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Gossip Stone: Should the Zelda series go back to it's roots?

snakeoiltanker

Wake Up!
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Location
Ohio
Sorry guys, I've been away for a while. So I was a lil late too post this particular installment of Gossip Stone. Very interesting topic too return too. So without further ado:

Should the Zelda series go back to its roots? by Andrew Kiser

While I consider myself a life-long Zelda fan, I’m ashamed that at the age of 27 I have yet to completely finish the first game in the series. Thankfully, in the last few weeks I have changed that, and can now say that I completed the entire Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was a long and arduous journey but it was one well worth my time; there were a few gameplay mechanics that really stuck to me and got me thinking. Mainly those that had me asking myself, “Why aren’t these still in the games today?”


While there are a lot of small differences– like your arrows costing one rupee to fire — there were some major aspects in the original game that are not found in recent releases. One of the biggest differences is the sheer fear of death. No matter where you die in the overworld (except inside dungeons), you always respawn at the starting point of the game. When traveling a vast overworld this becomes quite a pain, especially when stumbling on enemies way beyond your ability to fight. Stronger enemies were another interesting factor that I don’t feel have been present in games of late. There were many enemies that, unless you had upgraded health and weapons, would simply tear you apart. Also, in today’s game you also have four to six bottles to stow away potions of various effect; in this game you had a maximum of two potions you could carry, and no other variety of bottled help such as fairies. This caused me, while exploring and finally finding those extra nooks in the far corners of the world, to feel legitimately scared by the beeping of low health.

Not only did these health issues cause the game to feel more difficult, but the clues given in-game made puzzle solving quite the head scratcher. Instead of having your next step spelled out for you by a fairy, you would often times find a random cave where you’d receive a cryptic message like “Secret is in the three at the dead-end.” Some of these messages lead to money on a nearby screen, while others lead to important story elements far on the other side of the world.

Both of these issues are made even worse by the fact that nearly every part of the game is accessible from the beginning (aside from a few caves and islands). You never knew when the next screen would hold powerful enemies or clues to something that you won’t be able to access for another two or three dungeons. Speaking of the dungeons, they were just out of control. Many had mandatory bombable walls to get through, yet there were no cracks to tip off which areas were vulnerable. Then of course there was the confusing ability to use a key in any dungeon, leading to merchants selling keys at high prices in case you just can’t find another one. But later in the game you can find a Magical Key that lets you through any locked door– one of the more exciting items to obtain.



Needless to say, it was an incredible journey that made me feel something I haven’t felt in a long time playing Zelda: the sense that I was being tested! While I like my new Zelda games, I wouldn’t mind the series going back to what was so revolutionary and great about the first. Many Zelda fans, myself included, have been begging for a more difficult and open world Zelda game without fully experiencing one first hand. So, if you’ve never played through The Legend of Zelda, get it on the eShop and enjoy. It holds up surprisingly well and is a great adventure indeed! Oh, don’t forget that even the first game had a second quest, where the dungeons are all in different locations and the enemies are harder… good luck.

What older mechanics do you wish were still part of the series? Which Zelda games do you have yet to beat?
 

snakeoiltanker

Wake Up!
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Location
Ohio
I find it refreshing too read an article like this. Too many times, the difficulty of the first two games is credited to either system limitations, or poor game design. While I have never seen it that way, I agree there are some things about the old game that just didnt work right. But I feel that the first two games, while very different from each other; were marvels of their time. LoZ had a difficult learning curve, and rewarded you for practice, and actually gaining more skill in the game, unlike modern Zelda where difficulty comes in the early house of the game simply by not having certain Items. As far as AoL goes. I find the difficulty in learning the importance of sword play, and being self sufficient in figuring out puzzles (this goes for LoZ also, as both games have very little in the way of clues).

To answer the question in the article (Should Zelda return to it's roots?), yes and no. While I believe that the game should adopt the old ways of setting difficulty, and add in more sword play (like actual combat, instead of waiting to counter attack), I feel that there are a lot off great things that came from recent Zelda titles. I like the addition of bottles and catching fairies, making a way too add a continues too the game. However I dont really care for making enemies impossible too defeat without an Item. Making them easier WITH the item yeah, but impossible without... NO! Also, while I appreciate more hints as too what you are supposed too be doing, but I feel that recently, they are all but doing the quests for you. Also, I like the open world setting. While I still believe that there should be Item Barriers such as boulders, and gaps requiring the hookshot. I feel that the opening area of the game is far too small until after the first three dungeons. I understand making a path for you in order to do the opening story elements such as going too meet Zelda after the Deku Tree, but while I feel OoT did a great job with the opening hour or two of the game, letting you learn a lot, and giving you a dungeon almost right out of the gates; it seems that outside of doing the first steps at getting Epona were all you had until becoming an adult. So giving you more of an area to play in at the beginning of the game, would be beneficial for many reasons. The example I will use for the sake of this post would be, giving you more time play around, practicing combat, and exploring mechanic of the game; would warrant a less frustrating way too add more difficulty to the game say... after the first three dungeons.

I dont know what do you guys think? While I really like where the series has went, I do feel that they have forgotten what made them popular in the first place before the 3D transition went down. So what old school attributes or functions of older games would you like too return? And if you would like for things to stay as they are then why? Do you believe the game should stay somewhat casual, making the game more accessible to the general public? Or do you believe the game should return too its roots, and take a stab at aiming for the long time gamer? Please... lets discuss this!
 

Salem

The boring one.
Joined
May 18, 2013
You know what I actually want the series to take back from the first game?

The same ratio of combats:puzzles in the dungeons

Ya know in recent game, there seems to be a higher focus on puzzles than combat, and puzzles are fine, I like puzzles, but on replaying the same game over and over, they can be boring, the combat on the other hand doesn't get old as fast.

Also, the 3D games' combat focuses in the 1 vs 1, Link vs one enemy, USUALLY, i meant that seems to be the FOCUS, In the NES Zelda, when you attempt to fight one enemy, you have to actually focus on where other enemies are and what they're gonna do, for example the Octorocks in the overworld.
 

snakeoiltanker

Wake Up!
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Location
Ohio
Also, the 3D games' combat focuses in the 1 vs 1, Link vs one enemy, USUALLY, i meant that seems to be the FOCUS, In the NES Zelda, when you attempt to fight one enemy, you have to actually focus on where other enemies are and what they're gonna do, for example the Octorocks in the overworld.
Though I know its not a Zelda game in the Traditional sense, I thought HW did this very well. But even though there is a sea of baddie that are just canon fodder, If you have more than one Captain, or say a Captain and a General, they both attack the living shiz out of you. If you dont want to get you ass beat, you need to focus on all of them. Too many times in the game have I been fighting more than one Dinofos or Arealfos, and they just murder me. It is exceptionally hard in the "Defeat X amount of enemies is X amount of time" missions in adventure mode, when you not only have too fight captains and generals, but a giant boss as well. This gets really interesting, and rewarding when you can finally juggle from enemy to enemy easily. I have too admit I have gotten REALLY good at this game.

Too get to my point in this post, I think Zelda could benefit from adopting this type of combat. As well as many things like Links Combat style, like using combos and such. I think combat in Zelda titles has taken a dive since the 3D transition. In the first three they would throw a lot of enemies at you at one time, and not only did you have to focus on prioritizing which enemies you had to take out first due to their strength, and their rate of attacks. However I think mostly Zelda would benefit from better combat. The vertical slice, Horizontal slice, and jump attack has gotten really stale, and feel that more aggressive combat, and sword play would greatly benefit the combat and gameplay of the series.

Look at me getting off topic in my own thread. Sorry guys!
 
Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Location
Michigan
See, I think one of the biggest challenges the new games face is a paradoxically simultaneous balancing of elements. There are more healing items, but enemies have become pathetically easy. There are larger overworlds, but more linear paths. Puzzles require, at times, complex logical systems to analyze and overcome, yet game elements like support characters will straight up tell you the answer if you take more than 2 minutes to figure them out. In my opinion, the answer is simple: scale the help back. Way back. Get rid of the annoying answer givers, use subtle affordances to help players navigate the world, and for goodness sake let enemies be difficult (for more than just the very first time you fight them).
 

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