Posted on November 26 2014 by Jon Lett
Majora’s Mask 3D is coming out next year, and many of us remember the original as the best Zelda ever, not only because of its own greatness, but also the way it compares and contrasts with its prequel, Ocarina of Time. Without that connection to the previous N64 game, it may not be see in such a great light. That being said, how much of a connection should a new Zelda game have with its predecessors? Could elements of a previous game, or being a full-on sequel make that much of a difference? Join the discussion after the jump!
Nostalgia is often seen as a blessing and a curse among game developers, as it can make a new game seem absolutely amazing, or sub-par compared to its predecessors. This can be very well seen in A Link Between Worlds‘ case. So many people saw the good old days of A Link to the Past while playing, and were, because of that, a lot more willing to give perfect scores. Without that connection – the similar gameplay, setting, and other elements – perhaps it would not be so praised. On the other hand, look at Twilight Princess. Many saw its clear connections to Ocarina of Time, but while some thought that the classic, nostalgic elements made it an even better game, some thought that it could be better as its own stand-alone game, rather than trying to mooch off of its greatest predecessor.
Of course, on the topic of connections to past entries, direct sequels are the obvious example to touch on. Majora’s Mask proved to be a masterful sequel, with just enough connection to Ocarina of Time to be recognized as a vital part of the series, but still to be its own game with its own style. The sequels to The Wind Waker, on the other hand, went a bit too far, in many fans’ eye, including mine. The widespread transportation method should have been left alone, as, by the third game, it was far too structured. Clearly, taking from a previous game and building on it is better, in the long run, than trying to rehash the same method on a smaller scale, and with only slightly different ways of playing.
Perhaps in-game similarities are not out of the question for Zelda Wii U, by which I mean things that the characters themselves can understand. Things like legends telling of what happened in other games, like The Wind Waker‘s intro about the Hero of Time, or going to the ruined site of a place from a classic game. I know that I would love to see subtle connections like that, whether as an easter egg, a main-game element, or otherwise.
What do you guys think? How closely should new Zelda games connect to previous titles? Should they be more of stand-alone games, or make a significant call-back to the rest of the series? Leave a comment below!