Okay, gamers… here we go with another one of my rants. Bear with me here…
Over the past year or so, we have all seen Nintendo’s mobile division put out a few things. Some have been hits (Pokémon GO!), and some have been…rather poor choices on Nintendo’s part (Super Mario Run). Well, now it seems like Nintendo might be grasping at straws here, dear readers: according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo’s mobile division is apparently working on the development of a Legend of Zelda mobile game.
Before you get on my case here, folks, I’ve got nothing against the LoZ franchise. I cut my teeth on the very first iteration, back in the days of the original NES, and I loved it. While I haven’t gotten my hands on Breath of the Wild yet, I’ve heard that it’s really incredibly well done. The issue I see here, is that this planned game (like their other mobile IPs) will probably be a stripped-down, semi bare bones, shadow of what makes Legend of Zelda games so great. Think about it this way: Gamers saw the burgeoning mobile division of Nintendo produce Fire Emblem Heroes, which had a very simplified battle system when compared to the core game on consoles. There was also the auto-run mechanic in Super Mario Run. So, what does that mean for this yet-to-be-named LoZ title?
Call me a hater if you want, but with all that Nintendo has been doing recently, I feel like their stuff is getting to be a bit of a glut on the market. I understand wanting to stay relevant, and keep money flowing into the company, but I feel like they would be better-served if they did that by making more quality stuff, and not just re-hash their old IPs into different hardware. There’s been quite a few things that Nintendo has done recently that just feels like them saying, “Well, historically people have bought this game, with this character, so let’s just pump out another version of this IP.” To me, that feels like lazy developing. In addition to that issue, I feel like this company – one of the progenitors of in-home console gaming – isn’t really even bringing anything fresh to the table when it comes to game mechanics, character development, and creativity. I mean, C’MON! Get some good game writers & developers in there, buckle down, and come up with a story, character, or mechanic that the gaming community hasn’t seen before and will really want to keep playing! Maybe even look at some of the untapped talent of those who are just coming off of their education and who are looking to get their proverbial foot in the door of game creation.
This is the thing: from everything I’ve read, and all the people I’ve talked to, it’s clear that Breath of the Wild captured audiences so well because of several different things. First, it was massively expansive, when compared to other iterations in the franchise. I mean, it was twelve times the size of 2006’s Twilight Princess! That allows for hours of immersive gameplay, and it makes it so gamers can constantly discover new stuff. Second, the game has that interesting cel-shaded art style. This is something that was never seen before in a Zelda game. Third, this iteration introduced a mechanic which made it so that equipping clothes & armor actually kept Link from freezing to death in the game’s colder environments. See? COOL STUFF! So…why does Nintendo want to strip things down for a LoZ mobile game now? Let gamers enjoy what’s currently out, while you, Nintendo, work on something NEW.
I’ve ranted about mobile games before, dear readers, so my disdain for something like this should not come as a shock to you. However, I am really struggling with Nintendo’s motives here. Sure, most of you will say that their motivation is plainly “money”, and I get that. Yet, when a company seems to do so much re-hashing of characters, concepts, and titles, it makes it feel like the passion for the craft of game design has left the building. All of the creative air gets sucked out of the place, and we’re left with a pile of the same old thing we’ve seen before.
I mean…gamers have been able to play the ORIGINAL Legend of Zelda on their PC, Android or iOS devices since 2015. Additionally, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks – two previous iterations of the LoZ franchise – were also able to be operated via touch (so that’s not even a new mechanic). Didn’t know that? Well, now you do…that’s why we’re here. So, friends, I ask you: Why does Nintendo seem to want to keep shoving the same content in our faces over & over again? Can gamers get something fresh, please?
Remember, dear readers: these are just my thoughts on the matter. Feel free to add to the conversation in the comments below, and let us know your thoughts.