Saving Zelda -an in depth critique of the LoZ series

Jul 21, 2009
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I've done it before, doesn't mean that it wouldn't be better as a mode. Especially in MM where I can totally see myself completing a heart container by accident.

I've been against full heart containers as a reward for defeating a boss for a while anyway.
I don't like 3 heart runs, since there are several enemies who could one-hit kill you with that (Iron Knuckles in OoT, King Bublin in Twilight Princess) and it feels so cheap. I think it would be ideal if you could only get a maximum of 10 Hearts instead of 20, while the enemies are stronger and faster.
That could be done with giving no heart containers for Bosses and needing more heart pieces to get one container.
 
Jan 26, 2006
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Fastest selling Zelda in decades, and 90% average in review scores.

Sinking ship.

Nintendo reboot this franchise, you're clearly doing something wrong.

Save it.

Before it's too late.

Make it like Demon's Souls, which everyone can get into super easily.
Seriously though, although it is still a critically acclaimed series, it hasn't grown with the industry at all, unlike Mario and Pokemon.
On the SNES it was a series which had mayor mind-share, and in the fifth generation where Nintendo lost it's dominance it was still a mayor title which had an impact on the generation as a whole.

I don't have sales age list readily available, but I'm willing to bet there are several new IP's which sold better than Zelda this generation. This indicates that the game is limited in it's appeal.

The discussion that always follows a new Zelda release also indicates to me that although there is still a mayor fanbase, to a lot of people the experience is mixed. They like the game, but something feels off - there is something that just doesn't really satisfy.

Personally I think this is because a single Zelda game has a lot going for it, and there are a lot of different things that appeal to different people. But at the same time it does nothing really well and as it has so many facets there's always something that is off-putting. When people mention a game like Darksiders, that could very well be because at least that's a very focused experience.
 
Nov 7, 2011
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This is the exact same kind of logic used by the Dragon Age II defense squad against anyone who prefers BioWare's more in-depth earlier fare.
Did Bioware create a dozen and more games in one long-running franchise that is unique in the industry, and that continued to sell millions over 25 years? And are the first two entries of said hypothetical franchise so different from the rest that they seem like early experiments before Bioware decided what they really wanted?

There is only one single DAII compared to Origins and Bioware's older games while there are already more than ten Zeldas after Zelda 1 & 2, and Nintendo hasn't made a game in the style of the first two in 25 years, that's almost ten years more than Bioware exists. DAII is the exception, while modern Zelda is the norm and Zelda 1 & 2 are the exception.
The formula Nintendo has settled on has also proven successful both when it comes to critical acclaim and sales, which can't be said about DAII. Your comparison is a bit off.

Seriously. I'm sure 90% of the people who played Zelda II never actually finished it.

SPOILER: You're told to speak to Error later in the game. He opens up a bridge for you that leads to the next palace.
So if a name/word is used twice it is immune to mistranslation?
 
Nov 16, 2010
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He lost me as soon as he said the problem was with any game that wasn't Zelda 1 or 2. The original Zelda was a great game (I haven't played 2 to comment), but to seemingly dismiss LTTP, Ocarina and any game that comes after them is ridiculous. I want nothing to do with his idea of what the Zelda series should be.
I am not saying I agree with everything he says, but I do agree that Nintendo should at least try to get back to the game play style of the first 2 games. I long for it too. Do you see how wildly popular Mario is? Zelda is not quite there yet. It's because Nintendo has made better subsequent games in that series than the Zelda series. I don't know why, but the fan base for Zelda seems even more split than the Mario series of games. Look at it this way: Zelda doesn't yet have its Mario Galaxy or New Super Mario Bros. Could we all agree with that?

I think people revere LoZ for its simplicity, its difficulty, and its openess. Ocarina was the first within 3D space so its revered also. The more recent games do take from the Ocarina style quite often. Games like AoL and MM are love/hate with fans split down the middle of whether they make good Zelda games. As for me I am still waiting for a Zelda game more like LoZ and maybe one day I will get it.
 
Sep 22, 2010
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Personally I think this is because a single Zelda game has a lot going for it, and there are a lot of different things that appeal to different people. But at the same time it does nothing really well and as it has so many facets there's always something that is off-putting. When people mention a game like Darksiders, that could very well be because at least that's a very focused experience.
I don't know how anyone can seriously think this.
 
Jun 11, 2004
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Nonsense. That's the best part of Zelda, not a flaw.
If anything, are other games that should learn something from it. Like Bethesda and their inability to make their worlds interesting or useful in any way beside being nice looking panoramas.
The world *should be* part of the game.
I'd say it's exactly the other way round. Bethesda's games are so great because there's so much to expore and do.

When I played Wind Waker I was pretty disappointed there weren't more and bigger islands.
 
Nov 7, 2011
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I am not saying I agree with everything he says, but I do agree that Nintendo should at least try to get back to the game play style of the first 2 games. I long for it too. Do you see how wildly popular Mario is? Zelda is not quite there yet. It's because Nintendo has made better subsequent games in that series than the Zelda series. I don't know why, but the fan base for Zelda seems even more split than the Mario series of games. Look at it this way: Zelda doesn't yet have it's Mario Galaxy or New Super Mario Bros. Could we all agree with that?

I think people revere LoZ for its simplicity, its difficulty, and its openess. Ocarina was the first within 3D space so its revered also. The more recent games do take from the Ocarina style quite often. Games like AoL and MM are love/hate with fans split down the middle of whether they make good Zelda games. As for me I am still waiting for a Zelda game more like LoZ and maybe one day I will get it.
Mario is more popular because it has a much wider appeal and is so much easier to get into, not because it's better. You can play Mario casually while Zelda requires more effort and attention, it's the complexity that puts many people off Zelda. I have friends who don't want to play Zelda because they think it's too complex, long or difficult.
I wouldn't be opposed to a game more similar in style to the first two just to see how it would translate into 3d, but I'm realistic and Zelda sales have been pretty constant, SS and TP even sold better than WW and MM so there's not much reason for Nintendo to take the risk and change the formula so considerably.
 
May 20, 2007
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When I talk opening, I'm really meaning the whole sequence before you get to the land below, because really that's all intro / story filler stuff and very little excitement. I couldn't find any point to talking to anyone in town. Why did someone program the ability to sit down on chairs / toilets??? Sorry, I'm off topic. Anyways I just wanted to get in and fight enemies and explore worlds and I must have spent an hour before I got to do anything fun.

I've had major issues with the controls. 1st a gamepad is simply much nicer. Second, I don't find the motion controls accurate. Getting the sword to charge is an exercise in trial and error because holding it straight up isn't the point where it charges for me. Often Link gets mixed up and my left and right slashes are reversed on screen. And don't get me started on trying to do any kind of downward slash. It's nearly impossible.
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I had very few problems with the controls(occasionally I had an issue with the Skyward Strike, & until I adjusted the horizontal swipe gave me an issue, but that was my fault not the games), I don't really know what to say about that execpt that calling any motion "nearly impossible" bears no relation to my time with the game. As for the gamepad being nicer I would argue that a split controller is far superior (in terms of comfort) & the aiming is also better than anything a gamepad could replicate. Btw the stools gave Link health back when he sat down, thats why there was always one by a boss door.

Maybe, but Miyamoto definitely wouldn't be one of those people.



You're not following me. I never argued that the story didn't make sense. I just argued that the tone of the story doesn't really match the world as it's presented to the player. I never once felt dread playing Skyward Sword. Heck, even the demons seem to be largely at peace, but I'm supposed to believe that this world is in real, imminent danger and that only I can save it? That's not really being communicated through the world.

Maybe the people of Skyloft should have known about the world below and how they came to be in Skyloft, and we could have gotten some interesting story bits and sidequests having to do with them preparing for imminent doom. Definitely would have added to the tension. Maybe we should have seen more big evils doing awful things instead of being contained in their pretty little dungeons. My point is if you're going to have a narrative-heavy game, make the world fit your story. Skyward Sword, by and large, does not accomplish that.
Link should have few allies, his job is a thankless task ( he is constantly insulted by NPC's, only the few he helps know what he does for the world) it sound like you want a more traditional story where the hero is feted across the land.

So, I just read this. And I fucking hated it. I feel like... OK, so there's two types of game called Zelda. There's the open-world stuff of the first two, and then there's everything else. Zelda is the everything else. It's the puzzle solving, it's the lock-and-key stuff. He doesn't like that? Great! I don't care! But don't make out it's broken. It's fun. It's fun the same way Popcap games are fun- simple tasks that use sound and visuals beautifully to engineer a sense of success and reward. It's a facade, sure, but when playing, how often do you actually see through that when playing? For me, rarely, because the series has a way of keeping me hooked. It still manages to make me feel clever, so what's wrong with it?

He wants a game based around survival, about true exploration. Well... tough. Get over it. Zelda is a puzzle game. It's not what you want, it was only what you wanted twice ever and it's not going to be what you want because they found something more fun, more accessible, more interesting. For every one person who wants Zelda 1 to be remade, essentially, there's 50 more people who love it the way it is.
Well put.


Not surprised that my buddy's piece disturbed so many trolls' bridges...

Many oldschool Zelda fans were disappointed by the relative linearity and ease of LTTP at the time, and I still long for a sequel to Zelda II.
Thankfully Nintendo made the correct decision & did its best to ignore Zelda II.



I am not saying I agree with everything he says, but I do agree that Nintendo should at least try to get back to the game play style of the first 2 games. I long for it too. Do you see how wildly popular Mario is? Zelda is not quite there yet. It's because Nintendo has made better subsequent games in that series than the Zelda series. I don't know why, but the fan base for Zelda seems even more split than the Mario series of games. Look at it this way: Zelda doesn't yet have its Mario Galaxy or New Super Mario Bros. Could we all agree with that?
.
You can boil Mario down to running & jumping, & then go from there.Trying t something similar with Zelda is a fools errand, you will get vastly different answers depending on who you ask.
 
Feb 19, 2007
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I don't like 3 heart runs, since there are several enemies who could one-hit kill you with that (Iron Knuckles in OoT, King Bublin in Twilight Princess) and it feels so cheap.
If I get hit that's my own fault, especially in games where enemies seem to take turns attacking.

I think it would be ideal if you could only get a maximum of 10 Hearts instead of 20, while the enemies are stronger and faster.
That could be done with giving no heart containers for Bosses and needing more heart pieces to get one container.
It's a matter of scaling, the actual total number of hearts doesn't matter that much.

The latter wasn't really well received (cf. TP), and I feel that the former would be enough, not to mention that when you've progressed enough in a dungeon you should have an item that lets you explore further and get more heart containers. So if the games were made harder, either you'd think you could handle it and just press on or you'd back off for a while and come back with more hearts. Basically exploration would be made indirectly more worthwhile by letting enemies deal actual damage.
 
May 3, 2006
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Did Bioware create a dozen and more games in one long-running franchise that is unique in the industry, and that continued to sell millions over 25 years? And are the first two entries of said hypothetical franchise so different from the rest that they seem like early experiments before Bioware decided what they really wanted?

There is only one single DAII compared to Origins and Bioware's older games while there are already more than ten Zeldas after Zelda 1 & 2, and Nintendo hasn't made a game in the style of the first two in 25 years, that's almost ten years more than Bioware exists. DAII is the exception, while modern Zelda is the norm and Zelda 1 & 2 are the exception.
The formula Nintendo has settled on has also proven successful both when it comes to critical acclaim and sales, which can't be said about DAII. Your comparison is a bit off.\
Except that Dragon Age was their first game in years of the old Infinity Engine style. Moreover BioWare has stated their desire to go after the Call of Duty crowd, which among other things, pretty much means there won't be any more "old-school hardcore" games from them.

Thankfully Nintendo made the correct decision & did its best to ignore Zelda II.
Utterly retarded. Wanted at least one Zelda II type game from them. They should cover all bases.

If Donkey Kong Country can get a reboot (which I'm sure has a lot to do with residual nostalgia over the original) than so does Zelda II.
 
Nov 16, 2010
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Mario is more popular because it has a much wider appeal and is so much easier to get into, not because it's better. You can play Mario casually while Zelda requires more effort and attention, it's the complexity that puts many people off Zelda. I have friends who don't want to play Zelda because they think it's too complex, long or difficult.
I wouldn't be opposed to a game more similar in style to the first two just to see how it would translate into 3d, but I'm realistic and Zelda sales have been pretty constant, SS and TP even sold better than WW and MM so there's not much reason for Nintendo to take the risk and change the formula so considerably.
Actually because the fan base for Zelda is so split Nintendo should risk experimenting with the very idea of a LoZ rebirth. Alot of GAF hates on NSMB and sure it didn't review as well as Mario Galaxy, but it satisfied a need in the Mario fan base to have more games like the original 2-D ones. I think Zelda needs such a game too.
 
Jan 19, 2011
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www.yobrando.com
Link should have few allies, his job is a thankless task ( he is constantly insulted by NPC's, only the few he helps know what he does for the world) it sound like you want a more traditional story where the hero is feted across the land.
No offense, but I can't see how you got that from my post. I don't care how the NPCs feel about Link; whether they love or hate him or are even aware of his purpose as The Hero, it isn't pertinent.

My point is if you want to tell an involved story in a game, you have to connect it to the world you set the game in. If your story is all about a world in peril, show the player a world in peril, not just a handful of NPCs set in relatively peaceful landscape where even the demons are more comical than scary, and all the real evil seems to be relatively contained in dungeons until you came along and disturbed it.

This is the problem with story in Zelda games, at least for me. It's not that stories have no place in the Zelda series, it's that Nintendo needs to do a better job matching the tone of the story to the world they're creating. Right now,Nintendo's telling increasingly more involved stories with Zelda, but there's a serious disconnect; this makes the story stand out as a distraction, and not an intrinsic part of the world and how you're discovering it.

I feel the last time Nintendo really got this right was Majora's Mask.
 
Jul 21, 2009
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If I get hit that's my own fault, especially in games where enemies seem to take turns attacking.
Of course, but I just don't like one hit-kills.


It's a matter of scaling, the actual total number of hearts doesn't matter that much.

The latter wasn't really well received (cf. TP), and I feel that the former would be enough, not to mention that when you've progressed enough in a dungeon you should have an item that lets you explore further and get more heart containers. So if the games were made harder, either you'd think you could handle it and just press on or you'd back off for a while and come back with more hearts. Basically exploration would be made indirectly more worthwhile by letting enemies deal actual damage.
Indeed. I think Wind Waker and the games after it all had the problem that the first hours, the first temples were alright, but then they suddenly stop becoming noticably more difficult while you continue to collect heart pieces and containers.
Skyward Sword's enemies dealt more damage than most enemies in many Zeldas, yet they stopped making way more challenging enemies that could deal more damage halfway through. Even on the last temple enemies only took away one single heart, something they did since the beginning.

What is it then?

Combat?
Puzzles?
Musical score?
Mechanics?
Level design?
I'll take these. The zelda games are really good in these points. Even combat, while maybe shallow, is still better than many other combat systems in other games.
 
May 3, 2006
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Actually because the fan base for Zelda is so split Nintendo should risk experimenting with the very idea of a LoZ rebirth. Alot of GAF hates on NSMB and sure it didn't review as well as Mario Galaxy, but it satisfied a need in the Mario fan base to have more games like the original 2-D ones. I think Zelda needs such a game too.
The last time we got a 2d Zelda with traditional controls was the Minish Cap, and even that had a bit of cruft (was once interrupted by the cap to bomb something I was about to, go figure). Link's Awakening had almost the right balance.

Also, they need to do a new Zelda II style game. I remember 8-4 pitched them the idea as a Glory of Heracles tie-in, but they were shot down.
 
Nov 7, 2011
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Except that Dragon Age was their first game in years of the old Infinity Engine style. Moreover BioWare has stated their desire to go after the Call of Duty crowd, which among other things, pretty much means there won't be any more "old-school hardcore" games from them.
True, I would love a new Baldur's Gate and hate the direction Bioware is going, but ... what does that have to do with Zelda? Nintendo is the exact opposite of Bioware, they are staying true to their roots with the franchise.

Actually because the fan base for Zelda is so split Nintendo should risk experimenting with the very idea of a LoZ rebirth. Alot of GAF hates on NSMB and sure it didn't review as well as Mario Galaxy, but it satisfied a need in the Mario fan base to have more games like the original 2-D ones. I think Zelda needs such a game too.
Why would they do that? Not that many people post in this thread and even here the responses regarding the first two games are very mixed. Let's not forget that forums like these are a very small minority of the people who buy these games and are not representative. Even if Nintendo managed to make a game everyone on GAF likes and every member would buy three copies, that would be an absolute financial disaster and the end of the franchise if the game failed to appeal to the mass market and didn't sell there. I just see no reason for them to do a LOZ remake if the current formula keeps getting raving reviews and good sales. And don't forget that Zelda is high budget and has long development times, that makes the risk even bigger. I suppose they could test the waters with a handheld title, but a mainline console entry would make no sense.
 

Kai Dracon

Writing a dinosaur space opera symphony
Jun 7, 2004
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what is it about zelda games that makes every "fan" with an internet connection and a livejournal suddenly a genius who will save this crippled series? this article is bullshit.
Nintendo games tend to be stuff people grow up with and they imprint massively in the brain. Zelda is officially Nintendo's "epic" game, so they have a special place in people's brains when the imprint manages to stick. This is how I've always looked at it.

It's why Zelda is so divisive. Take a look at the writer of this article: his critique essentially boils down to "Only Zelda 1 and 2 are real Zelda games, everything else in some way fails". Now, he's not a kid of the 80s judging by his photo, but he seems to have played these games as his formative gaming experiences and it did the trick to him. He's just narrowly focused on defining "real" Zelda.

Just as for many, the only "real" Zelda will be Ocarina of Time on N64.

Who knows why some fans end up preferring only one flavor, sometimes to the point of outright despising other flavors, yet other fans love every flavor of Zelda. The squeaky wheels tend to be the ones who come out of the woodwork to be heard, but even in this thread you can see some who say they grew up with Zelda but have loved every single Zelda game equally. (Not literally rating them all the same but you get the drift.)
 
I hate to beat this drum repeatedly, but Zelda is too many different genres to too many different people now.

The best thing thing they can really do is just work on getting the pacing down (a long opening is not necessarily bad, but it should be clear what parts are optional and should engage the player quickly), make sure the graphics, music, and controls are the best they can be, and try not to reuse old ideas for puzzles or enemies.

The rest they can just experiment with as they see fit. Ignore people who say "But I want an open world, because Zelda is about exploration" if they want to make a game that is more linear. Ignore people who say "This Zelda should be more about puzzles, because that's what Zelda has always been about" if you don't want to make that kind of game.

There is literally no way to please even most Zelda fans. So make the game you want and then make sure it's fun throughout. That will "save" Zelda and may equally piss people off, but you're going to piss those people off, anyway.
 
May 3, 2006
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True, I would love a new Baldur's Gate and hate the direction Bioware is going, but ... what does that have to do with Zelda? Nintendo is the exact opposite of Bioware, they are staying true to their roots with the franchise.
In a sense. You do have to admit that Zelda has lost a lot of that figure-it-out-for-yourself challenge and actual enemy threat, though, and I was responding to the poster who was all "You'll have to accept that that is no longer Zelda".

I hate to beat this drum repeatedly, but Zelda is too many different genres to too many different people now.

The best thing thing they can really do is just work on getting the pacing down (a long opening is not necessarily bad, but it should be clear what parts are optional and should engage the player quickly), make sure the graphics, music, and controls are the best they can be, and try not to reuse old ideas for puzzles or enemies.

The rest they can just experiment with as they see fit. Ignore people who say "But I want an open world, because Zelda is about exploration" if they want to make a game that is more linear. Ignore people who say "This Zelda should be more about puzzles, because that's what Zelda has always been about" if you don't want to make that kind of game.

There is literally no way to please even most Zelda fans. So make the game you want and then make sure it's fun throughout. That will "save" Zelda and may equally piss people off, but you're going to piss those people off, anyway.
Or how about taking the Mario path and creating different games for different people? (Plz also apply to Metroid.)
 
Oct 26, 2011
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Sensible posts from SA and Kajima.

I don't think the series needs "saving," because I think the structure is timeless. It is in need of repairing some creaky parts (like most long-running series) though.

*The UI (which I think they finally did correctly in Skyward Sword with the Pro mode)
*Some extra contextual animations
*I think the camera system could be modeled a bit more like modern 3rd person games (SotC in particular for the way it shot cinematically behind you while riding a horse).
*Really honing in on the opening act (although SS's didn't bother me because it set up Zelda's character and the other NPCs well).
*Loosening the handholding (I think the message about Fi will be heard loud and clear by Nintendo)
*Focusing on the pacing (not every Zelda has to be some 40 hour epic if it isn't suited for it).

Otherwise, Aonuma's EAD team are still some of the most creative, most talented developers out there. See the timeshift stone portion of SS. That is reason enough to give them free reign to do whatever and not bend over backwards to demands to be "this" or "that."
 
Nov 16, 2010
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The last time we got a 2d Zelda with traditional controls was the Minish Cap, and even that had a bit of cruft (was once interrupted by the cap to bomb something I was about to, go figure). Link's Awakening had almost the right balance.

Also, they need to do a new Zelda II style game. I remember 8-4 pitched them the idea as a Glory of Heracles tie-in, but they were shot down.
I shouldn't dismiss the handeld games, but the only one I ever played and finished was Phantom Hourglass and while it was good it didn't satisfy me. I got used to the touch controls and the mapping feature was nice, but towards the end I was forcing myself to finish just to complete the game...not out of joy, but just because it was a Zelda game. I finished it alright, but I sold it and never bought the DS sequel after that.
 
Jan 11, 2012
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I shouldn't dismiss the handeld games, but the only one I ever played and finished was Phantom Hourglass and while it was good it didn't satify me. I got used to the touch controls and the mapping feature was nice, but towards the end I was forcing myself to finish just to complete the game...not out of joy, but just because it was a Zelda game. I finished it alright, but I sold it and never bought the DS sequel after that.
Definitely shouldn't dismiss the hand held games. Especially not the GB-GBA run. Stellar games.
 
Nov 16, 2010
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In a sense. You do have to admit that Zelda has lost a lot of that figure-it-out-for-yourself challenge and actual enemy threat, though, and I was responding to the poster who was all "You'll have to accept that that is no longer Zelda".



Or how about taking the Mario path and creating different games for different people? (Plz also apply to Metroid.)
Exactly. They are satifying MOST of the fan base that way instead of just SOME of the fan base.

Why would they do that? Not that many people post in this thread and even here the responses regarding the first two games are very mixed. Let's not forget that forums like these are a very small minority of the people who buy these games and are not representative. Even if Nintendo managed to make a game everyone on GAF likes and every member would buy three copies, that would be an absolute financial disaster and the end of the franchise if the game failed to appeal to the mass market and didn't sell there. I just see no reason for them to do a LOZ remake if the current formula keeps getting raving reviews and good sales. And don't forget that Zelda is high budget and has long development times, that makes the risk even bigger. I suppose they could test the waters with a handheld title, but a mainline console entry would make no sense.
It wouldn't be a financial disaster because a NSMB style Zelda would be cheaper to produce than a full on HD 40 hour epic. NSMB co-exists with Mario Galaxy and both sold well. Although, I believe the cheaper to make NSMB sold more than Mario Galaxy. I think that's because it satisfied more of the over all fan base.
 
Dec 16, 2009
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Zelda should take some cues from Terranigma

damn, that was a good game...which was essentially a blend between ALTTP and Zelda II in terms of how it played (ALTTP's gameplay and style, plus a similar attack system and levelling up system to Zelda II).
 
Feb 27, 2008
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Nintendo games tend to be stuff people grow up with and they imprint massively in the brain. Zelda is officially Nintendo's "epic" game, so they have a special place in people's brains when the imprint manages to stick. This is how I've always looked at it.

It's why Zelda is so divisive. Take a look at the writer of this article: his critique essentially boils down to "Only Zelda 1 and 2 are real Zelda games, everything else in some way fails". Now, he's not a kid of the 80s judging by his photo, but he seems to have played these games as his formative gaming experiences and it did the trick to him. He's just narrowly focused on defining "real" Zelda.

Just as for many, the only "real" Zelda will be Ocarina of Time on N64.

Who knows why some fans end up preferring only one flavor, sometimes to the point of outright despising other flavors, yet other fans love every flavor of Zelda. The squeaky wheels tend to be the ones who come out of the woodwork to be heard, but even in this thread you can see some who say they grew up with Zelda but have loved every single Zelda game equally. (Not literally rating them all the same but you get the drift.)
I'm pretty sure he's in his mid-30s and just looks young, by the way. In his essay he says Zelda captured his imagination in 1987, and was 11 years old when he had his mom calling Canada for Zelda 2. Just gives more credence to your point.
 
Dec 7, 2011
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I hate to beat this drum repeatedly, but Zelda is too many different genres to too many different people now.

The best thing thing they can really do is just work on getting the pacing down (a long opening is not necessarily bad, but it should be clear what parts are optional and should engage the player quickly), make sure the graphics, music, and controls are the best they can be, and try not to reuse old ideas for puzzles or enemies.

The rest they can just experiment with as they see fit. Ignore people who say "But I want an open world, because Zelda is about exploration" if they want to make a game that is more linear. Ignore people who say "This Zelda should be more about puzzles, because that's what Zelda has always been about" if you don't want to make that kind of game.

There is literally no way to please even most Zelda fans. So make the game you want and then make sure it's fun throughout. That will "save" Zelda and may equally piss people off, but you're going to piss those people off, anyway.
There's no reason why we can't have both at the same time, the one does not exclude the other.

I'm also really tired of the whole "so, you want Zelda to be a Skyrim clone" argument. If I wanted to play a Skyrim clone, I would play Skyrim. Zelda is, by far, my favorite series of all time, nothing even comes close to Zelda for me. And it became my favorite series not only because of its puzzles, but also because it offered me an awesome overworld to explore and roam around.

I want a Zelda game that combines the awesome dungeon design and the clever puzzles, with a gigantic, rich, immersive, overworld to explore, do side-quests and roam around. Honestly, there’s no reason why we can't have both at the same time.
 
Aug 29, 2009
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Not GAF, lol
One complaint I haven't actually seen raised yet, and one I noticed myself is that the characters in the last few Zeldas have been... well, bizarre looking. They have odd details and very complicated costumes, and while I appreciate it gives each NPC some unique personality, some of it is just a little more than odd.

If there's one thing I want 3D Zelda to change, is to make the characters and enemies back to being a lot simpler, as they were in OOT through Wind Waker (with a few odd balls in MM). Twilight Princess had some... characters, and SS is pretty much the same thing. I think the progression of Ganondorf shows this well, going from a dude in leather army, messy short hair and a head gem doodad he inherited from his people. Nothing really else. Then in Wind Waker he's simplified even more, with just a robe/cloak thing and he also got a wicked beard.

But the Twilight Princess hit and he got... curls? And sort of elaborate metal armor vaguely styled after his old leather armor. I just think it's a lot more complicated then it needs to be, since Wind Waker had unique and memorable NPCs and didn't need to resort to outlandish costumes or make everyone have a flamboyant personality.
 
I'm taking great interest in this thread, not only because I'm a Zelda fan with strong opinions on where I wish the franchise was headed, but also because I'm an Indie game developer and one of my upcoming projects will be a game similar to Link to the Past. It's still very very early in development but I'm loving all the opinions here as to what Zelda is and should be.

I'm actually surprised to see so many people supportive of the current generation of Zelda games. To me they've taken huge steps backwards is so many regards since OoT. I can see how though if you got into Zelda later, that is the Zelda you know, not the Zelda the older group of us grew up with and often long for. It is almost like two completely different series at this point, sharing very little besides characters, location, and story elements.
 
Jan 26, 2006
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This tread made me thing about an article (or video?) I read a couple years back, linked to from GAF, that compared modern Zelda's to another old Nintendo game, I believe the Adventures of Lolo.

Anybody know which one I'm talking about?

The author argued that modern Zelda's have much more in common with the Adventures of Lolo, and I think he argued it well. Modern Zelda's are puzzle adventure games like Lolo. The original Zelda games are about exploration and attrition.
There have been many more "modern" Zelda's than there have been NES Zelda's, so the former is the "real" Zelda now, but that doesn't mean that people who enjoyed playing the originals aren't left craving a similar experience as before. Even if many of those people also enjoy the later games.

And I don't think a game inspired by LttP can fill that void. Not for me it won't, although I'd love to play it - I really like the 2d Zelda's. I think however that for an Indy it would be a far saver bet. Zelda 1 and 2 have not been translated to modern times yet, and it would take a very skilled designer a lot of time to do that.
 
May 3, 2006
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This tread made me thing about an article (or video?) I read a couple years back, linked to from GAF, that compared modern Zelda's to another old Nintendo game, I believe the Adventures of Lolo.

Anybody know which one I'm talking about?

The author argued that modern Zelda's have much more in common with the Adventures of Lolo, and I think he argued it well. Modern Zelda's are puzzle adventure games like Lolo. The original Zelda games are about exploration en attrition.
There have been many more "modern" Zelda's then there have been NES Zelda's, so the former is the "real" Zelda now, but that doesn't mean that people who enjoyed playing the originals aren't left craving a similar experience as before. Even if many of those people also enjoy the later games.

And I don't think a game inspired by LttP can fill that void. Not for me it won't, although I'd love to play it - I really like the 2d Zelda's. I think however that for an Indy it would be a far saver bet. Zelda 1 and 2 have not been translated to modern times yet, and it would take a very skilled designer a lot of time to do that.
Indeed. I actually wouldn't have minded a whole lot if the Binding of Isaac, which I love, was more of a straight classic Zelda clone. That's how starved I am.