Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Some Legend of Zelda Reviews~!

I reeeally need to knock out some of the blog entries I have lined up. I keep adding entries to be done on the list, and it just keeps piling with no action. As I keep saying, I really wanna do them in order, but...well, never mind. I won't repeat that again.

I just want to briefly talk about some Zelda things since I'm still hyped up from the franchise's E3 reveals this year. No, I'm not talking about the E3 reveals here, but instead a few other Legend of Zelda goodness I've been privileged to experience within the last year.

WARNING! This entry contains spoilers for the following games:
-The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
-The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

We'll start with the Symphony of the Goddesses that I attended in San Francisco June 10, 2013!

The concert hall was huge, and the audience was equally massive. Sooo many different types of people attended. Some dressed up, some didn't. Tons of people had their 3DS systems on them, so Street Passes abounded. I attended with a friend/fellow cadet from school. She didn't know much about the Legend of Zelda, but as a music major, she enjoyed the symphony quite a bit. She said she'd never seen "this side" of me before (the nerdy/giddy side), which she took great amusement to. 

The symphony itself was ABSOLUTELY. BREATHTAKING. Of course, no photography or video was allowed during the presentation, but it was just phenomenal. The music was played to Zelda adventure scenes on the big screen, and I damn near cried. I'm not easily driven to tears, and especially not by something like a symphony. But the atmosphere was powerful enough to tug at my heartstrings and the affinity I hold for the Zelda games. It felt like I'd been detached from reality and was reliving a childhood dream. Most of the pieces played there I'd already heard on the CD I got with Skyward Sword for LoZ's 25th Anniversary. But hearing it live in person...nothing compared to that. It really made the music come to life.

Afterward, I was able to meet up with an acquaintance from I've had the privilege of meeting several "Nsiders" as we call them from the Nintendo community over the years. A few of them are my best friends today, and I even dated a couple! So, it's always nice getting to know these people. Alex (better known as Eliwood8), is a news writer from that site and is extremely dedicated to keeping the community informed on the latest Nintendo news and game reviews. I find his passion admirable~

Getting 3DS Street Passes from each other. :p

I bought a poster for commemoration and walked away extremely satisfied with the experience. I'd love to go again if they ever tour again. The conductor Eimear Noone was fantastic and full of energy and passion for the franchise. It was awesome getting to see her conduct with her own Wind Waker. She even followed me on Twitter for a bit. :p

Also, much earlier last year, I was able to get my hands on Hyrule Historia!

Bookmark made by me

The amount of content is incredible. Finally, Nintendo came out with an official timeline for the games in the series and let us in on some amazing exclusive content we'd never seen before. My favorite part was the concept art and getting to see the different phases of character design they went through before developing the final version.

The above two images are from the Japanese version and are courtesy of
Box art history, the different languages of Hyrule, character information, story details, official graphics and poster art, item/weapon listings, and developer info were all included in 240+ pages of content ... complete with a large-scale GORGEOUS manga in the back telling the story of how the legend began.

Nintendo has since released a digital copy on their eShop, and it's extremely high quality. I'd recommend downloading it on your Nintendo console if you can't get a hold of a physical copy.
This was a dream come true as an artist who was very powerfully inspired by the series!

Now, on to some games!

Last holiday season I got to play and complete The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds!

Wow. What a game...!
ALBW has the charisma of the classic Zelda games paired with the beauty, technology, and innovation of current gaming. It was a phenominal experience.
I like to take bullet point notes while I play a new game, so here's what I jotted down for this one:

-I felt some of the puzzles were absolute genius. Sometimes I'd overthink something and get frustrated, but once I got it, I'd always appreciate the creativity. There was a metric shit ton of thought that went into this game, and it shows.

-The plot is riveting despite being predictable in certain places, the pace is quick and engaging, and I felt the difficulty increases reasonably

-The graphics are gorgeous. Pure eye candy. I am inspired. :]

-That hint system – I'm on the fence about it. Used it on occasion to speed things up, but at the same time wish the temptation wasn't even there.

-The new item and dungeon system (that whole freedom thing) is definitely a good move, I love the range of possibilities it presented, and the added challenge of choosing where to go, when, and how to accomplish the goal. Bought items as soon as possible for convenience. Yes. I died (you lose items you're renting when you die). Whatev.

-Dat MUSIC!!! omg! So well done – 3DS tech made it seem like surround-sound. Very engaging. I was THRILLED at the return of the underworld theme! It's my fave. The Sanctuary and Desert Palace themes gave me goosebumps, and I could just listen to those tracks forever. Love the mini boss theme with the techno and the Milk Bar renditions of the themes... I'm just sad ZREO isn't around anymore to do their own spin on these.

-Also on the fence about having that stamina meter instead of item quantity. I guess it's a challenge in itself, but hardly makes any sense. ^^; I know...Zelda and sense don't usually go together, but hey...

-Enemies can hurt each other! I don't know why this pleases me so much, but it does.

-Great sound effects. Some I recognized from Skyward Sword - like certain dungeon puzzle unlock sounds. And, yes, Link eating apples was awesome.

-I liked that the dungeons weren't painfully long – I didn't feel like I was dragging on in one forever, and I really appreciate the time I get to spend in the outside world in between dungeons.

-Ganon. wtf? I was a little peeved that he didn't gain consciousness and take over Yuga. This is motherflippin' GANON, okay... He was just used as a girly dude's puppet.

-Hilda intrigued me so much. My thought pattern of her since the moment I saw her in trailer to end game was kinda like: "Oh, evil person. Okay, maybe not so evil. Definitely not evil, totally awesome. Okay, sounds kinda like evil. Definitely evil. Okay, maybe not so evil. Totally awesome." Kudos, Nintendo, on throwing me for a loop.

-I was pretty overwhelmed at how many rupees, monster parts, and hearts Lorule Castle just...handed out.

And look! A Majora's Mask cameo~! =P

You can bet that as soon as Club Nintendo made the official posters available, I snatched them up for myself. Beautiful art to go with a beautiful game.

I even did some fanart of my own~!

This game has so much more to offer, including Street Pass Dark Link challenges, mini games, and intriguing story and gameplay. I highly recommend it to anyone with the 3DS.

Last but not least for this entry - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD!

It's Wind Waker remade to be way more pretty and awesome~! :D I'm gonna leave my bullet points of the changes I noticed from the original GameCube version and then share a video of my initial experience. The day I got this game is also the day my brother and I got the Wii U.'re about to see a side of me that...very rarely ever shows its bizarre face. >_>

Changes from the original (if you haven't played the original version, you may not have any idea what I'm talking about...):
-Faster boat cruising and barrel walking
-you don't have to equip the sail, the wind waker, the sea grappling hook, or the bombs to use them
-the wind song doesn't finish every time it's played so you're not wasting time
-when you take a pictograph, it tells you which photos are good to be made into figurines right off the bat
-the treasure in the sea is at shallower depths so you're not waiting forever
-Link can swim longer
-the Triforce trial is a lot less tedious
-new bomb aiming mechanism in the boat
-frickin...flying rupees. If you kill something in the water while you're in the ocean or on an island, the rupees that spawn from it fly at you so you don't have to go fetch
-shadows...there are shadows... Amazing.
-buildings and islands now actually block the wind
-you can set sail in the Tower of Gods now despite no wind...for some reason
-frozen Hyrule is a sepia color, not black and white
-Link usually stays on the boat when hit. Thank God.
-THE SWIFT SAIL. Easily the best part. Sail faster over that massive ocean.
-remastered sound. Beautiful.
-the Tingle bottles...oh dear God those wonderful things
-pictobox doesn't need a light for the forest for a color upgrade
-and now you can turn while swinging on the grappling hook. Nice.

I don't really need to tell you what I thought of the game. The video will say it all.
Mega fangirl warning. Seriously. Don't say I didn't warn you. 'Cause I did. Twice.
No, the hue wasn't really that blue (camera issues), and yes we were using component cables instead of HDMI.

(In the vid I mention bro will be keeping the Wii U when I move...yeah, that's not the case anymore. :3 )

That's all for now, folks~


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