Monday, 10 October 2011

Looking at Video Games: The Legend of Zelda

For the fourth game......

Game: The Legend of Zelda (series)
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Action/Adventure
Year: (1986-2011)
Cultural Background: Eastern

The Legend of Zelda series is widely known to have been the game that established Action-Adenture as a genre, with tales of sword and fantasy is easy to see why. Starting out as a top down adventure game it wasn't until the release of The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, did the series develop into a third-person action/adventure game. Players take control of silent protagonist Link (players can re-name him) has he traverses fantasy-esque lands solving puzzles in dungeons/temples and defeating enemies. The series itself sticks to a fairly standard formula of "Evil becomes present, princess is in danger, go collect items and save princess and defeat evil".

Players often start out as an inexperienced youth who must rise to the challenge by completing the various challenges, as players progress they acquire new items and new powers to help with challenges ahead. Often the levels will be themed such as there being fire or water based dungeons. Ultimately what keep players coming back is the new ideas that each new addition to the franchise brings, they want to experience the challenge and see how the hero they play as is different from the last as bar a few exceptions each new Legend of Zelda game features different characters from the previous but who all fit into their previous archetype roles. Below is an example of the gameplay found in "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess".

Then there's the fact that each game generally has it's own art style, with titles such as "Twilight Princess" being semi-realistic to "Windwaker" being the complete opposite and being very cartoon like. This has lead to the latest installment being a kind of blend between these two main art styles creating a fairly proportionate world but textured in a cel-shaded style.

Zelda is very much a classic sword and fantasy game, where in players must use their minds to solve puzzles as well as just defeat enemies. Due to it's fairly formulaic structure but along with the main quest players can also complete many side quests rewarding them with extra upgrades or prizes, this adds to the already beefy amount of content found in the main game and it's clear to see why people keep coming back to play the series. One of the other things that should be noted in comparisons to other games in my research Zelda is the only one so far that is suitable for all ages adding to it's appeal and most likely why it's loved by people of all ages.

This shows a game doesn't need to be overly complicated to gain massive appeal and that a varying art style can also be a reason why people like it.

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