Tag Archives: zelda

Why I Couldn’t Make A Game Of The Year List This Year (It’s Really Just Zelda)


The simple truth is, I finished way too few games that came out in 2017.

As of writing this I just finished Resident Evil 7 and never even touched YakuzaNierGravity RushNiohCuphead, and probably a lot else I can’t think of right now. I played a few hours of Persona 5 and Horizon: Zero Dawn, and might get started on Evil Within 2 right after I finish typing.

I did play through some good games in 2017. Overall I think this year was another good one to follow up 2015 and 2016. Games — particularly big-budget games and console games, are in the middle of a stride right now after what I saw as a sort of slump between 2012 and 2014. Very notable has been the comeback of Japanese third party console games — the ones I just said I hadn’t played, after people had been wondering where they’d gone since around 2005. That many of these games are only for PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 and PC, has also brought upon nostalgia for the era when people bought the original PlayStation and the PlayStation 2 for all their Japanese exclusives.

Nintendo’s first party output for the Switch in 2017 was a whirlwind. Putting such strong first party support into the Wii U which few people even bought allowed it to pump the Switch’s first year with ports from the Wii U which to most people were effectively new games. Really though, despite how great the games I played this year were (which I’ll get to further down), nothing came close to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for me.

I didn’t want to bother with ranking everything I played this year because when I thought about my favorite games of 2017, I asked myself “What 2017 game would I play right now, ignoring everything else like my backlog?” Zelda is pretty much the only answer I have. Continue reading

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Zelda Breath of the Wild is a Case Study in Game Tutorials


You know what else The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gets right that so many other open-world games miss? The tutorial.

I’ve heard very little mention of how the game’s initial area: The Great Plateau, does such a great job of being a thick tutorial without actually feeling like a tutorial. It’s worth comparing it to how a lot of other modern games, particularly open-world games. Continue reading

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What Cooking In Zelda Breath Of The Wild Gets Right


I haven’t had free time to do much else but play Zelda: Breath of the Wild so I guess I can talk about something else in it this week, like why I enjoy its cooking system so much compared crafting systems in other games.

When I start up a new blockbuster game, particularly a role-playing game, one of the things I dread being introduced to is the crafting system. Seemingly every game has to have one these days but the majority either feel like a needless stop on game progress or something I can just completely ignore. Mainly, Breath of the Wild does two things to make its cooking system, which is basically a crafting system, more enjoyable and rewarding. Continue reading

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What Q1 2017 Means, And Zelda’s Use Of Geography


My time over the last few weeks has been taken up by Zelda and a few other relatively big things going on in my life. I guess I can take a moment though to at least say something about my time with Zelda and look back at what has been an uncommonly good first quarter of the year in video games.

It almost feels like a fall release schedule in that there has simply been too much new stuff for any one person to play thoroughly, between Gravity Rush 2Yakuza 0Resident Evil 7NiohNier: AutomataHorizon: Zero DawnMass Effect: Andromeda, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. What’s interesting to look at though is that it has been an uncommonly good quarter for console games. Of what I mentioned, only RE7, Nier, and Andromeda have PC versions. If I’d been able to play these games I would have actually gotten some use out of my consoles. Possibly more important though is that this quarter likely signifies 2017 as sort of the year Japanese console games came back. Continue reading

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My Reactions To Different Weapon Durability Systems


Undoubtedly the most divisive feature in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been its weapon degradation system. The discussion over it has gotten me looking back at how I’ve reacted to weapon degradation in previous games only to find it hasn’t been a uniform reaction at all.

In short, weapon degradation is one of those things that in the context of game design is just a tool to be used in different ways. Different developers may use it to different effects for different kinds of games. Like open-worlds in general or quick-time events or whatever else, I don’t believe weapon degradation is universally good or bad. Continue reading

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Zelda’s Ongoing Timeline Wars


Pretty much as soon as the footage started rolling at E3 for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, did fan speculation about its place in the franchise’s overall timeline and lore begin. Personally, I’ve stopped caring about the timeline in itself, but the continual heated and lively discussion surrounding it is still a point of interest, and I find myself wondering about how Nintendo decided to handle it. Continue reading

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[E3 2016] Conference Round-Up


I’m gonna see if I can cram all my thoughts from all Monday’s and Tuesday’s E3 2016 presentations, so I’ll try to keep each subject brief. I won’t go over every press conference, just the games I’m actually interested in playing (not necessarily the only ones I think look good) along with some more general thoughts. Continue reading

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Beginnings And Memories With The Legend of Zelda


So the Zelda series turned 30 (in Japan) this past weekend. In the past I’ve already done a couple significant posts explaining my opinions on the series overall. They’re pretty fitting for this occasion. One thing I never really did on this site though was go over my initial experiences with and introduction to the Zelda games.

The subject fits right in with the second post I linked above, about why I personally like A Link to the Past above any of the other entries in the series. If you don’t want to read the posts above, I basically said it was the most advanced Zelda game made before they started getting over-informative about where things are and what you’re supposed to do. It’s still a beautiful-looking game with great atmosphere where you’re tossed into the world and trusted to find and decipher its secrets largely on your own. I think that atmosphere was enhanced by the nature of my first real experience playing ALTTP. Continue reading

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Video Game Anniversaries That Will Occur in 2016

Here it is — the list of what gaming-related anniversaries I found are taking place in 2016. This year is a big one too. A lot of major franchises are celebrating major anniversaries, to the point where some other websites have already taken notice. Red Bull in particular is totally on it. Many publishers of these major games have already begun to mark the anniversaries with new game releases too.

Part of this is because 2016 marks a major anniversary for at least two past console cycle transitions. This year it will have been 15 years since 2001, which was not only when the Gamecuube and original Xbox launched, but also when the PS2 received an absolutely monstrous lineup that included the beginnings of some franchises and major entries in others. 20 years ago was 1996 which was a transformative year in 3D video game design — three of the most influential 3D games came out that year. 1991, 1986, and 1981 also saw some major beginnings and landmarks a lot of people might not notice today. Continue reading

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So You Want To Start Playing Zelda

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Every once in a while I see someone asking where to start on the Zelda games and how to proceed through the series, and to be honest I find that a very hard question to answer. The Legend of Zelda is definitely a favored franchise in video games with one of the highest standards in game design quality if you ask me, but it’s also a divisive series with a lot of variety. There’s really no linear scale of “this game is better than this one is better than this one,” or even a scale of how advanced each game is compared to others.

All the discussions I’ve seen over the series have taught me one main thing: nobody really agrees on what even makes ZeldaZelda. People love the games for a wide range of reasons which leads them to prefer some games over others. Almost all Zelda games fit into the same “genre” or “formula,” but they still manage to offer different things. People talk about how Dark Souls is a proper modern Zelda, but I don’t think they’re the same type of game at all. Others say God of War is better, but I don’t even understand how you could compare the games. At the same time I like comparing Zelda to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus which has gotten me odd stares.

I don’t think it makes sense at all to list specific games everyone should or shouldn’t play. Instead I’m going to try to go over what I think individual games and the series overall offer for different people who may want different things from video games.

TL,DR List of Suggested Zelda Games For Newcomers Based on Different Qualities
(Disclaimer: I haven’t played the Oracle games or Minish Cap)

Starter Games That Best Summarize Zelda:
A Link to the Past — Wii U Virtual Console
Link’s Awakening — 3DS Virtual Console
Twilight Princess — Gamecube

I Want Epic Exploration:
A Link to the Past — Wii U Virtual Console
Twilight Princess — Wii
Wind Waker — Wii U

I Want Puzzles/Good Level Design:
Just about all of them starting with A Link to the Past

I Want Challenging Combat:
The Legend of Zelda — Any Virtual Console
Zelda II — Any Virtual Console
A Link to the Past — Wii U Virtual Console
Link’s Awakening — 3DS Virtual Console

I Want An Open-Ended Systemic Game:
The Legend of Zelda — Any Virtual Console
A Link Between Worlds (Kinda) — 3DS

Odd Men Out:
Majora’s Mask — 3DS
Zelda II — Any Virtual Console
Phantom Hourglass — DS
Spirit Tracks — DS

My Favorite Games Like Zelda:
Okami (Epic exploration, atmosphere) — PS3 Digital
3D Dot Game Heroes (Challenging combat) — PS3
Mega Man Legends (Exploration, charm) — PS1/N64
Mega Man Legends 2 (Same as above) — PS1
Ico (Puzzles, level design, and atmosphere) — PS3
Shadow of the Colossus (Bosses and atmosphere) — PS3 Continue reading

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