Zero Punctuation: Zelda Phantom Hourglass

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Hehe, I'm glad to see there are a few people like me on here who don't care if the review is good or bad.

I'm just here for the entertainment :D

hey, as usual I just signed up to comment here, zero punctuation is great!

for this every-zelda-is-always-the-same type of people:

has it ever occured to you that while you grow older, zelda and alot of other nintendo games are always targeted at the same audience (kids!), and while you have become teen, twen and finally maybe even thritysomethings, for the intended audience, its always a new zelda game because they havent played the older titles...

oh and Yahtzee if you happen to watch MTV germany (well you 100% won't but anyways) they have a show called GameOne where there are game reviews and stuff and they kinda copied some of your jokes about the orange box to their tv show. to see that look here: http://mtv.de/overdrive/index.php?name=highlights&id=68177
well a lot of german talking and unrelated stuff but you will know it when you see one of the hosts dressed up as walrus.

keep up the good work! oh and dont stop bashing US foreign politics just because some rich, fat and stupid enough people complain about it.

I have to agree with octi_de. I also don't really care that the plot is the same for every zelda game.

vorsuc:
At least Portal rocked, Valve can seemingly find originality if they limit themselves to 2-3 hours gameplay.

"Find" indeed. Narbacular Drop was fun.

This review actually makes me wanna get the game rather than mix into some doo-doo stew. Then again, I did try to send them my game idea, but they didn't take it because of legal reasons. It was to be an alternate version of Twilight Princess, where Link (err, I mean Fagballs) dies instead of Ganondorf. I'd go along with the idea, but Yahtzee maybe you can help me out with making this idea a reality. I should probably go back to making more stories and ideas for Nintendo. Thanks in advance.

I've always found that the Zelda series was awesome the first time around and yet seemed to be the same god damned plot everytime. The only one that might have been different was the under appreciated Majora's Mask.

Yahtzee's reference to Half-Life Source has got to be the most sincere point ever made in a review. People have been critisizing HF:S for not giving us enough new content compared to the original other than the graphics engine. This is ironic because people have never noticed how that's the entire selling point of the Nintendop series.

Okami is the most original game out there. Instead of playing all 15 Zelda games go out and get a look on a fresh NEW game.

Oh yea, one last thing. Fagballs has always been my name of choice in a Zelda game to :P.

Yahtzee, you charismatic stallion, you. I have only one thing to say about this review.

Flak Towers.

Nah, j/k keep up the good work. I'm surprised they haven't done a Zelda prequel yet, where baby Link saves a baby Princess from evil babysitters or something. You are right, I mean how many times can they rehash the same storyline?

At least yearly sports games have the excuse that they have new players and teams. Not much of an excuse I know, but at least it's better than "same plot, slightly newer engine" 12 times in a row...

Then again, the Japanese seem to like doing this. FFXIXVCM anyone?

Shimekiri: All trashing against Half-Life: Source is invalid because Valve, unlike every Japanese developer ever, has the sense to release an SDK.
Yes, every HL2 owner is getting a game that has ALREADY won awards, free. (Most Anticipated Mod of the Year, twice) And what games have you made, Zelda fans?

I would be a bit more forgiving of the games' lack of plot if they were to come up with new things. I agree that some elements are new each game, but personally I don't think they go quite far enough in attempts to make a big change.

True true....so true. But then again, will anyone play a game where Link (a.k.a. Fagballs) dies and now a new group of heroes take his place?...for the time being anyway?

If you wanna see my game idea of this check out my 1up page here.

Voni:
I laughed so hard at the Okami reference. Nice work!

Can we have an Okami review? Please? Maybe when it comes out on the Wii...

Will we see Ami on the wii? That'd suit the paintbrush tool so much better than buggering about with the ps2 controls like some infernal etch-a-sketch. But i'd only bother to buy it if they put in some new stuff or extended it slightly.

Hazelwolf:

Voni:
I laughed so hard at the Okami reference. Nice work!

Can we have an Okami review? Please? Maybe when it comes out on the Wii...

Will we see Ami on the wii? That'd suit the paintbrush tool so much better than buggering about with the ps2 controls like some infernal etch-a-sketch. But i'd only bother to buy it if they put in some new stuff or extended it slightly.

Yeah, we will..
http://kotaku.com/gaming/rumor-confirmed/okami-wii-confirmed-312378.php
The rumor has been confirmed and god...i hope for some improvements (even if I highly doubt about it: RE4 wii edition was just the same, copy/paste, after two years, but still one of the best games the wii had)
If you wonder about the whole actual wii title list, welcome Okami AND be thankful.

You are the reason I wake up every wednesday morning.

thank you.

vorsuc:
good review as always but...

"what if valve..."

had HL2 be about a scientist running a gauntlet from a to b, attacked by headcrabs and military types, with no backstory or details of what is going on.

Only substitute the lemon bazooka for the grav gun. For all the hype I was very disappointed with HL2/EP1/EP2.

Thank you. I was amazed by the absurd amount of praise Valve got for making the main draw of HL2 be the incredibly original ability to pick things up and throw them, in a game released in 2004. 2004! This is something that was pioneered in River City Ransom, for Pete's sake.

(Yes, the grav gun also had a grappling-hook function. Ironically, guess which series did that first.)

(Note: I may be biased by the fact that I'm one of five people on Earth who didn't like the first Half-Life.)

The thing about the gravity gun was that it caused things to happen in the game that even developers didn't predict. One person accidentally killed himself in playtesting through the centrifugal force of a tire swing. It wasn't coded into the game at all for that to happen, and yet it happened, and it made sense. That was what made it so cool.
Also, the gravity gun served a number of functions. You could use it as a shield, you could use it to toss grenades, or if you were more inventive like I was you could actually use your own hands to "cook" grenades by just catching them in your 'psychic' hands the moment you throw them.
Beyond that it's just the amazing look of how things move. When you throw something it doesn't appear scripted at all, how many signature attacks in games would look; it's just going to bounce around off whatever it hits. If it's large, it's your shotgun. If it's small, it's your crossbow. And the fact that more or less anything in the world can be used by it just makes it fun to use regardless of its effectiveness.

I've been following Yahtzee's reviews for several weeks now and I think he is pure genious in humor, eventhough I don't agree with him most of times.

However in this review he has done something that is plain wrong, as is using a double criteria. And yes, I mean the comparation with "Half-Life", which is unfortunated at best.
Not because of the fact that he compared it with "Half-Life", but for what Yahtzee said about the series in the "Orange Box" review.

There he admited that the game was "more of the same"... but while with H-L he said it was fine because it was all that made H-L great, with Zelda he says otherwise, even admiting that each Zelda game adds new elements in its gameplay (and that are hardly seen ever again in any other after it, I might add. At least in the same way).

For that matter, Yahtzee is bashing this Zelda game for being... well... a Zelda game.

Appart from that it is a very good video, as always. He nails the Ocean King Temple matter and the reference to Okami is brilliant.

Xander_VJ:
However in this review he has done something that is plain wrong, as is using a double criteria. And yes, I mean the comparation with "Half-Life", which is unfortunated at best.
Not because of the fact that he compared it with "Half-Life", but for what Yahtzee said about the series in the "Orange Box" review.

There he admited that the game was "more of the same"... but while with H-L he said it was fine because it was all that made H-L great, with Zelda he says otherwise, even admiting that each Zelda game adds new elements in its gameplay (and that are hardly seen ever again in any other after it, I might add. At least in the same way).

I'm afraid you totally misunderstood then. Firstly, he didn't compare the game, Zelda, with Half-Life. If you pay attention, it was a comparison between the two attitudes of the companies. Yahtzee pointed out that if Valve did the same kind of rehashing like Nintendo do with Zelda, then they'd get laughed at but for some reason, Nintendo get away with it.

He wasn't comparing it with the additional HL episodes. With Half-Life 2, the additional Orange Box contents are simply that, "episodes". Extra installments for a bargain price for those who want a little more. They haven't gone and released a new full price game which is actually, on the whole, the same as previous games.

Uh, except it is. It's more polished and has the physics/Grav Gun stuff, but that's comparable to the touch screen control and new uses for the grappling hook in Zelda. Take that gameplay stuff out and he's complaining about the storyline, which is utterly ridiculous. Nintendo's games NEVER have deep, layered plots, because they're gameplay first. I think Miyamoto's even said that. Either that or it's simply the fact that it IS a franchise that's the issue, in which case, then yes, Okami's the answer. A great game that plays very similarly to Zelda with a different setting and a new gimmick, in this case, instead of music or sailing, painting.

I can't even BEGIN to describe how much better this review was than last week's. You have restored my faith, and I've just slapped myself for ever having doubted your magnificence. Thank you.

Edit: Flak Towers!

I was going to write a response to this thread... But I can't be arsed.

I like how a lot of people on this thread are still going on about that Zelda's plots are essentially all the same. Really anyone with half a brain will know that Nintendo doesn't give a damn about the plot. Nintendo will always make sure that the gameplay is perfect before thinking of a way of to give it meaning. If you look at Ocarina of Time and Mario 64 you will find that many people hold these games in the highest regards put both have the same awful plot that has been seen countless times before.
Phantom Hourglass is by no means the best game ever, nor is it the best Zelda. However there is no two ways about it that it is a fantastic game with its only bad point being the god awful Temple of the Ocean King due to it's enforce time limit and stealth. Zelda is still an amazing franchise that has yet to dissapoint (rubbish CD-i games aside).
Nintendo will keep releasing their franchise games because they are sucessful, however with Nintendo you are nearly assured a great experience, which is why Nintendo can still get away with it after 20 years. Plus all those people who think that Nintendo only releases franchise games are completely wrong as Nintendo are one of the only developers who are still willing to take risks on their games. I mean 5 years ago who thought that a game about training a dog would be sucessful? 10 years ago who thought that a game about a spaceman using walking carrots as a weapon would be a good game? No one and all people who think otherwise can clear off.

I'm surprised that he did not point out how stupid the game presumes you are. I am all for a game thinking that I am an intelligent player, because it means more often than not I get to do something cool and go "Oh, cool, I figured it out". Sure, you get stuck on a few frustrating puzzles, but ah well, even puzzle games for "stupids" have these moments too.

But, no, not Phantom Hourglass. Oh no, no, no. Every five goddamn seconds that little Navi wannabe fuck will nag the living hell out of you.
-"HEY LINK, TAP THE DOOR TO OPEN IT."
-"WHAT'S ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS DOOR I WONDER FAGBALLS? HEY FAGBALLS, WHY DON'T YOU TAP ON THE DOOR TO OPEN IT?"
-"FAGBALLS, I SEE A MAP. EVEN THOUGH YOU CLICKED ON IT AND ALREADY DREW DOWN EVERY HINT THAT YOU NEED I THINK I NEED TO POINT OUT THAT YOU SHOULD DRAW IT DOWN."

Dammit Navi, I will kill you, I will killl youuuu!!

Kainti:
Every five goddamn seconds that little Navi wannabe fuck will nag the living hell out of you.
-"HEY LINK, TAP THE DOOR TO OPEN IT."
-"WHAT'S ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS DOOR I WONDER FAGBALLS? HEY FAGBALLS, WHY DON'T YOU TAP ON THE DOOR TO OPEN IT?"
-"FAGBALLS, I SEE A MAP. EVEN THOUGH YOU CLICKED ON IT AND ALREADY DREW DOWN EVERY HINT THAT YOU NEED I THINK I NEED TO POINT OUT THAT YOU SHOULD DRAW IT DOWN."

Dammit Navi, I will kill you, I will killl youuuu!!

LOL! yeah... Gotta love Navi. ;)

Crooked Knight:
(Yes, the grav gun also had a grappling-hook function. Ironically, guess which series did that first.)

Bionic Commando? ;)

LOL OKAMI REFERENCE. HAHAHAAH NICE!

great, err... review!
I'm mioghty tired of nintendo's rereleasing of their games, but a few turn out well...
Super Mario Galaxy looks awesome.

To be serious for a minute, pointing out that every Zelda is more or less the same is about fifteen years too late to be relevant let alone thoughtful. The original Zelda is the archetype that nearly every console action-adventure follows. They can all be distilled down to "Go to dungeon X and collect item Y so that you can overcome Z." Even Psychonauts follows this.

Even when a Zelda is a sequel like Link's Awakening or references an earlier game like Twilight Pricess, the connection isn't substantial at best and insignificant at worst. Majora's Mask's connection to Ocarina of Time is the eponymous item. The only tie Phantom Hourglass has to Wind Waker is the boating. That could be changed to nearly any other kind of transportation with close to no effect on the rest of the game; you could be paragliding between spires in a bottomless abyss without changing the landed elements. Link's Awakening is only a sequel to A Link to the Past because people say that it is. All Twilight Pricess does is name drop the Hero of Time once in a while and calls it a day. The only exception is Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons, but those are more or less one game split in two.

Each game is different enough that the only commonality is the title, Link, Zelda and Ganon. The common characters are generic enough that any other character with any other backstory could take their place. As for the items, the only common ones are the sword, bow and hookshot which are conveniently the only items that Ben mentions. If the characters were changed, and the title shortened to just the subtitle, the complaints about similarity don't hold any water because you've dragged the entire genre into the argument.

The reason Zelda is a franchise instead of twelve seperate games is that there's a sense of pedigree with a franchise for both the developer and the player. If Game 2 was good, Game 3 will be too even with no connection apart from the name e.g. Final Fantasy. The same goes for the developer because they have to uphold the standard set by previous entries. That feeling doesn't necessary go along with individual games.

um...sword, bow, hookshot, musical instrument, bombs, animal transformation, mirror shield, deku sticks, light arrows, elemental arrows, bottles, fairies...

Maybe some of those are less valid, but that's still way too bleedin much to Ctrl-C Ctrl-V into every Zelda game, and consider a new puzzle.

Shiloa:
I'm afraid you totally misunderstood then. Firstly, he didn't compare the game, Zelda, with Half-Life. If you pay attention, it was a comparison between the two attitudes of the companies. Yahtzee pointed out that if Valve did the same kind of rehashing like Nintendo do with Zelda, then they'd get laughed at but for some reason, Nintendo get away with it.

He wasn't comparing it with the additional HL episodes. With Half-Life 2, the additional Orange Box contents are simply that, "episodes". Extra installments for a bargain price for those who want a little more. They haven't gone and released a new full price game which is actually, on the whole, the same as previous games.

I think it is you who missunderstands me. Or it is me that I didn't explain myself properly.

I know that he was refering to specifically Episode II, but it is something that can be applied to all the series using that kind of criteria. As Gaz_L pointed out, the Zelda games "reharshes" themselves the same way "Half-Life 2" "reharshes" "Half-Life 1". You can say that "Phantom Hourglass" is the same fucking game with touch controls, or that "Ocarina of Time" is the same fucking game with time travels. But then we can also say that "Half-Life 2" is the same fucking game with a gravity gun. Just like that.

As matter of fact, with that criteria every single videogame series in history rehash themselves starting right from part 2.

That's what I meant with that he was complaining about this Zelda game for being a Zelda game.

And as Gaz_L also said, take the gameplay elements complains out (because they are utterly wrong for the matter we are disscussing)and Yahtzee's complains are all about storyline, and Zelda storylines are not multi-layered nor have impossible plot twists. They never have been, not even intented to.

Maybe Yahtzee find it more anoying with the Zelda series because they are released more often, eventhough that's more because Nintendo tries to release at least one entry per system, being that either console or handheld. It's not like they milk the series like they do with, say, "Mario Party" that appear every fucking year.

And as they have said before, the complain about Nintendo not releasing new franchises is just not true. "Animal Crossing", "Nintendogs", "Brain Training", "Excite Trucks", "Trauma Center"... you may like or dislike those titles, but they ARE new franchises. I think that the proper complain would be that Nintendo should spend the same money in those new franchises as they do with Mario, Zelda, Metroid and Pokémon (as in being big budget games).

I thought I detected a lack of bile this week. He's sounded a lot angrier in the past. :)

Which is worse montanty in game type like zelda or of the wall insanity like Mario sunshine....
there is a balance to keeping things fun and well...

Mario and Zelda both have fallen on the fun factor Wind waker was evil the sailing killed it for me and the extra weapons and what not just were mared by to many rules to keep it from being fun..

Zelda:TWP is pretty much the same if they would ease off all the overly restrictive rules and BS and make the tools and stuff more useful the game would be fun, my only real complaint about sunshine is the out of sync jump zones that are mandatory to clear the rest of it was not so bad but come on nintendo is it so hard to do a real 3D mario game with his normal line of power ups the wonky and weak 3D stuff has been well....weak....

edit
Oh and you want originality in a series try Final fantasy, which with every other or nearly every game manages to toss out everything that works or is fun for something beyond stupid or is beyond grindy.

Originality dose not equate to fun............ and games are suppose to be about fun not what you can sell to the mindless googled eyed noobs who think watching pixels masturbate on screen is cool, I grew out of the whole "oooooo shiny" thing years ago and find a huge lack of depth is most gaming now adays.

Is it so much to ask less shiny more fun?

Well, Zelda games does indeed repeat themselves.. but I don't know, it's never bothered me. Be it Zelda or Mario, when I fire up the new game I want to go save the princess.

I'm pretty sure the Zelda series taking a new path would never be recieved well, in fact most big name franchises who actually do try to make big changes to the formula tend to get the piss taken out of them for it.

Let's say we replace Link with, oh I don't know, Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2, you think the fanbase would appreciate this bold move? :)

Redfeather:
Flaaaaak towers.

Only annoying factor is the use of "fag" every episode lately it seems. Perhaps it's not quite the slur in merry old england that it is here in the states. Or perhaps he's been listening to too many console 'tards via voice chat.

Or he's playing WoW and is sitting in the Barrens.

Yes, this is my single only complaint about the otherwise godlike Yahtzee. I really dislike the use of the word "fag." To me, it's on par with using the N-word. It's hate speech, pure and simple (unless he's talking about cigarettes, but in this case, I highly doubt it).

And indeed, I get enough of an earful/eyeful while playing WoW in trade chat or battleground chat (I try to avoid Barrens chat whenever possible).

Other than that blemish, a most hilarious review as always.

ermm, Xander, isn't it hudson doing that mario party thing? Maybe nintendo should shut the valve for once, oh well.

Anyway, great review and i hope to see more of that stuff ^^ Maybe i'll read more articles on this web, if i can find the patience.

Shiloa:
I have to agree with you on the whole Nintendo situation, they have such wealth, talent and resources to create so many great new games but they just constantly stick to the same old over and over again. Their fanbase is massive, there's no reason why they can't take the risk of creating a new IP that at least has an interesting script. Instead, every time Nintendo go for the easy option and churn out another Mario pal or Zelda title. It's amazing how they get away with it, like you say, any other developer would be lynched for doing such a thing.

well i always liked the zelda games myself until Windwaker.. so I can understand how they get away with it :P the games they repeat the whole time are the really good ones, zelda for example is.. no was one of the longest games I've ever played and I even enjoyed playing it more than once (ocarina of time & majoras mask). but I also agree with you guys that they should "invent" some more "new" games since the zelda and mario games are getting easier and easier the more mainstream nintendo is going (Wii -.-)... uhm yeah.. you did a really good job btw again yahtzee :D

Chinster:
Hehe, I'm glad to see there are a few people like me on here who don't care if the review is good or bad.

I'm just here for the entertainment :D

totaly true :D he has a great sense of humor ^^

Xander_VJ:

And as they have said before, the complain about Nintendo not releasing new franchises is just not true. "Animal Crossing", "Nintendogs", "Brain Training", "Excite Trucks", "Trauma Center"...

Trauma Center is not Nintendo, Excite Truck is a dodgy one because it can easily been seen as a resurrection of the Excitebike series, which leaves the other three, one of which is Edutainment (Brain Training).

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