It’s not exactly confirmed, but a recent SwapNote sent to buyers of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D by Eiji Aonuma certainly implies a new Zelda game is in the works for 3DS.
It obviously says ‘I hope you’re looking forward to new Legend of Zelda games’, with the various eight bit sprites saying ‘yes’. Now, it may sound a bit crazy, but I think that’s pretty good evidence new Zelda games on 3DS are being considered, or even released in the nearish future.
Then again, the odd capitalisation worries me a bit. Note the capital ‘N’. Does that mean ‘New Legend of Zelda’ as in ‘New Super Mario Bros’? Because that would be an interesting thing to, and a plausible type of game to make after Skyward Sword. You could even, if you were very, very cynical read it as Aonuma saying ‘I hope you’re looking forward to these kinds of Zelda games because I don’t want to make them’.
But let’s be positive and assume the best… what kind of Zelda game could possibly be in the pipeline for the 3DS in the future?
Recorded directly from the Nintendo Direct live stream, here are some videos of various important games. First up, the trailer for Fire Emblem Awakening:
Next, we’ve got one for The Rolling Western:
As well as another one for Mario Tennis Open. Note that these may have Iwata himself speaking in the background, that’s unavoidable due to where I got the videos.
There’s also one for Etrian Oddysey IV. It’s the first footage we’ve ever gotten of the game as far as I know, and why it’s not the best first trailer in the world, it should be interesting regardless.
Culdcept is another game which got a new trailer, and while it’s not exactly a game I’m interested in (seems to be about battling with cards in a sort of virtual tabletop game type set up), the trailer looks okay:
As well as a new trailer for Rune Factory 4. Nice trailer, although the music is obnoxiously loud and completely non understandable to anyone who can’t speak Japanese:
On another note, while it’s not from Nintendo Direct, there’s also this second Rolling Western trailer someone on Youtube has uploaded. Looks nice:
There are also some nifty release dates:
- The Rolling Western: Today, aka February 22nd, right after Nintendo Direct
- Game Gear games on 3DS Virtual Console: March
- Kingdom Hearts 3D: Sometime on 2012
- Mario Tennis: 25th May 2012
- Fire Emblem Awakening: 2012
- Kid Icarus Uprising: March 23rd 2012
Those are the known European release dates for the 3DS games shown. Any not mention haven’t got a confirmed release date yet.
Oh, and Nintendo of America’s presentation? That can be found below, and formally announces Xenoblade’s US release:
What do you think? I’ll edit this when the Kid Icarus Uprising video is uploaded.
Watch it below if you’re not already!
Streaming live video by Ustream
Yeah, seems to be mainly Kid Icarus Uprising at the moment. Guess my predictions are coming true.
Well, Nintendo did say the Etrian Odyssey series was one of those that would be getting a new game on the 3DS back in 2010, and now it seems like such a game is confirmed to be coming in the future!
It’s Japanese full title is ‘Sekaiju no Meikyuu IV: Densetsu no Kyojin’. No idea what this means, I only recognise the Densetsu bit from far too many other Japanese games title to list.
However, we do know about some of the game’s content. It’ll have difficulty levels to make the game more accessible to newcomers, including a casual mode. This can apparently be changed at any time during gameplay if the person playing wants a bit more of a challenge (or I guess struggling with the default settings). Nice idea, although I do think it somewhat cheapens the whole purpose of choosing a difficulty level to begin with.
And there are some job classes known about, such as sword man, medic, dancer, and sniper.
So, that said, is anyone excited for this game? Because while I’ve not played any games in the series, it does seem like the games have been fairly well received by critics and players alike, and the addition of an easier difficulty setting might address the major problem some sources complain about, that of it being too difficult/only for the hardcore.
1. Nintendo’s Games are only available on Nintendo
In my opinion, the number one big problem with all arguments about Nintendo being doomed or made obsolete, and the biggest advantage Nintendo has on its competitors is that Nintendo makes both its own hardware and its own software.
Sure, Microsoft and Sony have some first party series, and Microsoft owns Rare (who’s gone downhill recently and been relegated to making avatar starring games for the Kinect). But by and large, all their best sellers are from third parties. If Activision says Call of Duty isn’t coming to the Xbox 720 or Rockstar says Grand Theft Auto isn’t coming to the PS4, those consoles are pretty much in trouble.
And that’s the difference which explains why Sony and Microsoft might be in trouble of being disrupted by tablets and cheap downloadable games, but Nintendo aren’t’. Those big third party titles can very easily be moved to the app store if the publisher for them wants them to be, and neither Microsoft or Sony, short of giving the company millions to get the game as an exclusive, can do nothing about it. And believe you me it’ll happen eventually, since these cheap games are what the big game publisher’s business minds think are the next big thing, the replacement to video game consoles.
But this won’t affect Nintendo. Nintendo can simply not release Mario, or Zelda, or Pokemon or whatever else they make on the app store, and people have no choice but to buy their consoles to play them. Sure they’ll maybe annoy a few investors and be seen as crazy by the business community, but that’s Nintendo’s major advantage. Look ahead at the 3DS games and all the good titles we’re getting that can be found NOWHERE else:
- New 2D Mario title
- Kid Icarus Uprising
- Super Smash Bros
- Luigi’s Mansion 2
- Paper Mario
- Animal Crossing
- Fire Emblem
- Mario Tennis
- And most likely, Pokemon
You want those games, you’ll need to own a 3DS. No ifs or buts. And in a world where every new Mario game sells over 10 million copies and Pokemon breaks video game sales records in two days, that’s one advantage Nintendo won’t be losing any time soon.
2. Some games only work well on proper consoles
Have you ever tried to play a game on a device with only a touch screen? It’s not an optimal solution for a control scheme, and many, many genres just simply do not work with it. Here are some genres where this is the case:
Okay, maybe comparing Mario Kart to its pirated equivalent Mole Kart isn’t fair. But considering the games are pretty much the exact same thing bar a few barely edited graphics and some extremely shoddy physics in the latter, it’s a good illustration of how touch screen controls really don’t work with racing games:
Look at it here:
First thing you’ll notice is that the guy who’s playing has to move his thumb on some kind of impromptu D Pad to the bottom left. Which for starters, completely blocks out a fair amount of the screen and leaves you open to any opponents or items that might happen to be coming from the bottom left of the track. There’s a good reason most DS games which used touch controls didn’t make you view the game world on the touch screen, and that’s because it drastically hampers your ability to see what’s going on.
You’ve also got the issue that without buttons, game designers have to add their own home made controls to the touch screen. Try using them, and that’s just almost unnatural, to have to reach random parts of the screen and tap them to use various abilities in the middle of a race. Basically, it’s much easier and more much intuitive to press a button. Sure you can theoretically do a lot of fancy stuff with only a touch screen, but it just seems like to do so is basically trying to use WarioWare style microgame controls for a retail title.