Why is the new Zelda special?

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    Youtube Video

    Yes, a new Zelda game was revealed on massive scale at this year's E3. And while it raised spirits of loyal fans, I remain sceptic of all the expectations it had brought along

    This post could be put into a general discussion, but I would like to clarify some things before we engage the discussion.
    This question is a continuation of the Love and respect segment from the EZA podcast:

    Youtube Video – [54:31..]

    While the crew has explained their viewpoints considering previous Zelda games and comparing the new one with them, as someone who is not really into Zelda, I still am not convinced that The Breath of the Wild is worth all the hype.
    I mean, this game was most talked game of E3 and it was not even close.
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    I mean, I know that game seems to be about freedom and wast exploration, but while it seems to do that very well, it's not the first one to do that.
    Is jumping really such a big deal? Chopping trees, swimming and overall interacting with environment? Wasn't that present in games for years now?
    I assume that the story is a big part of Zelda games, so I hope that we get a good narrative out of it. And its seems to have nice mechanics, but I won't be able to know how it actually feels until it comes out. This seems like the best Zelda yet, but is it really so remarkable even outside its franchise?
    So far it seems that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a nice representation of a saying Jack of all trades, master of none. Yeah, it's visually great, but not really graphically demanding, like the Witcher 3. It's supposed to have a good story, but probably not as deep as Final Fantasy or Silent hill 2. It has some stealth elements, but is not as tense as Metal gear. And it appears to have smooth mechanics and fun gameplay, but they're probably not as enjoyable as Overwatch or challenging as Dark souls. And sure it is vast and free, but not as big as Just cause 3 or Xenoblade Chronicles X (I might be wrong on that. Correct me if you have some info).
    So where's the catch? It seems to me that the hype for this game is mostly the consequence of Nintendo's legacy and their well executed marketing and the fact that this is the first new game of a popular franchise in many years. The fact is that there's (too) many things that we don't know about the game or the NX, but that doesn't seem to stop the hype for either of them, but even encourage it. But anyway, try to help me here.

    So my questions are:
    Is the new Zelda REALLY so good? Is it the fusion of all said features? Because it seems really overhyped.
    As I am a person that is not into the franchise, try to convince me why I should play this game? And is it worth buying a new console? Especially after all the controversial leaks we've got about the NX?
    So open my eyes and explain to us nitwits, that are sceptical about this game: If so, then why does it deserve all the attention?

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  • It presents a world where the emphasis is on physics and environmental puzzles. This new game in particular gives you more tools and a more robust physics engine that allows you to combine them in many different ways. Clever puzzles are where the series has chosen to excel and become a "master" of, rather than as you said, combat like Dark Souls or Monster Hunter, or story like Final Fantasy and The Witcher.

    If that kind of thing doesn't appeal to you then so be it, play what you want to play.

    I found this analysis on Ocarina of Time from 2004 that talks about how the game is designed, maybe that will give some perspective into if it's for you or not.

  • @TOPHATANT123 Oh, don't get me wrong, I REALLY want to like this game. But I also want to understand what makes this game special, beside being "a new zelda".

    Thx for your response. I have completly skipped puzzles, but I suppose there will be a fair share of that. Also physics seem really great. The gif shows a really nice sequence of combat moves.


  • Despite my intense hype for the game, your concerns and skepticism are certainly not anything unwarranted. As the allies put it, it's Zelda, and for the most part, no other game series really does everything that Zelda does. Now, Zelda is doing its usual thing (I assume), but now has many features and mechanics that other games have done. I can speak for myself when I say that I am excited to go into a gigantic open world with all the mechanics and framing of a Zelda game. I have concerns of my own for the game, but the overwhelming positive reception of the demo really eases those concerns.

  • @Nillend One of the things I've heard from Zelda fans (yep, I'm not one either) is the absolute joy of the very first Zelda released - how open it was, how many secrets there were to discover, how it just dropped you in and let you do what you wanted. Immediately after that, the Zelda franchise began to focus more on a sort of progression - you can stray from the guide line a little bit but as a whole, you need to do things in order. That return to form seems to have a lot of the community excited - even though as you said, open world games have come a long way since the initial Zelda was released. In the very least, it'll be interesting to see how they handle it and I'm especially curious to see how the community reacts, let's hope it gains more favor than Skyward Sword.

  • @SabotageTheTruth
    I agree with what you said. I'm guessing that this will best Zelda, especially after the reaction it got from E3, and so the fans are behind it. I mean, the quests and story would have to mess up pretty hard for the game to fail just a little.
    But saying that, I am afraid that the EZA score for it will HIGHLY depend on who is assigned to review it. If Damiani reviews it, we can already mark it as 5 stars. But if Bloodworth or even Huber or Ben review it, I'm more confident in their impartiality.

  • @Nillend The only fair review would come from Kyle. :D

  • @SabotageTheTruth I think it's 50/50 with Kyle. He would probably actually look for mistakes but I still think that he would give it 5* since It's his favorite franchise and he was really impressed after E3.

  • @Nillend I think Pokemon is his one true love, but who knows with that lovable weirdo. I just want another review that isn't Cooking Mama.

  • @SabotageTheTruth
    OMG I didn't know this treasure existed! This is amazing.
    Sadly Kyle said that there is no chance in him writting another review :(

  • I wouldn't be too hung up on these "social media analysis" because... here's Sony winning.

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    Then here's Microsoft winning... from the same data analysis as the one you posted showing Nintendo winning....

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    Then there's Youtube views with the highest view from each company God of War gameplay trailer having 9 million, Zelda with 7 million, Halo Wars 2 having 5 million.

    Does this mean anything? Not really. There are so many factors skewing the data, especially the fact that social media bots are a thing as evidence by the recent BF1 record breaking youtube view and upvote. There's also the fact that Nintendo fans really didn't have anything else to talk about but Zelda because that's the only game they can look forward to for Wii U.

    Now for the actual game, if it's not going to have a strong narrative, it's not going to hold any of my attention. Story in Zelda has been purposefully weak because of Nintendo's philosophy of toybox rather than having an interesting, character driven story. There are many, MANY other games that are just as fun, but they also have narrative. Just take Horizon for example, looks graphically better, story is a lot more interesting, has characters with depth, and shows a lot of the same open world features.

  • @Whoaness Mine data shows what games specifically were mentioned during that time. Your graphs actually mean something, if you can read them correctly. I won't debate over whether the tablets are good/correct or not, but they are certainly saying a lot of useful info.
    And sure bots are a thing, but if you are convinced that they have so big influence on so many videos/tweets in such dense time period with so many trends, then you might stop believing anything you are told on the internet. And even without the data, most gaming media, including EZA, has expressed that Zelda has been the game of E3 2016 on video.
    I agree with the fact that Nintendo didn't bring much else, but that still doesn't deny the obvious support the new Zelda has amassed.

    And I agree that story will either make or brake the game. What we so during E3 was a lot of gameplay but little story. However I think this Zelda is currently one of limited games that has into so many directions and it seems that it has done them well. And can you give some examples of these MANY games that are equally fun and also have narrative (which Zelda also has) that have actally come out.
    I don't completely agree with your comparison with Horizon.
    Horizon looks graphically better: Definitely, but graphics alone don't make a game great. It can be visually pleasing without demanding graphics. I too don't like bad graphics, even games that are meant to have pixel graphics, but that's a matter of a personal preference/style. I still acknowledge that Zelda certainly doesn't bring any new milestones for graphics, or really bring anything new in this area.
    Story is a lot more interesting: You don't know complete story for either Horizon or Zelda. None of these games are out yet.
    Has character with depth: So does Zelda, and many fans of the franchise (which I am not) would tear you apart if you said that to them.)
    Shows a lot of the same open world features: Correct.

    I'm not sure if you've actually read what I've written in my post. I clearly expressed my scepticism for the game and not understanding its hype, even outside its franchise. But I gave the game and the community a chance to convince me otherwise, because the game looks interesting and that massive approval it got from majority of people must be coming from somewhere.

    Clearly neither you nor I understand the overwhelming bustle that the game has created, but that's not a reason to step on it.

  • While yes many other games have done open world, I think there is something to be said for how Zelda is doing it. The focus on physics in the world and having lasting effects is incredibly interesting as far as making the world feel real, and yet they don't lose the game-y aspects that make Zelda, Zelda. It also combines a lot of things that you used to only get in one at a time. Sure Just Cause has the verticality and mobility, but it often lacks the smaller details and things on a less grandoise level. Zelda has those things in spades.

    Some other thoughts:
    -The world doesn't appear to be bloated like a lot of open world games are. The landscape isn't absolutely dotted with junk, the team understands that some emptiness is needed to make a world feel real, and they give you the mobility to transverse it so it doesn't get boring either.

    -There is a sandbox design to the world that is usually only seen in games that focus on such things. You have a Zelda game, with a storyline and dungeons and all of those things that are so important for Zelda. You also have a world that you can fool around in for hours like it was Minecraft.

    -The level of polish we saw in the demo is beyond most open world games months after launch. If we get the traditional Nintendo polish on an open world game I can hope that will inspire other devs to try harder instead of releasing broken worlds.

    -The difficulty definitely appears to be amped up compared to the last (quite a) few Zelda titles. Enemies on the field can one shot you, rupees don't grow on grass, etc.

  • The most frustrating thing about Zelda at this year's E3 is that it consumes all "casual" attention from everything else. A buddy of mine, who doesn't follow gaming news as intense as most of us, texted asking about E3. He says he is excited for Zelda. I say sure it looks good. I know he doesn't have a WiiU but does have a PS4, so I ask him about Death Stranding. And he reply's with: "?", then goes on to talk more about Zelda.

    Its just so disappointing to find people so absorbed by a game because of pedigree. It is a good spring board, and the game does indeed look good. But for people with a narrower window into the gaming news world, it blots out the sun. And this honestly harshens my own opinion on the game. As in "It better be 10/10 for distracting people from all the real announcements." (not that I think this... yet)

  • @Nillend nah, I've been around and played Zelda since Zelda 1, so I'm just expressing my jadedness. I read your skepticism, which aligns with my views, but I'm elaborating on more about what I'm concerned about.

    Zelda's "story" has always boiled down to the same dungeon diving to get tools for the next dungeon and save the princess and his personality is less interesting than a shoe.
    If a game has story, the trailer shows story. If the game's characters have personality, the trailer shows them having interesting dialogue that reveals their thoughts on subject matters.

    This Zelda might be an interesting offbeat iteration like Majora's Mask, but Nintendo deserves to be stepped on until they realize they need to change up what's important for games to mature.

    @Carmichael It's only extremely polished because it's been purposefully delayed until NX came out. Other devs don't have the luxury of spending years on polish.

    Whatever they showed at E3 is most definitely a game that was long since finished. No dev would allow anyone to demo the game like that if it was still being worked on.

  • @frasafrase That's why I'm so unhappy with this. The game just seems overhyped with no specific reason, other than the names it comes with.
    It doesn't present anything I would be really excited about. It seems like a good game but definitely not worth all the fuss about it.

  • @Whoaness You are making assumptions. We don't have enough of a view into the development of the game to be able to say whether it's complete or whether it was delayed only for the NX version. The later is of course a likely scenario, but even still, say Breath of the Wild gets 4 or 5 years of dev time. That's about the same amount of time Skyrim took to develop and we all saw the 'polish' there.

  • @Nillend I've been a Zelda fan for years - I still think Ocarina of Time is one of the best games I've ever played, however I kind of agree with you that BotW doesn't seem like anything too special.
    As shitty as it probably sounds I think Zelda gets a bit of a free pass because of Nostalgia and in some weird way it's almost "expected" that people are excited for it just based on it's name alone.

    For me personally I think it comes down to how disappointing Nintendo has been since the Wii days, the only game I can really think of that I really enjoyed a bunch from the Wii / Wii U would be Bayonetta 2, anything else just felt like the same old stuff I've played a million times before which isn't always a bad thing necessarily (I still like Pokemon) but when I'm being asked to sit down and maybe put in 40+ hours just to get the same old "you saved the princess" ending I feel like I could use that time better on something more interesting.

    I'm not saying it looks like a terrible game but I do feel like there are so many more interesting games on the horizon that Zelda barely pop's up on my radar. I might feel different as the game gets closer to release and see see a bit more but right now that's how I feel about it - hopefully I didn't ramble too much...

  • @Carmichael Skyrim came out 3 years after Fallout 3, and a large part of one of those years was spend on Fallout 3 DLC.
    They didn't have, at most, more than 3 years to get Skyrim out.

    Zelda Wii U had already leaked at its launch in 2012 with an official unveiling in 2013. 5 years is way too long, and we still don't have an exact date for this game.

  • @ZeusBurger Wow! Hearing that from you really seems like there is something about BotW that it's overhyped. I totally agree with what you said. Thx for your response.
    Let's hope the game will not dissapoint.