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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Discussion (Nintendo Switch) [game]
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Posted: 09/14/22, 19:09:43
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Agreed 100% with all of this.
Posted: 05/25/23, 16:15:50
Secret_Tunnel said:

I've gotten a lot of mileage out of replaying old classics lately, but my options there are starting to dry up, and I can count on one hand the new games that I've really loved in the past three years (and that's being generous). Tears of the Kingdom feels like a true boundary-pushing experience in the same way that next-gen games always used to.

I feel this big time. I dunno if it's me falling out of love with games, or the ripple effects of COVID or what. I've liked this game a lot, but I'm not over the moon with it like other people seem to be. Thinking back, my top 3 for last year were.

3. Splatoon 3 (Fine to play for a couple nights, never gonna play it again)
2. Elden Ring (Left less of an impression on me than any Souls game, minus Sekiro)
1. Kirby (I love Kirby. Kirby is the sweetest of junk food.)

2021 had a bunch of fine sequels that didn't blow me away, and honestly underdelivered given the wait. Metroid Dread, No More Heroes, Wario Ware, Pokemon Snap, TWEWY 2, Mario Golf, Psychonauts 2. MOST of those games are good, none of them reached out and grabbed me. I still think about No More Heroes 1. I've forgotten No More Heroes 3. My favorite game from that year was another example of cute platformer junk food: Here Comes Nico.

2020 had what? Doom Eternal? Pirate Warriors 4? DMCV feels like the last time a game really sunk its hooks into me and that was 2019. Outside of DMC V and Death Stranding, I don't have much more to say about the games I played since 2017 beyond, "I liked it". Or at best, "It was cute". Same is true of the classics I've been revisiting, but like you said, that's probably because the well is drying up. I'm out here playing FF3. The actual FF3. It's getting grim.

No game sucked me in or had me thinking about it after I'd stopped playing. I at least put a lot of time into Overwatch and FFXIV. But one of those doesn't exist any more, and the other is a narcotic.

Tears of the Kingdom, at least, is proud to be a game and do wacky game stuff and push some boundaries.
Posted: 05/26/23, 04:51:54  - Edited by 
 on: 05/26/23, 04:54:52

I'm mostly in the same spot. I feel like something has become reconfigured a bit in my brain since 2020; like, I'm still a big fan of Nintendo games, but I'm not really over the moon in that incontrollable way...? 2020-2022 were really dry years for me as a fan, with IMO a lot of good-not-great games from Nintendo. I'm used to their sequels basically improving on everything from past games, and I didn't get that with stuff like Mario Golf, Mario Strikers, Origami King, FE Engage, Splatoon 3, Hyrule Warriors: AOC, WarioWare, every Pokemon game, and even Metroid Dread (which is still probably my GOTY 2021 but not quite amazing). Kirby and the Forgotten Land was dope though and reminded me why I loved the company.

I'm a little less excited overall now, like I'm hyper-aware that stories aren't real and just told by people like you or me doing their jobs? I could see me from four years ago going NUTS from this section I did recently in Tears, while nowadays it's more like "Ooh, that was a cool part. What's next?"

All that being said, TotK is still probably my favorite Nintendo game since Smash or maybe even Odyssey, so I'm happy to report that at least. It sometimes feels a little too familiar, but this game has been occupying my mind quite a bit since release. And it's a miracle of programming considering all the things possible in the game that don't break it in two.
Posted: 05/26/23, 16:09:28  - Edited by 
 on: 05/26/23, 16:13:52
Well, I might just be in the minority, because I feel like the last 9 months or so has been one of the best periods of gaming I've had in my life. Mind you, all of this didn't release in the last 9 months but that's when I got around to playing it:

Xenoblade 3
Elden Ring
God of War Ragnarok
Resident Evil 8
Resident Evil 4 Remake
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Some of these games have broken into my top games ever list. And a bunch of them are LONGGGG games, so I've been pretty engrossed. It's just been a sort of wild ride lately.
Posted: 05/26/23, 21:49:59  - Edited by 
 on: 05/26/23, 21:50:22
I do need to play RE8 and RE4, but as a Switch-only gamer I'll have to wait. Xenoblade is one of those things I really want to love because its environments are amazing, but I just can't get over the battle system.
Posted: 05/26/23, 21:57:41

Elden Ring's scope of environments is incredible, but I'm just not an RPG guy (I'm waiting on Sekiro 2)! I enjoyed the first Xenoblade well enough, but what I really wanted from its world was a level of interactivity, action, and spontaneity that I didn't get until Breath of the Wild.

I've developed a pretty strong bias against Sony's cinematic games. I can admit that the stories are good, but they're definitely not as great as my favorite books or movies, and I can never shake the feeling that those stories are being held hostage behind uninteresting gameplay. I made it about 45 minutes into TLOU2 and just couldn't do it anymore.

The new Resident Evil games... are actually a pretty big blindspot for me! I've heard great things about every one since RE7. But still, the original RE4 was fun but not my favorite, so I can't imagine any of these others will resonate with me super strongly either.


I really LOVED Half-Life: Alyx and Spelunky 2 in 2020. Alyx really did feel like a true next-gen experience that did entirely new things, and Spelunky 2 was an expanded, infinitely replayable version of perhaps the best-designed game ever that made me feel the same sense of discovery that the first game did.

In 2021, Bowser's Fury was incredible but short. And then Metroid Dread and WarioWare are exactly the types of smaller experiences I've been wanting from Nintendo—refreshing, refined takes on my old favorites. (Everyone saw that in Metroid Dread, but only Zero and I seem to have enjoyed WarioWare...!)

But other than that, there really hasn't been much that's stuck with me. I value novelty a lot in games. I want to be surprised! It isn't enough for the industry to keep pumping out games of the same level of quality year after year. You don't recreate the magic of Banjo-Kazooie by making another 3D platformer about a pair of animals. You have to do something completely different.

In anticipation of Tears of the Kingdom (with its Ultra Hand ability), I was reading some biographies of Gunpei Yokoi, and I learned that he thought video games were played out when the Super Nintendo came out. "Yeah yeah, Super Mario World, it's a bigger better version of Super Mario Bros., you press buttons to make stuff move on a screen, we get it. Can we make some different toys now?"

I wouldn't go quite as far as Yokoi here, but it does seem like the AAA industry hasn't really questioned what a video game can be for 20 years or so now. We've got bigger better GTAs and Call of Duties and Marios, just like in 2003. They're remaking Silent Hill 2, Metal Gear Solid 3, Resident Evil 4, and and Final Fantasy VII. Again, not every product needs to reinvent the medium, and sometimes you just want a damn good traditional game like RE4 Remake or Celeste, but when the guy who wrote Ode to Minions is unimpressed with the big new Metroid game, you've gotta wonder if there really are diminishing returns on pumping out more and more genre sequels.

In my mind, the biggest innovation in games since 3D has been systemic games like Minecraft, BOTW, MGSV, and Fortnite. These are digital artifacts that are less about going from Point A to Point B and more about existing within a space of interesting possibilities. This is the type of fundamental rethinking that the game industry needs more of! But when I look at how devs still can't get even Point A to Point B style games right 40 years after Super Mario Bros., it doesn't make me think that they're in a good place to be pushing boundaries.

And Tears of the Kingdom is showing me that I'm not just going crazy or getting old here! I can still get obsessed with a quality game. People who attack the game for running on Xbox 360 level technology are accidentally criticizing every other developer pretty harshly; if it's been technically possible to make TOTK since 2005, why are we only just now getting it 18 years later?
Posted: 05/26/23, 22:58:04
Secret_Tunnel said:
if it's been technically possible to make TOTK since 2005, why are we only just now getting it 18 years later?

This is a fantastic point. And proves once and for all that the core of a quality game has nothing to do with power. It's about vision.
Posted: 05/27/23, 12:19:45

Good post as usual! Ultimately, the individual games that leave an impression on us are not quite as crucial (I loved Octopath 2, a series that has its fair share of detractors) but it sounds like a number of us do share a sort of malaise with the industry at the moment. I'm glad that TotK is making such a splash because I was feeling pretty down on it for a while leading up to release; glad to have been (mostly) proven wrong in that sense at least.
Posted: 05/27/23, 21:34:28
there's not actually a plot to this game, is there...?

Posted: 05/27/23, 23:45:32  - Edited by 
 on: 05/27/23, 23:46:04
After 85 hours, the credits have rolled. Loved the main dungeons, loved the final sequence. On these fronts, TOTK far surpassed BOTW.

Overall: incredible game, terrible dialogue. I loved solving the small pre-dungeon riddles, I hated the NPCs that explained them and the quests that scripted them. I loved figuring out the huge central mysteries before I was supposed to, I hated how on-the-nose the cutscenes on the "intended path" were. I loved the confidently quiet baller moments where the game pulled off incredible cinematic flairs, I hated the anime soap operas that punctured them afterwards. I loved the initial lore implications, I hated that every sentence after the first five hours just reiterated what I already knew.

All that being said, it's still the best game ever made, and I look forward to playing it for another six years.

Where does Zelda go from here? Simple:

Posted: 05/29/23, 00:45:33  - Edited by 
 on: 05/29/23, 02:44:44
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