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Does Zelda Need an Overhaul? 286

Posted by Zonk
from the tooling-up-the-mean-green-machine dept.
CVG has up a piece noting the fact that not much about Zelda games have changed since the move to 3D. Chalk that up to the greatness of Ocarina of Time if you will, but the same mirror moving, fire-arrow switch activating puzzles have been in the last several titles. Is it time for some kind of radical change to the equation? "People generally don't like to accept change. But change doesn't always spell disaster. Final Fantasy introduces a totally new cast, setting and theme with each sequel and continues to please fans. Resident Evil 4 completely revolutionised Capcom's horror series and is now viewed as one of the best games ever made ... We still totally adore Zelda but eventually the appeal will tire and the series risks bombing. Nintendo needs to take the bold step and inject something totally new into Zelda. We're not talking about a couple of new items, or a new location - that's been done. We mean a significant change that affects the whole structure and gameplay."
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Does Zelda Need an Overhaul?

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  • No way. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by omaha_boy (512639) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @02:53PM (#19166721)
    The Zelda style of gameplay is what the fans keep coming back for. Perhaps a spinoff from the series would be best suited for this idea.
    • Re:No way. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @02:55PM (#19166773) Journal
      The Zelda style of gameplay is what the fans keep coming back for

      Aww young naive kids. Zelda has had several styles of gameplay from RPG to platformer to 3D platformer RPG mess thing. You can't say Zelda has a type of gameplay if you know the series.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        What? Talk about naive. Zelda has NEVER been an RPG and has ALWAYS been an action adventure. Each Zelda brings a new gameplay element to the table, usually in the form of a new item, than allows the creation of new kinds of puzzles. This new item or gameplay enhancement is almost always is in the title of the game, or is at least alluded to in the title. That said, I have not played Twilight Princess, so I can't speak to its innovations, if any. Perhaps the series is (momentarily) stuck in a rut of nostalgi
        • Twilights princess is the same as OoT. It's payable but the running horse battles and wold form save the game IMO.

          And no, Zelda was always called an action RPG, like secret of mana was. It was never an "adventure" game ever.
          • Re:No way. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by edwdig (47888) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:39PM (#19167699)
            And no, Zelda was always called an action RPG, like secret of mana was. It was never an "adventure" game ever.

            Zelda was only ever considered an RPG by the kind of gamer that usually only plays RPGs, but needs an excuse to justify liking Zelda.

            If you check the old guides from when Nintendo used to publish large strategy guides that covered multiple games, Zelda was always in the Adventure section.

            Zelda really doesn't count as an RPG unless you use such a broad definition of RPG that almost any game counts as an RPG. Collecting items to progress doesn't make something an RPG...
            • Collecting items doesn't make for an RPG, but getting getting experience and gaining levels some people might call an RPG. Not in the same way Final Fantasy is, but in the way that Diablo is.

              (Is it just me, or does Zelda II just like the newer Castlevanias?)
          • Re:No way. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Purity Of Essence (1007601) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:20PM (#19168535)
            Beyond marketing hype, what exactly makes a Zelda game an RPG? I honestly don't get it. Maybe I'm just old fashioned having grown up on pen-and-paper RPGs, and CRPGs like Wizardry and Ultima. Every game in the Zelda series are almost completely linear, there is usually only one way to solve any problem, there is almost no way to customize the game or make your experience any different than another player's. There is only one player character, a character who is virtually identical across all games, with no customization, no leveling, no classes, no tactics, no way to influence the story, no characters that react meaningfully to the different ways you play, and not really any other RPG trappings except a Tolkien-esque universe. Yes, Zelda II had some leveling, making it the most RPG-like, but that represents one small feature in one aberration of a game out of something like fifteen in the series. I'm sorry, a handful of hearts does not an RPG make. Zelda is no more an RPG than the three lives of Pac-Man are a statement on reincarnation and corporate capitalism. As far as I can tell the Zelda series is a classic action adventure in almost every possible way, completely in the vein of the grand-daddy of them all "Adventure" for the Atari VCS. You collect specific objects, or perform specific tasks, to overcome a specific series of obstacles, while the game funnels you toward the end. Your options are extremely limited, and almost everything that can be done in the game is utterly compulsory in order to finish it. In other words, Zelda is a particularly inflexible adventure game with many exciting and varied real-time action elements -- and I love Zelda for it. Don't ever change, Zelda!
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by flooey (695860)
            Twilights princess is the same as OoT.

            I'd say that's true and yet not true at the same time.

            What Nintendo has chosen to do with the Zelda series has seemed to be to evolve it rather than do anything revolutionary. Twilight Princess has the same basic features as Ocarina of Time, for certain. It's very comfortable to the new fans. The game introduces several new and very interesting items that remarkably change the way the game plays as the game progresses, though. Things like the dual-hookshot (cla
        • by Verteiron (224042)
          Zelda 2 was an RPG. You gained experience points, assigned them to certain stats. Granted, there were only 3 stats and 8 magical spells, but nevertheless...

          Of course it was also a platform game of sorts. And it was a part of Nintendo's "Adventure" game series, back when they tried to put all their games into an official Nintendo-approved genre. Remember the "Education" series? Had all of 2 games, I think.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by OrangeTide (124937)
            Zelda 2 was pseudo-RPG. only on the most vague definition of RPG does it match. And if you're into table-top RPG these CRPGs are often nothing like a real RPG.

            I think most of the Zelda games are Adventure games. nothing wrong with that, I think the title fits. You certainly go on a pretty amazing adventure in a zelda game. Lots of exploring and searching and stabbing and questing.
        • by oGMo (379)

          What? Talk about naive. Zelda has NEVER been an RPG and has ALWAYS been an action adventure.

          Apparently you never played Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link [rpgamer.com], which, despite the ironic name, is the only game in the series to be an RPG, featuring experience and levelling. Given that it's that early in the series though, that's definite precedent. Of course, it was still an action/RPG, so no menu battles please. :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by diamondmagic (877411)
          A "true" RPG features leveling up, often experience, and (though theoretically possible to do without) battles. The name by itself though, role-playing game, implies an epic adventure. Consider the name of the hero, Link. Link was named that because he is your "link" to the game (one of Miyamoto's brilliant but simple concepts). You name Link, and you control Link, though every action and movment. Unlike Final Fantasy, Link will never do anything that you don't tell him to (at least nothing that would affec
    • Is is really the "fans coming back" that Nintendo is after? I would assume they are going after the younger crowd, who probably have not played more than 1 zelda release before (if ever), so it's not the same old stuff in their eyes.

      Besides, Zelda is NOT FF, and it's NOT Resident Evil. It's in a class of it's own, and imho should not be changed because people want it to be more like WoW or something.
    • by fwarren (579763)
      I have a radical idea. If Nintendo makes a game with different game play...they can call it something else.

  • In a word... no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 7Prime (871679) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @02:59PM (#19166849) Homepage Journal
    Twilight Princess was, IMO, the best game in the series, because instead of concentrating souly on new gameplay elements, they actually gave the game a SOUL. In fact sometimes it felt like they transplanted it directly from the Final Fantasy series, which could explain the lack of soul in FF12 (as good as that game was). Every game is evolutionary, and they try expanding on a new area... this one was in story telling and character portrayal, and they get an A+ on this one. Wind Waker tried to experiment with a number of new gameplay elements, and while I applaud them on that, their new efforts were more like a B-.

    To me, this sounds like an artical written by a disgruntled gamer who wasn't able to see TP for what it truly was, and while I respect his opinion, its hardly a reason for a call to arms. Does the series need an overhaul? After how good TP was... absolutely not.

    TP was an evolutionary step in terms of gameplay, for the series. It added a few new elements (of which it did very well, I might add), but its main concentration layed elsewhere. The gameplay fanatics can probably look forward to Phantom Hourglass and the next Wii Zelda title for a boost in gameplay elements.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hansamurai (907719)
      I pretty much agree with you. Twilight Princess probably is one of the best 3D Zeldas, but now I'm playing Okami, and I honestly think that it is a better game. Okami was obviously inspired by the Zelda series, some may say cloned, but it does some things better than Zelda (and some things worse). Anyways, the genius thing about Okami is the brush strokes you use to fight enemies or overcome obstacles instead of the typical Zelda tool chest of items. This actually makes the game much more seamless in my
      • by 7Prime (871679)
        I loved Okami. Just for the record, my top 3 games of 2006 were Twilight Princess, Okami and Tales of the Abyss (with FF12 coming in a distant 4th). That said, Okami had some huge flaws. It's battle system was incredibly uninspired, repetitive, and boring. The final few boss battles FINALLY become interesting, but most of is pretty blah. Thankfully, the concentration on battles was so minor that it didn't really bring down the game... but if you're not going to have decent battles, why have them at all? The
  • Twilight Princess was great, but isn't it past time to deprecate text-only dialog.
    • by Cadallin (863437)
      fuck no! That would destroy so much! You'd never be able to satisfy even a tiny percentage of the fans with the actor choices. Zelda's fine just the way it is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I completely disagree. If you add voices it changes the characters.

      Take for example Link, he got a new voice actor for Twilight princess. The new guy is mostly known for playing Dearka elsman from Gundam SEED Destiny, the old ne was mostly known for Guy from Gaogaigar. The two characters are complete opposites and I personaly felt Link was diffeent in feel because of his voice more than the way he acted.

      Apply this to the entire game but removing Japanese voices to English, it'll completely change the world
    • Re:Voice Acting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 7Prime (871679) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:11PM (#19167133) Homepage Journal
      Bullshit. People seem to approach voice-acting as if it's simply the next step in gaming... as if it is inherently superior, and those who fail to do so are akin to developers who failed to move to creating 16-bit games after the SNES was released.

      No. Voice acting is an aesthetic decision, and greatly alters the feel of the game. Some games definitely benefit from voice acting, but others call for a little more abstraction, and thus voice-acting can chip away at their charm, no matter the quality. Zelda definitely falls into that catagory.

      Notice that Zelda already has plenty of voice actin. But in this case, "voice acting" isn't about content but expression of emotion. Instead of actually speaking content, the characters make noises that reflect their current state of mind. This splits up the emotion of the voice from the dry content. It is part of Zelda's greater abstraction, which I feel is key to its overall charm. Traditional voice acting would completely distroy that.

      IE: Voice acting is an aesthetic decision on the part of the creators. It is not "missing", it was not included because the creators feel (as I feel) that it would partially destroy the games' charm, moving it toward the realm of cinema rather than the animated storybook quality they wish to portray.
      • by Kelbear (870538)
        Parent is spot on.

        I prefer subtitled anime over dubs because the voice actors communicate the emotion properly as I read the subtitles. Dubs are usually done by whoever was willing to take the job for the least amount of money, and the quality of the acting reflects that.

        The actual words being said by the Japanese voice actors is pure gibberish to me, just like the gibberish I hear from Midna.

        They got the important part of the voice, the tone. I am fine with reading the words. Hell, Simlish communicates pre
        • by rlp (11898)
          Admittedly, most (english) anime dubs are bad. But not all - I thought 'Trigun' and 'Noir' were both decent dubs. I still think a new Zelda would benefit from good voice acting. For purists (and the hearing impaired), they could provide the option of switching to text.

          Do you really think Miyamoto-san would permit Zelda to be released (in any language) with BAD voice acting?
      • by brkello (642429)
        Bah, I call bullshit back at you. Good voice acting improves a game. Bad voice acting makes it worse.

        I mean, come on...just think of Nethack as read by Patrick Stewart.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fred Or Alive (738779)
      I personally agree, with Twilight Princess, even though Midna talked random nonesense, I found the nonesense made her a much more endearing character than the others where at most you got some random sound. It doesn't mean that Link has to stop being silent or anything, that probably would be a holy cow too much for the fans, although I do somethimes find the whole "blank slate" bit a little annoying as well.

      I also sortof agree with the article, recycling the same themes gets annoying, some more variety wou
    • Isn't it time Master Chief's helmet came off? Or Gordon Freeman talked (or we saw his face in-game)?

      Either of those would completely change the character, and depending on how pedantic a fan you are, could kill the series for you.
      • by Chris Burke (6130)
        Freeman is mute, and Master Chief suffers from terrible acne, you insensitive clod!

        Wait, but you want them to retain their dignity by not being forced to reveal their problems -- I'm an insensitive clod!
        • Well, actually, according to the books, Master Chief is creepily pale, from being in that suit most of the time, and being inside (training underground and on space stations) for most of his life.

          Not as bad as Acne, but you can imagine he might want to spend some time in the tanning salon before showing his face to the world.
    • Harder to screw up (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Valdrax (32670)
      Twilight Princess was great, but isn't it past time to deprecate text-only dialog.

      It's harder to screw up a game with text-only dialog than it is to screw up one with voice acting because of the choice of a flat and talentless voice actor or two (or ten). I can think of a few games that I've found seriously hurt by voice acting -- the first Grandia game and Shenmue immediately come to mind.

      (Good lord was Shenmue's voice acting terrible. It was like a dry read by tone-deaf people.)

      On a related note: Hey, [vgcats.com]
    • Personally, I hate voice acting in most games ...

      Because of the costs associated with voice acting you tend to have very limited dialogue which ends up becoming repetative rapidly, and creates a far more static world. With a text based game you can have every character in the game have several unique things to say at any given time and (as a player finishes objectives) have what they change through out the game. Your development team of (roughly) 6 dialogue writers can quickly fill a town setting with conte
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ambitwistor (1041236)
      I hate voice acting. It seems to break immersion for me, rather than keeping me in the game. Plus, it takes too long in dialogue-heavy games; much faster to scroll through text. I guess games seem to me like interactive storybooks, not movies. Plus, Zelda's quasi-speech is endearing.
  • Long answer: yeeeesssss.

    I love them, but they need to stop relying on the fire temple/water temple/wind temple/earth temple formula. The puzzles are usually good, but they get repetitive when I play them over and over in different games.
    • Alternate answer: Heck, yes Zelda needs an "overhaul" if she looks like this [fab1.net].

      Am I the only person here who grew up associating the name Zelda with the Terrahawks baddie and not some Nintendo character? Particularly as I wasn't even aware that "Zelda" was a real name at the time. Anyway, the two characters seem like chalk and cheese...

      BINGO!.... that's your answer! Nintendo can refresh their "Zelda" series by replacing their Zelda with the evil-Martian-android-that-looks-like-a-really-old- person [fab1.net] namesak
  • Stagnation (Score:3, Funny)

    by Reason58 (775044) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @02:59PM (#19166865)
    All great games eventually get made into a franchise that milks the brand for all it's worth. Take Madden, Super Mario, or even Zelda for example. Game companies exist to make themselves rich, and those games have a proven formula for success. Why would they tamper with that?
  • YES! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aichpvee (631243) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:00PM (#19166879) Journal
    I've been saying this for years! Zelda's formula has gotten old in 3D. Especially the combat. Despite enjoying Twilight Princess a lot (a huge surprise to me) they really need to do a full refresh of the formula.

    The Wii controls helped keep the combat feeling fresh, where the GameCube falls flat. But the advancements other games have made in dynamic since the release of Ocarina just leave the series feeling like something of a dinosaur.

    With their vast resources (even before DS and Wii started printing money) and huge talent pool I except more from Nintendo. I seem to remember Miyamoto saying that TP would be the last Zelda game "as we know it." So hopefully that's a sign of big things to come.
    • The Wii controls helped keep the combat feeling fresh, where the GameCube falls flat. But the advancements other games have made in dynamic since the release of Ocarina just leave the series feeling like something of a dinosaur.

      The Wii controls on Twilight Princess are a pointer for the way forward. Some parts worked really well - I could never go back to aiming the bow or the hookshot with an analogue stick. Some didn't - shield thrust was misread as spin attack far too often. While it was well done, it

  • It's not like Zelda hasn't changed before. I mean, the jump from 2D to 3D was fairly dramatic. And seriously, we've all seen where being formulaic gets you; Just look at the movie industry. That's the type of rut that I'd rather see one of my favorite game franchises avoid, if at all possible. I say, as long as some of the staples are preserved (sword combat, heart containers, and that little "you found a secret!" chime. Just enough to remind you that, yes, this is a Zelda game) then by all means try s
  • To be honest, not much changed even with OoT. It was the same "mirror moving, fire-arrow switch activating" puzzles even in the earlier 2D Zeldas. OoT translated the gameplay so well into 3D that the series continued to be extremely popular.

    There shouldn't be any reason to change the style of game Zalda has always been, in fact Zelda-type games have, in a way, become a kind of genre all of it's own. As long as people keep enjoying the gameplay and Nintendo keeps the character's, stories and enviroments fres
  • No need. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RyanFenton (230700) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:05PM (#19166981)
    Stories are stories, whether interactive or not. Some need to be refreshed over time to maintain value - others become timeless, only increasing in value with the fidelity with which they are told.

    The Legend of Zelda series is not completely timeless, but most of it's aspects hold a very high value, even when they are not radically rehashed with each telling. It's a fairy tale where a boy with a sword rescues a princess, with some interesting action, oddness and strategy along the way.

    No need to take away any of that when making a new Zelda game - you just have to make sure the core timelessness of the story isn't too overexposed, so that it doesn't become stale. No need to transform it into a guitar-based rock game with pinball elements or anything.

    Ryan Fenton
  • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:05PM (#19166983)

    I know another game that's in DIRE need of an overhaul: chess. I mean, it's been played pretty much the same way for like 500 years. Gamers are bound to get tired of it real soon now!

    And I don't want them to just add new pieces or change the board from squares to hexagons or anything like that! I mean a significant change that affects the whole structure and gameplay!

  • Zelda 2 was radically different and radically sucked. It had side-scrolling action and RPG-like features that were totally alien for Zelda.

    Change isn't necessarily bad, but Zelda 2 is the poster child for what can happen if you deviate too far from what makes your series fun.
  • FF are not sequels (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ncmusic (31531)
    Final Fantasy introduces a totally new cast, setting and theme with each sequel and continues to please fans.

    I'm pretty sure that's not a sequel as much as just reusing a trade mark for new games. There have been a couple of sequels notibly, X2 but for the most part each new FF game is just that and Not a sequel.

    Sequel - a literary work, movie, etc., that is complete in itself but continues the narrative of a preceding work. [reference.com]
    • by Sancho (17056)
      Not exactly a sequel, but not exactly a standalone game relying on the trademark.

      The first 3 Final fantasy games had incredibly similar feels (at least, the NES/Famicom versions did). They each had slight changes to the character sheet development, but the gameplay, quests, etc. were all very similar.

      The next 3 games also had similar feels. They definitely drew on the first three, but they added a great deal of story and characterization, and of course, enhanced graphics (being on the next generation of c
  • My 2 cents (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Esc7 (996317) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:22PM (#19167311)
    I've played nearly every Zelda game ever made, just not the gameboy ones and that horrid skeleton in our closet on the CD-I. I've saved the eponymous princess countless times. And i can tell you that I do have sympathetic feelings for the writer of this article. This latest Zelda did feel "new" but nothing really TRULY surprised me like when I found out what the blue Ring did in the original Legend of Zelda. The sameness of elements in the game are beginning to not be interesting anymore, and that's truly a shame. But you have to consider the consequences of "updating" Zelda. Could you even call a game part of the series if it doesn't pay tribute to its predecessors? Take out the Master Sword? Get rid of boomerangs and bombs? No more temples/dungeons/labyrinths? Why even have the main protagonist a green clad boy named Link? Make it a high-powered business woman set on mars. There we go. Change for change's sake. What I'm trying to say is that Zelda has basically completely defined a whole genre of action/adventure/puzzle game. How many times have you heard the adjective "Zelda-like?" The game itself defines other games that copy its gameplay mechanics. We can't change that core of the game, that IS the game. If you are tired of exploring dungeons and getting items that give you new abilities, well stop playing this goddamn game then. (Also take a good hard look at all the other games you have to play too) And don't take out that tired line that they don't change the specific settings and elements. Zelda 2: the adventures of Link had nearly nothing in common with the first, and now the things it's introduced have become standard. Majora's Mask changed the way you played the game. And Wind Waker completely changed the setting and introduced new characters and items. So piss off. Leave my game alone. I like knowing that in this world, this game will always have things that are the same. We all enjoy it. And the day we stop enjoying it and get tired of it I sure hope to hell they don't create a new edgier, flashier update called Shadow the Link where Link has a gun and a emo haircut. When we get tired of elements of Zelda, we will be tired of Zelda itself and it will end
  • (have not yet RTFA, just responding to the summary)
    The funny thing is, even the jump from 2D to 3D was a lot less of a paradigm shift than with, say, Mario or Metroid...
    I kind of missed out on the original Zelda, but liked Zelda 2 a lot.

    My next games was Zelda:OoT. When after that i went back to the first game, I was amazed at how similar the dungeon puzzles etc felt!

    Unlike Mario and Metroid, early Zelda was in a kind of 3/4 perspective, with a few light 3D-ish elements. So it's just not that big a shift. (
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      Yeah, the adventure of link is the game that you either love or hate. Me, I hate it, because there were already too many NES platformers, and the platformer section of the game SUCKED FUCKING ASS. I don't care if you liked that part, it had some of the worst play control ever seen in a platformer. I would play all the way through Faxanadu ten [more] times before I would pick up Zelda 2 again. BTW, it's never too late for the original Zelda; still a great game. Although you might give it a miss and jump righ
  • Final Fantasy games have made about as much change as any Zelda game has. One thing final fantasy has up on zelda is that it is a "new story" with "new characters" each time. The combat in Final Fantasy has been the same for ages much the same as zelda hasn't changed much. The only difference in combat has been gradual upgrades to the same battle system before it. Final Fantasy games have increasingly offered more character customization, but the same spells and summons are always used. Zelda games have add
  • Yes in that there's only so many ways that you can kill Ganon and save the princess. And, as it so happens, Eiji Aonuma has said quite specifically that any further games in the series will be a substantial departure. (Personally, I'm hoping for a successor to Majora's Mask).

    No in that the fundamental mechanic - enter dungeon, get new item, solve puzzles with item, defeat boss, find stuff on overworld, get to next dungeon - is unlikely to ever get old. As long as the surrounding narrative and premise aren't
  • by Sciros (986030) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:43PM (#19167789) Journal
    I think that Zelda games are indeed "formulaic," but it's a decent formula that really suffers not so much from repetition as from the fact that everything besides the gameplay gets so little attention. The stories in Zelda are extremely basic and weak, and do little more than tie one dungeon/temple to the next. That's not a big problem, but when you have that AND no voices AND old-school-midi-quality music in a title that was released just recently, it starts to feel like, well, *there can be more to it.*

    Even improving two of those three things would do wonders for Zelda and it's feeling of being an "aging" series. An epic, cd-quality orchestral score for once? That shouldn't bee too much to ask, after all games like Battlefield and Medal of Honor get that privilege, not to even mention the blockbusters like Final Fantasy and Halo.

    Zelda's core gameplay -- making one's way through cleverly designed dungeons -- is STILL its greatest strength! And far from what makes a Zelda game feel like it's "lacking" in something. The reason it feels a bit outdated is that in many OTHER respects it truly IS. While no-one has been able to match Zelda's level design, when it comes to other aspects of gameplay -- combat, NPC interaction, even boss design and horseback riding controls -- Nintendo's greatest really has been outdone. Ninja Gaiden, DMC3, God of War -- these games have put others to shame in terms of combat. Oblivion's NPCs (and even those in games like the new Godfather) are far superior in AI and interactivity to those in Twilight Princess. Boss design -- look to Shadow of the Colossus for a lesson in "epic battles."

    The summary calls for an overhaul of the core gameplay. That I believe is a MISTAKE. It's all the other stuff, which is admittedly *minor* in comparison to the gameplay that sets Zelda apart from everything else, that needs to catch up by about 9 years.
  • The game sold very well. It seems pretty obvious that no overhaul is necessary.

    Could sales be improved by a change? Possibly. Could they have been harmed by a change? Just as possible.

    It's Zelda. The sales were very good and the game made money. That shows that there is room in the market for more of the same Zelda gameplay. If they want to change it, they can also make spin-offs.

    Better yet, I would rather that they make a new game, entirely without Link, Hyrule, etc. and create a new IP. Don't just "tweak
  • Short-term memory? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by muel (132794) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:11PM (#19168369)
    Isn't this pretty much what Nintendo attempted w/ The Wind Waker? Not just the graphics--though those did seek to create a new level of emotional expression unseen in the previous games--but also the obsession w/ the sea and expansion of the world? That wasn't a massive overhaul, sure, but everyone cried foul and begged for another Ocarina-style game. Just a few years later, they got it. Make up your minds, critics.
  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:12PM (#19168405) Homepage
    Consider the situation from Link's point of view:

    The Legend of Zelda: A Pain in my Ass (Part 1) [youtube.com]

    The Legend of Zelda: A Pain in my Ass (Part 2) [youtube.com]

  • by Metroid72 (654017) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @04:23PM (#19168607)
    Follow these steps:

    1. Intro Scene - Make sure to contrast the menace and the hero, motivational, showcase some of the graphics
    2. Opening Scene - Ambiance, small village, child hero, innocent life.
    3. Strange Things - Make sure the motivation is there, encourage exploration
    4. Build-up - Make sure the exploration leads to a larger plot, explain main quest.
    5. Quest for Critical Items - E.g. Master sword, shield, etc. Include minor versions of dungeons.
    6. Start of Main Quest - Once hero is equipped, unleash the main goals
    7. Unleash Main Motif - Could be darkness (inverted worlds), modes of transportation, transformations, graphics or console unique engine etc. Make sure that Main motif is an intricate part of the game.
    8. Side Quests - Include plenty, make sure that you confuse the player by making him/her pursue items that may or may not have a definite usage to the main quest.
    9. Fake End Boss - Build the momentum with a fake sense of victory.
    10. Ending - Make it inspirational, but open... after all, this is another instance of the hero overcoming evil.

    Ever since 'A Link to the Past' this has been the formula, and the Motif basically changes. The ALTP was reused in Link's awakening to a very good result (to me probably the best of the 2D Zeldas), however, Ocarina of Time introduced a new engine with the 3D Motif, but OOT (3D), MM (Masks) and WW (Art and Mode of transport) are to me the same game (I have yet to play Twilight as I can't find the time to commit to it), but from what I've seen there's the possibility of it being the same as the prior games with the new controls being the motif.

    I love this series, but I must say that I'm more excited about Phantom Hourglass than I am about Twilight, just because the portable platform makes them deviate from the formula a bit (portables are played in bursts of time).

    I think Zelda can have some good spinoffs, a 'Tactics' game comes to mind. I would also like to see a remake of "The Adventure of Link" in 2D with upgraded graphics (A la New SMB), who knows, maybe even a Paper Zelda version with the Flipping ability.

    This is not meant to be critical, I like the formula, but I must say that I don't get as excited as I used to before.

    Oh well...
  • Nintendo will never change the Zelda formula. They tested the waters with Windwaker and the fanbois all screamed bloody murder. Not over some major game mechanic change or dramatic change in roles of Link/Ganon/Zelda. No, they lit the torches and sharpened the pitchforks because of the ART DIRECTION.

    It's silly, of course. Yet, N is always redefining Mario. Donkey Kong was one type of game. Mario Bros. is another type of game. Super Mario Bros. 1 - 3 + World were essentially the same thing (not counting rebr
  • Nintendo, read this! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ghkw (1103781) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @05:02PM (#19169367)
    Hi!

    I've created a Slashdot account just to post this comment in a proper way. It really matters to me, because Zelda is one of those games that I grew up with and I've played every single iteration of it.

    It is not true to say that there was not enough innovation going on in Twilight Princess (shape shifting, horse back fighting, cinematics). I like the game a lot. Having said this, Twilight Princess really made want to go back and play the original Legend of Zelda once again. Here are the reasons:

    • Exploratory gameplay: In early Zelda titles (mostly in Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past), it is left up to the player to decide in which sequence to complete the game. Especially in the Twilight Princess this has been dropped in favour of having a proper storyline. Having a storyline is great, but only if it doesn't imply that "we need to put some big rocks over here, otherwise the player will advance too much". In the original Legend of Zelda, the only thing that kept you from moving around freely in the world (I'm simplifying things a bit), is that fact that you just didn't go to some regions because the enemies were too dangerous over there given your current skills. Current Zelda titles are lacking behing on this. In all titles after A Link to the Past, the map felt just very small. My recommendation: Make the map huge and allow the player to freely explore the world -- only limited by his own skills -- in a non-linear gameplay.
    • Sidequest nonsense: Newer Zelda titles have too many sidequest. In the original Legend of Zelda, I actually cared for finding all heart containers, but with the inflation of fractions of pieces of hearts in current games, it's just a pain. Things get worse when you have to find 100+ spiders or ghosts. It doesn't add to the game and the reward that you get out of these quests is never worth the effort. My recommendation: Integrate sidequest into the storyline and have one single meaningful artifact as reward.
    • Difficulty: Zelda has gotten too easy. Without even going through the pain of getting all bottles, I only died once before completing the game for the first time. Especially the dungeon bosses were too easy. So much for the combat, but it's also true for quests. In current games, you just always know where to place a bomb in a dungeon because it's really obvious from the looks of the wall. Solving riddles has come to the point of just doing the obvious. My recommendation: Make the game harder, both in terms of combat and in terms of riddles. Beating a strong opponent is it's own reward, just as working two hours on finding the correct way to solve a riddle is.
    • Lack of combat: Zelda has been shifting its focus from pure combat to RPG. This is OK. However, especially in recent titles, there is a distinct lack of good combat. This is partly due to the fact that in 3D, it's harder for the player to focus on multiple enemies at the same time. I assume that for this reason you never have to face more than two or three tough opponents at the same time in Twilight Princess (same in earlier 3D titles). My recommendation: Rework the user interface to allow for improved combat against multiple strong enemies; allow the player to use interesting strategies against them.
    • Don't reinvent the wheel: It's true that fans of the Zelda series don't want to see everything changed. So new items are always fine, but not too many. Instead, how about bringing back some items from the previous games: sword throwing, magic wand, rings, etc. Many of these old items or features can be reused in new and interesting ways on the Wii. Think Wii controller + magic wand. My recommendation: Only come up with new items, that are truely new. Reuse existing items (many of which still need to be adapted to 3D gameplay) where possible.

    Thanks for listening (hopefully). :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      In the original Legend of Zelda, the only thing that kept you from moving around freely in the world (I'm simplifying things a bit), is that fact that you just didn't go to some regions because the enemies were too dangerous over there given your current skills.

      Broadly true, although later dungeons had rooms that were impossible to get through unless you had the Ladder, which IIRC was found in a dungeon you needed the Raft to get to. You could play most of the dungeons a bit out of sequence, but it was ra

  • Whether or not the Zelda series needs an overhaul, Nintendo's licensing for the property needs an overhaul. This game has been out for months and I still can't buy a stuffed Midna doll? I would buy two, just so I can keep one at work.
  • Sorry if it has already been said, but this article sure has boiled my blood. It makes specific reference to final fantasy, a series i've long had a problem with in the naming department. The games are great, but Final Fantasy is 12 completely different games, all with the same name. When i buy a zelda game, i expect a zelda game. Not some completely irrelivant game with a similar name.

    So would someone please tell my why they are encouraging this kind of behaviour?
  • No. Mirror moving and fire_activating puzzle are only stables of the game because those are the items you get in the game.

    Legend of Zelda Four Swords Adventure was one of the best games for me in recent years because of one thing, it really brought a new look at the old Zelda items. It increased the difficulty because it requested the player do things outside of the box at times.

    What I think Zelda actually needs, is some difficulty, and a new set of items. The classics (bombs, fire arrows even the mirror
  • Well, we've had land, mountains, caves, on the oceans, under water, castles and buildings of all types...

    I know. How about Outer Space?

Passwords are implemented as a result of insecurity.

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