Have you watched Nintendo’s mini-Direct video from last week? By far the biggest (and for some the most exciting) news was the reveal that Earthbound, the highly regarded and in many ways unconventional RPG from the SNES era, will be coming to the Wii U Virtual Console. With all the excitement surrounding that, it’s easy to gloss over some of the other worthwhile nuggets of information that Nintendo dropped during the presentation. People must really love Earthbound for a Zelda release date – or release month, anyways – to be left by the wayside. At any rate, we now know that The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will be arriving this November, as will the inevitable Mario Party incarnation for 3DS.
If you haven’t been keeping rabidly close tabs on the newest Zelda, A Link Between Worlds is a sequel to 1991’s A Link to the Past for the SNES. It may seem like a stretch for Nintendo to assume people want a sequel to a twenty-plus year old game, but let’s not forget – the game had a highly successful re-release on the Gameboy Advance in 2002, which included the Four Swords multiplayer game packed in at no extra charge. Not only that, but there are some old-fashioned die-hards out there who to this day stand by the notion that Link to the Past is most fun, most well-balanced Zelda, with the greatest sense of exploration and adventure. Before there was Ocarina of Time, there was A Link to the Past. Now, I’m of the opinion that the best Zelda game is found post-Ocarina, but hey, what does a young whippersnapper like me know about the golden era of Zelda?
As for Mario Party… it’s Mario Party. Which is certainly not a bad thing if you, you know, like Mario Party. Thus far we know that the game has seven game boards and 81 shiny new minigames, plus Streetpass and augmented reality features to justify it being a 3DS title.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about more great 3DS games; I’m just concerned the handheld will become Nintendo’s own worst nightmare come holiday. Why buy the Wii U if you can get everything Nintendo on the 3DS? Either way, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is sure to be yet another delightful handheld Zelda.