Hmm, this seems to be a bit of a trend for this game, doesn’t it? First we had the new picture with Epona, now we’ve got yet another single image posted on Amazon.com. So what is the picture this time?
Well, it’s a very neat piece showing Link climbing up the side of a cliff with a sunset in the background. Here it is:
As you can see, it’s certainly a lot more interesting than the last piece of art released. Why? Because it shows that:
Some sort of rock climbing mechanic might be introduced here. Or that the stamina system from Skyward Sword could make a comeback.
Death Mountain seems to now be proven as in the game, since a volcano can be seen in the distance (note the smoke)
There’s someone (or something) mysterious on the cliff to the near left, and they look quite a bit like a sword too.
A dungeon like location is possibly visible in the middle of the picture. Note the weird skull like building with various pillars pointed inwards
A church or other mysterious location is located near the odd figure and hints at either a new temple or another important location in the story
Either way, it gives away a lot more about the game’s world that just about any other piece of artwork or screenshot released since its reveal. That’s pretty impressive for a random picture that Amazon simply stuck in the game’s gallery, isn’t it? I mean, someone at Amazon obviously thinks so, since the picture was swiftly pulled from the page after it got out to the press. Guess someone at Nintendo flipped out after seeing a piece of E3 exclusive Zelda artwork online two days early!
But what do you think about the new artwork? Is the view impressive? And what hidden secrets have you found scattered throughout the picture?
Well, it’ll also have a bunch of other features and differences too, but the four dungeons claim is arguably the most eye catching. None the less, that’s apparently made up for by more than 100 ‘mini dungeons’, as well as all kinds of other interesting features.
So what are these rumoured features? Well, the ones in the following list, that’s what. Here are some things the new Zelda game will be supposedly have:
Four main dungeons (like Majora’s Mask)
More than 100 mini dungeons to explore
A technology vs fantasy theme
And dynamic weather (presumably with in game effects)
Sounds rather interesting, doesn’t it? Well, yes it does. But are the rumours true? Are they something Nintendo is likely to do? And for that matter, would any of these be any good for the game in general?
Well for the truth aspect, there are some decent sources backing it up. Emily Rogers, a known internet commentator and writer who’s leaked stuff about Nintendo games before has said its similar to what her sources are telling her about the game. And Neal from Nintendo World Report says it echoes some stuff he’s been hearing too.
(For Emily Rogers, her tweets are private, so not linked here)
So that’s some support for the idea I guess. Various people with insider knowledge say the rumour is consistent with things they’ve heard about the game. But does it make it confirmed true? Well, obviously not. Everyone can be wrong about upcoming games, even those with (supposed) sources. Remember, the Nintendo NX rumour mill was flooded with ‘confirmed’ leaks from people supposedly in the industry. Guess what? Many of those were all fake. Or the source was trolling the journalist or social media user for kicks.
Stuff like that happens online. So onto the next question; do I think it’s true?
Well… I’m honestly quite sceptical to be honest. Oh sure, I have no insider sources or friends with industry connections (so this is all based on opinion and logic), but I question the idea Nintendo would have only four main dungeons in this new Zelda game.
Okay, Majora’s Mask had that, but Majora’s Mask was made in a year. The whole game had strict constraints it was built under and was heavily based around sidequests and mini games for most of its content. That’s not how most Zelda games are designed, and it’s a million miles from how Zelda U has been made.
To prove that point, let’s look at the past games in the series. How many dungeons do each of them have?
Zelda 1: 18 dungeons (across two quests)
Zelda 2: 7 dungeons
Link to the Past: 14 dungeons
Link’s Awakening: 10 dungeons (9 in black and white Game Boy version)
Ocarina of Time: 9 dungeons
Majora’s Mask: 4 dungeons
Oracle of Ages: 9 dungeons
Oracle of Seasons: 9 dungeons
Four Swords: 5 levels
Wind Waker: 7 dungeons (2 cut for time)
Four Swords Adventures: 8 dungeons
Minish Cap: 6 dungeons
Twilight Princess: 9 dungeons
Phantom Hourglass: 8 dungeons
Spirit Tracks: 7 dungeons (1 optional)
Skyward Sword: 7 dungeons
Link Between Worlds: 12 dungeons
Tri Force Heroes: 8 dungeons
As you can see, the majority of games have between 7 and 9 dungeons, with only two having around four (Majora’s Mask and Four Swords). What’s more, if we go to non linear games, that goes up even higher, with the original game at 18 over 2 quests, A Link to the Past with 14 dungeons and A Link Between Worlds with 12. And while Zelda 2 only has 7, the general pattern seems to hold; less linear games have more dungeons in them. It seems strange for Zelda for Wii U/NX (a game where open exploration is seen as a selling point) to change that, even with 100 mini dungeons.
It’s been a while since we got anything for this game, hasn’t it? Either way, here’s a new piece of art released in anticipation of the game’s E3 showing:
It’s not much, but it should at least get you a tiny bit more excited for the reveal next Tuesday. Oh sure, it’s only a picture of Link riding Epona in the typical Zelda U art style. But it also marks less than a week before one of the biggest game announcements of the generation. So hey, consider it an early bonus before Tuesday’s all day Zelda presentation and coverage.
At the same time as the recent trailer was released, Playtonic Games announced that Yooka-Laylee was going to be delayed until Q1 2017.
But while the company said it was delayed to give the game more polish and make it better in general (and that’s a very fair reason to delay it), something about the timing made me wonder if anything else was at play here.
Namely, a port to a new system.
Because Yooka-Laylee isn’t the only game delayed to 2017. No, Zelda for Wii U is.
And why was that game delayed?
To make it compatible with the Nintendo NX, Nintendo’s next home console and the Wii U’s upcoming successor.
So could the same be happening with Yooka-Laylee? Could Playtonic have delayed it to get it ready for Nintendo’s new system?
Honestly, I think the answer might well be yes. Think about it. The Wii U is a dying system. Yes, it’s not technically dead quite yet (given that Zelda and Color Splash are still on the horizon), but it’s fading fast and gamers in general have mostly given up on it. Even Nintendo fans are unlikely to shell out money for Wii U games in the next few months, especially given how the new system will probably require a good £2-400 of their hard earned cash in early 2017.
Above: And the other games for the Wii U this time in the year aren’t gonna change that.
However, those Nintendo fans are some of Playtonic’s main audience. Are they all of them? No, not really. There’s always the odd Xbox fan who grew up with Rare’s later games, as well as people who’ve given up on Nintendo systems and moved to Playstation consoles or the likes. But a significant amount of Yooka-Laylee’s backers and fans are Nintendo fans. They liked Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel, they liked Conker’s Bad Fur Day and they liked Donkey Kong 64.
Those people might not buy a Wii U game, but they damn well could buy a Nintendo NX one. As a result, I suspect Playtonic realised the market for Yooka-Laylee as a Wii U title was fairly small, but it could be a lot bigger as a Nintendo NX game. After all, people who buy the new system need games, and not everyone wants just Zelda to play. Give them a good triple A 3D platformer to play, and well, that’s going to entice a lot of people, especially if that new super HD Mario 64 sequel isn’t coming for the next year or two.
Add how new consoles usually have mostly disappointing launch titles (outside of one or two big names), and well, Yooka-Laylee’s effective ‘competition’ for NX buyers is pretty much only the new Zelda title. People are gonna pick this over Generic Mini Game Collection 253 or Year Behind Port of Big Name Game 10.
Above: A much, much better deal than Nintendo Land 2 or whatever.
No, it’s not E3 yet. But either way, Playtonic Games have released their ‘E3 trailer’ for their new game already. Here it is:
As you can see, it’s certainly going to be fantastic fun for Banjo-Kazooie fans out there. You’ve got the Banjo esque transformations, like the flower one shown in the trailer. You’ve got Banjo-Kazooie esque special moves, like where Laylee rolls on Yooka like a ball to get up steep slopes. Heck, you’ve even got a minecart section, albeit missing any annoying opponents to race like Canary Mary! It’s pretty much everything a 3D platformer fan could possibly want in one beautiful looking package!
And if you thought the humour was going to be absent?
Yeah right. The trailer actually ends with a bonus cutscene where Laylee rips the trailer to pieces for being ‘crap’ and wonders where a missing level has got to. What’s more, if that wasn’t enough like Cranky Kong for your liking, she even comments that ‘the game will probably have car sections by the next trailer’. Thanks for that. Thanks for bringing back all those depressing memories of Banjo-Kazooie Nuts and Bolts!
But that’s the trailer. What do you think? Does it make you want Yooka-Laylee even more than you already did?