Please note that the following article only reflects the opinions of the writer, Casey Hodges, and not ZeldaInformer as a whole.
Walkthroughs are ruining Zelda. Everyone complains about how easy the Zelda franchise has become with each new installment, yet at any moment when Spirit Tracks slightly stumps you, you all run straight to the nearest guide, because heaven forbid you use your brain everyone once in awhile. I personally have played through every Zelda game without a walkthrough or guide. Sure I still get stumped on various puzzles sometimes, but with lots of patience and some unique thinking, I’ve solved them all, which leaves me with a rewarding sense of accomplishment every time. This is a very important element, for me, when playing a Zelda game. But thanks to the internet, everyone has instant access to walkthroughs. So why should a developer bother making difficult puzzles or challenges if everyone is going to look up the answers online? In their perspective, their games are already difficult enough, since so many people need a walkthrough. In fact, Nintendo’s games are so difficult, products like New Super Mario Bros. Wii include guides already in them to compensate.
Completing a Zelda game used to be an accomplishment, but now it has become more of a requirement since anyone can do it with the help of a guide. Sure we felt stupid whenever we couldn’t solve a simple puzzle, but the joy you feel after solving it isn’t the same when you look up the answer online. Completionists used to be proud of how many extra hearts they found, or how many poes or collectables they have, but now any no brain idiot can look up them up instantly. Zelda used to be about exploration and discovery, but now that everyone cheats, why even bother?
Nintendo really needs to tone down their difficulty in games like Spirit Tracks. People clearly can’t handle the complexity of this type of game. Either that, or players need to man up, and work through each game on their own, without turning to a strategy guide every time the going gets tough. If you are legitimately stuck in a game, go ask a friend for a little hint. If you don’t have friends, first of all I pity you, ask for a hint on the ZeldaInformer forums if truly necessary. There are plenty of Zelda experts in the forums more than willing to help you, without completely beating the game for you. The truth is, Zelda games really aren’t difficult, but people are too spoiled and lazy to play games on their own. As long as this is the case, Nintendo has no business in upping the difficulty in their games. Check back here at ZeldaInformer for the latest on all Spirit Tracks Walkthrough Guides.