Weve already listed the things we want to see from Nintendos 3D Mario Wii U game and its next Metroid Wii U title. Now, were traveling to Hyrule to list everything we hope to find when we crack open the first Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U.
What should it take from Skyward Sword? From Ocarina of Time? From the DS Zelda games? We have a pretty hefty list of wishes, so grab your Master Sword and lets get going...
Don't get us wrong, we absolutely loved the stylized worlds of Wind Waker and Skyward Sword, but we've seen what the Wii U is capable of--and we want to see the most realistic Hyrule Nintendo can create. We want to see Link in stunning HD, and Epona with as high a polycount as the console can muster. We want to fight against a frighteningly realistic Ganon (or whoever) and save an incredibly lifelike Princess Zelda.
It can be slightly stylized, of course, just as Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess were, but it should at least attempt realism to show off the power of the Wii U. One of the first videos Nintendo put out showed what The Legend of Zelda could look like on the new console, and that's exactly what we want.
Give it plenty of GamePad functionality
There's little doubt that Zelda on the Wii U will use the GamePad's functionality, and we're absolutely thrilled with that. The Zelda minigame in Nintendo Land showcased how well it works for archery, and we imagine that it would be perfectly suited for a majority of the tools Link gets his hands on.
Not only that, but there are plenty of things that could be taken off of the screen and put on the GamePad just to make for a better, cleaner game. Throw the map on the GamePad, and make Navi/Fi/whoever's dialogue pop ups come out of that, instead of taking up real estate on the screen. We'd also be cool with Nintendo taking a cue from ZombiU, and making Link check through his bag in real-time to add another layer of urgency to the game.
but keep swordplay to button-presses
Skyward Sword was a ton of fun, and we loved how it used the Wii MotionPlus to give us 1:1 swordplay with the Master Sword. Seriously, our seven-year-old selves were losing their minds. But we've already done that, and we don't think that's where we want the next Zelda to go.
Let's keep the actual swordplay classic. There can be other GamePad motion-controlled bells and whistles, but stabbing enemies can just be mapped to the A or B button. It's simple, sure, but we'd prefer it to motion or touch screen swordplay.
A large variety of new weapons and abilities
The boomerang. The hook shot. The bomb. The slingshot. The Legend of Zelda games usually slowly drop the same handful of items into Link's inventory throughout the story, with only a smattering of new weapons being added each game. We think it's time to break away from this mold and do something more ambitious.
Maybe Link simply starts with a bow, a sword, a bomb, and a hook shot--that would give Nintendo's designers the ability to gift him new abilities and weapons in each dungeon. Maybe they could even double-down on magic, which has always been a peripheral skillset Link has learned in the games.
Young Link should be included
The last two Zelda games have had us playing exclusively as adult link, and while we definitely like the older, more mature hero, we sort of miss playing as young link. Let's bring him back, and let him at least begin the story this time around.
That said, we're not against playing as the adult link--not in the least. The best-case scenario would be something akin to Ocarina of Time, with a time-traveling mechanic letting us switch between the two ages. That, or maybe the game's story can simply have us starting as Young Link before maturing to an older one later. Similar mechanics have been used in Uncharted and Assassin's Creed and it has worked as a cool way to present a tutorial, and we'd be cool with that limited exposure to young Link.
Make the open world more interesting
Most Zelda games feature some semblance of an open world, be it a massive sky to fly through, a giant ocean to sail in, or a huge field to explore. Thing is, with few exceptions, these serve mostly as a means to pad out the game's length, with only a handful of side-quests to find. We want this to be expanded in a big way, turning the areas between quests into miniature versions of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Wild creatures to fight, more optional dungeons to explore, entire villages that are unrelated to the story--we don't want the traditional Zelda formula to be removed by any means, but we think there's definitely room to add more stuff to do between collecting Triforce pieces or magical seals or medallions or whatever.
There should be some cool Miiverse functionality
Right now the Miiverse is sort of a giant "what if," with different Wii U games showing how the new online functionality can work. New Super Mario Bros. U uses it to leave notes scattered throughout the world, but beyond that we don't really know what it can do in-game. We can, however, speculate as to how it could make Zelda for the Wii U even cooler.
What if you could leave notes, Demon's Souls-style, in dungeons? Maybe Nintendo could tie this into the plot, letting you know that other adventurers have come through this dungeon over time, and want to try to help you succeed. Or maybe there could be some sort of Miiverse asynchronous multiplayer, where you compete with people for points in certain challenges. We're not sure how it would work, but we bet Nintendo could make it absurdly charming, because that's what it does with everything.
Link should play the banjo or the drums
Seriously, imagine how fun it would be to play the banjo on the GamePad's screen! Or the drums! We'd say harp, since that's more elegant, but Nintendo used that with Skyward Sword, so we're going with banjo. Or the drums. Or both.
It should come out soon
Yes, part of this is us being super selfish and impatient. We want the new Zelda game, and we want it now, but there are several less selfish reasons to hope that Nintendo is going to release a Zelda game sooner than later.
Alright, one of the other reasons is pretty selfish, too: Unless there's a Zelda within the next two years, there's not much of a chance that there will be a second Zelda game on the console. Though Nintendo used to shoot out a new Zelda game every other year, it has been slowing down recently, with four years separating Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, and five between that and Skyward Sword--so the sooner this one comes out, the sooner the next one can come out. Besides that, though, we want one soon to help justify purchasing the Wii U. Nothing sells Nintendo consoles like Nintendo games, and besides Mario, Link is their biggest star.
Excuse us, Princess!
We could go on for hours about our Hyrulian hopes and dreams, but well spare you. Instead, we turn the question to you: What do you want from The Legend of Zelda for the Wii U? Do you want 1:1 swordplay? Touch screen action? Let us know!
And if you're looking for more, check out who we want in Smash Bros. Wii U and why the Wii U might win the next console generation.