The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker HD review

Set Sail for a glorious HD remake.

Platform: Wii U

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Score: 9.5

Remakes are often a great thing for the gaming industry, they allow developers to provide an experience that has been previously enjoyed by many before but also fill space between major releases. A better part about these remakes is that new players get to experience the game for the first time and receive the best version of the game. Developers also get to use this chance to fix any issues that both the developers themselves and the general public had with the game and add anything that they feel could improve the game, as is the case with Wind Waker.

The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker was already an amazing game on the GameCube with plenty of features going for it that just made it fun. Arguably one of the most iconic features of Wind Waker was its presentation, the beautiful mixture presented by the cel-shaded cartoon-like characters mixed with the beauty of the cel-shaded landscape that existed upon the great sea. It was hard to believe it could get any more beautiful but yet this HD remake has added so much to the look and feel of the game. The skies and the oceans have never looked better, providing beautiful blue textures to the world. Most of the time it was almost impossible to not just stop and sweep around to look at the beauty of the world’s many islands, flowing oceans and fluffy clouds.

For the full review head over to Gameluster.com, you can find more reviews, news and opinion pieces by myself and a series of far better writers for you to read there. Or to more precise you can find the full review of this game here.

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask review

Platform: Nintendo 64, Wii Virtual Console

Year: 2000

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Score: 9

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask is one of the most highly regarded entries in the Zelda franchise, highly regarded by the many fans of the game for the ideas that it provided and the interesting story elements. In a sense another source of Majora’s Masks popularity in the present day is perhaps somewhat similar to that of how the fanbase views many of the games in the franchise, while initially the game provides hate upon release because of its ideas or even length, it grows with the ages just like what has happened with Wind Waker and will inevitably happen with Skyward Sword. In my own view Majora’s Mask has not changed and remains the same brilliant game it started as upon original release.

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Majora’s Mask follows on from where Ocarina of Time let us off. The games opening sees Link on a journey through the Lost Woods trying to find a friend, presumably Navi who parted ways with our hero at the end of his previous journey. During this time Link encounters the Skull Kid who steals his horse and Link gives chase somehow winding up in another world. In this world known as Termina the world faces an imminent danger of a falling moon and Link has to save it, the only problem is that Link has been transformed into a Deku Scrub and must find a way to return to being human before it is to late.

Majora’s Mask is a very different game to many of the franchises other entries and at no point does this  appear to be a bad thing, while many other Zelda games have put a focus on exploring every little inch of the games world Majora’s Mask does not have that focus. Right from the get go you are immediately focused on your goal of the time attempting to complete a certain objective within a small space of time. This mainly comes from Majora’s Masks interesting time mechanic, while other Zelda games have literally allowed hours of freedom to explore Majora’s Mask provides you with three days to achieve your goal and save the world.

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What makes this interesting is that you have only these three days to try to complete dungeons and bring order back to all of Termina. The problem with this however is that it is impossible to complete the game on the three day parameter, but this is where the time mechanic from Ocarina of Time comes in allowing you to return back to the dawn of the first day in order to have the three days to achieve your goal. This idea is where the game truly gets to become both interesting and frustrating, frustrating because of all your progress being erased essentially but interesting because of what it allows for.

For those concerned dungeon completion still remains and so you can continue onto the next area the only frustrating part is just how pushed you are to get through the dungeon as well as how to get into the dungeon. Interestingly while I may have said Majoras Mask is more focused by its time mechanic it does sort of allow a sense of freedom in how you approach your days. It becomes your choice if you want to attempt to get into the next dungeon on that day, want to start completing the objectives that can’t be removed by rewinding time or just hang around Clock Town. What you do with these three days is truly up to you and in some cases even spending a day doing reconnaissance on an area to get the best results on a future day is a great use of time, I recall spending many days exploring areas to get more information on that area as well as spending my time waiting for specific times to complete side objectives.

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This was one of the great things about Majora’s Masks world it deals with a lot of my issues with the Zelda franchise or games in general. I have often complained about how the characters in some of these games feel lifeless or that I may as well be constantly walking through a barren city, Majora’s Mask fixes this issue thanks to its time idea that gives each character a personality and a set criteria of what they are doing through each day. They each have a point and are actually interesting to follow the story of throughout the cycle and the game accepts that and even in a sense promotes it with its other big idea of masks.

Scattered throughout Majora’s Mask are a series of different masks each containing there own set of shall we see less then helpful abilities, not to  be critical but most of the masks have no actual point or even a purpose in the game itself apart from at the very end. Sure I will admit I did have some fun playing with a small selection of them from time to time mostly while I was spending five minutes remembering what I was doing or going to do on that cycle.

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Not all the masks are essentially useless as throughout the game you acquire three masks that play a critical part in the story and help you to make your way through the game.  These masks bestow upon you special powers that allow you to go through areas otherwise inaccessible by regular Link, the Deku Scrub has the ability to jump high and hover by using flowers, the Goron is powerful and can plow through incoming hazards, and finally the Zora allows you to swim to great depths and stay underwater. Each transformation is a key part of a certain dungeon in the game and becomes a key part of making it through the game, as well as offering different types of characters to allow further developed puzzle solving regarding each characters separate abilities as well as each being fun and highly enjoyable in their own way.

To date Majora’s Mask is one of the best Zelda games to date and features some of the best ideas that the franchise has ever known. still for how great Majora’s Mask is the notable issues remain such as how pointless most of the games masks are. But even with this Majora’s Mask is fun and if any Zelda game is worth playing it is definitely this one. The only thing left to say is that Nintendo needs to stop teasing us with references to this game and just do the remake now to satisfy myself, the fans and newcomers with an updated game. The main thing I find interesting though is that the game had only a year in development and the game is incredible considering that it was made in a year.

Hyrule Warriors Direct, official roundup

Here is the statement for today’s Nintendo Direct from Nintendo for you to read if you so choose:

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Video game fans will get the chance to play as the baddest bad guy of The Legend of Zelda video game series. Ganondorf, nemesis of Link and aspiring Triforce owner, will become a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming Hyrule Warriors video game, which launches Sept. 26 for the Wii U home console. Nintendo revealed new information about Hyrule Warriors during a Nintendo Direct video. To view the Nintendo Direct in its entirety, visit http://www.nintendo.com/nintendo-direct.

Hyrule Warriors combines two classic video game franchises, The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors, and challenges players to face off against hordes of enemies in epic battles. Some of the information discussed in the Nintendo Direct included:

Adventure Mode: Players are faced with a grid of challenges that looks like the map from The Legend of Zelda on NES. Completing each challenge unlocks a new region of the map, and with it, a new level of Adventure Mode. Certain characters and weapons can only be unlocked in Adventure Mode.
Costumes: Club Nintendo members who buy and register Hyrule Warriors within four weeks of launch will receive a set of alternate Ganondorf costumes as free in-game downloadable content. More details will be made available on http://club.nintendo.com. For certain other characters, Nintendo will make downloadable alternate costumes available as pre-order bonuses from select retailers in North America. Nintendo will announce more information about how to get these cosmetic add-ons in the future.
Playable Characters: In addition to Ganondorf, players can opt to play as various characters from The Legend of Zelda universe. Each character carries his or her own specialty weapons: Link (Hylian Sword), Princess Zelda (Rapier), Impa (Giant Blade), Midna (Shackle), Sheik (Harp), Agitha (Parasol), Darunia (Hammer), Princess Ruto (Zora Scale), Zant (Scimitar), Fi (Goddess Blade), Ghirahim (Demon Blade) and Lana (Book of Sorcery).
Weapons: A Chain Chomp will make a guest appearance as a weapon. As the story advances, new weapons will become available to some characters, such as the Magic Rod for Link, the Baton for Zelda and Spear for Lana. Weapons have special abilities called Skills that increase attack damage, or perhaps increase the chance of finding Hearts. Filling the Focus Spirit magic gauge will temporarily increase a character’s abilities and help to mow down huge numbers of enemies. And Bombchus are back, just bigger and more explosive.
Game Play: Players can level their characters up to increase HP and attack skill, or they can grab materials dropped by defeated monsters to craft Badges to increase a weapon’s number of attacks, create longer combos or extend Focus Spirit time.
Co-Op Mode: Two players can play a local co-op match, with one player looking at the TV and the other looking at the Wii U GamePad controller. Single players can also play on the TV, or using only the GamePad in off-TV play.
Locations: Players will face down hordes of enemies in familiar locations, such as Skyloft from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Lake Hylia from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Twilight Field from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Classic Zelda Elements: Players will recognize items from their favorite Zelda games, including bombs, arrows and a Hookshot. The game is filled with familiar Zelda staples, such as Cuccos, Rupees, Gold Skulltulas and plenty of grass cutting.
For more information about Hyrule Warriors, visit http://zelda.com/hyrule-warriors.

Adventure mode announced for Hyrule Warriors

Remember that really great overworld presented in the original Legend of Zelda game and just how many screens it went over. Well the idea of the overworld is set for implementation into Hyrule Warriors. The goal presented by the overworld is to start at one point of the map and complete objectives to be able to unlock the entire map of course each segment of the map places you in a battle set in the Hyrule Warriors world and having to complete set objectives in that area as part of the battle such as defeat 300 enemies in 10 minutes. Adventure mode sounds like a while lot of fun with a whole lot to do and plenty to achieve as well as the added addition of further longevity to the game.

Lets just hope Hyrule Warriors is actually fun so this mode actually has a use but either way it does sound good and will surely be a good showing of side content.

 

Ganondorf is set to kick butt in Hyrule Warriors

It has been confirmed that Ganondorf the constant seeker of power, master of evil and there are just so many other things is coming to fight alongside Link and friends in the upcoming Hyrule Warriors, he has put aside his issues and obviously realised that he needs to assist the forces of light with dispensing this new great evil. He is even back having finally reached the infamous Super Saiyan 3 form and that should make him stronger then ever, well actually that is a joke and is merely a reference to the fact that he has the hairstyle of a Super Saiyan 3 from Dragon Ball Z only red. But yes jokes aside we actually get to play as Ganondorf as part of Hyrule Warriors and use him to complete missions and save the kingdom from the big enemy that is actually worse then Ganondorf.

Surely with Ganondorf’s skill set he should be quite a great character to play as and try to use throughout the game. He surely is one of the best choices that could be made to play as and offers a lot of potential to players.

Hyrule Warriors Direct rundown

It may be a bit late but the Hyrule Warriors Nintendo Direct has come and gone and has been streamed directly to us to be implanted in our brains and now I have a complete rundown of what was shown during the Nintendo Direct presentation plus I will add the actual presentation video for those who want to see it.

Here is the Direct for your enjoyment:

Here is the complete rundown of the presentation:

NPC characters will fight alongside player characters, occasionally engaging in situational dialogue
Many gameplay elements are inspired from The Legend of Zelda series, such as the opening chest animation, puzzle solving theme etc.
Rocks can be used to destroy terrain and attack enemies
The map is made up of “Keeps” – blue Keeps represent player controlled areas and red represent enemy areas. What Keeps players own will play a strategic role in the flow of the game
King Dodongo shown – Another Zelda convention will be followed in-game. Example given was newly acquired bombs being used to defeat this boss
Many familiar Legend of Zelda items will be making a return – arrows to attack distant enemies, climb walls with the hook shook, bombs, boomerang etc.
Gohma shown, with the weak spot of his open eye. Again raises the point of using items (in this instance, the bow) adds a strategic layer to the gameplay
Cuckoos in Hyrule Warriors will come after you if you accident hit them. In certain situations they can be quite useful,
Cutting grass – much like in previous Zeldas, you can find hearts, rupees and other object
Skulltulas are in Hyrule Warriors – players will be led to them by sound and will grant various unlockables
Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword costume sets will be available as pre-order bonuses from certain retailers

Playable Characters

Link – Signature weapon is 1 handed sword, well rounded and easily accessible. Has his famous spin attack
Zelda – Signature weapon is a rapier, fast and furious attacks to defeat enemies. Has Arrows of Light for distant enemies
Impa – Signature weapon is a giant blade, wide attack range. Acts and talks like a Samurai
Sheik – Signature weapon is a harp, speedy fighter in battle
Darunia – Signature weapon is a giant hammer, uses brute force to knock back enemies
Ruto – Signature weapon is a Zora scale, can change the ground to water to travel from place to place
Midna – Signature weapon is her hair, the shackle
Agitha – Signature weapon is her parasoul, but also dynamically attacks enemies with insects
Zant – Signature weapon is his schimitar, which he swings around but can also summon various things
Fi – Signature weapon is her Goddess Blade, attacks as if she’s dancing. Can also transform herself into a blade
Ghirahim – Signature weapon is his Demon Blade, just like in Skyward Sword he will be a savant in sword play
Lana – Signature weapon is her book of sorcery. Key character in the story, can summon objects, traps or just direct attack opponents
Characters level up through defeating enemies in battle
Defeating certain monsters will drop materials that can be used to craft badges. Badges alter characters stats, everything from the number of a weapons attacks, combo lengths, Focus Spirit length etc.
Ganon teased as a playable character as well, signature weapon is his Demon Swords
Demon King Costume set will be available for Ganon for Club Nintendo members, inspired by his Ocarina of Time incarnation

Weapons

Other weapons will be unlockable as you progress through the story
Fire Rod for Link, Wind Waker for Zelda, Spear with the power of a Deku Tree for Lana were the examples given
Each character has special attacks that allow you to defeat a lot of enemies at once
Focus Spirit is a mechanic that will temporarily increase your character’s abilities and uses the magic gauge, is active once the gauge is filled
Bomb Chus – Huge in Hyrule Warriors, no longer mouse sized
Chain Chomp – Originally from the Mario universe but found his way into the Zelda universe. Now a usable weapon in Hyrule Warriors
Some weapons have special abilities called ‘ skills’ – do everything from increasing attack damage to increasing the chance of finding a heart
Fusing weapons increases the weapon’s skills
Drop rates are tied into difficulty of missions
Moon from Majora’s Mask – Can be used as a weapon, if the player hookshots the moon, can be pulled down to the ground to hit enemies

Stages

Stages will be inspired by but a little different to what players remember
Skyloft, Lake Hylia, Twilight Field shown, mainly from Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword

Adventure Mode

Inspired by classic Legend of Zelda, will be a hybrid of classic Legend of Zelda gameplay with Hyrule Warriors
Features a map, each block will take you into the game to play
As you defeat blocks, you unlock adjacent ones on the overworld
You’re able to search, which brings back a 2D Zelda for the player to find new treasure to help in battle
Progressing through Adventure Mode will unlock new characters and the mode features some weapons only available to Adventure Mode

Co-op Mode

Instead of splitting TV screen, one player will get TV and the other will get the Gamepad
In order 2 process both screens, had slightly reduced resolution compared to single player
Off TV mode will also be available in single player

Online cooperative play not happening in Hyrule Warriors

What is disappointing news for some is actually often joyous news for others and as is the case with Hyrule Warriors many of us were expecting a form of online cooperative play with people around the world in a similar fashion to how some things are achieved in Ubisofts Splinter Cell Blacklist in a selection of missions, that idea never worked by the way. The news that online co-op won’t be available in Hyrule Warriors is actually a blessing and will be a benefit for the game even if others disagree. It has been revealed that cooperative play will be exclusive to local play with a friend in the same room by the official Hyrule Warriors Twitter Account.

On a side note this does leave what kind of online functionality the game is going to have unknown for the foreseeable future, however we do know that Hyrule Warriors will at least feature a form of online functionality for some purpose of the actual game, but again I reiterate that no online cooperative play is a good thing and should make battles go a whole lot smoother being able to communicate with your friend or family sitting next to you and the antics you two can get up to will be far improved.

New Nintendo Direct/ Hyrule Warriors Direct coming Monday

We knew there was going to be a new Nintendo Direct eventually however I was expecting that we would see one that talks about multiple games including a release date for Super Smash Brothers on the Wii U as well as a Majora’s Mask remake. Instead this Monday we will be seeing a Nintendo Direct fully dedicated to Hyrule Warriors which should provide us with all the key details in the game including characters, worlds and the full story.

Nintendo of America confirmed that the presentation will be held at 11 PM ET / 8 PM PT. So look forward to the presentation next Monday for some key details on Hyrule Warriors if the Smash Brothers Direct a few months back was any indication this Hyrule Warriors Direct should be great.

Is Link dead in Majora’s Mask (Game Theory video from Youtube)

Last week I published an editorial that looked at how games stories are extended by the form of many of them being open to interpretation, how the idea pushes our connection or understanding with the games world and makes us care or just understand more of what befall the world. Of course many games over the years have had ideas that are open to interpretation and more so I believe we can reference The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask as the big game to note for having ideas that are open to interpretation. The constant reference made impact the five stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance and the guys over at game theory actually created an interesting theory about Link being dead and the ideas explored in the game being Link coming to terms with his own demise. While me and many others have our own theories on the world I can’t deny that there is definitely some solid evidence given in this video so come take a look.

Zelda Wii U is set “in an open world without barriers”

If any of us thought The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds meant big changes for the future of the Zelda franchise with all the different ways the game changed up the formula from any and all past games in the franchise with the ability of renting items during the adventure and using that to have freedom in how you chose to attempt dungeons. if that was the case then we should definitely be expecting big things with the upcoming Zelda game for the Wii U, during E3 we were told that Zelda U is set to provide a whole lot more freedom then past Zelda games with an entire world and beyond to explore freely, in a place that I only can feel is reminiscent of Skyrim or Kingdoms of Amalur. Outside all the information we have previously known a small little blurb has appeared on the Japanese Nintendo website which holds a little bit of details about the upcoming Zelda game on the Wii U.

It states, “In an endless world without barriers, the biggest one in the series yet, Link will encounter new mysteries and tough enemies”. On another note some have also slightly mistranslated some of what the blurb says and have reported a new villain will also appear.

Either way it is good to know the world will be all about freedom and I can explore as I see fit, I also hope that this freedom carries over to the dungeons as well and we get to visit dungeons in any order we see fit. But I still wouldn’t care if the dungeons were scripted and had to be accomplished in this specific order as the world itself is full of new adventure for me to take on and challenging new puzzles that go along with it and I can’t wait.