What I can say about the Zelda series? Whilst for many Nintendo fans it’s Mario who defines what Nintendo are, for me, it’s Zelda. The immersive worlds, the dungeons, the monsters and the secrets are truly incredible – I have played several Zelda games more than once and I am yet to uncover all their hidden wonders (even A Link to the Past, which I have played through more times than I can remember, still holds surprises, and it wasn’t until the other day I realised just how many hidden passages and caves existed in the original Legend of Zelda game).
Time to clear up a few misconceptions. Well actually, just one. Though the series is called The Legend of Zelda, the main protagonist is in fact, the guy below – Link.
(this is Zelda!)
There are so many great staples of the Zelda games. Every one of them has lots of little things to find, worlds to explore and temples to discover. There is a wide range of enemies to slay, some of which require specific weapons, and others perseverance. Lighting a torch or pushing a brick can reveal hidden entrances to new locations, and bombs can blast holes in the ground for you to take a leap of faith into.
I have enjoyed pretty much every Zelda game I’ve played, precisely because you can lose yourself in them. You don’t have to explore every last nook, but it can be fun to go back over the game and learn new things and new ways of tackling problems you’d never considered before.
More recent Zelda titles have funneled the player down specific routes at specific points – which is less enjoyable than simply choosing your own path. Yes, there almost has to be a certain point where you follow a script – but during my recent playthrough of A Link to the Past, I tackled some dungeons completely out of the expected order – simply because I could.
There is a Zelda game due for the Wii U, though it probably won’t surface till 2016. This would be the first original Zelda game made in HD, and it is supposed to return Zelda to its roots – that is, greater freedom for the player to choose their own path. It looks beautiful, and is certainly a compelling reason to get a Wii U!
I could go on and on about how much I love the Zelda games. They are epic, with great stories and some amazing gameplay. My only gripe is that Nintendo have yet to give the characters voices. All the ‘dialogue’ is text-based, which in today’s world, with the power of modern consoles, is looking dated. The original Wii (and Game Cube for that matter) could probably have handled spoken dialogue, so lets see that come around soon please Nintendo!