Saving Zelda -an in depth critique of the LoZ series

Sep 6, 2011
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Zelda never really bothered to grow with its audience. Every modern Zelda begins with a game called Manbaby Adventure, where you prance around a saccharine village collecting bugs and stuff. Characters will slowly explain the world to you, administering a series of tests before letting you handle sharp objects.

My overall problem with SS is not unlike my problems with the Star Wars prequels: nothing is discovered from the actions of the characters. Instead characters (along with the audience) are told what's going on. There's no sense of discovery or wonder.

Imagine in Link to the Past if you were TOLD to go buy flippers from Zora as soon as you get the 500 ruppees and once you do that, you have to sit through a cutscene that highlights the Waterfall of Wishing and the hobo under the bridge, two key locations now accessible with the flippers. Yawn.
 
Jan 19, 2010
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I do think a lot of this can be boiled down to the fact that Zelda doesn't really feel like an adventure anymore. Since it's the #1 adventure series, Nintendo should probably fix that.

ill never understand why some gamers think that extreme difficulty (and the frustration that likely comes with it) equals fun.
It doesn't have to be Dark Souls-hard.

It's just that there's not as much fun when you're never in any real danger. If I'm fighting something, I want it to fight back.
 
Sep 10, 2006
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Zelda never really bothered to grow with its audience. Every modern Zelda begins with a game called Manbaby Adventure,
This is the part where I stop reading. Anybody concerned with "matoor" is a 15 year old, be it in age or maturity.

Zelda isn't for *you*, it's for *everybody*. That's the goal of most of Nintendo's games.
 

I'm an expert

Formerly worldrevolution. The only reason I am nice to anyone else is to avoid being banned.
Nov 26, 2008
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If you're sick of traditional Zelda there's luckily an easy solution - give Darksiders a try.

Coincidentally this week's Giant Bombcast has Patrick and Jeff (again) raving about Darksiders. You can hear the conflict in Patrick's comments as he knows he thinks it's better than recent Zelda entries but can't come to say it blatantly.


It doesn't have to be Dark Souls-hard.
Dark Souls isn't hard. =/
Though more games should take tips from its combat.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
Jun 18, 2009
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It doesn't have to be Dark Souls-hard.

It's just that there's not as much fun when you're never in any real danger. If I'm fighting something, I want it to fight back.
They need to add difficulty options then, but after watching my sister and her friends play some recent Nintendo games, one of the worst things Nintendo could do would be to make their games harder to appease an audience of veteran game players.
 
Nov 7, 2011
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ill never understand why some gamers think that extreme difficulty (and the frustration that likely comes with it) equals fun.
It's not about being frustrating, it's about being rewarding. E.g., if I spend an hour solving puzzles in a dungeon, I would like the boss to be similarly challenging.
Since many compare to Dark Souls: Dark Souls' difficulty is the "right difficulty" IMO - it's never unfair or frustrating, the game just makes you work to progress and gives you a sense of accomplishment if you succeed. Zelda has this sense of accomplishment in its dungeons and puzzles, but not in the combat.

Well,... i do like the game in general and i am having a lot of fun playing it. But everytime i have to fight something i cringe. You know, it is really obvious to see which move pattern is needed to kill the enemies. and i could probably easily do it, if you had to push a few buttons for it or use a stylus. but these kind of motion controls have never quite clicked with me.
i must also be one of those very few people who dislike Metroid Prime 3 besides loving the other 2 entries in the series, just because of the motion controls.
Good thing that up to know the game is quite easy and doesn't require lots of fighting.

It is not that i have anything against motion controls in general. I like them in games like Trauma Center, Trauma Team, etc.
Concerning Skyward Sword i don't mind the motion controls for flying, balancing or using the Beetle, for example.
But fighting,... eh... -_-
The controls took a few hours to click with me as well, but once they did they felt really natural and easy to execute. Hopefully they'll click with you too, so you can enjoy the game more, I find motion+ sword fighting infinitely more fun than repeatedly pressing the b button. ;-)
 
Jan 19, 2011
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They need to add difficulty options then, but after watching my sister and her friends play some recent Nintendo games, one of the worst things Nintendo could do would be to make their games harder to appease an audience of veteran game players.
I don't think anybody is asking that Nintendo make their games balls-to-the-wall hard, but I think Zelda as a franchise is being done a disservice by the idea that all Nintendo games have to be completely playable by everyone.

I think Zelda games are more attractive to gamers than any other demographic. It's not Mario. Removing its claws for the sake of an audience that never really gravitated to the series is only going to alienate the demographic that did. Besides, we veteran gamers weren't always veteran gamers. We had to get into the series at some point, and most of us fell in love with the franchise because it was as challenging adventure. Why do people need their hands held to get into the games now?
 
Sep 6, 2011
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This is the part where I stop reading. Anybody concerned with "matoor" is a 15 year old, be it in age or maturity.

Zelda isn't for *you*, it's for *everybody*. That's the goal of most of Nintendo's games.
That's unfortunate, since you seem intent on making my points for me (double lol since I've been a fan of Wind Waker's art style since Spaceworld 2001). I don't want a mature Zelda at all; I want a Zelda that begins with engaging the player rather than boring him/her. An introduction that isn't predictable or filled with boring tutorials. It doesn't need to be mature but it should evoke tension.

Oh wait...

 
May 31, 2009
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Seriously. Zelda II's final segment isn't fun. Having to walk a long ass way from the start of the game, to get cheap shotted by an eyeball over a pit of lava and then do it all again is not fun. Maybe some people enjoy that, but I really would be angry if Zelda were to return to Zelda II's difficulty level.

As to Zelda I's difficulty level, I refer again to Four Swords Anniversary's Hero's Challenge. Every bit as hard as the first game's dungeons.
Well, at least when you get to the final palace in Zelda II and die, you get to start at the beginning of the palace. Not sure why this was implemented only at the end of the game, having to walk back to the palace from sleeping Zelda every time you died wasn't fun.

But the game is still amazing.

Dark Souls isn't hard. =/
Though more games should take tips from its combat.
Exactly. Dark Souls really isn't as hard as it's hyped up to be. It's just hard relative to games today, which are piss easy.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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That's unfortunate, since you seem intent on making my points for me (double lol since I've been a fan of Wind Waker's art style since Spaceworld 2001). I don't want a mature Zelda at all; I want a Zelda that begins with engaging the player rather than boring him/her. An introduction that isn't predictable or filled with boring tutorials. It doesn't need to be mature but it should evoke tension.

Oh wait...
Or Ocarina of Time. You begin the game with a terrifying nightmare, followed by a talking to a gigantic tree with big, ominous music playing in the background. Engaging? Why yes, it is!
 
Jan 11, 2012
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Well, at least when you get to the final palace in Zelda II and die, you get to start at the beginning of the palace. Not sure why this was implemented only at the end of the game, having to walk back to the palace from sleeping Zelda every time you died wasn't fun.

But the game is still amazing.
Don't get me wrong, I love Zelda II, and I appreciate that it gives you that small ounce of mercy in the end, since the final dungeon is obscene and long. I just think that the "hard" part of it was by far the worst part. When the game was challenging me with false rooms in dungeons and I had to figure out how to ration my life and shield spells and when I had to figure out where I could grind without fear of imminent death, then yeah, I had fun.

But there is nothing fun about getting hit by a fish skull or eyeball or fireball or whatever that suddenly appears as I'm jumping over a pit and knocks me in, sending me back to the start of the game. If they'd at least taken a page from Mario and given me more frequent chances at 1 UPs or done like any other Zelda game and given me a shot at picking up life, then I'd have been fine.

A game that did that well was Faxanadu. Faxanadu had powerups you could pick up to restore your life and mana and made the fact that sometimes you had to trek through the most hellishly unfair segments more bearable.

But Zelda II's "difficulty" is easily the part about it that I find least fun, and I would venture to say that, aside from the game being a platform RPG (which is a genre that should be more popular), the cheap difficulty is one of the chief reasons people complain of it so often.
 
I don't think anybody is asking that Nintendo make their games balls-to-the-wall hard, but I think Zelda as a franchise is being done a disservice by the idea that all Nintendo games have to be completely playable by everyone.
Yes yes yes! This is a problem with Nintendo all around, not just Zelda specific. I'd love for a Zelda game that would just assume I know the basics... they should, most people buying Zelda are likely buying their 2nd, 3rd, etc Zelda game. The first hour or so of SS was a snoozefest.

Touching on the "hard" comment, I don't want games to be as frustrating as they were back in the NES days but today they're TOO easy. There is almost no penalty for losing (if you even lose, which rarely happens in the new Zelda games). Skill is barely needed. It's not a matter of if you can beat a game but when.

I like the difficulty curve of LttP. I thought it was challenging but not so much that I had to replay the same areas over and over and over. And it wasn't frustrating hard or cheap hard, it was hard because I hadn't mastered the weapons and techniques of the game yet. Of course I also have beaten the original Zelda and Zelda 2 several times. I didn't think Zelda 1 was as hard as some people here did but Zelda 2 was painfully difficult. Though I have great memories of it too... I still remember my celebratory screams after finally beating the fifth palace boss (also yelling "I'm better than Brad" who was my friend that hadn't been able to beat that level). All the frustrations were totally worth it.
 
Jan 19, 2010
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Or Ocarina of Time. You begin the game with a terrifying nightmare, followed by a talking to a gigantic tree with big, ominous music playing in the background. Engaging? Why yes, it is!
And all you have to do is go through a mini-maze to get the sword, collect 40 rupees to get the shield, and you're inside the first dungeon within 10 minutes, even if you stop to talk to a few people.

That's how it should be done.
 
Jun 11, 2010
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I don't think anybody is asking that Nintendo make their games balls-to-the-wall hard, but I think Zelda as a franchise is being done a disservice by the idea that all Nintendo games have to be completely playable by everyone.
I more or less agree that Zelda needs to back off a bit on the hand-holding and babying. I have a feeling this is mostly the result of Miyamoto's influence and less Tezuka's.

If Tezuka still directed Zeldas, we would probably have more games that closely resembled Zelda I and A Link to the Past than Ocarina of Time/Twilight Princess/Skyward Sword.
 
Apr 27, 2011
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And all you have to do is go through a mini-maze to get the sword, collect 40 rupees to get the shield, and you're inside the first dungeon within 10 minutes, even if you stop to talk to a few people.

That's how it should be done.
Here's an idea. The game starts in a dungeon, and whatever is needed to be explained is done afterwards. That would be a fresh experience. It doesn't have to be too complicated, just enough to utilize all of your starting moves.
 
Jun 8, 2004
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Or Ocarina of Time. You begin the game with a terrifying nightmare, followed by a talking to a gigantic tree with big, ominous music playing in the background. Engaging? Why yes, it is!
They also make you run around a boring village with stupid looking elves for like a half an hour before anything interesting happens.
 
Jan 11, 2012
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They also make you run around a boring village with stupid looking elves for like a half an hour before anything interesting happens.
This. Also Majora's Mask forces you to run around an entire town doing various stupid things without hope of saving until you get it right. This takes an hour + too.
 
May 31, 2009
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They also make you run around a boring village with stupid looking elves for like a half an hour before anything interesting happens.
5 minutes if you know what you're doing.

This. Also Majora's Mask forces you to run around an entire town doing various stupid things without hope of saving until you get it right. This takes an hour + too.
Not even close to an hour if you know what you're doing.

Besides, I always found the intros of those two games fun. OOT's was very quick, and MM's introduced you to the central town that you''d be returning to many, many times during your adventure. They didn't feel like tutorials. Can't say the same for Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.
 
What really bothered me about the intro in SS was that if I talked with someone I already had talked to, I still had to go through the same painfully slow dialog. How about different dialog? It's not even voice recorded, should be easy. Or a button click that lets me skip out completely. Grrrr.

The intro sequence of LttP is probably my all time favorite game intro.
 
May 3, 2006
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Don't get me wrong, I love Zelda II, and I appreciate that it gives you that small ounce of mercy in the end, since the final dungeon is obscene and long. I just think that the "hard" part of it was by far the worst part. When the game was challenging me with false rooms in dungeons and I had to figure out how to ration my life and shield spells and when I had to figure out where I could grind without fear of imminent death, then yeah, I had fun.

But there is nothing fun about getting hit by a fish skull or eyeball or fireball or whatever that suddenly appears as I'm jumping over a pit and knocks me in, sending me back to the start of the game. If they'd at least taken a page from Mario and given me more frequent chances at 1 UPs or done like any other Zelda game and given me a shot at picking up life, then I'd have been fine.

A game that did that well was Faxanadu. Faxanadu had powerups you could pick up to restore your life and mana and made the fact that sometimes you had to trek through the most hellishly unfair segments more bearable.

But Zelda II's "difficulty" is easily the part about it that I find least fun, and I would venture to say that, aside from the game being a platform RPG (which is a genre that should be more popular), the cheap difficulty is one of the chief reasons people complain of it so often.
Which is a little hypocritical at times, when they name games they like that happen to be EVEN HARDER. Outside of its quirks, which I agree had to do with lack of refills, Zelda II at least was rewarding and had great controls, the latter of which can't be said for Faxanadu.

Yes yes yes! This is a problem with Nintendo all around, not just Zelda specific. I'd love for a Zelda game that would just assume I know the basics... they should, most people buying Zelda are likely buying their 2nd, 3rd, etc Zelda game. The first hour or so of SS was a snoozefest.

Touching on the "hard" comment, I don't want games to be as frustrating as they were back in the NES days but today they're TOO easy. There is almost no penalty for losing (if you even lose, which rarely happens in the new Zelda games). Skill is barely needed. It's not a matter of if you can beat a game but when.

I like the difficulty curve of LttP. I thought it was challenging but not so much that I had to replay the same areas over and over and over. And it wasn't frustrating hard or cheap hard, it was hard because I hadn't mastered the weapons and techniques of the game yet. Of course I also have beaten the original Zelda and Zelda 2 several times. I didn't think Zelda 1 was as hard as some people here did but Zelda 2 was painfully difficult. Though I have great memories of it too... I still remember my celebratory screams after finally beating the fifth palace boss (also yelling "I'm better than Brad" who was my friend that hadn't been able to beat that level). All the frustrations were totally worth it.
Zelda I could be frustrating in its own ways, even if not really more than II, given the slightly clunky controls. If there weren't any heart refills, people would be complaining as much.

LttP kind of lost its challenge after beating it.
 
Oct 12, 2007
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How about this? How about the modern Zelda people and the old-school Zelda folks meet halfway? How about Zelda's dungeons are designed with puzzles that are a) actually damned challenging and b) aren't required but will save you from having to fight really tough bad guys to get to the same point on the map? You don't want to fight folks? Solve the puzzle. You don't want to work another puzzle? Beat the guys up.

Also: Find some clever method for determining whether the player has played a Zelda game before and allow them to skip the tutorials. Else, find some clever method for making fun tutorials.
 
Jan 19, 2010
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How about this? How about the modern Zelda people and the old-school Zelda folks meet halfway? How about Zelda's dungeons are designed with puzzles that are a) actually damned challenging and b) aren't required but will save you from having to fight really tough bad guys to get to the same point on the map? You don't want to fight folks? Solve the puzzle. You don't want to work another puzzle? Beat the guys up.
What if I want both?
 
May 3, 2006
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How about this? How about the modern Zelda people and the old-school Zelda folks meet halfway? How about Zelda's dungeons are designed with puzzles that are a) actually damned challenging and b) aren't required but will save you from having to fight really tough bad guys to get to the same point on the map? You don't want to fight folks? Solve the puzzle. You don't want to work another puzzle? Beat the guys up.

Also: Find some clever method for determining whether the player has played a Zelda game before and allow them to skip the tutorials. Else, find some clever method for making fun tutorials.
Another would be to follow the current Mario template: alternate between old-school 2d and new-school 3d.
 
Jun 8, 2004
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Nintendo may have learned that making a core franchise really difficult results in the masses not liking the game, AKA Mario Sunshine =/

But yea, Skyward Sword just feels boring for the first few hours, too much bad dialog
 
Jan 11, 2012
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5 minutes if you know what you're doing.



Not even close to an hour if you know what you're doing.

Besides, I always found the intros of those two games fun. OOT's was very quick, and MM's introduced you to the central town that you''d be returning to many, many times during your adventure. They didn't feel like tutorials. Can't say the same for Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.
The key phrase here is "If" you know what you're doing. The first time someone picks up Majora's Mask they aren't gonna have any idea what the complex series of tasks needed to unlock the "save" feature are. So yeah, it won't take you a mere 5 minutes.

And honestly, I didn't feel like Twilight Princess was that much of a tutorial beyond the "hey Link show us how to use a sword and slingshot!" bit. Which "if you know what you're doing" won't last more than a minute anyway.
 
May 31, 2009
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The key phrase here is "If" you know what you're doing. The first time someone picks up Majora's Mask they aren't gonna have any idea what the complex series of tasks needed to unlock the "save" feature are. So yeah, it won't take you a mere 5 minutes.

And honestly, I didn't feel like Twilight Princess was that much of a tutorial beyond the "hey Link show us how to use a sword and slingshot!" bit. Which "if you know what you're doing" won't last more than a minute anyway.
What about herding? Fishing? Finding the baby's basket?

There is a ton of boring, dumb shit you're forced to do before entering the first dungeon in Twilight Princess.
 
Sep 6, 2011
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Twilight Princess' intro is terrible. That's pretty much where the series became Manbaby Adventure for me. Wind Waker was at least somewhat tolerable because of the art style and that Booger Child would follow you around.

TP shows promise as you churn through the first few dungeons, then the difficulty plateaus and later dungeons seem to get progressively easier, thus nullifying the point of getting extra heart pieces.

And while I love OOT to death, I do remember being very underwhelmed by Kokiri Forest and the Great Deku Tree in 1998. It was the first Zelda in 5 years and those first two environments lacked the mood and excitement present in LTTP and LA's respective intros.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
Jun 18, 2009
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5 minutes if you know what you're doing.
If you're replaying the game, sure. If you're a new player picking up Ocarina for the first time it would not surprise me if it takes them upwards of half an hour to get the sword and shield.

Twilight Princess had a bloated intro. Skyward Sword's was a little bit long, but a.)it did get you into actual combat relatively quickly and b.)it had some really great moments (like following Fi at night)
 
Jan 11, 2012
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What about herding? Fishing? Finding the baby's basket?

There is a ton of boring, dumb shit you're forced to do before entering the first dungeon in Twilight Princess.
No less dumb and boring than having to go and grab a wandering fairy at the laundry pool, hunt down five of the same exact kid, grab a fallen meteorite shard and make your way all the way to the top of the clock tower.

Majora's especially egregious because, no matter how fast you do stuff, the same exact amount of time will be spent by every player, since you'll inevitably be stuck sitting in front of the clock tower waiting for it to open.
 
May 31, 2009
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OOT's intro definitely lacked the excitement LTTP and LA had (this excitement would return in MM), but I still think it was well done. There was still a sense of tension with the Great Deku Tree informing Navi to wake up the hero, and being introduced to Ganondorf via Link's nightmares.

This tension and excitement is absent from WW, TP and SS, which leads to a slow and boring intro. TP and SS especially started the player off with a rediculous amount of boring dialogue and handholding.
 
Dec 26, 2006
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If you're sick of traditional Zelda there's luckily an easy solution - give Darksiders a try.

Coincidentally this week's Giant Bombcast has Patrick and Jeff (again) raving about Darksiders. You can hear the conflict in Patrick's comments as he knows he thinks it's better than recent Zelda entries but can't come to say it blatantly.
I really don't get the praise Darksiders get. It's an ok game, but not more than that. I really don't like the art design, and the level design is nowhere near any Zelda. The combat is not fun either; it's just tedious.

I paid 5€ for it during a Steam summer sale, and I think that's about what it was worth.

With that said, Skyward Sword was a disappointment to me. It's far from a bad game, but I consider it to be the weakest 3D Zelda (not counting the DS games). It had too much padding, and I really hate when you have to face the same boss more than once in a game.
 
Jul 4, 2010
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OOT's intro definitely lacked the excitement LTTP and LA had (this excitement would return in MM), but I still think it was well done. There was still a sense of tension with the Great Deku Tree informing Navi to wake up the hero, and being introduced to Ganondorf via Link's nightmares.

This tension and excitement is absent from WW, TP and SS, which leads to a slow and boring intro. TP and SS especially started the player off with a rediculous amount of boring dialogue and handholding.
Agreed. Those games' intros make the "start with a dungeon" idea all the more enticing. I mean, you can still do tutorial type stuff there - God knows the LttP intro did - But keep things a little more focused and cut down on the dialogue.
 
Jan 22, 2008
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Yeah, I'm kinda pissed Nintendo doesn't go back 2D Zelda, like they did with NSMB:





^That thing you had to rotate annoyed the hell out of me. When I figured it out, I felt so stupid not to realize it before.




The 3D Zeldas, as much as I like them, feel so disjointed. The level designs do not translate well into 3D (minus Wind Waker).

The puzzles, dungeons, and overworld design just flow together nicely in 2D. Maybe it's just simpler to design in 2D for Zelda games.
 
May 31, 2009
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If you're replaying the game, sure. If you're a new player picking up Ocarina for the first time it would not surprise me if it takes them upwards of half an hour to get the sword and shield.
Right. I guess my point is OOT and MM (and WW, kinda) are a lot more exploration based. TP and SS are very dialogue heavy. It feels like you're stopped every few minutes and forced to speak with an NPC about random, boring shit.

No less dumb and boring than having to go and grab a wandering fairy at the laundry pool, hunt down five of the same exact kid, grab a fallen meteorite shard and make your way all the way to the top of the clock tower.

Majora's especially egregious because, no matter how fast you do stuff, the same exact amount of time will be spent by every player, since you'll inevitably be stuck sitting in front of the clock tower waiting for it to open.
Again, I found exploring Clock Town and Kokiri Forest much more fun and engaging than Ordon Village and Skyloft.

And you know you can skip to night of the third day in just a few seconds by talking to the scarecrow, right?
 
May 20, 2007
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The Zeldas I loved were always immersive, and I loved everything about them. I just don't see how I can get "grabbed" by TP or SS, as they feel like that they are stuck out of time from ten years ago.

Nintendo has been doing the Gamecube level of graphics, detail, gameplay for so long, that I am not sure that even if they had the hardware, that their designers and artists and programmers would be able to keep up and make a high fidelity visual groundbreaking game, like Ocarina of Time was. That game was larger than life (it felt like) at the time.
Please tell me what motion controlled game you were playing 10 years ago?

Skyward Sword is an awful, awful game. Poor controls, extremely long time before it ramps up to being even slightly enjoyable, and it feels incredibly linear, which is NOT what a Zelda game should be.
See I would disagree entirely, the controls were more than adequate, it had the best opening to a Zelda game since OoT & the linearity was refreshing after the dull sailing/horse riding in the last two Zelda games.


It felt like this because, back in 1991, this is what LttP was.

There were few (if any) console games at the time with quite the same sense of adventure and exploring. I can't say the same for today's Zelda games.
There were plenty of games with far bigger worlds than LttP, rewriting history is not a good thing
unless you need to save a Dragon, of course

Honestly, I think a lot of people just want to hate this article because it's critical of Zelda.
No, its the assumption that exploration is the most important thing about Zelda games, even though plenty of people would disagree.



I don't think it's the existence of a story itself that's bogging down Zelda. A good story will always make a world more immersive. For me, it's over-reliance on story that's the culprit. No matter how good your narrative is, you still need the world you're building to communicate it, and that's where Zelda's been failing, especially in Skyward Sword. The entire time I was playing that game I couldn't shake just how peaceful everything seemed to be, and most of what few NPCs there were seemed to be completely oblivious to the fact that
there was a demon lord out there on a mission to resurrect his master and plunge the world back into an age of hellfire
. Add to that the return of "the completely random abandoned temple that seemed to only ever exist to house item x" and you had a game where the story it was trying to tell was completely disconnected from the world and how it was presented to the player.
The people of Skyloft knew nothing about the land below,but you expect then to be fearful of something that doesn't exist to them ? TP was far worse in this regard.

Because they (difficult games) require skill, challenge you, and encourage you to improve how you play the game. I'd take that over mind-numbing puzzle after mind-numbing puzzle...
Puzzles require thought(or at least good ones do) difficult games mainly reward reflexes &/or time spent playing the game.


That's unfortunate, since you seem intent on making my points for me (double lol since I've been a fan of Wind Waker's art style since Spaceworld 2001). I don't want a mature Zelda at all; I want a Zelda that begins with engaging the player rather than boring him/her. An introduction that isn't predictable or filled with boring tutorials. It doesn't need to be mature but it should evoke tension.

It's far easier to shepherd the player in 2D games, comparing the intro to LttP to a 3D Zelda is foolish. Also SS shows a clear improvement in that regard ( compared to TP & WW).

TP shows promise as you churn through the first few dungeons, then the difficulty plateaus and later dungeons seem to get progressively easier, thus nullifying the point of getting extra heart pieces.
.
This is exactly the same as LttP which was( outside of a couple of puzzles) a fairly easy game.
 
Sep 6, 2011
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The 3D Zeldas, as much as I like them, feel so disjointed. The level designs do not translate well into 3D (minus Wind Waker).

The puzzles, dungeons, and overworld design just flow together nicely in 2D. Maybe it's just simpler to design in 2D for Zelda games.
I think it's more an issue of approach. Keep in mind that one of the Oracle games is very similar to the puzzle layouts of the 3D Zeldas, while the other is more action-oriented.

I would love a new 2D Zelda, but that doesn't make it an automatic slam dunk (NSMB Wii was hampered by imprecise, floaty controls). I Tweeted to Retronauts Lunch Break yesterday that if any Zelda game needs a remake, it's Link's Awakening. Keep the sword and shield locked to two buttons and fill the rest of the buttons with item slots. How many hits did you take in that game because you had the bracelet and feather equipped for navigation and didn't feel like pausing and equipping a sword?

LA is such a cumbersome experience with constant menu switching and an Overworld that is difficult to navigate even when you're stocked with advanced items. It's an ambitious (and downright hilarious) game that seemed hamstrung by the hardware it was on. LTTP really doesn't need retooling outside of a minor facelift.
 
See I would disagree entirely, the controls were more than adequate, it had the best opening to a Zelda game since OoT & the linearity was refreshing after the dull sailing/horse riding in the last two Zelda games.
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.

I thought initially something may have been wrong with my WiiMote, but the thing is, I don't have these issues in ANY other game. And I've played a TON of Wii Sports Resort (which also has sword fighting that works just fine).

The sailing was the WORST part of Windwaker. Still though, it was at least a wide open world. Zelda isn't a corridor shooter or on rails game... or at least it isn't supposed to be. SS's level design is awful and definately reeks of making a game easy on beginning players, a philosophy that seems to drip into everything Nintendo does these days.
 
Oct 26, 2011
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Yeah, LTTP, OOT and MM all have great intros. It started going downhill with Wind Waker.
Majora's Mask is my favorite game of all time, but its opening is mediocre and tedious on subsequent playthroughs. The whole game takes a while to get going (maybe up to the first dungeon).
 
Dec 7, 2011
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Apart from the fetch-quests, the annoying hints & explanations, the disappointing (imo) overworld approach and the lack of traditional controls, one of the biggest let downs in Skyward Sword was its weak and boring environments. In my opinion, this is one of the main reasons behind the incredibly lacing atmosphere of the game.

In my opinion, the environments in a Zelda game need to be alive and, even if you just walk around doing nothing, there must always be a strong sense of awe and immersion to accompany the journey. Back in 1998, I remember myself doing random walks / rides just to enjoy the environments.

As for what I want from a Zelda game. When I play a 3D entry in the series, I want to take the role of an adventurer/explorer and be lost in a huge, immersive and atmospheric world. Ocarina, Majora's and Wind Waker did a very good job here (for their time). Both Twilight Princess and, especially, Skyward Sword were very disappointing in this regard.
 
Jan 11, 2012
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Again, I found exploring Clock Town and Kokiri Forest much more fun and engaging than Ordon Village and Skyloft.

And you know you can skip to night of the third day in just a few seconds by talking to the scarecrow, right?
I guess we have to agree to disagree on that, as I enjoyed TP's opening more than Majora's. I concede I didn't know about the Scarecrow, and I suppose a lot of others wouldn't, either.

I really think if Nintendo were to go the way of New Legend of Zelda, and do more 2D games, I'd like more of 4 Swords. Even though I consider the 4 Swords games less than the GBC games, I think they're where I've had the most fun with 2D Zelda.
 
Mar 28, 2011
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I miss the Zelda games where you are dropped into the world and the first thing you need to do is to figure out what the fuck you're supposed to do. Instead of hours of handholding.