Friday, March 17, 2017

A Nintendo Loyalist's Conundrum - Zelda: Breath of the Wild

We waited a long time for Twilight Princess.

During the Gamecube era, Nintendo announced there would be a new Zelda game after Wind Waker. I did eventually play Wind Waker, which actually deserves a little more credit than teenager me wanted to give it (this was an era when Pokemon was exploding in popularity and Nintendo was being seen as the "little kid" video game company, which as a teenager was something I resented - you know, like how teenagers suck? Anyway, the graphic style of Wind Waker was not the for-the-time high-rez Zelda game that the tech demos for the Gamecube seemed to have promised.)

Twilight Princess wound up being a launch title for the Wii, but it was also released on the Gamecube (actually later I think,) and sort of left those with Gamecubes in a conundrum of whether they wanted to invest in the new system or play it on the old one.

Personally, Twilight Princess is up there in maybe my top three Zelda games (Ocarina of Time and Link to the Past being in the top two spots, though I vacillate on which order to put them in.) I love the style and dungeon design, and I find it pretty ironic in retrospect that it got such underwhelming reviews while Skyward Sword was given sweeping 10/10s.

I wound up getting a Wii and Twilight Princess as my first game for it.

Now, we wound up getting a truly Wii-centric Zelda game in Skyward Sword, which I didn't actually wind up liking as much.

Now we're in a kind of similar state with the Wii U and the Switch.

The Wii U seemed like a great idea at the time, and Nintendo came out with some cool concepts for it. But ultimately, it feels like half a system. I realize it's been almost five years since it came out, which is kind of average for a console generation (the fact that it seems short must mean I'm getting older) but there was just never a big library for it. Even Nintendo didn't really seem to fully believe in it, with first and second party games from big franchises never appearing. Unless I'm really missing something we never got a Metroid game for the Wii U.

But while Nintendo will put out tons of Mario games, Zelda is something that is typically once or twice in a console generation - but it's always there.

Breath of the Wild was supposed to be a Wii U game (I think you even get a tablet in-game that is kind of a proxy for the Wii U controller,) but now it's basically the reason to get a Switch.

I have such fond feelings for Nintendo, and if the reviews are to be believed, the company can still come out with utterly amazing games. They are a seriously quality over quantity company, which I respect (to be honest, I think that these days I'm much happier to have one game I play for a long time than a bunch of games I can cycle through. Like a certain MMORPG that dominates this blog.)

But I also feel a little burned by the Wii U. The Wii U concept was much less gimicky in my opinion than the Wii (ok, it had more gimicks, but it was still giving you something recognizable as a video game controller) but a system is nothing without a good library.

So right now, they want people to roll the dice on the Switch, and for the record, I really, really hope the console is a huge success for them. But this early on, I'm hesitant to plunk down for a new console (especially since I just got a PS4 last year) with only one game I'm super excited to play.

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