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Zelda's fanbase (response to FDL)


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#1 Raien

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:45 AM

This is a response to a post in the "Skyward Sword's ending" topic but is too off-topic.

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.

#2 FDL

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:07 AM

That's not really true, to say that a whiny fanbase is an indication of a decline in something is simply untrue. Simply having a lot of other bashers on your side does not indicate a current lack of quality, especially when a lot of them are nitpicking exclusively.

Certain criticisms are valid, I suppose. For instance, the ALttP example I can sorta see your point on, but at the same time it's not really true that ALttP's combat was particularly fun. I think over the head games really can never have the same control, and thus fun, of a 3D game. And the idea that they've only ever tried to change the wrong things and kept the wrong things the same is also pretty ridiculous to me. We don't need to turn this into a giant discussion if everyone else is fed up with your criticisms already, but this "good ol' days" complaining is pretty tiresome to me, and doesn't really feel apt at all. I prefer the traditional overworld, but I also think SS looks pretty great all around. And LoZ and AoL are honestly lower-tier Zelda games in my eyes.

#3 Sir Deimos

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:27 AM

That's not really true, to say that a whiny fanbase is an indication of a decline in something is simply untrue. Simply having a lot of other bashers on your side does not indicate a current lack of quality, especially when a lot of them are nitpicking exclusively.


I agree. It stands more likely to reason that the opposite of what Raien claims is true. When the fan base is so divided it's an indicator of a series beloved by many. If anything such fan bases show a game series is incredibly successful.

#4 Raien

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 11:56 AM

That's not really true, to say that a whiny fanbase is an indication of a decline in something is simply untrue. Simply having a lot of other bashers on your side does not indicate a current lack of quality, especially when a lot of them are nitpicking exclusively.


You're misinterpreting the fans' reactions. You're looking at what they say but you're not understanding WHY they're saying it.

Entertainment is about appealing to people's emotions and emotions are nigh impossible to articulate well. When people feel satisfied or dissatisfied about a story or game, the easiest way to express that satisfaction or dissatisfaction is by highlighting certain aspects of it. In that regard, comments about small things are meant to be representative of the experience at large.

For example, if Person A says that they love Skyward Sword because they enjoy the Wii Motion Plus swordplay, is that nitpicking? After all, they only highlighted a small part of the overall game and completely ignored a lot of other aspects about it. We would say no, it's clear that Person A is highlighting the swordplay as an example of the general experience.

I hate the general experience that Spirit Tracks provides, but if I was asked to elaborate on that, I would be forced to highlight specific things I hated, such as the trains. It's not meant to be nitpicking, it's meant to reflect why the game in general is bad.

#5 FDL

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:12 PM

I just don't think certain criticisms are really valid ones if you're trying to say a game is actually bad, as opposed to simply being something you don't like. A lot of criticisms I see from the fanbase are extremely hypocritical and nitpicky, yet they seem to expect everyone should take them as a wholesale indication that the game sucks.

#6 Raien

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:54 PM

I just don't think certain criticisms are really valid ones if you're trying to say a game is actually bad, as opposed to simply being something you don't like. A lot of criticisms I see from the fanbase are extremely hypocritical and nitpicky, yet they seem to expect everyone should take them as a wholesale indication that the game sucks.


If I'm honest, it sounds like you're just having trouble consolidating other people's opinions with your own. When people tell me that they hate games that I like, I don't try to find "validity" in their arguments. I don't try to make up justifications for why their opinions don't matter (at least I don't anymore). I just accept that their taste in games differ from mine, perhaps the very reason why they play games is different from my own. I don't feel threatened by it. Of course I'm still very opinionated myself but I don't feel like I have to find the "correct" opinion or anything.

#7 FDL

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 01:01 PM

Actually, maybe I didn't get it across well, but I'm taking issue with the way other people do exactly that. If you personally aren't a fan of something obviously that's fine, I only take issue with the high amount of people who try to act like Twilight Princess was objectively terrible because they didn't like the lack of MM-esque sidequests, or act like TWW was objectively the best Zelda game ever. I'm not saying I think I have all the answers, I'm saying if people act like they do then I can't really let that sit as easily.

#8 Selena

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 01:07 PM

I'd agree that the Zelda fanbase is immensely difficult to please - but that might be because we have a whole section dedicated to it here, so I notice it more. "Too much change! Not enough change! They changed the artistic style, now it sucks! No more Ganondorf! Why no Ganondorf?! The new plot ruins the timeline I invented!"

It's possible that you're simply outgrowing Zelda.

No, really. I stopped playing Zelda in the same way that I stopped playing Final Fantasy - the games didn't necessarily get 'bad,' they just started to get unappealing as my playing habits changed. Both the classic titles and the modern ones. There's only one Final Fantasy game (out of CCXIV) that I can still happily play. Maybe two Zelda games. ALttP is not one of them, for the record. It was harder than modern titles, but the difficulty comes more from the controls than the actual game.

Zelda's a jack of all trades/master of none series. Other games do swordplay better. Other games do puzzles better. Other games do exploration better. Other games do the fairy tale element better. Other games do gadgets better. Zelda simply combines them all into one package.

And since the most recent complaint is about the story/writing, this should be hit home: Nintendo is bad at writing. Always has been. The better games make no attempts at plot and instead focus on ambiance. Super Metroid? No narrative, no one to talk to. Mario games? A real plot is irrelevant because he's a plumber that kills things by jumping on their heads and turns the corpses into coins from the sheer force of his impact. Donkey Kong? Plot is bananas. Other games have a tiny bit of plot for explanatory purposes, but it's usually nuts and people ignore it in favor of actually playing the game. Star Fox is a good example for that one. As tragic as it is that an anthropomorphic fox fighter pilot was killed by a giant space monkey, you're typically better off ignoring it all in favor of flying around in your Arwing.

Zelda can cause friction because Nintendo actually tries, half-heartily, to give it a plot. And worse yet, they make allusions to there being some franchise-wide timeline when all the games (except for direct sequels) would probably do much better if they were considered standalone titles. Which is how I've always played them. So you've got a company that's notoriously bad at proper writing attempting to make a loose plot spanning multiple games - it is no surprise that "the story" is both nonsensical and disappointing.



Rather than try to force Zelda to fit into a certain mold, perhaps you're better off finding a new game that already has everything you're looking for.

#9 FDL

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 01:33 PM

Well said, Selena. You got across the overall crux of what I'm trying to say better than I did. And what's also strange is certain people seem to want to put Zelda in a mold that's never been Zelda. I'll sometimes see people simultaneously complaining that Twilight Princess' overworld is barren while saying Zelda should be more like Shadow of the Colossus, which has less side quests than any Zelda game ever.

#10 Raien

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 02:34 PM

Actually, maybe I didn't get it across well, but I'm taking issue with the way other people do exactly that. If you personally aren't a fan of something obviously that's fine, I only take issue with the high amount of people who try to act like Twilight Princess was objectively terrible because they didn't like the lack of MM-esque sidequests, or act like TWW was objectively the best Zelda game ever. I'm not saying I think I have all the answers, I'm saying if people act like they do then I can't really let that sit as easily.


I know what you mean but honestly I think you'll find it's not worth it. I used to think that people online should preface their opinions with "And this is just my opinion..." but the fact is it goes without saying that people are expressing personal opinions, even when those opinions are very strong. You shouldn't let the wording get to you. It's not like forum posters have any real influence anyway.


It's possible that you're simply outgrowing Zelda.

No, really. I stopped playing Zelda in the same way that I stopped playing Final Fantasy - the games didn't necessarily get 'bad,' they just started to get unappealing as my playing habits changed. Both the classic titles and the modern ones. There's only one Final Fantasy game (out of CCXIV) that I can still happily play. Maybe two Zelda games. ALttP is not one of them, for the record. It was harder than modern titles, but the difficulty comes more from the controls than the actual game.


My situation with Zelda is kind of complicated at the moment. The franchise is practically dead to me (I sold the DS games long ago) and I'm not expecting Skyward Sword to be any good either but I'm still getting the game because I want closure with the series. Also, Nintendo are bundling the gold Wii remote and soundtrack CD that I really want to own. But that said, I wouldn't have posted here about Zelda again had I not seen that ending, which still manages to upset me even after I've become apathetic about everything else.

But already I know that my reasons for hating modern Zelda are not just due to a change in my playing habits. This past week, I've had something of a revelation. I beat the original Legend of Zelda for the first time without a map or guide and I suddenly understood why the game was so exciting for players back in 1986. I posted my impressions on another forum:

Believe it or not, this playthrough has made me completely rethink my opinion of LoZ1 as a younger gamer. The thing that's surprised me most in this playthrough is that almost all the hidden caves I imagined were really important in my earlier playthroughs didn't have anything I really needed besides a couple of heart containers. I've since realised that what's been making it difficult to get into LoZ1 in the past is that the game requires a very different kind of logic from the later games in the series. In ALttP, for example, you're expected to find and bomb all the cracked walls you find because they often hide important items like heart pieces. So when I bring that expectation over to LoZ1, it immediately becomes a source of frustration that I can't find all the hidden caves easily. Even seeing on a map guide that most of the caves have nothing of importance, my brain is wired to connect "hidden caves" with "important items" and I find myself wanting to acquire all the secret things in the game. Of course, players starting with LoZ1 on the NES would not have even known about the hidden caves until one of the dungeons reveals that you can bomb certain walls. In playing this game again I can now see a logic trail by which new players start to discover how everything operates in the game.

For the longest time I've thought of LoZ1 as a game with lots of trial-and-error but in fact that's not the case at all. All the important items are hidden in easy-to-find places such as under statues or in visible caves. The dungeons behind hidden entrances always give you some clue to their location by simply standing out from other parts of the game. The dungeons themselves follow a simple logic pattern that can be quickly and easily figured out. It's only in the second quest where you actually need trial-and-error to beat the game.

[...]

Although I never played LoZ1 the way it was meant to be played, I can appreciate it because I got a very similar experience playing Dragon's Curse, a TG-16 game on the Wii Virtual Console. Despite being a side-scroller, it has the same kind of structure as LoZ1 where the game lets you explore freely but also guides you to making logical deductions that help you get to the end. My first playthrough was one of the most exciting experiences I'd had in about a year although the game's combat let it down in repeat playthroughs. LoZ1's combat is so good that it keeps me coming back.


Aside from the game's combat which I've already said I believe has much more depth than modern Zelda games, I've realised that what makes the early games so engaging is that you have to progress by experimenting with the game's world and learn its rules for yourself. It's hard to describe how intelligent it makes you feel when you make your own discoveries. It also means that secrets stay well hidden so there's a good chance that you'll discover something new or something you've forgotten in repeat playthroughs.

But the following day I then got out The Minish Cap, a game I used to enjoy, and I found that the game was so unengaging that I had to play videos online just to give my brain something to do. I was literally playing the game on auto-pilot. I then popped in The Wind Waker and the same thing happened; I was playing on auto-pilot. These games used to be fun for me but they have no replay value because they are all about puzzles and puzzles have no replay value. My opinion of the newer games has changed not because I have changed my gaming habits but because the novelty of the games themselves has worn off.

So yes, I'll definitely be looking at other series to give me the classic Action RPG experience. I mentioned Dragon's Curse earlier and I recently downloaded a game called Light Crusader which looks like it could be fun. And for the first time ever I'm actually looking forward to playing Zelda II which I have never seriously played before, let alone beaten. That all said, I would pay Nintendo good money to see them bring back the classic gameplay in a new game.

Edited by Raien, 31 October 2011 - 03:01 PM.


#11 Egann

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 02:25 PM

I'd agree that the Zelda fanbase is immensely difficult to please - but that might be because we have a whole section dedicated to it here, so I notice it more. "Too much change! Not enough change! They changed the artistic style, now it sucks! No more Ganondorf! Why no Ganondorf?! The new plot ruins the timeline I invented!"<br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; background-color: rgb(250, 251, 252); "><br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; background-color: rgb(250, 251, 252); ">It's possible that you're simply outgrowing Zelda. <br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; background-color: rgb(250, 251, 252); "><br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; background-color: rgb(250, 251, 252); ">No, really. I stopped playing Zelda in the same way that I stopped playing Final Fantasy - the games didn't necessarily get 'bad,' they just started to get unappealing as my playing habits changed. Both the classic titles and the modern ones. There's only one Final Fantasy game (out of CCXIV) that I can still happily play. Maybe two Zelda games. ALttP is not one of them, for the record. It was harder than modern titles, but the difficulty comes more from the controls than the actual game. <br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; background-color: rgb(250, 251, 252); "><br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; background-color: rgb(250, 251, 252); ">Zelda's a jack of all trades/master of none series. Other games do swordplay better. Other games do puzzles better. Other games do exploration better. Other games do the fairy tale element better. Other games do gadgets better. Zelda simply combines them all into one package.


Let me just throw this out there; with the exception of Majora's Mask, there's no Zelda title I play for story, or for swordplay, for exploration, for ANY of those. I play purely for the things the gameplay DOESN'T have. In Zelda, I don't have to fight a quest journal or an inventory screen; it's all simple and straightforward, so I can turn my brain off and enjoy. It's literally the one game series I WON'T grow out of because it's the lowest common denominator game.

That said, it's interesting you bring up Final Fantasy, because in a lot of ways Zelda and FF are opposites, Zelda dying a slow and painful death of too little innovation, always the same characters and roughly the same story, while Final Fantasy has for the longest time struggled with controlling and properly developing the overkill creativity they insist upon.


I want to point out is that the "OMG Miria is dead" incident in Claymore taught me something rather fundamental about fiction mediums in general; you don't loose customers by making them angry about what you've done to the characters they care about, you loose them by making them just not care anymore. Yes, you could and probably would enrage Zelda's base by making a game which fundamentally shook up the Zelda form, but if the game is good in its own merits and is a recognizable Zelda title, they would come back eventually.

There are a lot of ways Nintendo could do this; make Link an old man struggling with arthritis (shades of MGS4), give him an apprentice or partner to shake up combat and puzzles, write a story with strong elements of intrigue, make conversations be a key part of gameplay...but Nintendo never will. Not while Iwata is in charge of Zelda, anyway.
More responses later; I have to go to work.

#12 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 03:57 AM

I kind of achieved a zen a few weeks ago and realized that pretty much all fandoms are impossible to please and it's pointless to even try. Especially as it ages. Fans wear nostalgia goggles that effect their perceptions even while they play a game, and might dislike a newer game for doing the same thing that a beloved older game did, or vice versa with not doing things, and wanting things to stay the same but also wanting something new but unable to enjoy copies of the old stuff because they've already seen it.

A good example is Silent Hill. The game became famous by using the Playstations poor draw distance to create a fog effect, but I've seen complaints about the newer games having such minor graphical errors as a character's teeth looking weird if you look close.

Or they might hate a newer game for having finer tuned combat gameplay, saying Silent Hill was never about action and that the terrible controls of the old game added to the horror. But don't take away the combat entirely because then it's not Silent Hill anymore. Nevermind Silent Hill 3, one of the most beloved entries, emphasized combat so much that you had to rack up points to get the alternate ending, plus all the weapons and costumes.

Don't do a game based on the cult storyline because we're bored of that, but the game better be part of the bigger Silent Hill mythos or we'll be mad.

Don't put Pyramid Head in this game unless he means something. But we want Pyramid Head. But he's James' monster. But we don't want a sequel to James' story.

The movie should've been exactly like the first game. But don't copy it exactly, that'd be boring.

If you use new Otherworld imagery like the Ice then it's not Silent Hill, we want the blood and rust. But the Blood and Rust is symbolic to Alessa so don't just rip it off.

The new Shattered Memories game with the psychological profile system sucks because it changes the game based on how you play. It's totally ripping off Silent Hill 2.

These are all complaints I've actually read. From the same people. Not too fans disagreeing. The same person saying these things in posts in the same threads, not realizing their own doublethink.

And it happens in every fucking fandom I've ever seen.

Fuck fandoms. Seriously. Corporations should stop trying to please us because it's not doing anyone involved any favors. The people asking for it don't even like what they get because they have impossible standards that no game, or movie, or whatever has ever met, they just take the first thing they fall in love with and put it on a pedestal.

#13 SOAP

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:17 AM

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.


I get what you're saying. Not that agree, or rather I think what exactly the wrong things are are up to debate. I liked the sword play introduced in OoT and the motion controls in SS is an excellent evolutionary step up from that. But then again I come the generation that was first introduced to Zelda through OoT. I was aware of Zelda back in the early nineties but I was more into Mario (a cookie for anyone who remembers what my username actually stands for) up until I saw my cousin playing OoT one day and I fell in love with it right away. That's were I think most of the difficulties within the fanbase lie. Nintendo seems to cater to the OoT generation more whereas most of the complaints seem to come from those who had been with the series since the NES days. An exception though would be when TWW's graphical style was first introduced and it was the OoT generation that cried foul while the NES generation pointed at Zelda possibly going back to back it's simpler roots. Of course, TWW brought in it's own generation of gamers as did TP. So you end up with a very diverse fanbase, all coming into the series at different times, all with their own perceptions of what the series should be. Of course the fanbase will be unpleaseable. You can't please everyone. Someone's bound to bitch because Link's tunic is the wrong shade of green.

Funny you mentioned Harry Potter though. I think that fanbase was easy to please was JK Rowling just stuck with what she wanted to do with the story. I think that's what Nintendo should do instead of figuring out how to please their entire fanbase all at once.

Edited by SOAP, 02 November 2011 - 06:50 AM.


#14 Raien

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 06:22 AM

Funny you mentioned Harry Potter though. I think that fanbase was easy to please was JK Rowling just stuck with what she wanted to do with the story.


That's not entirely true because J.K. Rowling sharply took the series down a darker war-themed route and I have yet to see anyone say this made the books better. Oh sure, it wasn't nearly bad enough to hurt the franchise but I don't think "letting the creators do what they want" is a good argument. Also, Nintendo have pretty much established that they are already doing whatever the fuck they want.


But all this discussion reminds me of something I'd long since forgotten about. Back in 2004, Nintendo released a teaser trailer for the game that would become Twilight Princess. I remember this trailer generating huge, huge excitement from all quarters, especially the E3 audience who stood up and applauded wildly when the trailer ended (something that has never happened for any other Zelda trailer since). I personally must have watched the trailer a dozen times in succession when I first got it. This was the stuff that dreams are made of.



But of course, none of the content in this trailer actually made it into the final game. Even the lizard swordsmen which looked scary and awesome in the trailer were reduced to complete wimps in the final game. But the trailer itself looks exactly like what the original Legend of Zelda would look like if it was rendered in 3D. It's almost all action, fending off Moblins on horseback, rains of arrows in the dark forests and there's a real sense of danger about the whole experience. There's only one part that sticks out looking dated and unexciting and that's the obligatory block-pushing puzzle. But if Nintendo made a game that was representative of the rest of that trailer, I believe that game could save the Zelda series.

Edited by Raien, 02 November 2011 - 06:24 AM.


#15 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 01:10 PM

Why does the Zelda series need saving? What indication is there that Zelda has fallen, is going wrong, isn't successful, or is lower quality aside from your personal, subjective dissatisfaction?

#16 Raien

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 02:54 PM

Why does the Zelda series need saving? What indication is there that Zelda has fallen, is going wrong, isn't successful, or is lower quality aside from your personal, subjective dissatisfaction?


Simple. I listen to other people's opinions and the vast majority harbour either dissatisfaction or disinterest with the Zelda series. Then there's the fact that Zelda is no longer an inspiration for other fantasy adventure games when it used to be famous for defining adventures in gaming. Then there's the fact that Zelda used to be a part of general popular culture (it was seen as a companion to 2D Mario, which back then everyone was playing) but is now more associated with geek culture and "hardcore" gaming.

When you go to the Zelda fansites and read the gaming media and see nothing but cultlike worship for Zelda, it's hard to appreciate that this is not what established Zelda's success in the first place. Zelda used to be enjoyed in the same way that 2D Mario was enjoyed, as a game that family and friends could get around and try to beat by helping each other explore the game, even though only one player could actually control the game at a time. This kind of gaming experience is still highly valued as the continued success of 2D Mario proves. Bring that experience back to Zelda and Nintendo could solve most of their problems. More people would buy it therefore making it a more important part of popular culture and the chance of other developers imitating it to replicate that success would be greater, thus making Zelda more relevant to gaming as an entertainment medium.

Edited by Raien, 02 November 2011 - 03:00 PM.


#17 Veteran

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 03:19 PM

Zelda used to be enjoyed in the same way that 2D Mario was enjoyed, as a game that family and friends could get around and try to beat by helping each other explore the game, even though only one player could actually control the game at a time. .

Really? Because for me growing up Zelda was the exact opposite. Zelda was always 'lone child in their bedroom' gaming rather than 'invite your friends over' gaming. It's only in the last 8 to 10 years I've thought of Zelda as being being more widely appreciated among non-fans.

#18 Raien

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 03:32 PM

Really? Because for me growing up Zelda was the exact opposite. Zelda was always 'lone child in their bedroom' gaming rather than 'invite your friends over' gaming. It's only in the last 8 to 10 years I've thought of Zelda as being being more widely appreciated among non-fans.


Playing Zelda with friends is more dependent on everyone having the same access to the game because of how much exploration is involved. But if friends have their own copies or choose to explore the game together (easier for families), it's the kind of game that you can help other people play. Most arcade-style games have that factor where non-players can easily see and compute the player's progress (and with a degree of enjoyment if they think they are legitimately helping the player). But it's harder for spectators to enjoy modern Zelda in that way because of how easy and linear the game has become. There's no point where the spectator will want to become involved.

As for Zelda being more widely appreciated by non-fans, the fact that they're non-fans is indicative of what kind of interest Zelda is generating. Brand recognition does not mean your product is popular. Everyone knows about Spider-man comics but you'd be hardpressed to find people who actually buy Spider-man comics.

Edited by Raien, 02 November 2011 - 03:51 PM.


#19 Veteran

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:04 PM

No offence, and it might just be me, but I don't understand anything you just said. :huh:

#20 Raien

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:14 PM

No offence, and it might just be me, but I don't understand anything you just said. :huh:


Let me put it like this. Miyamoto once said that the point of the original Zelda game was communication. The game was designed so that players would want to talk to each other about the game in order to help each other beat it. This was a fantastic idea but it was never exclusive to Zelda. It's a trait that most arcade-style games possess (and even many PC strategy games). Modern Zelda, however, does not possess it. You'll rarely see two people helping each other beat a Zelda game because they're easy enough for one person to beat by themselves. This is a problem for Zelda as social experiences are one of the big draws of video gaming as an entertainment medium.

Edited by Raien, 02 November 2011 - 04:24 PM.


#21 Chukchi Husky

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:24 PM

Is it a bad thing that I managed to complete A Link to the Past but I never finished any of the newer Zelda games because I got stuck?

#22 Raien

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:26 PM

Is it a bad thing that I managed to complete A Link to the Past but I never finished any of the newer Zelda games because I got stuck?


Not at all (it takes some decent skills to beat ALttP), but I don't think yours is the experience that most people have with Modern Zelda.

Edited by Raien, 02 November 2011 - 04:28 PM.


#23 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:52 PM

Simple. I listen to other people's opinions and the vast majority harbour either dissatisfaction or disinterest with the Zelda series. Then there's the fact that Zelda is no longer an inspiration for other fantasy adventure games when it used to be famous for defining adventures in gaming. Then there's the fact that Zelda used to be a part of general popular culture (it was seen as a companion to 2D Mario, which back then everyone was playing) but is now more associated with geek culture and "hardcore" gaming.


And where are you getting, like...ANY of this information?

I'd like to point out that "Zelda-like" is still considered a subgenre, by the way.

#24 Selena

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 07:12 PM

Let me put it like this. Miyamoto once said that the point of the original Zelda game was communication. The game was designed so that players would want to talk to each other about the game in order to help each other beat it. This was a fantastic idea but it was never exclusive to Zelda. It's a trait that most arcade-style games possess (and even many PC strategy games). Modern Zelda, however, does not possess it. You'll rarely see two people helping each other beat a Zelda game because they're easy enough for one person to beat by themselves. This is a problem for Zelda as social experiences are one of the big draws of video gaming as an entertainment medium.


And then GameFAQs came into existence, and nobody needed to talk to each other ever again.


I don't know about you guys, but I've never played Zelda with other people getting involved. Or any single-player arcade game, for that matter. And if I did, then the conversations usually went like this:

"YOU SUCK, NO, GO OVER THERE."
"STOP BACKSEAT GAMING."
"THAT WA--"
"NO, NOT THAT WAY, THERE'S A THING OVER HERE I WANT."
"YOU'RE GOING TO GET HIT."
"I AM NO- OHSHIT."
"I TOLD YOU."
"MAYBE YOU SHOULD STOP DISTRACTING ME BEFORE I THROW THE CONTROLLER AT YOUR FACE."

#25 Sir Turtlelot

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:43 PM

Let me put it like this. Miyamoto once said that the point of the original Zelda game was communication. The game was designed so that players would want to talk to each other about the game in order to help each other beat it. This was a fantastic idea but it was never exclusive to Zelda. It's a trait that most arcade-style games possess (and even many PC strategy games). Modern Zelda, however, does not possess it. You'll rarely see two people helping each other beat a Zelda game because they're easy enough for one person to beat by themselves. This is a problem for Zelda as social experiences are one of the big draws of video gaming as an entertainment medium.


And then GameFAQs came into existence, and nobody needed to talk to each other ever again.


I don't know about you guys, but I've never played Zelda with other people getting involved. Or any single-player arcade game, for that matter. And if I did, then the conversations usually went like this:

"YOU SUCK, NO, GO OVER THERE."
"STOP BACKSEAT GAMING."
"THAT WA--"
"NO, NOT THAT WAY, THERE'S A THING OVER HERE I WANT."
"YOU'RE GOING TO GET HIT."
"I AM NO- OHSHIT."
"I TOLD YOU."
"MAYBE YOU SHOULD STOP DISTRACTING ME BEFORE I THROW THE CONTROLLER AT YOUR FACE."

^This, so much this. It reminds me of when me and Ikiosho play games together.

Edited by Sir Turtlelot, 02 November 2011 - 10:53 PM.


#26 Raien

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:34 PM

And then GameFAQs came into existence, and nobody needed to talk to each other ever again.


Then the answer is for Nintendo to rely less on secrets and puzzles (which FAQs exploit) and beef up the combat instead. FAQs were of little help for facing the Darknuts and Boomerang Moblins in the original Legend of Zelda. All players could do was post their strategies, which are much more interesting to read and never game-breaking. It would also keep the "communication" part of the game going.

But alas, Aonuma is by his own admission turning the combat into puzzles with Skyward Sword so there goes the last bastion of the franchise. I actually have a few things to say about this recent quotation by Aonuma:

I think, yeah, when you look at the combat in the past, in the 2d zelda games, they had bugged controls, and they where really not difficult to win, you just had to press buttons a lot to win, there were not much variations in the way you do it, so - but it is very differently in Skyward Sword, because with motion plus you can hit orizzontaly, vertically, and diagonally, and the enemies will also react, so with some enemies you'll have to do sudden moves to win, it's not just how much you hit the enemy, you have to find out how you can defeat it, so in a way in Skyward Sword the battles become like a puzzle, and i think this is one of the big, big benefit of introducing Wii motion plus to the Zelda series, because it really fits it very well. The puzzle solving now also kind of include the fight that you have long way.


http://www.zeldainformer.com/2011/11/multiplayerit-interviews-eiji-aonuma-and-talks-skyward-sword.html

1) 2D Zelda had bugged controls? It's scary that the leader of Zelda's production team is complaining about problems that nobody else experienced.

2) 2D Zelda was not difficult to win? This is the guy who said he never beat the original Legend of Zelda because he couldn't get past the Octoroks.

3) The comment that 2D Zelda's combat was repetitive is very reminiscient of Sakamoto's Other M interviews, in which he said Other M was designed to get rid of the "repetitive gameplay" in the classic Metroid games.


It's kind of funny. Mario, Zelda and Metroid are considered the Big Three of Nintendo's franchises.

Miyamoto, Mario's creator, is now openly admitting (even in a very recent Iwata Asks) to trying to kill 2D Mario by replacing it with 3D Mario.
Aonuma, head of Zelda, is now openly admitting to try and kill 2D Zelda's classic gameplay.
Sakamoto, one of Metroid's creators, is now openly admitting to try and kill 2D Metroid's classic gameplay.

And Nintendo wonders why their franchises are in decline.

Edited by Raien, 03 November 2011 - 01:45 PM.


#27 MikePetersSucks

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:50 PM

And all of those series have been running for more than TWENTY YEARS. Things need to change, sometimes. If you don't like it, well, the games you liked aren't going to disappear.

#28 Raien

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:10 PM

And all of those series have been running for more than TWENTY YEARS. Things need to change, sometimes. If you don't like it, well, the games you liked aren't going to disappear.


I agree that things need to change but why can't they change for the better? Nintendo already made the perfect sequel in Super Mario Bros. 3, proving that the best way to sustain interest in your franchise is my expanding upon the fundamental rules of the game. Why can't we get that kind of change instead of dumbed-down gimmicks and puzzles?

Edited by Raien, 03 November 2011 - 02:10 PM.


#29 Selena

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:31 PM

Miyamoto, Mario's creator, is now openly admitting (even in a very recent Iwata Asks) to trying to kill 2D Mario by replacing it with 3D Mario.
Aonuma, head of Zelda, is now openly admitting to try and kill 2D Zelda's classic gameplay.
Sakamoto, one of Metroid's creators, is now openly admitting to try and kill 2D Metroid's classic gameplay.


Okay, really.

They are "killing" classic 2D gameplay because it's been obsolete for over ten - no, fifteen - years. At least in major console titles. And it's not coming back.

All the arcade games you love will be found in the virtual marketplaces. And there are some great ones - some ever better than most SNES titles. Arcade gaming is not dead. It's getting a nice little renaissance, even. But you're looking for the 2D experience in all the wrong places if you expect to see it in any major modern title. Play Bastion.

Every franchise that's been around since the 80's has had major facelifts and substantial changes in gameplay.



Also, classic Metroidvania gameplay WAS repetitive. So even if Other M sucked, that isn't a false statement. Also not a false statement that Zelda is repetitive. It's been "wander from dungeon to dungeon" for a good many years now. The only thing that changed was the methods of wandering. That's what turned me away from the series more than anything else. It got tedious.


Nintendo's problem is the gimmicks - either based on motion control technology (Prime 3 remains the only game I thought it felt natural in) or on yet another legendary item thing. They don't give Zelda any proper facelifts. They just do superficial changes to mildly distract you from the fact that it's still "dungeon to dungeon grabbing mundane objects in order to defeat the bad guy just like you did in all the other games." Zelda arguably suffers from this more than any other big Nintendo franchise. Despite your disdain for them, I like the 3D Mario games. Metroid also got a much needed, beneficial update with the Prime games. Though whether they retain that in future games is anyone's guess after Other M.

Zelda.... is kinda just the same thing, even with all the art changes and different abilities.



I personally think Link on an Odyssey-type quest would be fun. Desperately trying to get back to Hyrule after questing in a far-off land, facing perils along the way. Never staying in the same spot. Always traveling, exploring, an acquiring new items along the way until you finally get home. Hunted by some elusive foe.

#30 Elvenlord

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:42 PM

I personally think Link on an Odyssey-type quest would be fun. Desperately trying to get back to Hyrule after questing in a far-off land, facing perils along the way. Never staying in the same spot. Always traveling, exploring, an acquiring new items along the way until you finally get home. Hunted by some elusive foe.


This. Do this. Someone. Right now.




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