Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rumors of Zelda

I tend to avoid Twitter like the plague, but it's been brought to my attention that some information about the next Zelda has come to light via several tweets.  As far as I can tell they boil down to these three bits of information:
  • The next Zelda will have voice acting for every character expect Link.
  • At the beginning of the game players will have the option to choose Link's gender.
  • This new entry in the franchise will be released on the Wii U and NX platforms.
Whether or not any of this information is accurate remains to be seen, but assuming that it's the truth I'd like to weigh in on each bullet point.

First off, I'm not so keen on voice acting in my Zelda experience.  If anything I wish the developers had gone in the opposite direction and embraced purely visual storytelling like Hyper Light Drifter or Journey.  At most, I hope the dialogue is limited to narration segments and interludes in a style similar to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.  My biggest worry is the game will be filled with overly chatty characters and cutscenes.

Letting players be male or female version of Link sounds great.  I just hope they borrow a page from the Resident Evil playbook and make the difference meaningful in some interesting ways.  Perhaps some unique character interactions, a special dungeon, or gender specific quest line?  Much like how Clare and Leon, or (if you're old school) Chris and Jill have subtle variations on how the overall story plays out despite both visiting the same areas and doing the same kind of things.  At the very least it would offer players some incentive to play through the game a second time.

Speaking of second times, really hope they don't push this out on their NX console first.  Nintendo pulled that kind of crap with Twilight Princess by limiting the number of copies available for the Gamecube in a bid to boost Wii sales.  As an aside I wonder if there will be any significant changes to the NX version when compared to the Wii U version?  Graphic fidelity and frame rates are probably a given, but until we know more about Nintendo's new piece of hardware it's unclear if there will be any motion controls or touchscreen support let alone something new.

I've always been a casual fan of Zelda, but it feels like other games have improved on (and in some cases outright surpassed) the formula that used to make the series so impressive.  Maybe the NX interface will bring something new to the equation?  I imagine there will be some kind of gimmick...for the Kingdom of Hyrule's sake please don't be VR.

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