Breath of the Wild Release Date Outed

The Breath of the Wild Release date may have been outed by way of the amiibo release date, possibly paving the way for the launch date for Nintendo’s epic title which may have been leaked on several official European Nintendo websites. The release date is listed as March 4, 2017. The date also shows up in the sites’ source code.

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This may point the way to both Breath of the Wild’s release date but also the release date for the codename Nintendo NX. This Breath of the Wild release date is plausible, considering the NX was said to release in March and Breath of the Wild is a no-brainer as a launch title for the system. The last time a Nintendo system launched with a Zelda game was the Wii, and that game, Twilight Princess, had an initial 75% attach rate to the system. There is no doubt that Breath of the Wild will launch on the Nintendo NX, it’s just a matter of when the system will be released. The Super Smash Bros. amiibo were released in the same time frame as Super Smash Bros. was released for the Wii U, so it is likely that if this information is legit, this is the launch window for the NX.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.

Nintendo Teases With Breath of the Wild Videos

Nintendo has posted several Breath of the Wild videos, teasing fans on social media who can’t get enough Zelda. Some may take this as a bit of a troll move on Nintendo’s part since the game doesn’t come out until at least March, but every second more that is shown of the title is nothing less than splendid.  Posting on both Twitter and Facebook, Nintendo showed off two different aspects of gameplay in their short but sweet Breath of the Wild videos.

In the first video, Link is shown exploring one of the many shrines found in the game, the Shrine Oman Au. Here our favorite hero shows off his magnesis ability in order to solve puzzles, a staple of the series. The second video, posted on Nintendo’s official Facebook page, deals more with the exploration and open-world aspect of the game. It shows Link picking up the Woodcutter’s Axe, mowing down a tree, and then using the said tree in order to cross over an abyss. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen in a Zelda game, showing the intricacies of traversing this new Hyrule.

These videos are short but sweet and furthers our excitement for Breath of the Wild. Our time with it at E3 was nothing short of spectacular and we savored every moment. That being said, it is curious that Nintendo is releasing all these short videos at this juncture when the game won’t even come out until the Nintendo NX launches. It could be that they have something else up their sleeves; we’ll just have to stay tuned. Breath of the Wild is one of the most anticipated games of all time, as it takes all the best elements of Zelda and puts them together, not unlike Ocarina of Time did. It has an intriguing narrative, total freedom with plenty of exploration, and some brilliant puzzle solving mechanics. The game will be brilliant, but it’s a shame that the release window is so far away.

333 Lucky Fans Will Play the Breath of the Wild Demo at EB Games Expo

333 lucky fans will play the Breath of the Wild demo at the EB Games Expo 21016. The demo will be the same one shown at E3 2016, according to an EB games representative. To be eligible for this once in a lifetime experience, you must have bought at least four Zelda games from EB Games. It is unknown if there is any other way to become eligible. The Breath of the Wild demo, like the one at E3 2016, will have a 45-minute cutoff time.

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We went hands-on with the demo at E3 2016 and were left mesmerized. It is definitely a different take on both the familiar gameplay that has been present in the Zelda series since 1998 and the Zelda mythos. The story has a very unique tone to it and is different than any other Zelda game that we have seen to date. It will be interesting to see how the gameplay is balanced with the story, as this was one of the staple marks of Ocarina of Time.

We are very excited for the game’s full release and fans of the series who get the chance to play the Breath of the Wild demo are in for a treat.

Nintendo Gives a Glimpse of The Temple of Time in Breath of the Wild

Nintendo has given fans a sneak peak of The Temple of Time in Breath of the Wild, Nintendo’s upcoming installment in their storied franchise. This glimpse comes courtesy of their Facebook page, where a 36-second clip was posted focusing on the temple that was first introduced in Ocarina of Time.

While it is depressing to see the Temple desecrated and in ruins, one very interesting tidbit is the fact that the Goddess statue from Skyward Sword is inside the Temple. This leads credence to the fact that the Sealed Temple from Skyward Sword is in fact the Temple of Time, something fans have been debating for years. The Breath of the Wild demo makes this theory fairly obvious.

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I for one cannot wait to see the role the Temple of Time plays in Breath of the Wild. It literally brought me to tears during my playthrough during the E3 2016 demo. The role of the Temple of Time in Breath of the Wild is hopefully a profound one, as the Temple of Time is one of the most storied structures in all of Hyrule.

Breath of the Wild is shaping up to be one of the best Zelda outings in years.

Breath of the Wild Will Top Ocarina of Time

Ocarina of Time has been heralded as the greatest Zelda game of all time by gaming gurus and fans alike, including myself. It revolutionized Zelda and thrust it into the 3D era. With the release of Breath of the Wild this upcoming year, there is one thing I, as a huge fan of Ocarina of Time, am certain of after my time with the game at E3 2016: Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time as the best Zelda game, and possibly the greatest game of all time.

Why Breath of the Wild Will Top Ocarina of Time

Ocarina of Time has the best balance of gameplay and story in gaming, period. The story is simplistic, but it’s a classic tale that truly resonates with people. The use of music and the ocarina as a gameplay mechanic was, at the time, unheard of and genius. The game’s transition to 3D brought about unique and challenging puzzles that gamers were not accustomed to. The game changed the way people looked at the gaming medium. Although we don’t know that much about Breath of the Wild yet, much in the way that Ocarina of Time changed the way people looked at games, Breath of the Wild very well may do the same thing and seems to emulate this ability to balance both gameplay and an enriching story. While this isn’t the only reason Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time, the ability to balance these two aspects is one of the reason why it has the opportunity to do so, among other things.

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While Ocarina of Time was rife with exploration, it was limited by the technology of the time. Technology though has developed exponentially and thanks to that, a world the size of Breath of the Wild’s is now possible. Breath of the Wild is fully open world (or open air according to Miyamoto) and gives the player true freedom, which even Ocarina of Time didn’t do. In fact, it is possible to forego everything in the game and confront the final boss from the get-go, although one could imagine this will be an incredibly difficult task. This freedom is just one of the reasons why Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time. Fans have yearned for it this since the original Zelda came out. Nintendo heard their pleas, although exploration isn’t the only aspect of Breath of the Wild which will make it the greatest Zelda game of all time.

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For those hoping for a carbon copy of the original Legend of Zelda with no narrative and pure exploration, they may be disappointed, although much of the story can be skipped. Every great Zelda since A Link to the Past has an excellent narrative, and from what I have seen personally of the opening of Breath of the Wild, this game will be no exception. The narrative is excellent in both presentation and content as far as we have seen. Voice work will be used, possibly sparingly, something never done in a Zelda game. It will give it a superior presentation to any other installment in the series, including Ocarina, which is why Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time; the technology is rife for it and Nintendo is improving the presentation of the title drastically.

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The entire premise of the story of Breath of the Wild is incredibly enticing. Link awakens from a 100 year slumber (not a seven year nap!) and finds that the Kingdom of Hyrule is in complete ruin. There are all kinds of mysteries, but what was so interesting to me was the callbacks to previous games. You first obtain the paraglider, but there is no doubt in my mind that at some point you will obtain the Sailcloth from Skyward Sword. Exploring the ravaged Temple of Time was my favorite part of the story demo. It even has a decrepit version of the Goddess Statue from Skyward Sword, which all but confirms that the sacred temple is the same Sealed Temple from the last Zelda console iteration. The narrative takes something old, but also adds so much that is new, and that’s why Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time as the best Zelda game to date; it has the best elements of Ocarina’s story, but it also is its own game and isn’t trying to emulate any past titles.

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Ocarina of Time was almost a carbon copy of A Link to the Past. This isn’t a bad thing, as it was first intended to be a remake of the latter, but, from that point on almost every Zelda game emulated the same formula. Breath of the Wild is completely changing this trend. With its massive overworld and intriguing story, it has all the makings of revolutionizing the Zelda series and changing the industry’s approach to the action-adventure genre. In the mind of many gamers, Ocarina is still the greatest game of all time, but Breath of the Wild is bringing something truly new to the table while still retaining enough from previous titles. A developer once told me that any great game that hopes to be successful has to have something old for familiarity but something new in order to innovate and propel the industry forward, and for this reason Breath of the Wild will top Ocarina of Time due to the very fact that it is building on it instead of simply emulating it. Ocarina is still a marvelous game and always will be, but it can’t hold that top spot forever. It’s been 19 years (almost) and it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation of Zelda.

E3 2016: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Preview — Redefining a Franchise

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was by far the most anticipated game to appear at E3 2016. We had the chance to go hands-on with the title for our Breath of the Wild preview, and it did not disappoint. Adding something new yet at the same time maintaining the classic Zelda feel, Breath of the Wild is the “breath” of fresh air that the series so desperately needed. It changes up the mechanics of the classic Zelda experience yet maintains some familiarity. It also has an absolutely gorgeous open world, which we got to explore a portion of. The demo was split into two separate parts. The first portion featured pure exploration in an area called The Great Plateau filled with enemies and a number of different secrets that were housed. The second portion of the Breath of the Wild demo was presumably the opening of the game, dealing with the story and an introduction to the backdrop of the world.

Breath of the Wild Preview — Gameplay

One of the most surprising and refreshing aspects of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is that it completely changes up the classic Zelda control scheme. Zelda has essentially stuck with the same basic control layout since the series transitioned to 3D in Ocarina of Time, but Breath of the Wild takes this and turns it on its head. It did take quite a bit of getting used to. Y is now used to attack rather than the traditional B button. The stamina meter returns from Skyward Sword and you can now dash for a limited time by holding down the B button. X is actually used to jump, and using that in conjunction with the L stick allows you to climb massive cliffs. The right trigger button is used to fire your bow and arrow, while the left trigger button is still used to for L targeting and to use your shield. A is your action button, but is mostly used to pick up weapons that you gain from defeating enemies or items you find in the vastness of Breath of the Wild’s incarnation of Hyrule Field. We also found during our Breath of the Wild preview that the game actually does take some cues from The Wind Waker. For instance, you can pick up your enemy’s weapons and use them for combat, although weapons have a durability factor and can break if used too often. One thing that is really cool is you can actually throw a weapon at an enemy using the right shoulder button just like in The Wind Waker.

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By evading an enemy’s attack, you can enter into this slow motion-type state and devastate a foe. Slow motion can also be initiated by jumping off of a high ledge and pulling out your bow and arrow. Headshots with your bow and arrow will also inflict a damage bonus on enemies compared to normal attacks. Stealth, again returning from The Wind Waker, gives you a bit of variety on how you approach combat. There is a meter at the bottom of your HUD that measures Link’s sound, so as he crouches and sneaks up on enemies or wild animals, you can see how loud Link is compared to his environment, ensuring Link doesn’t alert enemies to his presence. This is also the first Zelda game where hearts are not present and do not replenish health. Instead, Link can either consume food, such as steak, or simply cook up a meal. Breath of the Wild features a full day and night cycle, with one minute of gameplay time equating to one hour in the game, the first Zelda game to feature such a cycle since Twilight Princess.

Breath of the Wild Preview — The World

Although we only got a glimpse of Hyrule in our Breath of the Wild preview, it is absolutely massive. Said to be 12 times larger than the world in Twilight Princess, it promises to be the open-world Zelda game that fans have been craving. It actually reminds me a lot of Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Breath of the Wild even has a number of developers from Monolith Soft working on it. The area that we got to explore in our Breath of the Wild preview was known as the Great Plateau, and even this area seemed massive in scale considering it was just one portion. The world is simply beautiful. There was so much to explore and we only scratched the surface, but we were able to fight enemies, find a few a secrets with a few chests, and there was even a miniboss which you could encounter during the demo.

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Climbing up cliffs and simply taking in the scenery was probably the most satisfying experience during our Breath of the Wild experience. The music was so relaxing, and while is wasn’t iconic per se, that didn’t really matter to us; it fit the atmosphere perfectly. There were things that we weren’t able to get to during our Breath of the Wild preview, but temperature plays a huge part throughout the kingdom that was once known as Hyrule. Link can change attire based on the weather in order to survive. For instance, if it’s snowing/freezing, Link can slip into something warmer in order to continue on his journey. There is simply so much to take in and there was so little time, but Breath of the Wild is a great change of pace for the series and the overworld is breathtaking.

Breath of the Wild Preview — Story

As we previously mentioned, the Breath of the Wild demo was split into two parts: exploration and a story portion. The story portion is actually what intrigued us the most. Link wakes up in a sarcophagus-like structure to a voice, presumably Princess Zelda’s, explaining some of the narrative. Link has slumbered for 100 years and Hyrule has fallen into ruin. Awakening in the Chamber of Resurrection, there are Sheikah symbols everywhere, which hopefully connects the game to Ocarina of Time. In the Chamber of Resurrection you also obtain a key item: the Sheikah Slate. It is not yet clear what this item is or how it relates to Link, but it is key during this portion of the demo. Once Link finds some clothes and leaves the Chamber of Resurrection, he stumbles upon an old man who who tells him that “Calamity Ganon” has ravaged Hyrule Castle for the past 100 years and is nearing the peak of his power. If Calamity Ganon is not stopped, the world as we know it will be destroyed, and once again it is Link’s quest to save the world. This is the most terrifying incarnation of Ganon yet and it will be interesting to see the exact role he will play in the game and what his dynamic with Link is considering their history in previous games.

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One of most nostalgic, and for me the most emotional part of this demo was entering the now decrepit Temple of Time. While this is another connection to Ocarina of Time, it brought back so many memories and actually gave me a tear or two both out of catharsis and excitement. Eventually Link reaches one of the many Sheikah structures in the game, and using the Sheikah Slate he unlocks Sheikah Shrines all across Hyrule. These are possibly mini dungeons of some sort and they obviously have great significance in the game, but it’s not clear what their exact purpose is. Once you return to the old man, who is quite mysterious and seems to know a lot more than he lets on, he tells you that you must go to Hyrule Castle, but it’s unreachable due to a chasm. You can only reach it by paraglider, and the man offers you his, but only in exchange for a treasure, which is in one of the Sheikah Shrines close by. Once reaching the shrine, our demo ended for our Breath of the Wild Preview.

Breath of the Wild Preview — An Experience to Remember

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild demo was a special, unforgettable experience. 40 minutes was not enough time to scratch the surface of the game, but there is a reason why many outlets, including this one, is naming it the best game of E3 2016. The graphical style, the gorgeous open world, the music, the combat — there’s simply too much to list that impresses. By focusing on one game this E3 Nintendo allowed us to be completely immersed in the experience and we were blown away. This may be the Zelda game to finally dethrone Ocarina of Time, which is still heralded as the greatest Zelda game of all time. While we wish that we had more time with Breath of the Wild, early next year is not too far away and we are sure that it will be an experience of a lifetime.

Nintendo’s E3 Move is Genius

Nintendo’s E3 move is genius. There, I said it. While there was an initial backlash by journalists and fans alike, this has been something that Nintendo has been moving toward for quite some time. With huge publishers like EA and Activision completely pulling out of E3 this year, Nintendo focusing on one game, especially Zelda, is a bold move and fits the shift in focus that E3 has been going through these past few years. Nintendo’s E3 plans also differentiate themselves from their competitors, Sony and Microsoft, and considering they are solely showcasing The Legend of Zelda, they could end up becoming the most popular booth of the major 3 companies. Zelda is such a huge part of Nintendo’s identity and is one of their most popular properties. Their Link amiibo was even the top selling amiibo in North America, so there is some merit to that. The game has so much hype behind it that this gamble by Nintendo might just work.

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This all started when Nintendo stopped holding press conferences and starting holding digital events and Nintendo Directs. They have brought information straight to the consumer with astounding results. The first year they held a digital event at E3, they weren’t prepared for the viewership and the video was so laggy it was unwatchable; not anymore. They’ve learned from their past mistakes and their events are fun, informative, and full of surprises. They immerse everyday gamers with their Best Buy events, where certain games from E3 are actually playable. They are trying to bring everything to the consumer and even bypassing media in some respects. As a journalist, this can be frustrating, but from a business standpoint, Nintendo’s E3 strategy is genius.

Zelda turns 30 this year. It is one of Nintendo’s oldest and most beloved franchise, especially in the west. It makes total sense for Nintendo to focus all their efforts on The Legend of Zelda at this upcoming E3. Although it is truly unfortunate that The Legend of Zelda will not be coming out this year, the fact that it is coming out simultaneously for the Wii U and Nintendo NX and the fact that it is a launch title for the NX is huge. While the NX will not be shown at E3 and the NX version of Zelda will not be shown or be playable, it is sure to bolster NX sales. This is a win-win for Nintendo. Zelda is only delayed by about three months to polish the NX version of the game, and the NX is promised a blockbuster launch with one of Nintendo’s most anticipated games of all time.

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The one worry is wait times at E3. Nintendo’s E3 plans are great, but does Nintendo plan to fill their entire booth space purely with Zelda? I highly doubt that that is possible, considering all the space they have (unless they downsize), so what else could they have in store for us? Unplayable demos/videos at booths? The Legend of Zelda is so popular that if they set up demo stations throughout the show floor purely for Zelda it would be awesome and would mean that wait times would be drastically decreased if you’re playing on the show floor. Nintendo plans to give attendees the most immersive experience possible, and being media, I really want to get my hands on the game and give a thorough impression of it. I may even go through the demo 5 times just to be safe, but it’s all worth it considering it’s The Legend of Zelda. This is a game fans have been waiting for since the release of the Nintendo Wii U, and although it is unfortunate that it is coming out at the end of the system’s life cycle, it really is an exciting time if you’re a Nintendo fan.

Nintendo’s E3 plans are perfect, although they may not seem so at first. It is a shame that the Wii U is being cast aside and the NX is taking over come March, but, this is the beginning of a new era at Nintendo, with Tatsumi Kimishima replacing Satoru Iwata after his passing. This is the injection of new life that Nintendo needs and Kimishima seems like the business-minded individual to do just that. He’s been at Nintendo for many years and isn’t going to be in the shadow of Iwata and is bringing his own flavor to the company. Nintendo isn’t a direct competitor to Sony and Microsoft just yet, but they may help to completely shift the focus of E3 and make it something completely different than what it used to be.

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Nintendo is bold, Nintendo is different, Nintendo thinks outside the box, Nintendo innovates, and Nintendo sets the standard, as much as some people hate to admit it. This may change E3 as we know it.