Vikramaditya Rana takes a deep look into what the next entry could offer to fans.
The Legend of Zelda series has been one of the most critically acclaimed game series of all time. It has garnered a huge fanbase courtesy its ever changing gameplay and lovable characters that we have come to associate with over the years. The first Legend of Zelda game was a massive success for Nintendo and a great innovation on part of the designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. The game had included the ability to use a dozen or more different items to solve puzzles and defeat monsters whilst exploring a brilliant big world full of secrets to explore, for the time.
This trend was not long in catching with a number of copies of the Zelda game’s formula spawning in the subsequent years. But there never was quite anything like the Zelda games and to this day the Zelda games have stood testimony to how far they have come and evolved with time and remained amongst the favourite games of gamers all over the globe. Continuing the same trend will be the next Zelda game for the Wii U coming in 2015 (assumed). Here’s a little on what all has been doing the rounds on the internet and what all Nintendo along with Eiji Aonuma’s team need to do to make this forthcoming Zelda game a beautifully etched memory in our minds to remember fondly for years to come.
"With Nintendo emptying their work pile up with the release of Wind Waker and A Link Between Worlds, only the Wii U game is all that remains now and Nintendo still has a lot to work on for this game."
The Legend of Zelda series has seen a plethora of changes and some hiatuses between some game but all of that has been worthwhile till now. Going from a simple yet large explorable world to introducing hundreds of elements in the games like collectibles and bonuses spread throughout the game’s environment in dungeons and bushes and a sundry other things, the series has come a long way in its making.
With Nintendo emptying their work pile up with the release of Wind Waker and A Link Between Worlds, only the Wii U game is all that remains now and Nintendo still has a lot to work on for this game. No doubt Nintendo wouldn’t go in haphazardly and come up with something crude and unpolished, but it’s hard to not let the doubts creep in when you have been a part of something so big for so long.
Eiji Aonuma had made it quite clear that he is not tired of making Zelda games and that he definitely looks forward to bring about new changes in the game series. Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and A Link Between Worlds were three of the games that were evidently different from the established Zelda formula in certain respects and their beautiful execution was what ended up with their being critically acclaimed and widely appreciated.
Ocarina of Time, whilst maintaining the core gameplay of the earlier games had brought in new game mechanics like target lock-on which allowed precision based sword fighting in the 3D space of the game. Wind Waker was a game that surprisingly was meant to specifically target a younger audience and again retained the core gameplay of the previous games but introduced its own set of changes that were well received.
"As much as sticking to the roots of a game is appreciated by the gaming community, it often gets stodgy when you keep seeing the same thing over and over again. It’s not that the Zelda games have become horrible, but only that they have become a little repetitive and sometimes just feel like a rehash of earlier makes."
Even so, it’s noticeable that what has gone into the making if the Zelda games has started to wear on, and not recently. Much to our delight, we found Eiji Aonuma echoing our thoughts a long time back in an interview with 4Gamer where he had stated that even he has felt ennui with regard to how they have stuck to traditional methods adamantly and done things accordingly.
He also stated the need for his team to bring in changes if they wanted to bring something new to the front in the Zelda games and it was a result of his efforts that we were presented with A Link Between Worlds.
A Link Between Worlds, the most recent iteration in the Legend of Zelda series isn’t far off with introducing changes. The ability to rent or buy items in the game allows players to complete the dungeons in any order whilst turning Link into a painting to get past obstacles and solve puzzles in the immense open world adds a new dimension to the gameplay.
Aonuma had said that as A Link Between Worlds had marked a radical change in the game making policy for his team, the next Zelda title slated to be released for the Wii U is set to bring in some equally new and exciting changes. As much as sticking to the roots of a game is appreciated by the gaming community, it often gets stodgy when you keep seeing the same thing over and over again.
It’s not that the Zelda games have become horrible, but only that they have become a little repetitive and sometimes just feel like a rehash of earlier makes. Also, with the Wii U’s advanced GamePad, Nintendo ought to take every advantage possible of the controller just like the Wii’s controller was put to use in Skyward Sword.
"What has to be considered by the developers is that by ‘open world’, we don't mean a huge expansive world like the ones in Skyrim or The Witcher III, but a decently ample space filled with puzzles, items and bonuses that make players scout and explore every corner and nook without them flailing their hands helplessly meandering about a large physical area to no end."
Nonetheless, some of Aonuma’s words had us a little worried when he’d said that he’d like to question the characters series and see people look at Zelda games in the same light even if Zelda or Link are not in the game.
While we appreciate the developers of the game looking at new avenues to better the game and while we know what Nintendo and the Zelda team is capable of, we’re very sceptical about this idea and find it hard not to have qualms about this notion and the forthcoming Wii U game.
Another thing that Nintendo has always done is make quantum leaps in the Zelda universe timeline with every subsequent games. A Link Between Worlds for instance, takes place in the same world as A Link to the Past but is set hundreds of years later.
While it is understandable that the Ocarina of Time created a three way rift in the timeline for the series, it will be good to have a handful of games that are released in succession which conform to the same world, timeline and to more or less an extent, the same storyline. Wind Waker’s beloved freedom of movement had been the inspiration for Nintendo to make the recent games and it’s mandatory that an open world is given to us in the Wii U title.
What has to be considered by the developers is that by ‘open world’, we don’t mean a huge expansive world like the ones in Skyrim or The Witcher III, but a decently ample space filled with puzzles, items and bonuses that make players scout and explore every corner and nook without them flailing their hands helplessly meandering about a large physical area to no end. It’s always refreshing to see and explore the world around you to discover and find interesting things or even walk into a little danger once a while.
"Its dynamic gameplay and freedom to roam the world coupled with new game mechanics is something that Nintendo is pursuing with great interest. And quite right they are in doing so."
Zelda games haven’t ever been known for their graphical prowess and neither have people cared for it. Although Wind Waker’s graphics were something that had some people questioning the game’s audience. Learning from their ‘mistakes’, Nintendo has decided to keep their hand strong in the graphics department too.
Both, to make the game look more beautiful and attract those people who have qualms with not so great graphics. Little else is known of the game as of now. Although with the E3 2014 approaching, we should be getting to know a lot more of where the game’s development is. What we do know is that A Link Between Worlds would serve as a major inspiration for the Wii U game.
Its dynamic gameplay and freedom to roam the world coupled with new game mechanics is something that Nintendo is pursuing with great interest. And quite right they are in doing so. A Link Between Worlds was indeed a fresh wind of change that was fun to a be a part of.
Even though we’re left with dabbing at the mysteries of the next Zelda game, we won’t be in the dark for long. To what end Aonuma and his team have put in effort to give the Zelda series a fresh outlook and make it the Wii U’s saving grace, we’ll only get to know at the E3.