You ever read user reviews on Metacritic? It’s rather amusing because you can tell who actually played a game for more than five minutes.
Most gamers are happy with the new Zelda but you can tell there are those poor souls who haven’t played anything before Ocarina of Time. Kids these days…
My favorite is “it’s boring! You just wander around!”
Wind Waker: spend a few hours, catching pigs, playing hide and seek, taking pictures and doing a stealth dungeon before any real action.
Twilight Princess: Wrangle goats, rescue a cat, wander around. Get turned into a wolf, something like 2 hours before the first dungeon.
Skyward Sword: Tutorials everywhere.
But yet Zelda 1: start, get Sword, fight enemies
Zelda 2: leave palace, fight enemies.
Breath of the Wild is a real Zelda
This is why sales speak louder than Internet critics. Nintendo knows why Zelda is selling. Zelda is not selling due to ‘nostalgia’ or ‘puzzles’. Zelda is selling due to that open world, to the stuff we have been telling them to do for nearly a decade.
I consider Breath of the Wild’s success as repudiation of Aonuma-ism in the same way that NSMB and NSMB Wii’s success as repudiation of 3d Mario-ism. In both cases, Mario and Zelda had THE DEFINITION which had Miyamoto or Aonuma spout off stuff. “We can’t go outside that definition!” they say, even though they did just that when they went to 3d. Their rush to 3d made them lose the magic of what the 2d games were all about. Games like Ocarina of Time and Mario 64 are entirely dependent on the ‘OMG, it is 3d!’ wowism. Now that 3d no longer wows, those games are aging incredibly fast.
I am not a 2d purist thinking that all 3d is ‘the suck’. But 3d still is nowhere near where it needs to be in terms of ‘fun’ action such as with Breath of the Wild’s combat. It’s good, but it is confusing, annoying, and the 2d combat is just so much more fun. I liked Metroid Prime, but the game is bloated and slow in some ways that Super Metroid is not. Does that invalidate Metroid Prime? No. It just shows more work needs to be done.
I am rather surprised Nintendo went all out, with a full production (very, very expensive game) on Breath of the Wild based off of ‘feedback they heard from the Internet’ (e.g. Malstrom). I figured they would start in a smaller way. But here we are, and Nintendo has to be thrilled with the reception Breath of the Wild is getting. More thrilled is Nintendo happy about Zelda moving hardware.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME ZELDA MOVED HARDWARE?????
The last time had to be the Ocarina of Time remake for 3DS. And, before that, it would have to be Ocarina of Time for N64. No Zelda has had hardware selling powers since the first five zelda games!!!!
This is what first party titles are all about: selling hardware. That’s the job. The job of first party titles is NOT satisfy crazy people on the Internet. If first party titles are moving hardware, they are doing their job.
Zelda is doing its job.
I suspect Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will push the momentum further (it was the best selling game on Wii U).
Then maybe Smash. I do like how Mario Odyssey is going back to the adventuring that Mario is all about. Wish we had 2d Mario that was about adventure instead of ‘level design’. I don’t play ‘level design’, I go on adventures!
And for fun, here is a Sheikah Slate review parody like an iPhone review.