Zelda and Star Fox for Wii U: First Impressions

I was sent this clip twice this morning, and felt obliged to give this a brief mention here.

At the Game Awards, a clip of Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma was premiered, to show off gaming footage of the upcoming Legend of Zelda game. Visibly, just the two legendary developers sat beside a television was enough to show that Hyrule is looking beautiful under the sunset. Graphically, we can’t be sure of just how advanced it is yet, but as of yet, it looks marvelous.

One of the first things to be pointed out was the scale of the setting. I can recall being warned by a friend about the massive Hyrule Field, while battling through The Great Deku Tree for the first time in Ocarina of Time, and being stunned by the scale of the fields in Twilight Princess, as the main hub required multiple areas. By comparison, we can really expect a monster of a kingdom. Princess Zelda certainly has a big estate to inherit one day.

I don’t expect the world to be as monstrous as some others, as various open-world games boast, most recently Far Cry 4, but it certainly looks as though it can suffice for the Zelda series. I can see it having a Far Cry 3 scaled hub. Not that this is too much of a problem, as of course, not the entire game is spent there, with lots more taking place in as of yet, unseen dungeons and towns.

That's pretty big.
That’s pretty big.

The beacon feature seems a little forced, but we don’t know yet with the design of the world whether it is necessary. It might even be important to the plot.

Speaking of which, I really hope the slow motion thing is important to the game, rather than simply a bit of functionality. Zelda has a real liking of time bending plots, so I think that the idea of slowing and speeding up time, could be a good central theme.

Also a potential plot point is the return of Link’s parachute, a recurring toy in Skyward Sword. Beyond the practicality, both to travel and get a fantastic view, I would really like this to be of importance. Skyward Sword is the first game to really warrant there being a sequel. It was he beginning of the Zelda saga, predating Ganon(dorf). As the characters are established, it just needs a part two that contains the arrival of the legendary central villain. I envisioned a bleacker game, as Majora’s Mask was to Ocarina of Time. As of yet, we know very little, so my hopes aren’t completely slashed. However, having not been told yet, I imagine that this won’t be the case.

A few features didn’t really need to be discussed, such as the automatic dodging by Epona, but besides this the announcement was good.

Something didn’t grate with me though: the controls. I don’t take issue to the GamePad at all (and the use as a map, and probably an inventory, is ideal) but the use of the motion controls was a little disappointing, and I hope they aren’t required for anyone who chooses to use the GamePad, as I probably will. That said, I may well be won over and feel that it enhances it. At first, I was irritated by the obligatory motion controls in Super Mario Galaxy. Then it turned out to be fantastic, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

No pressure Miyamoto...
No pressure Miyamoto…

Also, viewers were given a quick mention of Wii U’s Star Fox. While Miyamoto’s gesture was maybe too subtle to take anything from, I was a little more concerned about this one, since Miyamoto felt the need to namedrop the GamePad. That and my love for Star Fox.

Having played through Star Fox 64/Lylat Wars many, many times, the series was the very first to cross my mind when I saw the GamePad for the first time. That is just waiting to be a cockpit. However, Miyamoto suggesting that they have found a great way to implement it… Are players going to be forced to use motion control?

Nintendo’s recent fixation with an outrageous amount of control methods, with Wii U’s two controllers and backwards compatibility of Wii Remotes and even Gamecube controllers, might suggest that this shouldn’t be a worry. Being my usual misery-guts self though, I won’t believe it until I see it.

What are your thoughts on the new games?

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