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Look out Nintendo Wii owners: 2010 is going to rock your faces. After a relatively lackluster start, Nintendo is set to ramp things up. Most hardcore fans were disappointed by Nintendo's past two E3 showings, during which the big N showcased shameful products like Wii Music, Wii Fit Plus, and the absolutely ludicrous Wii Vitality Sensor. Fortunately Nintendo is upping their game by releasing a tidal wave of awesome first-party titles. Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid: Other M, the new Zelda game--let's call it New Zelda Wii for now, and a couple potential wildcards (possibly new installments of the Pikmin, Star Fox or Kirby franchises) are set to take the stage at E3 2010 and release later this year. In the first article of a series on Nintendo's 2010 line-up, let's take a look at New Zelda Wii.
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We've waited over three years and still there's no new Zelda game for the Nintendo Wii. Really, it's not going too far to say there's been no original Zelda games for the Wii at all. Can you really count Twilight Princess? Sure, it was a great game, but when you take away the unnecessary waggle controls, it's just a glorified GameCube port. And, while fun, Link's Crossbow Training proved to be little more than a Wii Zapper tech demo.
After a lackluster Nintendo showing at E3 2009, we were prepared to remain disappointed. Until, during an exclusive backroom meeting, Shigeru Miyamoto revealed this:
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Yes, concept art. In the past eight months us Zelda fans have had little to go on except for this one piece of concept art and a few scattered announcements. There hasn't been so much as a screenshot. Fortunately that one screenshot and a handful of soundbytes have been enough to build up hulking tower of rumors.
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What We Know So Far
So far we know New Zelda Wii is going to take the stage--and floor--at E3 2010. In an interview with Famitsu (translation courtesy andriasang.com), Nintendo president Satoru Iwata confirmed that New Zelda Wii would be a large point of focus at E3 2010 and would hopefully be in playable demo form. Let's hope so, since the Nintendo president also claimed he hoped to have the game out by the end of 2010 (via Kotaku)--but let's not get our hopes up, since this is Nintendo we're dealing with.
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In the same interview, Iwata revealed that the game would not only utilize the Wii MotionPlus peripheral, but will be Wii MotionPlus exclusive. If you've played Wii Sports Resort and its swordplay mini-game, then this should be enough to get you very excited. Iwata went on to confirm that the game would feature 1:1 swordplay--a feature as of yet unseen outside of Wii Sports Resort (as it turns out upcoming release Red Steel 2 uses its Wii MotionPlus implementation to a lessened effect, using pre-rendered directional slashes with a slight delay).
He went on to suggest that the way you kill enemies could be part of a new puzzle-solving mechanic. So, to sum up what we know for sure: you'll have true 1:1 swordplay with Link, gaming press will (hopefully) be able to present firsthand impressions after E3 2010, and we'll almost definitely see an epic trailer.
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Rumors and Speculation
Gaming blog Joystiq caught wind of a thread on a Japanese online messageboard, 2chan. It's notable because posters on the board have made accurate predictions in the past, but bear in mind these are still message board posts and are completely unconfirmed by any official source. Here's the rumors Joystiq picked up:
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New Zelda Wii will be a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and therefore another sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The implications to this are huge, especially to the generation of Zelda fans who grew up in the Nintendo 64 era. Of course Hero of Time Link has some unfinished business. You may recall at the start of Majora's Mask, the opening cut scene told us Link was in search of a missing friend--more than likely his fairy guide Navi. Before he could complete that quest, of course, he was attacked by the Skull Kid and wound up battling new evil in Termina. It'd certainly be nice to return to the Hero of Time's story, but a rumor is just that: a rumor.
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So all that's left to do now is wait for more news on New Zelda Wii. Stay tuned for updates as E3 2010 draws nearer, and be sure to check out the next article on Samus Aran's return in Metroid: Other M.