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36 comments

  • db1331 - June 21, 2012 5:19 a.m.

    Your logic is confusing me. You couldn't get through Wind Waker, but you love Okami. Both games follow the same formula. Hell, they even look really similar.
  • ShortFuse - June 21, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    I've never fully understood Dave's stance on why he particularly likes Twilight Princess out of the newer Zelda games. Would quite like him to explain why as I personally find it, with the power of hindsight, inferior to Wind Waker. Obviously when I'm playing a new Zelda at the time I love it, but then it takes me a couple of weeks after completing it to work out where it ranks on the scale.
  • db1331 - June 21, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    Here's how I look at ranking the Zelda games: If you tell me that you think either Ocarina, Wind Waker, or Twilight Princess is the best Zelda game, I won't argue with you. If you tell me A Link to the Past or Majora's Mask is the best Zelda game, I will respectfully disagree, and engage in a friendly debate on the subject. If you think any other game in the series is the best, you are flat out wrong and I will berate you for it. I see what you mean about the power of hindsight. In another 10 years TP will be extremely dated, while WW will still be a masterpiece.
  • ncurry2 - June 21, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    I most certainly agree with Mr. Houghton (as per usual) that Twilight Princess is the best Zelda game ever made (read: best game ever made). It's not without it's flaws (slow pacing in the beginning, abundantly hard to actually die, tacked on waggle control for sword swinging (though I would argue that the advantages gained from IR aiming are greater than the drawbacks of waggle sword control)) but it got so much right. Yes, it does draw heavily from OoT in some facets but I still have yet to understand why this is taken as a negative. Starcraft 2 heavily drew from Starcraft 1 but few would argue that SC2 is worse than SC1 (nostalgia aside, of course). But enough about Twilight Princess (unless anybody really wants to get into it). I can't pass up the opportunity to engage in a friendly debate. While it would be foolish of me to argue that Majora's Mask is the best game in the series since I have already confessed that I find TP the best, I'll instead argue that Majora's Mask is superior to Wind Waker. Let's start off by establishing an equal footing. Despite their vast differences, both games remain Zelda games. Therefore exploration and adventure remain central themes in both games with a strong tie to action and puzzle solving following suit. Both have the same general formula of discover an area, acquire item X, use item X to discover new area, repeat. Combat is similar in both as well. But let's break those down now. I'm guessing you would say WW has the advantage when it comes to exploration since the map is gigantic and there are many small, desolate islands scattered about. But I'll argue that these things detract from the exploration, not enhance it. Having a bigger board to roam doesn't garner better exploration. It merely separates the player by more time and space. For me, having to sail across that gigantic ocean took me out of the experience. Sometimes I would set a course and go brush my teeth or do other things while I waited for the eventual arrival. And upon finding a hidden land mass, there wasn't much to do there really. MM is simply a much more dense area, making exploring that much more engaging. Things are separated by tens of seconds as opposed to minutes. Discovering new things also often rewarded the player with legitimate prizes: masks that could be used and toyed with for a variety of effects. And of course, collecting all of these turned Link into the most badass version anyone could possibly ever hope for. Lets move on to the adventure. Certainly when the word adventure comes to mind, more often than not the mind would drift towards sailing the seven seas as opposed to getting trapped in an alternate dimension. But when it comes down to the story and what it is that Link is trying to accomplish in both games, MM is so much more epic. This is obviously a personal preference but I just loved how dark the atmosphere of MM was. You were tasked with saving Termina from being obliterated by the freakin moon! That sense of dread and foreboding crept into every character and the world always had this sense of impending doom. The way the clock was always ticking down and the moon was always inching his way toward the ground fueled that sense of how important Link's task was. WW on the other hand was quite cheery, reflected by its bright and cel shaded graphics. While I think it looks as beautiful today as it did when it launched (something I can't say about MM), I do feel that the graphics take away from the sense of danger and urgency that go along with making adventures compelling. It works great in a game like Mario where you're really channeling that inner youth so everything should be happy and bright. But in a game with adventure at the forefront, I feel like a little bit of danger is a prerequisite. Plus, there's something about MM spanning swamps to deserts to oceans to snow capped mountains that WW just can't compete with. I feel like the argument for the weapon set in MM being superior is quite easy. The 3 (or 4 if you count Fierce Deity) transformation masks alone win this point. Some of the most fun I had with MM was just casually swimming through the Great Bay and rolling around Termina Field as a Zora and Goron, respectively. The masks had such a profound change in gameplay mechanics and the dungeons utilized these so superbly that I would argue MM has the best (albeit most frustratingly challenging) dungeon designs in the series. More than ever, the dungeons themselves became a giant puzzle for the player to solve which is something that has only been touched on since. I'm pretty much out of characters here (I can't wait to see this fill the entire page) so I'll open the forum for rebuttal. Mr. db1331, you have the floor :D
  • db1331 - June 21, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    Holy massive wall of text Batman! You make a very compelling argument. I have to disagree with you about the sailing in WW though. I thought it was captivating at the time. Don't you remember the first time you put up your sail and went sweeping off, and the seagulls came down and followed you? And you really didn't have to make THAT many long voyages, once you got the warp ability. And even so, the ocean really helped convey the massive size of the world, which was pretty big for games at the time, let alone a Zelda game. It was awesome to see a tiny spec on the horizon turn into a huge island as you got closer and closer. This is a really good article on some of the themes of the game. It's a really interesting read, if you haven't seen it already: http://www.zeldauniverse.net/articles/the-philosophy-of-the-wind-waker-part-one/ Also, DAT MUSIC. WW has the best music of the series imo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRv8gnBMiWM
  • ncurry2 - June 21, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    Ah, I know it was a bit long. I'll concede that WW has more top notch songs, but that isn't to say that MM was without either (at the very least, MM songs are lethally catchy. My old roommate once marched around the apartment playing the breman mask song on his phone for a good half hour straight. It still gets stuck in my head for days when I hear it now.) As far as the best song, personally I favor Midna's Lament from TP just because it's so damn moving and emotion-filled. Plus it fits in with the theme so well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nq-gEG-E04 As for the article, yes I have seen it and read at least the majority of it. It is extremely well put together and the author is obviously much more skilled with words than I am (I'm only an engineer after all, we only like to speak with numbers :P). But to me, he read a bit too much into the game and the lore. Don't get me wrong, it makes for a compelling read. But I think a lot of it is taken from nothing. For instance, do you really believe that the game creators sat down and said, "The entire game is built around this philosophy: live for the future."? I personally don't. A good poet is capable of gathering meaning from what isn't there and I really kind of feel like that's what happened with this article. Besides, the article mostly deals with finding meaning and allegory from WW which, whether present or not, does not make WW better than MM. I'm sure he could write a similar article about MM.
  • TomSJ3 - June 21, 2012 10:59 p.m.

    Thank you so much for linking to that video and introducing me to that guy's channel. He's amazing. Also, I agree that WW's music was the best in the series.
  • db1331 - June 22, 2012 5:11 a.m.

    NP. That guy is crazy good. I listen to something of his just about every day.
  • TomSJ3 - June 21, 2012 11:01 p.m.

    That was in reply to db1331's WW video by the way. That TP song is very good too though.
  • ObliqueZombie - June 21, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    I'm just going to take a leap of faith and say it's pure opinion. Sometimes, you don't NEED an explanation for everything--you just do. Hell, Twilight Princess was MY favorite, and I'll be honest, it wasn't much different than the other games, save for the looks and overall feel.
  • db1331 - June 21, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    I like the more realistic direction TP took. That's not to say that I hate WW's style. I think it's a beautiful game. Basically that Wii U Zelda tech demo they showed at E3 last year is the Zelda I have always dreamed of, and TP is the closest we've come to that.
  • MrJP - June 21, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    I don't know if I have a favourite... but ncurry2 has made me remember just how good Majorcas Mask was. The variety of settings was amazing and the masks made travelling much more fun. They all have their pro's and cons. I think LTTP has aged well and at the time was the one I enjoyed most, but OOT is the only one I've completed multiple times. Wind Waker had the most dramatic peaks and troughs for me. The sailing sections were the worst part of any Zelda game I've ever played, only the music was enjoyable. The map was far too big. However, all the rest of it was pure gold. I was also dissapointed you didnt get to explore outside the temple underwater a bit (it looked so inviting). I just finished playing through SS and thought it was fantastic. The map was perfectly sized and it felt like it fitted in the series really nicely as the earliest entry. When the controls worked well they elevated it above other Zelda games, but at other times dragged it down.
  • ncurry2 - June 21, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    Thanks for the complement :D I agree 100% with SS. It was a great game, for sure. And the controls made it excellent when they worked and infuriating when they didn't. All in all though, I felt that it was too restricted. Exploration seemed like an afterthought as opposed to being the main theme which is a little disappointing to me because I always loved the exploration aspects. At the same time though, I have considerably less free time than I did when I spent entire days hookshotting around Kakaroo village in OoT so it's not all bad that SS was a little more linear. It still comes in fourth on my favorite Zelda games list (see 3 posts below).
  • talleyXIV - June 21, 2012 2:27 p.m.

    I wouldn't say Skyward Sword was the best but it is really great. It didn't try to be as epic as Twilight Princess did, but it still had some great moments. And Skyloft was one of the best locations in the series so far. The controls for the sword were great, but controlling other things was a little tedious at some points. If I had to choose between motion and button, I want a hybrid. Swordplay should be motion and most other parts should be button.
  • ncurry2 - June 21, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    Ah, how I agree and yet, disagree. I know what you're getting at here but it's reasonably safe to state that if you have an opinion on something, there is an underlying reason as to why you have that opinion. Sometimes it's just hard/next to impossible to explain with words (see me arguing with some Nintendo hater on a different thread about how Mario games are different. I'm too lazy to dig it up.) I'm glad to see all the love TP is getting in this article though, I feel like it gets overshadowed by its big brothers far too much.
  • db1331 - June 21, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    TP is a great game. The reality of the situation is that it's so hard to pick the best Zelda game, because most of the games are absurdly good. Even the third or fourth best Zelda game is still better than the best of any other series. When trying to pick a favorite, I kind of feel like Kenny Powers in this clip (NSFW): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7PIVBviFJQ
  • ncurry2 - June 21, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    Haha, how true. It all does come down to personal preference. For me: TP>MM>OoT>SS>WW>LttP
  • talleyXIV - June 21, 2012 2:24 p.m.

    Yeah when I beat Twilight Princess for the first (and second) time I was like... WOAH that was the greatest game ever. Then I played Ocarina of Time and was like... WOAH that was kind of underwhelming. Then I played Skyward Sword and was like... WOAH this is pretty good but not as good as Ocarina of Time but better than Twilight Princess... then I was like WOAH that doesn't make any sense unless... Ocarina of Time is the best in the series. My stance on it is constantly changing, i think I was underwhelmed by OoT because I had never played it but I had always heard "BEST GAME EVER BY A BILLION MILLION KAJILLION MILES." I don't think any game can stand up to those expectations. So I am constantly switching between those three but I think once I get through Link to the Past and Majora's Mask, those will enter the mix.
  • ncurry2 - June 21, 2012 4:45 p.m.

    Haha, I know what you mean. OoT was my favorite until TP came out. As soon as I finished TP, I knew it was great but I wasn't quite sure yet how great I felt about it. So I played through it again after a few months and that edged it ahead of OoT. Then I played through it again years later and it's moved even further ahead. I'm hoping to play through it again this summer to see if it still checks out (my last summer until I retire D': ) but Diablo 3 has kind of consumed me. And I just got a 3DS. But I'm still hopeful I'll get to it. I never fully appreciated Majora's Mask until I went back and played through it again, which was a long time after my initial playthrough since I felt it was too hard the first time and I messed up a save so I lost a lot of data. But that second time I played through it, it really was amazing. I'd definitely recommend you play it before LttP which was really underwhelming to me since I didn't play it until much, much later (didn't have a SNES in my youth.) Bit of a tip, you should definitely know in advance that if you play the song of time backwards, you can slow the progression of time by 2x. That makes it much more enjoyable since there is still a sense of urgency but it's not nearly as overwhelming as at normal speed. And ya, OoT must be a difficult game to play if you never played it in your youth since it has such a huge reputation to live up to (kind of like me and Portal...). It is definitely still good and there is no denying that it revolutionized not only the genre but 3D gaming as a whole. But that's still a lot of pressure for a 14 year old game to bear.

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