Saturday, 12 October 2013

Update - One More Week and One More Zelda

  I remain as shamed as ever for letting this blog go without posting for so long.  I wish I could say that I just forgot about it, but the truth is I now have dozens of unsatisfactory, and incomplete posts saved to the hard drive.  I’ve simply been caught where emotion outstrips writing ability, and that’s a rotten feeling.

  Update on the Month:

  I’m still plugging away on older games, but Zoda’s Revenge turned out not to be the magic bullet I needed.  That’s okay, though, as I always knew that Ocarina of Time would be.  As I recall, I pledged to play only games directly approved by the now departed Hiroshi Yamauchi for a month.  It was September 19th that I made that (admittedly rash) promise, and I’ve mostly stuck to it (although Animal Crossing has proven too much to resist, and I’m only turning that game on to maintain my town). 

  Since this is now the 12th, I have to make it through another week.  In that time, Pokémon X&Y have just launched today (which tempts me, I’m not going to lie) and I’ve skipped Etrian Odyssey Millennium Girl. Not forever, but, (sic), you know.  Also, I’ve downloaded a demo for Ace Attorney 3DS, which I have not played.  Gah, stop thinking about the great games uplayed!

  So Ocarina of Time.  Classic.  I’ve actually avoided playing for so long, I had to relearn some of the controls.  Some; it didn’t take long to relearn in any case.  I’m still playing on the Zelda Gamecube Collector’s Disk, much as the recent play-through in Zelda II.  I’m not terribly keen to return to Zeldas 1 and Majora’s Mask, though, as I have been there very recently. I’m taking my time, and soaking up everything in this game, as in frank truth I am killing time until the end of the pledge next week.

  I wish that I could say there was some new achievement or discovery here, but I've poored over OoT so many times in the past, that is unlikely.  The plot holes, for instance, are pretty darned obvious.  Just as a for instance, the Gerudo custom is to make the only man born among them in millennium become their king.  Link kills their King, there is a party in the end credits at Lon Lon Range, and only then does Nabooru return to lead them.  Plot hole, one of many.  Nobody really cared though, as it was the game play that interested us back then. 

  But warts aside, the game’s themes are brilliant. To support this, consider the sages, or even Epona.  Link must venture into the world and build the relationships that he needs to conquer evil.  I don’t think there are too many games out there that stress a lone hero needing help; Elder Scrolls, just as a for instance, focus’s much more on skills, spells, and now dragon shouts.  There are plenty of team building games out there, but Link faces Ganon alone in the last moments; it is literally man to man fighting at the top of the tower, and brilliantly done at that.  But he couldn't even have reached that point without the sages’ assistance, and a lot of characterization went into each of them to build those relationships.  I really hope these sorts of themes never go out of the franchise completely.

  As you might have guessed, I cannot wait for A Link Between Worlds.  I can’t wait for any opportunity to revisit Hyrule, to see it grow, and meet the new characters inhabiting it.  There’s a good bit of violence to be done to reach them, but that’s never stopped me before.  I've noticed before how much the series has in common with Animal Crossing, but even AC has a hard time conveying the sense that you've earned that mansion.  The characters are dynamic puzzles with cute faces, but earning the ‘friend’s pic’ item is hard and awkward.  I can’t hide that I love Zelda because it is so familiar.

  I got a week to go before trying anything new.  I sure don’t mind spending it doing something comfortable.

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