Author Topic: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?  (Read 7327 times)

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Offline Vandomar

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Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« on: June 23, 2014, 03:47:32 AM »

The new Zelda game on Wii U will have an open world. Is that all the franchise needs to do to truly evolve?

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/editorial/37902/is-open-world-enough-for-zelda

E3 2014 has come and gone, and with it we've received news of a new open world Zelda title. A fresh entry in the Zelda series is always exciting, but the announcement of this new direction holds many exciting prospects. The question, however, is how can Nintendo's star franchise stay relevant in a world that already has sandbox games such as Assassin's Creed, Skyrim, and will have Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Witcher 3? Is being open world enough, or is there something more than draws people to these games? Is the freedom of a sandbox with enemies and dungeons what draws us to fall in love with franchises... or is it something less tangible?

After all, Watch Dogs has an open world full of things to hack, but the response to that game was lukewarm at best and apathetic at worst. Watch Dogs may have sold well thanks to initial hype, but as a franchise it seems to have missed the qualities that will give it longevity. So, how can the new Zelda avoid that pitfall and breathe new life into Nintendo's star franchise?

I remember the exact moment I fell in love with The Legend of Zelda series. I had finally convinced my parents to buy me a Game Boy Pocket and a game my friend recommended: Link's Awakening. I had never heard of the series before, as I never had a NES or SNES growing up, but I trusted my friend's advice.

After slapping the cartridge in and hitting the power button, I can only describe the mental state of my 10-year-old self as "enchanted." As the hours passed, the island of Koholint won me over with simple, yet eccentric characters. Marin's morality, Tarin's unhealthy love of mushrooms, and Mamu the frog's renown singing ability are just some examples of what made the setting compelling.

Koholint Island was a world I could believe in... and more importantly one I wanted to save.

And boy did I try to save it. Even though Link's ultimate goal in the game is to return home by waking the mythical Wind Fish from his slumber, it's clear from the beginning a shadow hung over Koholint.... and as the reigning champion of Hyrule it was my job to snuff it out.  However, as I progressed deeper into the game's story, I learned a terrible truth.

Koholint wasn't real. It was a dream of the Wind Fish given life. The price I would pay for returning home was robbing these people of their existence. Marin, Mamu, and even the shopkeeper who kills you with a laser beam for stealing would be gone forever.

So what did I do? What could I do? I kept playing. I finally came face to face with the Wind Fish. He asked me to awaken with him, reducing Koholint into nothing more than a memory. All I had to do was press a button to trigger the last cut scene.

I immediately put the Game Boy on the table and left it there for an hour. With a tumultuous mix of excitement and remorse, I finally watched a final montage of the characters I had grown to love before they were gone forever. I felt regret, but also solace knowing that those characters would live on in the memories of their dreamers, which is maybe where they had been all along.

All of those emotions came from black and white pictures on a 2.6-inch screen. Before that moment, games to me were nothing more than entertainment. They were a fun distraction or a mental challenge, but never emotionally engaging.

Nintendo wisely carried on their character-oriented tradition with the Zelda series. If you notice, the way the Sages in Ocarina of Time are designed to emotionally tether you to their respective regions on the map. Even if you didn't care about the Goron, surely you wanted to help your honorary brother Darunia. Majora's Mask took the concept a step further by designing the entire game around helping people who have their own quirks and desires. You didn't want to just save Termina, you wanted to help its citizens solve their tribulations of love and loss.

Zelda games weren't just fun to play, they were emotionally involving. You didn't just save the world because it was fun, but because it was worth saving. Hyrule, Koholint, and Termina were full of details that rewarded the player for delving deeper into the game. They had a degree of verisimilitude that was remarkable given their hardware platforms and more that gave us reason to come back to them time after time.

Other series in Nintendo’s library have also succeeded at this. Donkey Kong 64 may not have had a complex narrative, but the new additions to the Kong family were teeming with personality that only added to the franchise. Even the Metroid series accomplished similar goals with barely any characters to compliment the protagonist. Each game has Samus alone with only her wits and a constantly malfunctioning suit to rely on. You feel isolated and overwhelmed in alien worlds home to a fantastic atmosphere holding the promise of deadly secrets. It's impossible to deny a sense of wonder playing Metroid Prime, but with that wonder comes the palpable need to escape the danger hiding just under the surface.

Now, not every game needs to be emotionally engaging on the level of Ocarina of Time or Final Fantasy VI. Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart are examples of franchises that are known purely for their exciting gameplay. Indeed, Super Mario 64 is an amazing game that only wished to be a fantastic platformer. Those games have their lauded place in our hearts and indeed the industry would not exist without them. However, over the last generation Nintendo put more emphasis on pure gameplay without the emotional motivation to compliment it. If they make an open world with those tenets in mind, it may not be enough to make us believe in the newest Zelda's open world.

For example, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword exists in a setting that is conspicuously empty. Many of the gameplay mechanics, from flying to swordplay, were fantastic, but I felt myself oddly detached while playing the game. Link was fighting to save the world... but what world really existed to save?

Skyloft was home to a knight academy designed to police three or four dozen people.  The surface of Hyrule fared even worse, mostly bereft of civilization save for a conveniently scholarly Goron or small population of woodland creatures. Yes, Groose and Batreaux were compelling characters, but that doesn't make up for an otherwise empty setting.

Yes, on the surface Skyward Sword proved fun to play... but underneath that lied a world lacking in the details of the series' earlier installments. Companies such as Naughty Dog, Bethesda, Irrational Games, and Bioware have only expanded upon what Nintendo and Square pioneered in the 16 and 32-bit eras. We've been given new worlds to explore and new characters to fall in love with. The Wii era placed more emphasis on gameplay and the allure of motion controls, resulting in a stagnation in the emotional involvement of some of Nintendo's most beloved worlds. The simple truth, however, is that emotionally involving narratives and revolutionary gameplay aren't, and shouldn't be, mutually exclusive.

Gaming as a medium is evolving to compete with movies and television. If there is one lesson Nintendo should take away from the last generation, it's that gaming is driven by the passion of the players. Sometimes having nothing more than fun with a game isn't enough; people want fall in love with it. Pure gameplay experiences with quirky visuals aren't always enough to sell a system. Gamers want something or someone whom they can relate. Skyrim became the first Elder Scrolls game to break into mainstream media because it created a believable fantasy world in which people could invest themselves. Mass Effect earned a large and devoted fanbase by populating their universe with thoughtful lore and interesting characters. Nintendo franchises in the current era have struggled to tap into those kind of devoted fanbases. The new Zelda, however, has the potential to remedy that. Nintendo has a chance to make a world that we can fall in love with, and in turn, be excited by... and that approach needn't be confined to the new Zelda.

Should Nintendo begin exclusively making sweeping and complex epics featuring Mario? Certainly not. Many times, less is more (I'm looking at you, Metroid: Other M), but a new narrative-driven franchise could be just what Nintendo needs to gain interest again. Imagine an RPG in the vein of Kingdom Hearts with Nintendo's mascots coming together like they did in the Subspace Emissary. Games like Wii Sports are important, but many gamers are looking for an emotional experience that stays with them long after they put the controller down. They're looking for that moment of hesitation just before waking the Wind Fish. They're looking for a sense of love that tells them to play just one more level. If the new Zelda can give us that... the possibilities going forward are endless.


Offline Ceric

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 10:54:07 AM »
I just hoping they go back to the Original Legend of Zelda feel.
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Offline Triforce Hermit

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 11:10:04 AM »
The only Zelda games I have ever felt a deep emotional attachment with the characters is Link's Awakening and Majora's Mask. Every other Zelda game, even the golden lamb ALttP, didn't make me care much for the lives of the people in the game. Majora's Mask had you deeply involved with everyone's life and it was like getting to know a community and become a part of it. You had unique sidequests for each and every person. None of it was repetitive. You help Romani with the farm by killing aliens and taking milk into town. You helped Kafei by relaying messages between the two lovers and helping get the Sun's Mask back. Even the other regions you could become attached to, especially Snowhead and Ilkana. Zelda needs that similar sense of community and detail nurtured.

Skyrim, while it did have detail, was bare bones gameplay that was sickeningly repetitive and got old fast. It was an insult TES series because the story was trash and everything was a damn stereotype. Evil banana elf people, evil dragons, evil necromancers, etc. Not a shred of originality that the series had at it's peak (Morrowind). Zelda should avoid the Skyrim mold at all costs.
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Offline azeke

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2014, 12:09:28 PM »
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Offline Sundoulos

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2014, 12:31:50 PM »
I remember that when I was a child, based on what I read in the manual in the first Legend of Zelda, they always indicated that there was an Overworld and an Underworld.   The underworld was described as an "underground maze of labyrinths."   (This idea was probably reinforced in my head by the horrible Zelda cartoon in the 80s/90s as well as the Valiant comics.)   Before I started playing the game, I had imagined that the two areas would be somewhat equal in size and prominence; of course, as much as I enjoyed the game, the promise of this idea didn't turn out that way in practice.

I, too, wonder about how this open world idea for Zelda will manifest itself.   Since Zelda games often play with the idea of dual worlds, I wouldn't mind seeing something more akin to Metroid Prime, where an open-world Overworld is riddled with a number of caves and entrances to an equally significant Underworld.  Or maybe it could be more like a  a Shadow of the Colossus type set-up where you can more or less tackle objectives in any order you wish, only with a populated world and more environmental-based puzzles. 
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Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2014, 12:53:45 PM »
I think the concept will work if Nintendo puts a really solid effort into the open world concept.  Skyward Sword has some new ideas that in theory could have shaked the series up but I found they were kind of half-assed.  The game has too much filler and feels rushed, which is odd since the game was in development for quite a while.  I think a lot of the development time was spent on fine tuning the motion controls and they had to rush the actual content.  Since the Wii I find that Nintendo has had this attitude that they can just add something like motion controls to an existing series and, boom, instant innovation.  There is no quick fix like that.

A Link Between Worlds has gotten a positive reception but I find the game rather dull because it so blatantly recycles the world from A Link to the Past.  The whole concept comes across as rather lazy.  So for the last two Zeldas we've got a game full of filler and a game with a recycled world from an older title.  Eh.  That doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence.

Nintendo's approach needs to be that they can think of all this cool ideas to make Zelda more grand and ambitious with an open world concept.  I know that they're capable of really making something good if that is their approach.  Their attitude can't be that a token effort at the open world style will make tired Zelda cliches appear fresh.

Offline Adrock

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2014, 01:32:13 PM »
No.

Open-World alone isn't enough to evolve the series because if everything else is the same, all that changed is the lack set entrances and exits into areas. It just seems like a wasted opportunity.

The world itself should change in the game. In the teaser, that laser-shooting land-octopus thing destroys a bridge. Yeah, you can probably just swim across or jump over the broken section, but the idea is intriguing. A continually changing environment can shake up the open-world concept. Exploration has always been a key component in the series, and sometimes it's handled better than other times. I'd like even greater focus on discovering the world. Forcing players to have to rethink how to traverse certain areas will make things a bit more interesting.

Offline Ceric

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2014, 01:35:16 PM »
I will say this, I felt for the characters at the beginning of Twilight Princess.  Very much so.  Its a shame that the main problem is effectively resolved by the middle of the Game.
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Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2014, 04:23:27 PM »
Quote
Gaming as a medium is evolving to compete with movies and television. If there is one lesson Nintendo should take away from the last generation, it's that gaming is driven by the passion of the players. Sometimes having nothing more than fun with a game isn't enough; people want fall in love with it. Pure gameplay experiences with quirky visuals aren't always enough to sell a system. Gamers want something or someone whom they can relate. Skyrim became the first Elder Scrolls game to break into mainstream media because it created a believable fantasy world in which people could invest themselves. Mass Effect earned a large and devoted fanbase by populating their universe with thoughtful lore and interesting characters. Nintendo franchises in the current era have struggled to tap into those kind of devoted fanbases. The new Zelda, however, has the potential to remedy that. Nintendo has a chance to make a world that we can fall in love with, and in turn, be excited by... and that approach needn't be confined to the new Zelda.

And this line of thinking has caused budgets to increase like crazy and put studio's out of business like never before.  I'm sorry but what you are advocating for is the real cancer that has been killing the industry since last gen.  Most of the games despite creating these big epic tales that are suppose to get the players emotionally invested, have storylines that are still terrible.  You cited Mass Effect, which is a bad example considering the complete train-wreck the storyline of that series became in the end.  Plus Skyrim was the first Elder Scrolls to have mainstream success because it had a 100 million dollar marketing campaign which was higher then any previous game in the series by far and they dumbed down the core gameplay to make it more accessible to a wider audience as well.

It's one thing to want a Zelda game that gives a more emotionally invested story, but using the likes of Naughty Dog, Bethesda, Irrational Games, and Bioware as examples are the wrong way for Nintendo to do it since it involves spending way too much money on something that doesn't even improve the quality of the stories, but makes the already poor storylines even longer and more bloated then before. 

I'd rather Nintendo spend the majority of the budget on the gameplay which is what the series has always been most famous for, and not waste a lot of it on the storyline and setting, resulting in a dumb down produce like Skyrim just so people can live in an interactive movie.
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Offline Eiksirf

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2014, 04:38:20 PM »
I also think we should be hesitant applying what we've come to expect from "open world" games to what Nintendo might mean when they suggest that Zelda has an open world.

Their first suggestion was that "if you can see it, you can go there" which is pretty much already the case with Zelda games.

They intend to give us choices for the how of it, so maybe that will lead to something, but I'm not sure we're going to get a massive, open world filled with things for us to do.

They'd still have to add in all those meaningful places and characters, then give us more minigames, quests, activities. Ways to play and have fun without advancing the story. To really make an open world game like we're used to, Nintendo has to do a lot more than just give us a few options for how to get to the next temple.

Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2014, 04:49:08 PM »
Quote
Gaming as a medium is evolving to compete with movies and television. If there is one lesson Nintendo should take away from the last generation, it's that gaming is driven by the passion of the players. Sometimes having nothing more than fun with a game isn't enough; people want fall in love with it. Pure gameplay experiences with quirky visuals aren't always enough to sell a system. Gamers want something or someone whom they can relate. Skyrim became the first Elder Scrolls game to break into mainstream media because it created a believable fantasy world in which people could invest themselves. Mass Effect earned a large and devoted fanbase by populating their universe with thoughtful lore and interesting characters. Nintendo franchises in the current era have struggled to tap into those kind of devoted fanbases. The new Zelda, however, has the potential to remedy that. Nintendo has a chance to make a world that we can fall in love with, and in turn, be excited by... and that approach needn't be confined to the new Zelda.

And this line of thinking has caused budgets to increase like crazy and put studio's out of business like never before.  I'm sorry but what you are advocating for is the real cancer that has been killing the industry since last gen.  Most of the games despite creating these big epic tales that are suppose to get the players emotionally invested, have storylines that are still terrible.  You cited Mass Effect, which is a bad example considering the complete train-wreck the storyline of that series became in the end.  Plus Skyrim was the first Elder Scrolls to have mainstream success because it had a 100 million dollar marketing campaign which was higher then any previous game in the series by far and they dumbed down the core gameplay to make it more accessible to a wider audience as well.

It's one thing to want a Zelda game that gives a more emotionally invested story, but using the likes of Naughty Dog, Bethesda, Irrational Games, and Bioware as examples are the wrong way for Nintendo to do it since it involves spending way too much money on something that doesn't even improve the quality of the stories, but makes the already poor storylines even longer and more bloated then before. 

I'd rather Nintendo spend the majority of the budget on the gameplay which is what the series has always been most famous for, and not waste a lot of it on the storyline and setting, resulting in a dumb down produce like Skyrim just so people can live in an interactive movie.

I think a problem is that much of Zelda's appeal is that it provides a big grand adventure.  Nintendo has been quite conservative over the last ten years or so while the rest of the industry has gone nuts on budgets.  For me a big draw in videogames is escapism.  What drew me to the Zelda series was that it let me be a hero in this fantasy land that I got to explore while trying to save the kingdom.  The gameplay was also really great which is why Zelda became my favourite series while something with a similar setting and scope like Final Fantasy did not.  While the gameplay remains sharp, other games have totally lapped Zelda in production values and sheer size.  Production values are superficial if that's ALL a game offers but when used correctly they really help draw you into the game's world.

Zelda can't just be gameplay.  It needs to also provide a world that the player wants to delve into.  These days if escapism is what you're looking for, Hyrule feels rather small.  The characters and storyline of Zelda games (or pretty much all Nintendo games) are very basic and simplistic.  Yeah so the older Zeldas also had simple storylines but for that time period the games were released in they were quite normal.  "Rescue the princess" was a pretty typical story in 1987.  That was enough story for a game to feel grand and epic.  But the rest of the industry moved forward (too often into some embarassing melodrama) and Nintendo did not.  The world of games has gotten bigger but Hyrule has not.

A game where you go from room to room solving puzzles is a different game than Zelda.  If that's all Zelda wants to be then it's tossing out half of the series' initial appeal.  It needs to provide the adventure as well.  To achieve that Nintendo might have to have a bigger budget.  Now I found Xenoblade felt more epic than Skyward Sword so maybe Nintendo can make a grander adventure without breaking the bank with a different focus in design.  But if they've decided that Zelda is not an ambitious series anymore, they're going to lose a fair chunk of their fanbase that associates the series with ambition and an epic scope.

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2014, 04:57:36 PM »
Increasing budgets for games can be a problem, but I think Zelda's the one thing Nintendo has where it really makes sense to go all-out. Zelda's worlds and style are very well suited to that kind of thing, and the series is also a safe enough commercial proposition that it's not too much of a risk to put in that much.
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Offline MagicCow64

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2014, 05:54:27 PM »
I also think we should be hesitant applying what we've come to expect from "open world" games to what Nintendo might mean when they suggest that Zelda has an open world.

Their first suggestion was that "if you can see it, you can go there" which is pretty much already the case with Zelda games.

They intend to give us choices for the how of it, so maybe that will lead to something, but I'm not sure we're going to get a massive, open world filled with things for us to do.

They'd still have to add in all those meaningful places and characters, then give us more minigames, quests, activities. Ways to play and have fun without advancing the story. To really make an open world game like we're used to, Nintendo has to do a lot more than just give us a few options for how to get to the next temple.

That's the thing, Nintendo hasn't really approached the contemporary open-world genre. They're going to do it differently than the standard-bearers, and I think that's only going to be a good thing, as open-world game design is usually terrible and at this point pretty damn played out other than boosting graphical detail or crowd size or what-have-you. I think the biggest hint we have is the introduction of the segment with the original Zelda. I imagine there'll be a rough grid system with discrete points of interest, maybe something like a denser Wind Waker with foliage instead of water. If we get something that's taking the illusion to the next-level, I'd happily take that over something as barren and bland as the Elder Scroll games.

Offline NWR_insanolord

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2014, 05:59:27 PM »
The game will be open world in the same way Pikmin's real-time strategy or Metroid Prime's an FPS. It will be a distinctly Nintendo take on that style. That may not always be a good thing, but it worked out fairly well in both those cases I mentioned.
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Offline ShyGuy

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2014, 06:17:36 PM »
Open World by itself is never enough. If that's all you have, you end up with games like the first Assassin's Creed.

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2014, 06:30:41 PM »
Quote
Gaming as a medium is evolving to compete with movies and television. If there is one lesson Nintendo should take away from the last generation, it's that gaming is driven by the passion of the players. Sometimes having nothing more than fun with a game isn't enough; people want fall in love with it. Pure gameplay experiences with quirky visuals aren't always enough to sell a system. Gamers want something or someone whom they can relate. Skyrim became the first Elder Scrolls game to break into mainstream media because it created a believable fantasy world in which people could invest themselves. Mass Effect earned a large and devoted fanbase by populating their universe with thoughtful lore and interesting characters. Nintendo franchises in the current era have struggled to tap into those kind of devoted fanbases. The new Zelda, however, has the potential to remedy that. Nintendo has a chance to make a world that we can fall in love with, and in turn, be excited by... and that approach needn't be confined to the new Zelda.

And this line of thinking has caused budgets to increase like crazy and put studio's out of business like never before.  I'm sorry but what you are advocating for is the real cancer that has been killing the industry since last gen.  Most of the games despite creating these big epic tales that are suppose to get the players emotionally invested, have storylines that are still terrible.  You cited Mass Effect, which is a bad example considering the complete train-wreck the storyline of that series became in the end.  Plus Skyrim was the first Elder Scrolls to have mainstream success because it had a 100 million dollar marketing campaign which was higher then any previous game in the series by far and they dumbed down the core gameplay to make it more accessible to a wider audience as well.

It's one thing to want a Zelda game that gives a more emotionally invested story, but using the likes of Naughty Dog, Bethesda, Irrational Games, and Bioware as examples are the wrong way for Nintendo to do it since it involves spending way too much money on something that doesn't even improve the quality of the stories, but makes the already poor storylines even longer and more bloated then before. 

I'd rather Nintendo spend the majority of the budget on the gameplay which is what the series has always been most famous for, and not waste a lot of it on the storyline and setting, resulting in a dumb down produce like Skyrim just so people can live in an interactive movie.


I agree with this 100%. Gaming needs to stop trying to be like other media and embrace its own uniqueness and independence. It needs to watch out with overinflated budgets. It doesn't have to be an either/or proposition either.
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Offline StrawHousePig

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2014, 09:24:24 PM »
All this stuff what's wrong with a game that's not even out. What the hell? I just don't get it.

I also don't get the need for open world Zelda. Every other game you are hindered by having not yet acquired a certain weapon or item. Is this now gone? Is Link now a mercenary? Has he always been?

Maybe it's just me, but even though I didn't particularly enjoy Skyward Sword and am practically weary of a world the size of Twilight Princess, I'm totally stoked for the next home Zelda.

Well, not really Dynasty Warriors Zelda, but you know what I mean!
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Offline Spak-Spang

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2014, 09:51:31 PM »
An open world for the sake of an open world is not going to make the game better. 


However, creating items that are actually useful for navigating the world, and exploring the world...finding the ways to cool new locations and giving a sense of true exploration and adventure are needed.


The 2D Zelda games thrived because you did feel like you were exploring the worlds, and items had interesting effects on the game world.  Sometimes surprising effects, and although the game was linear in fashion it never felt linear in design.


This was because just moving around the world felt fun, and as I said before the items truly helped you explore the world not just get from point A to point B. 


The original Zelda was perhaps the most open in this regard, with the ability to go into dungeons out of order...even if it was close to impossible to defeat that dungeon.  And that sense of exploration would be very welcome in a Zelda game. 


So I am optimistic that the correct design choices can be made to make an open world Zelda thriving and engaging.  The important thing Nintendo needs to remember when making an open world is to actually make a living world.

Offline bizcuthammer

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2014, 11:26:03 PM »
The game will be open world in the same way Pikmin's real-time strategy or Metroid Prime's an FPS. It will be a distinctly Nintendo take on that style. That may not always be a good thing, but it worked out fairly well in both those cases I mentioned.

This. Pikmin just happens to be my favorite RTS and Metroid Prime my favorite FPS. If the next Zelda takes the 'open world' genre and does something unique with it in a way only Nintendo can really do, it will probably end up being my favorite open world game ever, and possibly my favorite game ever.

Also on the subject of Zelda games needing to become more like a movie experience in the vein of Bioware/Naughty Dog games, I very much disagree. While I think that story and characters are very important, I don't like the trend the industry has been moving toward the last 10 years in trying to make games into movies. Games should stay games. The industry as a whole has bedn sacrificing great, inventive gameplay for QTE cinematics and bloated stories that, most of the time, are B-rate anyway. Why can't we let movies be movies and games be games? It's like the industry is embarrassed by itself so it feels the need to become something that mainstream audiences take more seriously. I don't mind story in games, but only if it is there as a compliment to the gameplay.

That said, there are ways to tell a story that don't involve the stupid things mentioned above. Atmosphere is one, and Nintendo has done a great job telling story through atmospheric clues in the Metroid series. Another way to tell a story or make a game's narrative believable is through world building. Games can be very hit or miss with this, some of them on purpose, but if a game's world is full of life, detail and charm, it causes players to search deeper into the meaning of the game's arc. Metroid Prime and OoT are good examples of this.

Games don't have to have cutscenes or deep stories or big budgets to get players emotionally involved. There are many other ways to go about it, and i would argue that any time Nintendo has tried to put story at priority one and gameplay at priority two, the game in development has come out worse for it. Nintendo is a toy making company at heart, not a story telling one. They focus on creating fun, innovative experiences first and the details (characters, story, etc) come after.

Offline Evan_B

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2014, 05:40:27 PM »
Truthfully, Skyward Sword does have quite a few problems, but I felt that the actual gameplay was some of the best the series has ever had- engaging as hell.

In terms of Zelda and the entire series, Skyward Sword felt like an amusement park to me- taking the player from one attraction to the next that really highlighted why Nintendo is one of the true masters of gameplay design and function. Sure, the story and setting lacked a bit, but this was mostly inconsequential in comparison to how fun the gameplay elements were.

Zelda is one of those weird instances where people clamor over the games being very similar, while I personally only want a few fundamentals intact. I enjoyed Spirit Tracks because it was a Zelda game with a very unique style of gameplay and travel that still had dungeons, boss fights, and clever items. Same with Skyward Sword and Minish Cap. I also loved A Link Between Worlds because it had a different element while still staying true to those fundamentals.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that very few Zelda stories have captivated me. I loved the story of Twilight Princess, Minish Cap, and Spirit Tracks, but they're usually secondary and don't give me that magical feeling. I love Zelda for it's gameplay, and I think that the Zelda team always approaches the design of each Zelda game with that in mind. If they want to add a new element, they do so and focus their efforts on that. This is partially why the motion control in Skyward Sword was so fantastic, as was the touch control in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. To me, I see "open-world" being a design element they want to focus on, and I think they'll be able to do it in their own unique way. Zelda is all about traversing the world and overcoming obstacles in different ways, and I think that will still be important in the next title, just on a grander scale.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2014, 06:04:23 PM »
Not nearly enough! I want to step outside, take a look around, and say "I don't have nearly enough choice on where I want to go, so I'm going back inside to play Zelda." I want to look out the window and think "Those graphics suck, I'm going to continue playing Zelda."

Offline Ceric

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2014, 09:13:33 PM »
I can currently do that with my Life with the current Zelda.  That's a pretty low bar for me.
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2014, 09:50:32 PM »
Well going on the OP nothing will be enough for Zelda because that fanbase will just keep demanding more and more.

it's just like my second girlfriend :D, god she was a demanding bitch.
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Offline Leo13

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2014, 06:19:28 PM »
I'm hoping monolith soft is secretly playing a significant role in the development of this game. My all time favorite game used to be Ocorina of Time. Till I played Xenoblade. Now I'm more excited for Xenoblade Chronicles X than Zelda U

Offline Stogi

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Re: Is Open World Enough for Zelda?
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2014, 08:38:04 PM »
"Is Open World Enough For Zelda?"

Yes.
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