zelda-formula

Eiji Aonuma Says He’s Tired of the Zelda Formula

It’s common to hear people speak of the “Zelda formula,” either lovingly or regretfully. The series has stuck to a number of conventions over the years, including a silent protagonist, a typical “three-four dungeons, plot twist, second half” progression structure, and a sacred sword that’s required to defeat the game’s main villain. Most often, we’ll hear that it’s time to ditch the formula and approach the world of Hyrule without being shackled by some of the traditional restrictions.

Back in January, we heard that the upcoming Zelda Wii U would be shaking things up by removing the traditional linear progression structure and allowing players to complete dungeons in more orders than before. Many believed the decision came into response from long-standing fan feedback regarding the recent games becoming more linear, but it turns out that’s not the case. Instead, Mr. Aonuma says, he’s changing things up because he’s personally getting tired of some of these conventions.

Click below for his full statement.

It’s not that anyone is telling me we have to change the formula. I want to change it. I’m kind of getting tired of it. If I’m getting tired of it, then I’m sure other people are getting tired of it. There is an essential ‘Zelda’ I feel we need to stay true to. We are still testing things, exploring our options. We haven’t landed anywhere at this point. We’re still seeing what we can do.

To be honest, I’m a little alarmed by this statement. While I can agree that I’m getting kind of tired of the formula, most game developers would look to the fans to see that people want change in certain areas, not assume their own feelings match those of their players. If Eiji Aonuma is looking at what he wants to do for guidance, and not the kinds of things players enjoy (or don’t enjoy), then I’m a bit afraid he’ll be limiting future progress to his own tastes, not the tastes of his fans.

And as I’ve said in the past, I don’t think Eiji Aonuma is especially in tune with fans. As much as I love the Wind Waker style, it took a shift to a more neutral Ocarina of Time-type look to draw fans back in after that game’s cel-shaded look drove them away. Yet the Wind Waker look made it in to five out of the eight games that have released since then, and Eiji Aonuma is using a Wind Waker remake for the first HD Zelda title, even despite an incredibly positive reaction to the Twilight Princess-esque HD Experience demo. Clearly the team knows what fans react more strongly to – why else would they have made the HD Experience demo in the first place – but priority is being given to the style Mr. Aonuma prefers as far as actually delivering a game goes.

Not only that, but Aonuma’s comments about A Link to the Past make me wonder whether he’s forgotten that for many fans, the draw of A Link to the Past was the battles, the overworld exploration, and the content, not the puzzles, characters, or the ability to cut grass.

Part of me believes that when people talk about the Zelda formula growing stale and tired and declining over time, they’re talking about the Aonuma formula. And I’m not so sure Mr. Aonuma understands this well enough for his efforts to change the Zelda formula to really break the kind of ground that will elevate Zelda back to powerhouse brand status among action-adventure games.

Source: LA Times

  • MinishDude

    As he has said before, his job isn’t to just take what fans want and put it in a game. Projects that just do that get scrapped (ie. Megaman Legends 3). His goal is to have you pick up the game and get the “I’ve wanted this my whole life, but never realized until now!” phenomena. While I am a bit skeptical of some design choices he’s made (like revisiting LttP Hyrule…. my most hated rendition of Hyrule… plus, those assets don’t really look good in 3D), I know that the games will probably be enjoyable, even if they don’t really have the replayability of some older titles.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      Mega Man Legends 3 was scrapped because the interest in it was too narrow.

      I.e. not enough people wanted it.

      • MinishDude

        The official reason that Capcom gave was because “the development process was too transparent”, ie. that they told everybody exactly what was going to be in the game (the site for community involvement in ideas was flourishing, and once Keiji Inafune left Capcom, they shut down all Mega Man games that were in the works)

    • Ray

      Oh, just a comment on a Link Between Worlds’ 3D — it’s some of the best 3D for the 3DS. Honestly, I downloaded the trailer and cranked up the 3D on my system and it looks fantastic. And I never find reason to use the 3D function except for the new stages in Mario Kart 7 and for Adventure Time 3DS.

      • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

        I think he’s referring to the graphics, not the 3D effect.

        • Ray

          Oh! Well if that’s the case, I can’t quite say how much I enjoy the three dimensional take on the game as well.

          Part of me wishes they stayed with some truly beautiful 2D design for the handheld games because Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass’ looks tend to suffer with age. But Minish Cap for example looks so gorgeous even till today.

          But I can understand why they need to make this game in 3D as they’re playing with dimensions as part of the puzzle solving and level design.

      • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

        I think he’s referring to the graphics, not the 3D effect.

      • MinishDude

        The 3D effect itself works… it just seems wasted on the style of the assets or the camera angle they implemented normally. I’d rather have a Zelda game with a lower-set angle (like Oot3D or an Animal Crossing-esque angle) that makes it feel like you’re there in the majestic world of Hyrule, rather than observing the events of the game from above.

  • http://deku-with-a-moustache.tumblr.com/ Agumon_Ql_Sabio

    I don’t understand this negativism, I mean, have you ever seen a Zelda game being bad? Just the CD-I ones.
    I am possitive toward Nintendo’s future on gaming.

    • Nintendo

      Thank you.
      ~Nintendo

  • Ghabulous Ghoti

    ” [...] the draw of A Link to the Past was the battles, the overworld exploration, and the content, not the puzzles, characters, or the ability to cut grass.”

    Those three things are actually some of the most important parts of Zelda games for me. And content is a really vague term. I love overworld exploration, but I’m meh on battles. Ocarina of Time was good with it’s combat. Enemies were there, but they didn’t take too long to defeat. Only it and Majora’s Mask got enemies perfect IMO.

    • Valhalen

      I don’t know, I find Wind Waker’s combat and enemies pretty amusing. Personally I think Wind Waker got the best combat system so far, with a bit of polish for future titles, it could become the best one.

      What I really miss in the Zelda combat system is the lack of more weapons, as in different types of melee weapons, such as axes, lances, flails, whatever.

      The characters are something I always praised Nintendo for. All the NPCs have personality, they feel alive, even if it is limited to a few lines. Unlike large games like Skyrim, where characters are pretty much “living dolls”, in the Zelda games the characters have a lot of charisma.

      • Ghabulous Ghoti

        I didn’t like how so many basic enemies in TWW took so many hits to defeat. If it’s a common enemy, and it takes more than 3 hits, then generally it’s too much for me to enjoy.

        But that being said, TWW was so close to perfect anyway that I don’t care.

  • Max Nichols

    I don’t think this Gengame writer is necessarily in touch with what fans want, either, but he seems to think he is. I, and many other people I know, think that the Wind Waker is the most beautiful game in the series. I think Twilight Princess is the ugliest. And I also know many who disagree, and a small few who outright dislike WW.

    Nobody can say they’re in touch with what fans want without doing some serious study. And the last thing I want is a Zelda game that’s designed by focus groups, surveys, and market research. Overall direction should always be driven by a strong vision, which comes from the developers.

    That said, I do wish they’d remove the reins of the series from Aonuma and give them to Yoshiaki Koizumi. Aonuma isn’t up to the task, and never has been.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      What I say “fans want” is supported by fan buying behaviors. Over time, the “vision” has steadily moved away from what “fans want” (i.e. what they go out and buy).

      • Senita Mahoney

        Fact, LoZ gets bought no matter what, you can’t rightly track sales, there’s too much that goes into buying than just the game itself. Looking at buying habits is subjective, it’s black and white. You can’t caterer to fans, because there’s no set agreement that people have. Someone’s always going to be unhappy. I think Gengame could do with a less biased writer, who understand people and not numbers.

      • Alex Jones

        I’d venture to say that a lot of those sales on TP came from outside the fanbase. As I have said before, I’ve seen more Zelda fans who were pushed away by Twilighr Princess than who loved it.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          People were pushed away by Twilight Princess because it was an inferior game. It’s overly linear with a lot of hand-holding. The overworld kind of sucks The tears of light quests are boring. Wolf Link sucks.

          The fact of the matter is that no one was asking for those things in the first place. No one wanted hand-holding. No one wanted the overworld to suck (to the contrary, they thought it’d be good based on early footage). I can’t think of anyone who ever thought the fetch quest thing was a good idea.

          tl;dr: no one asked for the Zelda team to make a BAD sequel to Ocarina of Time. But judging by the commercial response to TP, people do want Zelda to continue in an Ocarina of Time-like direction.

          • Christina Hope Cromwell

            I could say something different. I have played TLOZ since I was eight. I thought TP was a great game. The bosses were interesting sure the tears of light were kind of boring but I thought it was neat how Link turned into a wolf. It was fun and I enjoyed the searches as wolf Link. It was a very interesting game. I thought the story line was good and I like how they twisted it just a bit by throwing in Midna. But I agree with you on the point of it being a sequel to OoT yes it didn’t really have any links to it and it wasn’t a good sequel to it. But the game itself was good. They did a decent job with TP.

            I agree that the push for WW is a little much. They should just try to appeal to more older audiences. I would rather see more mature games, WW is a good game but the style doesn’t attract as much audiences as the more advanced games. I would like a game with more puzzles and challenges than in TP because it wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be. Everything was too easy to solve.

            I think that they need to change their approach on the game. Twist it in the right direction. Appeal to the older gamers with this game since they have already ALttP and The remake of WW that appeals to the younger generation. This WiiU game needs to be outstanding and different. I personally would love to have a different experience with the game then the other ones. It needs to change.

          • Alex Jones

            The Wind Waker approach has really only found its way into the handhelds and FSA – games that have never had mainstream success no matter what they have tried. I can’t speak for Minish Cap and Four Swords, but one of the reasons they went for the WW graphical approach for PH ams ST (other than PH being a direct sequel to WW) is that graphical style worked better on the original DS than any more realistic approach would without looming horridly outdated. FSA was a direct sequel to FS, and makes sense to use the same basic style. In terms od SS, I’ve heard a mostly positive reaction to its direction with the only complaints being that it aould look better in HD. In terms of WWHD, it was decided to be the better choice. Wind Waker is an older game that most people think is better – for reasons that have been stated by both of us – and to overhaul it’s style would be ludicrous. I, personally, like the fact that Nintendo is willing to experiment and try things outside the box with Zelda, and hope they continue to rather than copping out with “Well, TP sold better, so lets stick with its look for every zelda game.

          • Michael Hierlmeier

            I literally have no idea where people are getting this hate on TP… I mean seriously, I’ve NEVER even heard of it until the comments to this article. The ONLY complaints I’ve ever heard about it was that “it was too easy”, but seriously every Zelda fan I’ve known still loved it.

            Contrary to what you said, TP exists SOLELY on fan feedback. The original concept was a sequel to Wind Waker, but so many fans disliked the art style, brightness, and sailing, that Aonuma decided to cancel the sequel and make a Zelda game based on what fans wanted. So yes, we (as fans) asked for TP.

            I wouldn’t call it a BAD sequel. But definitely not as good as OoT

            Isn’t “retaining older players + drawing in new ones” the only way ANY game series can actually survive?? You make it sound as if the franchise is dying, which it’s not. Not even close.

            Onto a SLIGHTLY related matter, Wind Waker was my all time favorite Zelda. I’m sad that people don’t give it the time of day mostly because of the art style and the sailing. Sure, I understand how the sailing CAN get a little tedious (though personally, I loved the sailing, but that’s more so personal taste), but the game is still very fun, and I’m just saddened that such a piece of art as TWW is so shunned by many Zelda fans.

      • Max Nichols

        You can’t compare sales numbers and use that to draw conclusions about something as specific as whether people prefer one graphical style over another. Hell, you can’t even use it to draw conclusions about whether people like one game overall better than another.

        Sales numbers are influenced by a million and one factors, and a huge portion of those are not what’s in the game. Advertising, what other products are around, how many people play games, what sort of games people play, what expectations previous titles in a series have set, etc., etc.

        Sales data is next to useless for qualitative information. At best, a high or low metareview score might correlate to high or low sales, but that’s not useful when you’re comparing details between Zelda games, which all have high metareview scores.

    • Scott

      I love all Zelda games, but comparing them to each other, WW is one of the worst IMO, for many reasons. And as far as art style goes, I hate how it looks, while I love the look of TP.

      • Marvel

        It’s almost the complete opposite for me. I love the way The Wind Waker looks (not that I dislike how Twilight Princess looks). I love the way every Zelda game looks. For me, it comes down to the content of the game (not the story, but the gameplay). The things I dislike about The Wind Waker are the dungeons and most of the bosses: none of them really give me that “Wow! I really want to play through that again!” feeling. I like The Wind Waker for the sense of exploration; that’s why I play the game. With Twilight Princess, I love the combat (to me, best in the series!) and the majority of the bosses as well as the large over world to explore. The only thing that disappoints me about Twilight Princess is the lack of difficulty for the majority of the game, another problem I have with The Wind Waker, but much less so with The Wind Waker than with Twilight Princess.

  • Scott

    I’m so sick of hearing that people are tired of the “Zelda formula”. IMO, most Zelda games have been deviating from the “Zelda formula” since Majora’s Mask. In fact, the only Zelda games that really stick to the core formula are the original, ALttP, OoT, LA, OoA, OoS, and MC. Most Zelda games since Majora’s Mask have made big changes and/or introduced disctracting, unnecessary gimmicks. What we need is to return to what made Zelda great to begin with.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the Zelda games, but I think most since MM could have been even better had they simply stuck with the core “Zelda formula”.

    • Alex Jones

      I think what they are talking about is mainly the “Link discoveres his destiny – goes in search of 3 or so items – gets the Master Sword – goes in search of more relics – fights Ganon – saves the princess.” Formula, and yea, that is getting a little stale.

      • Scott

        So just storyline then? I can deal with them changing that up. In fact, they already have, many of the Zelda games don’t follow that formula. I just don’t want them altering the gameplay too much, or adding unnecessary gimmicks just for the sake of making it different.

        • Alex Jones

          Agreed. I have also gotten a little tired of the Fire/water/forest/etc. Themed dungeons. Fortunately, I don’t think Zelda has ever gotten overly gimmicky (except dowsing. I hate dowsing.) so I am not too worried about that. As long as they keep that Zelda feel intact, I will be happy with whatever changes they make.

  • George Costas

    the only thing i want is a cool item every dungeon, and make it so you can do hilarious side things with the items

  • Ray

    “If Eiji Aonuma is looking at what he wants to do for guidance,
    and not the kinds of things players enjoy (or don’t enjoy), then I’m a
    bit afraid he’ll be limiting future progress to his own tastes, not the
    tastes of his fans.”

    I don’t care if Aonuma makes a game that fans want. I want a game that is HIS vision. If he screws up and makes the worst Zelda game in the history of the franchise, so be it. But I don’t want to play through his creation not something marred by the desires of the big dollar. The man is a developer and a producer for a big business, yes, but he is a creator and artist first and foremost.

    He has to be true to himself and if he makes a Zelda game that alienates everyone, fine by me because that’s what he wants to do. It’s like Eliot’s poetry or Duchamp’s art. They created what they wanted to and yes, their works are cryptic or hard to understand, and some people will say they’re pure shit, but that’s what they wanted to share with us as artists. I support Aonuma and I don’t care for him listening to me as a fan unless it’s for arbitrary nitpicking things like “better ways to save the game” or “a more intuitive menu system” or “integrated Miiverse”. Those things I think are what you can listen to a fan about, but the structure, story, development and gameplay? I think it’s best to leave it up to them.

    Making things better for a consumer is of course wonderful and it’s great when a company listens. But Aonuma is not a company. Zelda is not just a product — not to Aonuma, to me nor to many other gamers. This is a man who stopped while walking with his son and cried because it hit him how deeply he felt about the game’s characters. THAT’S who I want a game from. A man who feels strongly about the thing he’s making. I don’t want him to break under the pressure and demands of consumers and fans.

    Zelda is a story, an adventure, a challenge and an experience. And it comes from the brilliance of its creators and developers. I want to experience what Nintendo wants to share with us, not my own ideal for the game.

    • Zeta

      excellent comment and I fully agree. It would be a lot more troubling if he listened to the fans, especially zelda fans, because people are very split about what they want in a zelda game. He can’t satisfy everyone’s desires for the series and if we goes one direction, he will inevitably alienate all of the other fans that wanted another thing and they will feel betrayed and hate aonuma for it. It’s better if he does what he truly wants for the series because he will be passionate and motivated about it, and that’s how masterpieces are born

    • Michael Hierlmeier

      Loved that comment. I wholeheartedly agree! I love it when game developers actually insert their creative freedoms (such as Tingle) instead of just going with what will sell the best!

  • Tensei

    Completed skyward sword like a month ago and I have to say the level design was pretty bad. Hated the compartmentalised feeling.

    Zelda would vastly improve if they made it a true open world experience like windwaker and filled the world with more content….no more hub worlds. They need to take inspiration from Xenoblade Chronicles, TW3,FC3 and dare I say the bland skyrim. I would love to see a massive world (with japanese aesthetics) filled with wonderful charming characters.

    Tl;DR Windwaker with more content in the world.

    • Marvel

      I agree with that entirely. I didn’t find Skyward Sword as enjoyable as the other Zelda games, and having a set hub world isn’t so enjoyable, either; it takes away from the sense of freedom players should have. If hub “worlds” are even incorporated, they should be entirely optional and flexible (meaning they should change to suit the player’s needs).

    • DWraySweZ

      skyward sword is by far one of they best if not the best zelda game around. it’s by far the most intricate then any before it, only lacking a cohesive overworld which doest take away from the core gameplay elements that make a zelda game complete. the sword play is so addictive that i cant put it down.

    • Zeta

      i’d rather have hub worlds than an empty “overworld” like in WW and TP. The game had its issues, but i found the level design to be top notch and very creative. I loved all of the dungeons and its puzzles. The controls were really nice and made the combat a lot more engaging and not just a “press A” spamfest. The music was really nice and memorable as well, and the characters weren’t that bad either

    • Scott

      More open-world, yes. Like Wind Waker, no. One of the worst things about the last few Zelda games is that you have tiny areas to actually explore, and those areas are connected by large open spaces that you traverse by boat/train/air. They have an illusion of “open-world”, but the large open spaces are just boring filler, and the interesting areas are tiny in comparison. They need to go back to environments like in OoT/MM/TP, but make them much larger and give us the ability to explore on foot/horse.

  • Philip Kunhardt

    Fact of the matter is, for all the complaining prior to the release of The Wind Waker, pretty much everyone LOVED the game. And the art style is not unpopular.

    This whole article seems like whining about not catering enough to fans. Zelda does best when Aonuma ISN’T trying to cater to the fans, but rather is trying to do what he wants with the game. Look at Majora’s Mask. That wasn’t a game made “for the fans” by any way you cut it, and yet it’s probably the most beloved game in the series now, at least amongst the “hardcore fans.”

    In Aonuma I trust.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I can personally guarantee that the HD re-release of TWW will only sell about a third of what Ocarina of Time 3D sold. (As opposed to the half I’d expect simply because it’s pricier.) If that doesn’t demonstrate its relative unpopularity, I don’t know what can.

      • Alex Jones

        I there is a difference in people’s willingness to buy Wind Waker again vs. what is argued to be one of the greatest games of all time. I think you will see considerably smaller sales for any Zelda re-release when it is compared to OOT simply because no other Zelda game has OOT’s legacy. The only thing that MIGHT challenge OOT is Majora’s Mask but I evendoubt that because it doesn’t have the mainstream pull that OOT has. Hell, Majora’s Mask is one of the most divisive games ever – you either love it or you hate it – where as with OOT, you either love it or you are EgoRaptor.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          Why isn’t TWW considered one of the greatest games of all time, if people apparently love it so much?

          • Alex Jones

            Well, for one thing there is a nostalgia factor with OOT being a lot of people’s first Zelda game. Secondly, OOT was revolutionary for its time whereas Wind Waker wasn’t. OOT was the first 3D Zelda title and it defined an entire genre. Most of what you see in Action Adventure games today traces its roots back to Ocarina of Time, and you would be hard-pressed to find anyone that thinks Wind Waker is better than OOT (I am one of those rare few.) Does that mean Wind Waker is an inherently inferior Zelda title? No. Nothing will match the legacy of Ocarina of Time, but people will always compare new Zelda games to Ocarina of Time which is unfortunate because it means that no game will be able to stand on its own merits because people just want to recapture what they got out of Ocarina of Time. That, however, is impossible because there will never be a jump as great as the jump from 2D to 3D which means there will never be a Zelda game as revolutionary as Ocarina of Time.

          • Andrew Henry

            Are you really arguing with your readers in the comments of your own article?

      • Philip Kunhardt

        That has nothing to do with the art-style.

        It has to do with Ocarina of Time’s absolute overwhelming mainstream popularity, it has to do with the 3DS being a currently successful platform and the Wii-U not (though it’s long-term success has yet to be determined; at this stage in the game for the 3DS, when OoT3DS was coming out, everyone said that the 3DS had failed), and it has to do with re-releases in general. A re-release on a portable handheld is vastly different from a re-release on a console, because it’s a completely different experience being able to take your favourite game with you to the airport and on the train and whatnot, as opposed to replaying it with the newer and better machine at home.

      • Zeta

        because people who haven’t followed the series in a long time and aren’t really fans of zelda go out to buy OoT because of the nostalgia factor it has. I don’t want to sound like a hipster but if aonuma caves in to “what fans want” (i.e those people who haven’t followed/cared about the series in a long time because they expect every zelda to be like OoT) for the pure sake of sales, then the series is just going to end up like call of duty, assassin’s creed, halo, etc.

  • Jordon Sandoval

    Too often do people forget that video games are art. You wouldn’t stand over a painter’s shoulder and direct his brush in the way you see fit, nor would you rewrite and reconstruct a song for a musician just so it fits your tastes. Video game developers should look to their fans and audience only for ideas and feedback, but they shouldn’t cater to their every will, because that’s when it stops being art.

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      I would tell the painter, however, “Since people have to buy your painting to enjoy it, maybe you should paint something that people actually want to buy?”

      • Nathan

        So, in other words, you don’t understand the concept of true art being personal expression. When art is created for the sake of sales, that is when it dies and becomes a gross bastardized version of what it should be. Look at top 40 pop music. The Transformers movies. The Twilight series. Call of Duty games. They all sell incredibly well, but there is nothing alive about any of these things, and the problem is that dead art becoming popular means that more dead art will exist in copycat form.

        • Jordon Sandoval

          Exactly.

        • Ernesto Palma

          As a pencil artist, I agree with your idea or personal expression; however, The Legend of Zelda as a legacy is NOT Mr Aonuma’s creation for him to do whatever he pleases with. Whatever he does with it is as much fan art as what I do when I draw a pokemon.

          But you also have to understand, these days something like The Legend of Zelda is something so special, so sacred, that there are people very much emotionally invested in it. These people, we the “hardcore” fans, want something that will touch us in an emotional level, and something we can truly enjoy and say “Damn, that is one hell of a Zelda game!” and not “Damn, what the hell is this? This just doesn’t feel right at all”

          But If all he cares about is his own expression of Zelda, then so be it. People will buy it, but who knows if all who buy it will truly love his take on it.

          • Overcast

            It is rightfully his to command jointly with his collaborates and Nintendo. Zelda is partially his brain-child, I trust he won’t pull a Peter Jackson and completely undermine the beautiful story of a borrowed legacy. Have some faith in Eiji, he’s been around alot longer than PJ.

      • Max

        You know, for as much as I wish Nintendo would shake things up mechanically in their games, you Mr. Plant, are the type of person that would rather have things stagnate.

        • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

          When did I say I want things to stagnate? I don’t want them to make the things Zelda did best before worse in future games (while promoting other features that fail to compare), and that’s what they’re doing.

          • Ryan

            In your opinion

            • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

              I don’t think anyone would argue the original Zeldas had strong stories, characters, or puzzles.

              • Ryan

                The things you are saying, like do the same thing that worked in the past is just what other companies are doing with games such as Call of Duty and EA’s yearly offerings. Those games are virtually indistinguishable from past installments and offer very little new mechanics. Unfortunately, the brain dead customers pay them 40 bucks each year for a game they already own. I don’t want Zelda to become the same in each installment. Variety keeps it fresh. If Aonuma wants to take it in a new direction, and it works, then we have an evolution of the franchise, much like how Ocarina of Time was an evolution of the franchise.

                • Overcast

                  Well said. This is precisely why I stretch myself to pointlessly bark places like these. Whether it would punch a hole in the plot, or just because it wasn’t well rounded in conception.

      • Ryan

        Didn’t people say that to Vincent Van Gogh? He only sold one painting while alive to a friend. Now, his work is legendary.

    • Vitamin E

      Art can cause vitriolic reactions. People dislike certain art styles. I remember hearing about some dude that broke into a museum and vandalized a painting because he believed that all art should fit into a certain style.

      You could say that similar thinking is at work when you see people compare classic Zelda to modern Zelda or vice versa. They realize classic/modern Zelda is art, but they don’t like the art in question. lol.

      • Jordon Sandoval

        Taking that comparison, if certain people don’t like the modern Zelda, they shouldn’t play it. It’s impossible for any piece of art, whether it’s a movie, song, or video game, to cater to everyone, so why shouldn’t it just cater to the artist?

        • Vitamin E

          That’s a good point. I’m sure that the magnificent art within Skyward Sword has made significant strides toward making that happen. That game is like Eiji Aonuma raising his middle finger toward fans of the original game, or even ALttP and OoT! hehe.

          • Overcast

            magnificent? Pray tell, where dost thou stash thy acid?

            • Vitamin E

              Fi keeps it hidden in the Master Sword for me. And every time I go to take some of it, she gives me a lengthy explanation on how to use acid.

              • Overcast

                I think you need to lay off the Vitamin E a bit.

                Really though, that’s just naive to condemn what attributed to making this series iconic.

                • Vitamin E

                  I believe you’ve misinterpreted what I was saying. Sarcasm is hard to read through text, I guess. Zelda has slowly evolved into a sort of puzzle game. There’s action to be had, but the newer games are really more comparable to, say, Shadowgate or King’s Quest than they are the original Legend of Zelda. What I mean by that is the way the quests are structured require things to be done a certain way. (do a fetchquest, do a dungeon, do another fetchquest, do another dungeon, lather, rinse, repeat).

                  Just how it happened is hard to say. I don’t think that all of the blame rests with Eiji Aonuma. Maybe it’s sort of a creeping thing. They introduced a little bit of in A Link to the Past, then a little more in Ocarina of Time. By the time of The Wind Waker, variation in the quest was just an afterthought, and there is none in TP and SS.

                  And to my initial comment, Skyward Sword made great strides in crushing any hopes that a game comparable to classic Zelda might ever emerge.

                  • Overcast

                    SS referenced a good deal of other side quests as well. I’m sorry i can’t finish what I meant to say, I need to hibernate now.

  • Christina Hope Cromwell

    I think that if he decides to shake things up a bit it will be great! I change is in need I have played a number of The Legend of Zelda games and I think being able to play as Princess Zelda would be a win. It is going to be brand new and different especially with the graphic capability. It needs to change so it can get better! Changing it is not a bad thing but a good thing. I believe that it should be the most interesting game yet even if the main formula has changed. It is going to be probably one of the best games in the series no matter what he does.

  • Igos Du Ikana

    AMEN it is Anouma who has been making the series lose its edge, not this formula that he speaks of. The formula is not the problem it is them relying too heavly on that structure and playing it safe, and staying very much in the box while throwing around gimmikery that would be cool as an actual feature but is so under utilized and developed due to this mentality that all of the serie’s fans are brain dead. If you are going to implement motion controls for instance, (which were very cool and worked really well despite what people complain about) then do not completely kill all enemy progression and assume that every one is going to run from the game if it punishes them for making mistakes. This is WHY we play games. If the experiance is not mentally and physically taxing in the way that it challanges and engages the player then it is not worth playing. The ambition that was pushed in the N64 games, and was really cool at the time is not going to work in 2013. That is where the series hit a dead line right when Miyamoto took his hands off of direct development of the series with the exception of Majora’s Mask there has been something missing in the series since then.

  • Michael Cunha

    You can’t expect people to love a game if the developer doesn’t love it. I think he needs to find what he loves and take it to the next level, so we don’t get another Skyward Sword.

    • Overcast

      amen

  • Nathan

    See, here’s the thing: Zelda games, and video games in general, are not subject to your opinion on how everything should go. There is a reason that the people making the games are doing what they do, and the consumers are doing what they do.

    For example, let’s look at the Halo series, from a multiplayer perspective. While Bungie held the reigns of the IP, they did the games as they wanted to do them. Obviously play testing and the like are a big part of that process, but all decisions were made because Bungie decided that Halo would be best served the way they envisioned it, regardless of what the industry and fans said about loadouts, the ability to sprint, respawn times, etc.

    Once 343 Industries took control of the series, they all took into consideration what the industry/fans said they wanted in a Halo game. Now included are personal loadouts, always-able sprint, instant respawn marked power weapons on maps, etc. The backlash has been huge. The server population of Halo 4 is actually about the same as the Reach server population, both of which are very, very low. It is no longer an engaging and competitive multiplayer experience, which, simply put, is because 343i gave the fans everything they thought they wanted.

    Aonuma and his team will create the Zelda game they want to create. So far, we have no reason to believe they will produce a low-quality game. Ocarina of Time was the very definition of disregarding convention for the sake of innovation, and Majora’s Mask went even further with that. These guys are game developers for a reason. Let them develop the game, and if you find you don’t like the product, so be it.

    • Ryan

      I agree. Since when do people know what they really want. If Nintendo only did Twilight Princess style games from now to the end of time, people will get bored with it extremely quickly. Doing new things keeps an IP fresh. This only works when the developer tries new things, not listening to a section of the fanbase.

      • Overcast

        I am in love with Twilight Princess’ unique style, it made Hyrule feel that much more tangible for me. Further development on what Zelda Team began in TP can neither harm nor hinder them, quite the contrary really if Link is you, and you are Link, I wouldn’t expect to find myself hacking apart vicious, Hylian-hungry COLORFUL octoroks to gather WHIMSICAL deku nuts, eh?

        • Ryan

          Bouncing statues, red octorocks that shoot an unlimited supply of rocks from their tiny body, talking monkeys, walking electric jelly fish, centaurs, a flying duck that can take a full sized person all over the land, talking fish (not the zora). All these things existed before Twilight Princess. I love Twilight Princess, it has one of the best story lines in the Zelda series, however, it is also the one to step the most away from what came before it.

          My greatest worry is that Zelda games will become the same in each installment and it will loose it’s spark of greatness.

  • Vitamin E

    You know, if they were to make a 3D Zelda game that’s just like the original, the formula considered completely new at this point. Hardcore Zelda fans will realize what it is and probably won’t complain, and it will provide Aonuma and everyone else who is tired of the formula with something new.

  • Keith Speidel

    Seems to me that a lot of these reviews are becoming more and more biased. With personal remarks that seem out of place. As far as the games go I have yet to play a Zelda game (The Adventure of Link aside) that I have yet to enjoy. If the game never evolved at all it would be stale and looked over by now.

    • Overcast

      I might have something to do with that. -.-

      • Keith Speidel

        Until recent years I managed to miss those titles completely. I have seen the gameplay, and I know they are horrible. IMO a Zelda title not done by Nintendo is not a Zelda title.

    • Overcast

      Try Faces of Evil and Wand of Gamelon

  • Ryan

    Eiji Aonuma has my full support with Legend of Zelda. If he wants to
    change things for the new generation, I trust he will deliver something
    grand. Change is a good thing. The last big change in Zelda was Ocarina of Time back in 1998. 3D entries have all followed that formula, while top down style Zelda’s follow Link to the Past.

  • Ernesto Palma

    “Nintendo needs to fire some people” Adam Sessler, et al.

    Haha, I mean I’m all for the creators, and others keeping their role in nintendo games, but I can agree they need some fresh blood. They need people who are honestly REALLY excited to work on Zelda and to drive it into a fresh direction, while staying true to The Legend of Zelda’s legacy. If what I’ve read about his personality, and his personal likes as far as the game is true, then this guy should seriously consider stepping aside.

    • Overcast

      They’re on pins and needles. Replacing the crew doesn’t make a ship sail better if the new one doesn’t know how to sail it.

      • Ernesto Palma

        That’s why I said someone who’s REALLY excited to work on Zelda and can push it into a FRESH direction but STAY TRUE to the Legacy of The Legend of Zelda.

        People who’ve been on the Zelda team could step up, perhaps not just one, but a couple, or group of three could become lead directors. It doesn’t make sense to keep the same man only share with us his, and only HIS vision of the series if he isn’t completely in love with it, and isn’t overflowing with inspiration. I am positive there are others who could freshen things up.

        • Overcast

          He is inspired. You take his expression the wrong way, he has plenty of passion, which is exactly why he made this announcement.

          • Ernesto Palma

            Well let’s see if he can surprise me. He better make something legendary.

  • EnaZeibekiko

    Facts as follow: Formulas work. But nothing should ever feel formulaic.

    • Overcast

      That’s how the world works. Why do you think AC III crashed so badly? Ubisoft hadn’t rounded their story, when it came time to work a conclusion around their timeline it sank the ace.

  • K2L

    He simply means that the formula feels stale as of late. And it has been noteworthy since TP. Stop whining for stuff like art styles and the like, none of which are related to what he said in this case. I’m getting tired of the same rant over and over again. I’m starting to think (and it’s not sarcasm or insult, but a REAL thought), that you’re psychologically traumatized for the previous Zelda games (again, I AM being serious).

  • pjsmoulder

    If you ask people a leading question like ‘is Zelda becoming too linear?’, mostly people will say yes, regardless of what they think. It’s such a bandwagon at the moment. Some of the best games ever made, are completely linear. I think it’s best if developers go with their own impulses, because that’s where you’ll find true creativity.

  • RockyAlboa

    He’s done it before with his first job in charge of a zelda game with MM which changed the formula drastically despite using the same engine, with reused assets. Those were different times though, when the formula hadnt really been established and developers were given much more creative freedom. taking into account zelda u’s production values and budget, im skeptical they actually will change the formula much from Oot/TP style considering they sold the most.

    Every console zelda’s innovated in some way to change that parts of the formula but it still remained in many where it became apparent and predictable. It’s reassuring to know Aonuma aknowledges this so hopefully they’ll take action with zelda u despite the current econimical development climate.

  • Overcast

    I don’t necessarily approve of Eiji’s convictions, nor do I flippantly condemn it. It sounds like he’s making a bold leap. I would take more comfort at this alarming news if the Zelda team didn’t keep the majority of their plans and concepts under the door-mat like they always have. Despite my concern and lack of information on this new development, I hope that Aonuma and his team discover a method of creating this unorthodox world while preserving what they’ve already accomplished without digging out their foundation in the process.

    Delicate matters breed unpleasant thoughts in my head. I have just argued a conservative case under Plant’s last Article, I don’t want to sound hypocritical, but I believe they have the PotentiaL to make this work.

    Now I expect that the game that Eiji decides to experiment on will not be so different than what we’ve encountered before. Mr. Aonuma could have in mind that when you must clear the “Wood” (Temple) to get to the Fire T and then the Water T you will be permitted to brave at your own leisure. I recognize that this guess is not the most likely to be on the mark.

    I’m pretty tired right now so I apologize that I couldn’t come up with anything better.I’m open to hear anyone’s legitimate theories on this matter.

  • SonicHedgehog654

    I smell a Reboot