Late, as in the late Dentarthurdent

Tuesday, 21 February 2006 — 11:48pm | Video games

If you thought waiting three weeks for a new post here was bad, you only know a fraction of my pain. You also need a new hobby.

Revised ETA for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Autumn 2006. I realize Nintendo wants to make the greatest game ever made and all, but to insist on pushing the title onto the GameCube is now getting really silly. I once adamantly supported the idea of releasing Zelda as the Cube’s swan song, a last hurrah of sorts, but I think it’s time to jump on the put-it-on-the-Revolution bandwagon.

It would make sense for Nintendo to move Zelda to the new system even if they retain the GameCube-style controls and design (which are too integral to change by now, and probably have been for some time). Two immediate reasons: four times the storage on the DVD format (because I highly doubt that a game ballooning to its alleged size, a year past its deadline, is going to fit on one GameCube disc), and the next-generation graphics hardware, which the game could really put to use given these few extra months of polishing time. The first is probably the more critical benefit, since a defining characteristic of the Zelda series is its free-roaming exploration, and I would hate to see it partitioned.

They’re obviously trying to duplicate the Minish Cap phenomenon – one of the latest and greatest games for the Game Boy Advance released after the launch of the DS, which early adopters used their DS to play during the launch-period software drought. But it makes no sense to apply the same strategy here. For one, the GBA still had a near monopoly on the portable market prior to the launch of the DS. Unlike the DS, the Revolution is not an incremental layer over Nintendo’s existing home console business, which has been travelling on inertia alone since its last significant title, Resident Evil 4, came out over a year ago.

People won’t buy Cubes just to play Zelda, even at bargain-bin prices, because at this point the GameCube is basically a dead system (albeit the one with the best games to rediscover over the years to come). If the expectation is that a traditional console game will sell Revolution units while developers figure out how to take advantage of the Revolution controller, then the only thing stopping Nintendo from pushing Zelda to the new system is that they would be going back on months of assurances that it is still a GameCube title. But breaking this promise isn’t going to lose them any customers.

As for delays that are even more egregious, let’s just say Air Canada owes me a lot more than the $100 voucher and apology letter I was offered. I would elaborate, but your time would be better spent sitting through The Terminal; the stories are basically the same, but Spielberg tells it with more charm.

In the intervening time that went to waste, I could have watched Gone with the Wind. I could have watched it twice.

Anyhow, if I were not so busy, here are some other topics I probably would have written something about earlier in the month: Kurt Elling, Michelle Grégoire, The Marriage of Figaro, Bluebeard’s Castle, Erwartung, and how Freedomland isn’t an outright terrible movie in spite of the impression that might emanate from my review in Vue Weekly, but it sure makes an easy target for merciless lampoonery. In other words, three things the world couldn’t do without: jazz, opera, and Samuel L. Jackson.

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