7 Changes to Make Legend of Zelda Wii U the Best Zelda Ever


January 29, 2013 by karynwolo

Wind Waker Wii U_2Last week, Nintendo announced a new Zelda game for Wii U along with an HD rerelease of Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Although the Legend of Zelda is one of my favorite video game series of all time, it is far from perfect. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of the seven most annoying aspects of the series that Nintendo should seriously consider keeping out of The Legend of Zelda Wii U:

Ocarina of Time Sneaking Stinks1. Sneaking Missions: Stealth missions are usually the low point in any Zelda game. The games’ controls and camera angles, while fine for Zelda’s action/adventure gameplay, are often too imprecise for clandestine operations.  The worst part of it all is that getting caught means having to start from scratch.  If Nintendo can’t make these missions more player-friendly, they should just remove them entirely.

Worst Offenders in the Series: Temple of the Ocean King (The Phantom Hourglass), Gerudo’s Fortress (Ocarina of Time), Silent Realms (Skyward Sword), Forbidden Fortress (The Wind Waker)

2. Time Limits: Although Zelda games are full of quiet, contemplative moments, they will occasionally ramp up the stress with short, timed missions. The sudden shift in gameplay style often leads to frantic, clumsy attempts to complete the task at hand, and once again, failed missions result in having to start all over. Like the sneaking missions, Nintendo should really just get rid of these all together.

Worst Offenders in the Series: Three-day time limit (Majora’s Mask), Temple of the Ocean King (The Phantom Hourglass), The Biggorons Sword trade (Ocarina of Time)

Skyward Sword Tutorial3. Hand-holding: The original Legend of Zelda dropped you in a world with no instructions, no map, and no clue as to how the game should be played.  Recently, Zelda games have become too reliant on holding the player’s hand from beginning to end. Long, unskippable messages constantly repeat instructions that are unnecessary for anyone who has ever played a video game before. Nintendo needs to either find a middle ground where only crucial information is given or develop an easy mode for younger players.

Worst Offenders in the Series: Navi (Ocarina of Time), Fi (Skyward Sword)

4. No Voice Acting: The lack of voice acting in Zelda games has never been too much of an issue. However, Nintendo should really consider including full voice acting in its next installment if it does not want to be considered outdated. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with leaving Link as the ever-silent player surrogate, as the role suits him just fine.

Worst Offenders in the Series: All Zelda games

5. Low Health Beeping: I know the lowZelda Low Health health beeping noise is a Zelda tradition, but it is seriously beginning to work my last nerve, especially since the beeping seems to have become shriller and more annoying as the sound quality of games and televisions improve. Nintendo would do well to replace it with a calmer, slightly less urgent tone.

Worst Offenders in the Series: All Zelda games

6. Slow Starts: As of late, the first few hours of Zelda games have been low key affairs that allow the player to acclimate to the controls by having Link complete a variety of tasks around his village. If Nintendo really wants to grab the player right off the bat, they should start Link out in a dungeon already equipped with his sword, shield, and bow and arrow.

Worst Offenders in the Series: Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Majora’s Mask, The Wind Waker

7. Limited-use Items: Zelda’s dungeons follow a pretty standard Zelda Raftformat: find the map, find the compass, find the special item, find the boss key, and then defeat the boss using the special item.  Unfortunately, there are always a few special items that are never used (or used poorly) outside of their dungeons.  Instead of going the same route for The Legend of Zelda Wii U, Nintendo needs to focus on a few core items that can be used creatively in all environments.

Worst Offenders in the Series: Raft, ladder, and monster bait (The Legend of Zelda), the Cross (Zelda II), the Spinner (Twilight Princess), Golden Gauntlets (Ocarina of Time), Dominion Rod (Twilight Princess), Giant’s Mask (Majora’s Mask)

In my opinion, if Nintendo fixes these seven flawed aspects, The Legend of Zelda Wii U will be the best Zelda ever. Now I turn to you, Gamercheese Readers – what improvements to the series would you like to see?

6 thoughts on “7 Changes to Make Legend of Zelda Wii U the Best Zelda Ever

  1. What a bad article! It’s all a matter of opinion and i think many will agree that critisising the something as fundamental as the three-day cycle in Majora’s Mask, that it the backbone of that entire game is a mistake. Majora’s Mask is a great Zelda, and the stealth parts are hard, yes. Frustrating sometimes, but they are really memorable and they are actually pretty exciting in most games. I think this is pure B.S.

  2. solomonlutze says:

    I like a lot of these – I especially think that giving items more uses outside the temple you find them in is a great idea, and I think Skyward Sword demonstrated how well that can work. I couldn’t disagree more about the three-day time limit in Majora’s Mask, though. Once you get the nag of it, and the rest of the game, the countdown isn’t really a time limit in most circumstances, it’s a temporal compass. It gives structure to how you spend your time in the game: this day is a good day to start a temple; these few seconds can be spent making money while you wait for an event to occur; the minutes before the end of the last day should be used getting everything resolved and depositing your money before you play the Song of Time. And really, some minutes can just be spent idle, walking around Clock Town or Termina Field and enjoying the art and the sad landscape. The three-day timer builds these things into the game for you in a way that I think has a strong learning curve, but mastery of that system is really rewarding.

    On top of that, I think it’s a really clever strategy for giving secondary characters meaning; everybody has a significant event not just to contend with, but to plan their lives around, and you get to see what those lives look like. You get to see people quibbling over whether to flee, and eventually deciding to go or stay. You see things that go wrong in people’s lives without your intervention. It’s a way to give you a narrow, but real, cross-section of a place and the people who live there, and I think it succeeds in that in a way none of the other Zelda games really do.

    It can definitely be frustrating, and I don’t disagree on that point; I just wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    • karynwolo says:

      You make a very good point about the three-day limit. I just found it to be slightly annoying, and I know others did too, so I thought I’d include it.

      Don’t think I didn’t expect some backlash from Zelda fans :) Just remember that I’m one too, and for the record, I thought Majora’s Mask was a great game!

  3. If you hear the low health warning so often that it is annoying you really that much, you should probably stick to Mario party.

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