The weekly round-up is upon us! Nintendo is in the midst of a busy 30 days, within which no less than three major first-party games have or will hit retailing shelves around the world. A long yet light-hearted edition of Iwata Asks punctuates the company’s busy holiday period.
Forging a Legend
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is upon us of course, and represents a late jewel in Wii’s crown for both critics and fans. An unshakeable contender for 2011’s game of the year, Link’s latest adventure (Iwata reveals) would have been fit for release in 2010!
“If we’d only been thinking about what was most convenient for the company when we made this new game The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, we probably would have put a half-finished product on sale last Christmas by saying that we have managed to make it on time just because it was the order from the company.”
Naturally, Nintendo doesn’t do things halfway, and the result is a grand Zelda experience. Miyamoto broke the game down to two cycles, “6 months making the game, and another 6 months fine-tuning it.”
“Because the game we were making was so huge, we needed to work that hard on it. Otherwise it would have felt like a waste. We spent so much time making a really good game and it came out so well that it would have been a waste not to make sure that it was really polished.”
And of course, in Nintendo(jo) news, you can read our review of Skyward Sword here!
Miyamoto: “Super Mario 64 Was Getting Boring”
Yes, the above words are no invention. Super Mario 64 may today be synonym of a confident and successful foray into 3D platforming, but Mario’s own father expressed some off-handed doubts back when the classic was still in utero.
“All of a sudden it hit me. I don’t remember if it was when I watched someone playing it, but I was like, “Wait, a minute…” So I went around and asked everyone, “This game was really fun in the beginning, but now it doesn’t feel fun anymore, does it?” And just as I’d expected, they all said, ‘We agree.'”
How could this have ever been dull? We simply can’t answer that question, readers.
Evidence of uncertainty within greatness always sits strangely. But even Shakespeare felt the shadow of a certain Christopher Marlowe looming over his creative will. Video games stand in a decidedly more recorded part of history, and that fact in combination with the “Iwata Asks” series makes for a public more privy to internal challenges.
A less regular member of the interview, Shigesato Itoi (creator of the EarthBound series), echoed what may be a reader’s sentiment.
“Well, what you’re saying is actually terrifying. In the middle of making Super Mario 64—that Super Mario 64!—Miyamoto Shigeru realized, “This is getting boring.'”
Terrifying to some it might be. To others, enlightening – even the greats can run into a rough patch. Perhaps their greatness lies in recognizing it!
Metroid II: Return of Samus Hits 3DS eShop
20 years on, Samus’ only handheld adventure is back to grace your (rather newer) Nintendo 3DS. Metroid II: Return of Samus tasks players purely with the eradication of Metroids (or “ultimate wariors”) on their home planet. An ever-present counter in the lower-right corner of the screen indicates how many aliens are left to kill before unraveling the next part of a lonesome, bleak, and claustrophobic mission.
The game allows for progress to be saved– a convenience only afforded by Japanese versions in the first Metroid. Beyond that, Samus here became the subject of much novelty in her role as sci-fi heroine: the Spider Ball, upgrades to firepower, and the all-important (if easily overlooked) ability to shoot while airborne.
At $3.99, Metroid fans and completionists have little reason to avoid the dark depths of planet SR388 (other than its very nature).
Indie Composers Join Forces for Zelda Tribute Album
A team of talented composers, eventually grown to be eighteen strong, brings you 25YEARLEGEND, a marriage of Nintendo nostalgia and sonic pleasure.
It’s all but impossible not to take heart at this blend of familiar phrases with modern, electronica aesthetic. Those with a sensitivity to the franchise’s musical distinction would be remiss not to lend an ear. 25 years, Zelda. Bravo to Nintendo, and to the artists of 25YEARLEGEND.
That’s it for this week, and what a good one it was. Do let us know what piece of news you’re particularly excited about!