Wednesday, 24 February 2016

My History with The Legend of Zelda Series


We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series this year. Therefore, I thought I would write an overview of my history with the series, discussing where I started, my favourite in the series and more. 

Let’s begin with my first encounter with the series. Most of the fans would say they started with the original on the Nes, but I didn’t own a Nes or a SNes, so I couldn’t play The Legend of Zelda I or II, as well as A Link to the Past. 

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening 



I played my first Zelda game on the original Gameboy. I didn’t get the Gameboy on launch day here in the UK. I got my lovely grey brick of a Gameboy at a bootsale which my parents bought for me with loads of games for my birthday one year. 

One of them games I recieved was The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. At this time, I didn’t even know about the franchise, I just thought it was standalone game in my collection. As I was very young at this time,  I didn’t really know how to play the game. I just ran around a lot, cutting grass, killing enemies and getting enough rupees to play the crane game to get that cuddly Yoshi. I went all over the place in the game, but I never got to the first dungeon. However, as a kid exploring his first venture into the Zelda series, I still enjoyed what I did play. I have since played this on the 3DS port.

  
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 



As I stated earlier, I  did not play the original or anymore in the franchise until I got my N64 from my brothers friend. I saw in a magazine that Ocarina of Time had recieved amazing reviews, so I went out and bought it as soon as I could find it. 

Once I put Ocarina of Time in my N64, I was hooked. I absolutely loved the story, the graphics, the charm, exploring the over world and pretty much the whole feel of the game. Every day after school I couldn’t wait to get to home to play some more, and my friends were playing it too at the same time making the main choice of topic at lunch time. Ocarina of Time sucked me into the game more than any game did before. Each dungeon was unique, the characters had awesome personality, I loved collecting the different weapons, and discovering how each dungeon was different from the last. The story also had a great twist halfway through, making you age 7 years instantly to discover that the world had been destroyed by Ganondorf.

It is one of my favourite games of all time due to many reasons, and is still my favourite in the series. I hold a special place in my heart for Ocarina of Time, which still makes me smile still every time I play it. 

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 



After how much I had enjoyed Ocarina of Time, of course I couldn’t wait to play the next one in the series. I bought Majora's Mask as soon as I had money to buy it. It had better graphics, the world had more character and it was definitely the darkest in the series yet.

Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it due to one mechanic- the time limit. I never finished the game, and only got to the first dungeon, but luckily due to the 3D remake on the 3DS, I was finally able to finish the game. I did enjoy it a lot, but I still don’t think the structure was right in some places. The look and feel of the world and it's roster of characters were some of the best in the franchise, but I didn't find the dungeons as fun. However, I loved the masks system, which allowed the player to turn into other creatures. The dark story and Majora’s Mask as the main antagonist made it stand out from the crowd though.

Perhaps I love Ocarina of Time too much, but I feel like that is still the stronger game when compared to Majora's Mask.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker 



I was immensely excited for this game, even after being little let down by the last one I played. I know it wasn’t what we were promised from that tech demo fans were shown at the beginning of the GameCube, but I really liked the art style. 

I was amazed at how much personality the game had, including a plethora of detailed characters. The cell-shaded art style still holds up to this day, gifting the series one of the most vibrant titles so far. Music is always an important part of the Zelda collection, and the game's score was one of my favourites in the series.I loved the innovative dungeons, whilst the game also had one of the coolest final boss fights I have ever played too. 

Wind Waker wasn’t perfect though. It had a few problems, such as the need for another town island rather than just the one main one, the sailing did get a little boring sometimes and finally the worst part was the Triforce collect quest, which took a couple of hours to do. Thankfully, gladly they improved on the weaker aspects of the game in the Wii U remake, which is definitely worth a play.

The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap 

Finally went back to my next handheld game and started Minish Cap even though never finished it as couldn’t finish the final boss, i thoroughly enjoyed the game. Going back to the top down perspective it felt fresh to me and i loved it.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess


Twilight Princess was my most anticipated game in the franchise. I was so excited when I saw the E3 trailer, which still gives me goosebumps to this day. Twilight Princess got delayed many times, but it was worth it, as in the end we got a mature Zelda game with great dungeons, unique gameplay, an interesting wolf mechanic, great haracters, and a fantastic story. It was aesthetically pleasing too, and I loved playing as Wolf link as well as the horse-battle mechanics. 

To this day, people still ask for Midna to come back to the series, as she was such a good character that everyone misses. 

The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass 



After Twilight Princess, a few handheld games joined the series. The first was Phantom Hourglass. it offered a continuation of the story from Wind Waker, embracing slightly different gameplay thanks to the use of the DS' touchscreen. This mechanic allowed players to control movement, combat and puzzles using the stylus.

Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 

Spirit Tracks was the next game in the Wind Waker story lin. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it too much. It felt bit bland, and driving a train was not that fun for me personally. I got to a certain point in the game and just gave up, as as much as I tried, I really couldn't get into this one. Great music and visuals though! 

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword



At the time of writing this, Skyward Sword is the latest Zelda console game until the Wii U (or now rumoured NX) edition comes out. I absolutely loved Skyward Sword. It offered a new travel system which was fun to fly around and explore with, a fantastic art style (I can't wait until they redo this for the new system), fantastic story, great characters and interesting new enemies. 

It offered a very unique gameplay mechanic which I can’t see returning again in the future of the franchise, but I wish it did. Skyward Sword used the Wiimote Plus to allow 1:1 motion with your sword and other items. This made the fighting mechanic really fun, and every encounter offered a mini challenge. Sitting as the beginning game in the timeline, it let you see how the story started and why there are so many Links, Zeldas and Ganondorfs.

Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 



The latest Zelda handheld game I have played, A Link Between Worlds offered a unique gameplay mechanic which allowed Link to turn two-dimensional on walls to get to new places and solve puzzles. It also served as a sequel to the highly rated A Link to the Past, allowing you to explore the world again but in a different way. It had a good twist near the end of the story too which I didn’t see coming. 

Non-Nintendo Zelda Games 


While all Zelda games usually are made by Nintendo, I have played a couple that were made by other companies also. The first was the dreadful CDI games they were nothing like the series and were glitched to hell, but for some reason as a kid I still played them a lot.

Last but not least was Hyrule Warriors. At first I wasn’t bothered about this game, but once I finally played it, you could tell the developer wanted to make the game right for the series whilst embracing that familiar Dynasty-Warriors gameplay. It was great playing as a plethora of characters rather than just Link too.

So there is my history of the Legend of Zelda franchise hope you like the franchise as much as I do and I can’t wait to finally be able to see the new gameplay for Zelda Wii U!

What are your favourite Zelda memories? 
Let us know in the comments below!





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