Legend of Zelda sucks. The game defined an entire generation of gamers, and inspired a series of epic Zelda tattoos that let everyone know there are totally cool nerds now, Mom. But even the most die-hard fans are aware that there are some serious problems with the franchise. Seriously, people spend an inordinate amount of time on crazy Legend of Zelda fan theories just to rationalize some of the problems with the series.
Despite releasing a bevy of ho-hum games (we have a list of all the Zelda games in order), the Legend of Zelda is still considered to be one of the greatest gaming franchises ever, but why? How does a series of games achieve such a revered status in the hierarchy of gaming? Even hardcore fans admit that there are far more innovative games, and that when it comes to game play the series could use some vast improvements. But players still refuse to admit that the series as a whole is overrated. If you haven’t already flown into an uncontrollable berserker rage, continue reading to find out why the Legend of Zelda is overrated, and why it’s okay if you don’t care.
Is Zelda overrated? Yes. You’re lying to yourself if you can't admit that high scores on Metacritic and game of the year accolades are being given mostly out of nostalgia for the franchise. You may be clawing at your eyes from the very idea that every Legend of Zelda game isn’t amazing, but you need to realize that part of being a fan is acknowledging the imperfections in the thing you love. Zelda will always be an important piece of the history of gaming, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not wildly overrated.
You're so mad right now. You're seething as you read this because no one understands the Legend of Zelda the way you do. Your dreams take place in Hyrule, you've got a triforce on the back of your calf and the bumper of your Subaru, you've named your cat Sahasrahla, and you can't handle it when someone criticizes the games you love.
Angry fan boys are one of the main reasons that the Zelda series has become so exhausting. Rather than allow an open dialogue and free exchange of ideas on the subject, these nerds shut down anything that doesn't parrot the party line of "95% on Metacritic."
Seriously, what's up with Ganon y'all? Why must he and Link be locked in a Sisyphean struggle against each other until the Earth explodes? After three decades, Link should be able to see other villains. It's really not fair to him, or to the players, to continue recycling the same relationship for the sake of familiarity.
And to be honest, fans would probably freak out if they got to the end of a game and didn't have to face off with the same bad guy they've been dealing with forever. It's an easy way to provoke some genuine emotion, Nintendo. Get your collective head out of the sand.
Is there anything more frustrating than unboxing the newest version of your favorite franchise and discovering that you have restructure how you hold your hands? Chances are you've spent hundreds of hours playing the previous version of Zelda, and your fingers have learned to effortlesly manipulate your controller across its buttons and track pad.
You no longer need to mash to get what you want, delicacy is something you can apply even in a final dungeon. But then you're stuck with an all-new interface and your confident hands have become cumbersome cudgels, unsure of where to move or how to do it. Would it kill Nintendo to keep everything the same for two games in a row? Is there some kind of witch's curse keeping them from making anything easy on their fans?
This isn't a complaint about dialogue boxes that ends in a call for voice acting to take over the Zelda universe. Quite the opposite actually. The classic dialogue boxes that you have to scroll through are oddly comforting in a world full of games that feature legitimate voice actors.
But if Nintendo is going to continue to use those beautiful dialogue boxes, then they've got to write some better phrases for the main baddie. To wit: "Do you sleep still? Wait! Do not be so hasty, boy... I can see this girl's dreams... Oceans... Oceans... Oceans... Oceans... Oceans as far as the eye can see. They are vast seas... None can swim across them... They yield no fish to catch... What did the King of Hyrule say?... That the gods sealed Hyrule away?"
Ugh. Was that Ganon or the rough draft of a Terry Brooks novel? It might be worth it to do away with dialogue boxes all together in favor of getting someone like Mickey Rourke to deliver that overflowing closet of a monologue.