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 Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds

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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyThu 18 Jul 2019 - 23:28

Well, I'll check it out nonetheless. Depending on how well I vibe with it, it could be the last nail in the coffin for me being actively interested in new Fire Emblem games until they inevitably announce a remake for Ike's two games. Laughing
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyThu 18 Jul 2019 - 23:38

It's just a odd one though as by any other name, you more than likely would like as eg Persona.

Weird though how we've come custom to this is what X game should be like.
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Crumpy Andy
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyFri 19 Jul 2019 - 12:53

I don’t think that’s right though Mas, if it was like persona and also had the execution of Persona, fine, but none of the character interactions in Awakening/fates were equal to the social systems in Persona. If they were it wouldn’t be such a concern, but putting focus on the weak relationship system rather than the organic story telling of Rolf going from a kid that could barely shoot an arrow to a one hit killing badass seems like an odd move.

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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyFri 19 Jul 2019 - 15:21

Well I've not played Three Houses yet, just going by previews and you have all the calender system, take people to places, build up your standing with that character etc
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyMon 22 Jul 2019 - 18:13

Crumpy Andy wrote:
I don’t think that’s right though Mas, if it was like persona and also had the execution of Persona, fine, but none of the character interactions in Awakening/fates were equal to the social systems in Persona. If they were it wouldn’t be such a concern, but putting focus on the weak relationship system rather than the organic story telling of Rolf going from a kid that could barely shoot an arrow to a one hit killing badass seems like an odd move.

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Yeah, the writing and characters in Persona made the social links compelling and as Andy rightly points out, that wasn't really there for the most part in previous FE games. A big part of Fire Emblem is the stories you come across on the battlefield - Andy's example of Rolf becoming an utter badass with the right amount of attention is a great one. I enjoyed Saber becoming a one man killing machine and essentially acting as Celica's bodyguard in Echoes. The only other example I can think of comes from Awakening with Donnel becoming a demon with the right amount of care and love too.
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyMon 22 Jul 2019 - 18:19

He might very well be right but I was talking about Three Houses and what we've seen with the calendar system.

How that you've got different lessons to go to, social events on certain days, side mini games and a battle at the end of the month.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyMon 22 Jul 2019 - 21:38

I can't wait for Andy's review of the FETH calendar system!
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Crumpy Andy
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyTue 23 Jul 2019 - 6:43

Too many days, not enough months 0/10

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Drunkalilly
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptySun 29 Sep 2019 - 5:24

Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 The_Legend_of_Zelda_A_Link_Between_Worlds_NA_cover

Right. It's Zelda, isn't it? It's gonna be good. There's a very strong chance it will be great. But somehow, will this one manage to feel extra special?




The 3DS wasn't quite starved of Zelda titles. We had Ocarina of Time 3D, we either would have or already had a Majora's Mask remake as well, Four Swords was released on the eShop alongside several virtual console re-releases. Still, the 3DS hadn't received its own unique Zelda. The Game Boy had 3, the GBA had one, the DS had two - ever since the N64, handheld consoles were the home of 2D Zelda.

When ALBW was first shown, I remember the concern was that it would be New The Legend of Zelda, doing for the Zelda series what NSMB was doing for Mario. Fairly generic content, a soulless 2.5D art style and so on. The graphics looked a little odd, the world was eerily similar to LTTP and we were all worried the formula was stale by now. Even the new mechanic, becoming a picture on the wall, seemed like a gimmick.


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As it was, though, the game was bloody good. Unputdownable, late-for-work, no-I-don't-want-to-come-to-your-Wedding-I'm-busy good. The LTTP overworld was used smartly, the gameplay was slick and modern, the dungeons were ingenious and the big innovation was something none of us saw coming; a freeform structure that allowed players to tackle dungeons in any order. This encouraged a genuine, meaningful feeling of exploration which had only been simulated by most earlier, more linear games. In fact, it started us down the path to Breath of the Wild, which along with some Skyward Sword combat would be the kick up the arse that Zelda needed- not to mention the best game ever made.


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I remember being unconvinced by Link Between Worlds until I gave it a bash at Comic Con. Seeing it in 3D on a nice 3DS XL convinced me I needed both the game and the machine. The little characters seemed so alive and real - further proof that the 3DS was at its best when doing 2D games. It was like holding an actual little diorama world in my hand!

I ended up buying the special edition Gold 3DS with the game pre-installed. We actually have one in the house right now, as Shen uses the same model. It was a bloody nice machine as well, big and shiny and pretty. I eventually shifted it because I wanted a Star NEW Star Nintendo 3DS, and then I went and killed that with gravy, so I guess I'm just a fucking idiot.

I bloody loved this game. It was, to my shame, the second 2D Zelda I ever finished, after Phantom Hourglass. I'd dabbled with earlier entries, even put quite a lot of time into some, but they'd never wowed me and kept me hooked the way the 3D ones do. LBW was different. The gameplay was fun, I wanted to explore every nook and cranny, and I was even kind of gripped by the story!


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Obviously, dual worlds are a staple of the series, but I feel like this was the first time in which it felt like true parallel universe stuff, with alternate versions of the characters and all that jazz. It wasn't great literature or high art, but it had twists and turns and incidents, and I was on board all the way.

Spoiler:
 


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I don't think this game would top many people's lists of Zelda games. I'm sure big fans of 2D Zelda prefer some of the older games' more hardcore sensibilities, and while this is a great entry point into 2D Zelda for newer fans, it doesn't thrill and delight in the way the big boys do.

It was an absolutely class game, though. It's a 3DS classic, a worthy entry in this storied series and it seems to have lead to the remarkable BotW and drop-dead gorgeous Link's Awakening remake.

It's a first-party Nintendo game, so it won't be cheap, but y'all should probably be stockpiling those before October 31st anyway - they'll keep their value better than gold, oil or even insulin.

This is a must-have for any Zelda fan. Often the handheld 2D games get overlooked as side projects, not least by yours truly, but you can't sleep on this game.

BANGER.

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Kriken
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptySun 29 Sep 2019 - 12:39

I remember thinking the game was ugly when it was first unveiled but the graphical style grew on me. It also came at a time when my faith in the Zelda series was at a nadir, after Spirit Tracks and Skyward Sword, titles which were okay but fell way below my expectations for the series. At that point I was even beginning to question whether Zelda games had ever been amazing in the first place.

So this game was a pleasant surprise. It was refreshing, solidly made, introduced a new gimmick which was actually great (turning into a painting) and was sort of revolutionary in the amount of freedom you had in the order you tackled the dungeons.

As you say, this game doesn't really top anyone's Zelda lists, which is a bit of a shame. While I prefer the 3D games, A Link Between World's is my favourite of the top-down Zelda games.

I suppose it's because since the N64, 3D Zelda has kind of stolen the show, and the re-use of A Link to the Past's setting has invited an unfavourable comparison to the aforementioned game. But I think it re-used the setting in a novel way, and that it's not exactly fair to compare those two games. They both try to do different things. Though as I've suggested, I do think ALBW is better.
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptySun 29 Sep 2019 - 20:20

I'm in the same boat as Kriken in that whilst I prefer the 3D Zelda games and I'd find that a top 10 Zelda list of mine would be mostly dominated by the 3D titles, ALBW is easily the pinnacle of the top down 2D Zeldas in my eyes. The open nature of the game and renting items from Ravio made the early game feel genuinely exciting as I had my pick of the dungeons for the most part. The 3D elements were used to great effect - I remember the vertical tower dungeon as an early demonstration of the effectiveness of the 3D. It doesn't feel like a game that would work in the same way on another console, much like Skyward Sword probably wouldn't be the same away from the Wii.
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyMon 30 Sep 2019 - 19:03

I think we're all in that boat, but then the 3D Zeldas are masters of the genre to the extent that three of them are in my top ten games ever.  ALBW comes in solidly as my fourth placed Zelda, and my favourite game on the 3DS.

It's a truly splendid game, making perhaps the best use of the 3D on the 3DS, helped by the painting movement and the resulting crawling-on-the-walls making the world feel truly 3D in a way that LttP just couldn't.  It had strong dungeons and bosses, the great music and visuals you expect from the series, and a surprisingly solid story focus with some good, perhaps even great, characters (Drunka mentioned one such).  Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, but the game does naturally invite comparisons with LttP, a game I struggle to remember any actual characterisation from.  I think ALBW comes out on top to be honest.

I really didn't like the 'big innovation' though.  Bereft of BotW's feeling of a living breathing world, the more open structure felt a lot to me like a mistake.  It meant that you never had puzzles that demanded more than one item at a time; it removed the feel of Link slowly tooling up and becoming stronger that way; and it meant that instead of getting harder, Lorule (genius name)'s dungeons actually became easier as you went on, especially if you took them on in the 'wrong order'.  While these things fed into BotW's idea of 'go anywhere, do anything', ALBW's proto-open world, especially so closely tied to an old game on purpose, felt like it had ripped up the rulebook, used the pages as toilet paper, then handed them back to the player and yelled, 'WE'RE DOING A NEW THING ISN'T IT GREAT'

That I love the game so despite what seemed at the time like a titanic error, and that I can still only look back on fondly as a step in the direction of the GoaT, shows how great everything else about this was.  Have it!

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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyMon 30 Sep 2019 - 23:10

I think the part of ALBW's open-endedness is a matter of preference in a linear or non-linear adventure. I loved having a non-linear adventure as it hadn't really been done before in a Zelda game - I don't think ALBW would have been anywhere near as memorable if it was designed in a tried and tested Zelda format. Did it get it 100% right? Oh, of course not - like you mentioned Balla, some of the dungeon designs suffered for it. Still, I did appreciate not having to play inventory manager every time I entered a new room in order to find the item needed to progress. More time playing and less time menuing is a good thing in my book.

There's no easy fix to creating a truly open world and a non-linear adventure whilst still retaining the ability to ensure the player has all the items they need for one specific dungeon. The only way I could think to resolve that would be to give the player all the items they need to progress from the word go. BotW basically did that, but then I think the sense of progression and the thrill in unlocking new abilities suffers as a result. I'm sure cleverer folks than I have something brewing to sort that problem for BotW2.
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Jimbob
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyTue 1 Oct 2019 - 16:10

Interesting the discussion here sort-of arguing over whether this counts as an open-world or not. I think I struggled a little bit with it being over-familiar - despite all the new dungeons etc., the fact that it shared the map with a game I knew like the back of my hand meant that I could whizz through things a bit too quick; I'm also still a bit disappointed with the art style (whereas Link's Awakening is absolutely amazing). But I do have fond memories of the dungeons, and there were a lot of puzzles that I'd never seen before in a Zelda game. I think, despite our concerns, it seems to appear very highly on a lot of critics' lists of Top Zelda Games Ever - maybe we're all jaded so-and-sos!
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OrangeRakoon
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyWed 2 Oct 2019 - 11:48

The most incredible thing about ALBW is that it took the ALTTP map and made it good Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds   Let's Talk Some Bollocks About: A Link Between Worlds - Page 11 EmptyWed 2 Oct 2019 - 20:42

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(not wrong though)
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