Legend of Zelda - General series chat

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Benzin
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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Benzin » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:46 pm

captain red dog wrote:Motion control ruined Skyward Sword for me.


+1

Didn't enjoy it at all as a result, too finicky for me especially when the entire game was based around the "you must slash the OTHER way" mechanic in fights...

A remake without them would be interesting, but could they do that without requiring to build from the ground up again?

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Sandy » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:09 pm

Trying to play it on a HDTV through the WiiU ruined it for me. It was a horrible mess to look at.

I keep meaning to try it again on an original Wii with proper cabling but never get round to it. It seemed like a decent game as well from what I did manage to get through.

Would definitely get a HD remake if it came out on Switch, inclusive of standard controls as well is wiggly waggly for the people that want to play like that.

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The Watching Artist
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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by The Watching Artist » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:37 pm

I have two main issues with Skyward Sword. Fi talks a bit too much and a couple of the quests could have been a little better (like when you loose your stuff) but when I say thats not so good I mean its not chuffing brilliant like most of the rest of the game. I wish they did a bit more with skydiving in the game to.
deathofcows wrote:I think it's the best controlling 3rd-person game I've ever played. And not even in a net-gain, rounding-up way: I'm not sure what small knack I luckily stumbled on to that others missed but I found the motion controls consistent and near-flawless. More than that I found the feel of them gave the game an analogue, sometimes near-expressive playfulness that hasn't been bettered. Breath of the Wild might have had more systemic and exploratory freedom, but in the second-by-second, degree-by-degree embodiment of Link (or the Beetle, or a bomb etc) I think Skyward Sword feels better.

Totally. And I think it had a direct impact on how damn satisfying it was to even solve the simplest puzzles. Then sometimes you'd get something come along which only could have been designed because of the motion controls. Like the eye locks. Or the spinning boss lock puzzles.

My fear for any Switch version is that they cant do this justice. That the joycon wont feel as good as the Wiimote. Stripping it out will be such a backwards step I wouldn't even consider getting it. A bump to 60fps would feel great with motion controls. I remember how the Nintendo Land Zelda game felt at 60fps. :datass: The Wii U would have been a good fit for SSHD. But the Switch? How would it work with the joycons attached in handheld mode? To make it work would be to rip out its skeleton.
deathofcows wrote:Skyward Sword's hyper-focused and specific requirements actually gives it more meaningful difference in feel (the sand-sprinting of the desert compared with the water-pirouettes of the submerged forest compared with the stripped-back binaries and hide-and-seek panic of the silent realms etc) and a feeling of singular enclaves in a wider, unknown world.

And the sheer variety it chucks your way! :wub: I dont think its a coincidence that most of my fav parts of BOTW are from areas which feel self contained. Like the GP and Eventide Island. I longed to get into a prolonged meaty section in BOTW like I would in other Zeldas but everything was so, I was going to say bite sized, but frankly it was often more nibble sized.

The Imprisoned is one of the most interesting and unique boss fights in Zelda. Multiple stages spread out through the game. With different ways of tackling it and a time limit. None of the boss fights in BOTW even come close to that.

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Frank
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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Frank » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:26 pm

What are the different ways of tackling it? Isn't it just "PULVERISE TOES"?

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by HaruKazuhira » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:28 pm

I must have got pretty lucky with the Motion Controls since I never really had much of a problem with them throughout my playtime. The one to one feel never got old. Kinda wished the game was more difficult because of it.

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Kriken » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:55 pm

Yeah, Fi talked too much and too annoyingly. Kind of had a problem trying to make Skyward Sword look good on my TV. Looked horrible on the HDTV I first tried it on (unsurprisingly I guess), but when I played it later on my CRT it still didn't look great to me. Never really saw what was so great about the look.

I didn't enjoy Skyward Sword nearly as much as other Zelda games (not even Phantom Hourglass), but I'm open to re-playing the game with a fresher perspective, and doing it on a official release with HD visuals would be nice (and 60fps but I wouldn't hold my breath). I think the graphical style would particularly benefit from it - the game does look pretty lush on Dolphin at 1080p/4K. Might have been that the game clashed with my expectations a bit too much.

From what I've heard, motion-wise the joycons are as good as WM+ if not better so assumedly it'd be a good fit. For undocked mode I guess there wouldn't be that good of an alternative if they opt for one. Not being portable wouldn't be a deal breaker for me though.

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Robbo-92 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:27 pm

From what I remember the motion controls were fine (needed re calibrating every so often but I didn't see that as an issue), main issue I had was in sword fights when it wanted you to do a slash in a certain direction but for the life of me I just couldn't get it right so ended up slashing like crazy till my foe was defeated.

Re the imprisioned I just couldn't get it timed right :( slash its toes but avoid its shockwaves (which were frankly ridiculous in the last fight with it) got tiresome very quickly, I quite liked the idea behind it with it being Demise trying to escape but still could have been done better in my opinion.

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by The Watching Artist » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:04 pm

Frank wrote:What are the different ways of tackling it? Isn't it just "PULVERISE TOES"?

You can bypass this bit by getting above him and landing on top. But if you are not quick enough he chucks you off. Think there are even air jets in the ground to let you just get up and skydive onto him. But its tricky as I think I only managed that once.

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Hime » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:26 pm

I have very fond memories of SS. I'd just had an operation so was at home for a number of weeks and just got totally absorbed in the world. I do remember the intro going on for an absolute age though.

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Frank
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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Frank » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:30 pm

The Watching Artist wrote:
Frank wrote:What are the different ways of tackling it? Isn't it just "PULVERISE TOES"?

You can bypass this bit by getting above him and landing on top. But if you are not quick enough he chucks you off. Think there are even air jets in the ground to let you just get up and skydive onto him. But its tricky as I think I only managed that once.


I thought the air-jets were just there so you could actually catch up with him. He moved pretty sharpish for such a chunky boi.

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Years of Username Limbo » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:35 pm

Ooh, are we on about skyward sword again? Here's my tuppence worth:

Quantum Name wrote:The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Previous Zelda games gave us large, open worlds in which could be found several 'sacred' areas. Skyward Sword is Nintendo's attempt to flip the franchise on its head and they've not failed. Here we have a game world filled with ancient, vastly important, untouched-in-centuries landmarks, with very little 'regular' space in between. Not that I'm suggesting that this particular iteration of Hyrule is somehow unbelievable - I mean, it's Hyrule, a fantasy world dictated by the all-pervasive deity of three fairies and a set of corresponding triangles. But there's definitely something that doesn't sit right with Skyward Sword. Actually, make that a lot of things.

I'm being tongue-in-cheek intentionally, of course. But that's only because approaching this review bluntly would be depressing. Zelda is one of my favourite videogame franchises of all time and to pour scorn on one affects my viewing of the series as a whole. Plus, this game has received near-flawless praise from critics (although - perhaps tellingly - it seems that user opinion is somewhat more divided). Is it just me?

Honestly - no, it can't be. Yes, I've played all the other 3D Zelda games. Yes, my expectations were high going in. And yes, I am becoming a more conservative gamesplayer as I get older. But this is not a review of my life and how it has changed since I marvelled at the many uses of the Hookshot in Ocarina of Time, or got lost sailing Wind Waker's great sea. This is a review of Skyward Sword and, truth is, it doesn't measure up.

The first part of the game is spent establishing backstory for the game's setting. In a vaguely Poké-esque fashion, we are told that every inhabitant of Skyloft is paired from youth with a large bird, so as to better travel the sky. Ignoring the fact that the inhabitant count of Skyloft is shorter than the number gathered in one of Hyrule Castle Market Town's stall throngs, and that there is barely any sky to travel (more on that shortly), the oddest part of this is that the game goes to great lengths to establish the importance of this, only to forget about it completely once the real action starts. There's a nod to all birds being equal but Link's shiny red bird being more equal than others, but then other than to flap between the game's three levels (again, more on that later) you'll barely notice him(/her?) again.

The sky itself makes the much-criticised Great Sea seem infinite. Aside from Skyloft itself, there are literally a handful of islands to be landed on, and only one other 'settlement' area, itself consisting of a cafe and a pumpkin patch. Regardless of your opinion of these areas in and of themselves, that's pretty pathetic. But Zelda's areas have always been known for their character as opposed to their quantity. Sadly, Skyward Sword's characters simply aren't as memorable or interesting as their predecessors (or, to be exact, their descendants). The sky mechanic doesn't seem to add much to the game other than to allow the Wii another motion-controlled action for you to perform that it wouldn't otherwise be able to implement: flight. And while it's fun at first, the novelty soon wears off: the areas are too small for anything interesting to take place, in-flight combat is introduced far too late on in the game, and so it's literally just a way to switch between the game's three levels.

I called them 'levels' for a reason. This is the first 3D Zelda in which you don't feel like you're part of a fully connected 'world' and the reason for that is simple: you're not. The inhabitants of Skyloft have never set foot on the 'surface' below (i.e. and hereafter Hyrule) and so it sort of makes sense that there wouldn't be established routes between the main areas which Link arrives into via the air. But that hasn't stopped hordes of samey enemies from populating the regions. These areas are exceptionally well-designed, and often link into puzzles that reveal themselves to be part of a much larger framework, often encompassing the very structure of the region itself; not since A Link To The Past has this kind of intelligent level design been evident on such an exemplary scale and this must be commended. But it's disappointing that you don't feel like you're part of a genuine 'world'; even more so when you consider that, geographically speaking, Nintendo have been extremely faithful to previous Zeldas and it's a genuine treat to play through the game and figure out the original makeup of some of the series' most famous locales.

The Motion Plus use in the game is a mixed bag. For some of Link's abilities it's hard to see how the game ever worked without it - swimming, aiming and climbing are vastly improved, and even some non-MP changes, like sprinting, seem essential moments into becoming acquainted with them. But others are disastrous - puzzles requiring you to fall accurately were seemingly designed in Nintendo EAD's masochism department, and the remote swordplay goes out of sync so often you'll eventually become accustomed to aiming your body away from the screen just to keep your arm centred relative to your on-screen counterpart.

Nintendo were extremely proud of the fact that Skyward Sword makes use of its three major regions several times in wholly different manners, but this is not as impressive as advertised - for a start, there are only three, so to not re-use them would be to chop the game in half. The fact that there are only three areas isn't a criticism when they're as well developed and designed as these, and there are some instances where they are re-used to superb effect. For example, later in the game the forest area becomes flooded, allowing for an extremely enjoyable swimming section, requiring a total readjustment of your understanding of how to navigate the area. However, in the same area exists a temple dungeon, and this too must be revisited during the game, for nothing more than to collect something and bring it to another area. Very by-the-numbers and not up to Nintendo's usual high standards. The other thing is that previous Zelda games - hell, pretty much all Nintendo's best titles - have had great examples of something new bringing new life to an old area. But whereas in the past this was an indication of the endless inventiveness of item use (think Ocarina of Time at its most playful, or the delights of Metroid Prime and Pikmin 2's multi-layered approaches), for Skyward Sword this often seems to simply mean pre- and post-Clawshot approaches to an area. Again: very by-the-numbers.

As well as the areas being more dungeon-like than before, there are actual dungeons, of course. But on top of this there are also 'trial gates', wherein you must collect items while avoiding being detected. Each gate claims to test a different aspect of your heroism, but in truth all three test the same thing: your patience. While a novel idea at first, they soon prove to be nothing more than a one-strike-you're-dead-try-again-style collectathon. If you get it right first time it's exhilarating; one mistake and you'll resent having to grab the same shiny bulbs you just spent ten minutes trying to grab (complete with bonus bulbs that, for the life of me, have zero purpose as far as I can tell). I appreciate the attempt to try and break up the generic dungeon formula with something new, but the truth is this hasn't happened: the formula remains, but with extra additional dungeon-esque challenges in-between, and much less of the town/side-quest-type sidestuff that has also been a staple of Zelda in previous games. At times the game feels like one long slog, and without the characters to make it an enjoyable one, some of the game's best moments don't shine as brightly as they simply don't stand out - some of the dungeons here are the best in any Zelda, but they get lost along the way, taken simply as another challenge following the last one. It's a shame.

I'm not going to talk too much about story because a) spoilers and b) it's Zelda I'm sure you have at least some idea what happens - but I do think that character is important and while Skyward Sword does have some great ones, they're too few and far between to have the same kind of impact as those in previous titles. I also think it noteworthy that in the Zelda universe, while certain characters (Link, Zelda, Impa, Beedle) reappear generation after generation, gods seem to come and go with alarming regularity. This game introduces two such deities which actually inhabit swords (Namco's lawyers are yet to contact Kyoto). One's on your side, the other's a recurring enemy and both exemplify major issues I have with the game.

First, the enemy - a boss you'll have to fight three times during the course of the game. He's not the only boss you'll face this many times, either. There are a couple of boss fights that are genuinely pleasurable and noteworthy (not to include deliberate spoilers but click here for one example) but all too often they're a nuisance and, in some cases, genuinely anger-inducing. An advert of MotionPlus they most certainly are not - one boss, who can grab your blade, requires you to force his hand into a defensive position before you slice from the opposite direction, but to strike successfully you must do so quickly, and the MotionPlus often doesn't recognise the direction of fast slicing, instead defaulting to your original position - meaning that you end up hitting him in the exact spot you were hoping to avoid.

The other sword spirit is yours - her name's Fi and she's a strawberry floating moron. Offering zero helpful advice whatsoever (ask for a hint on an enemy and you'll basically get a description of their appearance), Fi's purpose in the game is to babysit your remote and make sure your batteries are always completely full. It's hard to comprehend that people used to hate on Navi for simply saying "Listen!". Fi is only made less dull by the enemies you face - bland, uninspired character models, often appearing in vast numbers, which sadly only exacerbates their poor general design. One of the very last set-pieces of the game sees you face literally hundreds of these grunts at once - perhaps procedurally impressive (in a way), but exceptionally boring, and perhaps the worst example of 'padding' in any Zelda, ever. Aside from these multi-enemy set pieces, there isn't anything here that couldn't be done on a Gamecube - not a criticism of the game as such, but given the games other failings and compared to the technical achievements on other formats, it's perhaps not a surprise to see the game struggle so much at retail.

For every great moment in Skyward Sword there are a couple of poor ones that spoil it. Great dungeon design is crippled by ridiculous enemy placement and a poorly-considered difficulty curve: your sword gets more powerful but the enemies around you simply increase in number, not intelligence - except in some cases where individual enemies are powered-up beyond comprehension and force you to resort to attrition. Some areas are just overly-frustrating - one room in a late dungeon requires you to ride excruciatingly slow platforms along streams of magma; mess up your jump between them and you'll get sent back to the start of the last stream, thus having to make the loooong ride all over again. Other aspects seem to be counter-intuitive to logical game thought: a raised bucket 'mouth' that needs filling, hanging plants that drip beads of water when sliced, and a gateway with a round hole between them might see you seek a raised platform from which to aim an arrow through the plant and the hole into the bucket, but actually jabbing the plant makes the water attach to your sword (?) from which point you can walk around the room's intricate structure, through the other plants (damaging yourself en route, as chopping your way through isn't viable due to the water bubble hanging from your sword). The puzzles that do manage to be intuitive are usually those familiar to the series; and the ones that are both fresh and work well (time-shifting crystals, a remote-controlled flying beetle) become over-used simply because there are so many dungeon areas in which they have to be used. And there's just not enough 'extra' around all the dungeoning; there's a side-quest of sorts, with 80 'Gratitude Crystals' to collect, but the majority of these are obtained in sets of five, meaning that really you're only actually setting out to find around a quarter of that initially impressive amount.

Ironically, for the first proper motion-control Zelda, there seem many times that the game values cinematography over interactivity. Many of the game's great ideas don't get the mentally flexing workout they deserve, instead being used to execute variants on the same puzzle over and over again (the beetle is a prime culprit here, a brilliant new item woefully implemented). Some of the game's best new ideas, by comparison, are so under-used you could feasibly go the entire game without them (weapon upgrades) - and there are also those which are both underwhelming and unnecessary. I'd be amazed if anyone discovered all the potion upgrades simply for their own sense of fun.

The overwhelming sense I get from Skyward Sword is that it's more an attempt to prove that a game like this can be done using the Wii hardware, as opposed to a game borne out of the genuine belief that this was the logical next step for the series - unlike, say, Mario's Wii excursions. My favourite thing about it is that it's a Zelda game; I get to see how it fits into the rest of the pieces of the series. But I honestly believe that if it weren't a Zelda game, it wouldn't have received anywhere near the amount of critical praise it has done; there's simply not enough fun to be had here. To compare it to the Galaxy games almost seems unfair. Sure, if you've never played a Zelda game before, then there'll be plenty here to impress and engage you that might not have that same effect on a hardened head like me. But honestly - if you've never played a Zelda game before, why on earth would you choose to start with this one?

A missed opportunity, then, and almost certainly the weakest 3D installment in the series. Although both the level design and commitment to adding to Zelda canon are extremely impressive, there's not enough variation here, and too many of the game's fundamentals are awkward and irritating. I've put almost 40 hours into this disc so I couldn't say there's nothing of value here; but I could probably guess right now that, with new games always on the horizon, and four superior equivalents ahead of it in the pecking order, I doubt very much I'll ever wish to play Skyward Sword again - and if it's not worth playing twice, is it worth buying once? I guess everyone will have a different answer for that one.

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Years of Username Limbo
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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Years of Username Limbo » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:48 pm

Originally posted here. I added to the original post a while later, as well as compiling some other forumites' views on the game.

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by OrangeRKN » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:22 pm

Frank wrote:
The Watching Artist wrote:
Frank wrote:What are the different ways of tackling it? Isn't it just "PULVERISE TOES"?

You can bypass this bit by getting above him and landing on top. But if you are not quick enough he chucks you off. Think there are even air jets in the ground to let you just get up and skydive onto him. But its tricky as I think I only managed that once.


I thought the air-jets were just there so you could actually catch up with him. He moved pretty sharpish for such a chunky boi.


Don't forget that the second (and third) Imprisoned fight gave us the Groosenator. Worth it for that alone

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Errkal
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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Errkal » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:41 pm

Hey look gecko poste..... What a minute that long post isn't gecko!

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Frank
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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Frank » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:55 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:
Frank wrote:
The Watching Artist wrote:
Frank wrote:What are the different ways of tackling it? Isn't it just "PULVERISE TOES"?

You can bypass this bit by getting above him and landing on top. But if you are not quick enough he chucks you off. Think there are even air jets in the ground to let you just get up and skydive onto him. But its tricky as I think I only managed that once.


I thought the air-jets were just there so you could actually catch up with him. He moved pretty sharpish for such a chunky boi.


Don't forget that the second (and third) Imprisoned fight gave us the Groosenator. Worth it for that alone


The Groosenator :datass:

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Jamo3103 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:16 pm

Skyward Sword had some pretty big problems, the amount of handholding, the repeated frustration of fighting the imprisoned and the sometimes fiddly controls being the biggest issues for me personally.

It did so much right though, some brilliantly creative puzzles and dungeon design, (the time shift stone mechanic being a particular favourite of mine) a really engaging story and whilst the motion controls were an occasional source of frustration I felt that when they worked well (which for me they mostly did) they were really satisfying.

Most of the issues could be easily fixed in a remaster and although it didn't look the best visually that was largely due to the Wii's video output, the art style itself is gorgeous and you can see that clearly when the resolution is increased via Dolphin.

I'd absolutely love to see a remaster and it would be a great way to tide us over until the next new entry.

While they're at it I'd also take a double pack of the Majoras Mask/Ocarina of Time remakes :shifty:

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Tomous
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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Tomous » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:26 pm

The time shift mechanic and all that phase of the game isn’t just a high for SS but the series as a whole in my opinion.

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by HaruKazuhira » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:36 pm

The thematic dungeons we're brilliant in SS. Ancient Cistern gets mentioned a lot and rightfully so imo. I missed that aspect most while playing BotW.

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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by deathofcows » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:12 am

OrangeRKN wrote:
deathofcows wrote:And I know I already wrote an (apparently quite unpopular) article about it (https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017 ... f-the-wild)


I think I might have read this before and commented on it even, but this:

But it also subtly changes the binary of older 3D games; of the traversable, and then the unknowable, unreachable rest.

Before, limitations of technology resulted in smaller play spaces, built on the game language of infinite drops and insurmountable, sheer (unclimbable) cliffs. Places like Kokiri Forest were fringed with textures, like theatre set backdrops standing in for 'the rest of the forest'. These were non-literal, abstract renditions of places: built in blocks and borders.

But they were also possibility spaces - like childhood dens - where simplified shorthand can suggest much more. Now, I've written before about how the angular environments of older 3D reflected and enhanced my childhood (read: to this day) explorations of urban environments, all brick-walls and curbed edges. But I also think there was a different effect evoked by these older environments, not beholden to recognisable natural contours, where the interstitial detail between them didn't have to be designed or explained.


Is absolutely perfect.

The small areas with their impassable borders make a world feel more realistic to me than an entire open world because those constraints are more realistic, and match my experience of the world. I've lived in cities all my life, where you're always confined to moving down roads and paths, through gates and past walls that can't be climbed or jumped over (and I'm from Coventry, so that goes double when everything is brutalist post-war concrete). Even in the countryside everywhere is cut up into fields with hedges and fences, and you mostly stick to the paths laid out.

Then also as you say there is the other side of it, where the unknown other lets the imagination fill in the blanks, which lets the world be as big as it needs to. Geographically Kokiri forest in OoT is not far from Hyrule Castle at all, but when you start there you definitely feel like you are in a remote and vast forest. If the game was fully open world, that forest would be smaller, more knowable and less immersive. To try and achieve the same in BOTW Kokiri forest had to be deliberately cut off from the game world, and even then it doesn't feel as remote and the forest, despite best efforts, still feels smaller.

It is, completely, theatre, and just like theatre it takes a willing suspension of disbelief, but when that's given it's way more powerful than any attempt to create a truly large and open world.

As you say I think Skyward Sword understands this. The forest feels like a completely different place, far and remote from death mountain or the desert, whereas if they were connected through an open world they would appear closer and the world smaller.


Even perfect-er. Same wavelength exactly: I also work in Coventry and live in Birmingham so who knows if that's anything to do with it!

As for a lot of people saying Skyward Sword didn't look so hot on their TVs, I remember investing in a component cable at the time for the Wii and it was a night-and-day difference in clarity and in letting the art-style sing. Hopefully the HDMI requisite of Switch will mean that any remake (maybe even polished up a la WW) will get to show off how good it should have looked to most.

A potential remake is my most looked-forward-to game at the moment, I think.

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Tomous
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PostRe: Legend of Zelda - General series chat
by Tomous » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:46 am

deathofcows wrote:
OrangeRKN wrote:
deathofcows wrote:And I know I already wrote an (apparently quite unpopular) article about it (https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017 ... f-the-wild)


I think I might have read this before and commented on it even, but this:

But it also subtly changes the binary of older 3D games; of the traversable, and then the unknowable, unreachable rest.

Before, limitations of technology resulted in smaller play spaces, built on the game language of infinite drops and insurmountable, sheer (unclimbable) cliffs. Places like Kokiri Forest were fringed with textures, like theatre set backdrops standing in for 'the rest of the forest'. These were non-literal, abstract renditions of places: built in blocks and borders.

But they were also possibility spaces - like childhood dens - where simplified shorthand can suggest much more. Now, I've written before about how the angular environments of older 3D reflected and enhanced my childhood (read: to this day) explorations of urban environments, all brick-walls and curbed edges. But I also think there was a different effect evoked by these older environments, not beholden to recognisable natural contours, where the interstitial detail between them didn't have to be designed or explained.


Is absolutely perfect.

The small areas with their impassable borders make a world feel more realistic to me than an entire open world because those constraints are more realistic, and match my experience of the world. I've lived in cities all my life, where you're always confined to moving down roads and paths, through gates and past walls that can't be climbed or jumped over (and I'm from Coventry, so that goes double when everything is brutalist post-war concrete). Even in the countryside everywhere is cut up into fields with hedges and fences, and you mostly stick to the paths laid out.

Then also as you say there is the other side of it, where the unknown other lets the imagination fill in the blanks, which lets the world be as big as it needs to. Geographically Kokiri forest in OoT is not far from Hyrule Castle at all, but when you start there you definitely feel like you are in a remote and vast forest. If the game was fully open world, that forest would be smaller, more knowable and less immersive. To try and achieve the same in BOTW Kokiri forest had to be deliberately cut off from the game world, and even then it doesn't feel as remote and the forest, despite best efforts, still feels smaller.

It is, completely, theatre, and just like theatre it takes a willing suspension of disbelief, but when that's given it's way more powerful than any attempt to create a truly large and open world.

As you say I think Skyward Sword understands this. The forest feels like a completely different place, far and remote from death mountain or the desert, whereas if they were connected through an open world they would appear closer and the world smaller.


Even perfect-er. Same wavelength exactly: I also work in Coventry and live in Birmingham so who knows if that's anything to do with it!

As for a lot of people saying Skyward Sword didn't look so hot on their TVs, I remember investing in a component cable at the time for the Wii and it was a night-and-day difference in clarity and in letting the art-style sing. Hopefully the HDMI requisite of Switch will mean that any remake (maybe even polished up a la WW) will get to show off how good it should have looked to most.

A potential remake is my most looked-forward-to game at the moment, I think.


Hmmm, I also work in Coventry and live in Birmingham, and I played through SS for the first time through my Wii U in 2014ish and loved the artstyle...


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