Editorial Miscellany: New Appreciation

But then again, that guy seems to take everything seriously.
Cloud takes his position of Fifth Phase mascot very seriously.

I have confidence in the fine LusiSportsFans of this website and feel as though I can safely assume that after the official Lusipurr.com sport of Cricket, it is Squash that follows in our readers’ hearts. I just came back from playing an hour’s worth and let me say that despite my relatively slim physique, I am not in shape. In fact, I might go as far as to say that I am quite out of shape. So now I have started up my laundry and taken a seat in my apartment to write another miserable entry in this miserable series for the delight of precisely nobody.

PokéShame

I never beat Pokémon X. I have not played it in weeks if not months. I do not think I even collected half the badges. I honestly do not recognize myself. Moving on.

Twilight Dungeons

Because nothing I do ever makes any sense, I have been turning to Twilight Princess as my go-to game when I let myself indulge in one of my favourite pasttimes. It is not like I have had some sort of revelation on the title, I still think it is overall the weakest of the 3D Zelda games and includes – by far – the worst opening of the lot, taking a grueling number of slow hours to finally get around to something resembling real gameplay, and even then the ability to warp and turn into a wolf at will does not exist. It is not good. Also, encountering new locations does not focus on exploration and awe like the best Zelda titles, but instead seems concerned with creating a contrived challenge to take away the magic and thrill of a new location.

I mean, Midna is still the tits, and the items and controls – save the waggle – are tops, but it feels like a Zelda-by-numbers and I would say is a notable low point in the series’ history in terms of inspiration and cohesion. There are many bright spots, but as a whole, it simply does not come together.

It's called the Let's Be Fucking Assholes Club.
Zelda Water Temples have a secret club.

Except, of course, for the dungeons. What a treat. The dungeons are tremendous examples of game design and it makes me wonder if they were created by an entirely separate team. The dungeons do what the overworld of Hyrule fails to do over and over again, it forms a relationship with the player. Sometimes a friendly relationship, but usually an adversarial one. This makes it such that the player feels tied to the game and feels a sense of accomplishment as she begins to learn the dungeon’s logic and slowly conquers it. This is different than the contrived challenges at Death Mountain or in the Lost Woods because the adversary is not an out-of-place mission, but rather the level design itself. The dungeons encourage exploring, letting the player take her time and letting her think she has something figured out, when she probably does not.

As such, it is – perhaps surprisingly – the dungeons that most make Twilight Princess a worthy entry in the series, even if it still lags behind overall. As exciting as it is to see more “grown up” versions of the Zora and Goron tribes, it means next to nothing in a vapid world. When it is just Link with his own wits up against a cunning dungeon, that is the time the game comes to life, providing bounds of inspiration lost in the rest of the game. The dungeons can be frustrating, but only in the sense that they have the capacity to outsmart the player, and so finally besting the boss at the end feels all the more satisfying.

But that is more than I expected to write about the game. I am still formulating a potential comparison article between Twilight Princess‘ dungeons and everything but Majora’s Mask‘s dungeons. I think what went right is very similar in those two elements. Anyway.

IS IT BRAVELY DEFAULT YET?!?!

Still no? *sigh*

Final Thoughts

I did not really play very many video games this week, instead focusing on getting back to work (both on the game, and the work that pays me), and catching up in The Legend of Korra, so I am glad that I apparently had a lot to say about Twilight Princess‘s dungeons. Speaking of that, am I off my rocker there? Did the rest of you think that the dungeons sucked balls? I think they’re easily the strongest in the 3D games, anyway. Talk to me.

5 comments

  1. Ahhh Zelda TP. A most appropriate acronym.

    I never finished TP. I never got very far at all. I remember saving a bunch of mongoloid children from some dudes, and I remember avoiding some purple mist and turning into a wolf. I think my horse ran away at some point? And I chased a monkey. That’s about it. Thoroughly uninspiring dross, coupled with terrible waggle controls.

    Did I catch some bugs in TP? I think I may also have caught some bugs. They came in pairs, right?

    Trying to choose ‘best 3D Zelda’ is like trying to choose ‘best strain of ebola’. Does one pick the one that kills you most quickly and in an excruciating way, or the one that takes longer but is less unbearable?

    In the end, the only answer is Wind Waker. The rest of them can get fucked.

  2. We have learned that Lusipurr is altogether not very fond of the 3D Zelda entries save Wind Waker. Anything else to discover?

Comments are closed.