! Some nods to timeline continuity for the fans! A very impressive trailer that might have single-handedly ensured that the Switch sells out of stores on day one. Now, that was a lot of information to digest. Overall, this conference succeeded in fostering significant excitement for the Nintendo Switch, which had previously been a mystery. While there were certainly some tantalizing looks at future Switch titles, only two were confirmed to be launch titles, though one of those being a Zelda game pretty much guarantees a large number of people buying into the hardware. And that buy in could make Nintendo a tidy profit. I'd wager that they are selling the Switch at a loss to make that attractive $300 price point, but they will more than make up for that in software and accessory sales. That probably contributes to the seemingly inflated costs of the Switch's accessories. *Update* Below you can find the full release list of games that have been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch so far. Nintendo has announced a special indie game stream on February 28 at 9am PT that will likely finalize the day one launch line-up of the Switch with a handful of additional indie titles, but these games are what have been confirmed so far. We've had some hands-on time with several of the upcoming games, so be sure to check those pieces out for some more information! *Update #2* Additional games have been added from the Nindie showcase. Available Day One (March 3): 1-2-Switch Fast RMX - eShop only Human Resource Machine - eShop only I Am Setsuna - eShop only Just Dance 2017 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Little Inferno - eShop only Shovel Knight - eShop only Skylanders: Imaginators Super Bomberman R World of Goo - eShop only March/Spring: Arms (Spring 2017) Blaster Master Zero (March 9) - Exclusive to Switch and 3DS Graceful Explosion Machine (April) - Timed exclusive Has-Been Heroes (March) Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (April 28) Mr. Shifty (April) - Timed exclusive Pocket Rumble (March) - Exclusive Puyo Puyo Tetris (Spring 2017) - eShop only Shakedown: Hawaii (April) - Timed exclusive Snipperclips, Cut It Out Together (March) - eShop only TumbleSeed (Spring 2017) Summer: Dandara Rime Splatoon 2 Stardew Valley - Timed exclusive features SteamWorld Dig 2 Beyond/TBD: The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (TBD) - eShop only Disgaea 5 Complete (TBD) Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (2017) The Escapists 2 (2017) FIFA (2017) Fire Emblem Warriors (TBD) Flipping Death (2017) GoNNER (2017) - Timed exclusive Kingdom: Two Crowns (2017) Minecraft (2017) Minecraft: Story Mode (TBD) NBA 2K (2017) New Shin Megami Tensei (TBD) Overcooked! Special Edition (2017) Rayman Legends (TBD) Runner3 - (Fall 2017) Skyrim (Fall 2017) Sonic Mania (2017) Steep (2017) Super Mario Odyssey (Holiday 2017) Syberia 3 (TBD) Ultra Street Fighter II (2017) WarGroove (2017) Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (2017) Yooka-Laylee (2017) View full article
  5. Few games in the last few years exude as much charm as Save Me Mr. Tako, an indie PC title that uses a Game Boy aesthetic to tell the story of an octopus who doesn't want to fight. The tale of Mr. Tako was originally conceived by French indie developer Chris Deneos in 2014 as a way of honoring the 24th anniversary of the Game Boy. Since then, Deneos has fully committed to seeing the project through. As a pixel artist, Deneos really manages to create expressive and interesting visuals within the constraints of the chosen Game Boy style. The entire project has been constructed using Unity, which surprisingly manages to mimic the Game Boy visuals quite well. Fully titled Tasukete Tako-San: Save Me Mr. Tako, the platformer mashes together the spirit of the Kirby and Legend of Zelda franchises to weave a compelling world full of aquatic and land-based denizens and enemies. Players can absorb and use over fifty different powers from enemies as the titular Mr. Tako to help battle enemies and explore a large, non-linear world. The story of Save Me Mr. Tako centers around Mr. Tako, an octopus sent to fight humans in the great Octopus-Human War. One dark night, his unit attacks a human ship at sea. Mr. Tako doesn't want to fight humans and just wants peace. The octopi soldiers shove a woman into the sea to drown, but Mr. Tako dives in after her, saving her life. A sea fairy, seeing this act of bravery, gives Mr. Tako the ability to breathe outside of water in exchange for never hating another human. To bring an end to the war, Mr. Tako must brave the dangers of both the sea and land, and if that isn't the most adorable thing, I don't know what is. Deneos, working alone, is striving to add as much content to Save Me Mr. Tako as possible. The solo indie developer estimated earlier this year that the game was about half done, with over thirty levels, six towns, fifteen side-quests, and five hours of gameplay. The completed version of Save Me Mr. Tako will include the expected story mode alongside some form of multiplayer mode as well as a boss rush mode. Back in April he still hoped to finish work on Save Me Mr. Tako by the end of 2016, though that seems unlikely with about two weeks left in the year and no official release date announced. While the release date of Save Me Mr. Tako remains unknown, those who find the trailers and screenshots intriguing can download a free demo to see what the finished game will be like. The game is currently only on track for a PC release.
  6. Few games in the last few years exude as much charm as Save Me Mr. Tako, an indie PC title that uses a Game Boy aesthetic to tell the story of an octopus who doesn't want to fight. The tale of Mr. Tako was originally conceived by French indie developer Chris Deneos in 2014 as a way of honoring the 24th anniversary of the Game Boy. Since then, Deneos has fully committed to seeing the project through. As a pixel artist, Deneos really manages to create expressive and interesting visuals within the constraints of the chosen Game Boy style. The entire project has been constructed using Unity, which surprisingly manages to mimic the Game Boy visuals quite well. Fully titled Tasukete Tako-San: Save Me Mr. Tako, the platformer mashes together the spirit of the Kirby and Legend of Zelda franchises to weave a compelling world full of aquatic and land-based denizens and enemies. Players can absorb and use over fifty different powers from enemies as the titular Mr. Tako to help battle enemies and explore a large, non-linear world. The story of Save Me Mr. Tako centers around Mr. Tako, an octopus sent to fight humans in the great Octopus-Human War. One dark night, his unit attacks a human ship at sea. Mr. Tako doesn't want to fight humans and just wants peace. The octopi soldiers shove a woman into the sea to drown, but Mr. Tako dives in after her, saving her life. A sea fairy, seeing this act of bravery, gives Mr. Tako the ability to breathe outside of water in exchange for never hating another human. To bring an end to the war, Mr. Tako must brave the dangers of both the sea and land, and if that isn't the most adorable thing, I don't know what is. Deneos, working alone, is striving to add as much content to Save Me Mr. Tako as possible. The solo indie developer estimated earlier this year that the game was about half done, with over thirty levels, six towns, fifteen side-quests, and five hours of gameplay. The completed version of Save Me Mr. Tako will include the expected story mode alongside some form of multiplayer mode as well as a boss rush mode. Back in April he still hoped to finish work on Save Me Mr. Tako by the end of 2016, though that seems unlikely with about two weeks left in the year and no official release date announced. While the release date of Save Me Mr. Tako remains unknown, those who find the trailers and screenshots intriguing can download a free demo to see what the finished game will be like. The game is currently only on track for a PC release. View full article
  7. Jimmy Fallon could hardly contain himself last night when Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, came onto The Tonight Show to present the Nintendo Switch and a live demonstration of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It seemed to come as something of a surprise to the late night host, who had just been playing some Mario Run with Fils-Aime. With shaking hands, Fallon seemed almost beside himself as he took the Switch and played through an encounter in the upcoming open world action-adventure title. It was pretty clear that Fallon was talking from a place of genuine enthusiasm as he dropped knowledge bombs from Breath of the Wild previews and old interviews. You can watch the entire Breath of the Wild exchange below. Shigeru Miyamoto was also in attendance, sitting quietly in the audience smiling. Jimmy Fallon called out to the game creator several times, receiving nods and laughter from the developer. However, Miyamoto didn't just attend the show - he participated. He took the stage with the band The Roots to perform the iconic theme to Super Mario Bros. live. These are clear signs that Nintendo has begun its media push to spread awareness of the Nintendo Switch - something that the gaming titan didn't do very well in the lead up to the Wii U launch. Obviously, they have learned from their mistakes. The big Breath of the Wild reveal last week at The Game Awards 2016 was the first inkling that Nintendo might be initiating an effective marketing campaign for both The Legend of Zelda and the Switch. Now we pretty much know that Nintendo will be pushing their console from now until its March 2017 release window. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild releases sometime next year, probably later in the year than March as reports indicate that it will not be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch.
  8. Jimmy Fallon could hardly contain himself last night when Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, came onto The Tonight Show to present the Nintendo Switch and a live demonstration of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It seemed to come as something of a surprise to the late night host, who had just been playing some Mario Run with Fils-Aime. With shaking hands, Fallon seemed almost beside himself as he took the Switch and played through an encounter in the upcoming open world action-adventure title. It was pretty clear that Fallon was talking from a place of genuine enthusiasm as he dropped knowledge bombs from Breath of the Wild previews and old interviews. You can watch the entire Breath of the Wild exchange below. Shigeru Miyamoto was also in attendance, sitting quietly in the audience smiling. Jimmy Fallon called out to the game creator several times, receiving nods and laughter from the developer. However, Miyamoto didn't just attend the show - he participated. He took the stage with the band The Roots to perform the iconic theme to Super Mario Bros. live. These are clear signs that Nintendo has begun its media push to spread awareness of the Nintendo Switch - something that the gaming titan didn't do very well in the lead up to the Wii U launch. Obviously, they have learned from their mistakes. The big Breath of the Wild reveal last week at The Game Awards 2016 was the first inkling that Nintendo might be initiating an effective marketing campaign for both The Legend of Zelda and the Switch. Now we pretty much know that Nintendo will be pushing their console from now until its March 2017 release window. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild releases sometime next year, probably later in the year than March as reports indicate that it will not be a launch title for the Nintendo Switch. View full article
  9. Since new consoles aren't announced every day from a major manufacturer, this week's episode focuses squarely on Nintendo's recent reveal of the Switch, their upcoming next-gen device that can become either a console or handheld. Jeremy had to go save kids or something, so this discussion falls to Jack and Daniel who hold somewhat differing opinions on Nintendo's hybrid creation. Will the Switch be a success or a commercial flop? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 'Dance of the Kokiri' by Chris ~ Amaterasu and Doc Nano (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03438) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  10. Since new consoles aren't announced every day from a major manufacturer, this week's episode focuses squarely on Nintendo's recent reveal of the Switch, their upcoming next-gen device that can become either a console or handheld. Jeremy had to go save kids or something, so this discussion falls to Jack and Daniel who hold somewhat differing opinions on Nintendo's hybrid creation. Will the Switch be a success or a commercial flop? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 'Dance of the Kokiri' by Chris ~ Amaterasu and Doc Nano (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03438) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  11. The Apple event today held an unexpected gaming surprise in the form of Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, taking the stage. Miyamoto revealed that Mario games would be making their way to iOS in the near future, breaking Nintendo's mascot into the mobile gaming realm for the first time. The first title announced, Super Mario Run, was demonstrated live on stage. It features Mario traversing stages as players tap the screen to make him jump, collecting coins and avoiding obstacles within the stage's set time limit. The demo displayed at least six worlds for players to jump and jumble through. The iOS game also includes a multiplayer component. The mode, called Toad Rally, allows players to race one another through stages. Miyamoto stated that players can connect with one another from around the world. Miyamoto also stated that the app will sell for a fixed price and will not include microtransactions. No release date has been announced, but Miyamoto did reveal that players should expect Super Mario Run to release sometime this holiday season. This move by Nintendo follows closely on the heels of the smashing success of Miitomo, Nintendo's social app that became a mild sensation earlier this year, and Niantic's Pokémon Go, which generated an even larger sensation. Nintendo promised shortly after the resounding success of both apps that they would be looking more closely into mobile gaming for future investments. View full article
  12. The Apple event today held an unexpected gaming surprise in the form of Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, taking the stage. Miyamoto revealed that Mario games would be making their way to iOS in the near future, breaking Nintendo's mascot into the mobile gaming realm for the first time. The first title announced, Super Mario Run, was demonstrated live on stage. It features Mario traversing stages as players tap the screen to make him jump, collecting coins and avoiding obstacles within the stage's set time limit. The demo displayed at least six worlds for players to jump and jumble through. The iOS game also includes a multiplayer component. The mode, called Toad Rally, allows players to race one another through stages. Miyamoto stated that players can connect with one another from around the world. Miyamoto also stated that the app will sell for a fixed price and will not include microtransactions. No release date has been announced, but Miyamoto did reveal that players should expect Super Mario Run to release sometime this holiday season. This move by Nintendo follows closely on the heels of the smashing success of Miitomo, Nintendo's social app that became a mild sensation earlier this year, and Niantic's Pokémon Go, which generated an even larger sensation. Nintendo promised shortly after the resounding success of both apps that they would be looking more closely into mobile gaming for future investments.
  13. It has been 22 weeks so far and we are only now getting to our first episode dedicated to a Legend of Zelda title! The Nintendo title, released in 1991 for the SNES, is widely regarded as one of the best games of all time and remains at the top of many best lists to this day. Why? What makes the top-down action-adventure of a boy in green saving the world such a pinnacle of video game achievement even a quarter of a century later? How will it stack up for future generations of gamers when the gaming landscape continues to evolve? Jack and Daniel, sans Jeremy this week, discuss this and a whole lot more. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 'Unsealed' by CarboHydroM (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02900) Also, last week we ended up recording almost an hour over our usual running time with Elizabeth DeLoria for our Fallout 3 and had to cut them to fit the show into our normal running time. The thing is, those segments were so much fun that we edited those cut segments together into a mini-episode of sorts. That covers a wide variety of topics from Australian ladder licensing to gushing over glitches and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod Outro music: Chrono Trigger 'Punk Hairdo Kid' by HyperDuck SoundWorks (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03338) New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  14. It has been 22 weeks so far and we are only now getting to our first episode dedicated to a Legend of Zelda title! The Nintendo title, released in 1991 for the SNES, is widely regarded as one of the best games of all time and remains at the top of many best lists to this day. Why? What makes the top-down action-adventure of a boy in green saving the world such a pinnacle of video game achievement even a quarter of a century later? How will it stack up for future generations of gamers when the gaming landscape continues to evolve? Jack and Daniel, sans Jeremy this week, discuss this and a whole lot more. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 'Unsealed' by CarboHydroM (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02900) Also, last week we ended up recording almost an hour over our usual running time with Elizabeth DeLoria for our Fallout 3 and had to cut them to fit the show into our normal running time. The thing is, those segments were so much fun that we edited those cut segments together into a mini-episode of sorts. That covers a wide variety of topics from Australian ladder licensing to gushing over glitches and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod Outro music: Chrono Trigger 'Punk Hairdo Kid' by HyperDuck SoundWorks (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03338) New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  15. You read that title right. YouTuber/Twitch streamer MonotoneTim has managed to do the what no one has ever thought of doing with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and played through a large chunk of the N64 title with nothing more than a real life ocarina. To do this, he used a C# program that translates pitches into keyboard inputs (the title was emulated on PC). Since an ocarina can only play six distinct notes, one of the ocarina pitches was set to switch between three control schemes. With this set up, MonotoneTim was able to progress to the first boss of Ocarina of Time and confront Gohma, the spider queen, which you can watch below. To watch the full stream in which MonotoneTim gets as far as possible in one ocarina blasting session, be sure to check out his YouTube channel.
  16. You read that title right. YouTuber/Twitch streamer MonotoneTim has managed to do the what no one has ever thought of doing with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and played through a large chunk of the N64 title with nothing more than a real life ocarina. To do this, he used a C# program that translates pitches into keyboard inputs (the title was emulated on PC). Since an ocarina can only play six distinct notes, one of the ocarina pitches was set to switch between three control schemes. With this set up, MonotoneTim was able to progress to the first boss of Ocarina of Time and confront Gohma, the spider queen, which you can watch below. To watch the full stream in which MonotoneTim gets as far as possible in one ocarina blasting session, be sure to check out his YouTube channel. View full article
  17. The orchestral performance of classic Legend of Zelda tunes has toured around the world for the last few years now and has continued to gain popularity and recognition for its fantastic performances. Now, the musical dive into the world of Hyrule and beyond is poised to hit the mainstream consciousness. Nintendo has announced that The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses will be the musical guest on talk show host Stephen Colbert's Late Show next week, alongside guests Sarah Silverman and Elijah Wood. You can tune in on October 13th to catch the production. The performance will also include some highlights from The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes which launches October 23. For those of you who haven't heard of Symphony of the Goddesses or had an opportunity to listen to some of their music for yourself, check out this excerpt from one of the show's many concerts. View full article
  18. The orchestral performance of classic Legend of Zelda tunes has toured around the world for the last few years now and has continued to gain popularity and recognition for its fantastic performances. Now, the musical dive into the world of Hyrule and beyond is poised to hit the mainstream consciousness. Nintendo has announced that The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses will be the musical guest on talk show host Stephen Colbert's Late Show next week, alongside guests Sarah Silverman and Elijah Wood. You can tune in on October 13th to catch the production. The performance will also include some highlights from The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes which launches October 23. For those of you who haven't heard of Symphony of the Goddesses or had an opportunity to listen to some of their music for yourself, check out this excerpt from one of the show's many concerts.
  19. At the GameStop Managers Conference last weekend, Nintendo unveiled plans for two special New 3DS systems as well as themed Wii Remote Plus controllers and the launch of amiibo cards for use in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. On September 25, a bundle including a New 3DS with two Animal Crossing-themed cover plates and a copy of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and an amiibo card will launch. The New 3DS included in this bundle will be the first of the line of a more compact, non-XL, version of the New 3DS which features detachable cover plates. The Animal Crossing bundle is expected to retail for $219.99. A golden Legend of Zelda version of the New 3DS XL with a prominently featured Hylian crest will be released on October 30, shortly after the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes on October 23. The system and game are sold separately. The system will be available for $199.99 and will be exclusive to GameStop locations. Three new Wii Remote Plus controllers were also revealed and are themed after Bowser, Toad, and Yoshi. These three controllers will be available only at GameStop. The Bowser and Toad controllers will be released alongside Super Mario Maker on September 11. Meanwhile, the Yoshi controller hits GameStop shelves on October 16, the same day Yoshi's Woolly World releases.
  20. At the GameStop Managers Conference last weekend, Nintendo unveiled plans for two special New 3DS systems as well as themed Wii Remote Plus controllers and the launch of amiibo cards for use in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. On September 25, a bundle including a New 3DS with two Animal Crossing-themed cover plates and a copy of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and an amiibo card will launch. The New 3DS included in this bundle will be the first of the line of a more compact, non-XL, version of the New 3DS which features detachable cover plates. The Animal Crossing bundle is expected to retail for $219.99. A golden Legend of Zelda version of the New 3DS XL with a prominently featured Hylian crest will be released on October 30, shortly after the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes on October 23. The system and game are sold separately. The system will be available for $199.99 and will be exclusive to GameStop locations. Three new Wii Remote Plus controllers were also revealed and are themed after Bowser, Toad, and Yoshi. These three controllers will be available only at GameStop. The Bowser and Toad controllers will be released alongside Super Mario Maker on September 11. Meanwhile, the Yoshi controller hits GameStop shelves on October 16, the same day Yoshi's Woolly World releases. View full article
  21. Spotted, fittingly enough, by Zelda Informer, a tenacious group of fans has been toiling away at creating a 2D version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Oh, and if it is ever completed, it will have multiplayer. The project is still far from being complete, but this seems to be a very promising start. The team has a video showing the multiplayer in action. Right now, the ream estimates that the project has reached 15% completion. For a full list of current and planned updates, there is a site with monthly updates on the team's progress. You can download the latest demo version here. Here is hoping Nintendo doesn't squash this project with a cease and desist. Update 3/9/2018: It seems progress on Ocarina of Time 2D has stalled at about 20% completion. The original collective of fans working on the project seems to have gone its separate ways, though a few members say that they have plans to come back to it. Most recently, a fan dev under the name Link.57 posted a little under a year ago to talk about taking the project back up. The good news is that it doesn't seem like Nintendo hit the fans with a cease and desist, so there's still some chance that we'll see Ocarina of Time 2D in the light of day. View full article
  22. Update: 03/24/2015 Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata gave an interview to Time Magazine touching on a number of topics, but, sadly, Iwata poured some cold water on the rumors of a live-action Legend of Zelda series in the works with Netflix. Iwata said, “As of now, I have nothing new to share with you in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films, but I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information." While this is certain to be disappointing news to some, it doesn't necessarily mean that Nintendo is ruling out the possibility of creating a miniseries based off of their IP, especially given their upcoming foray into mobile development. Original Story: 02/06/2015 Yep, you read that headline right. We might be seeing a live-action Legend of Zelda series sometime in the near future. The Wall Street Journal reported today that an unidentified source confirmed that Netflix and Nintendo were in the early stages of creating an online series set in Hyrule about a boy named Link who must rescue a princess named Zelda. Netflix reportedly describes the show as "Game of Thrones but for a family audience." The source said that Netflix is in the process of finding writers for the show, so a live-action Legend of Zelda series is probably a year or more away from becoming a reality. Now, this is all effectively rumor since no one has been able to confirm with either Netflix or Nintendo that they're in the process of making this show. If it is real, there's an equally real possibility that the project will never see the light of day, killed off by either Netflix or Nintendo. Still, imagining what a series like this would be like is certainly interesting. I mean, for goodness sake, if IGN can cobble together a fake live-action trailer for an April Fools Day prank, then I have to think that Netflix and Nintendo pooling their talents and resources together could make something truly amazing. Obviously, it is way too early to get any hopes up, but I think I already am overly hopeful about this becoming a real thing.
  23. Update: 03/24/2015 Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata gave an interview to Time Magazine touching on a number of topics, but, sadly, Iwata poured some cold water on the rumors of a live-action Legend of Zelda series in the works with Netflix. Iwata said, “As of now, I have nothing new to share with you in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films, but I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information." While this is certain to be disappointing news to some, it doesn't necessarily mean that Nintendo is ruling out the possibility of creating a miniseries based off of their IP, especially given their upcoming foray into mobile development. Original Story: 02/06/2015 Yep, you read that headline right. We might be seeing a live-action Legend of Zelda series sometime in the near future. The Wall Street Journal reported today that an unidentified source confirmed that Netflix and Nintendo were in the early stages of creating an online series set in Hyrule about a boy named Link who must rescue a princess named Zelda. Netflix reportedly describes the show as "Game of Thrones but for a family audience." The source said that Netflix is in the process of finding writers for the show, so a live-action Legend of Zelda series is probably a year or more away from becoming a reality. Now, this is all effectively rumor since no one has been able to confirm with either Netflix or Nintendo that they're in the process of making this show. If it is real, there's an equally real possibility that the project will never see the light of day, killed off by either Netflix or Nintendo. Still, imagining what a series like this would be like is certainly interesting. I mean, for goodness sake, if IGN can cobble together a fake live-action trailer for an April Fools Day prank, then I have to think that Netflix and Nintendo pooling their talents and resources together could make something truly amazing. Obviously, it is way too early to get any hopes up, but I think I already am overly hopeful about this becoming a real thing. View full article
  24. Thanks to Viz Media, Legend of Zelda fans will be able to experience this comic from 1993 once again without paying around $120 on Ebay. One could say that Viz has made a real... link to the past. The adaptation of the classic SNES title features artwork by Shotaro Ishinomori, a prolific manga artist best known for essentially inventing the transforming super hero genre. Basically anything that remotely resembles Power Rangers exists because of this guy. The Nintendo Power comic follows the same general storyline as the video game, but adds more characters and twists in the plot. Also, Link talks. The republished Nintendo Power run will be available May 5 through Viz Media. If anyone is intrigued by this, it is worth pointing out that Viz has also published ten other manga adaptations of Legend of Zelda games by Akira Himekawa including: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Phantom Hourglass, Four Swords Adventures, and a different version of A Link to the Past.
  25. Thanks to Viz Media, Legend of Zelda fans will be able to experience this comic from 1993 once again without paying around $120 on Ebay. One could say that Viz has made a real... link to the past. The adaptation of the classic SNES title features artwork by Shotaro Ishinomori, a prolific manga artist best known for essentially inventing the transforming super hero genre. Basically anything that remotely resembles Power Rangers exists because of this guy. The Nintendo Power comic follows the same general storyline as the video game, but adds more characters and twists in the plot. Also, Link talks. The republished Nintendo Power run will be available May 5 through Viz Media. If anyone is intrigued by this, it is worth pointing out that Viz has also published ten other manga adaptations of Legend of Zelda games by Akira Himekawa including: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Phantom Hourglass, Four Swords Adventures, and a different version of A Link to the Past. View full article
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