The Zelda Game & Watch is a Collector’s Item Done Right

If there’s one thing Nintendo loves, it’s reselling its most iconic games in as many ways as possible. Well, depending on the game, that is. While you can’t easily get a beloved classic like Earthbound, you could spend a fortune buying different iterations of Super Mario Bros. Nintendo’s most inventive rerelease came last year when it ported the platformer to a special-edition Game & Watch. At $50, it was a little pricey considering that the game is included with Nintendo Switch Online. Still, it was an irresistibly cute concept for Nintendo history buffs.

The company clearly saw potential in the idea, because it has now given The Legend of Zelda the same treatment. The latest Game & Watch recreation contains many of the same features as the Mario edition, but it gives fans a little more for the price tag. Yes, it’s $50 for three old games, but its a more fun way to repackage classics — something the company has struggled with in recent months.

Game & Hyah!

Like the Mario edition, the Zelda Game & Watch is a perfect recreation of Nintendo’s oldest handheld gaming device. It features the same button layout and thin, rectangular design as the 80s original. The rubbery buttons and four-direction D-pad are all intact. It has a few modern bells and whistles to it, namely a USB-C port to charge it. Green accents give it some Zelda flair, as does the triforce emblem emblazoned on the back of the device. A lot of care has gone into making sure this doesn’t just feel like an overpriced Tiger Electronics handheld.

As soon as I powered it on, I was smitten as classic Zelda art lit up the screen. It may be a small device, but it packs quite a few details. When I set the device’s clock, I get to see little scenes from the NES Legend of Zelda play out as the time displays on a dungeon floor. There’s a timer function, which takes place over one of Zelda 2‘s 2D battles. According to Nintendo, players can even unlock Zelda art by meeting secret requirements in games. All of those touches make it more appealing as a collector’s item.

Of course, its more than a $50 clock. The Zelda Game & Watch comes with three games (four if you count a recreation of Vermin where Link hammers Octoroks): The Legend of Zelda, Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

The standout among the trio is Link’s Awakening, for a few reasons. For one, it’s the one that’s hardest to come by on Switch. You can buy a solid remake of it for full retail, but the Game Boy original can’t be played on modern consoles. It’s also has some extra touches that I appreciate, like multiple language options and the ability to play full-screen or in the old Game Boy square ratio. More importantly, it’s the best game of the bunch and one that feels right at home on a tiny handheld screen. It was designed for the Game Boy, so the text is larger and more legible than Zelda 2, which was made with TVs in mind.

The Zelda Game & Watch sitting in a cardboard stand.

While the NES games are more readily available, there’s one detail that I particularly appreciate. They can either be played in English or the Japanese Famicom version with each one’s differences in tact. That’s an especially nice touch for those who are interested in this more from a historical preservation standpoint. It’s also great that you can have all three games active at the same time without having to close any. Switch from game to game and you’ll pick up right where you left off. These are the kinds of small details that players don’t necessarily get from a service like Switch Online.

Special edition

Nintendo has come under fire in the Switch era for its often bizarre approach to game rereleases. Last year, Super Mario 3D All-Stars was lambasted for an arbitrary limited-time release. The company’s new Switch Online + Expansion Pack service is a recent point of contention, as it offers  ports of classic Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games for a fairly high price. That’s left fans frustrated over Nintendo’s tendency to overcharge for low-effort ROMs that they could get for free (even if by dubious means).

The Zelda Game & Watch is a clever workaround. It turns the act of playing a classic game into a tangible experience. It’s the same appeal as buying a special edition of a game like Metroid Dread, except the game and the physical bonuses are one in the same. There’s so much personality in this little device that makes the playing experience a warm delight. You just won’t get that by firing up a port of The Legend of Zelda on Switch Online. Actually owning the games is secondary to the experience built around them.

The Zelda Game & Watch sitting near Zelda amiibo.

For most people, $50 will be a steep price for what’s offered here. It’s essentially a nostalgia toy for gaming history buffs and Zelda super fans. But as a collector’s item, Nintendo has the right idea here. I love that I have three Zelda games in a self-contained, portable museum that’s not tied to aging hardware. And when I’m not playing, it doubles as a charming decoration for my desk or bookshelf, just like my mini SNES. It’s the best of both worlds, even if it’s not a good excuse for why I can’t play Link’s Awakening on my Switch.

The Legend of Zelda special-edition Game & Watch is available now.

Editors’ Choice

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The Best Zelda Breath of the Wild Mods on PC

Breath of the Wild is a near-perfect game, but super fans might be looking to change up the experience after four years on the market. The best Breath of the Wild mods for PC help you do that, changing up everything from character and weapon models to the core mechanics of Breath of the Wild. 

You’ll need a copy of Breath of the Wild to run through an emulator to get these mods to work — they won’t work on the Wii U or Switch. Like most modding endeavors, you also need a decent knowledge of installing and configuring mods to get Breath of the Wild running properly. On PC, you need the Cemu emulator and a dump of your Breath of the Wild game file.

You can then run the game file through the emulator, which is already half of the battle. From there, loading mods is simple. Our first recommendation handles all of the background work so you can easily use mods in the game.

Further reading

BCML Cross-Platform Mod Loader

The BCML Cross-Platform Mod Loader is the medicine before the candy for Breath of the Wild. The game was designed to run on the Switch and Wii U without any changes, so loading up more than a mod or two will surely bring buggy performance and crashes. BCML is a mod loader that helps you organize and load your mods. In addition to making sure everything works together, the tool makes it easy to quickly experiment with different mods without uninstalling and reinstalling them.

If you want to mod Breath of the Wild, BCML will make your life a whole lot easier.

Linkle + Alternative Hair

Character models from the Linkle mod.

Linkle is a mod that changes Link into Linkle from Hyrule Warriors. In addition to changing up the character model, this popular Breath of the Wild Mod includes alternate armor designs to give you a little bit of character customization, especially after you’ve collected the best armor in the game. The modder also has tools to fix armor icons, dialogue, the title screen, and more.

We’re recommending Linkle alongside the Alternative Hair and Eye Colors mod, too. This mod only works with Linkle, but it gives you access to a wider range of hair and eye colors. With the two, you can build your own character creator inside Breath of the Wild. 

No Shield Damage from Surfing

Link shield surfing in Breath of the Wild.

Shield surfing is some of the most fun you can have in Breath of the Wild. But, unfortunately, churning through shields as they take damage to keep your surfing habit up is a chore. That’s where the No Shield Damage from Surfing mod comes in, which tells you everything you need to know in the name. Unfortunately, it isn’t compatible with other shield mods.

Hyrule Rebalance

Enemy rebalances in Hyrule Rebalance mod.

Hyrule Rebalance is currently in its seventh version, and it overhauls nearly every aspect of Breath of the Wild. Loot is rebalanced to enemy difficulty, loot price is rebalanced to rarity, bugs are bigger and easier to catch, and bow range scales with bow power. And those are just a few of the changes that Hyrule Rebalance brings.

Although Breath of the Wild is balanced out of the box, Hyrule Rebalance still brings some quality-of-life improvements. It’s a great mod to experiment with if you’ve already played Breath of the Wild and are looking for a slightly altered experience.

End Game

Link facing off against Ganon in Breath of the Wild.

End Game, despite what the name suggests, doesn’t add any endgame content to Breath of the Wild. Instead, it rebalances the final boss battle with Ganon to provide a more challenging and entertaining fight. First, it forces you to fight the four Blights at Hyrule Castle, regardless of if you’ve beaten the Divine Beasts or not. The mod also makes Ganon and the Blights faster and their stun times lower, making the fight more difficult.

If this is your second (or seventh) time through Breath of the Wild, End Game provides enough of a challenge to keep you hooked.

Second Wind

Link standing in front of a castle in Breath of the Wild.

Calling Second Wind a mod doesn’t do it enough justice. It expands Breath of the Wild in the way official DLC would, adding new quests, weapons, bosses, and more. It borrows a lot from other mods, including Survival of the Wild, End Game, and Hyrule Rebalance (all included on this list). It also adds new music, a new town, and a slew of extra goodies.

The mod is based around the Ancient Trial quest, which also includes 15 side quests. The developer is currently working on the Ancient Island, which is another large expansion that offers an overarching quest. After you’ve tracked down all the captured memory locations, Second Wind gives you plenty to chew on.

Xbox One/PS4 UI

button layout for a PS4 controller in Breath of the Wild.

If you’re playing with an Xbox One or PS4 controller, you can update the interface to reflect your controller and the buttons on it. The Xbox One UI mode gives you Xbox button prompts, and the PS4 UI gives you DualShock 4 prompts. Although not as exciting as Second Wind or End Game, updating the UI can get around a lot of confusion with the Switch button prompts.

Survival of the Wild

A vendor in the Survival of the Wild mod.

Survival of the Wild focuses on the survival mechanics in Breath of the Wild. It expands the weather system to be more unforgiving, adds a hunger system, and changes up the UI for a minimalist look. If you’re looking for a more demanding, challenging Breath of the Wild experience, Survival of the Wild is for you. It changes a lot in the game to force you to think about survival over exploration, which is a great change of pace on a second playthrough.

Classic Weapons Pack

Link standing with a sword and shield.

The Classic Weapons Pack mod adds some iconic swords and shields from The Legend of Zelda franchise into Breath of the Wild. It replaces the models of some of the weapons in the game with options like the Mirror Shield from Ocarina of Timethe Ikana Mirror Shield from Majora’s Mask, and the Knight Shield from Hyrule Warriors. 

Although it doesn’t change the Breath of the Wild experience, the Classic Weapons Pack mod still adds a nice dash of visual flair. Plus, they look great in your inventory alongside the best weapons in Breath of the Wild

HD Menu and Map

Updated icons in Breath of the Wild.

Emulating Breath of the Wild allows you to push the resolution beyond the Switch’s 1080p output, but some elements don’t carry over to the higher resolution. Take the map and menu icons, for example. The HD Menu and Map mod gets around the problem by replacing the icons with higher-resolution versions. In addition to item icons, the mod enhances map icons by over three times the base resolution to give the game a sharper look overall.

Revo Reshade Redux

Link standing in a field in Breath of the Wild.

Breath of the Wild is a beautiful game, but you can make it look even better with the Revo Reshade Redux mod. The mod removes the yellow haze in Breath of the Wild and balances the colors, lending to a more natural look. It boosts the contrast a lot, too, which gives the world more depth at higher resolutions.

The mod was designed with the RTGI ray tracing shader for Breath of the Wild in mind. This mod enhances reflections to offer a ray tracing effect, though you can only access it by subscribing to the developer’s Patreon.

Henriko’s Faithful Music Mod

There are a ton of music mods for Breath of the Wild, so we’d recommend looking around for a music pack you like. If you want the Breath of the Wild vibe without the tracks in the game, Henriko’s Faithful Music Mod is for you. Instead of original music or tracks from other Zelda games, the mod borrows tracks from a range of titles to capture the essence of Breath of the Wild. 

You can watch the video above to see if the mod is for you. It retains the spirit of the original music but gives you something else to listen to while playing.

Editors’ Choice

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Find Every Empty Bottle in Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

In most games, an empty bottle isn’t an item worth getting excited over. In fact, most games don’t even qualify them as items and just have them scattered around as decorations or things to break. The Zelda franchise, however, has always put a strange level of importance on these simple objects. They are always found in limited numbers and can do things no other items in the game can. As powerful a tool as they are, especially in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, collecting them all isn’t an easy task.

There are a mere five empty bottles you can obtain throughout the world of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HDThey will take up a slot in your Adventure Pouch, but that is a slot well worth sacrificing for all these bottles can do. From holding a spare fairy and all the various potion types to quest items, you’ll never regret packing an extra bottle. Some will require you to meet certain requirements, such as obtaining other items or completing quests. If you’re stuck trying to locate any of the empty bottles on your adventures, here’s where you can find them all in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD.

Note: Slight spoilers ahead on plot points that trigger when some bottles become available.

Further reading

Empty bottle 1

The first empty bottle you can get is right at home in Skyloft, but only after Zelda has gone missing. Once this happens, take a detour to the Bazaar potion shop and talk to the owner, Luv. She will remark that you don’t have a bottle to hold any potions in and give you your first empty bottle for free.

Empty bottle 2

Later on in the game, once you’re exploring the Sealed Temple, you will come across an old woman in a room with some pots and a treasure chest. Obviously, you don’t need us to tell you that opening the chest is a good idea. Inside, you’ll get a revitalizing potion. Once you’ve used the potion, you’ll hang on to the empty bottle.

Empty bottle 3

From here on, getting the rest of the empty bottles will be a little more complicated. First, head to the Plaza in Skyloft where the Light Tower is, and look for Parrow roaming around the area. Speak to him, and he’ll tell you he’s looking for his lost sister, Orielle, who was supposedly going toward a colorful island to the southwest. This will begin the Orielle side quest.

First, take to the sky on your Loftwing and head southwest. On your map, you can spot the colorful island that Orielle was apparently going to, called Fun Fun Island. However, this isn’t where you’ll find her. Instead, look just to the east of Fun Fun Island for a much smaller island and head there. This is where you can find Orielle, who is stuck here because her Loftwing has been injured and is unable to fly. She’ll ask you to bring her some medicine to heal her Loftwing so she can get back home.

Fly back to Skyloft and to the Plaza to let Parrow know you found his sister. He’ll provide you with some Mushroom Spores to heal her Loftwing. Once you’ve used the spores, the bottle will be yours to keep!

Empty bottle 4

Link fighting two Bokoblins in a temple.

This bottle is inside the Fire Sanctuary and will require the Mogma Mitts to uncover. With this item, go back to the first room where you fought Magmanos, the enemies that look like hands made of fire and lava, and use the mitts to dig through into an area with a water plant. Use this water plant to deal with the Magmanos, which will open up a new passageway that leads right to a chest holding the fourth empty bottle.

Empty bottle 5

This final empty bottle is found via accessing a specific Goddess Cube and then opening the chest it reveals. You will need to be able to access the Thunderhead area of the map as well. The Goddess Cube is also inside the Fire Sanctuary, or rather the cave you pass through leading to it, in the room that takes you to the Fire Dragon. During the part of the quest where you need to reach the Fire Dragon, a platform will appear in the air. Make your way up, and use a Skyward Strike to activate the cube.

Now head to the western side of Thunderhead and find the chest on an island protected by some bars. You can use your Mogma Mitts to dig down through a dig spot above the chest, which you can reach via some vines that you can climb up to the chest itself. Open up the chest, and claim your fifth and final empty bottle.

Editors’ Choice

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Wild price for sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda breaks auction records

Back in April, we told you about a sealed copy of the original Super Mario Bros. that fetched the hefty sum of $660,000 at auction. At the time, we wondered how long this record would stand, and as it turns out, it didn’t take long for the record to be broken. Today Heritage Auctions announced that it has sold a sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda for nearly one million dollars.

While this copy of The Legend of Zelda didn’t quite reach the one million mark, it came awfully close, pulling in a record $870,000 in an auction earlier today. So what made this copy of The Legend of Zelda pull in so much money? According to Heritage Auctions, there are a few different reasons, and they all add up to make one super rare copy of the game.

One of the biggest contributors to the price is the fact that this is a sealed copy with a Wata 9.0 rating. For reference, the sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. that sold for $660k earlier this year had a 9.6 Wata rating, so it was actually in better condition than this copy of The Legend of Zelda. The difference-maker, in this case, is the fact that this is a very early production run of the game.

As Heritage Auctions explains it, most of the copies you’re likely to encounter are “Rev-A” variants, but earlier production runs had “NES TM” and “NES R” variants. The NES TM variant is the earliest, but Heritage explains that only one sealed NES TM copy is thought to exist. This copy of The Legend of Zelda is an NES R variant that was only produced for a few months in late 1987 before it was replaced by the Rev-A variant, inflating its rarity (and its price) significantly. The copy also carries a round Nintendo Seal of Quality, which helps bring the price up further.

“As for this particular copy of the world’s first adventure with Link, we don’t even need an entire hand to count the number of copies that are purported to exist in sealed condition from this “No Rev-A” production run, and this copy is among the finest known of these examples,” Heritage Auctions wrote today. Once again, we’re left wondering if this record will be broken anytime soon, but since it’s only been a few months since the last time we said such thoughts out loud, we’ll just wait and see what happens next.

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A rare early copy of ‘The Legend of Zelda’ sold for $870,000

Earlier this year, a nearly perfect copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES sold for $660,000. Now, a mere three months later, The Legend of Zelda has shattered that record. On Friday, a rare, early production version of the NES classic sold for $870,000 at auction.

Outside of a single sealed copy from its original manufacturing run, it’s believed the game that sold this week is one of the earliest known sealed copies of The Legend of Zelda in existence. According to Heritage Auctions, the cartridge sold on Friday comes from the game’s “NES-R” production run. Nintendo only made that version of the game for a handful of months in late 1987. “Essentially, this copy is the earliest sealed copy one could realistically hope to obtain,” the auction house said of the game before it went on sale.

Still, $870,000 is a lot of money to spend on a collectible, whether it’s in mint condition or not. To put the price in perspective, Heritage Auctions sold a copy of The Legend of Zelda from the game’s more common 1988 “Rev-A” production run for $50,400 last year.

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD trailer takes us back to the beginning

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is right around the corner, and Nintendo today delivered yet another new trailer for the game. The company has released a series of trailers for Skyward Sword HD that cover a number of different topics – the first was an overview trailer that introduced us to the world of Skyward Sword, while the second showed us the quality of life changes that will be present in the game. This new trailer offers more standard fare, showing off some gameplay and setting the stage for the game.

The trailer also reminds us that Skyward Sword is the very first game in The Legend of Zelda chronology, taking place before the Kingdom of Hyrule was even established. Skyward Sword HD, for those who never played the original, will show us the first incarnation of Link and Zelda, along with the origins of the Master Sword, acting as something of a first act for all of them.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is the major release for the franchise’s 35th anniversary. This HD remaster for Switch has been rumored for years, but the game isn’t just getting a visual makeover for its big re-release. Nintendo has also tweaked the controls somewhat – while you’ll still use Joy-Cons as motion control stand-ins for the Wii Remote and its Nunchuk attachment, there will also be button controls that can be used when playing in handheld mode or on a Switch Lite (which can’t connect to a TV).

As detailed last week, there are several other quality-of-life changes present in this remaster as well. For instance, players can now ask Fi for advice and guidance whenever they want. Nintendo also says that the Switch version will offer a smoother framerate along with the ability to fast forward text and skip cutscenes.

Skyward Sword was a pretty unique Zelda game, so it’ll be interesting to see how the experience translates to Switch later this month. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is out on Nintendo Switch on July 16th.

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How to Pre-order The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

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The release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is just around the corner. This high-definition re-release takes gamers back to the very beginning of the Legend of Zelda story, to a world in the clouds where a boy and a girl find themselves front and center in a battle between a goddess and an ancient evil.

Gamers can expect crisp visuals with a boosted resolution and frame rate, updated controls, and a myriad of small quality-of-life improvements to make this the best Skyward Sword experience possible.

If you’re looking to get your hands on Skyward Sword the day it’s released, you should probably pre-order. Here’s everything we know about pre-ordering The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, including which retailers are offering pre-order bonuses.

Further reading

Where can I pre-order The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD?

Skyward Sword HD will release on July 16, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, for $59.99. There will be both physical and digital copies of the game but no special or collector’s editions. Physical copies of the game can be picked up or delivered on the release date.

Digital versions can typically be preloaded and unlocked on launch day. Ordering digital is convenient, as there is no cartridge to keep track of, but it does take up more of the storage space on your Nintendo Switch. You may want to consider purchasing a micro SD card to beef up your storage for the occasion.

Some retailers will include small pre-order bonuses for buying from them. Here are the ones we’ve found:


Amazon has both physical and digital copies available. The digital copy comes in the form of a code to input into Nintendo eShop, giving you access to the game the minute it comes out. There are no announced pre-order bonuses at Amazon.


Gamestop offers physical and digital versions as well. Digital codes will be sent when payment is processed, allowing players to download Skyward Sword HD now and start playing on July 16. GameStop also offers a free poster for pre-ordering, which can be picked up at the store with proof of purchase while supplies last.

Best Buy

Best Buy is only offering physical copies of the game and including Zelda decals as a pre-order bonus.


Walmart, like Best Buy, carries just the physical version of Skyward Sword HD. Pre-orders with them will include Zelda socks and a keychain.

Nintendo eShop 

Players can, of course, always buy directly from the Nintendo eShop. This is an all-digital marketplace, and there are no pre-order bonuses, but it is easy to buy directly from your Nintendo Switch or online.

Special-edition accessories 

A pair of Zelda-themed Joy-Cons on a white background.

Nintendo is celebrating the release of Skyward Sword HD with some Zelda-themed accessories. 

First is the limited-edition pair of Joy-Cons. These detachable controllers are themed to match the game. The right Joy-Con is colored to mimic the Master Sword held in Link’s right hand, and the shield in his left hand is mirrored on the colors of the left Joy-Con. Inventory is pretty constrained, but you can potentially order these here:

Nintendo has also released a brand new Zelda and Loftwing amiibo. This figurine is not just for show. Normally, the only way to return to the sky from ground level is by locating one of the save points scattered across the world. This amiibo, however, allows you to instantly travel to the sky from any point on the ground, even inside of dungeons, and return anytime you want. That is a significant quality-of-life upgrade, and it requires this specific amiibo.  

Amiibo are often in high demand and sell out quickly. Your best bet for tracking down a Zelda and Loftwing amiibo is to check daily up to and including the July 16 release of Skyward Sword HD at the following retailers: 

Editors’ Choice

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Tech News

The Nintendo Switch OLED is nice, but I want a Switch Pro for Zelda

Today Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch again. That is, what is officially and very creatively dubbed the Nintendo Switch (OLED model), parentheses and all.

It’s pretty cool! It has a bigger and better screen, ethernet compatibility, and improved speakers. It features a wider, adjustable kickstand, and it doubles internal storage to 64 GB. It even comes in a panda color. These are all welcome improvements, and my colleague Callum, at least, is rather excited about it.

And I would be too… if it weren’t for the fact I still want an honest-to-goodness Switch Pro. Luckily, there’s still hope.

Rumors of a 4K Switch have been floating around for ages, and not just from the “my uncle works at Nintendo” type. Reliable sources have pointed to a 4K Switch in enough detail that the only reasonable explanation — other than “Nintendo is trolling the leakers” — is that Nintendo is waiting for the right time to release it.

It just hasn’t been the right time yet. But you know what is the right time? Zelda time. It seems increasingly likely Nintendo is simply going to release the new Switch roughly alongside the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, better known as Breath of the Wild 2.

It’s possible, if not likely, that Nintendo had a different timeline for a more powerful Switch before this whole global pandemic thing happened. But as it stands, it would simply make no sense at all to release a Switch Pro without a flagship title to accompany it.

The Nintendo Switch is still selling like hotcakes in its good ol’ 1080p form, after all. In fact, as noted by Bloomberg, the Switch is on track to become the fastest console to ever sell 100 million units.

The Switch and Switch Lite had enough momentum on their own to get to their current numbers. And despite the fact that Nintendo arguably hasn’t released a main title from one of its flagship IPs since 2018’s Smash Bros. Ultimate, Switch sales are showing no signs of slowing down.

The Switch OLED’s launch, coinciding with October’s Metroid Dread, will likely be just enough of a kick to maintain that momentum into 2022. This is what Nintendo always does after all; it releases iterative tweaks on its consoles to revamp sales. Need I remind you of how many versions of the 3DS there were?

But as excited as I am for a new Metroid, it’s still a bit more of a niche series than Mario and Zelda. That Nintendo would want to save its big guns for Breath of the Wild 2 seems like a no-brainer to me.

I’m not the type of gamer that cares tremendously about graphics horsepower. I’m a Nintendo fan, after all, and the company abandoned the polygon race after the GameCube.  But I wouldn’t mind playing Breath of the Wild 2 with some added visual fidelity, and I’d be willing to bet a few silver rupees that Nintendo is banking on other Zelda fans that feel the same.

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD trailer reveals the big changes

We are precisely two weeks out from the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD on Nintendo Switch. As the name implies, this is an HD remaster of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, a game that originally launched for the Wii 10 years ago in 2011. In the lead-up to release, Nintendo has published a few different explainer trailers – first was a rather long overview trailer, and today we’re getting a trailer that walks us through some of the quality of life updates that will be present in the Switch version.

After all, game design is a constantly evolving beast, so it makes sense that even just a 10-year-old would need some quality of life enhancements in a modern re-release. The trailer clocks in at just a hair over a minute-and-a-half long, and we’ve embedded it below.

The trailer first covers the fact that players can now ask Fi for optional help whenever they want. For example, players will be able to ask Fi for general advice, analysis, or information about their objective, which could be useful if you get lost in the uncharted surface world. Then the trailer shows us the Skyward Sword HD‘s motion controls and button-only controls side-by-side.

While the button-only controls are closer to a normal control scheme than motion controls, they can’t exactly be called traditional. With button-only controls, players will use the right thumbstick to control Link’s sword or throw items, while tapping on the left stick will make Link block with his shield. It seems that both control schemes will likely require an adjustment period, so keep that in mind if you’re looking to pick up Skyward Sword HD when it launches later this month.

We’ll also be getting a smoother framerate, the ability to fast forward text, streamlined item information, and the option to skip cutscenes. All in all, it sounds like there are a few useful features that are shipping along with this updated version of Skyward Sword. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is out on Nintendo Switch on July 16th.

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‘Zelda: Skyward Sword HD’ puts Fi on mute

When , it will address many of the more annoying design choices found in the original game. As you can see from the trailer Nintendo shared today, the remaster will feature several “quality of life improvements,” including the ability to skip cutscenes, tutorials and dialogue. What’s more, Skyward Sword HD will render at a smoother 60 frames per second, and include optional button controls.

But the biggest change is more of an addition by subtraction. Players can choose to ask Fi for advice, instead of the spirit offering it incessantly on their own. Nintendo explains Fi will only appear in cutscenes and when absolutely necessary. Otherwise, Link’s sword will glow when Fi has something to say, and you can choose to hear them out or not.

In much the same way, Nintendo has also streamlined how players interact with items. The first time you pick a new one up, the game will explain what it does, but won’t subject you to that same explanation every subsequent time you find that same item.

Skyward Sword HD also includes a new fast travel system, but you’ll need to pick up a Nintendo will release on the same day as the remaster to get access to that feature.

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