Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Future

Man, my last post was heavy wasn’t it? Political agenda, rage against idiocy, a burning passion for an ideal democracy of all demographics – I’ll grant you it was probably a bit of a task for some of you to read and talking to some of my friends, they didn’t even bother the moment that dreaded p word came up. Kinda makes the article seem more relevant considering the content but there you go. Anyway, today’s article is gonna be a bit lighter and it’s mostly just my nerdy hypothesising going on here but I want to talk about Hyrule Warriors and why it is a stroke of genius for Nintendo to do such a thing, as well as a good move for Koei

Legend of Zelda probably doesn’t need much introduction as a series, it’s a legend, funnily enough, one of the all time greats – rescue the princess, throw bombs, cut grass, play ocarinas, shout “Hyah!” at everything – what do I need to tell you that you don’t know already? Since the first Zelda game came out in 1986, the series as a whole started to perfect a formula of dungeon crawling, treasure hunting and boss bashing that became iconic, it set these games out as the leaders of the genre and must-haves for their respective consoles. Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time, Link to the Past, each one struck awe in the fans and the formula steadily began to become a sort of mould to make the games by which has ups and downs. On the upside this is a profitable way of making games and requires a lot less hard work to design as you take that recipe and use it but on the downside, it can get samey. I’ll probably get murdered for this, I’m calling Legend of Zelda games samey but hear me out ok? I’m not saying the formula is a bad thing, I’ve played and enjoyed many Zelda games in my time but change is good in anything and I think Nintendo came to realise that with Hyrule Warriors. I think Link is being the front-runner for a lot of changes to come to Nintendo who are slowly realising that they can’t run a business on nostalgia and wishful thinking and perhaps they want to be the ones who dare to take that step of rethinking their characters and concepts to challenge gamers into trying new things. I’m talking proper re-imaginings here, not Ninja Theory Dante bullcrap. So what does Nintendo do? Two games – Hyrule Warriors and Link Between Worlds, the game-changers

A Link Between Worlds came out first of the two and it takes place in the same timeline as A Link to the Past, following on that aesthetic theming and sorta undoing some of the damage it did. Don’t get me wrong, a solid enjoyable game but a game about going to person A to get something for person B so that they give you something to give to person C so you can do a thing – essentially making a free-form adventure into a bus route with boss fights. Link Between Worlds offers a whole new way of travelling and seeing the world, changing how you interact with the environment so those walls and blocks become relevant, the scenery itself is now a character to you, it matters. I have yet to play this game but I looked into it and I want it – this is a game that defies the standard and messes with it, only a little bit but enough to soften the blow of Hyrule Warriors. Hyrule Warriors was a big change, a whole new experience as a dungeon exploration game suddenly became a hack and slash on epic battlefields ala Koei. Significant difference and a whole new genre, not like Mario Kart was to Super Mario Bros, which was “Stick Mario’s face on a game that’d be plain without it”, this was take two well-established brands, combine and create a whole new way to play. I want this game, as a Koei fanatic and a lover of the older Zelda games, this game is Christmas and Easter in one package. Imagine other franchises honestly being this bold and heck, some are trying what with Sonic Boom reinventing Sonic from scratch. I think this is a good move for Nintendo and from what I’ve seen and heard online, the fans agree

So why Koei? Why their engine? Well mutually beneficial I should suspect, Dynasty Warriors 8 relaunched Dynasty Warriors as a cool game to be seen playing instead of “Oh my god, you play that shit? All you do is mash buttons”. Firstly no but that’s a rant in itself but in the same way Nintendo perfect a formula, Koei perfected a game engine – weapon movesets, crowd rendering, individual animations – Koei has come a long way from a screen of twenty characters staring each other down and slapping each other with swords, now you can be a goddamn titan of destruction raking in thousands of kills. However, Koei uses the same story and retells it, admittedly better each time (Except 8 compared to 7, another story in itself) and what they needed was to use this engine more ambitiously rather than exclusively for games loosely based on history books. A fantasy genre adventure with well-established characters and lore? Jackpot. You take the beautiful world of Hyrule, the finely tuned mechanics of Dynasty Warriors, you get this holy grail of new age gaming. I really want Koei to do more things like this, personally I’d kill a man to see Soulcalibur Warriors become a thing, they already have a moveset for Sophitia from Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, make it happen Koei! I will also settle for some other bad-ass crossovers – Final Fantasy Warriors would rock the world to the core, I shit you not. No more turn-based nonsense, just straight up own those bitches Sephiroth-style (Oh yeah, Koei lets you be the villains, you’d be Sephiroth)

Yeah, this wasn’t so much a rant as a gush and a rave but I don’t always have to be negative y’know? I just really like Hyrule Warriors and want to play it myself so badly, makes me think a Wii U is now a worthy investment, especially with Bayonetta 2 being exclusive to it as well. Ugh, goddamn… modern gaming is often quite stale but Nintendo and Koei know how to reinvent the fucking wheel my friends, it’s happened

Nerdgasm dealt with, sophisticated and eloquent arguments about topical issues will resume as normal in future