I’ve been revisiting Zelda: Majora’s Mask lately. That was a good game. It had lots of sidequests and minigames.
Twilight Princess was lame. I mean, it was SO GOOD, but it was lame. All it did was follow the formula of “go to a new place, figure out how to enter dungeon, finish dungeon, repeat”. Completely linear. There were no sidequests or minigames. Sure, you could fish at the fishing hole, or go on a golden bug hunt, but that’s nothing compared to the optional side quests of yore, like saving Lon Lon Ranch from the evil control of Ingo.
Ingo. Remember how Zelda used to have characters who were interesting and did things? The Twilight Princess characters clearly have no life beyond standing around and waiting for Link to talk to them, so they can tell him what to do next. How can I love the characters when they have such small personalities?
Twilight Princess tries to have good characters, of course. But you only see Malo once before he’s kidnapped, so it didn’t have much of an effect. Same thing with Ilia being kidnapped and both times Colin gets kidnapped. Kidnapped, kidnapped, kidnapped. Couldn’t they think of a new motivation for Link besides “rescue the kidnapped person”?
Remember how there were fifty or so islands in Wind Waker, but only about three of them had towns with characters? Twilight Princess is the same way. It’s big and lonely. Only now the towns are just as big and lonely as the rest of Hyrule. Kakariko Village has dozens of houses, even a hotel, but only four residents. Hyrule Castle Town is teeming with people who are running around doing things, but you can’t talk to any of them. I miss being able to wander around town and talk to everyone to hear interesting things.
There’s another problem with big worlds that I’ve noticed. If there’s a three hour gap between when you leave Ordu Village and when you return, well, it’s kind of hard to remember what Ordu Village is like! And it’s sad to say, but the worst offender is Zelda herself, because there’s at least a twenty hour gap between each of the three times you see her. What is Zelda doing during the whole game, anyway? You only see her inside the tower, doing nothing. Are we supposed to think she spends all her time in the tower, not doing anything to help save her world? How boring. I liked it when Zelda did her best to help save the world.
I sure hope Wii Zelda is better. Wouldn’t it be interesting if they used the advanced technology nowdays to make a Zelda game with MORE characters than Ocarina of Time had? They could make the characters all related to the main quest somehow. Or the characters could be fun diversions from the main quest, like the people on Lon Lon Ranch. I don’t think I’d care much, as long as they’re interesting!