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E3 2010: Nintendo 3DS and Skyward Sword roundtable

Earlier tonight Nintendo gathered a select group of games journalists for a special (and annual) roundtable event focused solely on the Nintendo 3DS and Zelda: Skyward Sword. We’ll get into the details a bit later, but for the sake of getting you the information, we’ll run through the highlights now.

ON OCARINA OF TIME 3D

It’s true – the N64 classic is coming to 3DS. I saw a brief demo of the game, which was only Link riding Epona through Hyrule field, but the 3D effect was still strong and breathed new life into a game we all thought we’d finished playing long ago. In fact, Miyamoto said once he saw the 3DS screen was in development he wanted to see Hyrule Field reborn with this new technology.

It’s not just a straight 3D port though – this along with Star Fox 64 3D will receive minor gameplay tweaks that acknowledge the past 10 years of game design. For example, switching weapons and items in Ocarina will not be as laborious a task in the 3DS version. Series director Eiji Aonuma went so far as to say this new feature will make the infamous water temple much more bearable. “I’ve lived with that for the last 10 years,” he said in reference to the dungeon in question. Actually, he agreed it was “horrible.” Not anymore, it would seem.

ON THE 3DS

Development actually began three years ago, and the finished unit will launch sometime around March 2011. Nintendo’s aiming for battery life on par with the DSi. The system-specific, persistent “tag” mode mentioned is essentially an enhancement of Nintendogs’ “Bark” mode, where you’d close your DS and it would communicate with other DSes nearby.

Now each unit will share data that will unlock new features, download ghost data and other things of that nature. It was suggested that the 3DS versions of Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and Nintendogs + Cats will use this feature.

ON SKYWARD SWORD

This time around Link has been born and raised on a floating island called Skyloft, and one day discovers that there’s a world beneath the clouds (you saw him diving into said clouds in the trailer). Once down there, it’s naturally ruled by some evil force that must be toppled. The previously mysterious sword woman (teased last year and thus far the only image anyone had of this new Wii Zelda) is in fact the Skyward Sword in humanoid form.

If you watched the press conference Tuesday morning, you saw Miyamoto’s demo cut short by technical issues that interfered with the Wii Remote’s motion sensors. That wasn’t the case this time around, as we saw reasonably fluid responses to sword strikes, arrow aiming and item using. Enemies react by changing their stance, requiring you to alter your attack – not unlike the combat in this year’s excellent Red Steel 2.

Miyamoto said the visual style, which is heavily influenced by impressionist paintings (or y’know, a mix between Twilight Princess and Wind Waker), was almost immediately approved with little alteration.

We’ll have much more on all these topics as E3 2010 rolls on. My personal quick take – Nintendo’s on a roll this E3, and between Skyward Sword, the 3DS and all its associated games, I don’t understand how anyone can argue.

17 comments

  • GoodGuyWithACrappyJob - June 18, 2010 3:37 a.m.

    The art style itself lends to the interesting impressionist feel. In its unfinished form, it still looks odd, though, with a highly detailed Link and obscure background graphics. Plenty of time to fix that though. The 3DS is what I'm very excited for. I'm just worried about its effect on my 2D lifestyle.
  • GameManiac - June 17, 2010 1:28 a.m.

    Screw Sony and screw Microsoft! Nintendo has unanimously stolen the show and walked away with it!
  • shyfonzie - June 17, 2010 1:25 a.m.

    I really love Skyward Sword's art style. I hadn't heard about this Skyloft stuff yet. Has it been revealed if he still fights Ganon?
  • DrRock - June 16, 2010 2:13 p.m.

    I wasn't really impressed with the new Zelda game. Looks exactly like the first Wii Zelda game. They've had like 4 years to tweak the graphics and they haven't for what they've shown. I'll play it don't get me wrong but it's definitely not a day one purchase though. Overall I thought that Nintendo's presser was the best overall. Can't wait to see more on the 3DS. recaptcha: conduct abnormal
  • ihopethisisnotantistasblood - June 16, 2010 12:28 p.m.

    hopefully nintendo will never listen to batouyukinawa
  • SausageLozenge - June 16, 2010 10:44 a.m.

    Looks good to me!
  • philipshaw - June 16, 2010 10:04 a.m.

    I have to agree with you Brett, Nintendo won E3 hands down this year
  • Conman93 - June 16, 2010 8:28 a.m.

    Hopefully a 3ds price will be released soon! Skyward Sword looks great, the graphics are gorgeous and the gameplay is most likely spot on. Would like a release date for that too!
  • batouyukinawa - June 16, 2010 7:19 a.m.

    Although I am not really disappointed, at the same time I kinda have to say I am. Yeah, I just contradicted myself there, but there's so much potential in Zelda by just simply taking it out of it's same medieval times setting. I was really hoping for a Zelda that took place in the future. Come on, you know it would have blown your mind! Epona becomes a Akira style motorcycle, and Hyrule becomes a huge sprawling Neo Tokyo, with gangs of moblins taking up portions of the city. And Links new arsenal became a boom-stick, and a huge Katana. I know it's a stretch, but we all know all the Links are different people anyway. So why are we still in basically the same damn era??? Reboot Zelda, REBOOT!!!!
  • Spybreak8 - June 16, 2010 6:06 a.m.

    Awesome, highly interested indeed. When I saw the list of titles in dev on the web my jaw hit the keyboard! I'll be able to revive my N64 gaming days, on the go non the less, now!
  • slimjim441 - June 16, 2010 5:35 a.m.

    It's true. Nintendo is going to be unstoppable this year.
  • SaltyWalnuts - June 16, 2010 5:33 a.m.

    nintendo, how i love thee again. Ever since i first read about the 3ds (on this website of course) iv been completely giddy like a little kid on christmas (or for a more adult metephor.. like i just lost my virginity).. iv spent this whole day acting like a missionary trying to spread the word of Nintendo to all that are around me (the father, the plumber, and the holy reggie)
  • REIGNx777 - June 16, 2010 5:20 a.m.

    I'm sad I haven't seen any of you guys out on the show floor. Only person I've seen was T Nag, while I was blasting around.
  • bjt2012 - June 16, 2010 5:14 a.m.

    Ocarina of Time convinced me to buy the 3DS. Although, I thought the Nintendo press conference was vomit-inducing PR garbage.
  • theemporer - June 16, 2010 5:14 a.m.

    OMG, Link is an ooca!
  • somerandomchap - June 16, 2010 5:07 a.m.

    im not too sure bout skyward sword, looks casual

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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