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Realism vs. Style: the Zelda Debate

Erasmus Darwin Re:A vote for great gameplay either way (441 comments)

"every person over the age of 25 that I've heard comment on the cel-shading has been supportive of it. The only people complaining about the style not being sufficiently grown-up are 14 year old morons who have no sense of how not to bitch about things, and no idea of what adult actually means. They want the blood and guts style in an effort to seem macho. they have no concept of game development, art, or the technology."

And I could argue that the proponents of the cel-shaded Zelda seem to rely on ad hominem attacks and false assertations about the people they disagree with in order to booster their own opinion, much as you seem to be doing.

First, some quick background on me: I'm 28, I love video games, and I even enjoy cartoons, if they've got enough of a hook to interest me. The last 3 GTA games have been some of my all-time favorites, more so for the free-form travel and exploration than anything else, though I also like that they don't pull punches on some of the more graphic content (which fits well with the overall criminal theme of the games). However, also on my favorite list are the two US released Ape Escape games -- games with horrifically bad voice acting, cartoony graphics, silly plots, and inconsistent difficulty, but they're fun as hell so I could overlook the small stuff. It's also worth noting that I originally bought my Gamecube (which was my second console of this generation, as I already owned a PS2) in order to get in on an Animal Crossing craze that was sweeping through another forum I was on.

Given my background, I think it would be fair to say that I'm not automatically prejudiced against a game because it's less sophisticated or even aimed at a "kiddy" market. I already own plenty of games over which people could challenge my "street cred" or whatever other wannabe-badass status the pro-cel-shading crowd is using to try and discredit their opponents. That being said, I still didn't like Wind Waker, largely for stylistic reasons.

In my opinion, the problem with Wind Waker isn't exclusive to the cel-shading, but the cell-shading is the most blatant symptom of the larger stylistic problem. That larger problem is that Wind Waker seems to be closer to the Mario games in style than it does its actual predecessors. If you were to take copies of Mario64, Ocarina of Time, and Wind Waker, and then in each game try multiple attacks(Zelda)/jumps(Mario) and also picking up items (from chests in Zelda, stars in Mario), you'll notice that WW is a lot more like Mario64. Overall, I found the Mario similarities too disconcerting in what was supposed to be a Zelda game.

There are, of course, a number of other problems with WW that made me give up after reaching the boat. Instead of the central valley like Ocarina of Time had (which floored me the first time I ran around in it), the game features a larger but less interesting ocean that makes each area feel like its own isolated zone with too much travel time to get there. It also didn't help that the first WW dungeon featured quite a bit of forced stealth -- a feature that no one seems to like; at least Ocarina of Time's forced stealth dungeon had a more interested implementation and wasn't forced upon the player first thing.

about 9 years ago

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