Sunday, November 29, 2009

Apparently, Mario and Zelda gamers seem to miss the point.

I'm staring to notice a trend.

I've been reading articles like this one, and I'm seriously starting to notice a disturbing trend. It started back when someone suggested that NSMBWii needed a level editor, Then a handful of gamers thought that Link should talk when Charles Martinet said that he would provide his vocal talents, and now the guy in the above link is suggesting the notion of dialogue trees that branch paths in Zelda. This would pretty much turn LoZ into something not unlike Mass Effect. It's an interesting concept however, I have to disagree with this frame of logic.

The main reason why I disagree is because if you think those things would improve on those games, or make a large difference, then you're completely missing the point of these games. Zelda games aren't about Link talking to people or following branching paths. Zelda games are about exploration, adventure and a mere boy overcoming challenges to accomplish what he was destined to do. Mario games have never had level editors in the past, nor do they need them now. Mario games, especially the latest mario game, are about platforming, adventuring and discovery of new areas and shortcuts. NSMBWii has enough content to keep players entertained, and the entertainment is doubled with the inclusion of local mutliplayer.

These statements make me wonder. Are we just seriously just taking new generation (read: excess) values and projecting them on games that didn't need all those new features a couple decades ago? I don't know if Link talking would be a detriment to the series, but I do know that I find it irritating when a character you're playing in a game repeats the same five prerecorded statements when i'm going through a level. Zelda would be no different. Picture if you will this scenario:

"I wonder what's in this treasre chest?"

"I need a key to get into this door!"

"If only i could find something to get to this platform..."

"What's shaking, __________ Dude!!"

And that's only in one dungeon. Picture this playing out in every dungeon you visit throughout the course of the entire game. If Navi's "Hey" and "Listen" irritated you, and Minda's babbling got your goat, then adding voice actors is definitely not where the series needs to be. Perhaps we should actually focus on what made Zelda interesting in the first place. Overworlds that have hidden paths that can only be unlocked by enduring the dungeons and using their hidden treasures. The same could also be applied to Mario games. Apparently, the positive buzz surrounding NSMBWii proves that people are interested in the game for it's wealth of content, and the use of local multiplayer instead of sitting through cutscenes or long bubbles of dialogue. Nobody wants story in Mario games anyway. So why couldn't the same theory be applied to Zelda? Instead of branching paths or cutscenes, i'd rather have the story unfold through tales told by villagers. I would also like more secret paths in the overworld that are acessed by your newly found items. The result would probably be nothing short of a "shot in the arm" for the series overall, and bring back many a gamer who used to be big into the series before it's decline.

I just find myself a little disappointed at gamers these days. We whine about lack of online multiplayer in Super Mario Bros, even though local multiplayer is just as good if not better. Then we suggest things that don't even need to be in games. All i have to say is in a time where devs can't even figure out how to make a successful game, i'm kind of glad that the guys who are suggesting these things aren't making games themselves.

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