Monday, January 10, 2011

Zelda 4: Minecraft

Hey Guys,

Sorry myself and Tactics haven't been posting for anyone still paying attention. As it turns out, money and time are things that we seem to have less of these days. Thankfully, we have shiny new jobs that give us weekends off.

I wanted to make a post on something Tactics and I had a small discussion about, spurned from the rather depressing display by our Nintendo brothers that has, progressively, been getting worse.

While some might contend with me, 3DS seems to be coming to a slow in it's excitement. I wasn't very happy when I read the following.

There's more, of which Tactics will eventually articulate -- the short version of which is that we'd better see some great stuff at E3, or we're in for another Gamecube roller coaster.


That said, lets get to Zelda.

Zelda 4: Minecraft

If you haven't heard of Minecraft (and you have) do yourself a favor and pay homage to people who know more about games than Nintendo: Meet Minecraft

Let me give you some background to how this came about. I love zelda. A lot. Or did, anyway. An excerpt of our discussion:


Atlas: Do you know what's depressing? When I had an NES, you know the first game I played was Zelda. Well, I didn't have an SNES for a long time. The first time I saw, or even KNEW about it was at a party center. You'd go there, rent out a section of this warehouse for a few hours for a kid's party, and let them play around At this place, you could play SNES, Sega, etc. Well, I went up to a table that had SNES and saw that they had another zelda game. I was SO ecstatic. Legend of Zelda, A link to the past. This was my birthday party. And instead of playing with my friends, I played that game. The whole fucking time. When my parents got that for us for christmas....That's the game they got me. That's how excited I was for Zelda after that. I have never had that same feeling since. Z64 was fun, for sure. And I was excited for it...

Tactics: /nods

Atlas: But I haven;t been into zelda since

Atlas: And then I read REGGIE of all people, someone who I think has better sense than Iwata, and Miyamoto, and all those fucks

Tactics: /nods

Atlas: and he tells me that Zelda is this premiere title I want?

Tactics: he's got business sense though.

Tactics: he doesn't understand zelda.

Tactics: and neither does aonuma.

Atlas: No one does

Atlas: no one in nintendo understands zelda

Tactics: and miyamoto is just "beyond that career-wise"

Tactics: which sucks balls.

Atlas: And donkey kong, I haven't played

Atlas: there's only 2 wii titles (of the recent release) that I want

Atlas: Golden Eye and DK

Atlas: And both are apparently lack-luster to the Nintendo Fanboys

Atlas: which worries me

Atlas: Because those fanboys know what I like

Atlas: They really do

Atlas: EVen the small bits of epic mickey I played got a little...meh.

Atlas: You'll see when we play it.

Tactics: /sigh

Atlas: I just don't get it dude

Atlas: I just don't.

Atlas: The platform is fun

Atlas: And no outside dev team is making quality ass games

Atlas: so who do we turn to?

Atlas: Nintendo

Atlas: And they shit on me for it

Tactics: /sigh

Tactics: i know bro

Tactics: this is why i'm saying that e3 is literally their last chance

Tactics: or wii is dead.

Atlas: And so, I stay in computers. Because it's an open platform that I still have control over.

Atlas: I can reward companies and make an impact on PC, dude

Atlas: And PC, making it's comeback

Atlas: From farmville to fucking Minecraft

Atlas: Minecraft has more zelda in it than zelda does

Atlas: w

Atlas: t

Atlas: f

Tactics: YEP

Tactics: minecraft is zelda 4

Tactics: as far as i'm concerned


So, as coined by Tactics, Zelda 4 = Minecraft. And that's sad.


But beautiful at the same time. I love PC as an open platform. On a whim I crush and reward those who bring me joy in my relaxation time with video games. It's apart of the core, and the expanded audience -- you can customize it for what you play; although it is expensive.


Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, Samus, Kirby...these characters of Yesteryear have seen better days, and while they've aged and maintained career better than most Child Actors their usefulness should not be that of a constant resource.


I'm not excited for Zleda anymore. most of the time that I hear about a new Zelda, I forget about it in a day or two. There's no hype for me there. After beating Darksiders the other night, I've been more excited for Darksiders 2, and the prospect there, then a Zelda game -- and that's sad because Darksiders gameplay was as lackluster as it gets.

Why is minecraft better than almost every Nintendo title I've played for the last few years?


Re-playability

What Minecraft does best is allow the player to create. The world is an open canvas for a player to express themselves upon. but it's not just that simple. I used to play games three times over because each section of the game was WORTH my time in doing it again. Like a...egh....good book or movie (not to be compared to these mediums in any other way) I liked key aspects of these games that kept me playing.

You replayed Mario, or Zelda, not just because of challenge, but because of those levels you liked, or the remembrance of achievement, or to try something differently. In minecraft, your re-playability is only stifled by your own imagination. And sometimes, that imagination can be scary. I've built towering keeps, villages, port towns...I've dug deep within the earth, made secret chambers...


And at some points you feel truly alone -- a man left to his cruel devices for eternity in eden, with only animals and the undead to be as friends. And when even those forces are gone you are alone. And that is a truly terrifying experience. That can only be found in a game like minecraft. Emotional Re-playability is truly something interesting.


Exploration

I have been rewarded time and time again in games for exploration. My fondest memories were Final Fantasy1 and Zelda (the original), in which exploring the overworld yielded secret treasures, hidden caves, and so forth, to probe the imagination. It has been since that this feature of exploration continually becomes more and more of what the industry deems an 'unneeded' portion of their games -- this faux 'we know what players want' mentality that is more about cutting the old, wonderful features for some inane mini game or puzzle sequence.

More on point, the simplest feature is that minecraft is huge. The world you make is literally larger than the earth. Resources, although technically limited, are pretty much limitless for just one person. It's not just the expanse, however. Countless caves, mountains, valleys, and now new LAND TYPES are available -- you can find a desert, or stumble upon a hidden lake in a cave.

Not only that, but reward is given the lower you go. Material needed to create can be found deep within the earth -- materials needed for your constant building and protection.

Player-Driven

The easiest bit, is that players drive the modification of the game. You can modify how things look, etc. But these are just mods. When I say player driven, I mean both your personal story and your drive.

Players create their own story simply by giving yourself an objective. I want to build a mud hut. I'm dissatified with this hut. I will make it a castle! But I also want a garden...some secret passages...some minecrats.....

And it grows so quickly from there, where you begin building everything your mind can imagine for only the purpose of doing it to complete the task. This bleeds into DRIVE, you perpetually push yourself into creation. You never seem to stop until pure boredom sets in or until you actually have to do something in the real world because HOURS have passed.

Single player/Multiplayer

I can choose. That's a fundamental. The game, in it's gameplay, doesn't change if I'm in Multiplayer or Singleplayer, other than the emotional exploration (you don't really freak out when there are 2 other people around); What I can say is this: something that Zelda, I feel, can never do is Multiplayer.

This game executes that with a flawless precision that is, above all else, spectacular. It becomes a new game, with new objectives and ideas. Suddenly more than just a one-man-eden you watch as statues and buildings of other design erect around you as your friends build and blend design. The game never ends, truly, but the fun is still there, waiting for me.



Oh, and you can make swords and armor. Talk about nostalgia. I even re-skinned my character to be link as soon as I found an appropriate one.

Don't take this at face value -- "Zelda should be legos" mentality. The fundamentals of the game are there. The gameplay elements are there. What we've been missing in our yesteryear games...is there. And this dude has literally made something like a few million off of this game. You tell me that Nintendo couldn't use similar fundamentals and make a boatload more.


Take a page, Nintendo. It's the most I can hope for.

-Atlas out

2 comments :

  1. While I agree with the great part of your post, I have to color myself baffled with your assertion that Zelda 4 = Minecraft. I mean, I may consider myself such an old-school hardcore Zelda fanboy that would rather not even acknowledge Twilight Princess's existence but even I know that's a line you don't cross no matter the temptation. You don't even realize what a disservice you do to two truly old-school Zelda games: Link's Awakening and Ocarina of Time? And you don't have to take my word for it, since I love them as much as I love the first 3 Zelda games; just look at the numbers: 3.5m for LA (without counting LADx) and 7m for OoT which talks about how well liked they are. Heck, you can even tell that OoT pulled new fans into the series, new customers. Even Zelda 1 sold better than Zelda 3, and OoT sold way better than Zelda 1. That says something important about the game rightly considered the 5th Zelda.
    It doesn't matter that you didn't liked them or even that I liked them, what matters it's that they clearly did something very good for the series in their respective consoles that not acknowledging them into the series means you're missing important aspects for Zelda as a whole that not only could bring it back to its roots but even improve it.
    And neither you ignore those games that are considered part of the series, no matter how much you can abhor them; you learn from them and recognize what is wrong with them, as well as what can be right with them. An attitude that goes contrary to this, it's an attitude that belongs to the hardcore, the same people who brought us into this mess in the Game Business in the first place and ruined beloved games like The Legend of Zelda.

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  2. I think I understand Atlas feelings towards modern Zeldas.

    It is not about if they are good or bad games, but they are very different games from original Zeldas. And when we look for the original Zelda experience in the new Zeldas, the games fall flat.

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