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Does anyone else have a complicated relationship with the Zelda franchise?

synchronicity

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Zelda for me is the most curious of franchises. I'm deeply drawn to them on a certain level. There's a wonderful sense of (child like) adventure and innocence, an epic tone and atmosphere, iconic music, interesting puzzles and just a love and attention to detail that permeates those creations. And they are gameplay-first type of games, where the focal point is more on controller-in-hand than eyes-on-flashy-cut-scene. Great stuff.

On the other hand, I often find myself frustrated and annoyed with the games - even the ones I really love. There is something about Zelda that often puts me off. There is this navigational tediousness where you're blocked off at what feels like every turn sometimes, and you find yourself searching for that one single element - item/location/character interaction/hoop-to-jump-through - in order to progress. And this needle in a haystack could be anywhere in this large world, and so you find yourself wandering aimlessly at times. Let me make it clear that I'm no proponent of hand-holding. I generally love it when games leave you to your own devices. In some games I'll wander endlessly until I figure something out. But something about Zelda - at least for some entries - doesn't grab me in the right way, and I end up frustrated and missing the fun I want to feel. Granted, it's always satisfying to discover what blocked your way or solve that puzzle that leads you forward. But in the Zeldas I've played, the reward for progress often doesn't outweigh the frustration or tedium at points, and I find myself not wanting the hassle. It's, "Yay, I've unlocked this mystery. What's my great reward? Oh, a quarter of a heart container or Oh, some rupees." There's often a sense of deflation *attached* to your progression, and that leaves me a bit hollow in its anti-climax. I know there are benefits to these little things in the bigger picture, but I just struggle to get jazzed up about them, as they are so pervasive throughout the adventure(s). There are other elements that are very frustrating and fun-draining as well, like the item switching in Link's Awakening. (I didn't want to go into all the little annoyances I often find in this series.)

Even in the entries I love the most, there are incredibly tedious elements, like the Elegy of Emptiness usage in Majora's Mask. I guess the essence of my rambling is that I often love Zelda more in concept and presentation than in execution.

Full disclaimer. These are the Zelda's I've played:

The original
Link's Awakening (Game Boy)
The Minish Cap
Wind Waker
Majora's Mask
Breath of the Wild

I felt both Majora's Mask and Breath of the Wild were classics - albeit for different reasons. But the rest didn't reach that level for me. (even the original, as transformative as it felt, was more frustrating than fun imho.)

So yeah.



:p
 

Nevan

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Yeah kind of. At certain sites out there, I don't dare mention that I think BOTW is a bad game after my time with it because Hylia forbid that I have a mind of my own. I also definitely do not tell them there that my top 5 is Twilight, LTTP, Ocarina, Skyward Sword and Wind Waker in that order.
 
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I love them. The 3D versions are my favorite, probably Wind Waker being my #1. BOTW is fantastic but I feel the way the story was presented could be better. Absolutely love the combat and exploration though, and while it's not my favorite Zelda it is the one I come back to when I think about sex. (No, not in the way you're probably thinking). They need to get Wind Waker on the Switch like yesterday. Same with Twilight Princess. Still going through Skyward Sword for the first time and it's fucking dope. Gets way too much hate IMO.
 

Captain Toad

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The Legend of Zelda is my favorite game of all-time. The franchise as a whole is nowhere near my favorite, although I'm still a fan.

My favorite Zelda games are the 2D ones - namely, LoZ, LTTP and Link's Awakening. The 3D ones tend to drag on at times and lose the pacing of the 2D entries.
 
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DrCheese

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Yes, some of the games I've been addicted to but others I can't even bring myself to start. I'm a fan of the cartoony zelda's (eg windwaker) but the more realistic ones (Skyward sword) I just have no interest in playing. I don't know why.

BOTW is held up as some GOAT game but everything I've read it about it puts me off. It doesn't seem like it's a zelda game anymore.
 

cireza

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It is pretty simple for me.

Zelda I and II on NES are awesome games and I love them.
Then everything became casual shit. I played most of the games, and really disliked them. The natural continuation of what I saw in Zelda I and II actually came with games like Hexen, Lodoss on Dreamcast, Dragon's Blood or more recently Demon's Souls on PS3.

BOTW managed to get some of my interest back, but it still was a very poorly designed game.
 
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Dec 9, 2019
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My main problem with 3D zelda games (from what ive experienced) is the slower pacing and misdirection. They're too slow. Also, I dont want motion controls ffs, give me a standard controller experience without the gimmicks or atleast have options to fully disable that trash/dont have them as a main focus.

If they were to make a darker 3D Zelda game with a great story, faster pace (think top down oldschool zelda quickness/snappiness/franticness) and GOOD platforming, some shit like jak and daxter, id give them my money so fast.

Everyone making a similar sort of game seems to try to emulate zelda. Theres been a few instances where devs come out with a better game mechanically imo, but zelda is a bit bottlenecked in comparison to what it could be I think. But that's just my opinion, i dont settle till shit is perfect.
 
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one of my all time favourite franchises. though i was disappointed with breath of the wild. it was missing 2 of the best things about zelda. dungeons and music.
 
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Rock And Roll

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I feel the same OP. I loved TLoZ and LttP is one of my favorite games of all time (some days it is my favorite). But after LttP I never really enjoyed any of the entries. LA was okay but it started to introduce a lot of things I disliked about Zelda for the next two decades (fetch quests, bloat etc...)

I really never got into OoT, I feel like it's sort of like a 3D LttP but nowhere near as good. MM was cool because it was weird but it's not a lot of fun to play. WW was too easy and the triforce fetch quest killed an otherwise enjoyable game. TP was probably the worst mainline Zelda game in my opinion, just way too much bloat. SS I can respect because I get the feeling they realized the series was getting stagnant and they tried to shake things up a bit, but it still wasn't good. The handheld games ranged from good to bad (never finished the DS games).

I actually really loved BotW even though I know it's polarizing. It was the first time I felt like we were getting a new Zelda experience. It brought back a lot of the discovery and openness that I loved in the 2D titles. It's not perfect but I love it regardless. I've noticed a pattern, it seems a lot of people who grew up playing 2D Zelda but didn't like the 3D seem to like BotW and those who grew up with the 3D games don't like BotW.

I actually thought about it numerous times over the years why I kept buying the series even though the games had diminishing returns for me. Chasing that dragon I guess. There is something about the series that fascinates me, I suppose that's why I keep coming back. I consider myself a fan of the franchise despite only enjoying like 25% of the games.
 
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kunonabi

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Got into it with Zelda 2, stopped playing them since oot through wind waker was mostly rubbish to me, fell back in love with TP, and Botw has now possibly turned me off again completely depending on how the following games build on it. It's been a roller coaster for sure.
 

Banjo64

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One of my favourite franchises of all time. I’ve played the original, A Link to the Past, Oracle of Ages, Minish Cap and Link’s Awakening. I’ve completed OOT, Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, A Link Between Worlds and Breath of the Wild. Nintendo’s best series for me and I have no issues with any of the games.
 

Dream-Knife

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Yeah I do. I love ALTTP, LA (GB version), OoT, and MM. BOTW was good, but not really a zelda game, and I was over it at the end. It was also the first ubisoft open world game I played, so idk if I'll like the sequel. The 3ds game was also quite good.

Wind Waker and TP were pretty big disappointments. Don't even want to try skyward sword.
 

trikster40

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I absolutely loved The original Zelda, Zelda 2, Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, but after that, my interest started waning. I just couldn’t get into Majoras Mask (which I admit is a shame because I’ve heard such great things about it.) I went through Twilight Princess on the Wii, but that was the fina game for me. I watched my nephew play some of Skyward Sword and glad I missed out on it.

I remember going to my friends house after he got a Switch at launch and he let me play his BotW save. I remember getting into a battle and broke a sword (or 2) and apologizing profusely. I had no idea about the worst weapon degradation system in the history of video games.

Like everyone else, I grabbed a switch for BotW and it just never grabbed me. Every once in a while I pull a tug to give it one more shot, I must have just not been in the right frame of mind, but it fails to grab me over and over.
 

Kuranghi

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There haven't been many I really disliked, Phantom Hourglass had some extremely gay parts but overall I still enjoyed it more than most games, played on emulator with a mouse though so maybe would've had a different opinion on original HW. I've never played Majoras Mask still, going to wait for a re-release on Switch/whatever now though.
 
Apr 20, 2015
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I wouldn't call it complicated, just a bit unconventional. I play a game in the series, absolutely love it. Then I ignore the franchise for 10 years or more, then randomly picking some newer entry. Hating it, ignoring it again. 10 years later playing BOTW thinking it's one of the best games I've ever played. Continue ignoring the series and probably not buying BOTW2 for no apparent reason.
 

ReBurn

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The last Zelda I enjoyed was Link to the Past. I wouldn't say my relationship with it is complicated. It kind of just turned into not my thing after that.
 

dukeoflegs

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I love the 2D games and I always rank them higher than the 3D ones. The only 3D one I really liked was Wind Waker. There's something about the combat and gameplay in the 3D ones that feels clumsy to me.
 

Fushitsusha

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Your list is missing two of the best ones, Ocarina and Twilight. I like Zelda a lot but would rather die than play Wind Waker or Breath of the Wild, the original on NES... see? That's 50% success rate.

They don't have good exploration though. The games with best exploration are the ones I dislike the most (above), because while they might have more to explore the world is lacking much else.

Overall, most Zelda games have bad exploration and rewards for it, since the important stuff are found in the main story and path.
 
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p_xavier

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I only liked Ocarina of Time as a 3D game. Never liked Majora nor Wind Waker. I tried to get into Twilight Princess for the Wii and didn't like the intro nor the horrible controls for Skyward's Sword. When I bought BotW for my Wii U, I also purchased Twilight Princess HD, knowing I could play with a Pro controller.

While BotW started amazingly great, after the Plateau I was stuck with a lousy story, game breaking mechanics (weapons). So I started playing Twilight Princess HD and it changed to my favourite Zelda game ever. Story, music and gameplay were amazing (minus slow intro). BotW is the one I loathe the most.
 

StateofMajora

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I love a lot of the 3D ones, some are just ok (wind waker) and breath of the wild is trash and makes me worried for the rest of the series.

Majora, TP and ocarina are top tier, skyward sword is good overall. The point is, Zelda needs to not be far cry and fallout but get back to what made Zelda good in the first place.

I really don’t like how experimental the series is sometimes either ; they can go a bit too far in one direction and lose sight of things. It’s a recurring theme.
 
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CartoonsNCereal

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Unpopular personal opinion: Personally there is nothing I see that makes me want to play a Zelda game. I don't think there is anything Zelda does better then any other game out there. People play it because it's Zelda.

There, you can all hate me now :messenger_beaming:
I dont Have an extensive experience with zelda either, but it tends to have a bit more...soul than some other games out there
 
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Phase

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Not complicated. From the n64 releases and older I love them, anything after I haven't cared much for.
 

synchronicity

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Your list is missing two of the best ones, Ocarina and Twilight.
Yeah, I need to give those a shot one day.

One thing the responses to this thread brought to mind is just how different the various entries in this series can be despite some ongoing similarities. I'm trying to think of other long-lasting series that have such different feeling entries. Zelda is a unique property imho.
 
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Noboru Wataya

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The best Zelda games are the Capcom ones. I adore the oracle games and minish cap.

im almost done with Skyward atm and its great, has some pacing issues but its fun all the same. I agree with your point about obscure guidance about where to go next though. I dont like hand holding but some stuff is so cryptic i will just goto a guide to save time.
 
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DGrayson

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The "compliated" relationship I have is these games dont come out fast enough. I understand tehy need to take their time but fuck Im trying to play a new zelda game. Like bOTW came out fucking years and years ago and it was delayed like 100 times AND BOTW2 was origanlly an expansion. Fucking pump that shit out and pump out a new 2D game while you are at it FUCK.
 

Neil Young

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"Yay, I've unlocked this mystery. What's my great reward? Oh, a quarter of a heart container or Oh, some rupees." There's often a sense of deflation *attached* to your progression, and that leaves me a bit hollow in its anti-climax.
Exactly how I feel. BOTW was horrible at this. You climb a mountain, that takes you forever since it was raining, only to find one of 900 korok seeds that increase your inventory..... yay. You climb a giant tower, 50 rupees. Why? Clear an enemy camp. Electric arrows....that you buy from a vendor. I don't get it, it provides no incentive.

After Ocarina of Time, I think the 3d Zeldas are boring, SUPER overrated, slogs.
 
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Fushitsusha

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Yeah, I need to give those a shot one day.
Especially if you liked Majora's Mask, those are my top 3 and 100% what a Zelda should be.

They don't try to complicate things or do anything extreme, yet they feel less simplistic and basic. Can't explain it. What's there is there and it doesn't feel lacking or disappointing.
 
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synchronicity

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Exactly how I feel. BOTW was horrible at this. You climb a mountain, that takes you forever since it was raining, only to find one of 900 korok seeds that increase your inventory..... yay. You climb a giant tower, 50 rupees. Why? Clear an enemy camp. Electric arrows....that you buy from a vendor. I don't get it, it provides no incentive.

After Ocarina of Time, I think the 3d Zeldas are boring, SUPER overrated, slogs.
Yeah BOTW had its undesirable elements for sure - I didn't enjoy the divine beasts, for example - but something about the world and just the joy of exploring - wanderlust - kept me engaged, even if it was just sight-seeing for the most part, in the end.

btw, I love your music Neil! :p You've got a heart of gold. (Boo! :p)
 
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EliteClarity

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I dont Have an extensive experience with zelda either, but it tends to have a bit more...soul than some other games out there
I see that. Its cutsie and iconic at this point, but wandering around, slaying enemy's, solving puzzles and collecting gems is, to me, over done and has been for years. I would warrant that if Link was taken out and the game had no reference to Zelda, it would be just another run of the mill series in gaming. Noone would bat an eyelid and the review scores would be lower.
 

kiphalfton

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Breath of the Wild was extremely disappointing to me. Especially after having taken a bit of a hiatus from Zelda games (the last one before BOTW that I played was Twilight Princess).

I really hope that BOTW2 will be better, but I have my doubts as it looks to be more of the same.
 
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justiceiro

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In op case, it's just the case of using a guide.

This topic made me realize a lot of the problems I have with the franchise is that i keep trying to place the game in some kind of imaginary rank every time I'm playing through, deciding if is the third or the fourth best Zelda i ever played.
 

Coney

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Unpopular personal opinion: Personally there is nothing I see that makes me want to play a Zelda game. I don't think there is anything Zelda does better then any other game out there. People play it because it's Zelda.

There, you can all hate me now :messenger_beaming:
It pretty much does everything better than most games.