Why Nintendo hasn’t developed another Zelda title in one year like it did with Majora’s Mask

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Following the development of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Nintendo thought to reuse many of the assets and resources created in an attempt to develop the next Zelda game at breakneck speed. They succeeded, and the resulting, Majora’s Mask, was developed in just about one year.

Nintendo hasn’t done that for a major Zelda game ever since. Why not? Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma explained in a recent interview:

“It’s interesting, because there’s definitely this way that we talk about that sort of thing in development circles here in Japan. It’s often presented as a challenge to the developers themselves to accomplish something like that, because it can be very difficult to do. Since I’ve been in the role of producer, though, it’s not something that’s been presented to me as a challenge to take on very often. Sometimes I think about issuing it as a challenge to developers that I’m working with.

“When I think about the kinds of games that you’re describing, where you took the engine and you took some of the original assets and made a new game from that, you know, the kind of creation flow that we had for Majora’s Mask wasn’t limited just to those ideas. We also had to think about how we wanted to change the world, to take something kind of familiar and then warp it. I definitely like that sort of a challenge. I think it’s really fun to think about how you would take that sort of a game in a different direction. For me, in order to properly consider doing that again in the future, I think you really need a compelling topic or a theme with which to start.”

Would a Zelda game created under the challenge of a shorter development cycle be something you’d like to see again? Not only did it give us an Ocarina of Time follow-up far sooner than we would have gotten one otherwise, but it also gave us arguably one of the most groundbreaking entries in the series. You know what they say: innovation is born out of necessity.

IGN

Best Buy has Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call for just $19.99

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If you like Final Fantasy, the music of Nobuo Uematsu and other Square Enix composers, or rhythm games in general, you absolutely cannot go wrong with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call. If you haven’t picked it up yet, Best Buy is back again – you might say they’re making a curtain call… – with the game for a great price.

The 3DS sequel is available to ship or pick up in-store for just $19.99. Note that this is just the game, not either soundtrack bundle. Still, $19.99 is a great deal on this title. You can put that $20 saved to all the amazing DLC available for it!

Best Buy

Takashi Iizuka doesn’t plan to stop making Sonic games for home consoles

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As Sega continues its restructuring and shifts focus to digital and mobile platforms, many fans have been wondering what the changes will mean for the Blue Blur. With Sonic Runners having been announced for mobile platforms, will Sonic become a mobile-exclusive franchise?

Not if Sonic series producer Takashi Iizuka can help it! When asked in an interview if Sonic Team had plans to shift future Sonic titles to smartphones, the head of Sonic Team responded:

“Of course not, at the moment. [For the recently announced Sonic Runners] only, we selected the smartphone as a friendly platform for users since it is most suitable for free-to-play. In my opinion, please rest assured that there is no intention to stop making Sonic for home game consoles.”

Iizuka’s directing credits include Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, and Sonic Heroes, and he served as producer for Sonic ColorsSonic Generations, and Sonic Lost World, among others. Nintendo and Sega’s recent exclusivity contract for Sonic games seems to have been wasted on ended with the Sonic Boom titles, on which Iizuka had no involvement.

4Gamer
via TSSZ

Distant Worlds III: more music from Final Fantasy gets wide release on March 6; up for pre-order now

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While you can already purchase and download the digital album of Distant Worlds III: more music from Final Fantasy from the official Distant Worlds site courtesy of Bandcamp, you now (or rather will soon) have more options. iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Spotify will have the album for download and/or streaming starting March 6th, and you can pre-order it digitally for just $8.99. The physical CD release will also be available starting March 6th.

The album was recorded by the Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, along with vocalist Susan Calloway, in both Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum in Prague, Czech Republic and Arnie Roth’s music studio in Chicago, Illinois (represent!) in November 2014. The recordings were taken in high resolution 88.2khz/24-bit quality.

Actually, since the album was recorded at 88.2/24, I highly recommend you opt for purchasing the album through the official Distant Worlds site. It may be a pricier $14.99, but you can get the album in lossless quality superior to that of the CD format and actually take advantage of the high-res recording. Best of all, it’s available right now.

Amazon, iTunes

GameStop closes pre-orders for Super Mario series amiibo

If you were hoping to pre-order the first wave of Super Mario series amiibo figures, you’ll have to go through some place other than GameStop.

A verified GameStop employee has confirmed that the specialty retailer has closed online and in-store reservations for the Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, and Bowser amiibo. Toad has been sold out for quite some time, while Mario is available exclusively through the Mario Party 10 bundle, which is still available for pre-order.

While the figures can still be obtained through other retailers, the shortened pre-order window may be worrisome to amiibo collectors – the third wave of Super Smash Bros. amiibo were reservable for months, yet are still proving difficult to obtain.

Reddit

Video Games Live: Level 4 now available on iTunes and Amazon

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After months of hard work, Tommy Tallarico & co. have finished Video Games Live: Level 4, the fourth studio album from the critically acclaimed concert tour! The album is now available via iTunes and Amazon. No word on the availability of a lossless download, but streaming services Spotify and Pandora will be getting the album later this week.

The Level 4 album includes arrangements of pieces from the games Donkey Kong Country, League of Legends, Final Fantasy VI, Cave Story, The Legend of Zelda, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, BioShock, Earthworm Jim, Assassin’s Creed IV, Uncharted, and Resident Evil.

If you want even more than just the music, Video Games Live is still offering many of the rewards packages from their Kickstarter campaign from 50-70% off. Older albums, Blu-rays, artwork, conductor’s scores, and more are available. Digital rewards are available here and will be sent out next week. Physical rewards are available here and will be sent out by April. For just the digital albums, hit the links below!

iTunes, Amazon

Rumor: North America may get second shipment of Majora’s Mask Edition New Nintendo 3DS XL

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If you missed out on the Majora’s Mask Edition New Nintendo 3DS XL for whatever reason, one of the worst things you can do is buy one secondhand at an inflated price out of panic and desperation. To be fair, while we know other regions like the UK and Australia will be getting second shipments at the end of March, we had not received any indication that North America would get the same treatment.

Now, however, not only has GameStop Italy begun taking pre-orders for a late March supply, but it seems Nintendo of America’s customer support may have given us a beacon of hope as well: In reassuring a customer with a broken unit that his Majora’s Mask edition wouldn’t be replaced with a readily available standard edition, the support rep reportedly indicated that a second wave of the golden model was on the way.

Due to the circumstances of the report, we’ll chalk this up as a rumor, but all signs certainly do indicate a second wave is imminent. It’s just a matter of whether or not North America gets any of it.

Zelda Dungeon

Majora’s Mask 3D update (version 1.1) now available for North America

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Following the updates issued in Japan yesterday and in Europe earlier today, the update patch for The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is now available for North America. The update takes the game to version 1.1, and can be downloaded from the 3DS eShop, or can be download directly upon booting up the game.

The patch fixes an error message that can occasionally come up during the game, despite there being no actual error. Version 1.1 also fixes a glitch that, after playing in the shop of “Honey & Darling,” prevented players from swinging their sword.

Now Sonic Can Be Hyper Sonic! Custom amiibo by Adam Soltys

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You’ve got a Sonic amiibo. Sure, you could slap some yellow paint on it and brag how you’ve got a Super Sonic amiibo, but you can bet a ton of other people have the exact same idea.

Enter Adam Soltys. Sound familiar? He’s the same customizer that brought us zombie Kirby a while back. Adam decided that giving Sonic the Chaos Emerald treatment wasn’t enough, and decided to give him the seven Super Emeralds (seen around the base). The result is a beautiful Sonic 3 & Knuckles Hyper Sonic custom amiibo, complete with sparkling, holographic paint that changes color when viewed from different angles.

You can view more photos of the finished custom figure after the break. Be sure to check out Adam’s Facebook page below to follow along with his creations!

ASoltys Art Creations (Facebook)

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New commercial for Pokémon TCG XY expansion: Emerald Break

A new commercial for the up-and-coming Pokémon TCG set, “Emerald Break,” has been uploaded to YouTube. The commercial features three new cards: A Nincada, a dragon-type Altaria, and a colourless Ancient Trait Altaria.

Emerald Break is due to be released in Japan on March 14th, and then later released in the West on May 6th under the name “Roaring Skies.” Emerald Break is centered around the legendary Pokémon, Rayquaza, who in this set will recieve an EX and a Mega EX card.

Pokémon (Japan)