Subscribe to the latest updates from the Articles category

Articles Archives

When someone says must have it is a fairly bold statement, but when I was deciding how best to word the title for this piece it was really all I could come up with. While this list is 100% subjective to what I feel their next home console must have, I firmly believe by the end of it a lot of you will be shaking your head in agreement. If not, I am curious as to why, and what you would do differently.

Remember, this isn’t a top 10 list, thus the order is entirely arbitrary...

The Truth of the Masks in Majora's Mask

Around here, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is both a favorite and a game that many fans are sick of hearing about. It’s been 14 years since the game’s release and still there are new articles being published on its underlying meanings and messages. For many, the game has been thoroughly over-analyzed with articles they deem to be cringe-worthy.

A trend in many of these articles is to acknowledge that Majora’s Mask is a darker, more mature game, but to then always spin that in a positive light. While they accept the game’s premise of life’s finiteness, articles always spin this as a message to embrace living for today.

Optimistic analysis prevails, despite the source material of the game also being quite pessimistic. Take for instance the game’s central premise of wearing masks. Many take it as a message to be yourself and not hide away who you are, which is accurate, but we cannot ignore that the game also argues that sometimes wearing masks is necessary.

Nintendo has always had an interesting relationship with horror in video games. For the entirety of its lifespan, horrific and/or violent video games have not made the shelves on Nintendo’s consoles nearly as readily as fantasy or family fun titles. Mario and Co. have explored haunted mansions, Pokémon trainers have met with spectral spirits in graveyards, and even Kirby has transformed into a ghost. While all these situations have the makings of inciting fear within the player, they tend to come off too cartoonish and scripted to affect our psyches deeply. An example of a Nintendo staple that does horror a little bit differently is Zelda. There have been numerous moments playing Zelda when I have been truly afraid or disturbed, and this has never been to do with gruesome violence or cheap shots. The answer lies in something a bit more psychological.

Hit the jump to read on.

For better or worse, The Wind Waker was a game which changed a lot of things in the Zelda series. We’ve all heard every man and his Cucco’s opinion on the graphics style, and we already know what everyone thinks about those extended periods of seafaring from island to island. But what about delving into something, quite literally, under the surface? Not only was Wind Waker’s above ground world vast and varied, but the mass of secret caves which dot the islands of the Great Sea like so many jewels are worlds of their own, and gave something to Wind Waker which was unique and brilliant—and it definitely makes sense to have a game with themes of swashbuckling on the wide open ocean to be amass with holes in the ground filled with treasure.

In Wind Waker, Nintendo felt that it was necessary to include a map of the locations of these secret caves, and despite there being less than in Ocarina of Time (at 28) with Wind Waker only having 20, it is a case of quality and not quantity. The Secret Cave Chart, ironically enough attained at Overlook Island, is testament enough to the importance of the holes to the game, to the point where they are seemingly more miniature quests in their own right, rather than the distraction status they seemed to hold in the Nintendo 64 Zeldas

Have we considered all that Majora's Mask has to offer? Many essays and articles have been written about the N64 gem, but none of them consider its cultural roots and its connection to Japanese theatre. This article serves as an introduction to a series about the cultural background of the themes, motifs, and structure of Majora's Mask and what the game has to say about the Zelda franchise and video games in general.

Heard the news about the Hyrule Warriors DLC? One of our newest staffers, Adam, gives his thoughts on the recent announcement and what one particular pack may have in store for us. Click on the article to find out more...

Welcome to a brand new series, one which aims to make a counter argument or counter point to editorials and authors from another land. What I mean to say is, this is a series that does exactly what it says it does: it makes a counterpoint to someone else’s thoughts and ideas on the internet. Sometimes this may simply be a well-respected fan’s thoughts in the comments – other times it will be full blown editorial responses. Today, I am going to make a counterpoint to Alex Plant’s latest editorial, which states rather plainly that “Zelda Should Embrace Traditional Fantasy Visuals”. It’s a good read for those who haven’t had a chance to see it yet.

The continuity of the Zelda series spent many years atop the mountain of gaming mysteries. Devoted fans spent hours, weeks, even months of their lives trying to crack the code behind the Zelda timeline, in the process forging complex and convoluted theories from the most minute of details in order to prove their own unique take on how the games all tied together. Of course, Hyrule Historia put an end to all that, but I bring this up because it shows just how much some people (myself included; I was a timeline theorist for years) love to find the connections between various parts of the series.

Fast forward to today, when Hyrule Warriors' release is almost upon us in North America. Relatively early on, the game was confirmed to have absolutely no connection to the main Zelda series—sure, the title features numerous characters, locales, items, and enemies from a select number of the games, but it's all taking place in another parallel world that does not intersect with the ones Historia gave us. But was that the right call, and, assuming that the Dynasty Warriors/Legend of Zelda crossover gets a sequel, should Nintendo and Koei Tecmo continue to keep the worlds separate?

Head past the jump to hear my thoughts on the matter.

Hyrule Warriors is by no means a Legend of Zelda game and in no way did it ever try to be, that’s for sure. Bringing the classic tactical gameplay of Dynasty Warriors with a Zelda theme, Hyrule Warriors provides something new and fresh, but not something that encapsulates the Zelda essence of adventure and exploration.

Although Hyrule Warriors cannot (and never intended to) act as a bridge tiding gamers over to Zelda Wii U, it does have a few things to say about the upcoming full-blown Zelda adventure and the direction it may take. Six things in fact.

(PLEASE NOTE: There are minor story spoilers about Hyrule Warriors contained within if you read the full points. If you just browse the six main point headlines you will be fine.)

No, Hyrule Warriors doesn’t actually have traditional voice acting. What it does do that no other Zelda game before has done is provide voiced narration. Let me step back a bit: It’s not really a Zelda game at all, but for what it is involving Zelda lore, worlds, and characters, it makes me personally feel like it’s time to explore this in the main series.

I understand many of the valid arguments against voice acting. There is a real fear, for the most part, that it will be terrible – a Metroid: Other M type of terrible, and naturally if that is the alternative… we would rather stick with text boxes. Except that doesn’t have to be the alternative. Now, you may not like the narration voice/tone in Hyrule Warriors (I do like it), but it’s really adding something to the experience that the cut scenes themselves don’t have. A type of impact emotionally to me as a player – a sort “taking me into the world” that the cutscenes break me away from, simply because I have to read text boxes.