Tag Archives: Zelda

DeNA and the future of Nintendo

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This morning, Nintendo made two major announcements, one was their partnership with Japanese Mobile App developer, DeNA, pronounced DNA. The next was revealing a codename of a new piece of Nintendo hardware called NX.

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So what is this partnership with DeNA about? Nintendo has given the rights of their IPs accessible to DeNA. Meaning that DeNA can make mobile versions of Mario, Zelda, Metroid, or any other Nintendo franchise onto Android and iOS platforms. Continue reading

GreatBitVlog 13: They’re selling N64 Jumper Paks?

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Time for some catch up, seeing as I appear to still be bad at organising this blog! In Today’s Vlog I talk about something weird I noticed today when I found a charity shop selling an N64 Jumper Pak. The thing you use in order to boot up the console, you only ever remove it if you’re installing an Expansion Pak into your system. But after a bit of talking to people on Twitter it turns out that some retailers where known to remove jumper paks out of pre-owned N64 systems!

Not only that, I talk a bit about the announced Zelda Netflix TV show, Persona 5, and an awesome modded PS1 with a model of Final Fantasy VII’s Midgar on the top of it! Continue reading

I don’t want to get Hyrule Warriors!!!

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Here’s another Vlog I recorded about Hyrule Warriors: The next Zelda game coming out in a months time. Sure I like Zelda games, but this isn’t really a “Zelda Game”, it’s a Dynasty Warriors game crossed-over with the Zelda franchise.

So will I be stupid and buy this game for Zelda’s sake, or will I be sensible and deny purchasing a Dynasty Warriors game!? Continue reading

Nintendo Direct 18/Dec/13

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 Nintendo did their live “Nintendo Direct” video today at 2PM GMT. I missed it as I was doing Christmas shopping. But when I got back home I found a whole bunch of stuff waiting for me on Facebook and Kotaku. So let’s have a look at them…

The first thing I saw was the announcement of Super Mario Galaxy’s Princess Rosalina is to be included as a playable character in Super Smash Bros for WiiU and 3DS. As much as I like the idea of more female characters to be added in the roster, personally I could name some better characters to add, like Impa from Zelda, though to be honest there’s already a crap ton of Zelda characters in Smash Bros anyway, maybe Paula from Earthbound, or Mona from WarioWare. Continue reading

Manual-less games are for real now!

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So, I received my copy of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds early (I have ways to get games early and I’m not going to tell anyone how I do it!), I open it up to discover something I wouldn’t expect Nintendo to do in a hundred years. Give up on manuals!

What you receive is the typical advertisement and disclaimer leaflets, but you receive this too; a multi-language piece of folded up paper describing to you where you can find the digital manual in the 3DS main menu. Continue reading

An incy, teenie, weenie, tiny, bit more faith in Nintendo… Sort of…

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So yeah, as the year comes to a close, Nintendo hasn’t done terribly well. The Wii U is a bit of a flop, and I have hardly purchased any more games for my 3DS, even though I should go and get myself a copy of Fire Emblem Awakening, I just don’t have any “drive” to go out and purchase anything Nintendo related; despite being a big Nintendo fan. Something that has bothered me a little is how Nintendo has treated the Super Mario franchise recently, rather than try something new and refreshing, they’re simply “rehashing” the game in sequels. Out of eight Mario titles that have been released in the last five years, only three of them have been original. Those being Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Bros, and Mario 3D Land. Since then there has been a Mario Galaxy 2, three more New Super Mario Bros, and an upcoming Super Mario 3D World being released on a console that’s not made for a stereoscopic 3D screen; kind of ironic really… Continue reading

E3 Stuff Part 5 “It’s a me, Nintendo!”

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Due to the fact that I have a full time job, and I was unaware of the E3 dates, I totally missed the 3PM Nintendo E3 conference. However I was able to sneak a few times out of my manager’s field of view to skim-read live blogs talking about the Nintendo Direct show. And Here it goes… Continue reading

Impressions and a peek at Hyrule Historia

OK, if you haven’t kept up with Stalking the Retro, RetroGaming Round up and my Twitter, you wouldn’t have known that I was a little excited about a certain Nintendo Art book…

I just made a #PreOrder for Hyrule Historia on @amazon
— Great Bit Blog (@GreatBitBlog) January 20, 2013

Check out what I got today! @nintendo #HyruleHistoria #ShigeruMiyamoto #EijiAomuna twitter.com/GreatBitBlog/s…
— Great Bit Blog (@GreatBitBlog) January 28, 2013

Oh yeah! I was a very lucky boy today and received my copy of Hyrule Historia almost a week before I was expecting to receive it! Not only that, but I didn’t even pay for Amazon’s overnight shipping, I went with their free five day delivery, yet I still receive the book a day before actual retail release!

A book for the fans. OK OK it’s not the £40 leather bound version, but it will still be a piece of history!
Open the book and you see the ancient mural seen in Skyward Sword. 

There are plenty of pictures and artwork from the Skyward Sword game. This itself almost takes up a third of the book!
The many faces of Link. Remember kiddies, there are more than one Link.
The famous “Official Zelda Time Line” Page on the right.
Shigeru’s Early art for the NES/Famicom Legend of Zelda.
Amazing colour sketches of the NES game’s concept art. I’ve never seen these before!
The art for Zelda in “Link to the Past” that shows the unused Futuristic Zelda.
The Story behind Ocarina of Time.
The Story behind Link to the past.
Details about the DS games and “New Hyrule”. I never got the beat Phatom Hourglass, and I didn’t get myself a copy of Spirit Tracks; maybe I should get myself a copy to learn more about “New Hyrule”.
The many-many different versions of Midna seen in Twilight Princess.
An article about Eiji Aonuma (The game’s producer) near the end of the book.
The Zelda Manga at the back of the book, remember kids, to read Manga, you read right to left!

The impression I got from the book is simply this, “This is the Zelda Fan’s book!”. It’s comprehensive, (despite most of the book is based on the latest game, Skyward Sword.), BIG! It has more than 270 pages with each page a little bigger than an A4 sheet of paper, and each sheet is glossy and thick, the quality of the book itself is very high and the hard cover itself feels like it can take a beating. Not only does this book show art work, it’s a descent history book that explains it’s confusing continuity very well, not only with it’s explained time line chart, but in the written articles for each game too. It’s nice to see artwork from characters  scenes, and levels that were not used in the games. The unused “Future Zelda” from Link to the Past was very interesting, the many faces of Midna from Twilight Princess, and all the characters seen from the DS games that I have yet to play stir my curiosity for the franchise even more than before. Even if maybe you’re not a Zelda fan, or maybe you haven’t played a Zelda game before, this book is still worth getting just to see the artwork and the amount of work that went into the Zelda franchise. It’s a definite purchase and read for any gamer!

SO MUCH NEWS!

OK, I can’t understand how in one day SO MUCH HAPPENS IN THE GAMING WORLD! …I better report on it!
*Insert Inception “BOW” sound here*
First off, details about the PlayStation4/Orbis came out today revealing some specifications and details about accounts and the next PlayStation controller.
Here were a few specs that were announced today…
  • System Memory: 8GB
  • Video Memory: 2.2 GB
  • CPU: 4x Dual-Core AMD64 “Bulldozer” (so, 8x cores)
  • GPU: AMD R10xx
  • Ports: 4x USB 3.0, 2x Ethernet
  • Drive: Blu-Ray
  • HDD: 160GB
  • Audio Output: HDMI & Optical, 2.0, 5.1 & 7.1 channels
OK…  8 Gigs of RAM, check, my PC has that, 2.2 gigs of Video memory, impressive, that’s twice as much memory than what’s on my PC’s graphics card. 8 core processor, wasn’t the “Cell processor” an 8 core anyway…?
…But here’s the interesting bit, the GPU is an AMD R10xx, there isn’t a lot said about this GPU, but from what I’ve read it appears that it can share GPU time from the main processor, and if requested, the CPU can get more time from the GPU. Meaning that load balancing between graphics and maths can be met even if More maths, or more graphics are required.
What’s this in layman terms? Well, it simply means that the machine could potentially do a lot more than what it says on paper. AMD created a CPU, called the APU, where cores could switch between a CPU, for maths, or a GPU, for graphics. But what the R10xx is either boost the CPU speed, for times when you need more processing power, but in turn, the CPU can assist the graphics card for when really intense graphics come in and the GPU alone might not be able to handle. This means that the hardware in the PS4/Orbis might have some potential to a great deal of stuff, even when it doesn’t look so great on paper.
Plus there’s news and rumours about what the next PlayStation controller might be like. What’s been speculated at the moment (yes it’s not quite official yet) is that it’ll have an Ouya style track pad in the middle of the controller, and that it will have a built in memory for user accounts, meaning that purchased games are not going to be tied down to a console, rather they’ll be tied to a controller. Meaning you can take your controller to your friend’s house and play your PSN purchases on his/her PS4/Orbis without account complications.
Xbox 720: New name, turbo specs and a tablet revealed!
The Gadget Show announced details about the next XBox, and it’s just called “XBox”…  Yeah, what’s what it says in the article. Let’s just hope we don’t confuse this new XBox with the original 2002 XBox… It’s been confirmed that the “New XBox” will run a system that’s based on Windows 8 (really now?) and uses an AMD 8 core processor (Oh really now! funny that, so is PS4!).

According to The Gadget Show, Microsoft’s Illumi Room technology, which was shown off at CES a week a go, will be used in the “New XBox”. Illumi Room is a technology where by using projectors, you can increase the size of the game screen to the whole room, or use more subtle effects such as red flashes when you get shot in a first person shooter.

The “New Xbox” (I’m getting sick of calling it that by the way), isn’t going to be the only piece of gaming hardware from the next generation Microsoft hardware. It’s been rumoured that Microsoft is building a gaming tablet called the “X Surface” in similar vein to the Microsoft Surface, will be another Windows 8 based tablet that works in conjunction with the “New XBox” either for media controls or Wii-U style game play.

…Seriously, I’m not getting a new XBox, Microsoft can suck Xbox Live, seriously…

So, the trifecta of gaming news ends with Nintendo, as they announce new games for the Wii-U on their latest Nintendo Direct that was broadcasted this morning.

Nintendo is celebrating the Famicom’s thirty year anniversary by releasing a Wii-U “Gamepad-i-fied” virtual console game each month for the dirt cheap price of 30 cents.

UPDATE: The 30 cents offer works as a 30 day rental, after 30 days, the game expires, you you have the choice of purchasing it or not. But users who own the Wii version of the virtual console game can purchase the GamePad-i-fied version at a discounted price of 99 cents.

Yes, it does mean that you’ll have to download a new version of a Virtual console game after buying so many for the Wii. But for 30 cents it’s not TOO bad, it’s just a shame that they can’t just upgrade all your Virtual console games to have GamePad support for 30 cents a game. Guess you can’t win all the time huh?

Each month, Nintendo will release a single Wii-U-i-fied virtual console game with GamePad support each month, starting with Balloon Fight for this month of January. Personally I’d rather see more games, but for 30 cents a game, maybe Nintendo is seeing the whole iOS/Android 99 cents games as being a big deal and wants to join the Apps bandwagon.

More details on Bayonetta 2 were announced, such as a peep at Bayonetta’s new clothes and guns. New locations such as a Cyberpunk world and a broken down cathedral. I loved the first game, and if there’s a game that might get me to buy a Wii-U it might very well be this one!

A Shin Megami Tensei – Fire Emblem crossover!? I so didn’t see this coming?! Not a lot of details about this one, though it would be interesting to see how they match these two franchises…

Titled “X”, this is Monolith Soft’s (the creators of XenoGears and XenoBlade) next game for the Wii-U. They haven’t announced if this is, or not a sequel to Xenoblade on the Wii. But looks at the game’s HUD and combat, it’s clearly a sequel, and I’m kind of excited for it!

Eiji Aonuma has announced that he’s working on a high definition version of Zelda Wind Waker for Wii-U. Adding a lot of detail with light and textures, and it looks very pretty! Mind you Wind Waker isn’t the best game in the Zelda franchise, but it isn’t the worst either. It’ll be nice if they add more content in this version such as new dungeons and temples, as Shigeru Miyamoto didn’t have a chance to truly finish working on Wind Waker.

Update: Here’s the full Nintendo Direct video that was broadcast this morning.

So yeah, lots of console news and talk today! So much in one day! It’s like super early E3! Hope you like what you’ve heard today. Write down any comments below and I might reply to them!

Why play a Zelda or a Final Fantasy game?

Today I got an interesting question from Vipp in the GameGavel/RetroGaming Roundup Forum…

I am listening to the Stalking The Retro Podcast and you were referring to RPG games again so I wanted to ask you a question. My Fiancée is determined that I am a fan of RPG games because I have 100% on Fallout 1 and 2 including both add-on packs also the same goes for the epic Skyrim, I love these games and play them (even past me 100 percent-ing them all) however I just can’t play or be entertained by Zelda and Final Fantasy or games like these.

What exactly is the difference between these types of games? I really can’t play Zelda and such titles even after trying to invest good time into them. Shinning Force on the Sega Mega Drive is the only title that I found the storyline to be good enough to keep me entertained long enough to fight a few battles but I had my ass handed to me by a set of flying goblins so my playing that title was short lived. Can you write a blog on this issue? Does everyone see Fallout style games in the same way they see the ‘underwhelming’ Final Fantasy Series and so on?
OK Mister Vipp, Challenge accepted!

You see, back in my Childhood days, all I would play are Mario games, and not a lot of anything else, …well I did have some Simpsons and Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles games, but those were franchises that I had already known from TV. I knew about other Nintendo games from my Friends, magazines and what they showed on TV, but I wasn’t hassling my parents to get those games, I wanted the all the Mario titles on my Game Boy and NES.

However, in my pre teen days, I started to have a curiosity about the other Nintendo Franchises. I was about 11, and I remember that I had saved up some money from my Birthday, and had kept it for a while, and back in these days, Mail order games were in the “in-thing”, and I remember seeing an advert in the Nintendo Magazine System for a mail order service, and they had “Zelda: Link’s Awakening” listed as one of the many GameBoy games they had, and I asked my Mother that if I gave her the money would she order it for me. So a cheque was sent in the post, and a week later I received my new game…

This was the version I got, the Nintendo Classics edition with it’s trade mark red border.

For me, this was delving into something that had mystery and uncertain concisenesses as I hardly played a Zelda game before, however I was in for a treat!

The game begins with an introduction with Link being caught at sea in a storm, and a lightening bolt hits him followed with an awesome musical score that got me pumping within seconds of turning the game on.
The game is pretty much like any other Zelda game, you collect items and weapons, sometimes dungeons might possess items or weapons that will progress you in the dungeon. But there are two major factors that made this game different to the others. It was the first Zelda game on a portable, and it was the first Zelda game where Zelda herself is no where to be seen…  …well there’s a girl who looks like Zelda, but her name is Marin. Plus, it’s the first Zelda game not to take place in Hyrule, the kingdom that Zelda games are typically based in. In The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, you find yourself on a deserted land called Kohlint Island with a great big giant egg perched on the top of a mountain.

What I enjoyed about the playing a Zelda Game for the first time was the great amount of puzzle, action, and exploration in the game. Before I even played a Zelda game, I did get a chance to play a Final Fantasy game, Mystic Quest on the SNES. Having now played a Zelda and a Final Fantasy game, I really had an appreciation for the Zelda franchise as I didn’t like the turn based battle system in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. I preferred being able to swing my sword instantly with a press of a button rather than stacking up a list of commands in a Final Fantasy. It felt like I was being Link, rather than being a person commanding battle tactics in Final Fantasy, I was the personally the protagonist, it’s story made you felt like you are Link and that your actions were your actions rather than just a sprite on a screen.

It took me a while before I started to enjoy a turn based battle system…

With the Final Fantasy games, it took me a while to really enjoy these kind of games, as I preferred the Zelda games more real time action approach to gameplay. The way I began to appreciate the Final Fantasy games was their stories and the on going progression that you make in the game as you slowly become stronger and stronger in the game. Sure it can feel like a choir, grinding to level up, but it has a simple life message behind it, working hard provides great results, and that’s what Final Fantasy and other turn based role playing games do.

After playing Mystic Quest, I had a chance to play a bit of Final Fantasy: Legend II on the GameBoy.
In the UK and Europe, the NES Final Fantasy games were not available, and the only Final Fantasy game we got on the SNES was Mystic Quest. However we did get the GameBoy games. I didn’t get to own these games until I started to get a job and get paid, but I used to baby sit a kid who owned Final Fantasy Legend II, and I would play it when he went to bed. This game is meant to be the better of the Final Fantasy Legend games, however I discovered later on that these Final Fantasy games aren’t based in the Final Fantasy Lore, rather they’re actually a different game all together as it’s called the SaGa Series in Japan. So Technically the only “Real” Final Fantasy game us Brits could play was Mystic Quest.
However…
…we did receive Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation!

I first played this game when I was in my Teens, just before it’s sequel, Final Fantasy VIII, was about to come out. At first I didn’t care too much about the game, but it was really a case of playing the game that got me into this.

Now granted… Final Fantasy VII is the most overrated and over-spoken version of the game, but it was the game that actually got me into the series, and finally made me like the turn based battle system. Not only that, but it was the first turn based role playing game whereby it had the Active Battle System in it. ABS was actually introduced in Final Fantasy IV, but us Brits didn’t get a chance to purchase this game. It was released in the US under the name Final Fantasy II, as the US missed Final Fantasy II and III on the NES, which would cause a huge continuity error in the future. But keeping to the subject, the ABS made turn based battling much more interesting as it kept a flow in combat that made it faster and more frantic than before, forcing you to make good decisions at quick speeds, because there’s a chance for the enemies to take two turns as you’re trying to make a decision on what kind of attack to make next.
Not only did the Active Battle System make turn based fighting batter, but Final Fantasy VII had a lot of world map exploration, that reminded me a lot of the Zelda series. But the biggest thing I liked about Final Fantasy VII is it’s bang to the buck! When I got this game in my possession, I actually got the PC version of it, I managed to clock about 60 hours into it until I beat the game. I don’t think I ever played a game for that amount of time before, proving that the game had A LOT to do in it. If it was breeding Gold Chocobos so that you can get the best Summon-able creature, looking for better weapons, working out combining magic to get the best results. It got you in and playing it for hours and hours. It’s a shame that these days I don’t play a single game for that amount of time.
But before I end this blog, I’ll write up a little about the main differences between the two games…

Continuity and Story

As the Legend of Zelda games always play the role of Link, Link himself might actually be of a different generation than the one in previous games, there can be hundreds of years between Zelda games, but the characters will appear again and again, as if there are many comings of these characters. The series itself has a little bit of a continuity issue, as games after Zelda 2: Link’s Adventure, never have a number, and made it hard to know where to put the games in a time line. In the book, Hyrule Historia, the Zelda time line was finally announced after many people and sites had their own ideas on what order the Zelda games come in. Before Hyrule Historia, people believed in something called “The Split time line”, where the time line would split into two lines after Ocarina of Time, and then different games would appear in each time line. However Hyrule Historia describes that there’s actually three splits after the Ocarina of time. It’s a little tough to explain this to someone who’s barely played a Zelda game before, but it’s worth playing them to understand how all the games are connected to each other.
In Final Fantasy, the continuity between games is hard because each game has a different story and world based on it. However some themes, characters and monsters are shared between them. Between Final Fantasy VI and IX there has been a pair of guards called Biggs and Wedge, these names were taken from the pilots in the Original Star Wars Trilogy. From the Japanese Final Fantasy II, a character called Cid, often seen as a captain piloting an air ship, has been seen in every Final Fantasy game since, but he’s been portrayed in different ways, such as age, attitude, and alignment, being either, good, bad or neutral.

Combat

As mentioned above, the Zelda and the Final Fantasy games have very different forms of combat, however combat does change and evolve in each successor. For example, the SNES “Link to the Past”, Link now has a curved swing on his sword rather than his basic thrust seen in the NES game. This is so that you can attack enemies coming at you from your diagonals. In the latest Zelda game, Skyward Sword, the Wii Motion Plus is used to achieve one-to-one sword combat that works very well, and introduces gameplay mechanics such as which way do you swing your sword to certain enemies and understanding attack patterns. 
In Final Fantasy, the ABS system was kept from Final Fantasy IV to Final Fantasy IX. In Final Fantasy X, they got rid of ABS, and went more for a traditional look on turn based combat like the first three Final Fantasy games on the NES/Famicom. However there’s a list on the upper right hand corner of the screen showing you a list of who’s turn is coming up, and this list might change due to different commands you make, they might take longer for you, or might cause the enemy to miss a turn, you could see this happen in the list. Final Fantasy XII had something called the Gambit System, where each Gambit you collected in the game aloud you to “program” the other characters in the game. In Final Fantasy XII, you had no direct control on other allies, however you would “program” them using these Gambits that gave them commands that would be performed under certain conditions. For example you can have “When Leader attacks an Enemy, then attacks Enemy“, where there’s a verb or noun in that command, you have a Gambit, and they would build up different commands you can build for other allies in the game.
So there you have it, there’s Zelda and Final Fantasy in a nutshell…  Sort of…
Vipp being a Shining Force and Fallout fan, I need to keep up with other Role Playing games myself. I did enjoy Fallout 3 a lot, though Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics are different games compared to 3. I actually own the original Fallout games, so I better try and get into them, I’ve only played about thirty minutes of Fallout 1 and 2, so I better give myself more time to play these classics in Vipp’s eyes. Plus I need to get into the Shining series too. I possess Shining in the Darkness and Shining Force, on the Mega Drive, PC and XBox 360 through the Ultimate Mega Drive Collection. I really should get myself to play those too!
I better start questing!

Update!

Whoops, I post this blog up and forgetting something! What games I should recommend to Vipp and other Zelda and Final Fantasy Virgins out there!
In the Zelda Series I would recommend Link’s Awakening, Ocarina of Time, and Skyward sword as good for newbies to get into the series.
I pick Link’s Awakening as it’s my introduction to the series, Ocarina of Time as it’s the most popular in the series, and Skyward Sword as it’s now the earliest game in the series’ history, not only that but uses motion control very well, possibly the best motion control in any game.
In the Final Fantasy Series I would recommend Mystic Quest, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy XIII.
 
I pick Mystic Quest, because it’s the best for Turn base combat newbies, as Mystic quest is an Entry level Role Playing game, good to learn turn based mechanics and rules. Final Fantasy VI as it’s my favourite Final Fantasy game with the best story in the series. Final Fantasy VII as it was the game that got me into Final Fantasy, it simplifies a lot of things such as not restricting magic to certain classes and characters, meaning any character could do almost everything, it was only the weapons and armour that was restricted. And I finally pick Final Fantasy XIII as it has a very different kind of battle system where you actively switch between different formations to achieve different results such as all out assault, healing, or a mixture of the two. A lot of people shit on the game for being too linear, but I actually liked the game, sure it’s not as good as VI, but it’s still a descent game in my opinion.