SKYWARD SWORDWith the somewhat recent release of The Wind Waker HD, there’s been a lot of discussion about the launch of the original The Wind Waker on the Nintendo Gamecube. Zelda games have often fallen victim to incredibly hyped launches, which seems to set expectations ridiculously high for every Zelda game. Hit the jump to read more!

Most of the time, Zelda fans “link” arms and rejoice for the beauty that is an upcoming Zelda title. But even before The Wind Waker was released it seemed like fans were incredibly disappointed at the cartoony art style it had chosen. An early tech demo for the Nintendo Gamecube showed off impressive realistic style graphics for a possible Zelda title, which lead to high hopes among the community. Now, that cel-shaded style is such a fan favorite that Toon Link has appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and is set to be included in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The Wind Waker HD was released to a special appreciation because fans had already gotten over their distaste for the cartoony graphics and grown to love the world of Wind Waker.

On the reverse side, Skyward Sword was so hyped that when the initial game came out, some fans felt a little disappointed. Despite high reviews, fans still seem to complain about all of its shortcomings, rather than praising it for all of the innovative ideas that it brought to the table. Still, many critics of the Zelda series complain about the series lack of innovation, but it seemed that though Skyward Sword implemented plenty of new ideas and a brand new world, it was met with less than positive criticism. Fans still complain about it’s motion controls, the stamina bar, and even some of the RPG elements.

An even earlier instance of this was when Majora’s Mask was released. Ocarina of Time‘s popularity was unmatched at that time in the video game world and when Majora’s Mask was released, everybody was absolutely excited to explore more of the Zelda universe. This unrealistic hype for the game led to disappointment when fans concluded that it wasn’t as epic as an adventure as Ocarina of Time. Fans felt that the mask system felt gimmicky and boring, while some missed the time travel aspect included in the previous game. Today, however, there’s a huge debate among the Zelda community about which Nintendo 64 Zelda game is the best. And that still isn’t the first time that this happened.

When the first 3D game in the series was announced, you can very well assume that expectations were high and fans of the series were excited. Ocarina of Time wasn’t as hyped as later entries, by any means, but it was still a game that consumers were determined to play. This game was met with astonishing reviews by media outlets, getting perfect 10’s from various reviewers, but still some fans had some problems with it. Some of my first memories of this game include my friends calling it boring, too easy, not enough action, etc. Many people saw it as a good game with some irritating issues. Navi was (and arguably still is) an annoyance to have to deal with, the pacing of later temples seemed off balance, and the legendary water temple was criticized then as well. Today, Ocarina of Time is considered by many to be the best game that’s ever been made. Do you think Zelda games are unfairly critiqued at launch and does the hype for new Zelda games soften the initial reaction of the game? Leave your comments below!

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