Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Games That Changed The World Vol. 2


Legend of Zelda is magical. Legend of Zelda took the idea being a child, exploring, and going on adventures in your own backyard and made it a fantasy game. One part childhood innocence and one part Dungeons and Dragons, and no part hints, you are thrust into a world you know nothing about.

Of course, the first thing to grab any child's attention is shiny things. And Nintendo clearly knew this. There is NO reason for a game cartridge to be painted shiny gold. Flat primer paint instead of gray is one thing. But not only do you color it a shiny gold, but you cut a little square out of the packaging itself so you can clearly see what lies within. It's really diabolical if you think about really.

You're dumped off into the middle of nowhere. Basically, you see four paths and a cave entrance. Being adventurous, they know full well you'll enter that cave first. And so help you god, you had better. In there is some dude and he gives you a sword. For what reason he decides to give a child a sword isn't really explained, but there he is. Captain Runwithscissors gives you a sword. And now you're off! Uh...to where really is your choosing. Unless you have a guide handy, you just keep walking until you find something to go into. Sometimes, you'll jump the gun and go into a dungeon you are TOTALLY not prepared for yet. It's an adventure. You want to beat this dungeon? You better have a god damn ladder, raft, flute, and boomerang in those tiny little spandex stockings you have on.

The Zelda games in recent years have sort of traveled away from the childhood innocence and whimsy that made it popular in the first place. Ocarina of Time played that card for the most part, but the game turned dark. And when they brought back the whimsy and adventure in Wind Waker, everyone complained about it. Then we got Twilight Princess, which no one can argue is a great game, but it feels more like a Zelda clone than a full fledged Zelda game. That's not necessarily bad, but it's just not the same. Here's to hoping whatever comes next doesn't consist of hours of traveling by train or boat, and takes itself a little less serious. When all is said and done, the Legend of Zelda for the NES (and whatever subsequent rereleases we've seen of it) is a game that ushered in a different way of thinking in games. It wasn't the first of it's kind, but it was by and large the best example of what games are capable of, and would be capable in the coming decades.

No comments: