Monday, June 20, 2016

Nintendo Treehouse Live 2016: Not-so-live Impressions (for a Bit)

The press conferences are over; it's time for Zelda. So, like I said in the Microsoft post, sadly, there are no need for predictions this year; Nintendo have apparently just been showing the new Wii U/NX Zelda all day today, with a bit of time devoted to the upcoming 3DS Pokémon games. That's all been in the form of an E3 live stream fronted by NOA localisation staff - a stream they started last year that I don't think I actually watched a minute of, because jeez, who has time for that? :D

This year though, for reasons only known to them, it's all Nintendo have at E3 for us lowly folks at home, and they're showing freakin' Zelda, so there's no way I'm not taking a look at that. This won't be all day impressions though, I'm only planning on going for about an hour or so. If the stream gets a bit too hot and heavy with spoilers, which I'm kind of afraid it will, I'm going to be bailing out even earlier.

Remember, the safe word is DEKU NUT.

Watch live video from Nintendo on

  • 00:27:40 - Okay, sounds like the music is finally coming down here. Much as I was enjoying that sublime elevator music, Nintendo. (Come on, slap The Ballad of the Wind Goddess or something on there; it's Zelda time!) 
  • 00:27:51 - Or not.

  • 00:28:03 - Hey, there's Reggie. I guess with a little condolence message first. Damn it, what's wrong with people?

  • 00:29:02 - And we're under way.

  • 00:29:17 - The Nintendo experience is different at every E3. Yeah, you're not kidding there, Reggie. :D

  • 00:30:15 - Okay, trailer time. Wait, is that voice acting? In a Zelda game?

  • 00:30:23 - Still looking sharp.

  • 00:30:41 - Deer! To be honest, I already half-glimpsed the subtitle for this while fumbling through YouTube, so I guess hunting, or at least animals feature heavily in this Zelda. 
  • 00:31:13 - "Wake up, Link." That definitely sounds like voice acting. In a Zelda game!

  • 00:31:18 - Woo! Sail cloth confirmed. I just finished putting 50 or so hours into Twilight Princess HD; there were quite a few times I was ready to bust out the sail cloth in that, only to remember that it's not in the game. (By the way, Twilight Princess: still an awesome game. I'll never understand the haters.) Oh, just noticed the piratey skull on the cloth here. Wind Waker timeline confirmed? :D

  • 00:31:19 - Okay, so that looks like Hyrule Castle off in the distance, and that has to be Death Mountain off north-east-ish from that (at least from this perspective). Looks like a field in the middle and you've got  a forest in the south - You know, for as loose as Nintendo have been with the Zelda timeline up until recently (and I'm not sure they've changed their ways yet there), they've always been weirdly consistent with Hyrule's general layout.

  • 00:31:35 - Oh yeah. This looks like the open world I was missing from Skyward Sword.

  • 00:31:29 - Like that leaked artwork, climbing seems to be a big thing this time. The please-don't-make-this-an-Ubisoft-open-world-game crowd won't be happy with that. :D

  • 00:31:47 - Crafting confirmed!

  • 00:31:52 - No, probably not. But you can cut down trees, and hunt!

  • 00:31:54 - And burn the vegetation. This is an Ubisoft open world game. :D

  • 00:32:09 - Now this looks like some touch screen based business.
  • 00:32:37 - Liking that rock monster. I think I saw Link wearing armour in there too. I wonder if you actually get Link's regular green tunic at any point. The fans won't happy about that.
  • 00:32:40 - Damn, this trailer music is great. It's got a real earthy, traditional Asian feel to it.

  • 00:32:41 - Love a snowy area in games! Holy crap, this one looks huge.

    • 00:33:02 - Ooh, that looks nice. Very LttP official art:

         Image from Zelda Legends

    • 00:33:02 - But otherwise, yeah whatever, Nintendo, of course the Master Sword is in this game! :D Is Gannondorf going to a big reveal at the end of this too?

    • 00:33:19 - Breath of the Wild. It's a bit of odd name for a Zelda game. Sounds more like a Witcher expansion, but it's growing on me. 
    • 00:33:32 - Do you really need to put a Nintendo logo at the end of a Zelda trailer? Oh man, do you think that's actually the NX logo, and that they're just going to call it"Nintendo", like all those idiots want? :D 
    • 00:33:44 - "We like to call it 'open world' - a combination of 'open', and 'world'" 
    • 00:34:24 - Man, they really are talking about this like no one watching has played an open world game before. :D

    • 00:35:18 - Wait, what? I wasn't prepared for immediate Pokémon here. (I was kind of hoping I'd be avoiding it entirely. :D) In Pokémon update news, that copy of Pokémon Ruby I got: still unplayed, leaving Pokémon Yellow as still the only Pokémon game I've ever played. (I do know how to bust out a mean é though. éééééééééééééééé)

    • 00:35:37 - I might not be interested in these games, but I have to admit: Rowlet looks pretty dope. 
    • 00:37:24 - Man, I really wonder why they didn't just do another Digital Event this year. I think they had enough games if they went bit deeper than usual on Zelda, these Pokémon games, Tokyo Mirage Sessions and Paper Mario. Throw in a few amiibo announcements, and boom. I'm starting to suspect that they wanted to make everyone watch extended gameplay from Zelda, so that everyone would be able to grasp what an open world game is, considering that they've never made one before. That seems nuts, but also very Nintendo I think. I still think it's bonkers though not be unveiling at least some aspect of the NX here, if it really is coming out in March. All they needed was some vague teaser-y stuff. Everyone would have gone wild. Can you tell I'm very excited to hear about Pokémon? :D

    • 00:38:58 - This sure looks like Pokémon. And is it just me, or is the audio quality on this trailer terrible?

    • 00:39:11 - I'm not sure I'd trust a professor who goes around in an open shirt with kids; Professor Kukui looks like a prime dirtbag. 
    • 00:39:41 - "Why Sun and Moon? Well, we've already used up every other group of semi-related things.'"

    • 00:40:59 - Boo. These Pokémon are dumb. Put Rowlett on the box. 
    • 00:41:10 - Is it just me, or does the moon look a lot like the rebel insignia from Star Wars? 
    • 00:43:00 - Holy nude Norman Reedus, I'm bored. :D

    • 00:46:37 - Looks like the heroine is wearing a cross between a Billy Hatcher and a Scribblenauts hat. (And I thought I wouldn't have any insightful Pokémon commentary to offer.) 
    • 00:46:56 - Yikes! There's still gameplay to come? This is some real bait and switch shit. :D "Tune in to see the new Zelda!' "Surprise, Motherfuckers! Two hours of Pokemon!"
    • 00:47:27 - Oh yeah, the interesting bracelet. Totally noticed it. 
    • 00:47:56 - Live demo, folks.

    • 00:48:35 - Oh my goodness, how long is this going to go on for? :D Also, could they be showing this in any smaller a window? 
    • 00:50:56 - Yep, this is some thrilling camera movement. 
    • 00:53:18 - Catch 'em all? Well, you gotta, really. 
    • 00:53:20 - Holy crap! In an unprecedented move, I just moused over the the timeline on the video. There are another TWENTY FIVE minutes of this! Nope! In another unprecedented move, I'm getting the eff out of this segment and warping right to Zelda. Just call me the Hero of Time.

    • 01:18:45 - Okay, looks like they're getting ready for Zelda here.
    • 01:19:03 - Aonuma's here now, and I think I see Bill Trinen. 
    • 01:25:20 - Any time you're ready, guys. *sigh* Why couldn't we just have had a Nintendo Direct, an EU one preferably. Shibata would be doing a wacky dance to introduce the Tokyo Mirage Sessions segment. It would have been great. 
    • 01:26:17 - They're back!

    • 01:27:16 - Is that a Camp Hyrule shirt? That's a deep cut, Bill. [Edit: Google Search proves inconclusive, but probably not.] 
    • 01:27:45 - Still not fully convinced that we're dealing with voice acting here. This might still be just some kind of cut scene only deal, like Mario Sunshine. Not sure why they'd do that, but it's possible.

    • 01:27:53 - Those looked like operating theatre lights for a second. Thought Link was going to wake up to find out he'd been abducted by Hyrule Abstergo.

    • 01:28:04 - And now he's in a water tank, like Fringe. :D

    • 01:28:16 - And now, this looks like the start of the new Doom. Link's going to bust out of chains and punch a demon in the face in a second.

    • 01:28:28 - Hmm, this is kind of an interesting set up. I wonder what the deal is here. This chamber kind of thing looks much more advanced than most of the stuff we've seen so far. Maybe this Link's been frozen in this by some advanced ancient race. Also, I'm not sure I believe what Bill just said, already this is feeling a bit too spoilery for my liking. :D
    • 01:28:39 - How great would it be if the story in this game is pretty much just Demolition Man. 'Gannondorf says bleed!'

    • 01:29:00 - Shrine of Resurrection. Damn you, Bill, this is super spoilery!

    • 01:29:31 - Okay, so that is voice acting, straight up. And the spoilers continue! Sorry guys, but DEKU NUT!

    This will have to be a short one, I'm afraid. I really thought this was just going be running around the field showing off some stuff, but this is already way too deep into spoiler territory for me. I know that might sound silly, and this might sound sillier, but after Majora's Mask, I've gone on complete media blackout for Zelda games apart from official trailers.

    Back in the day, I gobbled up every piece of Majora's Mask media I could find, and when I finally got around to playing it, those spoilers kind of ruined that game for me. At every turn, I was like, 'oh yeah, this part; this area; that character'. I already even knew the ending. And yeah, I guess going from that to a complete blackout was a bit of an overreaction, but I really love the element of surprise; the sense of discovery while playing through a Zelda game, so much so that I'm willing to take extreme measures to make sure I go into each new instalment fresh.

    I suppose it's because that's how I went into OoT. I had no idea what the Zelda series even was at the time, I'd just seen how much praise had been heaped of the game and I blind bought it - a risky proposition when you're only able to buy a couple of games a year - but, it turned out to be a magical experience, one that utterly shattered my ideas of what a video game could be. (Granted, I'd only been playing games for a couple of years at that point, and only on Nintendo consoles, and mostly first party ones... BUT STILL!)

    I'm not really expecting Breath of the Wild to do the same, but from what I've seen so far, it looks awesome. It looks like they're really doing some new things with this game, taking some smart cues form western open world games, and that's something I've wanted them to do for a long time, as an Assassin's Creed fanboy and recovering Morrowind addict :D. I'm super excited to see more of this, but that will have to wait until I'm in front of my TV, controller in hand and hopefully, a big grin on my face.

    Though there may be one video of particular uh, personal interest that I might take a look at first:

    • 00:00 - Oh yeah, baby. It's amiibo time!

    • 00:02 - Okay, I can see a new Link  one, plus oneof that steampunk octorok thing from the trailer. I gotta say, I really don't like the look of that thing. I guess it must be some kind of a big deal to get it's own amiibo though. Hey, for all I know, having skipped everything else, it's probably the new Gannondorf. :D

    • 00:24 - Yeah, wolf link amiibo! Absolutely one of my favourites so far: very detailed, cool poses, and it has a really nice ceramic-style finish. It's hard not to notice that Midna's left hand is positioned uh, interestingly though (and Wolf Link has a "hey, what's going on back there?" look to match. :D).
    • 00:32 - "We mentioned that the amiibo would have functionality in Zelda Wii U. That was just to make you feel better about buying it."

    • 00:59 - I was really expecting the cCave of Shadows to be some punishingly hard Cave of Ordeals for Wolf Link. I found it a fair bit easier than the Cave or Ordeals though. Still a good challenge though, and quite fun.

    And I do dig the giant in-game Wolf Link amiibo you encounter at the end.

    • 01:19 - Oh, it's going to carry across the number of hearts you had at the end of the Cave of Shadows. Yeah, I'm screwed. :D I mean, it was easier than the Cave or Ordeals, but for those last few floors it was really touch and go.
    • 01:43 - Live demo, folks.

    • 02:03 - Wolf Link as a partner character. Won't the two Links interacting unravel all space and time? The Doctor wouldn't like this at all.
    • 02:26 - So there's no Midna equivalent in this game. That's a bummer. I didn't like Fi at all, but someone in the vein of Midna or Tetra again would have been great. And yeah, Bill "Spoiler Master" Trinen is at it again. This video's only 13 minutes though, so hopefully he won't be able to drop too many in there. :D

    • 02:50 - So, basically the Wolf Link amiibo turns Breath of the Wild into Fable II? Can I fart to impress people?
    • 03:52 - In all seriousness, this is a pretty meaningful addition to the game. It's much more than I was expecting when they were talking this up back when Twilight Princess HD was announced.

    • 05:05 - This E3's tradition of showing something else when there's something you want to see continues (I'm looking at you especially, Microsoft). That 3D printed prototype amiibo looks rad. I bet!
    • 06:00 - Ten months to a year for finalising an amiibo? Man. (I don't care how long it takes though, give me my Tetra amiibo, Nintendo!)
    • 06:27 - Was there every an iteration of Shiek where she didn't look like a pretzel though? :D
    • 07:12 - Oh, okay. I can wait a day to bring back Wolf Link if he gets KOed. And I think I am going to play with him as a buddy. This seems neat.

    • 08:03 - Uh! Take it, chu!

    • 08:53 - Oh yeah! That's pretty cool. Still a yellow substance coming out from under his tunic though. :D

    • 09:11 - Some really nice detail on the shield and the bow and arrow...thing. Plus, it doesn't look like the yellow thing is leaking out of Link his time. Hooray! (I hope they put out a better Twilight Princess era Link amiibo. I'm still refusing to buy that original one.)

    • 09:56 - Rider Link. This one I'm not so sure about.
    • 10:18 - Looks like Link's face is almost totally obscured on this one. It's kind of more a horse amiibo than a Link one. I'll probably pass on this one unless it's bundled with the game.

    • 10:48 - Oh, you can see a little bit of Link's face from this angle. Still not feeling this one though.

    • 10:49 - Ah, so this thing's a guardian. Yeah, this one's definitely another pass.
    • 11:54 - Opposable arms are cool though.
    • 13:11 - That's it. I was hoping that maybe they'd tease some more Zelda amiibos on the way at some point. Not this time though.

    Well, I guess that about wraps thi

    Bzzt!! Bzzt!! Emergency Amibo News!!!

    Oh boy! So, somewhere in the middle of Nintendo's er, less-than-ideal E3 showing they announced another bunch of amiibos, this time in their Mario line, to be released on November 4th. In other news, I need to clear some shelf space before November 4th; there are some great ones on the way here.

    I think my pick of the bunch is Daisy, a character I thought they'd never make an amiibo of. Just look at that hands-on-hips pose: she's got some attitude. Wario and Waluigi look great, and I love the back-to-back, fist pumping poses. Donkey Kong looks awesome and is such an improvement on the weird, feral version they put out for Smash Bros.. And holy crap, look at that Diddy Kong amiibo! I straight-up hate Diddy Kong, but I have to get that amiibo; it's too freakin' cute. :D

    The only two here I'm not keen on are Rosalina, who had a much better-looking Smash Bros. amiibo (that I already have), and Boo, who looks fine, but I don't feel any real compulsion to own as a figure. I hear it does glow in the dark though, which is neat, but not quite enough to seal the deal.

    And well, that does wrap things up for E3 this year. It's been a bit of a strange one from Nintendo, but holy crap does Zelda look fantastic. I've watched that trailer about a dozen times since it first aired, and I am beyond hyped for that game. It's going to be a long wait until March. Hopefully we'll have the big NX reveal to look forward to between now and then. In the meantime, I'll be feverishly refreshing Amazon until those amiibo pre-orders come up. Eeee! Look at that Diddy Kong!

    No comments: