Friday, 4 March 2011

Iwata Keynote 2011 Round-up - A New Skyward Sword Trailer and Super Mario 3D!

Yesterday Nintendo president Satoru Iwata held a presentation at the GDC (Game Developer's Conference) which involved several massive pieces of news which I really couldn't avoid sticking in a blog post. If you're a Nintendo fan who's been living under a rock (over-used phrase for the win!) for the past few days, prepare to be excited. Why? Because three things we've been waiting for are finally here: A shimmering-new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and the announcement of a new 'main' Mario game in development for the Nintendo 3DS. Alongside this, Nintendo also revealed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D's release date, as well as a bunch of new screenshots. The game's set for release in June, which is pretty awesome! Anyway, let's discuss the two biggest announcements of the keynote...

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Trailer!
The thing I found most exciting about the keynote yesterday was undeniably the new trailer for Skyward Sword, the next Zelda game for the Wii. The trailer showed-off a ton of new gameplay elements, mini-games, bosses and a mysterious new male character who appears to be the same species as the character shown in the original 'Zelda Wii' art we saw at E3 2009. One of the most notable things about the trailer is the fact that the graphics have clearly under-gone a ton of polish since we last saw the game at E3. The same art-style is still kept intact, but everything just looks a hell of a lot cooler. The main focus of this trailer was showing off the gameplay rather than the story aspects of Skyward Sword, which is a little unfortunate but certainly better than nothing. So, what's new? Well, the trailer itself involved many locales, including an outdoor forest area and some fire and ice sections, all of which look brilliant. Some exciting new uses of the MotionPlus unit have also been shown, such as a bamboo-chopping minigame and balancing on a tightrope, as well as some brilliant combat techniques. While fighting certain enemies, you'll have to pay attention to their appearance and where they are holding their various forms of sheilds. If you swing the Wiimote in the correct motion, then you're guaranteed a hit. It's a clever idea that, while shown off a bit way back at E3 2010, is now much better implemented. The bosses revealed in the new trailer were pretty awesome, including a four-armed Stallord (skeleton) and a massive statue-like boss armed with various weapons, which is notably much bigger than Link hinting at more epic battles in this installment.

Meet Link's newest nemesis! Or not. I can't really confirm anything!
Now for some insane speculation, and exciting stuff that you may have missed in the trailer. First off, the head of the character shown in the Zelda Wii artwork is seen mapped to the D-pad, as well as a harp very similar to that owned by Sheik from Ocarina of Time, which is extremely speculative and interesting considering this is a prequel to that title. Anywho, Link's apparent partner will probably behave like Midna from Twilight Princess, dropping hints if you're stuck and maybe warping you from area to area. Link's also armed with a new sword in the trailer, as well as a new item that doesn't really look like anything you could relate to in past Zeldas. It is only seen equipped on Link, and not actually used so we don't really know much about this new item yet. What could it be? Finally, I reckon I should mention the new figure shown in the trailer before wrapping this bit up and talking about Mario. Towards the end of the trailer a white skinned, male character appear. He is seen sitting above one of the bosses, sporting a cape and a slightly evil grin. Right at the end of the video, the character clicks his fingers and coolly disappears in a flurry of squares. Perhaps this is Skyward Sword's main antagonist? Who knows... Anyway, that's all on the game for now. Admittedly I got much speculation from this page, which showed a brilliant analysis of the trailer (the trailer itself can be watched there too). Right, now on to Super Mario 3D...

Super Mario 3D Announcement!
The Legend of Zelda wasn't the only series to get a slice of the cake at the keynote. Nintendo's main man Mario also jumped in and scoffed up a large slice by appearing in a few screenshots for a brand new Mario game for the 3DS. There isn't a title at the moment, just a logo saying 'Super Mario', although for some reason the logo has a tail sticking out of the right-side. Could this mean the return of the legendary Raccoon Suit from Mario 3? Well, I've got more retro-related speculation for the new Mario game, but first let's take a look at the four screenshots that were shown. Take a look...

If you take a look at the four screenshots that were revealed at the keynote, you'll notice in one of them that there's Mario in his smaller form. If you're a more knowledgeable Mario fan then you'll most probably have figured out that the bottom-left screenshot looks a lot like World 1-1 from the original Super Mario Bros., but in glorious polygonic form. The top-left screen looks a hell of a lot like Thowmp's Fortress from Mario 64 too. You'd be right to assume these things, as Satoru Iwata dropped a hint that we'll be finding out more about these references at E3 2011. So, I reckon they've decided to do a 'greatest hits' collection of sorts by recreating classic Mario stages in 3D from multiple games, with some of the new elements from the 3D games incorporated (can you spot the Comet Medal in the bottom-right screenshot?). It'd be pretty damn awesome if they did do this, despite the fact that Mario ain't celebrating any anniversaries this year.

So, there's my roundup of the two biggest announcements from Iwata's Keynote at the GDC. Like I mentioned earlier, we can expect a full reveal of Super Mario 3D at this year's E3 conference. Until then, I'll probably be playing my 3DS in anticipation, something extremely exciting in itself. That's right, I've saved up enough pennies (and notes for that matter) to pre-order a blue 3DS, along with Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition. You can expect my first impressions of both the console and my game later on in the month! For now, bye bye.

1 comment:

KillerKirby said...

I think that it will work like super paper mario, in the fact that you might be able to switch from 2d to 3d. (As in the mario 64 sense and mario bros sense).
Wild speculation though.