• Activity

    • The Secret of "Link's Awakening" Finally Revealed!

      4 years ago

      beyondthestars

      Editor’s Note: Link’s Awakening would have been pretty cool with two-four players…even if the using three link cables could have made things a bit tangled. Although I think Nintendo may have been planning to make this a two-player (as opposed to 2+ player) game before ultimately deciding to make it single player only. But it's still a neat piece of trivia regardless.  

      While watching Screwattack's latest 24 hour live-stream, I decided to start casually reading through the Hyrule Historia, which had just come in the mail. Now, Link's Awakening was the very first Zelda game that I had ever seen, let alone played. So since it has such strong nostalgic value to me, I excitedly flipped over to the section dedicated to the game, hoping to find pages of goodies to offer insight into one of the most impactful games of my youth. To my dismay, all there was was a single page... Page 144. But that single page actually contained 7 pages of information scaled down to fit in the margins. As I studied it, suddenly, my mouth dropped at what I noticed... the words "What're we gonna do about 1P mode?" Shocked, I looked over to the accompanying picture to study it. Sure enough, it shows several Links attacking the same boss!

      The implications here are huge. So many questions arise. Why was the plan dropped? How far along did they get? How would players differentiate from each other on the monochromatic Game Boy screen? Would it have been the same as the story mode? Does the game we have contain the assets that were originally designed for multiplayer? If this was already in place then why wasn't it included for the DX version? Why did it take a good 9 years for Nintendo to finally bring the idea into fruition?

      Link's Awakening is good but it would have went down in history as something really special if this had happened. Although multiplayer has been included in Zelda titles since, no game in the series has the level of integration implied here. This is a game that plays perfectly as a single player game. If it also played just as well as a multiplayer game then its design would truly be the stuff of legend. But maybe that's just it. Maybe they couldn't strike the balance needed to meet the standards of the franchise. And maybe that's why the Four Swords games are so drastically different in design than the other titles in the series. But, oh man, if only they were able to actually pull it off! This timeless classic would surely be revered to this day as something extraordinary.

    • The Zelda Time-Line Explained – Part 2: Now Things Get Convoluted

      5 years ago

      beyondthestars
      SPOILER WARNING! THIS ARTICLE GOES INTO GREAT DETAIL CONSCERNING THE EVENTS THAT TRANSPIRE DURING SKYWARD SWORD. IF YOU HAVE YET TO BEAT IT THEN YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO WANT TO READ THIS.

      You have been warned

      The time travel in Skyward Sword makes Ocarina of Time look like a chump. There is a grand total of 5 time-lines in this game with only ONE of them being the twisted one that we already know and love. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Let's start at the beginning...

      The time-line that you start out in is sort of like the “Hero is defeated” one from OoT. I say that because in this one, Link and Zelda both vanish off of the face of the earth. Demise breaks loose as Link isn't there to reinforce the seal and VOILA! we already have a fresh new time-line for future Zelda game's to fall in!

      Now, the first split occurs when Zelda and Impa use the first Gate of Time. This new time-line is actually the old one that already has games attached to it. Why this one, you ask? Because in this one, Zelda (the original Zelda) is still sleeping. Although apparently Demise gets free anyways, neither Link nor Ghirahim ever appear to disturb Zelda from her sealing slumber. That's an important fact for a little game called The Adventure of Link.

      The moment that Zelda took her nap in Skyward Sword, I geeked out.

      Now, those of you familiar with Zelda II might want to point out that, according to the manual, Zelda was put to sleep by the prince's magician. But it also says that this is the legend of the "first" Zelda... meaning the sleeping Zelda is the original one. Skyward Sword makes it clear that we're seeing the first Link and Zelda. So we have an issue here. Either Nintendo is lying about Skyward Sword being the beginning (not out of the question), it was a simple oversight and she was intended to be the same Zelda from Adventure of Link, she gets the spell cast on her later in life, or (what I believe) the legend is so old for the Hylians of Zelda II that it no longer tells the tale accurately (in other-words, Nintendo wanted to tell a different story).

      Nonetheless, the Link of Skyward Sword never sees that time-line, though (which is why you don't see Zelda in the Sealed Temple until later). He goes on adventuring through the original time-line... at least for a while. The next split occurs when Link uses the second Gate of Time. This is where (or rather when) he is tasked to collect the Triforce. Now remember, although going back in time always creates a new time-line, going forward in time doesn't. So, this is the time-line in which Link uses the Triforce to crush Demise. Chances are that the baddy finds a way to eventually bounce back and, thus, we are given yet another time-line for future Zelda games to utilize.

      The third split (getting overwhelmed yet?) comes by the hands of Ghirahim. He sets Demise free in the past, causing a rift in the future. This is a sad one, though, because not only is Demise set loose but Zelda dies in the process. I'd love to see a game take place in this time-line. I mean, people are always asking for a dark Zelda game and man, would they get one!

      But wait! There's more!
      

       

      Link creates yet another time-line by going in after Ghirahim to put a stop to his shenanigans. This is the one you're in when you finally beat Skyward Sword. It also has tons of new possibilities, since Demise promises to return to battle Link's descendents (like he does in the time-line that we're already familiar with).

      This means that with Skyward Sword everything has been reset for Link's battle with Ganon (cough cough, I mean Demise) in 4 all new separate time-lines.

      Cool, isn't it?

       

      Alright, well, there it is. I hope you enjoyed this fairly lengthy 2-part discourse of mine. Hit me up in the comments and tell me what you think. Did it make sense? Do you agree or do you think that I'm completely off base? Maybe I missed something important. Let me know!

    • The Zelda Time-Line Explained – Part 1: Why We Needed a 3rd Time-Line

      5 years ago

      beyondthestars

      One thing that had always bothered me about Zelda was a sense of inconsistency within it's rules. It seemed incongruent that the end of Ocarina of Time would create an alternate time-line but the time-traveling events within the game itself wouldn't. There has to be some sort of logical standard that the story maintains from beginning to end. Either you travel back and forth on a single time-line or you don't. Because of that, the "splitest" theory (as James Rolfe puts it) never sat well with me.

      But the time-line HAD to split because the idea that a time-line continues to exist after you leave it is fundamental to the story of Majora's Mask. There's a sadness that sticks with you, knowing that even though you brought the two lovers together, they are destined to die soon anyways. There is a taste of bitter irony that lingers with you after you beat a dungeon or reunite the deku princess with her king only to play the song of time again. You know that your success within that time-line is going to be short lived because, regardless of all that you accomplished, the moon will destroy everything and everyone in a matter of moments.

      If you travel back and forth on the same time-line, not only would that level of heartfelt storytelling not exist, the game's core mechanics wouldn't even work. On a single time-line, we would start to see a whole bunch of Links all simultaneously going about the tasks that you've already done. That would be crazy! So yes, the Zelda universe operates under the assumption that when you go back in time, you create another time-line while the original one continues on. Now, let's apply that knowledge to Ocarina of Time...

      This in turn means that there has to be a time-line in which the citizens of Hyrule would believe that Link was defeated... because in that time-line, he just disappeared. It is possible to play OoT and only return to childhood once during game-play. You have to do it though... once. That single unavoidable event means that Link's failure time-line has to exist in canon. It has nothing to do with dieing and everything to do with disappearing. This also works better than believing that OoT was in fact the Imprisoning War (as some had previously believed), since this game had no war in it at all. A war implies armies of soldiers, not one kid on a personal adventure. Link's success made the Imprisoning War not necessary (for the two appropriate time-lines, that is).

      As a bonus, I'd also like to point out that the differing art styles of the franchise tend to match with their respective time-lines. The original time-line (the one in OoT that continues without Link after he first returns to childhood) is a mixture of both light and dark. Although it's not full out cartoony, it's also not too foreboding or too realistic. Skyward Sword is an example of this as it has realistic character models paired up with bright painterly textures. The art direction for both Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past are both probably the most middle of the road among all the games in the series. With this time-line, it seams that the further you go, the darker it gets. Skyward Sword and The Minish Cap are definitely the brightest, while the NES games are definitely the darkest (especially Zelda II).

      The 3 time-lines and their respective art styles

      The child Link time-line is the darkest of them all. We have Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess setting the tone for this one. On the other hand, the time-line where Link defeats Ganon is completely cartoony as every one of them has a cell shaded art style.

      ...I wonder if any of this was intentional?

      Alright, so now the 3 separate time-lines are beginning to make sense but how does this whole thing affect all the Zelda games that are yet to come? Well, join me in part 2 of my in depth examination of the Zelda time-line.

      Warning, though. Part 2 is full of spoilers for those who haven't beaten Skyward Sword.

      Here's the.. uh... Link

    • Game Changers - the significance of casual games

      5 years ago

      beyondthestars

      Editor's Note: I always knew there was an upside to "casual gaming." Thanks for proving me right beyondthestars!

      Even if you're an an old-school gamer who remembers cartridges and password saves, I am certain that you've benefited from the explosion of casual games onto the market.

      Before I go too far though, I should make clear what I consider to be casual games. They are games that are either meant for quick and painless consumption or games that target a demographic that is traditionally outside of the gaming community.

      This means that whether you're someone who only ever touches Bejeweld (but undoubtedly plays it religiously), an 18 year-old CoD and Madden fanatic, or one of those few people out there that actually uses your Wii Fit - if that's the crux of your gaming lifestyle - you're a casual gamer.

      We are currently experiencing a shift in the cultural perception of video games. This is very important and very, VERY good for all of us gamers. If we just rewind the clock about 10 years and take a peek into what the climate looked like back then, we'll see a drastic difference in the way that video games are perceived and accepted by the general public. Back then, if you played video games then it was assumed that you were probably some adolescent or angst-ridden teenage boy. If you weren't then you were an anomaly... no doubt a lazy man-child. Then, if you were a girl, well... people's heads would explode because that was something that just wouldn't compute at all. People, not understanding video games, would look on at them from a distance and only see someone sitting in front of a screen for hours on end. To them, video games were the ultimate time and life wasters. Now, don't get me wrong. video games CAN be a colossal waste of time and completely devour a person's life if not kept in check. But you can say that about almost anything. What needed to change was the way that people looked at games and the way that video game culture was perceived by the general public. The only way to really do that was to trick everyone into experiencing the joy of gaming for themselves. How does one accomplish this mighty task? With casual gaming of course!

      If you don't know, Nintendo was a huge forerunner for the casual gaming trend back when they first decided to experiment with their blue ocean strategy. The DS and the Wii are fine examples of this. The hook was that these video-game systems were specifically targeted toward non-gamers; a revolutionary idea for its time. When Nintendo first started talking about the Wii, I remember being shocked by something that Shigeru Miyamoto said. He claimed that they didn't consider Nintendo to be in competition with the other hardware developers this time around and (here's the kicker) if people wanted a traditional core gaming experience then he suggested that they should either buy Sony or Microsoft's systems instead.

      What?! ...Nintendo was actually suggesting that some people pick up an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3?! Unheard of!

      The concept of a blue ocean strategy is the idea that one creates a market around a type of product or service that is currently not in existence. Instead of fighting for market share, you create a new demand in an area that is completely free of activity.

       

      But before you go getting your pitchforks and torches and screaming about how Nintendo knowingly and willingly abandoned its loyal fan-base, let me continue to have the floor for just a little bit longer so I can state my case. Nintendo wasn't trying to alienate the gaming community with its push for casual games, it was trying to move the boundaries of what it means to be a video game to a more accessible frontier. They have always been trying to let an industry of interactivity evolve in creative ways and just because they make games that appeal to the casual gamer doesn't mean that they aren't "hardcore" anymore. In fact, this casual gaming idea is as hardcore as it gets. Nintendo's goal was to change the stigma associated towards video games so that the industry could be taken seriously by the general public and truly bloom as a culturally viable and respectable form of entertainment (despite whatever Roger Ebert thinks).

      As I have already pointed out, before the Wii, gamers were largely made out to be outcasts and they were presumed to be deserving of that fate. Many were ostracized and ridiculed for playing video games but now, just six years later, there is virtually no longer any negative stigma associated with playing video games any more (relatively speaking). Plus, not only can gamers get dates, I actually know as many girls that play deep and engaging video games as boys. Wii Sports and the like weren't the goal that Nintendo was aiming at but the stepping stone towards a shift in the cultural paradigm. That's one of the reasons that they brought back the 2D Mario games with the New Super Mario Bros. franchise. Those games are ones that a more casual market can get behind. Don't believe me? How many of you have friends who aren't real gamers yet still pull out Super Mario Bros .Wii  while at parties? But, as I said, that was never the end game. Next on the list for Nintendo's clever strategy of non-gamer acclimation was Super Mario 3D Land, a game designed to be a bridge between the Mario games (2D and 3D) and get casual gamers more comfortable (and attracted to) the more hardcore experience of the 3D ones. This is a wise choice since even though Mario 64 is considered a classic, it didn't sell nearly as well as the previous Mario games.

      In a recent speech, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that he always uses his wife as a meter of success. As someone who doesn't care for video games at all, the more interest that she shows in a product, the more successful he considers the product to be. Although at first blush that might not mean anything to us gaming enthusiasts, we can't deny the impact that strategy has had on the games that we love to play. He used it for basically every classic game he's ever worked on... Mario, Zelda, the Mario Kart franchise... you name it.

      Look at that happy gaming couple! Brings a tear to my eye.

      This kind of strategy has spilled over to our everyday lives in significant ways but Nintendo isn't the only one who's been expanding the market. My brothers dropped video games a long time ago and it's been interesting to see how things have changed over time. A few years ago, I would feel like a black sheep in the family whenever the topic of video games came up. If I expressed excitement over a new release, I would often receive condescending looks of embarrassment. Admittedly at best, everything would become very awkward and I had learned to hide that part of me to at least some extent. But something changed and every year they began to act and talk more and more like hardcore gamers themselves. My brothers, like most guys, are largely competitive and they started to partake in the occasional Smash Bros bout or play quick competitive matches of Halo. They loved it for the sense of competition and because matches only lasted a few minutes at a time. Games like those were short and refreshing – the perfect gaming gateway drug. Time would go by and they consumed these short matches like potato chips, one right after the other. But those games started to become stale and feel repetitive. They needed something else. They needed to go online.

      It's undeniable that online competition has been a foundation for what we call “gramer” culture. With online gaming finally extending it's reach to consoles in a significant way (sorry Dreamcast), gramers like my brothers were introduced to an exciting world of competition that in many ways felt endless with its opportunities and potential for variety, change, and, above all, interactivity. The way that Microsoft specifically has been able to tame the internet has brought growth to the market in ways that arguably rivals Nintendo's own casual expansion. Although my brothers still didn't feel like they were that “loser” across the hall throwing away hundreds of hours on RPGs and MMOs, they themselves were spending hours upon hours building their stats and climbing arbitrary leader-boards.

      Then my brothers both purchased iPhones. Apple's genius marketing tactics had convinced them to dive in and soon they were filling their time with apps... and not the practical ones, mind you... those that were in fact full fledged games hiding once again behind the mask of quick and casual consumption. A year ago, I watched in awe as they spent more time playing games then me and , in fact, it felt like they wouldn't shut up about them. Most recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had both purchased and played through Skyrim almost immediately after the game had come out. I haven't even gotten that game yet!

      Grame on man! Grame on!

      Do you see this transition that's happening? It's not just my brothers, too. It's the entire culture all around us. Movies like Scott Pilgrim and TV episodes like Community's “Digital Estate Planning” are examples of the shift from the gaming community in shows being represented as pizza-faced, pale, undatable shut-ins to a respected emerging subculture. Even Jimmy Fallon openly expresses his love for video games.

      There's no denying that the blue ocean strategy as well as Apple's gaming dollar menu and the internet's ability to finally keep up with video games have all made a significant impact on the gaming ecosystem. Just look at the statistics...

      As a gamer, whether or not you personally partook in the casual gaming boom that we've seen over these past 6 years, I believe that we should all be gracious and thankful for this blessing that we've received.

      We all owe a lot to our casual friends.

    • Test blog 2

      5 years ago

      beyondthestars

      One thing that had always bothered me about Zelda was a sense of inconsistency within it's rules. It seemed incongruent that the end of OoT would create an alternate time-line but the time-traveling events within the game itself wouldn't. There has to be some sort of logical standard that the story maintains from beginning to end. Either you travel back and forth on a single time-line or you don't. Because of that, the "splitest" theory (as James Rolfe puts it) never sat well with me.

      But the time-line HAD to split because the idea that a time-line continues to exist after you leave it is fundamental to the story of Majora's Mask. There's a sadness that sticks with you, knowing that even though you brought the two lovers together, they are destined to die soon anyways. There is a taste of bitter irony that lingers with you after you beat a dungeon or reunite the deku princess with the king only to play the song of time again. You know that your success within that time-line is going to be short lived because, regardless of all that you accomplished, the moon will destroy everything and everyone in a matter of moments.

      If you travel back and forth on the same time-line, not only would that level of heartfelt storytelling not exist, the game's core mechanics wouldn't even work. On a single time-line, we would start to see a whole bunch of Links all simultaneously going about the tasks that you've already done. That would be crazy! So yes, the Zelda universe operates under the assumption that when you go back in time, you create another time-line while the original one continues on. Now, let's apply that knowledge to Ocarina of Time...

      This in turn means that there has to be a time-line in which the citizens of Hyrule would believe that Link was defeated... because in that time-line, he just disappeared. It is possible to play OoT and only return to childhood once during game-play. You have to do it though... once. That single unavoidable event means that Link's failure time-line has to exist in canon. It has nothing to do with dieing and everything to do with disappearing. This also works better than believing that OoT was in fact the Imprisoning War (as some had previously believed), since this game had no war in it at all. A war implies armies of soldiers, not one kid on a personal adventure. Link's success made the Imprisoning War not necessary (for the two appropriate time-lines, that is).

      As a bonus, I'd also like to point out that the differing art styles of the franchise tend to match with their respective time-lines. The original time-line (the one in OoT that continues without Link after he first returns to childhood) is a mixture of both light and dark. Although it's not full out cartoony, it's also not too foreboding or too realistic. Skyward Sword is an example of this as it has realistic character models paired up with bright painterly textures. The art direction for both Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past are both probably the most middle of the road among all the games in the series. With this time-line, it seams that the further you go, the darker it gets. Skyward Sword and The Minish Cap are definitely the brightest, while the NES games are definitely the darkest (especially Zelda II).

      The 3 time-lines and their respective art styles

      The child Link time-line is the darkest of them all. We have Majora's Mask and Twilight Princess setting the tone for this one. On the other hand, the time-line where Link defeats Ganon is completely cartoony as every one of them has a cell shaded art style.

      ...I wonder if any of this was intentional?

      Alright, so now the 3 separate time-lines are beginning to make sense but how does this whole thing affect all the Zelda games that are yet to come? Well, join me in part 2 of my in depth examination of the Zelda time-line.

      Warning, though. Part 2 is full of spoilers for those who haven't beaten Skyward Sword.

      Here's the.. uh... Link

    • Game Changers -The importance of graphics

      5 years ago

      beyondthestars

      There has been a long-lasting debate on the issue of graphics. Do graphics make the game? Of course not! Then how integral are graphics to the overall gaming experience? Let's answer this question by taking a look at the impact that graphics has already had on the way we play videogames.

      When I think about why I love my favorite games, usually the graphics have little to do with it. It's no wonder really. With technology ever improving the graphical capabilities of the games that we play, it's very hard for a game that banks on its aesthetic appeal to stand the test of time. With age, stunning works of visual art turn into dated relics of the past. Still, good graphics have been an important asset to many of the greatest games of all time. A game's graphics are akin to a woman's beauty, although good looks can make someone more desirable, if there's nothing else to go on then the appeal will quickly run its course.

      Banking completely on a game's graphics is actually a dangerous move for those involved. To make a game that has cutting edge graphics takes a lot of time, energy, and money. It ends up being a very substantial investment and a huge gamble on the game's success. History has shown that when game designers focus their efforts and pour their resources into graphics without ensuring that the gameplay is at the same level of quality, the outcome can be devastating for both the developer and the publisher. Two games immediately come to mind, the ill-fated LA Noire and Sega's Shenmue. These games were developed with the hope that their beauty would carry them and suffered a great loss because of it.

      Of course, great graphics have the obvious power to make a game look good. With that power, a developer may even be able to sucker many consumers into purchasing a game that really isn't as entertaining as it looks. Ecco the Dolphin had this type of short-lived success. For the time, it was gorgeous to look at but the gameplay didn't match up. I would go as far as to say that it really wasn't that fun at all. Alas, the beautiful ocean landscapes detailed in the screenshots on the back of its box ensured enough sales that a sequel came about. In fact, two sequels were released. Still, even though the 3D Ecco game was, once again, beautiful for its time, by then gamers knew better and shied away from it. This led to the canceled production of the fourth game in the series. To this day, I'd be hard pressed to find anyone clamoring for this franchise to be continued.

      Another example of this sort-of short-lived instantaneous success is Myst. Now, I love the Myst franchise and I believe that it's very well done but there is no way around the fact that it is very niche in its design. That didn't keep the original game from exploding on the market back in 1993. Myst introduced the world to the wonders that CD based gaming could provide and we all ate it up. That being said, many who proceeded to install it and give it a go were left with a sense of bewilderment. They bought the game but they didn't get it. So the original Myst became something that you would turn on to show off your new computer with but it wasn't necessarily something that you'd actually play. Once again, people wised up to it and, although Riven was much more beautiful, the Sequel to Myst came nowhere near the original in terms of sales.

      So graphics, in and of themselves, don't make the game and surely don't sell games (at least in the long run). But that's not to say that graphics should be treated as something of an afterthought. As the title of this blog suggests, graphics have continually changed the way we not only play games but the way that we want to play games.

      Where the importance of graphics really comes into play is when the graphics allow for a revolution, or at least an evolution, in the design and core mechanics of a game. This has been spelled out and demonstrated on numerous occasions throughout videogame history but, ironically (when considering the Wii), no one has really done this better or more often than Nintendo. There was a time when a level didn't exist past the screen that was displaying it. During this time, the background of nearly every game was the same - nothing, just the blackness of a blank screen.

      All that changed with the introduction of the game that saved the industry, Super Mario Bros. The graphical power of the NES allowed for scrolling stages and a world that consisted of several different settings to help differentiate the levels from each other and give the player a clear sense of progress. Not only that, but the revolutionary detail that the graphics provided allowed for Mario to change the way he looked by collecting different types of power-ups. The advanced color pallet also even helped give Luigi a look of his own, so as to keep multiplayer gaming from becoming overly complicated.

      Nintendo would continue to use graphics to revolutionize gaming for years to come, especially with a little system called the Nintendo 64. Even Gabe Newell (of Valve fame) credits Mario 64 as having a large and lasting impact on him as both a gamer and a game designer, for good reason too. Both Mario 64 and Zelda 64 used the introduction of true fully polygonal 3D environments to completely change the face of gaming forever. Before, games always took place on two axes. You had your platformer that played on the X and Z axes while adventure games and RPGs utilized the X and Y axes. With the N64, Nintendo knew that they could now make experiences that included all three axes simultaneously and thus 3D gaming, as we've known it, was officially born. 

      To be fair, other developers had dabbled with it on the original PlayStation but they had come nowhere near cracking it the way that the big N did. Mario's world was given a new sense of freedom and exploration with the introduction of the Y axis. For the first time, Mario could run around in circles and jump wherever he wanted to. It felt good, real good. On the other hand, Zelda was given the Z axis. No longer did keese (bats) fly in front of Link. They would now fly above his head, like they should. Dungeons were no longer grid-like rooms. They had a height and a depth to them now. Ledges were clearly defined and paths could intertwine and branch off like nothing before.

      What makes Nintendo so special is that they were truly aware of the impact that this would have on gaming and proceeded to gently introduce the gamer to these new conventions in a very natural fashion. In the first room of the first dungeon in Ocarina of Time, the gamer is set with the task of climbing. Link had to scale the room in order to continue on, thus helping to spell out the concept of 3D to the gamer. But not only could things now be above the player, they could be below the player, too. With the first puzzle, they taught the gamer to actually think 3-dimensionally. The exit wasn't a door but the floor itself. After climbing to the top of the room, Link would then jump down onto a webbed hole in the floor, breaking through to the room below. None of this would have been possible without the graphical capabilities to fully display these concepts to the gamer.

      So, time and time again an upgrade in graphics has meant an upgrade in a game's core structure itself. This continues to be the case, as demonstrated by products like Skyrim. Its lush environments conjure up a feeling of immersion that helps define the experience. Bethesda has created a world that you want to explore and that, in and of itself, is the essence of the game. Then there is Heavy Rain. The game uses the PS3's graphical capabilities to make something that plays like a fully realized interactive film. The idea had been done before by people like Roberta Williams, but it's with the power of the PS3 that the cinematic gaming experience has finally been able to retain the sense of freedom and control that makes us all love videogames so much.

      There is no denying the importance of graphics and it will continue to change the way that we game for years to come. In this industry, the canvas for creativity is continually growing and we'll go on to see more fresh and exciting games be released because of it. All developers need to do is not lose sight of all the other facets that make a game exceptional as they dive deeper into the world of endless graphical possibilities. I could not be more excited for whatever is next.

    • Mario Opera

      5 years ago

      beyondthestars

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YpXPtAVdMIY

       

    • Game Changers - the delecacy of diversity

      5 years ago

      beyondthestars
      SPOILER WARNING! THIS ARTICLE GOES INTO GREAT DETAIL CONSCERNING THE EVENTS THAT TRANSPIRE DURING SKYWARD SWORD. IF YOU HAVE YET TO BEAT IT THEN YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO WANT TO READ THIS.

      You have been warned

      The time travel in Skyward Sword makes Ocarina of Time look like a chump. There is a grand total of 5 time-lines in this game with only ONE of them being the twisted one that we already know and love. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Let's start at the beginning...

      The time-line that you start out in is sort of like the “Hero is defeated” one from OoT. I say that because in this one, Link and Zelda both vanish off of the face of the earth. Demise breaks lose as Link isn't there to reinforce the seal and VOILA! we already have a fresh new time-line for future Zelda game's to fall in!

      Now, the first split occurs when Zelda and Impa use the first Gate of Time. This new time-line is actually the old one that already has games attached to it. Why this one, you ask? Because in this one, Zelda (the original Zelda) is still sleeping. Although apparently Demise gets free anyways, neither Link nor Ghirahim ever appear to disturb Zelda from her sealing slumber. That's an important fact for a little game called The Adventure of Link.

      The moment that Zelda took her nap in Skyward Sword, I geeked out.

      The Link of Skyward Sword never sees that time-line, though (which is why you don't see Zelda in the Sealed Temple until later). He goes on adventuring through the original time-line... at least for a while. The next split occurs when Link uses the second Gate of Time. This is where (or rather when) he is tasked to collect the Triforce. Now remember, although going back in time always creates a new time-line, going forward in time doesn't. So, this is the time-line in which Link uses the Triforce to crush Demise. Chances are that the baddy finds a way to eventually bounce back and, thus, we are given yet another time-line for future Zelda games to utilize.

      The third split (getting overwhelmed yet?) comes by the hands of Ghirahim. He sets Demise free in the past, causing a rift in the future. This is a sad one, though, because not only is Demise set lose but Zelda dies in the process. I'd love to see a game take place in this time-line. I mean, people are always asking for a dark Zelda game and man, would they get one!

      But wait! There's more!
      

       

      Link creates yet another time-line by going in after Ghirahim to put a stop to his shenanigans. This is the one you're in when you finally beat Skyward Sword. It also has tons of new possibilities, since Demise promises to return to battle Link's descendents (like he does in the time-line that we're already familiar with).

      This means that with Skyward Sword everything has been reset for Link's battle with Ganon (cough cough, I mean Demise) in 4 all new separate time-lines.

      Cool, isn't it?

       

      Alright, well, there it is. I hope you enjoyed this fairly lengthy 2-part discourse of mine. Hit me up in the comments and tell me what you think. Did it make sense? Do you agree or do you think that I'm completely off base? Maybe I missed something important. Let me know!

  • About Me

    I have a series that I call "Game Changers"

    With it, I take gaming concepts that are usually cast in a negative light and bring a fresh perspective to them. The emphasis (as illustrated by the Game Changers thumbnail) is to give credence to the things that have helped evolve the industry - regardless of whether or not we gaming enthusiasts ever needed them to have a good time.

    This idea of giving the alternate point of view was originally inspired by my conviction that there is beauty all around us and when we don't understand the appeal of something, it's a great thing to seek out.

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