Well…shit. I’m well and truly screwed now. Damn you. Damn you Zelda. Why do you have to do this to me now? Anyone who has read my previous articles about how many things I have to play or read will know that I have a lot of shit to do. Like, a lot. I know, I know; first world problems. But dammit leave me be. Now, for those who may not know it yet, I am a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda franchise. Like, just a massive fan. Anytime something remotely related to Zelda pops up I pay attention. I have been a massive mark for this franchise for many years, and I imagine I will be for many more to come. Just ask any of my friends, they will tell you how just how bad I’ve got it for this series. This series has effectively made its servant. I will do what Zelda says, when Zelda says it.
So imagine how I must have felt when that new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild surfaced. I was frothing at the mouth with all the shit that was revealed. The world looks stunning, the combat looked fluid, and what little bits of the story we have seen look fascinating. There was also the seeming reveal of actual voice acting for this game, (something that I am looking forward to), a possible crafting system, the idea of capturing and taming wild horses, the bonkers idea of a truly open world, the cooking system for regaining health, those goddam octopus looking robots, rock monsters, and just so much more. The new trailer even gives us a look at new characters for the franchise. These all look like really neat additions to the world, whether they are side characters or the sometimes whispered, but unlikely, new party members (wouldn’t that be something) I can’t wait to get to meet them.
Now I am not here to talk about this trailer, believe it or not. I’m here to talk about what this trailer did to me. It gave me the itch. It’s that irresistible pull. It’s that little thing under your skin that you can’t ignore. Namely, it made me put a halt to literally everything else so that I can play every Zelda game I have at my disposal (which is a lot). I will be doing nothing else until I have beaten every game I can in the Zelda franchise. This means no Final Fantasy 15 for the foreseeable future, no Witcher 3, no Bioshock Collection. None of that, it’s Zelda all day every day. Damn you Zelda.
Now that I have decided to let this franchise consume my life for the time being I will be going through each game I can, and then give my brief thoughts on them, for your reading pleasure (if you so desire).
First up; Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword. I remember this one being slightly divisive amongst the people I hung out with at the time and even amongst the fan base in general. I recall people not liking it for the more pronounced linearity of the game. It’s understandable where this opinion comes from as the only true open place to really explore is the sky with its number of small floating islands. While this area does look gorgeous it can get tedious at times. While not an overly large area it can take some time to get from one end to another. Other than the sky the game is divided into smaller min-maps of sort. There are the forest, volcano, and desert area. While each expands as the story progresses they are fairly straightforward in execution. You start from one end, find the things you need to find, enter dungeon. Rinse, lather, and repeat. The areas only really get larger once certain story elements are met, while not a bad thing really, it does hamper exploration just a bit. While the areas are well put together and look very nice it does feel a little restrictive when compared to something The Wind Waker.
Having said all of that, it really is just a nitpick in what is overall a great game. The story is very well done, seeing the origins of the cycle that would come to dominate the series overall, and the origins of the fabled Master Sword. These are immensely important events for the series going forward and are told in a way that make sense and just make for a gripping story. There is also a greater sense of customization for Link. You can buy and upgrade various shields and even your sword. You alternate how many pouches of a certain item you carry depending on your playstyle (you can carry more bomb bags than seed pouches if you want). But what really stands out for me is the medallion system. Over the course of the game you will find various medallions that will confer different bonuses if you carry them. From increased health drops, to more treasure, to various other effects it helps to make this link feel more like your own.
While some people didn’t like the reliance on the Wii-motion plus aspect of the combat system I quite enjoyed it. The increased sensitivity of the Wii-mote allowing you where and how to place your strikes, and against enemies that would actually block or attack in certain directions it really makes you feel intelligent or skilled when you defeat them. Of course sometimes you just rage out and swing your arms violently and hope for the best, but that’s not the point. If you can time it right and swing the Wii-mote right you feel like a certified badass, and that’s not a bad thing.
Overall The Skyward Sword has been a delight to play as it builds upon existing Zelda themes and even introduces a few new ones. While some have stuck around and others haven’t it is still a worthy entrant onto this great franchise. Of course I’m sure that any real fan will have known that for years now. Well, now it’s on to the next game for me, most likely to be my personal favorite The Wind Waker. Until next time.
Also, fuck that Imprisoned boss fight. Just….fuck that thing.