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Why many people (including myself) don't like Zelda

6/13/12 2:59am
I know a lot of people are probably going to disagree with me (some may even threaten or abuse) but Zelda games are no longer relevant in today’s’ world of gaming. Now before everyone starts going “I bet you only like to play COD online and prolly hate all Nintendo games” (I don’t play COD and I don’t hate all Nintendo games) here me out for I have reasons, some of which I like to think are pretty good. The Zelda series has long been held in such high regard from its original days on the NES, and I’m not disagreeing with the earlier games either. The first Zelda pretty much invented the genre and the second one, while not held in the same regard as the first, still had some ground breaking ideas that have since stayed with the franchise. The later SNES game was very well received and the ocarina of time is without doubt a great game. However, for a franchise to stay relevant they sometimes have to make a few changes to it’s formula. Not necessarily to the gameplay. One of my biggest issues with the Zelda games is the lack of story progression. The usual formula with series is story begins by setting up the characters. We are introduced to the exact same hero every time. Now I know what people are going to say “But Halo, Tomb raider and Metal gear all have the same character and there’s millions of those games!?” To which I say “they all have mostly coherent timelines” but that’s an argument for later. The issue wouldn’t be so bad if he developed as a character between each game but no it’s just Link the unexpecting hero. You’d think that with all legends being passed down through the generations if you were named Link, you’d probably have some idea that something may happen to you. Right about the time when you hit your teen years. So through some freak accident you set out on a quest to save the princess Zelda and Hyrule, not always in that order. So you complete a dungeon, in which you get an item that can help you access the next dungeon. Helping out some random characters you don’t really care about on the way. This happens two more times before the game goes “time for a plot update”. Then the process starts all over again. It’s here at the first plot update you usually gain the master sword. Then the formula repeats itself maybe one or two more times before you face off against the final boss. After you defeat the boss you are presented with a rather short this is what happens end of the game were everything goes roughly back to normal. This sort of story telling worked well in the days leading up to 3D gaming. But this sort of copy paste story telling just doesn’t do it for the new age gamer, and I don’t mean the new age casual gamer. I mean the people who grew up playing the original games and are in there 20’s and 30’s. We expect more of an engrossing story that goes beyond that of save princess and world. Wind Waker was a step in the right direction. Some of the gameplay included stealth sections and the land of Hyrule itself was like nothing before. There was an effort further the plot a bit more but just when you think this could be different Tetra turns into princess Zelda and the formula repeats again. So with the story taken care of what were left with is how to play it. So they said “we’re changing the way you play Zelda” when they went from Wind Waker to Twilight Princess. But anyone who put a little bit of thought into it said “hang on a minute. Twilight Princess was supposed to be out on gamecube and now its on wii. Your just putting motion controls on a game designed for the last generation console.” To which Nintendo replied with... nothing. They just pretended it was supposed to be that way from day one. When the novelty of motion controlled gaming wore off (at about 1 hour of playing it) we were left with a highly infuriating way of playing what used to be a fun game. Then Nintendo said “guess what!? We fixed the control for Skyward Sword!!!” To which the world said prove it and Nintendo went “shit...” and then had a rather embarrassing demonstration at E3. But even after they ironed out those issues players were still there going “can I just play this with a normal control?” I don’t need to go on about motion controls as any serious gamer already knows Then we have the ridiculous timeline issues. This wouldn’t be a problem if Nintendo just treated each game as a unique telling of a story but for some reason they had to say that all the games are connected in some cryptic way. When the fans of your games spend more time on the internet arguing about when each game takes place, rather than which game/character/story/moment/anything else is better, you’ve sort of missed the point. The original Zelda was released in 1986. It’s been 26 years since the first game was released and the people who played the first game are well into their 30’s. It’s time to either let Zelda rest or make it more relevant for the audience of today. The majority of gamers today would be able to handle a more mature themed Zelda. Sure you’ll have your purist’s that well get upset but that would only be a small percentage, and regardless of how good it is or isn’t they’ll still just say Ocarina of Time was better. Let’s have a Zelda game where it opens with a 40 year old Link in a bar drinking his sorrows away after he just stabbed a guy in the throat. As there has been peace for so long he has now become a forgotten hero. Zelda and his son has left him long ago and he is now working as a mercenary for higher. Then war erupts between the Kingdoms of Hyrule and Termina. Zelda, who is ruling Hyrule as her father has pasted away, has no choice but to turn to Link to help turn the tides of war. The game could have a much darker theme, no motion controls, a morally conflicted hero who HAS A VOICE and a more epic scale to the whole game. This would win back many fans and probably help to sell the wii U after a rather disappointing Nintendo press conference at E3. That’s what it would take to get someone like myself back into The Legend of Zelda.

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