Wind Waker is Still the Best Zelda, and You're Surprised?

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Wind Waker is Still the Best Zelda, and You're Surprised?

I like Zelda for being nice, straightforward good-versus-evil fairy stories with functional combat and controlled open-world pseudo-Metroidvania exploration mechanics. I don't like Zelda when it gets up itself.

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I predicted the "*gasp* Yahtzee likes a Nintendo game" thing as soon as I stopped watching the video. It's why I said Wii U specifically (though it probably shouldn't count, it's a Gamecube game).

And a quirky dance off ending in a Zelda game? I'd like to see that, if only for the novelty.

When I heard about Link to the Past 2, my first thought was "This should have been about a middle-aged Link who's out of shape and jumping at the opportunity to reclaim his former glory."

You had me at zelda, but lost me at rockin all over the world. Which, i guess would be the whole article, so that's a success on your part.
That version of zelda seems fairly comparable to the clash of the titans style, resist the gods story. At first anyways.

Also, surely any jaded critic needs some good foundations to base their critisisms on? Like my interpretations of all fps's since perfect dark on the n64. Aside half life's, but they are really still only campaign based foundations to work from as apposed to curious contents.

I'd like a Zelda where the main character is a Zora or something like that (and don't throw the name Majora's Mask to me, I mean a full game).

And frankly, Zelda: A Link to the Past 2 just looks WAAAAY too samey to the original. I know it's a sequel (to a game released 12 years ago), but come on, not even Half-life 2 is that similar to Half-life.

Usually the problem with "reluctant everyman" stories is as soon as the protagonist is confronted by their first encounter with either the Big Bad or "mystical destiny" or whatever, they do a complete 180 and decide to take on their new mantle in the course of about 8 seconds, nearly always shouting about avenging someone. You never see the protagonist get into a screaming match with their divine recruiter and stomp off, trying to cut out the birthmark with a penknife or something. Make a game out of that, trying to outrun the forces that are hunting you down, while staying away from groups of conscripts who might recognize you from the day your village was burned down. Have the ultimate goal be starting a new life in occupied territory without anyone the wiser.

You know, a Zelda title that resists status quo would probably get me interested in the series again.

ImBigBob:
When I heard about Link to the Past 2, my first thought was "This should have been about a middle-aged Link who's out of shape and jumping at the opportunity to reclaim his former glory."

Or Hell with it, maybe something like this - game protagonists who are not shimmering youthful paragons of human physical excellence.

I mean, it could even be used as a possible metaphor for Nintendo itself.

section he seems to be naturally great at everything with no apparent effort.

Now that you mention it, it would be cool if you have the choice to decide what kinds of stats Link will be good at. Will he be a warrior? A mage? Is he more adept at close range, or long range?

Chimichanga:
You know, a Zelda title that resists status quo would probably get me interested in the series again.

ImBigBob:
When I heard about Link to the Past 2, my first thought was "This should have been about a middle-aged Link who's out of shape and jumping at the opportunity to reclaim his former glory."

Or Hell with it, maybe something like this - game protagonists who are not shimmering youthful paragons of human physical excellence.

I mean, it could even be used as a possible metaphor for Nintendo itself.

That's kind of what I was going for.

I do hope that they really do manage to do what they say they want to do with Link Between Worlds and the upcoming Wii U title. That is, rethink series tradition.

As to whoever is forcing this destiny thing? I think they actually managed to address that in Skyward Sword. The final curse of the demon king is that people in Zelda's bloodline and with Link's "spirit" will always be made to fight guys like Ganondorf. Presumably, some climactic title will involve breaking that curse and letting the destiny thing die.

Oh, and thanks for informing me about Linkstagram. That's just the right blend of funny and stupid.

I always found the hero destined to defeat evil a odd trope in video games, mostly because the destined hero seems to die a lot, also why does the world need to know that there's a hero who's going to vanquish evil? that's just asking evil to find and kill the aforementioned hero.

I think a cool Legend of Zelda game would star Zelda herself as the green-clad hero doing all the stuff to save her kingdom. And Link is a right-hand minion of Ganon terrorizing the land. Link was supposedly chosen by fate, but in his first big heroic calling (to free Zelda from some thing or other), Zelda proved more capable and freed herself first. This left him aimless and adrift, which made him susceptible to Ganon's influence.

Zelda, meanwhile, winds up with the task of defeating Ganon's generically evil scheme and getting through to Link so he'll help her at the end the same way Zelda helps Link at the end of Ocarina of Time.

I'd play it.

--Morology!

Enlong:
I do hope that they really do manage to do what they say they want to do with Link Between Worlds and the upcoming Wii U title. That is, rethink series tradition.

I totally echo this opinion, glad someone else said it. I'm glad Nintendo is still willing to use the handheld platform as a place to experiment. Maybe some ideas will trickle UP into the Wii U.

I've always liked Wind Waker as well. Tho, I also like cell shading, because I like cartoon-esque looking characters. I like the clean no black outline character design too (see Samurai Jack for a good example.)

Conversely, I'm sad to see they've decided they have to "be careful" with the Zelda series.

Also, I think it's odd that everyone uses GATTACA as a stand in for the concepts of Eugenics. I rarely see someone write the word Eugenics. GATTACA comes up twice a week. Weird.

I really can't wait for Nintendo to remake Majora's Mask, just so Yahtzee can play it (or at least review it, since he may have played it. I doubt that he's played it, since he said in his Ocarina of Time 3D review that he had never played OoT).

Anyways, the game is really different in terms of story, everything from the fact that Ganondorf's name is never mentioned, and Zelda shows up once in a brief flash back. They rarely, if ever, refer to Link as the "Hero of Time"; he's just a capable guy who gets mixed up in the affairs of Termina.

Hell, his motivations for starting his journey are different; instead of being told he's some mystical hero of the land and needs to save everyone, he instead gets mugged, and pursues the thief because he wants his stuff back, which then leads to him getting cursed and turned into a Deku, which adds more motivation of wanting to get turned back to normal.

Not only that, but I can't remember the last Zelda I played where Link fails as much as he does. If you count the mugging, Link epic fails three times at the start of the game, which is what sets up the long term motivation.

Anyways, its my favorite game, and I want Nintendo to hurry up and remake it so we can get Yahtzee's opinion on it.

I'm still holding out hope for this:

image
http://dresdencodak.tumblr.com/post/47724463171/inspired-by-anita-sarkeesians-video-game-tropes

The characters seem more interesting, the gameplay more fluid, the magic focus would be a nice change, the world seems more interesting, esspecially politically and it even has a female protagonist, because why not at that point?

I've actually argued the point on these forums that you don't necessarily need to play as Link/Courage to fit into the Zelda mythos. I think it would make an interesting change if instead you play the embodiment of Power; since destiny dictates that Courage and Wisdom team up to defeat you, they do so off the bat, before Power has done anything wrong. You spend the game evading them and building your strength before finally deciding either to be the monster they expect you to be or to die peacefully and unjustly at their hands.

Or, you play as Wisdom; Power has pre-empted the usual plan and kidnapped Courage as his starting move. As the less battle-capable Wisdom, you stealthily move through Hyrule, solving puzzles and gaining the knowledge you need to sneakily infiltrate Power's lair and stab him in the back.

It doesn't have to follow the same formula to still be a Zelda game.

I think I would like a different kind of zelda game but what you described is basically something closer to a post farm destruction harvest moon and I'm not sure I would be into that.

Brian Tams:
*snips*

You're right, I forgot how much that game was different from the others. It was pretty good, but the masks collection was pretty much worthless :P

Still, good game, different mechanics and more interesting characters.

Can Yahtzee become the writer of the next Zelda game? ... I would like to see a Link Ganondorf teamup.

I still like the N64 games as a whole. As a kid they were fun adventure yay! Now... dear lord act two of OoT is a kick to the gut. And that damned owl kept twisting the emotional knife.

Majora's mask is depressing and explores a whole lot of themes without them bogging down the narrative. Just the residents' finally confronting their own mortality was just...

All of the reasons you gave about why Wind Waker is good are why Ocarina of Time has the best story. It's both traditional and non-traditional at the same time. The game starts off how you'd expect, but then after the "mini-climax" everyone hates Link because he was the hero who was supposed to save them and he just up and disappeared for years. Zelda actually gets off her ass and starts doing stuff herself in a superhero disguise.

That said...Link to the Past is still the best Zelda game overall. It's where the formula that later Zelda games became so slavish to was perfected.

You know maybe I keep playing the wrong game? Everyone says Wind Waker is like...the best thing ever. And all I played was a slightly above-par game. With really annoying sounds and music. So...par. I mean where was the epic immersion everyone is talking about? I couldn't have cared less or been less connected with the characters if I tried. To me it was the type of game I easily forgot about for months on end and every time I remembered I bought it, I played with the idea of returning.

I have the horrible feeling Yatzhee is falling into the same rose-tinted euphoria of nostalgia that so many gamers fall into. Maybe he just has to like one Zelda game and this is the best one he can find? Therefore its good? I've had the same conversation for years now and every time I reach the same impasse. I ask specifically what someone likes about WW and they give me a dead eyed 'its just good!' look. Now I know I'm in the minority here, but I didn't get FF7, RE4 or any of the COD games either...

Silentpony:
You know maybe I keep playing the wrong game? Everyone says Wind Waker is like...the best thing ever. And all I played was a slightly above-par game. With really annoying sounds and music. So...par. I mean where was the epic immersion everyone is talking about? I couldn't have cared less or been less connected with the characters if I tried. To me it was the type of game I easily forgot about for months on end and every time I remembered I bought it, I played with the idea of returning.

I have the horrible feeling Yatzhee is falling into the same rose-tinted euphoria of nostalgia that so many gamers fall into. Maybe he just has to like one Zelda game and this is the best one he can find? Therefore its good? I've had the same conversation for years now and every time I reach the same impasse. I ask specifically what someone likes about WW and they give me a dead eyed 'its just good!' look. Now I know I'm in the minority here, but I didn't get FF7, RE4 or any of the COD games either...

Don't worry, you're not the only one who thinks Wind Waker is only ok.

And I *despise* Majora's Mask too, which certain people seem to think is the best game ever.

I wonder if Yahtzee ever played Link's Awakening for the GameBoy way back when....?

That game had such a good story with nice twist right near the end, it makes you wonder after you beat the final boss if you're the "hero" or the "villian". I'd really like to hear his perspective on that.

OT: I'm more of the "Wind Waker was mildly OK" opinion than anything else.

So, Yahtzee basically wants a Zelda game that more or less reflects the plot of Mogworld? Shock!

While I'll agree Wind Waker is good. It certainly isn't the best. I recently played through myself, and I honestly can't recall most of the dungeons. They aren't memorable or challenging. Neither are most of the boss encounters. The ocean is Hyrule field, but even less interesting. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more, if you could actually do some underwater exploration instead of trudging across a sparsely populated blue canvas. Beyond that, the tone is great, the artstyle works well, and Link has just enough personality, so that he doesn't feel like a green-clad vessel for the player to control.

I've never been a fan of the Zelda series as a whole too. Most of the games just outright bore me because of how slow paced and predictable they all are. The ones that stuck out as being kind of fun or unique were Majora's Mask (I just like how central time travel was to the game and the plot whereas it was only kind of relevant to Ocarina of Time) as well as the masky bits. The other was Four Swords because I liked the idea of a multiplayer Zelda game utilizing puzzles for four people. And I liked the idea of Link separating into four bits, though I wish they had taken it a step farther and given them all different personalities to show us the many facets of Link. Give character and voice to his exaggerated split personalities to give us a greater sense of who he is without having to ruin him by giving him all the voice and personality. Plus, throwing friends off ledges was fun.

I want to see a Zelda game where you do more than just pick up a sword and be a warrior hero. I want to be a sneaky thief-like hero. I want to be a magical spellcaster-like hero. Or maybe I'll do the whole "fuck it" idea you suggested and just piddle about for hours until I am forced to confront Ganondorf and then just go to a rave instead of fighting. Hm... sounds a lot like Skyrim but in Zelda. lol.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Wind Waker is Still the Best Zelda, and You're Surprised?

I like Zelda for being nice, straightforward good-versus-evil fairy stories with functional combat and controlled open-world pseudo-Metroidvania exploration mechanics. I don't like Zelda when it gets up itself.

Read Full Article

I have to agree with you here sir. WW is probably my favorite of the series because it feels like it breaks away from the norm, much like Zelda II is my favorite of the NES/SNES era (sacriliege!!!) because it changed the game a bit, was a huge challenge, and was still fun.
Wind Waker might be cutsie cel-shaded graphics, but I'm a fan of the look. I felt that Link's silent protagonist (curse)persona was at its best here, where he actually exhibited some emotion in the form of facial expressions. Also there's a lot of humor involved in Wind Waker that isn't really in the other installments.
I probably would get hanged by some of the more vocal Nintendites out there for my beliefs, but I'll still stand up and be counted.

One of the reasons I like Majora's Mask so much is that story wise it does drift from the same pattern. The Dungeon mechanics are fairly similar and a lot of the combat, but from a story perspective it is very different. The big evil villain is less incarnation of baby killing and more depressed lonely kid gets to much power. While you are the "Hero of Time" that's more happy coincidence and less destiny. In fact technically Link doesn't save the day. He can't do it in time, he has to use time travel in order to have even a slight chance of pulling it off. The guardians that he calls upon to help save the day weren't placed there to fulfill some prophecy, they're just there to protect the place in case something like this ever did happen. In fact they can't even stop the Mask, the most they can do is slow the moon down. It's a far cry from the usual Zelda + Ganondorf story.

Dragonbums:

section he seems to be naturally great at everything with no apparent effort.

Now that you mention it, it would be cool if you have the choice to decide what kinds of stats Link will be good at. Will he be a warrior? A mage? Is he more adept at close range, or long range?

You mean an actual Zelda RPG? That's a good idea. Don't just make it an adventure game with RPG elements.

Brian Tams:
I really can't wait for Nintendo to remake Majora's Mask, just so Yahtzee can play it (or at least review it, since he may have played it. I doubt that he's played it, since he said in his Ocarina of Time 3D review that he had never played OoT).

Anyways, the game is really different in terms of story, everything from the fact that Ganondorf's name is never mentioned, and Zelda shows up once in a brief flash back. They rarely, if ever, refer to Link as the "Hero of Time"; he's just a capable guy who gets mixed up in the affairs of Termina.

Hell, his motivations for starting his journey are different; instead of being told he's some mystical hero of the land and needs to save everyone, he instead gets mugged, and pursues the thief because he wants his stuff back, which then leads to him getting cursed and turned into a Deku, which adds more motivation of wanting to get turned back to normal.

Not only that, but I can't remember the last Zelda I played where Link fails as much as he does. If you count the mugging, Link epic fails three times at the start of the game, which is what sets up the long term motivation.

Anyways, its my favorite game, and I want Nintendo to hurry up and remake it so we can get Yahtzee's opinion on it.

Hearing Yahtzee tear into that weirdo Tingle [shudder] would be worth the price of admission alone.

The Wind Waker has long been my favorite, but every time I say so, I get arguments explaining in no uncertain terms that it can't be because Ocarina of Time is the best by default in all cases. I can argue about the cleverer dungeons and puzzles (not a mess of block-pushing puzzles like OoT), the more intricate and polished combat, the more complex and relatable characters, or even the fact that this game makes good use of facial expressions, but all that is apparently irrelevant to quality.

P.S. Thanks

CelestDaer:
So, Yahtzee basically wants a Zelda game that more or less reflects the plot of Mogworld? Shock!

Yeah, that's what I thought when I read that part too which is why I had to check the comments to see if anyone else noticed.

Personally I'm not sure which Zelda game I enjoyed the most. I haven't played them all, but I do like the charm of Wind Waker, it's relaxing and I love the cheerful music.

I know it's kinda meant as a joke, but I think Yahtzee's idea for a Zelda game actually has some potential. Not exactly as he worded it, but the core concept could be interesting.

Covarr:
The Wind Waker has long been my favorite, but every time I say so, I get arguments explaining in no uncertain terms that it can't be because Ocarina of Time is the best by default in all cases. I can argue about the cleverer dungeons and puzzles (not a mess of block-pushing puzzles like OoT), the more intricate and polished combat, the more complex and relatable characters, or even the fact that this game makes good use of facial expressions, but all that is apparently irrelevant to quality.

P.S. Thanks

You know, I replayed OoT recently and compared to some of the other Zelda games I've played, I actually think it's kind of shit. Nothing about that game has aged well. The controls are functional, but clunky and unresponsive. The camera is sometimes non-cooperative and refuses to get behind the character when you tell it to. The dungeons are all pushing block puzzles, as you said and are not very clever or engaging. Most of the boss fights are actually quite boring and frequently too easy (the final boss fight is the easiest fight in the game, for crying out loud). It also bogs you down with a lot of stuff that would make for cool ideas, but are ultimately never used for anything, or you never need to use them (the ice arrows, the magic beans, the mask side quest). It has a really slow text speed, and a lot of needless unskippable dialogue.
Honestly, it's really not that great and we only think it was because it's targeting system was quite revolutionary at the time and allowed melee combat in a 3D environment to be easier than it had been before. It doesn't hold up as well as Link to the Past does (which at least had some very challenging bosses, real puzzles in some of the dungeons and a final boss who didn't require you to be practically brain dead before it was challenging).

Oddly, I think I'm coming to list Majora's Mask as my favorite Zelda game now. I didn't like it so much as a kid, but god damn if that game isn't the only one I've played where almost every character you meet is fully fleshed out. And the way it used the 3 day gameplay element was fascinating in ways I haven't seen before or since. And it certainly was a solid deviation away from the formula.

It sounds like it would be a short game, but a fun one, if we were to team up with Ganondorf to take on the gods from every Zelda game ever, kill the cycle-loving bastards, and let there be peace in the land (or islands) once and for all. It'd probably play like a tag-team God of War 3 if they had just let Kratos tear into the rest of the offending deities as quickly as he did Poseidon.

And then Rockin' All Over The World, I guess?

Well, I'll give this to The Legend of Yahtzee: it would have made for a better set-up than what Twilight Princess had. Dicking around on the farm for seemingly no reason other than they wanted to make you dick around on the farm for a while. Having Link suddenly teleported away to a field with Ganondorf would have been a marked improvement over "follow the pregnant lady for five minutes while she waddles home so you can get a fishing rod and go fishing before you go herd some goats WHEN THE FUCK CAN I PLAY ZELDA?!?!".

I mean, I liked Twilight Princess once it got going, but jesus fucking christ it takes long enough to get going doesn't it?

Also yeah, Wind Waker Link is the best, actually having motivations of his own and emotions and such. People keep saying we need Link to talk so he has character. Not really. We just need another Link like the one from The Wind Waker. Some facial expressions goes a long way to making him feel like a character instead of just a wooden plank.

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