We’ve seen at least thee different takes for the Zelda series in the past decade. Pure, cel-shaded toon qualities. Real 3D a la Twilight Princess. And the ‘animated’ variety as I like to call it, in Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Arguably, this last style worked for many, many fans, and it grew on the fans that initially held back. By contrast, many still to this day will not take to the style we last saw in Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. If sales are any indication, that art style was not favorable to the consumer. It is well known that the DS games and Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker‘s cumulative sales do not make for the most outstanding figures.
Is the Skyward Sword animated style still worth keeping around? Was that too juvenile? Or did that hit a sweet spot? Do we want an animated or cell-shaded look in crisp, glorious HD presentation? There is also the other equally likely chance that they make Zelda Wii U look exactly like Twilight Princess, only in an advanced, powerful HD form as we’d seen. Do we want that or do we want the kind of 3D look that was suggested by the fan-made Majora’s Mask Remake?
I see no reason for Nintendo to jump ship from the animated look completely. I did not find the artstyle of Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword to be juvenile at all, only improving on what we’d seen from both cel-shaded and real 3D artstyles. What if Nintendo retained an animated look for the characters, but placed them in a realistic 3D world? The only disappointment for me would be if they revisited so soon a toon look, for the next 3DS game, but especially so for the Wii U game. That would make the game seem assuredly juvenile. However, do you think Nintendo will bring Zelda to life with a pure Twilight Princess look?