What is the Legend of Zelda to you? Is it simply a game that you enjoy to pass the time with, or is it something more meaningful? Have you been enjoying journeys through Hyrule for most of your life, or have you only recently tried you hand at your first adventure as Link, the hero in green? We all have our stories, playing these games, finding inspiration from them and always wishing for more adventures to enjoy on the latest Nintendo hardware.
Mine happens to be one that starts a good decade into the lifespan of the series. But strangely enough, even though I started playing well into the Game Boy Advance/Gamecube era of Zelda, I kind of experienced things the way that many fans did who were around at the start of the series – struggling through a strange new kind of game with top-down, open-world gameplay, only to see things change along the way as 3D graphics, different control schemes, and new complex storylines come along. Plus, there was a whole lot to experience beyond the games themselves. It has certainly been interesting, so if you want to see how my perspective of the series has changed over the years, hit the jump.
Oh, and expect more Zelda Stories from our other writers in the coming weeks. Like I said, everyone’s got one!
Protecting the mortal incarnation of the Goddess Hylia is a pretty big job, but one handled with the utmost grace in the capable hands of the very first Sheikah warrior– Impa, from Skyward Sword. Though she initially had a stern exterior and was very critical of Link, Impa turned out to be an extremely loyal and trusting individual with a heart of gold. It’s no secret that Impa is a flawed character, if she was perfect she wouldn’t be interesting, but the beauty of her appearance in Skyward Sword is that the players get to see her character develop over thousands of years. A selfless servant of the Goddess, Impa will do anything to make sure that Zelda stays safe and Demise stays sealed away. After the jump, get a glimpse at the motivations and carefully calculated actions that lead Impa to become the legendary Sheikah icon she is!
There are an almost endless number of factors that contribute to the commercial appeal of a videogame– gameplay, functionality, developer, rating– but a game isn’t going to sell if it isn’t pleasing to the eye, at least in some capacity. We can judge by the turbulent behavior following the reveal of Wind Waker’s art style or Skyward Swords’ downgraded graphics that appearance does matter within the Zelda series. So let’s take a look at some of the varied Zelda visual styles and how they affected the games’ initial and later receptions after the jump!
Oh, the joys of the Fire Temple. Every Zelda game needs to have one, apparently, and Phantom Hourglass got this particular duty out of the way early. In this second installment of Revisiting Phantom Hourglass, I will be going through the Fire Temple from start to finish and commenting on anything that I see as particularly noteworthy. In addition, I’ll take a look at the basic combat system and how well the touchscreen controls hold up in that context.
Though the true nature of Zelda Wii U is still shrouded in mystery, we devout Hylians have been promised an open-world game with an enormous map. Many fans are more than ready to embrace an expansive and uninterrupted landscape in the upcoming title, but some have logical doubts as to whether the world map will truly enhance the gaming experience. The upside is of course, exploration. But at what point does exploration become tedious? And how can Nintendo make sure that this over-sized land doesn’t become a burden to traverse?
Despite the release of not only Hyrule Warriors DLC, but also a new handheld entry in Tri Force Heroes, 2015 was relatively low-key for Zelda. As Jon discussed a couple of days ago, the highlight — if you can call it that — was just how little we heard about Zelda Wii U. Based solely on what we know right now, though, 2016 looks to be the series’ biggest year since 2011. Considering that it’s the franchise’s 30th anniversary, as well as Twilight Princess’s tenth, there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to release Hyrule Warriors Legends, an HD remake of Link and Midna’s adventure, and Zelda Wii U.
Surely, this calls for some kind of celebration. You know, beyond simply playing these three games. Are you going to do anything special for Zelda’s 30th anniversary? If so, feel free to let us know, as well as check out my own plans, after the jump.
For the hardened Zelda fan, Tri Force Heroes came as a surprisingly kooky light-hearted deviant from the series’ main titles. While Zelda games on the handheld systems are usually a little less pivotal to the series than the console installments, they typically follow the same formula and at the very least contain Princess Zelda– but this multiplayer jumble of quirkiness really shook things up. While quite entertaining, I’m not so sure this was a good thing. I typically welcome spin-offs, but should the Zelda series produce more one-off series deviants like Tri Force Heroes as canon Zelda games?
When thinking up editorials, my mind tends to stray towards the same games: The Wind Waker always seems like a good option, I always have something to say about Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess, and I never tire of talking about my personal favorite title in the series, A Link to the Past. I try to avoid repeating myself, but it keeps getting harder and harder to think of something fresh. So, when brainstorming for my latest editorial I thought that it would be fun to go completely outside of my comfort zone and talk about a game I hear little about, and what I hear is generally negative.
Welcome to the first installment in my new editorial series, Revisiting Phantom Hourglass. In this edition, I will be getting through the introduction of the game, up through the meeting with Astrid just before entering the Fire Temple.
As a girl who grew up with a twin brother, I was typically either his player two or his backseat driver when it came to video games. In Zelda, I’d nag him if he passed mindlessly by a torch puzzle (even if it just gets you rupees, why not do it?), I’d cheer him on during boss battles, or I’d scold him for harming a poor cucco that never once did him wrong! I had some great times watching my brother play Zelda, so I came to wonder what my fondest Zelda-spectator memories were. I figure the best Zeldas to watch are the most visually and auditorily pleasing, the funniest, or the ones with deeper plots. Take a closer look at my experience as the player two in a traditionally single-player series after the jump!
As all of you know by now, an HD remake of Twilight Princess, creatively titled Twilight Princess HD, was announced on Thursday with a release date set for March 4th of next year. With the release of the game, it will mean that four out the five 3D Zelda games, a staggering eighty percent, will have been remade. Personally, I find that to be a bit excessive. The last thing I want to do is kill someone’s hype for a game, so if you are personally excited for Twilight Princess HD, I recommend you not read this article.
Although the Wii version of Twilight Princess was the first Zelda title to experiment with motion controls, the game wasn’t initially developed with those controls in mind. Admittedly, I prefer the Wii version, but it’s clear that Link and Midna’s adventure was originally a GameCube game. Skyward Sword, on the other hand, took full advantage of the console’s capabilities with the advent of Wii MotionPlus. That said, its control scheme might be among the most polarizing elements of any individual Zelda title. It seems that for every person who views it as a worthwhile experiment — if not the new standard for the series’ controls — there is someone who can’t stand playing the game. Regardless of whether you enjoyed its approach to swordplay, though, do you think the Zelda team should eventually take another crack at motion controls?
When people bring up horror elements in Zelda, they generally go back to the same few choices: the spirit temple, dead hand, the occasional scene from Majora’s Mask… The list goes on. Something that doesn’t get mentioned a lot is the Silent Realm in Skyward Sword, perhaps because of the game it’s in. In honor of Halloween, I thought that, rather than do an impersonal analyzation of what makes certain moments scary, it would be fun to look back on a particularly strong memory I have regarding a scary or tense part in Zelda. Read more…
In anticipation of the wonderful celebration of Halloween, I have been watching copious amounts of classic horror films– mainly The Omen, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and my personal favorite, the Michael Myers’ Halloween series. With all the frights I’ve been experiencing, I’ve pretty much got the cheesy-horror-formula and tropes down pat. That being said, I figured why not see if I could merge my two great loves and fit The Legend of Zelda series into the confines of a scary movie? To see how I’d turn our beloved series into a behowling thriller, hit the jump!
During the summer I had the amazing opportunity to spend the afternoon and evening in the company of the Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses Master Quest at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Perfoming Arts in Orlando, Fl. Not only did I have the privilege of attending the Symphony itself, but I was one of the few individuals invited to watch the orchestra during their dress rehearsal with the very talented and beautiful composer, Amy Andersson. A short while back I shared with you what a wonderful experience that was, in the first part of a three part editorial, and I promised I would share more of that amazing day. One of the things that made that day so special were the fantastic people that I met, some of whom work tirelessly to bring the Zelda Symphony to millions of fans across the world. One such individual is Executive Producer Jason Michael Paul, who took time out of his hectic schedule to spend a few moments with me at the end of a very successful dress rehearsal.
Jump in past the break to find out what we talked about!
One of the biggest debates in the Zelda community is if Link should be a female or not. I understand that this is a touchy subject as some people view this as a lazy way to insert a strong female character in order to appease fans, while others maintain that the spirit of the hero needs to remain a man throughout the franchise. On the flip side, a large portion of fans assert that having Link be a female would be a refreshing change to a series that relies on reincarnation as a way to have similar gameplay and characters in every addition, but with characteristics that are unique to each game. Then you have the fans like me who just drool at the thought of a new installment of Zelda and do not care what sex the main character is. However, there is a sensible compromise to both sides of the argument that in theory could make everyone happy. Read more…