Category: The Trouble With …

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Unpopular Mechanics

Without mechanics what do you have in a game? Not much, really, except maybe a book. Mechanics are celebrated just if a game includes them regardless of quality. Cinematic experiences, romance, Wii fit motion board enabled, the list goes on. They are all ingredients in the soup of games, which is why when you mess one of them up you can spoil the whole thing. It’s like overusing bad and/or convoluted metaphors to fill out space. I doubt any of these mechanics are going away any time soon so we might as well get more critical of them so they can at least start moving in a better direction.

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Rayman

The Trouble With … The Rayman Legends Fiasco.

Okay, I will be honest, I do not care for Rayman as a franchise. I have not liked a single Rayman title even from the beginning, and nothing has changed in recent times to alter this opinion. I find the games either completely (and painfully) frustrating, or criminally easy. This might very well be just me, but it is my opinion nonetheless, regardless how controversial it may be. Read more …

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The Trouble With … The Legend of Zelda.

I know what you’re thinking, that title does look a little negative, but I assure you right now that it’s not going to be another one of those articles berating everything that has happened with The Legend of Zelda up to this point. If you assumed that’s what it might be, I would suggest you return to my previous articles, and then ask whether I view the series in a negative light. Done so? Okay, let’s continue.

There are problems with the series as a whole; not all of them are Nintendo’s fault however, some are the direct responsibility of the fanbase, or the critics, and there is no denying that when it comes to a gaming franchise that inspires constant (and varied) debates among people, few can touch Zelda. But this is, in itself, one of it’s main issues.

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Ocarina of Time!

With Zelda being such a huge series, spanning 26 years and over 10 main titles, there are a lot of topics to discuss. The main source of contrition about Zelda is the classic debate of which title is the best in the series. This subject can cause ridicule, or esteem, depending on who it is discussed between and some of those new to the series can feel out of their depth if they have only played from say, Windwaker onwards. Most would obviously say Ocarina of Time but, although this is an incredible game, I don’t fully understand why any other title in the series isn’t just as valid. I think this goes back to what I have said before about the special brand of insanity we, as gamers, possess and it always inspires a great debate or two. However, we shouldn’t forget that there are those even that name Skyward Sword as their first Zelda, they will love it (even if some of us don’t, myself NOT included as I love it).

This isn’t the main problem that I personally have with the franchise. What I class as the ‘trouble’ is Nintendo’s reliance on the Zelda series. Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive fan of Link’s many adventures, but I don’t particularly like Nintendo’s tendency to cart it out when things get a little tough. What I am referencing is (of course) the recent Nintendo Direct broadcast, an incredibly needed boost in my estimations relating to Wii U, and a good example of how to put my fears to rest.

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Not the same broadcast, but they all seem to follow the same basic principles.

I’m not going to lie, I was worried. With the Wii U’s launch being as strong as it was (in my opinion), I was beginning to become increasingly concerned with the lack of follow-up support for the console by Nintendo since the release. It seemed like the titles that I was looking forward to in Wii U’s ‘launch window’ were slowly getting more and more delayed. Nintendo Direct on Wednesday filled the blanks in Nintendo’s grand scheme for this year with Wii U. There were many of the usual announcements, or in other words the further confirmation of titles that we already knew were coming.

Then it happened, Nintendo carted out Zelda. We all knew that it was going to come, but it seemed like a typical move to maintain interest. To further prove this point, and as a means of placating the masses between now and the release of Zelda Wii U, Nintendo announced a high definition remake of Windwaker on Wii U. As much as I love that particular title, I don’t think that a remake is necessary, and is a further proof of Nintendo’s reliance on Zelda. Windwaker, owing to the graphical style that just doesn’t age, and classic gameplay, just didn’t need to be given an update (unlike Ocarina of Time, which was hugely improved by it’s release on 3DS).

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One of the environments shown from Windwaker HD.

To be fair, Zelda is a fantastic trump card, but it is entirely over-used. Don’t misunderstand, I love the Zelda series and have enjoyed every game that I have played in the franchise, but it just agitates me a little that Nintendo rely on it so much to the detriment of new creative projects. Zelda has become such a huge deal, that it seems that too much emphasis is put on the next title and that other potential ideas may be lost to the ether. It’s not to say that I don’t look forward to new Zelda titles, just that it should come balanced with other new IPs too.

What do you think? Is Zelda becoming too over-used by Nintendo, or do you still love it all the same? Drop me a comment, or a Tweet @reubenmount.