Friday, 1 July 2011

Classic Friday: "Skyward Snore"

Today's Classic Friday article sheds some light on why I'm more interested in Xenoblade than the new Zelda game:

The more I’ve seen the new trailer for the new Zelda game “The Skyward Sword“, a single thought occurs to me time and again:

I think I’m finally sick of Zelda.

I’m sick of Link, I’m sick of Epona, I’m sick of the Master Sword. I’m sick of the Gorons and the Zora. I’m sick of never having any noticeable change in setting or tone. I no longer get the thrill, the excitement of seeing that effeminate dork in his peter pan tights. It no longer makes me nostalgic for the games of my youth, but rather leaves me thinking it’s about time he got a real job and cut that hair.

I’m sick of Octorocs and Moblins and Ganondorf being the last boss even when he has no business being the last boss. Just because people think he’s the Bowser of Zelda games. I’m sick of every single game being Ocarina of Time over and over and over again. I’m tired of “Grass, Fire, Water” temples(in that order), the suicidal mini-boss with the terrible post-90’s Koji Kondo music, and the boss that comes after which presents absolutely no challenge, because you know that his weakness is the item you just got 5 minutes ago.

I’m finally Zelda’d out.

Oh, what’s that? They gave it a different art-style. A new paint-job doesn’t change the fact that it’s the same damn game every single time. This is the 2nd biggest franchise Nintendo has, right behind Mario. But see, Mario changes things up in nearly every installment, even in the spin-off sports games titles. How has the Zelda series improved past aesthetic quality since A Link To The Past? Why doesn’t it try something radical or interesting, like a futuristic or steam-punk setting? Or maybe make the main character something besides a keebler elf who JUST SO HAPPENS to have the same name as every other hero in his position.

What kind of world would we live in if every single firefighter were named “Paul”?

Also, why does anyone pay even the slightest attention to this Timeline theory bullshit? How does this make the games better? I see people all the time in forums, posting lengthy examinations, speculations and such about how the bobble-headed, cat-eyed cartoon Link is somehow connected to the mature, Todd MacFarlance Link. As if that makes any difference whatsoever. Wouldn’t it have been better if it were established canon that IT ACTUALLY IS THE SAME STORY EVERY TIME, but told by different people? This would account for different events, locations and even art-styles(as the imagination of each storyteller would vary).

I mean, does any of that shit matter? It’s not like there’s gonna be some big payoff. It’s not building up to anything. There is absolutely no benefit to having this big, secret wikipedia of the Zelda series that only 3 people at Nintendo have access to. Not when it’s the same main character in every game, the same setting, the same gameplay, and that same stupid fucking Zelda theme that I’ve heard more times than my national anthem.

But you can’t do something cool like set Hyrule in a steampunk setting, or have Zelda be the playable character, because then everyone gets in a hissy fit about how “IT’S NOT THE WAY IT WAS IN 1987!!!1!1!” Superman comics are like this too. The status quo keeps anything of any significance from ever happening, but people keep buying this garbage because it’s Superman. He’s not even allowed to have a dignified death.

For a recent example of this: Twilight Princess had this big buildup of a non-Ganon villain named “Zant”, who was looking to be about a million times more awesome. It was on its way toward proving that they didn’t have to use the same cast in every game. Even Capcom did this with the Mega Man X series(er, eventually). Then at some point they decided “it wasn’t a Zelda game” without Ganon, so they shoe-horned him in, and they had to make Zant completely retarded so that he wouldn’t make Ganon look bland in comparison.

This isn’t like, Pokemon, which is a silly little cartoon game with no real overarching story or buildup, so going on indefinitely isn’t really an issue with me. But the Zelda series is supposed to be Nintendo’s benchmark franchise that shows they mean SRS BUSINESS. It’s supposed to be their way of showing they can adhere to epic storytelling, to do things they couldn’t otherwise do with the smaller, simpler, dare I say cuter fare like the Kirby series. But they’re so afraid of public backlash by low-standards-having neckbeards with triforce tattoos that they’re essentially muscled into beating the horse corpse into a fine paste.

What would make for an interesting Zelda game?

I don’t know. I think the better question might be:

At what point can you get creative with this concept before it ceases to be a “Zelda” game?

How about one where you play as someone -similar- to Link, and then find out that you’re not the Hero of Anything, and were only a pawn to get the real hero to a trap set by the villain. Maybe make Link the final boss, so that you -become- the new Hero of Something?

Or how about it’s Link again, but he goes to an opposite world where a female version of Ganon is the protagonist, against an evil female warrior in green and a magic-abusing prince? Yeah, it’s Rule #63. A three-on-three tag-team battle might not revitalize the series, but at least it would be more interesting than… another sword-fight.

I imagine for a lot of people, news of a new Zelda game is what gets them up in the morning. But I think it’s time to accept that it’s never going to rekindle the magic of our younger days. If this weren’t such a cash-cow for Nintendo, I really would consider just taking it out to the barn and shooting it. Does that make me jaded?



No comments:

Post a Comment