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CaimDark's blog

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CaimDark avatar 2:51 PM on 03.26.2012  (server time)
Am I outgrowing Zelda?

That's a scary thought. Ever since I played Ocarina of Time, my first Zelda game, I've been wowed and amazed by every single console Zelda since (except Majora's Mask, the only one I missed for some reason. Please remake it for the 3DS Nintendo!). So it was with great anticipation that I sat down to play Skyward Sword this weekend.

Trouble is, I soon found myself frustrated and annoyed instead of wowed and amazed. How can that be? It's a Zelda game, for crying out loud, and it certainly looks the part. It earned a veritable litany of 10s and 9s from the critics, and currently has an impressive 93% average on Metacritic, with 78 positive reviews and only 3 hate, ahem, "mixed". The commercial response was also very favorable, with Nintendo quick to trumpet "the fastest selling" Zelda game ever.

So how can I *not* like it? Am I just too old for green caps and cute tikwiks? My love for gaming in general is just as strong as ever, and I fully expect to die at age 100 (one can dream) with a controller in hand. Still, my failure to like Link's latest adventure led me to contemplate a darker future, one where, instead of being the cool "gamer gramps", I become the sadly more familiar grumpy gramps, unable to find joy in anything and forever grumbling about how everything was so much better "in my days".

Or maybe I didn't outgrow anything, I just happened not to like this one Zelda. It certainly has far more problems than I expected given the near universal praise it got. Not being able to properly control the camera is a huge annoyance. The motion controls, unlike Red Steel 2, feel gimmicky and unnecessary. Voice acting, though predictably absent, was sorely missed. And what's up with that big furry thing that knows where Zelda is but can't remember it unless I go around looking for 3 small furry things? Seriously?

Then there is the technology. When I bought my Wii in 2007/2008 I didn't even had an HDTV or an HD console, and while PC games like The Witcher and Mass Effect were beautiful, I was still very much impressed by the graphical prowess of last-gen games like Resident Evil 4, Metroid Prime, Final Fantasy XII and Super Mario Galaxy.

Fast forward 4 years, and I'm fully part of the HD generation. Games like Final Fantasy XIII and The Witcher 2 make some early current-gen games look like last-gen material, and the switch to the good old Wii can be rather jarring. It certainly doesn't help matters that SD games at times look outright hideous on an HDTV, and my TV lacks an SD mode.

All things considered, it's likely I'm not "too old" to enjoy a Zelda game that doesn't suffer from all the problem listed above, but the sheer shock of not being able to enjoy Skyward Sword led me to contemplate this whole "getting old is scary" thing. Thank you for depressing me, Nintendo!

I guess I'll ditch Skyward Sword altogether and play Ocarina of Time 3D (not that I can actually see 3D, but I digress) instead. Hopefully I can still have fun with it, or I'll really start worry...

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