Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Future of the Zelda Franchise


Let us give a warm welcome to our newest member of TheWhyButton.com, Brock Hays!  This is his first ever article on our site!

A look at what the next Zelda title could look like.
      It has been over a year since the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which was both a huge success and a great game.  However, Zelda fans are beginning to wonder what is coming next? The stage is once again cleared and the faithful fans inquire to know what Nintendo has in store for the series next? After some conducted research, I found that Nintendo is working hard on a Legend of Zelda title for both the Wii U, and the 3DS.  They are also working to release a game remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker this holiday season with revamped high definition graphics, as well as new game features for the Wii U virtual console that allows you to play classic games. 

       The lead Zelda developers at Nintendo have been experimenting with different graphical styles for the Wii U release, and tested a realism style for the Wii U tech demo in E3 2012. It shows crystal clear HD and exciting new styles for those who are not as enthusiastic for cell-shaded Zelda worlds.  Another feature that was revealed in the tech demo were control designs, these ideas were shown for the possible controls of Wii U Zelda title. During the demo, the Wii U gamepad's screen represented Link’s satchel, and one could instantly select items whilst in the middle of game play, making the game move much faster.  However, not all were entirely thrilled with the controls, and claimed that it may require some practice to glance screen to screen.  Nintendo’s CEO, Saturo Iwata, had this to say about the controls for the next release:

     “With Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, we had the nun chuck and remote stand in for the sword and shield. But with the Wii U, I can definitely see something like the controller itself becoming different items that Link can use.”

HD concept for upcoming LoZ title
       As shown in the images above, the lighting and shading have improved greatly since the original Wii technology. They also experimented with the cartoon cell shaded HD graphics, which is what will be used in the re-release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.  As announced at the online Nintendo conference that aired just days ago on January 23rd, they plan on the new HD Wind Waker to be released this upcoming holiday season.  The graphics are new and improved and smoother than ever, and shading as well as the lighting is amazingly executed and perfectly combined.  But don't take our word for it, take a look for yourself:
 
        The top of these two images there is juxtaposition (comparison) of the Gamecube graphics in comparison to the Wii U’s HD graphics in Windfall Island. The bottom left picture is of Link and Tetra, as well as a mystery woman with a pot on her head, demonstrating the new character graphics. The bottom right picture is that of a crystal clear Windfall Island from a distance besides the pirates’ ship, giving justice to the new shading graphics presented.  The above pictures are all for the purpose of demonstrating the new graphics and as far as currently known, no game play, story, dungeon design, enemies, world aspect, nor bosses shall be changed from the original.  However because of the existence of the Wii U remote, the controls may be altered. There is no control scheme set in stone currently, only analysis from the Wii U tech demo. The idea of this release is to:

1. Fill in the gap between the upcoming holiday season and holiday season 2014, the planned release date of Zelda Wii U.

and

2.  See which graphics the fans prefer in HD; the cell shading or realism.  Honestly I believe that the graphics from the Wii U tech demo are more original, and personally enjoy those graphics,  however opinions of this is why we have a comments section.

Comparison of Gamecube (Left) and HD remake of Wind Waker (Right)
To continue, some new ideas have been introduced to the production team. Firstly, the production team is focusing on making this new game completely new and different from most other Zelda games. Specifically, they want to go back to the style of the original Legend of Zelda, in which the player could go nearly anywhere, and getting all the items was completely optional. This will give the game a free roaming feel, and even some more RPG aspects, giving the player the ability to go anywhere they please.  To any dungeon, cave, boss, group, and level up or progress however they please. The main reason why Zelda games have become linear began way back with the formula that was used for Zelda II.  It is far easier to represent a story of an adventure with meaningful characters and plot events when you have chronological levels. All fans can agree that the story-telling aspect of modern Zelda games is one of the biggest factors.

Secondly, is a rumor from Zelda Informer, which claims that the production team is weighing out the pros and cons of having voices in the game, and even giving Link a voice. This is a huge issue that has been discussed for decades, and none of us can imagine what it would feel like. It would give better dialogue and character interactions, however it would feel so unnatural to hardcore fans, what would Link’s voice even sound like?  All-in-all, I cannot imagine this actually happening, and I am sure many of us feel the same way.
Remade cell-shaded character design
The final piece of news that we will talk about is that which concerns the new 3DS Zelda title.  Gamers have always been eager to see what Nintendo has in store for hand-held Zelda titles. Presently, the hand-held title shall be shown in E3 2013, so for now there is a great deal of rumor and theory as to what this game is going to be about. Without any proof, many people are inquiring that perhaps Majora’s Mask will be made for the 3DS, acting as a sequel to Ocarina of Time, though it was never mentioned by Iwata at the conference.  He claimed that if they were doing another remake, that he would be interested in remaking A Link to the Past, and he did mention that the game would be similar to A Link to the Past, this could mean the inclusion of the dark world into the game.  There was also talk about making a sequel to Spirit Tracks, although this is not very likely because that would mean crossing even Nintendo’s line of repetition, but it is still a possibility. In terms of the 3D feature of the 3DS, they have said that it willbe a very important feature in the game play. This could mean including 3D visuals into puzzles or used in personal inventory.

The closer we get to E3 then the more news we will receive, and here at TheWhyButton, we'll be keeping you all up to date through it all.

What do you guys think?  Leave a comment below on your thoughts and opinions!

SOURCES: http://www.zeldadungeon.net/

http://www.youtube.com/user/theescapistmagazine


 

2 comments:

  1. Really hoping for Majora's Mask 3DS remake!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ya same here, Majoras mask remake! The article was pretty sweet, makes me look forward to the future of Zelda!

    ReplyDelete