I’m sure that we all have games that we like other then Zelda. In fact, Zelda definitely isn’t my favorite franchise, nor is any Zelda game my favorite game. I really think that if Zelda wants to stay on top of this Generation, and draw in more fans then the ones it already has, it needs to borrow some more ideas from other games.
For example, Twilight Princess is kind of bare-bones as an open world adventure when compared to a game like Fallout 3 or Oblivion. It’s not very interactive, and the world is kind of boring. There aren’t many towns and there is little to do in terms of other quests. If say, Skyward Sword took a note from Bethesda and added more and larger towns, more quests, and just generally more interactivity (NPC interaction, item interaction), it would already be really high up in my book.
And again, when comparing a game like Twilight Princess (I am just using it because it is the most recent 3D Zelda) to Oblivion/Fallout 3/Fable, there really aren’t many items. And the ones that they do have aren’t very creative. You have very little variety in the armor that you wear, the items that you use, and how you kill monsters. They could easily keep getting cool new items like the Hookshot or whatever in Dungeons, but also add shops that could sell just generic or rare weapons and armor. It would give you a lot more creativity in how you play the game.
Once again, Twilight Princess or Zelda in general (barring Adventure of Link to some extent) isn’t looking very hot in the character customization area; and I’m talking about leveling up and getting/choosing new abilities to customize your character to how you want to play the game. In Zelda, you are basically already just as powerful as you are going to get at the start of the game. You just don’t have all of your items yet. In other games, you need to level up and get new abilities by progressing through the game and doing side quests. I really think that Zelda would be a lot more fun if it had features like this.
Another thing that Twilight Princess, or any Zelda for that matter, didn’t have was voice acting. Now I know, voice acting would “ruin the series”, but Zelda is really lagging behind in the modern department. Hell, even Mario says woo-hoo and lets-a-go; all Link can do is yell. If Nintendo really didn’t want to enrage the fanboys, they could make everyone but Link talk, but they could still make him talk without ruining the naming feature. A good example is Final Fantasy X: The main character is named Tidus, but you can change it. He speaks, and so does everyone else, but not once is his name said.
And again on the voice acting, even the most uninteresting and boring voice acting can give a game so much more life (See Fallout 3). I think that Zelda would really benefit from having people actually talk. It would make the world that much more engrossing, and make the player that much more interested in the NPCs problems and general plot (Something only Majora’s Mask was able to do in my opinion, so imagine if it had voice acting…).
One last thing that I can think of right now is the fact that there is no downloadable content. Now, I know that this is a Nintendo problem in general and I could rant on for a whole lot longer on just that subject, but just listen. Downloadable content is a thing now, and it’s something that people have come to accept. Games like Fable 2, Fallout 3 and Oblivion have been enhanced greatly with DLC; why not add another dungeon, where you can get another item, or add another town that has some more interesting side quests. DLC opens up a plethora of possibilities for the franchise, including cameos of past characters and items without having to integrate it heavily into the main plot. I know that Aonuma has already talked a bit about DLC for Skyward Sword and other future Zelda games, so I am very hopeful for this.
So just think about this for a moment. Games like Fable, Oblivion and Fallout 3 among others borrowed from Zelda, and now they are ahead (In my opinion), so I think it’s time for Zelda to borrow back. Personally I think that Zelda could be a much better game if it just had more things like customization and interactivity. And I don’t care if you agree with me or not, but if you do: What other games could Zelda borrow from?
Commence with the controversy.