Posted on November 21 2014 by Fernando Trejos
When playing a game, it’s always been important to me to try to figure everything out by myself; by steering clear of spoilers and hints on the internet, every accomplishment feels more like my own, and I don’t even run a risk of seeing story points that I don’t want to have spoiled for me.
This rings especially true for Zelda games, where the puzzles and exploration are such huge aspects in how you play the game.
Back when the original Legend of Zelda came out, one of the biggest and greatest things about the game was the sheer amount of exploration that had to be done on the part of the player; when it comes down to it, half the fun of the game was just trying to find every secret it had to offer, trying to figure out how to go into the different dungeons and caves and where to put the bombs, and seeing your accomplishments reflected on yourself, the player. Having a guide took away the charm of the game, and took away its defining traits, the reasons it became such an important part of gaming history.
This still rings true for a lot of Zelda games today, in a variety of different aspects: while the exploration has definitely become less of a key feature, the puzzle-solving and bonus-collecting have become some of the greatest parts in any Zelda game, and trying to look at a walkthrough all the way while playing can destroy a lot of the charm that comes from solving your own puzzles and finding your own way. And regardless of the exploration or puzzle-solving aspects of the game, lots of people also argue that looking at walkthroughs is incredibly pace-breaking while playing a video game, and in many cases, they’re absolutely right; having to quit playing you game to go run and make some quick searches online breaks immersion, and can make games a chore to play through.
However, there are some cases that players simply have no choice; usually, walkthroughs are used when a person is stuck in the game, and can’t think of any way to progress at all. It could be argued that any immersion or sense of reward that is lost when you look things up is worth a lot less than the amount of hatred and tedium that is involved with trying to get through a hard part of a game when you have no idea what to do, and I fully agree with this. Being totally lost in a video game is not a very pleasant feeling, and walkthroughs can help a person get back on their feet when they’re done trying, rather than have to keep at it.
Personally, I’m totally fine with walkthroughs if people feel like they want to use them (I use them all the time, because I’m awful at video games), and even if they can be a bit immersion-shattering, they’re also incredibly helpful. While looking at the guide for every moment in the game can make the whole experience tedious, there’s nothing wrong with looking stuff up if you’re lost or bored or confused; the alternative is just getting mad at the game, which makes your whole experience negative.
What do you think? Do you use walkthroughs? Is there something wrong with using them? Let us know in the comments below!