With the success of recent releases Bit.Trip.Beat, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii – the last of which has quickly proved itself to be one of the best and fastest-selling games of all time – it’s become pretty apparent that old-school style games are in high demand. And what else could we expect? These are the kinds of games that first-generation gamers grew up on, so there’s already a deeply installed fan base to draw from – many of whom are now parents and are passing gaming down to their kids.
What does this have to do with Zelda? Well, while we here at Zelda Informer obviously love Spirit Tracks, there’s no denying that its sales don’t quite match up to both its predecessors and its contemporaries. The old-school games, on the other hand, have been selling like hotcakes. Perhaps it’s time for a resurgence of old-school style Zelda? And what better format for the old-school revolution than WiiWare?
Why WiiWare and not a traditional retail release? Two reasons: first of all, the format and style would require lower development times and costs; and second, Nintendo has needed to do more to support its software download service for a long time, and there’s no better excuse to do so than the revival of 2D games.
More than just serving as a moneymaker for Nintendo, though, a 2D-style Zelda would be perfectly poised to address some of the problems we’ve been voicing about the series lately – namely combat difficulty. By returning to the arcade-type action gameplay of the older titles, Nintendo can recapture some of the series’ old audience that has felt detached from the more recent games.
That’s not to say that Nintendo should abandon the Wii or DS-optimized approaches – rather, traditional 2D Zelda would be a nice complement to the console and handheld installments and allow the series to truly have something to offer to everyone.