Why the Zelda: Skyward Sword Reveal Was at Least a Tad Disappointing, in as Few Words as Possible, Ironically Unlike This Title
Zelda fans love all things Zelda. We will eagerly scarf down Link’s table scraps and call it Thanksgiving dinner. If the Hylian wunderkind strolled down my street right now, I’d let him ride on my back and call me Epona. Or “bitch”. However, that’s not because we Zelda fans are suckers. It’s because Zelda games have for a very long time been quite brilliant without exception. So as fans of such an awesome franchise, it’s no big surprise that we can also be quite harsh critics of the industry, and the often embarrassing slop that pours out of it on a regular basis. We love Zelda, but only because we have faith that the next iteration will blow our collective mind-hole.
Zelda: The Best Thing Since the Last Zelda
So when we see graphics that appear worse than last generation’s game, we start to question our allegiance. However, it’s when motion controls are touted as the title’s biggest feature that my BS-alarm starts to sound. This isn’t part of some anti-motion campaign that I’m running; granted, bowling on the Wii was really the only time I have actually enjoyed its motion capabilities. It’s just that Zelda represents a higher art form in the world of game design, and motion controls are still base and unrefined. They often felt terrible to me in Twilight Princess, and I was hoping the big Zelda reveal would give me something more exciting to look forward to than “now the inventory screen feels like a real live pocket!” I’m sure the inventory will be just dandy, but the last time I got excited about my pocket was when someone else’s hand was in it. Now that would be groundbreaking gameplay.
Link's Latest Mini-Game: Pocket Pool!
If someone saw something in that demo that seemed fresh and exciting, please correct me, perhaps I’m seeing the world through motion-hating lenses (the non-3D kind, please don’t get any funny ideas Nintendo). But as a longtime Zelda fan, I’m left scratching my head, wondering if Miyamoto-san is really caught up in the motion-control hype train, or if the suits are forcing his hand. I will buy this game, and probably love it for what it is; I do have that much faith in ‘Moto and his team. But it just seems like something’s missing, like all that time could be spent designing groundbreaking gameplay.
Instead, it seems Nintendo is expending all their effort thinking of ways to get me to “thrust my sword skyward”, or simulate the subtle kinetic flow of me reaching into my pants to fish out that stubborn Magnum cond-…okay, it was actually a coupon for free tacos, I’m a glutton, you made your point. Anyway, is this the direction we want our beloved Zelda to evolve? Even Miyamoto couldn’t seem to wrap his head around the motion controls at the Nintendo Press Conference. Oh wait; he couldn’t control Link because of “wireless interference”. Who could have possibly predicted that an audience of game journalists might have wireless devices on them?!
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is scheduled to come out sometime in 2011. If you would like to share your thoughts on the Zelda reveal, please comment below, I’d love to hear them.