The Legend of Zelda: Disappointment Abound?

The new console Legend of Zelda was revealed this week at the E3 Nintendo press conference and everyone seems to agree that Nintendo won E3 on the strength of this announcement (along with the 3DS).  There isn’t much we know about the newest Zelda game beyond the face that it has a more vibrant art style and that it requires Motion Plus to play.  Nothing on how the game is structured was revealed, but I have a feeling not much has changed.  There focus at the press conference was exclusively on the new Motion Plus based controls and I think this is what the rumors were referring to when they said that Zelda needed an overhaul.

This is not the direction I was hoping that they would go.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with more motion based controls.  I was holding out hopes that they would finally shake up the Zelda formula.  You guys know what I’m talking about.  It’s been the same walkthrough of each Zelda game since Link to the Past.

Where was I hoping the this Zelda game would take the series?  Well to be honest I really didn’t think about it til after E3.  I just knew that Nintendo felt it was time for a change and so did I.  I would just follow along whatever path they took me.  But after seeing where their focus lies, my mind has begun to wonder about where  I would take one of my favorite gaming franchises.  I keep coming back to the same answer and I’m not sure how well it would go over.  Make it an open world game.  “But Zelda games do have an open world!” I can hear some of you call out.  While yes Hyrule has been an expansive world for Link to explore in the past, I feel there just isn’t anything to do within it.  In Twilight Princess you could collect bugs, but besides that (and the occasional heart container) there wasn’t much to do outside of the dungeons.

I think a system similar to Red Dead Redemption applied to the current Zelda formula would be ideal.  At the end of Red Dead I felt like I had explored every nook and cranny of that world trying to accomplish all the challenges and collect all the bounties I could.  If they would they could put the same sort of persistent challenges in Hyrule on top of the puzzle filled dungeons then I think that would be a giant leap for the series.

It would also help if the NPCs did more than just hang out in the background.  Perhaps a return to Majora’s Mask where most of the NPCs had little missions for you to do.  Red Dead’s use of NPCs would also be a great way to make the world come to life.  Imagine random Hyrulians needing Link to save them from a moblin gang  just thrown in at random intervals while exploring.

It may seem like I’m throwing alot of criticism Zelda’s way, but it’s only because I love the games and want to see them keep evolving with the times.  Make no mistake I will purchase The Legend of Zelda : Skyward Sword and will more than likely enjoy it no matter what changed they bring to the table.  I just hope somewhere in Japan they are trying a bit harder to keep one of their best franchise from becoming stagnate and out of touch.

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