Nintendo man talks new Zelda

Plus: more 3D Mario for DS?

It's not even out in Europe yet, and 2D DS title New Super Mario Bros. is already earning Nintendo a huge pot of gold coins - with half a million copies sold in the US so far.

But that doesn't mean we won't see another 3D Mario game appearing on the DS, according to Takashi Tezuka, general manager of Nintendo's entertainment analysis and development department. You may not have heard of him but he and Shigeru Miyamoto go way back, having worked together on the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES.

In an interview with GameDaily, when asked if Nintendo is planning to produce another 3D Mario adventure, Tezuka replied: "Well, I'd love to! I can't say anything more than that..."

Tezuka went on to discuss long-awaited Wii and GameCube title The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - with reference to recent comments made by Nintendo of America bigwig Reggie Fils-Aime, who reckons it's the "best Zelda ever made."

Tezuka declined to be quite so explicit, but he did say: "I think this is a game that [the team] has taken a lot of pain and a lot of care to make, and that's definitely evident from beginning to end that you can see the amount of work and detail that's been put into the project.

"Even to the point where I'm [sometimes] surprised and will go, 'Who's responsible for this amount of detail, for this one section?' This is amazing even to me."

Tezuka went on to explain the decision to give DS title The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass cel-shaded graphics much like those in Wind Waker, stating: "Two years ago at E3, I was on the bus with some of the people on the Wind Waker staff and they were all saying how enamored they were with that graphical style and the Wind Waker Link model, and they were saying how they just want to use him more.

"One game wasn't enough because they liked it so much, and they were already talking about the DS at that time at Nintendo anyway. And they thought, 'Well wouldn't that be fun? Let's try it and see if we can do it on the handheld.' So it was actually two years ago that they started talking about doing this, and just because it came from a love of that art style."

Moving on to the subject of the Wii, Tezuka hinted at one of the possible functions of the speaker featured on the remote controller: "If you're playing a game where you're taking turns, players 1-4, if it's your turn your controller could go, 'Ding, da, da, ding!', and that's kind of a neat thing.

"I think [the speaker] strengthens the impact of the game for each individual player, and some of the effects that we're conveying or the experiences that we're trying to convey to the individual player," Tezuka continued.

"This is one tool we can use to heighten that."

And what of Sony's motion-sensing controller? "Well, I haven't touched it so I can't say what it feels like [to play with] or anything like that," said Tezuka.

"But just for us, we have the easiest controller for what we're trying to do... I just like our functionality."

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