What Zelda could learn from Square Enix

Just finished The Crystal Bearers twice the other day and I was wondering why it felt more fulfilling to get 100% in The Crystal Bearers but not Zelda. Please remember that I am still going for that 100% completion in Crystal Bearers as its just that gripping. I thought that its probably best to use Twilight Princess and Spirit Tracks since to the best of my knowledge these games had quite decent hype behind them. My analysis will focus on elements of Zelda which I feel have been lacking consistently and if improved could radically change the fate of the first Wii Zelda.

One thing Zelda could take in from Square Enix is a cleared savefile, whenever I finished the final boss battle in Twilight Princess I was terrily annoyed that I recieved no reward or had no proof that I had completed it. I also hated the fact that in Twilight Princess the save file after completing the game would place me in Hyrule Castle, did the developers want to complete the final boss again? And what about a free-roaming world where everything is completely fine so you can enjoy the lack of any threat.

The world in Twilight Princess is also too large and empty, Spirit Tracks is kind of the same but I haven’t progressed deeply into the game yet so from what I have experienced the world seems just about right. What I loved about Crystal Bearers is that the world was small and was well filled up so that I wouldn’t feel lonely and that it was less dull.

Another thing I loved in Crystal Bearers was that the entire game focused on one versatile ability, this was reflected in Spirit Tracks and I hope that they continue it in the first Wii Zelda as how many items were pointless as soon as you left their dungeon, the dominion rod had no real need for existance after the Temple of Time except for a small quest leading you to the City in the Sky.

Crystal Bearers also had a distinct sense of variety, they storyline shaped the gameplay as you progressed, you begin on an airship and you are diving through the sky with a machine gun taking out flying beasts as they mysteriously spawn and later on you are on the back of a cart using your powers of gravity to wreck havoc amongst the Royal Guard. In Zelda it tends to be very monotonous i.e. shield, shield, shield, distraction, sword, roll, shield and so on. The Zelda games tend to try and engrave a set of movements into your brain so that you can takedown bosses without even plugging in the controller.

Another thing Zelda has trouble sorting out is transport, I guess in Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass its already there but still its very monotonous. In Twilight Princess you would always use warp as you got it, I tried to use Epona as often as possible just to enjoy the views but I just could not be bothered and decided to warp instead. In Spirit Tracks it just can’t be helped although it does little to diminish the games value.

Crystal Bearers also reveals another hole in the Zelda series, the storyline. Is not the storyline always focusing on saving a person who is a princess, please correct if I am wrong but in every Zelda game I know (not including the CDi games) Link is always saving Zelda, when they passed down the Legend of Zelda through the Royal Family did they never think of telling the next Zelda that they were destined to be captured and possibly raped, tortured or just imprisoned by someone of the name Ganon, Ganondorf or someguy that looks really really evil. I mean after several of hundreds if not thousands of years (LoZ 1) Zelda still gets kidnapped by Ganon or a Ganon. This is very prevalent in Spirit Tracks, after a hundred years TWW Link’s legacy is practically lost even though Anjean, Nico and possibly others (still yet to finish it) have hinted if not admitted knowing him. In Crystal Bearers the storyline is very easy to grasp and is significantly different to the first Crystal Chronicles game, it even vastly contrated My Life as a King which could have happened before or after this game.

Crystal Bearers also has an achievements system, that to me has been the most effective on the Wii (almost on par with the stamps of WiiSportsR) as a lot of the achievements were quite realistic and seemed fun to try. Now, what button opens the achievements on Zelda, maybe its the magical trigger under the N64 controller, or maybe not.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post, its a bit of a mix of a review of The Crystal Bearers and analysis of recent Zelda games, if there are any inaccuracies in my findings please comment. Also, I hope Eiji somehow takes these ideas in, or even better, he has a conversation with the producers of Final Fantasy since I am sure that would definitely bring change in the Zelda world.

Oh and I would have given Crystal Bearers a 9/10 for being a great game overall (the graphics were lush) that is very dynamic in gameplay and storyline and deserves its place as one of the best Wii games this year.


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betocampos: For the awesome digital landscape he posted on Deviant Art

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