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E3 2016 Nintendo Opinions

Why We Should Be Excited About Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Nintendo did not have a conference at this year’s E3, but that did not stop them from presenting what may be one of the most anticipated games of 2017.  On Tuesday, June 14th, we were shown a trailer for the new upcoming Zelda title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild followed by an entire day show casing various gameplay elements the game has to offer.  The trailer begins with a mysterious female voice uttering the words “Open your eyes”, followed by panoramic views of the game’s setting, presumably Hyrule at this point, but is yet to be determined.  This game is gorgeous.  With an art style favoring a hybrid of Wind Waker and Skyward Sword on a next-gen level, the worlds beauty really comes to life in it’s lush, colorful ambience.  Everything from the sun setting behind a mountaintop casting the shadow of the giant walking it’s cliffs, to the ripples of a lake as ducks peaceful bathe in it, I was immediately in awe at this new vision for Hyrule.  I also noticed some familiar scenery which has Link traveling in a desert, much like the Gerudo Desert in previous installments, as well Link scaling a snowy mountainside in search of a dungeon.  “After Skyward Sword, we needed to develop a bigger world.” stated Eiji Aonuma, lead director for Breath of the Wild.  Landscapes in Skyward Sword seemed very bland, and uninteresting, so it is to no surprise that Aonuma-san wanted to create a bigger, better, and more beautiful world, and from what can be seen so far, they are sure to deliver.

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Gameplay mechanics hold true to what has made Zelda a fun and engaging experience for it’s fans but is now accompanied by upgraded features that aim to engender the interests of players unfamiliar with the franchise. Link has kept his sprinting mechanic familiar in Skyward Sword, but has now also been equipped with the ability to jump, as previous titles only limited the hero of time to merely running to the edge of a platform or cliff before performing his jump animation.  Paired with his newly acquired jump ability, Link can also climb his surroundings.  A stamina bar displays on the screen as our hero can climb trees for higher vantage points, or scale mountains in search of hidden caves or dungeons to explore.  Although it is unclear at this time, it has been speculated that the player can upgrade Link’s stamina bar to further increase the expanse of his environment which he can climb.

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A crafting (or cooking) mechanic has been added, as shown in the trailer, which features Link adding items to a cauldron in attempt to concoct various items to aid him in his journey via searching local enemy camps or hunting a wild boar with his trusty bow and arrow.  One item which was show cased during the demo was a piece of meat which was cooked and provided the player with not only a health recharge, but a health boost which will most certainly come in handy before encountering a difficult enemy or boss.  It will be interesting to see what sort of items can be created using this mechanic.  Perhaps an attack or defense boost, or maybe a stamina boost which allows you to climb and sprint for longer durations.

Weapons and armor play an important role in this game as well.  One of the biggest eye sores of the trailer reveals Link not wearing his iconic green tunic.  This caused quite a bit of conjecture among fans of the series, for many assumed the protagonist in this particular entry was not going to be Link, but that theory has since been debunked.  In lieu of Link’s green tunic, we see him wearing a blue tunic like top with brownish cloth pants similar to what he wore in Skyward Sword.  These items can be removed at any point in the game if the player so chooses and can later be replaced by what looks like stronger armor for Link to defend himself against enemy blows.  Maybe the legendary green tunic is an item which can be found later in the game?
Many of the weapons found in the demo seem to have a durability mechanic in which the weapons weaken over time and causes the player to discard items either through the options menu or by hurling them at your opponent for some extra damage before equipping or finding your next means of defense.  It will be interesting to see how this mechanic plays a role in crafting and the longevity of one weapon versus the other.
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The landscape is plentiful and that is an understatement.  The sheer size of this game is huge.  The map shown in the demo rivaled that of most open world titles such as Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto, which is a very bold approach, and unlike anything we have seen from Nintendo to date. Players can add beacons on their map to help guide them to new locations, or serve as reminders to revisit an area for further exploration.  At one point in the demo, a beacon is placed in a distant part of the map, and Link is shown parachuting off of a cliff hundreds of feet above the tree lines towards his destination all in real time.  Upon landing on the ground, Link then ventures inside an archaic yet unworldly structure in pursuit of treasure to aid him on his quest.

Zelda: BotW will redirect itself from more linear titles such as Zelda: The Ocarina of Time and return to it’s exploration roots which made the original so memorable.  Players can create their own adventure in this open, sand box Hyrule instead of having their hands held by an annoying fairy. Sorry, Navi.    Eiji Aonuma recently stated “Our mission in developing this new Zelda game for Wii U is quite plainly to re-think the conventions of Zelda. I’m referring to the expectation that the player is supposed to complete dungeons in a certain order, or that you’re supposed to play by yourself. The things we’ve come to take for granted recently. We want to set aside these conventions, get back to basics, and create a newborn Zelda so that the players can best enjoy the real essence of the franchise.”

Zelda has meant so much to the gaming industry and to fans all over the world (and even to myself personally), so it is a breath of fresh air to see this game reimagined into what it is becoming.  There is so much to do and explore, and fans are waiting in anticipation to get their hands on the game, but unfortunately we will have to wait until it releases on the Wii U and presumably the Nintendo “NX” in March of 2017.  Be sure to view the trailer below and for more on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, keep it locked right here at ProvenGamer.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Nintendo Wii U News

Nintendo showcasing New Legend of Zelda at E3

Although Nintendo will not have a presentation at this year’s E3, it seems they will not be completely MIA.  COO Reggi “My body is ready” Fils-Aime’ announced that Nintendo will be broadcasting a day-long, Live stream of Nintendo Treehouse on June 14th to showcase the new Legend of Zelda title.   The Stream will contain gameplay footage as well as live commentary from Nintendo developers and behind the scenes information.  The best part?  Nintendo will have a playable version of this new Legend of Zelda on the showfloor for the first time ever, however this will be the only game showcased at E3 from Nintendo. This title will be different from previous installments of the franchise with the introduction of new gameplay mechanics as well as an open world environment.  The game was recently delayed to 2017 to improve it’s quality and possible launch date alongside the NX.

For more news on The Legend of Zelda, be sure to visit Provengamer.com!

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Playstation 4 News

The Last of Us 2 Confirmed

*Update*

While the game was not confirmed at E3, it was confirmed at PSX 2016.

*Original Story*

On Proven Gamer’s visit to PAX East 2016 it was confirmed by an unnamed, yet very reliable source very close to the project, that The Last of Us 2 is in development, and will have a formal appearance at E3 in June.  As of now, the game has been set to launch in 2018 on both the Playstation 4 and the Playstation VR and will showcase the return of Joel and Ellie, but sources are quiet at this time as to if they are the main protagonists in the game.  Die hard fans rejoice as the series’ multiplayer makes a return as well as two single player DLC campaign add ons.  Stay tuned to ProvenGamer.com for more info on The Last of Us 2 when it will finally be revealed at E3 in June!

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You also listen to Trophy Whores 254 and find out how 4 big fans of the series think about the news.

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Playstation 4 Reviews X-Box One Reviews

Review: Tales from the Borderlands Ep. 5: The Vault of the Traveler

In the final episode of Tales from the Borderlands, Telltale Games has managed to create one of their funniest, yet darkest episodes yet. The episode takes you on a roller coaster of emotions as you laugh, feel uncomfortable at times, and want to tear up at others. The game ties up loose ends, characters die, and other characters return. In the Vault of the Traveler, Telltale actually makes it feel like your choices from the previous episodes greatly impact the way your story ends. Characters react to you based on how you treated them in previous episodes, and there is even a choice that you make earlier in the series that can determine if one of your main characters lives or dies at the end. There are throwbacks galore to previous Borderland titles and Easter eggs that range from Power Rangers to Final Fantasy 7. Much like Telltale’s other games, episode 4 was a drag, but they always knock it out of the park with the finale. Telltale continues to finish strong.

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As always with Borderlands, comedy was one of the stronger parts of the game. Much like the main Borderlands games, I caught myself caring about the robot characters more than the human characters. Their innocent, yet comedic charm makes them more likable in my opinion. Loaderbot and Gortys speak to me much like Claptrap did in the previous games. That being said, a lot of the human characters came into their own in the finale. Characters I could care less about previously suddenly made me care, even Handsome Jack made me feel sorry for him.
The final boss battle of Tales from the Borderlands was phenomenal. There is a nod to the Power Rangers here that I thought was brilliant. The combat itself was a mix of the usual run of the mill Telltale combat that we are used to from previous games from the developer, but they have added in a fighting game style that reminds me of Street Fighter. Even the combat animations are nods to move from Chun Li as well as Ken and Ryu.

I do however have a couple of issues with the story. In times it felt too rushed. This is in part because Telltale left a lot of plot holes that needed to be tied up from previous installments. The game would have benefited from having more substance in Episode 4 to spread out the content instead of trying to fit the amount of content that they did in a mere two hours. This seems to be a recurring trend with Telltale games, as The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead season two suffered from the same criticisms.

Another recurring trend with Telltale games is the hiccups that the game engine seems to suffer from. In several spots of the game, frame-rates would drop, scenes would stutter and seem to skip. The company seems to be pushing out title after title, where they could really benefit from taking a little down time to optimize the game engine to make the game more enjoyable for their fans. I played the game on PS4, so I can only assume that the last gen versions of the games suffered from these issues more than I did.

The audio for the game was on point though. There were a couple of license tracks that really added to the experience, especially Retrograde from James Blake that plays during the title sequence of the episode. Voice acting wise, as always Telltale are at the top of their game. The characters voices fit them, the lines were delivered with meaning and were all around enjoyable to listen to.

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 5: The Vault of the Traveler gives the series an amazing conclusion, in what I believe is the best ending that Telltale has given us next to The Walking Dead Season 1 and definitely the strong episode of this series. All of the questions that loomed from previous episodes were answered and tied up nicely, as well as new questions to consider about that will in no doubt shape the future of Borderlands, such as is this a sneak preview of what Pandora will look like when we finally get Borderlands 3.