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So E3 is underway just now in Los Angeles and one game in particular that I've been waiting for updates on is the new Zelda title, now officially called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A trailer video has been released for it:
I'm a big Zelda fan. I've played nearly all the games - Majora's Mask being my all-time favourite - and the series is long overdue for a new console title. The game has been delayed several times, but that just made me more excited because the last Zelda game that was kept in development this long was Ocarina of Time, and we all saw how well that turned out. This game will bridge the Wii U and NX, just as Twilight Princess bridged the Gamecube and Wii. Breath of the Wild has a lot of potential, but it hits its first snag with a bizarre plot synopsis:
Link awakens from a deep sleep, and a mysterious voice guides him to discover what has become of the ruined Kingdom of Hyrule. Link meets an old man and learns from him that 100 years prior, a great evil known as the Calamity Ganon rose up and laid waste to Hyrule. Unable to be defeated, he was sealed within Hyrule Castle while the ruins of the land were ravaged by nature over time. Although trapped, the Calamity Ganon has continued to grow in power, and Link must defeat him before he is set free and destroys the world.
That basically amounts to "An old man told Link that Ganon destroyed Hyrule, so now he has to defeat Ganon before he destroys Hyrule." What?!
Skipping that, let's take a look at the trailer. We've learned that the game will feature a non-linear open world where dungeons are integrated more naturally into Hyrule instead of being confined levels. It creates a more believable environment and lends itself to a much larger overworld with stunning vistas that remind me of Shadow of the Colossus. Link can traverse the land with greater ease, and horseback riding has been improved. This all sounds swell, right? Unfortunately, the game is also loaded with problems....
First off, the graphics are atrocious. BotW seems to share its genes with Skyward Sword, which tried to enhance the cel-shaded style of Wind Waker before it. Nintendo wanted to create a more colourful environment for players, but this nu-cel-shading results in oversatured textures with low detail. The horse that shows up at 1:14 is disastrously bland, almost as if Nintendo forgot to texture it. Hell, even the original Zelda Wii U trailer from four years ago looked better than this! This game is meant to be a launch title for a next-gen console, yet it still falls far behind triple-A titles from other developers like Naughty Dog and Rocksteady Studios on the current generation. If Nintendo want to keep the game looking vibrant, there are better ways to achieve this. Take a look at this demo video for an Ocarina of Time update:
So yeah, the game is an eyesore, and I'm not keen on Link's new design either. I thought Link just borrowed that blue tunic from his Wind Waker predecessor for the earlier teaser, but now it's starting to look like his default attire. The colour and lack of hat feel amiss. Moreover, the game stops every time you grab a treasure to display a text box about it. This was one of the most annoying things about Skyward Sword, and I'm appalled that it returns in BotW.
But here's the most interesting thing about the trailer: Someone speaks! It's only brief, but you hear a woman (Zelda?) telling Link to wake up. Now full voice-acting is something I've advocated for a long time in Zelda games. It's a feature that I feel would enrich Link's adventure by imbuing the characters with more personality using memorable voices and incidental dialogue. This article explains the potential it has in great detail. However... I'm worried that the voice might be just for the trailer. During the gameplay stream, Link encounters a guru that communicates through text boxes. If Nintendo resort to that outdated system.... I'm done. I'm simply done with this game. I refused to play Star Fox Zero because I was outraged that Nintendo threw away its continuity and rebooted the series (again!), and I'll be just as outraged if they go back to text boxes for a 2017 game instead of blessing the series with the voice-acting it deserves. Text boxes in a 3D Zelda were acceptable back on the N64, but it's high-time Nintendo embraced modern standards of presentation in games. Sadly, the terrible graphics don't make me very optimistic, and I'm worried that the Zelda series might be stuck in the past while The Last of Us, Uncharted and Tomb Raider show the world how to truly immerse players. Prove me wrong, Nintendo.....
Master of Disguise
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
Glitcher was born on a faraway planet of peace and beauty. But this existence was short-lived when the planet's star went nova, and Glitcher's parents placed him in a special pod that carried him through deep space where he crash-landed on Earth. There he discovered that the Sun's yellow rays gave him superhuman powers, including enhanced artistic talent and an uncanny knack for criticism. When his adopted parents were killed in an accident, Glitcher swore that he would only use his powers.... for evil.
Favorite visual artistToo many to pick. Just check my friends list.Favorite moviesTransformers: The MovieFavorite TV showsTron Uprising, Avatar, The Legend of Korra, The Looney Tunes Show, 80's cartooonsFavorite bands / musical artistsJean Michel Jarre and Mike OldfieldFavorite booksFoundation, the Robots series, Dragon's Blood, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, 1984Favorite writersIsaac AsimovFavorite gamesZelda: Majora's MaskFavorite gaming platformPC. It emulates everything. :pTools of the TradePhotoshop CS5, openCanvas 5.5 and SAI 1.2Other InterestsCollecting as many Transformers as I can get my grubby Pikachu mitts on.