Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Franchise of Time

Three hour drive out to San Luis Obispo. Apologies for the lateness of the post.

Beat Skyward Sword this afternoon. As a longtime Legend of Zelda fan, I must admit that, while I enjoyed playing the game immensely, it fell comparatively low on my list of favorites among the five modern Zelda games (those being Ocarina, Majora, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Skyward.)

My personal order goes as follows:
1. Wind Waker
2. Majora's Mask
3. Twilight Princess
4. Skyward Sword
5. Ocarina of Time

Innovative worldbuilding and non-linear or non-standard storytelling are very important to me, so obviously the more divergent iterations of the series would be my favorites. Twilight Princess has an elaborate and involved plot, with anti-heroes and complicated villains and almost three-dimensional supporting characters, which rewarded me greatly, as well as some guilty-pleasure mechanics (swordplay from horseback.) Ocarina, largely considered the opus, I respect immensely, but find more personal enjoyment in the progression of the series than in its classics, necessarily.

Skyward Sword, barring it's occasionally exhilarating and occasionally infuriating Wiimote controls, I found to be sorta lacking in story elements. I suppose I'd unfairly anticipated a true prequel to Ocarina, where much story time would be devoted to setting certain arcs and characters into motion, but instead, I felt as though the game was set in a strange window of time between eventual occurrences in the mythos. Too late to see the Triforce formed, too early to see the Deku Tree planted, if you catch my drift.

It's unfortunate how closely Nintendo guards their star franchise - the idea of a perpetually re-incarnating story has enormous narrative potential. They're unlikely to really shake the branches too much and risk financial loss with an unpopular or experimental version of the tale, so I'm not holding my breath, but still. I'd love to take a crack at a Zelda story but, outside the bonds of fanfic, I doubt that'd bear much fruit. Alas.

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