A few days ago I finished playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link between worlds. I thought to myself. “Now there is a good game. It is well better than Skyward sword.”
First thought. Mark, you are an old man. You say things like, “isn’t the bus expensive these days” and “I prefer the original”. You just hate 3D Zelda along with any game that isn’t stored on a floppy disk or cassette.
Not true, I’m not that old and this isn’t about 2D Zelda versus 3D Zelda at all. (Besides which, it seems strange to refer to A Link between worlds as 2D Zelda when it is presented in absolutely stunning 3D.) On the surface it seems that fans of the Zelda series can be split into two groups. Your 2D, Link to the past, pink hair, I’ll figure it out for myself or else read it in Nintendo power group. And your 3D, Ocarina of time, Z targeting, day night cycle, tennis with Gannondorf group. Probably these two groups aren’t as distinct as they first appear to be. I’d venture to say that there exists a vocal minority acting as champions and decriers for either side. While most people (even the ones in the shouty minority) enjoy a bit of Zelda any which way they can get it and I absolutely refuse to go to any effort to find out how true that is.
Second thought. In Skyward sword you had to waggle the nun-chuck to raise your shield. What a pain in the arse that was. You hate motion controls.
We could be on to winner with this one. I don’t universally hate motion controls. Some of my best friends have motion controls, like Metroid Prime 3. Skyward sword got on my nerves though and it was specifically having to waggle the nun-chuck to raise the shield that did it. Waving the sword around worked just fine and I always got a kick out of holding the Wii mote bolt upright over my head shouting “I have the power” before slapping some stupid looking goon. But three out of four times I would cock up the timing on the shield and it was very easy to blame the moronic control scheme over my own ageing reflexes. Still, the ability to press buttons is not what elevates Link between worlds over Skyward sword.
Third thought. What about freedom? Skyward sword leads you by the nose, do this, do that. Link between worlds lets you do whatever you want. You can tackle the dungeons in any order.
To which I would reply, but you have to do all the dungeons eventually in order to finish the game so what does it matter? You still have to do what the game designers intended you to do. It’s just that A link between worlds is a little more subtle about it.
For example, in A link between worlds you walk up to a dungeon and there is a rock with a picture of a bomb on it. You think to yourself, I must need bombs in this dungeon.
In Skyward sword you come to a boulder, a magic spirit with an annoying speech pattern flies out of your sword and says “Link there is a 99% probability that you will need bombs to smash this boulder”. In both cases the game is still telling you what to do. The difference is that A link between worlds lets you feel like you are figuring it out for yourself.
I think in the end it comes down to this. I played A link between worlds, enjoyed it and finished it in a little over 13 hours. Whereas, I have been playing Skyward sword for over 28 hours and there is no end in sight.
So I must hate long games. Well I just started a file on Persona 4 so god help me if that is the case. It’s not the length of Skyward Sword that bugs me. It’s the feeling I get sometimes that the game is wasting my time. (This is coming from a man who has recently discovered cookie clicker.) The lack of a decent fast travel system. The repeated boss fights. The fetch quests. The seemingly endless back and forth, swooping around an empty cloud desert. It’s a real shame because the good parts of Skyward sword are absolutely incredible. I just don’t see why I should have to work to get to them. A link between worlds provided a whole bunch of incredibly well designed dungeons with diverse, entertaining boss fights. That is what I wanted, and the game let me get on with it. That is why A link between worlds is better than Skyward sword.
Final thought, I am totally buying Hyrule Warriors or whatever stupid name Koei decides on calling it’s ludicrous Dynasty Warriors Zelda game.