• Welcome to ZD Forums! You must create an account and log in to see and participate in the Shoutbox chat on this main index page.

Zelda Games Are Either Good or Vindicated by History

Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Okay, TV tropes explanation again. To make it into simpler words, something that isn't well received when it first shows up but afterwards it gets some appeal.

Example: John Carpenter's The Thing was actually panned when it first came out. It was "too slow, too gory" and the music was nominated for a razzie. Come the 90's and it gained the respect of being one of the greatest sci-fi and horror films ever made and being one of the prime examples of practical effects over CGI.

Let me share with you something I've come to see about Zelda games. When a game comes out, it gains acclaim from reviewers and fans alike, or it gains acclaim but there are people who are upset or annoyed with the game, decrying it as the worst... then come 5 or 10 years later and suddenly it gets a heaping about of appeal from the Zelda fanbase, suddenly treating a game that got a ton of hate and ridicule with pure respect and those who actively hated it seem to disappear.

Majora's Mask, despite not really hitting me as well as it did to, say, Axle the Beast, had been called a weak sequel to Ocarina of Time, due to having some of the same models and having only four dungeons. Come 10 years later and we had a month named after it and articles detailing it not as the black sheep of the series, but the most unique Zelda game in terms of theme and ideas.

The Wind Waker, when it first came out, gained appeal from reviewers but bashed by most gamers. It was too cartoony, it was too boring, it was too "childish"... that last one just flat out astounds me, considering that Nintendo games have this other little thing called "Getting crap past the radar", not to mention the game ended with Ganondorf getting stabbed in the forehead. How is any game where someone is cut or stabbed "childish"? How is it childish when someone is tabbed... IN BETWEEN THE EYES?! ... I honestly don't get my own species sometimes... but yeah, these days, unless your either ignorant or just an idiot, the game gets the respect it deserves for its unique visuals, expressiveness in the characters and memorable characters and themes.

Twilight Princess, what a strange example. When it came out, it was called the best Zelda game ever... until less than a year later and it was being called dull in visuals and too linear. Come Skyward Sword and suddenly people who constantly bashed it seemed to go away and suddenly there were more people saying Twilight Princess was the true best, even more than Skyward Sword.

Notice a pattern, any Zelda game that gets some bashing suddenly loses it as the years go by. Now of course each game has its fans and there are still people who would point out flaws... I'm just pointing out that as time progresses, each game seems to go from one of the worst to one of the most loved in the series.

Do you think this is coincidence or just that as time progresses we start to realize the game isn't really that bad?

Also, calling it now, 5 to 10 years, nobody is ever gonna say bad things about Skyward Sword anymore...
 
Zelda fans always seem to enter new experiences with an artificial set of expectations which cannot possibly be met. With respect to the 3D games especially, Ocarina of Time provided a template for success to such an extent that Nintendo is afraid to move away from its strong foundations and fans bicker if too much deviation from that formula is present.

All of the games vindicated by history deserved to be so. I'm in disagreement with your statements regarding Twilight Princess, however, Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker are phenomenal titles which suffered from being released at the wrong time.

After Ocarina of Time, fans expected another high-minded adventure to rescue Princess Zelda but instead were greeted by the dismal world of Termina with the maniacal school kid and impending moon at its helm. At its core, however, the game offered a brilliantly unique and highly sentimental narrative, new save system directly tied into the story, and richer environments than ever before.

The Wind Waker is a stunning title. While the nature of the overworld is a point of salience and contention, Link's first Gamecube outing offered a deeper look into Hyrule's history, Ganondorf-cast as a more pensive figure for once-, and gorgeous cel shaded graphics. But this was the last look fans expected after the realistic Spacworld 2000 tech demo. Lesson learned: Don't tease a future product and later release something entirely different. That said, The Wind Waker did little to dampen the crazed reaction at Twilight Princess's reveal.

Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword will never be considered "cult classics" because a large portion of the Zelda fanbase enjoys these titles. While there is an equally vehement opposition, these installments were never panned as much as Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker. Twilight Princess was the highest rated game of 2006 whereas Skyward Sword received 10s across the board and vied with Ocarina of Time for the title of "Best Zelda Game of all time" on multiple sites.
 

JuicieJ

SHOW ME YA MOVES!
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Location
On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
It's not just Zelda games that this happens to, but Zelda sure seems to be the series that it happens to the most often, as well as to the most extreme. However, I think some of it is that new fans come along and play the older games and like them. It would be pretty freaking unbelievable if it were all just fans that hated the games at first and came to like them later on. Still, fans have been doing that sort of thing ever since Ocarina of Time, and it's always irked me, especially with Majora's Mask and Skyward Sword. Not really anything that can be done about it, though, I guess.
 

Hanyou

didn't build that
Simple: It's generally not the same fans bashing or praising the same games. It's just that certain demographics become more or less vocal.

I admit my opinions on some games have changed. I always liked Majora's Mask, but always preferred Ocarina of Time. I thought The Wind Waker was awesome from day one. I hated Twilight Princess when it first came out, but have come to respect many aspects of design. It has still remained my least favorite Zelda game. These opinions may all have been affected by me spending more time with the games, but they have not been affected by Nintendo's hype machine or newer games.

A Link to the Past is the only game on which my opinion has really change. I didn't respect it much when I first played it. While I enjoy it more now, it's still far from my favorite game, but I recognize how important and good it is. Interestingly, I played it well after it was released, so it was a strictly personal journey.

I'm willing to give most people credit for not being led on exclusively by hype. I'm not, and I don't hold myself to a special standard. What you're seeing is simply different sets of the population giving vocal commentary. The "Zelda Cycle" is a myth, or most Zelda fans are so wildly inconsistent that one wonders how they function on a day to day basis without changing their opinions about the most trivial things.
 

JuicieJ

SHOW ME YA MOVES!
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Location
On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
The "Zelda Cycle" is a myth, or most Zelda fans are so wildly inconsistent that one wonders how they function on a day to day basis without changing their opinions about the most trivial things.

I wouldn't call it a myth, just not as prevalent as some people make it out to be. I've seen a number of people hate a Zelda game at first but warm up to it later on and actually like it. I've even seen some people hate a Zelda game all the way up until the new game comes out and then all of a sudden say, "You know what, that game wasn't so bad, especially compared to this one."
 

Ventus

Mad haters lmao
Joined
May 26, 2010
Location
Akkala
Gender
Hylian Champion
I would say it's different fans voicing their opinions at different times; not everyone buys Zelda on day one and lets their own opinion run wild. Granted, I do fall prey to this "Zelda Cycle"; I at first loved TP, then hated it, and now I like it again. But, I do have to say that I was a bit immature -- I didn't know exactly what I liked and disliked about TP, so when I voiced my opinions they weren't 'complete'. With Skyward Sword, I was instantly polarized on day one, and while my opinion hasn't changed on the game, over time I definitely have tried to solidify my feelings for the game.

But that's just me. The fanbase at large likely does not love a game then hate it years later or vice versa. :)
 

LinkIRL

Hero of Time
Joined
Dec 8, 2012
Location
Lake Hylia, Hyrule
I agree, Zelda games tend to either be hated then loved, or loved and then hated. I think it's really personal preference, just because you're a Zelda fan it doesn't mean you have to LOVE every single title. It also doesn't mean that you have to agree with other Zelda fan's opinions.

But I will admit I have hated and loved a Zelda game. When I first played TP a few years ago I was extremely disappointed with it. Now it's on my 2012 Christmas list (Along with SS! :D).
 

Hanyou

didn't build that
I wouldn't call it a myth, just not as prevalent as some people make it out to be. I've seen a number of people hate a Zelda game at first but warm up to it later on and actually like it. I've even seen some people hate a Zelda game all the way up until the new game comes out and then all of a sudden say, "You know what, that game wasn't so bad, especially compared to this one."

As far as "warming up," that happens with most things, and it's perfectly understandable.

The latter case might make sense as well--the older game would be better relative to the newer one, but it wouldn't be better in the grand scheme of things. I've never felt that way about a Zelda game, but I certainly did like Sonic Heroes more in hindsight (I thought it was okay when I first played it, but didn't like it too much) after playing Shadow the Hedgehog. That said, I didn't suddenly elevate Sonic Heroes as the paragon of Sonic gameplay, as the Zelda Cycle would have you believe most fans act toward Zelda games.

There's little evidence that the fanbase actually does this. What I DO see evidence of is a divided fanbase. This doesn't happen too often with games, but it does happen with movies (see Star Wars for a prime example--the movies are so tonally different that they attract different types of viewers) or music (Gabriel-era Genesis is a completely different animal than Collins-era Genesis, post Wind and Wuthering). Zelda games use different gameplay styles, storytelling techniques, and visual styles. Some are linear, some feel more wide open. Some take a darker approach, some are lighthearted, and some are more in between. Some place a focus on sidequests, some prioritize the main quest. Put all these ingredients together and you can get wholly different experiences.

Nintendo's tendency to shake things up is to "blame," even though it isn't a bad thing. It has nothing to do with Zelda fans being unusually inconsistent.
 

Random Person

Just Some Random Person
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
Wig-Or-Log
5-10 years from now noone will say anything bad about SS? Challenge Accepted.

I must say that I do not see this pattern. I myself have never disliked a Zelda game (after playing) with the exception of Zelda II and still think it's a horribly done game, though I admittedly have sympathy for it. So I can't say for myself that this trend exists, but also, I never noticed it with other fans either. Granted, I didn't become as aware of Zelda popularity until around ST's time, but as far as my experience with TP goes, I still see the same ratio as before. I believe what somebody else said. It's not there are less complaints, but the time to loudly complain about a game has passed when the next game comes out. Well... its not passed, but its not what we fans generally do. However, the time to compare the bads of the new to the goods of the old is what seems to be popular. There are those who also compare the good of the new with the bad of the old, but those are the people who like the game. When there's about a half-and-half ratio like we have with TP and SS, then eventually the loud hatred will go down because we're moving on to the next phase and how we can better improve it.
 

JuicieJ

SHOW ME YA MOVES!
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Location
On the midnight Spirit Train going anywhere
There's little evidence that the fanbase actually does this. What I DO see evidence of is a divided fanbase. This doesn't happen too often with games, but it does happen with movies (see Star Wars for a prime example--the movies are so tonally different that they attract different types of viewers) or music (Gabriel-era Genesis is a completely different animal than Collins-era Genesis, post Wind and Wuthering). Zelda games use different gameplay styles, storytelling techniques, and visual styles. Some are linear, some feel more wide open. Some take a darker approach, some are lighthearted, and some are more in between. Some place a focus on sidequests, some prioritize the main quest. Put all these ingredients together and you can get wholly different experiences.

I find it hard to believe that it's either one, really. I mean, it's pretty unrealistic to believe that a good chunk of the fanbase hated a game upon release but came to love it 10 years later, yeah. But it's also unrealistic to believe that the the chunk of the fanbase that hated the game upon release disappeared and is no longer vocal. Vocal parts of the fanbase definitely fluxuate, but to claim that that's the only reason for what happens with the fanbase's take on games years after their release is a really huge stretch. Claiming it's nothing but the Zelda Cycle is a really huge stretch, too, but that's really my entire point. Both are stretches. It's why I said the Zelda Cycle isn't a complete myth. It's really something that has to meet in the middle.
 

Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
I think it's a mellowing out of negative opinions, personally.

I didn't fall into the majority opinion of Majora's Mask when it first came out, I played it at the same time as Ocarina of Time, and I loved it from day 1. But this has happened with Wind Waker, I really didn't like it when it first came out and saw no need to pick it up at all, but some years later I reluctantly tried it out at the word of a friend of mine, and I got a much better appreciation for it, though it's still not among my favorites. With Twilight Princess I really liked it when I first played it, but for some reason I never felt that urge to replay it like I do with some other Zelda games, and haven't touched it since I finished it back in '07. And with Skyward Sword, while it is still my favorite videogame right now, I'm sure that time will temper my opinion down a little; it'll still remain among my favorites, but you know what I mean. My rabid obsessing of the new games tempers down into a more stable love of the games, as it has with OoT an MM.

The only game where the exact opposite has happened is with Adventure of Link. I first tried it out over a decade ago, got stuck after the first temple, and put it away. I didn't have much of an opinion about the game at the time, but when I went back to it a few months ago, something strange happened: I developed a strong hatred of the game that is not going away anytime soon. I don't know why this is the only Zelda game that this has happened with to me, but there you have it.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2012
I say that's more of the vocal minority, but its decreasing with SS. I mean MM had a lot of hate during release. WW had by far the most hate for a Zelda game. TP, well that had quite a bit of hate, being known as the butt of the franchise, and SS. This game by far has had the least amount of hate out of the other games. Its mostly the vocal minority and yea we're probably are going to see more threads about how good SS actually was when Zelda U comes out.
 

DarkestLink

Darkest of all Dark Links
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
What are you talking about?

Majora's Mask is called a cult classic for a reason. It has its fanbase of worshipers, but it's not that big.

Wind Waker is still the least popular 3D Zelda easily. The only difference is that a few haters have went from "Hate" to "Meh".

Twilight Princess was never vastly popular, nor was it vastly hated. It wasn't adored like OoT nor was it hated like Wind Waker. Its spot has always been and will probably always be a good Zelda game, but not the best in the eyes of the public.

I imagine Skyward Sword will fall into either the aLttP category or the tWW category. It will not be as bashed as much because fans have newer things to bash. It will either be the scar on the series or it will be surpassed by better motion controls and and seen as "good for its time".
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom