All Articles: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Switch continues to soar as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was the best-selling game in April 2017

Nintendo continues to dominate the retail charts with another strong showing in April for their Switch console. According to The NPD Group, Nintendo added another 280,000 Switch consoles to its tally last month, and the newly-launched Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sold more than 459,000 copies (in just two days) to take the top spot on the list of best-selling games. The company’s success also seems to be great for the industry as a whole, as the industry generated $636 million in sales in April 2017, a 10% increase over the year before.

The other big news in April is that Persona 5 pushed the franchise and gave the RPG the #2 spot on the best-seller list, just below Mario Kart 8.

“Persona 5 experienced the strongest debut month for any title in Persona franchise history, with packaged dollar sales five times that of the previous best-selling debut, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4,” NPD Analyst Mat Piscatella told GamesIndustry.biz.

Additional new releases were thin on the ground in last month’s Top 20, but Lego Undercover‘s re-release on the PC and current-generation consoles helped it secure a spot (#13). And as expected, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild continued to sell well, landing in the #3 position for the month. But the big retail winners in April all came from the backlist, including Grand Theft Auto V (#6), Overwatch (#9), Call of Duty: Black Ops II (#10), and Minecraft (#20).

The NPD Group’s complete list of best-selling games for April 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)

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Nintendo offers up a few details about Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s first DLC expansion

With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild continuing to burn up sales charts around the world, Nintendo is also hard at work on two downloadable expansions for the massive open world adventure. Late last night, the consolemaker revealed more information about the first of these add-ons, The Master Trials, which will be available this Summer.

The expansion will add a handful of new features to the game, including a horde mode (“Trial of the Sword”), a more challenging Hard Mode, a new map tracker (“Hero’s Path Mode”), costumes and equipment inspired by earlier games in the series (including the snazzy “Tingle’s Outfit” seen above), and more:

New Features in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – The Master Trials
Trial of the Sword: By accessing this location, players can challenge the new Trial of the Sword (previously known as “Cave of Trials Challenge”), where enemies appear one after another. Link starts without any armor or weapons, and if he defeats all of the enemies in the room he can proceed to the next area. Trial of the Sword will include around 45 total rooms for players to complete. When Link clears all of the trials, the true power of the Master Sword will awaken and always be in its glowing powered-up state.

Hard Mode: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is already considered one of the most thrilling games in The Legend of Zelda series, and fans looking for a challenge are in for a treat with the new Hard Mode. In Hard Mode, the “ranks” of enemies in the game are increased (i.e. Red Bokoblins change to Blue), and players might even encounter higher-ranking enemies they wouldn’t find through normal play. Enemies will also slowly recover health in battle, forcing you to defeat them more quickly. They will also more easily spot Link as he approaches them, making these enemies tougher to sneak up on. In addition, floating planks held aloft by balloons will be scattered around Hyrule. By successfully reaching these planks, players can battle enemies and collect treasure.

Hero’s Path Mode: Exploring Hyrule is exciting, but with such a large world it’s sometimes hard for players to remember where they’ve been. To help with tracking progress, the new Hero’s Path Mode will document every step players take, and mark their path in green on the map. The route taken will be tracked for the player’s last 200 hours of play time, with an included slider to track footsteps on a timeline. This even works retroactively, so players that have already put many hours into the game will be able to see where they have traveled. This feature will help in identifying the locations they haven’t visited in this vast world, and may help players find those Shrines they haven’t encountered yet.

Travel Medallion: There will be a new treasure chest somewhere in the game world which contains the Travel Medallion. With the Travel Medallion, players can create a temporary new travel point on the map where they are currently standing. Link can then transport himself to that point at any time. Only one travel point can be registered on the map at a time.

Korok Mask: By finding the new Korok Mask, players will have a much easier time finding Korok locations in the game. When equipped, the mask will shake, indicating that a Korok is hidden somewhere nearby.

New Equipment: Eight new pieces of equipment inspired by previous characters and games in the series will be added to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild after downloading the first DLC pack. Once discovered by the player, they will yield equipment themed after fan-favorite games and characters such as Midna, Tingle, Phantom, and Majora’s Mask.

Nintendo has bundled together both expansions to Breath of the Wild as the Expansion Pass, which is now available through the Nintendo eShop for $19.99 on the Switch and the Wii U. Unfortunately, there’s no way for players to purchase each expansion separately.

We’ll learn more about the untitled second expansion, which will be available this Fall, at a later date.

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Retro-styled Breath of the Wild fangame will remove Zelda characters after takedown notice from Nintendo

As expected, Nintendo has dropped the hammer on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of a NES, a retro-styled reimagining of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The takedown notice was issued to developer Winter Drake by Nintendo’s lawyers over the weekend, and it’s available for public viewing on Twitter.

Even though this is a huge setback for Winter Drake, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of a NES will continue in an altered form. The developer has vowed to remove every reference to Nintendo’s franchise, and replace them with original characters and designs. Winter Drake even posted this encouraging message on the game’s Itch.io this morning: “Nintendo has asked me to take stop hosting the game. The project will live on, just not with Zelda characters.”

And speaking to Kotaku, Winter Drake revealed that the new vision for Breath of the NES will include “32-bit sprites” and “a rich soundtrack”:

As for what Breath of the NES’s spiritual successor will look like, Winter is planning on 32-bit sprites working with musicians to put together a rich soundtrack. Substituting improved gameplay and originality for the 8-bit nostalgia powering the original project won’t be easy though, meaning we probably won’t see a new trailer or playable demo for some time. “Ideally I’d like to make the final game a big cross-platform release on Steam,” Winter said. “I may even start a Kickstarter once I can show off what the new game will have to offer.”

As before, Winter Drake will be providing additional updates on the progress of Breath of the NES’s successor on Twitter.

Posted in News, PC, Switch, Wii U | Tagged

Nintendo’s 2016-2017 Annual Report: Big sales for Switch, Zelda BotW, Pokemon + Fall release dates for Xenoblade 2, Mario Odyssey, more

Nintendo published their annual financial report this morning, and the company gave us our best look yet at the Switch’s retail prospects, as well as reconfirmed several 2017 releases.

The big announcement today is that Nintendo has sold 2.74 million Switch consoles around the world as of March 31. Nintendo originally predicted that they’d sell two million around Switch consoles in March, so it’s safe to say they surpassed their goal. The consolemaker expects to sell ten million more Switch consoles before the start of their next fiscal year. If this prediction proves accurate, the Switch will have matched the total sales of the Wii U in a single year.

Moving on to games, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has proven to be fairly popular, with total sales of 3.84 million copies sold (2.76 on the Switch and 1.08 on the Wii U). And don’t count out the 3DS just yet. According to Nintendo, Pokemon Sun and Moon combined to sell 15.44 million copies since they were released in November.

Nintendo closed out their report with the promise of a bright future, reiterating that all of their upcoming Switch and 3DS game are still on track to be released in 2017. Super Mario Odyssey and Fire Emblem Warriors are both still set for the Fall, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is still penciled in for a “TBA 2017” launch date.

Other titles scheduled to be released this Fall include Monster Hunter Stories, Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters, Kirby‘s next 3DS game, and Miitopia. Ever Oasis (June 23), Hey Pikmin (July 28), Splatoon 2 (July 21), and Arms (June 16) are set for this Summer.

Nintendo will most likely reveal a lot more about all of these games at this year’s E3 Expo… unless they get delayed, of course.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the NES fangame transforms Breath of the Wild into an 8-bit adventure

Nintendo famously created an 8-bit prototype of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to help the development team get acclimated to working with its many interlocking systems. Fans have been clamoring for a chance to play this prototype since its reveal, but Nintendo doesn’t appear to be in any rush to make it available for public use.

Naturally, a dedicated Nintendo fan, Winter Drake, has decided to create a playable version of the prototype in his spare time.

The fangame is known as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the NES, and a demo is currently available as a free download through Itch.io. Nintendo is usually quick to ask their lawyers to issue a “Cease and Desist” order when their characters are used in a fan-created game, but the developer of Breath of the NES has vowed to finish at any costs. Specifically, they told Kotaku that he plans to swap out Link and his Hyrulian enemies with original characters when the time comes:

“When a lot of people hear about this project, they jump to worrying about a cease and desist from Nintendo,” Winter Drake told Kotaku. “While I’m going to stay hardworking on Breath of the NES for as long as I can, if Nintendo asks me to stop using their IP, I do plan to continue development with my own original characters. I’m having way too much fun creating this world to just give up.”

Winter Drake also said they’re not creating a direct conversion of Breath of the Wild, but want to “capture the spirit” of the game:

“This project is still in its early stages… I’ll be adding more areas with distinct elements and atmospheres, puzzle elements for dungeons, and lots of ways to creatively kill enemies,” Winter Drake, the developer behind Breath of the NES, told Kotaku.

“I have a lot of plans for original features in the game, and although I’d like to capture the spirit of BotW and NES Zelda, I’m not restricting myself to be perfectly faithful.”

Winter Drake will be providing additional updates on Breath of the NES’s development on Twitter.

Posted in News, PC, Retro, Switch, Wii U | Tagged

Nintendo smashed sales records in March 2017… but Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was the top-selling game

Nintendo told us all about their record-setting sales month last week, but the NPD Group made it official today when they revealed their retail report on the video game industry for March 2017.

NPD analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz: “March 2017 will go down in history books as the month Nintendo broke records.The Nintendo Switch had the biggest hardware launch for a Nintendo platform and the second biggest launch for any video game platform since 1995, the time NPD began tracking this category.”

However, even though The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild managed to sell more than 900,000 copies, it wasn’t able to secure the #1 spot. Instead, Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was the best-selling game last month, likely due to Nintendo’s unwillingness to share their digital sales figures with the NPD Group. Other strong sellers on the Switch included 1-2 Switch (#13) and Super Bomberman R (#17).

Big debuts weren’t limited to Nintendo’s Switch, and it was a banner month for several new releases last month, as Mass Effect: Andromeda (#3), Horizon: Zero Dawn (#4), and Nier: Automata (#9) also smashed expectations. Combined with impressive Switch hardware sales, these games helped the industry record more than $1.36 billion in total sales for the month, a 24% year-on-year increase over March 2016.

The complete list of best-selling games from March 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)

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Nintendo of America sold 906,000 Switch consoles and 1.3 million copies of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in March

There’s been an electric feeling in the air since Nintendo’s launch of the Switch on March 3. Come on, I’m sure you can feel it too. Nintendo is back… and now we have the sales figures to prove it.

Yesterday afternoon, Nintendo of America announced that more than 906,000 Switch consoles were sold in the United States during the month of March. If that weren’t impressive enough, the consolemaker added that more Switch consoles were sold during its first month of availability than any other game system in Nintendo’s history.

Nintendo also revealed that they sold even more copies of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild during the month. Zelda fans purchased more than 925,000 copies of the game on the Switch, as well as nearly 460,000 copies for the Wii U. With total sales of 1.3 million, Breath of the Wild is the “fastest-selling Nintendo launch game of all time, as well as the fastest-selling game ever in The Legend of Zelda series.”

But what about Breath of the Wild’s insane 102% attach rate on the Switch? Nintendo attributed the unprecedented sales success for Breath of the Wild to fans who purchased two copies of the game… a limited edition to keep sealed and a standard edition to play.

“Nintendo always strives to offer consumers something fun, new and different,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s President and COO. “With its various play modes and the innovative features of the Joy-Con controllers, Nintendo Switch provides unique experiences that people can take with them anywhere and share with anyone.”

Worldwide sales figures for the Nintendo Switch will be announced on April 27 during Nintendo’s annual financial report.

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Learn how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came to be in a “Making of” Documentary and “Breaking Conventions” GDC Session

Nintendo is giving fans an unprecedented look at how they designed and built The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in a new documentary series.

The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a three-part documentary that focuses on all aspects of Breath of the Wild including the initial work done in “The Beginning,” the seamless exploration provided by the game’s “Open-Air Concept,” and the epic saga of the “Story and Characters.”

This documentary sets nicely alongside “Breaking Conventions,” a Game Developers Conference session hosted by Game Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Art Director Satoru Takizawa, and Technical Director Takuhiro Dohta. The three developers dive deep into the development process for Breath of the Wild, and provide plenty of new insight into the notoriously secretive inner workings at Nintendo.

I understand that not everyone has two hours to devote to behind-the-scenes stories from Breath of the Wild’s development (that’s time you could be playing the game, after all). But if nothing else, stick around long enough to see the 8-bit prototype the team created, as well as footage of an early game concept that included an alien invasion of Hyrule straight out of Independence Day.

All four videos can be found after the break. (more…)

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