TOKYO - I loved the original Zelda 64, but I've been a little skeptical of Zelda Gaiden. Screenshots thus far have been in a much different style that the original. Much more trippy and detailed in a more whimsical manner. That's probably for the best since it makes Zelda Gaiden seem like a totally new and different game apart from Zelda 64.
One of the demo levels that I played was a race with Epona against the Mario and Luigi lookalikes. You have to worry about knocking into these two opponents while still avoiding trees and jumping gates when needed.
The other demo level I tried out was a dungeon. The effect of switching masks is perhaps the trippiest thing I've seen in a video game. It's almost the same kind of effect as when Jim Carrey puts on the mask in The Mask. It becomes an extension of your character, giving Link different abilities.
It'll be interesting to see how this game fits altogether. While it felt very much like Zelda 64 in the way it controlled, the game itself and the story looks much different. Almost darker, yet more whimsical and fantastic than the original. We'll see how it all pieces together next March, when Zelda Gaiden (not the final title) hits shelves in Japan.