In recent news, ZeldaInformer has been deemed a “Zelda Hater” site by some friendly neighborhood commenters. Now, is this true? Yes, yes it is. Well, for me at least.
Oh, wait now. I’ll digress, perhaps I should make myself clearer. I do not hate Zelda, it’s really true, I don’t. For one, I help run a site dedicated to Zelda in my free time which, I guess, could be misconstrued as me trying to take Zelda down one anti-Zelda article at a time but that’s obviously not true.
So why did I say I hate Zelda? First because it’s always fun to instill controversy but for the most part because Zelda has stayed the same for eighteen years now. A Link to the Past started a formula, Ocarina of Time 3-D’d it, and the Wind Waker made it more interesting. But really, as much as I love Zelda, I hate playing the same game over and over. Yes, there is slight differences maybe in control, in graphics, perhaps in items, and always in story but why can’t Zelda change?
Just look at Nintendo’s other giant franchise, Mario. Mario has a set formula as well but the glorious thing about Mario is that Nintendo lets other second-party developers or other creative hands do what they will with Mario often to amazing results. There’s Paper Mario, Mario RPG, the Donkey Kong series (which Donkey Kong has basically become a franchise on itself), Yoshi’s Island, Wario Series, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, and the list goes on and on. Now why can’t Zelda have this?
Well, there is Capcom, that’s true, but what did Capcom do when they made a Zelda game? Nothing, they made a Zelda game just like all the other Zelda games. It has a few unique aspects to it, but it was a 2-D Zelda game through and through. Seriously, it would be absolutely glorious if, say, Intelligent Systems got to make a Zelda RPG or Retro got there hands on Zelda (hell if I know what they’d do, but it’d be awesome, for sure.)
I will admit, Mario is a whole different ballpark. It has no set timeline as Zelda, it far less story based, and is easily used to make small simple games like Mario Party. But, I do not think Zelda would be too much harder. All Nintendo would need to do is make sure the developers keep true to the Zelda timeline (if they have one) and keep a good basis on the story while not butchering it.
Zelda just needs something NEW; something DIFFERENT. And there’s no reason why not. Of course we can keep the main releases, just like with Mario, that are the “main” games in the “main” series but Nintendo should let Zelda have some slack. Give a separate developer free reign over a fresh Zelda game and I can imagine we would see something historic.
The Legend of Zelda is an inspiration to almost every gamer and developer and I honestly do not think Nintendo has anything to worry about when they hand the name to someone else. Obviously they should keep an eye on it, lest we end up with the CD-i games, but their eye should be cast casually and lightly. Let the developer do what they want, make something new.
Also, on a side note, this would likely remedy the large gap between major Zelda games and make us Zelda fans far less anxious. So not only would it solve the issue of variety but also the issue of impatient fans. Just to reiterate, I don’t hate Zelda. I’ve loved Zelda for years, but I want more Zelda and a mixed bag of favors.
Disclaimer: The picture is a joke. Please, Nintendo, do not put Link on a motorcycle with an AK-47. Oh wait, that’d be awesome. Nevermind, please do.