I’ve never expected Nintendo to co-develop Ocarina of Time’s remake with a third-party developer. The last time we had seen an outsider handle the Zelda franchise was with Capcom, who worked on an enhanced port of A Link to the Past, the Oracle series, Four Swords Adventures, and The Minish Cap. Since then, Nintendo’s own studios have been developing console and handheld Zelda games entirely on their own. It’s understandable to branch out now though since Skyward Sword must be driving them mad, and the 3DS remake of one of their greatest games of all time is not a simple task given the power of the handheld itself and the hype behind the title.
Anyway, now for the big surprise. You’ll never guess who is handling the remake. A relatively-unheard-of Japanese studio called Grezzo, who worked on only one game before this one; Line Attack Heroes for the WiiWare. While their resume is scarce, what’s encouraging about Grezzo is the history of its head honcho, Koichi Ishii. Famously known for creating and developing the Mana series for Square-Enix, he departed the company as he completed work on the World of Mana compilation back in 2007.
After recently learning of all this, I went back and rechecked the screenshots of Ocarina of Time 3DS….not surprisingly relating its look to PS2’s Dawn of Mana, one of Mr. Ishii’s last games before leaving Square-Enix. Compare OoT’s revamped Kokiri Forest’s screenshots and new models of Link to the following video. Eerily similar, eh?
I’m now looking forward to this remake even more knowing that it’s in the hands of Mr. Ishii. After all, he did make Secret of Mana for the SNES, arguably one of the best games of all time….one I never played to this very day. Additionally, having a game like Ocarina of Time under their belt will make Grezzo really popular. I have a feeling that Nintendo will outright buy the company if they’re really pleased with the how this remake turns out.
I’ve noticed a trend by Nintendo these days. I like the fact that they’re more accepting to hand off their franchises to other trustworthy developers. Kirby and Wario was given to Good-Feel, Pilotwings Resort and the Excite series handed to Monster Games, Donkey Kong to Retro Studios, Metroid to Team Ninja, and so on and so forth with the examples. The only one I haven’t seen thus far is an official Mario platformer entry…which won’t happen anytime soon. What I do want to hear of soon, however, is a new F-Zero entry. Please, Nintendo, give it back to Sega…they’ve made the best entry in the series for GameCube.
Thoughts? Do you even care to know who develops these games from behind-the-scenes or are you just happy with the basics?