I wouldn’t say that my favourite video game franchise is Zelda, but over the last thirty years I’ve played a solid third of the eighteen or so titles in the series on various consoles dating all the way back to the NES.
Twenty-seventeen is set to go down at our house as the year of Nintendo. I’ve owned a total of three Nintendo consoles (not counting our replacement Wii) over the years —soon to be four— and two of those four will have been acquired in the first three months of this year. And while I picked up a copy of a cute little game for Claire (which six weeks later she’s still obsessed with) my indulgence on the 2DS/3DS console I bought shortly after Christmas, was a Zelda game.
…and I’ve been playing through it at a respectable clip when I can squeeze a few hours in between parenting duties, work, runs, violin practice & sleeping on the couch after a long, exhausting day. It’s a good little game, but hearkening back to my NES/Zelda memories, it’s a very-small scale RPS-meets-puzzle solving game that seems quite strictly entrenched in the entertaining, but old-school RPG-on-rails formula of the nineties.
The thing is that I spent a good three years picking away at Skyrim, and that technically fits into the same genre as most of the Zelda games, but even now that I’ve been spoiled buy that experience the open-world sandbox nature of that game seemed so vastly different experience compared to the RPGs I’d played in my youth that I struggle to even compare them.
I’ve already regaled you with the story of why and how I’ll be acquiring Nintendo’s newest console in a short two weeks, but I didn’t mention that one of the two games I’ll be getting with it is the newest Zelda title — The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — a game that in pre-release reviews is shaping up to be a bigger-and-crazier-than-skyrim open-world indulgence of not-your-grandparent’s-zelda experience.
To say that I’m more than a little stoked is a fair assessment, particularly since as a day-one adopter of a new game (which I rarely am these days) it will be weeks before the trolls crush it or ruin it or just spoil it online. Sure, it might suck. But it also might be the most amazing installment of this RPG series ever. Or it will likely just be good, which is basically what you want when you queue up to spend a hundred hours of your life absorbed into any video game world… and maybe I’m becoming a Zelda fanboy after all.
Either way, I’m primed for some quality time with this classic franchise and I’m sure I’ll have some old-guy-gamer thoughts on it in a month or two.