A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby Austin » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:20 am

This is a blog post. To read the original post, please click here »


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There’s something to be said for article titles that trick people into clicking the link in order to get hits, but whatever that something is, I’m not going to say it in this article because this article is about Zelda and not about the evil and devilish ways the blogging industry makes itself successful. Ah yea, Zelda. A series that last year held its 25th anniversary bash, and as the celebrations continue into 2012 with the touring Zelda symphony, a lot of people are taking advantage of this popularity to write articles that make people upset. The latest in this string of upsetting editorials comes from Kotaku’s Tevis Thompson, who yesterday put out a gem titled “Zelda Just Keeps Getting Worse, But It’s Not Beyond Saving.”

Now, I was linked this article by a friend of mine (who happens to share most of Mr. Thompson’s views on the series), and very very quickly knew I wasn’t particularly interested in finishing a read-through. Somewhere between saying “The original Legend of Zelda is the greatest Zelda” and “Zelda would be better if it had no story”, it was simply clear that this particular article was not meant for my eyes. I mean not to dissuade you from reading it- by all means, here is the link- but frankly... the arguments made within were both incredibly merited and deeply flawed, jumping back and forth quickly enough to give one whiplash. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t take something from reading it. I took an obnoxious reminder as to what I imagine is the main difficulty with developing Zelda games must be from reading it: the fans.
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby ehead » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:26 am

Oh man, I stopped reading at the point where OoT was almost compared to Dark/Demon Souls. Also, LOTR? Serious?

I, for one, don't think the Zelda franchise doesn't need any saving. Why fix what isn't broken? Cliché, but it works. The core of the Zelda franchise is still intact. The developers just decided to add some toppings to your favorite dish because people they wanted to try something "new" and to make it presentable to the younger/next generation of gamers. You find the taste is not right for you, then try a different dish. Expecting a Zelda game to be a different game? Play a different game, simple as that. The franchise may have lost a fan but there are several other people who will take his/her place. Its just a cycle really.

As for the fanbase, it isn't really dwindling in numbers over time, is it? I agree that the Zelda fanbase can become pretty divisive, having no unified concept of what Zelda game they want which is only natural since the fanbase is composed of diverse individuals from succeeding generations. Recent articles I've read regarding the "downfall" of the Zelda franchise seem to point problems with nostalgia. Writers try to point that the feeling of adventure from the original Zelda on the NES was completely lost in modern Zelda games. This is preposterous and I agree with Austin's post regarding this. You played the game as a kid (even the author from Kotaku said so himself). You were unbounded by any expectations, heck its your first encounter with the Zelda franchise.

Nostalgia can be a b**** sometimes.
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby Millah » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:32 am

I have legitimate complaints about Slyward Sword. But because I love it so much, I am more critical of it. I'm not the type that says "I miss the old days" or yada yada, I always embrace change and innovation. The motion plus was nothing short of brilliant.

I just had a simple gripe. The structure and pacing. I had no problem with focusing the story more, and basically designing the surface areas like linear levels, rather than a more open living "world". I didn't care that it felt empty and disconnected. The problem I had was how the game was structured, paced, and the storytelling. Pacing is an art, great games don't feel repetitive or predictable. SS became repetitive and predictable. Fly to surface level, progress through linear level, go through dungeon, go back to surface and do it again. Slight variations occasionally, but they were all very short. And then for the second half it got worse. I don't mind backtracking, it was the way they structured and progressed this that was uninspired.

I also really thought the storytelling could have improved. It needed more gradual rising action, and A LOT more tension building. The story itself was fantastic, the way it was told was not. You'd need to understand storytelling to understand what I mean by this.

So I have legitimate gripes with the game. It's not a matter of an old fan "missing the old days." I judge EVERY single player game on these two things, especially pacing. It shows craftsmanship. I thought aspects of SS were brilliant, and some that were uninspiring.
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby I_am_Error » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:03 am

Great article and I concur. If people want something else, play something else. Zelda is not broke. It's genius. Luckily, its fans know that.
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby Alkaia » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:47 am

First of all, I am Zelda fan more than 10 years. Just finished four sword adventure last week and I really enjoy the game even though I play solo.

I totally disagree with the statement above:
Majora’s Mask - Too weird and complicated. Too serious.
IMO: That's why Majora's Mask is my top one Zelda for these "so call ridiculous" reasons. Stone tower is incredible plus all the side quests.

Wind Waker - Not weird and complicated enough. Not serious enough.
IMO: Beautiful art style & relaxing open sea adventure. Sequel Phantom hourglass maybe easy but I am happy with the gameplay. Spirit Tracks made me & my sisters laugh a lot and Zelda's Lullaby is the best at the end.

Twilight Princess - Too serious. Not enough world density.
IMO: Again, serious is easily my fav way of enjoying the story. WTH with the density? The landscapes & dungeons are fine, Twili Realm my fav, only wish for more. Same with Shadow temple, Ocarina's dungeons are amazing. As well as A Link To The Past.

GBC & GBA titles are good, just graphics alone can't go over Zelda's gameplay. With just one small issue, please change the antagonist, sometimes Ganon is too much. Apology for all the Ganon fans cause I prefer monsters for boss battle. Still, I enjoy battling Ganon monster form in Twilight Princess.

So I have no complain with previous Zelda titles but I rather disappointed with Skyward Sword. I am sorry, it can't help by felling this way. I thought about the game for more than 2 weeks (first play & more than 60 hours) even until now and I came out with my own reasons, please, if you don't like it, DON'T READ.

My own reasons for disappointment towards Skyward Sword:
Nintendo promised the story of Skyward Sword will be the best among the other Zelda for 25 years anniversary. But unfortunately I don't see or either feel it. Even though I played both Japanese w/CD version (second time, 26 hours) & US Limited Edition. But all the repetitive & long dialogues made me almost fall asleep. And I thought relationship between Link & Zelda can do better than this even though I don't actually care. Both Ghirahim & Demise are talking too much. Please don't mentioned about Fyi/Phi although I really like Midna as a sidekick.

So, the reason are simple, why can't the cutscenes be fast forward or skip when I don't need them? Is it so hard to add these functions for a 2011 game after 6 years of development? Don't say because it's a prequel story, just a terrible excuse for Wii. (Twilight Princess can fast forward all the dialogues even in Gamecube version. Old games don't count)

Also, there's Only 3 areas in Skyward Sword, fine. But that's too little. I fly around to collect all the Goddess cubes in sky land just to discover I must fly a long way to go back to skyloft to save and can't suspend the game. The biggest issue here is why no warp point between area without flying? Is master sword that weak? Can't even wrap Link between the 3 areas or even the sky?

OK, I admit Silent realm is fantastic. Dungeons are ok. The graphics are good. Plus my love for Lanayru Desert & Ancient Cistern boss battle. I very like the atmosphere & music when I enter the desert.

Another issue but may consider own opinion, I really hate Link's voice. Totally annoying. The voice actor maybe a professional one but I don't think his voice suit Link. Especially the Asthma reaction.

I think I am writing too much here. I really don't want to critic my beloved game this way, but again, it can't help by feeling angry & sad at the same times toward my engagement with Zelda series. Don't know whether want to trust the 3ds & Wii U version in future.

Fine, all this just my own opinion, I just want 2 things in future Zelda.
1. Warp point from a place to another directly.
2. Add skip/fast forward (at least A button).

Extra: No Asthma next time please, this is not a hospital game. Our hero is very healthy & energetic.

P/S Sorry for annoying purpose but like it or not will not change my feeling toward Skyward Sword. Again, English isn't my primary language.
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby AroundTheFur » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:41 am

Great artilce. When I first read the title I figured it was gonna be a satire piece haha. I think a more appropriate title would be, "Why Zelda Fans Suck." The Legend of Zelda, and Resident Evil are my two favoirte video game franchises, and yet they both seem to have the worst fanbases. Both consist of nothing but complainers.

Hearing/reading a vocal minority constantly complaining and whining wears thin really fast. It's always the same tired complaints, and when said complaints are adressed, they find something else to complain about. A huge example that comes to mind is after Wind Waker came out. Fans picked that game apart, from its graphics/art direction to its simplicity. It got a lot of hate. One major complaint however, and Majora's Mask was a victim of this as well, is that it wasn't Ocarina of Time.

Fans b****ed and moaned that these incredible games weren't enough like OoT, thus they were inferior. Then Twilight Princess came out, a game that heavily feed this demand, and (in my personal opinion) improved upon the OoT formula...what happens next? They complain that it's "too much" like OoT and now complain it should have been more original like MM or TWW...? If you thought the Zelda timeline was a mess...it doesn't comapre to the Zelda fans.

I don't mean for this post to become a novel, but that's how it goes sometimes. Another complaint of TP (and this is only limited to the Wii version) was that the controls were waggle and not 1:1. Skyward Sword adressed this complaint with (in my opinion) very intuitive, and amazing 1:1 motion controls, which have lead to complaints about how much better the contols in TP were. I hate Zelda fans.

Sorry for my rant, and obviously this post is only talking about a vocal minority...but still, it makes me hate myself for having a common interest with such tools
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby AroundTheFur » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:56 am

Err addressed* twice =(
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby AroundTheFur » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:01 am

Actually my post is just a mess of typos haha. I'm my phone, so yeah sorry!
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby invader_quirk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:20 pm

The only Zelda I actually dislike is Zelda II, which is an infuriating mess. Some of the others were disappointing at the time, but none are bad games. I don't have a problem with TP because it's like OoT (and I frankly don't think anybody does), I have a problem with a huge, empty Hyrule Field, incredibly easy bosses, obnoxious bug hunts, a paltry amount of side quests with useless payoffs, and items you barely use. I still enjoyed the game, but these are legitimate complaints that were fixed for SS. It has nothing to do with how much like OoT it is.

MM happens to be my favorite, but I don't want every game that comes out to be MM. I would like to see a stranger Zelda at some point, but I enjoy every Zelda that comes out anyway.
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby invader_quirk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:21 pm

And frankly, I see more people complaining about Zelda fans than I see Zelda fans complaining.
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby burningtaco1 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:39 pm

To quote Miyamoto, "The fans don't always know what they want"
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby SkinnyMiz » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:47 pm

The happy mask salesman pic is awesome : D
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby Z Bone » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:42 pm

Austin, you are so right. Thanks for calling out all the annoying Zelda ranters who can't be true fans as well as the devious blogging industry.
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A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby jckapono » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:16 am

I read the article and the guy makes a compelling arugment, but he is not going to get support from most people because of a few things. First, he says Ocarina of Time isn't a good game. Really? From that point on you gotta take everything he says with a grain of salt.
He continously rips on Skyward Sword, even though Nintendo genuinely tried something new while still trying to remain true to the series. I loved Skyward Sword even despite it being too easy, a little redundant, and the small annoyance of Fi.
I truely believe there is a reboot so-to-speak of the series coming. Nintendo isn't stupid, I think they understand that the series is a bit stale and needs something to revitalize it. Even if it something as small as offering difficulty levels, ala 'toon link(easy)' 'ocarina(medium)' 'The hero's quest(hard)'
Consider being able to choose a game where the enemies swarm, secrets are just that, and there is no helpful fairy on your shoulder to lead the way. Perhaps just this small change would appease the whole, without deterring too far from what Zelda is. Because I love what it is, truthfully. But I do believe something needs to change to breath life even further into the series, even though I think Skyward Sword made great strides towards doing this with the addition of sprinting and just how Link moved through the environment.
Anyway, if you haven't read the full article, it's worth the read, but understand that this author just doesn't quite get what makes Zelda so great, and why it is beloved worldwide.
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Re: A Brief History of Zelda and Why It Sucks

Postby Windstar » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:07 pm

I like the imagination thing you used. People just outgrow things but I guess they can't accept that and just take it out on the series.
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