You know, a chap could start to feel unappreciated after the usual response I tend to get from honestly reviewing first-party Nintendo titles. They really do feel like games that it's utterly pointless to criticise, because the moment I utter anything short of gushing hagiographical praise, Zelda's army of self-appointed nannies fight each other to put little sticking plasters on the boo-boo.
One complaint that usually gets directed at me at this juncture is that pointing out how samey the games are has become a tired argument. I fucking agree, it certainly has, and yet, the problem hasn't gone anywhere, so I'm going to keep using it. You wouldn't tell those Occupy Wall Street to sod off because their complaints are getting repetitive. Yes, I did just compare the Occupy movement's courageous opposition to corporate injustice to me saying Zelda games are a bit shit.
The other, more common argument I hear at these times is that I'm just automatically biased against the entire franchise, or Nintendo in general. Nothing, I say, could be further from the truth. If I'm biased against anything, I'm biased against games that aren't fun. Games that I spend thirty hours of my week ploughing through looking for entertainment value and cultural relevance, after which I realise I would have been better off spending the time eating chocolate biscuits and watching The Ascent Of Man.
Yes, I'm biased against motion controls, but that's just a sub-heading of the broader overall bias against games that aren't fun. I've been trying to figure out a quick, pithy, all-encompassing way to express my reasons for thinking that motion controls are poisonous to gaming, so I can bring my opinion across in conversation without having to rant for ten minutes, and I think I've come up with something I like: Motion controls are a system wherein a game can fail you for something that completely wasn't your fault. Like smacking an electrified sword because it was horizontal half a second ago and the game only just registered your horizontal swipe. There ya go.
But what infuriates me about these bumblefucks dismissing my Skyward Sword video with the argument that I'm just biased against Zelda is that in the very same video I reiterated that I really liked Zelda Wind Waker on the Gamecube. This does admittedly put me in a minority, apparently, since most of what it did right has been stubbornly ignored by every console Zelda since. Alright, locking a capable-seeming Princess Zelda in a basement for the last half of the game wasn't doing much for gender relations but the fighting engine worked well, there was an epic free-roaming world to explore and the cartoony visuals will ensure that it never ages poorly. Link was actually able to express emotion and have a visual personality. The first time I saw Link in Skyward Sword I had to stifle a horrified laugh because his exposed nostrils and swollen lips look like he let a swarm of bees practise amateur plastic surgery.
I even liked Twilight Princess quite a lot, although bear in mind I again played the Gamecube, non-motion-controlly version. It had a slow start and was structurally rather similar to Ocarina of Time, but again the game world felt expansive and detailed with lots of lovely varied locations and dungeons. Even if it wasn't a revolutionary take on the concept it was at least an elevation, which is apparently the most anyone expects of Zelda games. The support character, Midna, actually had an interesting arc. I could only think of her with soppy nostalgia as I barely tolerated the monotone creepy-eyed dullard that follows you around in Skyward Sword, endlessly popping out to remind me that my health was critically low while I was busy trying to circle strafe something nasty. And that excruciating is-this-the-emotion-you-call-happiness dialogue in the ending scene made me want to projectile vomit all my innards like a giant party streamer. I mean, at least Navi was enthusiastic, y'know?