Monday, December 3, 2012

The Legend of Zelda Becoming Legend

I've been a fan of the Legend of Zelda games since after we first got our Nintendo, which I talked about in one of my first posts.  Something about the simplicity of the game play and the memorableness of the music made for such an amazing gaming experience for a 10 year old.  Over the years I've played through many of the games that make up The Legend of Zelda franchise, with the exceptions of Oracle of Seasons, Oracile of Ages, Four Swords Adventure, Minish Cap and Skyward Sword.  Just for whatever reason, I never got around to playing the LoZ games that came out on the GBC and GBA; Skyward Sword I haven't played because I don't own a Wii.  However, with the two aforementioned games in the series that I haven't finished, because I had stopped playing them, because I began to lose interest, I've felt in recent years, a fading of The Legend of Zelda series.

Some of my views about the games in the series, while not necessarily controversial, I don't feel are common with the rest of the LoZ fan base.  For example, I feel that Majora's Mask is a stronger game and a lot more fun than Ocarina of Time.  I also feel that music MM is more of music that I can listen to by itself and less atmospheric than in OoT.  I also think that Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is a great (albeit pain in the ass) game.  So much so that I can't imagine any of the polygonal Zelda games happening if it weren't for the side scrolling, expansive vision of Hyrule that Zelda II introduced.  I also love the animation and art style in Wind Waker.  No, I didn't mind all the sailing as the end of the game gave a fantastic explanation/reasoning behind the world existing.

And then it was great to see the same style of art/animation again in the two games on the DS, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks.  Sadly though, this is where our tale ends.  After I finished Phantom Hourglass, I started Spirit Tracks, expecting a somewhat similar experience.  I played ST for a couple of hours before the Left Trigger button on my DS decided to stop, but by that point I had already felt like stopping.  I wasn't feeling engaged with the story and I felt like I had somewhat figured out the basis and arc of the game only after watching the opening cinematic.

I received a similar feeling while playing Twilight Princess.  I had reached a part in the game where I felt I needed more heart containers, which meant I had to forego the main storyline and wander around the beautifully created re-re-re-re-re-re-imagining of Hyrule looking for, what is it now? Five pieces of a heart container to give an extra heart?  I remember being annoyed in A Link to the Past when you had to find four pieces to create a heart container.  I however came to terms with this being another alteration in the series, so I accepted it and got over myself.

True, the LoZ series hasn't had a great deal of original-ness, with the main storylines being that you have to rescue Zelda from Ganon, or some itteration on the save the princess theme, but they've still been fun to play.  Just like the Super Mario Bros., Metroid and Castlevania games, there is not a lot of originality, but still loads of fun to play (except I haven't played through a Super Mario Bros. game since Super Mario World and Super Mario RPG, so maybe that's not the greatest of arguments).

On a similar, but slightly different note, a few months back I came across on called ZReO or Zelda: ReOrchestrated, which initally billed themselves as symphonic orchestrations of the music from the Legend of Zelda games.  I was really excited.  I'd heard a number of symphoic orchestrations of music from this series, but the music from all the games not only sounded epic in it's attempt, but amazing in that it came from ALL OF THE GAMES!!  I began typing out an article about this ground a number of months ago but in the information gathering process, I discovered than the "group" only uses audio samples for the instruments that make up this "orchestra."  Don't get me wrong, the music sounds good and I would love to hear it performed by an actual symphony, but needless to say (which is why I'm saying it), I was a little let down.  But that shouldn't stop anyone from giving what they've done a listen as all their music is free to download.

And They Will Play On Forever More

1 comment:

  1. ...yeah...
    I remember being suspicious that the Zelda Franchise was getting watered down when I saw a poster that featured all the games in the Zelda series in Chronological Order and all the games in the Mario Series. Funny thing is that early on, it was Mario games that were coming out all the time, and we had to wait and wait and wait for Zelda games. And right about when those GameBoy Color games came out, it switched. And there were three Zelda games for every Mario Game. Sigh. It's the loss of potential that saddens me, I think. I used to imagine what Hyrule was like, based on exploring the games, and reading the instruction booklets.
    More on this later, I have to go to work.