Monday, July 1, 2013

My Top 13 Zelda Games Part 1



Hello again readers of TheWhyButton, this is Brock Hay writing to you once again for the first time in ages. I have taken a leave of absence due to studying for finals, though now that the school year is behind most of us I shall begin writing articles again. Today is a very special day, because I am not writing about news (though there is a ton of new gaming news that I will go over next week). If you read our articles you will know how much we like Legend of Zelda, they have made games that range from great, to misses, to revolutionary. One thing I find fascinating about this series differing than any others is fans’ opinions on the games, they are so diverse. With most gaming series the fans all agree generally which games were better and which were worst, though with Zelda it is all across the board. Some people love Wind Waker and others hate it. Some say that Majora’s Mask was a failure meanwhile others like those in Zelda Informer say that Majora’s Mask is the greatest game of all, and the same goes for many differing opinions of Twilight Princess. Some hate the hand held games, while others like them; some don’t generally like the 3-D games and prefer to stick to the really old classics like A Link to the Past. I personally think that every single one of the Zelda games are good fun games and that is why I am making a top thirteen list of my favorite Zelda games! You might be thinking “But Brock, there are sixteen Zelda games!” Well that is true, however I have never played Minish cap or either of the Four swords games therefore they are excluded from the list. Also note that these are my personal opinions based from my criteria, chances are they might be very different from your opinions, this is my list with my own opinions and I am not saying it is the god given correct list that is completely true, this is just one man’s opinion. So as Khan says in Star Trek:Into Darkness:  “Shall we begin”?

13: ZELDA II: ADVENTURE OF LINK

      You saw this one from a mile away didn’t you? In the games defense I actually had an alright time playing this game, and as the very least favored list the games only get more favored higher than “Alright”. The game play is solid, the combat is diverse fun and requires skill and strategy. I actually liked the level up system, it was interesting and customizable. This also made it so one had to just do basic combat for a while to level up. I did not really mind the side scrolling, Super Mario has it and no one lost their crap so calm down. The game has fun difficult enemies and the bosses are menacing. There is absolutely no story behind this, besides a monologue at the beginning; however a game can still carry well on game play. There was no diversity in weapons however with the style of the game I feel that one didn’t really need diverse weapons anyway. My main objections to this game is that one; despite the uniqueness of this game’s soundtrack it can get annoying, only having a few themes it plays in your head for hours and makes one go mad over NES laser noises. I am not saying that is the NES’s fault, because I actually enjoyed the extremely short soundtrack of the original Legend of Zelda. My biggest objection to this game is the difficulty, yes I know, criticize me if you will. A game should begin easy and then progressively become harder and harder giving one a good, even slightly painful challenge, however it seems after dungeon one of this game the game just decides to destroy you and eat your soul for the rest of the game. I mean seriously Death Mountain? The only reason why I beat the game was becaue I used cheats, and even then I died over and over until the game became a chore to complete more than a fun activity. When it gets to that point I say nay!!!! Too hard Miyamoto!!!!!!

12: LINK’s AWAKENING

       Yea I know, typical, this game is at the top of every list. Just because it is at the top does not mean that I did not enjoy the game, I actually liked it generally. It had a nice exploring environment. It had side quests like the seashells and trading sequence. This was the most creative Zelda game ever made at the time, and to tell you the truth still might stand as the most creative Zelda game. It had great character interaction with the female that you meet and befriend with brief bite sized romantic scenes, and it was the first Zelda game to take place outside of Hyrule. What is even more interesting is the game is a mystery, you have no idea why you are there, nobody there knows anything outside of the island, and then at some point in the game you can go down this secret dungeon to fight a boss and find the truth of why you are there. This is a dream or an alternate world of sorts and the windfish is you trying to wake up, meanwhile that owl goes following you around the entire time creeping you out. SO if the story and setting of the game is so well executed then why is it at the top of the list? It had specific disappointments in the game, because despite its amazing story what makes most of a game is the game play itself, and Link’s Awakening had poor game play and fighting. The majority of the enemies you fought died in one hit; every dungeon seemed far too easy, not getting genuinely difficult until the final two dungeons. Even the bosses were easy. The final boss was very cool though, fighting your nightmare and the demons that you fought in the past.  Also the inclusion of Mario bad guys and evil Kirby enemies was really super weird. Really though put beside its predecessor on the Super Nintendo did this game play prove worthy; no. Nor was I particularly a fan of its soundtrack at all, I get it that the Gameboy did have inferior graphics and sound technology. SO in terms of dungeons and game play this game did fail somewhat, though this game still TODAY has one of my very favorite Zelda plots of all time.
    
 11: PHANTOM HOURGLASS

            Many people believe that this game hit spot on what DS game play should be, while Spirit Tracks was a failure, my opinion is rather opposite. Phantom hourglass was not a failure, in fact it was a pretty fun game, a good game even, and it just really annoyed me at times. The storyline is pretty good, your fairy companion is pretty much the DS version of Navi. The story is pretty much based off of Link’s Awakening just with toon link, except disappointingly this game was not nearly as expansive or abstract or mysterious. The story is basic and less interesting; however the characters in the story make it amazing.  Tetra is the most interesting entertaining Zelda yet, she is fun and has attitude and is a bad ass, and however we do not really get any interaction with her at all. The old man is really cool, he just appears everywhere and has great chemistry with Linebeck. He explains really cool monologues about the monsters and demons and these parts are actually briefly when the plot does get interesting. He also becomes a super awesome thing at the end (do not want to spoil). Linebeck, he might be one of my most favorite characters in all Zelda games ever!!!! He is awesome. The attitude, the cowardice, the greed, the humor, but he does redeem himself at the end. His theme is also amazing. The soundtrack for this game is great, almost identical to Wind Waker though with unique changes. The dungeons were fun, and the game play was as well, fighting and using items really did succeed in utilizing the DS technology. The dungeons had just the perfect difficulty in its puzzles. The bosses were okay, some of them were fun, and some of them were frustrating as hell, none of them besides giant rock guy and giant stone guy really stuck out to me though. The navigation and exploration is amazing and almost as good as Wind Waker. Each island had a clue to some treasure and exploration and games and characters and fun!!!You also had to find islands; they did not merely show up on your map. The final boss was pretty awesome as well. I loved that treasure was important for customizing your boat that was awesome; orbs also gave you a bit of a level up system which was also really cool. The great sea temple was really fun and new, it used stealth and strategy and I had a lot of fun………………………………..THE FIRST TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The next seven fricking times I had to do it though it was not quite fun!!!!!! Hours on the same thirty floor dungeon doing the same thing so you didn’t die was pretty annoying!!!!! Thanks Miyamoto!!!!!!!!! Skyward Sword had three short stealth parts, the Nintendo 64 games had one or two stealth parts, Wind Waker had one stealth part. They were all really fun, but that doesn’t mean you drown the game in houra of long stealth parts that are not that diverse!!!!!!! Besides that one huge annoying flaw the game was fantastic across the board, besides maybe rewashed plot and not totally great bosses it succeeded in every other aspect and is a great game.

10: ORACLE OF SEASONS

                While many people did not like these games I did, I thought they proved worthy to be beside all other good Zelda games. As what most people think when compared Oracle of Ages is a better game, it simply has a stronger story, more interesting characters, and original bosses. Oracle of Seasons has a solid plot but it is not too interesting and it is pretty basic. In this specific game link does not really click with any characters unlike this game’s sister. The difficulty of this game was moderate and sufficient; the dungeons were actually pretty big and diverse and took skill and strategy to get through. Many people complained that this game had bosses only from the original Legend of Zelda however I rather liked it. I was excited to see how the game took each original boss and made their graphics better and gave them new twists. This game really improved the flaws that were in Link’s Awakening. I also liked the seashell side quests that gave you special unique abilities and the seasons made the map very diverse and larger than it was. The seasons and also changing time brought new puzzles to the game and made it get interesting. The final boss was REALLY difficult, however it wasn’t Zelda II difficult, almost though. One other thing that I really didn’t like is that they did not really change the soundtrack from Link’s awakening. The Roc’s cape was awesome. The theme was already not that good and now they are using it over and over again.

9: ORACLE OF AGES

       The flaws and successes of this game are pretty much identical to that of Oracle of Seasons, therefore all I am going to talk about is how this game is better than its twin brother. The story is more interesting in this game because it makes the two different times relevant and you see what happens to all the side people over time. In this game you were less alone, and had a group of supporting characters, like Impa, Ralph, Nayru, and the female deku tree. Ralph is cool because he is pretty much like an inferior version of link, he is running around desperate to save his girl but he has no idea what to do and is pretty clueless, however he actually does help you by giving you clues. Another big thing in this is the villain. Unlike Onox this sorceress is actually really really evil! She makes an infinite day so everyone works forever, she enslaves them, she makes a giant tower, and she takes over people’s bodies, and ends of being a giant hideous insect. One item I really liked was the seed shooter; it made you feel almost like you had a gun.

8: LEGEND OF ZELDA

            Yep, this is the one and only, the one that started it all. In comparison to any other game this game is incredibly short, in fact Mases’ walkthrough for the game in Zelda Dungeon is only roughly eighty minutes long.  That is correct; you can literally start the game and beat it while your roommate is at the gym. That does not mean this isn’t a great game, in fact when I first played it I was surprised about just how fun it was. There are absolutely no strategy segments, apart from maze scrollers and finding secret rooms. The combat is solid, and I like how the weapons are diverse in a way where you chose to use what weapons you want; for example the wand or the bow? the dungeon and overworld game play is fun and somewhat challenging, interesting bosses, and the soundtrack to it is surprisingly catchy even for the NES. There is absolutely no plot, besides a prologue and an epilogue explaining why you are doing this, and you can explore every inch of the map a soon as you start the game. It is continuous action  and fun never giving you a break from fighting enemies. If this was somehow turned into an arcade game it would be the single greatest arcade game of all time.

7: SPIRIT TRACKS

     Oh boy, this is starting to get rather difficult, all of these games are getting really good now. This game has one of my favorite plots of all Zelda games; it really gets me every time. This game is really good because it is new and innovative. The train is really cool, there is stuff to do on each stop, even exploring and train side quests like escorting and delivering is fun. Treasure is used to make new train parts, which makes treasure important and relevant. The sound track for this game is amazing, really emotional and brilliant, some of the best Zelda songs of all time. I really like the character interaction between Link and Zelda, romantic and fun, and I really like how relevant they make Zelda in this game, never before has she been so important or close. Also the characters make this story really awesome. Anjean is the typical old wise person in every Zelda game. Chancellor Cole is a sick crude person who is really evil. Byrne steals the show; he is total bad ass. His arm is a claw! He is a spirit man! Then he realizes the folly of his ways and he sacrifices himself for them. He is one of the few characters in any Zelda game who actually literally dies! The game play and dungeons is almost identical to the other DS game, it is fun and diverse and strategizing. Except this game has new weapons and new bosses, and a new cool instrument. There is still the annoying tower stealth dungeon but it is not nearly as painful as the great sea temple. You only enter this tower four or five times, and each time has it s unique challenges, and adds fresh things to the stealth when Zelda can take over phantoms, and become various types. That is really cool, and it is not timed! This game is everything Phantom hourglass almost succeeded in being with a train epic side quests and a more romantic and relevant touch with Zelda.
      
       Oh I’m sorry, were you waiting for number six on the list? Well like I typically do I always save stuff for the next article. Next week I shall complete my list of the greatest 13 Zelda games! If your opinion differs from this one, then explain it in the comments section.

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