2. And then when Nintendo does do a game with little change in what we know of Zelda from the original games, people complain it's not innovative enough. Link has been a swordsman in every game but Crossbow Training, random other elements added and explained to add some variety to the game in no way strips out what Zelda is at it's core. I think it's really tiresome and a no-win situation seeing half the fans acting like every game but the first three is an insult to what Zelda is and the other half acting like any facet of the games that's familiar, like dungeons with a volcanic backdrop, are horribly unoriginal and immediately damn the game to being considered as such as whole. I think a good Star Wars comparison would actually be that Zelda has almost as much of a nitpicky, unpleasable fanbase as SW.
I think a better comparison would be the Sonic the Hedgehog fanbase and my response is the exact same for all three examples. The unpleasable fanbase is a sympton of a series falling into decline. Strong franchises never have an unpleasable fanbase precisely because they are strong and appeal to many different people. We might not all enjoy a series like Harry Potter for the same reasons but we can all find something to enjoy in Harry Potter. As a franchise starts to lose the elements that people liked about it, fans start to complain.
That all said, the unpleasable fanbase is really just an illusion. The fans appear to have contradicting arguments but really they are expressing different aspects of the same problem.
For example, you say that there are two contradicting arguments about Zelda:
-There is too much familiarity.
-There is too much change.
I agree with both those statements. Nintendo changes some things from game to game but it also maintains other things like a tradition. The problem is that Nintendo changes all the WRONG things and they maintain all the WRONG things.
An example of what Nintendo should not have changed is the classic swordplay. What gave the combat depth in the early 2D games was crowd control; the player had to position Link to hit the enemies while avoiding being hit by the enemies and their projectiles. Fighting the Darknuts or the Boomerang Moblins was always a challenge but more importantly they were an infinitely replayable challenge. But when Zelda went 3D and introduced one-to-one combat, it lost most of its depth because positioning and dealing with multiple threats no longer mattered. Just watch the enemy reveal its weakpoint and strike, rinse and repeat ad nauseum. The challenge dies quickly and you just go through the motions. And in the new 2D games, Nintendo have made the enemies so weak and sparse that they are no longer a threat.
An example of what Nintendo should have got rid of by now is the familiar dungeon themes of forest, fire, water, etc. We've already explored these kinds of dungeons, they're not exciting anymore. It's the same with Sonic where the developers keep reusing old areas like Casino Nights zone. Developers should be taking players to new and exciting places. If I had to cite a memorable dungeon in the newer Zelda games, it's the Sky City from Twilight Princess. This is a place we hadn't really visited before in a Zelda game so that was exciting. But why can't all the dungeons be like that?
There are many other things to complain about, such as Aonuma's repeated attempts at killing the traditional overworld and filling every empty space in the game with unengaging and unreplayable puzzles. But then I expect everyone here is already more than fed up with me bashing Zelda all over again so I'll leave it at that. Hopefully it answers your question anyway.