The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword file select theme leaked
November 9, 2011

Continuing the barrage of Zelda news, it has come to my attention that the Main Menu/File Select/Fairy Fountain (yadda, yadda, yadda) theme that will be featured in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has been leaked, and it’s positively beautiful.

As many of you undoubtedly know, Skyward Sword’s soundtrack is largely orchestrated – a first for the series – and we’ll be hoping that the rest of the score lives up to this cracker. Interestingly, it’s the only piece of music in the game actually composed by Koji Kondo – the man famed for his involvement in the series’ magical tunes. Give it a listen here.

 – Rory

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword features RPG-like upgrade system
July 23, 2011

After the release of Twilight Princess in 2006, famed videogame designer and Pope of Nintendo – Shigeru Miyamoto – famously said that it would be the last Zelda of its kind. At a time when people were unsure of the seemingly ‘new’ direction Nintendo were heading in, and of the consequent audiences they were attracting, many took the quote as a doomsday declaration for the series, speculating that Hyrule would be forever consigned to the history books, or to crappy spin-offs and peripheral pack-ins like Link’s Crossbow Training.

Other, more level-headed and less melodramatic fans took it to mean something altogether more positive in that Miyamoto was recognising something that Zelda fans had recognised years ago – Zelda needed to change. Wind Waker was, visually, a pleasant change from the usual greens and browns of Hyrule, but structurally it remained virtually identical to its predecessors. Skyward Sword  has promised to offer a somewhat different approach to overworld exploration and progression, with a central hub-world, somewhat akin to its DS brethren – Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.

Those games were certainly a departure from traditional Zelda fare, but the design choices inherent in these pocket-sized outings were likely made in the name of file size conservation and, primarily, tailoring the titles to the handheld experience. With Skyward Sword already offering a teen drama storyline, an orchestrated soundtrack and a brand new villain, what else does a console Zelda have to do to shake things up? Voice acting? Blood and gore? Multiplayer?

Nope, nuh-uh and not a chance; what Zelda has apparently been missing these past couple of years is an RPG-esque equipment upgrading system. In a recent hands-on demo with Gamespot, Bill Trinen of Nintendo of America let slip a few details about a leveling-up system that the game features.

They’ve built an entire upgrade system into the game. So for example, right now you can see that Link has his traditional shield, but he actually will get a lot of different shields in the game.

He will start off with a very basic one, and then as you fight enemies, you will recover kind of these treasures or artifacts that you can then use as resources to upgrade your items. And you can do that with your shield, you can do that with the beetle, and some of the other items that you have where you’re able to kind of combine your collection of rupees and your collection of resources and improve the items that you have.

Whether or not one of those ‘other items’ is Link’s sword is both unknown and doubtful. Additionally, whether this will be a somewhat pointless pursuit or an integral point of the game remains to be seen, but this, coupled with all the other innovations that Skyward Sword is bringing to the table keeps it at the tippety-top of gamers’ most anticipated releases of 2011.

– Rory

Aonuma – new Zelda title to be shown at E3
June 1, 2011

Eiji Aonuma – known for his extensive involvement in the Zelda series – has said that a new title in the flagship franchise will be announced next week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Calm down, calm down. It’s not going to be a console game; Nintendo surely wouldn’t show off a new console Zelda game before Skyward Sword even hits shelves, so I think we can confidently rule out a Zelda HD reveal for Project Café. Apparently, the game is related to the 25th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, and as such, it’s likely to be some sort of collection or ROM dump.

We heard inklings of a new Zelda game when Nintendo renewed their copyright for ‘Zelda Universe’ – many were hoping for a Zelda MMO, but it turned out to be the unofficial title of the franchise’s web portal.

A Link to the Past 3Danyone?

Source via GoNintendo

Sonic Generations coming to 3DS, and more
May 9, 2011

It’s been leaks galore recently, and Gamestop are making sure there’s no let up. A leaked release schedule had been holding a few interesting secrets with regards to certain games coming to certain platforms. Arguably the most interesting news to come from the list is that Sonic Generations will be dashing onto the 3DS. The game promises to offer mechanics from both the old-school Sonic platformers, and the newer 3D offerings. Such as werewolves.

Also on the list is a new title from Namco – Time Crisis 3DS. It appears that the arcade classic will be making an appearance on Nintendo’s handheld, but whether this will be a port of an existing title or a brand new entry is yet to be seen. Literally no information is available about the game as of yet, but it’s probably safe to assume that the game will feature either a control scheme akin to Point Blank DS – that is, you tap to shoot – or, more likely, that the game will make use of the 3DS’ gyro-sensors and/or cameras.

And last but by no means least, it looks like the gorgeous Rayman Origins will also be making its way onto the Wii and the Nintendo DS in some form before the year’s out. Thumbs up!

A ‘release date’ for Skyward Sword was also on the list – 1st November, 2011 – but it’s almost certainly the case that this is simply a placeholder date until retailers get official word from Nintendo.

– Rory

Skyward Sword’s GDC trailer music holds a little surprise
May 4, 2011

The Easter festivities may well be over, and the chocolate eggs all but devoured, but that hasn’t stopped Nintendo from extending their Lent loveliness for another couple of weeks; they’ve given us all another Easter Egg to feast on.

For us, The Legend of Zelda music always manages to strike home that buried sense of nostalgia with its beautiful arrangements and triumphant melodies. The Twilight Princess trailer music in particular pulled at the heartstrings, conjuring up long-buried memories of playing Ocarina of Time as a child. Skyward Sword’s GDC trailer music reminded me of that long-treasured game as well, but for a reason I couldn’t quite put my finger on, until now.

Kevin Cassidy of GoNintendo found time out in his busy blogging schedule and realised something astonishing; we’d all heard the music before. Played backwards, the trailer’s music sounds very familiar. I won’t ruin the surprise for you, but rest assured, it will send you skyward. Sorry.

– Rory