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Link's Awakening (Swtich) is much better than BotW...

Joined
Jun 14, 2011
So the Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening remake came out today, anyone willing to guess how I feel about it? If the title is any indication, I’m actually impressed with this game. While I have played Link’s Awakening before, I don’t have too many fond memories of the Game Boy classic, in fact before this came out I thought it was an OK game. Not the best but certainly not the worst. But after playing a few hours of the remake, not only do I think it’s better than the original, but my perspective of the game has changed for the better, meaning I think it’s up there in the top 10 favourites, maybe even top 5. Heck, I've even managed to get hysterical laughs out at a couple of points, which I don't see happen too often in Zelda.

The Graphics are beautiful and I love the attention to detail. I'm still on the fence about the toy Esque art style, however, the technical side of it is superb. The music is whimsical, I absolutely love Marin's singing voice and, big shock, the gameplay is absolutely satisfying. straight forward combat and fun dungeon puzzle solving. No weapons breaking, no cheap deaths (no deaths by sliding down a small hill!) just good old traditional swordplay.

One thing is certain, I’m really enjoying this game a lot, unlike that mess of a train wreck of the last game. But how is that possible? Shouldn’t new entries in a franchise be far superior to a remake of a previous entry? Well in this case no. I think Link’s Awakening is much better than BotW. It’s a debate if the original is better, but this remake certainly is. What’s so better about a remake of Link’s Awakening compared to a completely new entry?

An obvious answer would be Nostalgia factor, but as I said earlier I didn’t really grow up with Link’s Awakening. I first played it when I was halfway through Secondary School, and even though I played through it to completion I don’t remember too much from it, other than the fact that it doesn’t take place in Hyrule and your objective was to awaken the Wind Fish. It just didn't leave that much of an impact on me unlike Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess etc.

I think the main reason I like this more than BotW is that it’s more traditionally balanced. I wasn’t sure what I meant at first, but as I kept playing Link’s Awakening, it suddenly occurred to me that this game strikes a good balance of linearity and exploration. The story is linear in that you have to do dungeons in a specific order and you are told where to go. But what this game cleverly does is that while it tells you "go here, go there", it doesn’t tell you HOW to get there and even when you do get there, it doesn’t tell you what to do next. That’s where the exploration comes into play, from how you explore the island to find ways of reaching your destination and when you get there figuring out what you must do in order to progress. It doesn’t hold your hand, but it’s not too cryptic that you can’t figure out.

As I was playing, It then hit me that the sort of exploration Link’s Awakening does, is the sort of exploration that Zelda has done in the past and it’s what it should have been doing all along. Have story-driven destinations but leave out the specifics of how to get there, but leave crumbs of information so that it’s not too obvious, but not too subtle.

I guess that’s why BotW pales in comparison because it just focuses on one core aspect of the Zelda series and either completely removes or vaguely keeps in the other ones that create Zelda’s unique identity. While Exploration is important, it's not the focus, which good Zelda titles understand. I’m not going to act like games like Skyward Sword are not guilty of focusing on one core element. Those games focused more on linearity and opted for dungeon Esque overworlds. But the reason I prefer playing those over BotW is that they did a better job in keeping the core essentials, (dungeons, items etc.) they just didn’t focus too much on some of them, like the exploration. It was still there but not in the grand scheme of things.

But even if I understand why I don’t like BotW, I still don’t get how this is the best selling Zelda game when it has very little in connection to its roots. I understand more than anyone that in order to keep a long-lasting series going, you need to try new things in order to make it fresh and unique. But if you’re going to do that, you should be keeping the heart of the series intact. There have been other releases in long-running franchises lately that have held up fine. The Zelda series seems to be the only franchise that ignored this and ended up making a game that polarized its fanbase.

An example of a good new entry in a series, take the Fire Emblem series. The latest entry, Fire Emblem: Three Houses was a huge hit. It might actually be the best selling Fire Emblem game in the series since Awakening. It does a lot of new things that have never been done in the series, and while those new aspects are the main focus of the game, Three Houses still maintained the core essence of the Fire Emblem series, which is its turn-based combat and other stuff like the familiar weapon classes, supports, story progression etc. But unlike with BotW, I actually agree with the positive reception of Three Houses. It's a well made Fire Emblem game. Now they could have ruined things by going down the Fire Emblem Warriors route and made the combat real-time with hack n slash combos and stuff. That could have been possible considering Koei Tecmo, the face of the hack n slash genre, were part of the development team for Three Houses. But while that would have been good in some respect, Intelligent systems knew that they had to keep the turn-based combat in there. If they took that out, Three Houses' success may have been bittersweet at the very least.

In the long run and in most cases, best-selling =/= best game ever. I know Link’s Awakening will definitely not sell as well as BotW since it’s a remake, but it’s a shame because it’s a much, much better Zelda game. I’d rather much have a game that sells respectfully well and does it right than to have a game that goes out of its way to give up its true identity just to make top bucks. If that’s the route the Zelda series is going to take, and judging by the looks of BotW2 it is, I think it will be a long while till we will see a proper, good, original Zelda Title. Until then we’ve got the likes of remakes to remind us of how a Zelda game should be.
 
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Respectfully disagree. Saying “how a Zelda should be” defeats the point of Zelda entirely. FSA has some of the best dungeons and puzzles in the series and it’s drastically different than most mainline entries. Is it not “a Zelda game?”
 
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But even if I understand why I don’t like BotW, I still don’t get how this is the best selling Zelda game when it has very little in connection to its roots. I understand more than anyone that in order to keep a long-lasting series going, you need to try new things in order to make it fresh and unique. But if you’re going to do that, you should be keeping the heart of the series intact. There have been other releases in long-running franchises lately that have held up fine. The Zelda series seems to be the only franchise that ignored this and ended up making a game that polarized its fanbase.
Incidentally, it may well have been a warped sense of series roots that caused the need for BotW to shake up the formula as much as it did. Think of the main games that came before it. Ocarina of Time pushed the series into a new dimension and enjoyed great sales as a result. Majora's Mask as I recall didn't sell as well but that's be expected being built on the same engine and in only a year. Wind Waker split the fanbase with it's graphics. Twilight Princess was criticised for being "too OoT". Then Skyward Sword was the final nail in the coffin. It was nothing like Ocarina of Time, featured brand new mechanics but stuck to the traditional formula so tightly that the fact the formula was stale was highlighted beyond any reasonable doubt. There was nothing but the formula to blame as the majority of the complaints came from this stubborn loyalty to tradition.

Nintendo had to shake it up this time. They'd tried sticking to the formula and it simply didn't work. Their efforts to really revamp the series are highlighted by the new, younger developers they brought in. They new the series needed a big push, and it worked for better or for worse.

I like the old games. Link's Awakening was never my particular cup of tea but it was a competent game and served it's purpose. However, there's very little new to be brought from the old formula. We've seen pretty much everything it has to offer across the mainline 2D and 3D games and I'd much rather them push the series towards a new style than I would see it stagnate in an effort to continuously recapture the golden days. Of course there will be some fans put off by this. However, fans were also put off by WWs graphics, by TPs reliances on nostalgia, and SS undying loyalty to the formula. Is it really a wonder why they'd like to take a risk with a shake-up as opposed to further dividing an already withering fanbase?

It's a shame that you didn't like BotW. However, I am incredibly grateful for the new fans it's brought in. Hopefully LA remake continues to be fun for you and you can keep enjoying the series in that form.
 

Moe the Moblin

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Inb4 links awakening becomes the second best selling Zelda game of all time and all we were waiting for was for the right console to appeal to the masses, botws success was an accident and the Zelda formula is saved

what a pipe dream

Edit: also I was expecting a troll post but congrats on your defensible wall post
 

Rubik

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If BotW did well, there's no reason for Nintendo not to keep making games that appeal to people who liked it.

If Link's Awakening does well, there's no reason for Nintendo not to keep making games that appeal to people who liked it.

Different people might want different things from games and there's no shame in some games appealing to some people and other games appealing to other people. Nintendo isn't afraid to make a variety of games that appeal to a variety of different people, and I think that's a good thing.
 
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Edit: also I was expecting a troll post but congrats on your defensible wall post
You won't get any trolling from me. I speak with complete honesty and respect when I post things here... Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Nintendo had to shake it up this time. They'd tried sticking to the formula and it simply didn't work. Their efforts to really revamp the series are highlighted by the new, younger developers they brought in. They new the series needed a big push, and it worked for better or for worse.
I'm sorry, but I'm not convinced that BotW's success was due to how drastically different it changed the formula. I'm convinced it was a success due to the fact there was a huge gap between it and Skyward Sword, it was well marketed and it didn't require you to swing a controller around. I think the same level of success would have been there if BotW were a more traditional Zelda.

What I'm trying to get at is Nintendo overreacted with the backlash of Skyward Sword. They didn't need to completely revamp the series, they just needed to drastically tone down the hand-holding and make a Zelda game that was a bit more open in its approach to progression... and not force players to swing a remote around that could cause some physical damage...

In some respect, A Link Between Worlds was a step in the right direction. It allowed players to complete any dungeon in any order and gave them free-roaming around the overworld which they could explore to their heart's content. It still had an objective to follow but the way you approach it and the order you do it was a no expense to the player. That is an ideal Zelda game and one that can achieve universal acclaim whether it be top-down 2D.5 or full-on 3D.
 

the8thark

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Respectfully disagree. Saying “how a Zelda should be” defeats the point of Zelda entirely. FSA has some of the best dungeons and puzzles in the series and it’s drastically different than most mainline entries. Is it not “a Zelda game?”
I agree with the quoted statement 100%.
Zelda as an IP was becoming very stale. SS proved this. The broken motion controls was only the icing on the cake. The series needed as total shake up and re-invention. That's what BotW did and that's why it's such an amazing game. We need developers who have the guts to shake things up every so often, to keep older video game IPs interesting and relevant.

LA is not better than BotW.
LA is not worse than BotW.

Links's Awakening is just very different to BotW. For it's day LA was one of the best things on the GameBoy. We all know the history, Nintendo wanted ALTTP the sequel on GameBoy but realised pretty early on, that was not possible for many reasons, so they then modified their vision to something new. I am not 100% sure they thought a Zelda game on it's own would have sold on the Gameboy, so they added a lot of Mario IP elements into the game for a better chance of selling the game.

LA took risks, just like BotW took risks. Both games sold pretty well so the risks paid off.

What I'm trying to get at is Nintendo overreacted with the backlash of Skyward Sword. They didn't need to completely revamp the series, they just needed to drastically tone down the hand-holding and make a Zelda game that was a bit more open in its approach to progression... and not force players to swing a remote around that could cause some physical damage...
What you say needed to be toned down was everything at the core of what made a 3D Zelda game. Every 3D Zelda game (ie from Ocarina of Time onwards) had all of these features. The Wimote issue though was the icing on the cake and unique to TP and SS. Even the 2D Zelda games had the linear progression, and not so open in it's progression. Most of the 2D Zelda games didn't have a hand holding partner. MC sort of did, but the hat was actually cool and not so annoying so that worked.

You didn't mention the boring fetch quests that almost every Zelda has. These started with Zelda 2, if you don't include fetching the letter for the medicine lady in Zelda 1, mind you that is still a fetch quest of sorts. They started getting annoying in Ocarina of Time onwards. Though I will say fetching hundreds and hundreds of rupees for the bomb/arrow capicity upgrady fairy in ALTTP got boring real quick.

In my opinion what you wanted totally changed what a Zelda game is because all the core aspects you wanted toned down or removed. Once everything you wanted was done, the result is nothing like any Zelda game that has come before it, so might as well use what's left in new and interesting ways.

You can't want the core aspects of what makes a 3D Zelda game toned down or outright removed and still expect the result to be like every othe Zelda game that has come before it. That's impossible as you just removed everything that makes those previous Zelda games, feel and play like how they did. Either you want change or you don't want change. If you choose the change route, might as well go all in and do some real change. A game half assed about change that changes some things but leaves in all the issues the previous games, solves nothing and would have gotten even more backlash from the fan community.
 
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Moe the Moblin

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you have to look at the numbers


as far as I can tell, botw is the only zelda game to break over 10 million copies in a single release
ocarina of time might possibly be there too idrk

this is unparalleled success
the odds that it was complete luck and environment based are slim
I would be ecstatic if that were the case
we'll check link's awakening numbers in a couple months and see
if it is the case then I would estimate at least 5 million copies sold within a month or two, since one of the proposed factors is a "zelda drought"
if link's awakening breaks 10mill in a few months then hot dang zelda is just what the people want right now
 
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I'm sorry, but I'm not convinced that BotW's success was due to how drastically different it changed the formula. I'm convinced it was a success due to the fact there was a huge gap between it and Skyward Sword, it was well marketed and it didn't require you to swing a controller around. I think the same level of success would have been there if BotW were a more traditional Zelda.
Whist I won't disagree that marketing certainly played a part, I'm not convinced with your other points. The huge gap between it and Skyward Sword was also present between Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess. In fact, 4 to 6 years appears to be the norm for main Zelda games. Similarly, whilst many look back with bitterness at the motion controls now, at the time it was a huge selling point. The Wii itself had already enjoyed unparalleled success bringing in new gamers by the truckfuls, and of course most Zelda fans weren't going to jump ship just because of motion controls. The Wii Motion plus was first enjoyed by many on Skyward Sword itself, nobody had an opinion of it yet.

But let's take a look at the numbers for a minute. Marketing only goes so far in a game's success. Once a game is out it's down to quality and overall public opinion to keep it going. For the sake of simplicity I'm going to compare Breath of the Wild with Twilight Princess. Twilight Princess was in a similar situation whereby they both released as a launch title for their respective consoles, had a secondary release on the consoles before them and both consoles were huge successes for Nintendo. However, Twilight Princess has the benefit of arguably the most hype for a Zelda game before release. I certainly don't recall as much hype for any Zelda game like it. What do the sales suggest?

According to Wikipedia, Breath of the Wild sold "2.76 million for Switch" in it's first month. Finding first month sales figures for Twilight Princess was a bit more difficult, but this website puts it at 1,691,574. Despite this, Breath of the Wild gained more liftetime sales over Twilight Princess in just 1 year, gaining 10 million total sales in April of 2018. In the year and a half that followed that, it's gained another 5 million.

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2018/04/zelda_breath_of_the_wild_is_the_best-selling_zelda_game_of_all_time_kind_of
https://vgsales.fandom.com/wiki/The_Legend_of_Zelda

It can't even be claimed that such better sales were due to better sales of the respective consoles. AGain, according to wikipedia, the Wii sold 20.13 million units in roughly it's first year while the Switch sold 17.79.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii_sales
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_Switch#Sales

Breath of the wild has demonstrated that it has staying power beyond it's initial marketing. Look anywhere online other than these forums and the overwhelming response to the game is that it is a modern day masterpiece, with many lauding it as their game of the year at the time and praising the very aspects that you claim to be nontraditional and should be abandoned. It really sucks that you don't like it, but the sales figures and general opinion seems to be that it was a step in the right direction for the life of the series.

What I'm trying to get at is Nintendo overreacted with the backlash of Skyward Sword. They didn't need to completely revamp the series, they just needed to drastically tone down the hand-holding and make a Zelda game that was a bit more open in its approach to progression... and not force players to swing a remote around that could cause some physical damage...
I will agree that they overreacted, as they did with Skyward Sword when people complained Twilight Princess was trying too hard to be Ocarina of Time. However, I don't think it was a bad thing. It has generated a game that has appealed to many more fans than ever before and pushed the series back into the spotlight as one of the top franchises. Link's Awakening remake, as good as it may be, has yet to demonstrate the same effect. Time will tell if this changes but the indications thus far seem to be that it's a cute distraction while we await the next main Zelda game. I look forward to picking it up and heck I may well enjoy it more than BotW as you have done, however I don't think I'll ever be of the opinion that the series should return to that style in order to remain successful or enjoyable.

In some respect, A Link Between Worlds was a step in the right direction. It allowed players to complete any dungeon in any order and gave them free-roaming around the overworld which they could explore to their heart's content. It still had an objective to follow but the way you approach it and the order you do it was a no expense to the player. That is an ideal Zelda game and one that can achieve universal acclaim whether it be top-down 2D.5 or full-on 3D.
I have yet to see much love anywhere for A Link Between Worlds, unfortunately. IN fact, some of the websites I've linked above put ALBW sales lower than even Phantom Hourglass. That isn't to say I believe PH is a better game by any means, but I feel it demonstrates quite nicely the idea that the traditional Zelda formula has grown stale. They tried to mix it up a bit with the wall painting mechanic and that was a mechanic I certainly enjoyed, but even I will be unlikely to return to the game. I've had my fill of those styles and honestly I can return to older 2D titles (like Link's Awakening) to get a more complete 2D Zelda experience.

That isn't to say that those who still enjoy new 2D games shouldn't get what they want. IF there's sales to be had then of course Nintendo would be wise to capitalise on that and continue with the traditional format. However, I wouldn't expect them to do so in place of continuing their efforts to revamp the series. I never felt like I was plaing anything but a Zelda game when I played BotW. It was vastly different to anything previous, of course, but it still felt intrinsically Zelda to me. I'm glad that I got to enjoy that experience knowing that so many more new fans were enjoying it with me whose experience had been enabled by Nintendo willingly revamping elements that they felt had grown stale.
 
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I never felt like I was plaing anything but a Zelda game when I played BotW. It was vastly different to anything previous, of course, but it still felt intrinsically Zelda to me. I'm glad that I got to enjoy that experience knowing that so many more new fans were enjoying it with me whose experience had been enabled by Nintendo willingly revamping elements that they felt had grown stale.
Breath of the wild has demonstrated that it has staying power beyond it's initial marketing. Look anywhere online other than these forums and the overwhelming response to the game is that it is a modern day masterpiece, with many lauding it as their game of the year at the time and praising the very aspects that you claim to be nontraditional and should be abandoned. It really sucks that you don't like it, but the sales figures and general opinion seems to be that it was a step in the right direction for the life of the series.
Totally agree. BotW is one of those games I was initially sceptical about since I knew little about it going in and and knowing the formula had gotten so tired and stale I had no plans to play it at all at first. But I'm glad Nintendo took it in such a new direction after WW and TP (Toilet Princess left a bad taste in my mouth for sure). It was a bold risk and it paid off. That's not to say BotW does not have faults, of course it does, easy to see Nintendo had to make a few compromises making it. However I would be concerned if Nintendo decided to go backwards to the old stale formula, that linearality that introduces a tedious quality that makes you dred replaying it again. Mostly absent in BotW (Great Plateau is not optional of course) though that is what many here bizarrely want or even some "middle ground" compromise that favors the old.
 

A Link In Time

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I am also in the camp of someone who wasn't too keen on the Game Boy original but loving the Switch remake. Granted, I haven't played too much quite yet. It's the same traditional Zelda love I experienced with ALBW.

That said, I think BotW still has its place too. Yes, I agree that weapon breaking is annoying and some deaths can feel cheap, but I appreciate that it tried something different and did it pretty well. Now if the sequel can improve dungeons, I'll be satisfied with this new approach as a complement to more traditional Zelda games.
 

thePlinko

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100% agree. If you want a BotW type game, go play Skyrim. I sure hope anouma starts making REAL Zelda games again soon.
 
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100% agree. If you want a BotW type game, go play Skyrim. I sure hope anouma starts making REAL Zelda games again soon.
It will happen someday comrade, though not during the Anouma era. It will be someone in the future who will be our saviour.
 
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100% agree. If you want a BotW type game, go play Skyrim. I sure hope anouma starts making REAL Zelda games again soon.
Last time I check it was a real Zelda game.. I am pretty sure the title says it all. legend of zelda breath of the wild. stop comparing it to skyrim imo it's not like skyrim (played skyrim) why do people always fall back on that one?! Link's Awakening being better than Botw.. wow some of you must really hate that game... link's awakening and botw are nothing alike. tbh that's what I enjoy about the LoZ franchise always willing to try something new, it paid off with botw.
 

Spirit

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They're both good though.

A shift had to happen at some point, BotW wasn't the worst thing Zelda has ever done, there are pros and cons to both games.

LA is structured and you can feel the progress and it feels good but it has some BS puzzles and requirements to move forward.

BotW let's you do whatever but puts nothing in your way unless you want to do it which presents its own problems.

I'm glad that both exist. We can just hope that both continue to exist.
 

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