Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 9, 2015

Bloodborne and Zelda

The latest fuss is over the game called Bloodborne. It is meh to me. However, it is a game of action RPG with intense combat. There is nothing new under the gaming sun. Can you think of an earlier game that was an action RPG with intense combat… say… over twenty years ago?

Early Zelda games were action RPGs with intense combat. No one, and I mean no one, thought of Zelda games as ‘puzzle games’. There were puzzles in the sense of mazes, as to ‘what bush to burn to find the dungeon’. There were things to explore and new items to get. But Link had a sword and knew how to use it. The bosses in the dungeons were actually bosses. They were big and nasty.

For whatever reason, someone high up at Nintendo declared Zelda to be about ‘story’ and ‘puzzles’ leaving out the fun RPG and combat mechanics. This created a vacuum that is being filled by other games such as Dark Souls and Bloodborne. I think they go to a more extreme example. I prefer more variety in my games. I don’t like games being just dark, with all the monsters being so ugly, and so on. In the same way, I don’t like how modern Nintendo games are always so sugary. Even with Super Mario World, I thought and still think that game is too sugary. Super Mario Brothers 3 was sugary but also had dark moments such as the final world or the airships. The game wasn’t just fluffness and light. The original Super Mario Brothers had the castles which felt really dark and scary. In Zelda, the dungeons always felt dark and scary. The overworld also felt dangerous.

I’m still disappointed in how ridiculously easy Link to the Past is. Then there was no Second Quest! Really now! Despite that, the game was awesome. With Link between Worlds, Nintendo just couldn’t pull it off. They had to make the game so ridiculously easy that even six year olds I’ve heard complain about it.

I do not understand Nintendo’s thinking on Zelda. What I believe they are doing is chasing the glory of Zeldas past. They say, “That earlier Zelda had X so therefore we should have X too.” What they need to say is that ‘Zelda is a marriage between arcade-like combat and RPG-like gameplay” like they did in the Nintendo Fun Club Newsletter describing the original Legend of Zelda. The fact that modern Zelda is so lacking in arcade-like combat and RPG-like gameplay really points to how much it has changed.

I am not happy with how Nintendo has made 2d Mario (NSMB games). I’m not happy with how Nintendo did Link Between Worlds.

Nintendo views 2d gameplay purely through the mechanics. Where is the fantasy? I want to play the fantasy. This is hard when the music is so crappy that it is about ‘dah dah dah’. It is hard when the character goes no where new, fights the same old monsters we have seen again and again, and the same exact adventure he had before. Before, Mario went different places. He went to Sub-Con. He went to Dinosaur Land. Where does Mario go now? He just goes through monotonous ‘levels’ with no fantasy or adventure attached to it.

I have no expectations for Zelda U. I know Nintendo will be unable to provide adventure or different places, so they will just throw in anime trash instead.


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