Alex is having a busy day, so I am going to make an attempt to fill his shoes and give you guys today’s Daily Endgame. We had a very successful Q and A today, with plenty of E3 news. We’re going to continue to give you all the best coverage we can, and will be moving double time next week.
Earlier today, he wrote an article about franchises and how the best new games make their predecessors obsolete. I think many of you can agree, but what can Nintendo do with Zelda to finally beat the Ocarina of Time comparison?
The Legend of Zelda has always based its roots as an action-adventure title. With Skyward Sword, just about every one of us was giddy to learn of the item upgrade feature. It was new to the series, since often the player simply finds a better and stronger item to replace a limited one. Link also no longer had an unlimited inventory, and it made me make a choice in either carrying bottles or more medals. What you carried with you affected your gameplay. These RPG elements really gave Skyward Sword points for giving something new to the series, and quite honestly I think a little bit more wouldn’t hurt. I wouldn’t need to replay Ocarina of Time after every Zelda release anymore! Not that I mind, really. I can’t complain about that.
Many people classify Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword as an RPG. I disagree, but I’m not here to talk about Skyward Sword or to argue about that. I want to discuss some ideas that I think could go well with Zelda Wii U that could make the gaming experience more engaging. The Role Playing Game genre is something that has changed over the years, but it’s a difficult genre to write for that can have great success if done right. I’ve been working on an RPG for almost two years now on my own, and I’m still scratching my head at some concepts.
Quite honestly, I can’t imagine being allowed to change who Link is. Despite him not being as rugged looking as other heroes, he is a young hero that defies the odds and overcomes great challenges. The character customization often seen in RPGs isn’t what I’m looking for. What I would like are more choices, alternate paths and consequences for the player’s actions. You don’t just help out the villagers to get the items they possibly give you for your good deeds. Don’t deny it, you wouldn’t run around Kakariko hunting chickens EVERY SINGLE TIME if you didn’t get that empty bottle. Talking to characters in the game could create better relationships that change how Link progresses through his adventure. Different characters could appear if you talk to certain NPCs repeatedly, things like that. The towns and villages that Link travels to could grow.
I wouldn’t mind more alternate endings even, if possible. For the most part, if you die or fail, there is a simple Game Over screen with a continue option. In Majora’s Mask, however, if you fail to go back in time before the moon crashes something different happens. You can watch as the moon falls into the small town, destroying the clock tower as it smashes its way to the surface. The fire envelopes the land, and Link is caught and blown away. You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?
I only watched that once.
As I mentioned earlier, the item and inventory customization in Skyward Sword had me singing. With the Wii U tablet controller, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Nintendo utilize this second screen for more fluid item transitions. You wouldn’t have to pause the game, but simply tap on the tablet to equip a different item. What I also thought, that might enrage a few people, is to be able to customize Link’s sword. Think if you could extend the blade of the Master Sword with some sort of attachment, or increase its power for armored enemies?
Another RPG element that is often seen is the ability to use powers. In the past, Link has had the ability to use a few spells, but it’s not in each title and isn’t used very often. The series has a lot of potential for it, with plenty of mythology to tap for those theory lovers. A full palette of spells that can harm different types of enemies. Like with the fire and ice arrows, these spells could harm specific enemies that are too dangerous to touch with sword alone. Although having powers doesn’t immediately give it RPG, being able to combine spells and powers and customize them like you can with weapons would.
Having side quests and being able to stray from the plot is another element that gives RPGs their charm. A change in pace is good, and it’s one of the reasons Skyward Sword dipped more into this genre than past titles. I played the game longer, and I’m sure you all want more content as well.
I guess what I’m talking about is a possible turn for the Zelda series in general. Ocarina of Time took a change in how the series was played back in 1998, and it’s a game that’s hard to beat. In order to do so though, I think Zelda Wii U needs to change how the series is looked at all over again. I’m not saying I want to change it completely. I love Zelda for all that it is and all that it lacks. It could deepen the experience the players have, and give the new generation of gamers the same feeling of awe I felt as a kid playing Ocarina of Time.