News Article

Talking Point: Should Zelda Go Episodic?

Posted by Jeff Lowe

"Next time on The Legend of Zelda..."

For more than 25 years, The Legend of Zelda series has grapple-hooked the hearts of gamers across the globe. Thanks to the consistent quality of its library of titles, the Zelda brand has generated a worldwide recognition that few games achieve and has become the standard by which all other action-adventure games are measured. For gamers who venture to Hyrule, there is no turning back: the sense of exploration and feeling of accomplishment realised by overcoming a powerful boss or solving complex environmental puzzles is simply something that cannot be forgotten. This winning formula keeps a devoted fan base coming back to rescue Nintendo’s other princess, instalment after instalment.

Despite the passion of gamers and the consistent critical acclaim surrounding the franchise, Zelda sales numbers fall short of many other big-named and widely-recognized titles. We recently wrote about why the sales for Link’s latest adventure, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, failed to soar as the title has sold just over 3.5 million copies worldwide – a disappointing figure when compared to many of Nintendo’s other big franchises. This isn't a new trend, though: for whatever reason, Zelda games just don’t appeal to the larger gaming audience. Given that Skyward Sword and its console predecessor, Twilight Princess, share such similar sales trends, we concluded that the problem might simply be that Zelda games are being sold to the same group of people, generation after generation. Despite consistent efforts to appeal to gamers of all types, Nintendo has failed to reach the larger gaming community with one of its most recognisable and important game franchises.

Would anyone object to three 20-hour Zelda adventures releasing in a single console life cycle as opposed to one 50-to-60 hour game every five years?

In some ways, the fact that Zelda hasn’t reached mass appeal is a good thing. Those of us who love Zelda games don’t want to see our adventures dumbed down. In fact, the Zelda name is so revered and its fans so passionate that it’s almost sacrilegious to propose any change to the direction of the series (Wind Waker, anyone?). So, how does Nintendo expand the Zelda audience without compromising the integrity of the experience and abandoning its entrenched fan base? Is there a way for Nintendo to have its red potion and drink it too? The answer may lie in embracing the concept of episodic adventures in the Legend of Zelda series.

Less is More

For the past several console Zelda releases, Nintendo has boasted about the number of long hours that gamers will spend exploring Hyrule. Most recently, just before the release of Skyward Sword, Nintendo told gamers they could spend anywhere from 50 to 100 hours exploring its latest opus. While the prospect of playing hours and hours of Zelda surely attracts a certain contingent of long-time fans, it also unquestionably frightens off many would-be newcomers to the series. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve come across gamers who feel the unmistakable lure of the Master Sword calling, but who never take the proverbial plunge into Lake Hylia because of the time commitment required to play the games to completion. Even worse, we know those who were once fans of the series but now refuse to play console Zelda entries because they have either lost interest partway through a previous lengthy title or long for the days of the shorter, more concise Zelda experiences.

Take Skyward Sword as an example. Nintendo could have easily released this extensive adventure as a two-or even three-part quest. Doing so would have allowed the company to speed up release times and give fans even more of the Zelda goodness they crave. Releasing Skyward Sword as a 50-plus hour game is comparable to Nintendo releasing Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel as a single entry – great, but probably unnecessary. In approaching The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo should realise that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing all at once. And while Ocarina of Time had its Majora’s Mask and Nintendo has released collections like the Metroid Prime Trilogy, these are more distinct games than continuous episodic sequels. There is really no precedent for Nintendo taking an episodic approach with one of its big franchises, and yet it might be tailor-made for the Zelda experience.

Little and Often

By releasing shorter, cheaper Zelda titles, Nintendo could attract new customers while staying true to the core qualities that make Zelda the best adventure in gaming.

Besides, would the existing hardcore fans really be disappointed in a trilogy of shorter, high-quality HD Zelda games releasing every other year for Nintendo’s new home console? Would anyone object to three 20-hour Zelda adventures releasing in a single console life cycle as opposed to one 50-to-60 hour game every five years? Doing so would allow Nintendo to broaden the appeal of its franchise while giving the existing fan base more of what they want. Of course, some players would object to finishing a game years after they started it, but others would see it as a better option than going five years without.

As Nintendo transitions to its next home console, there is arguably no better time to change the direction of one of its most beloved franchises. The trend of making extensive, drawn-out Zelda adventures has potentially had the unintended effect of alienating a portion of would-be fans. By releasing shorter, cheaper Zelda titles, Nintendo could simultaneously attract new customers while staying true to the core qualities that make Zelda the best adventure in gaming: innovation, exploration and atmosphere.

What do you make of the idea of Zelda games being split into shorter chunks? Would you be open to playing shorter episodes or should Nintendo keep the franchise’s console entries at status quo? Let us know in the comments below.

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User Comments (156)

Malkeor

#2

Malkeor said:

So....Xenosaga meets Zelda?
Nah.

Actually for this to happen they need to up the storytelling by...a BUNCH.
Voice acting...(yes I said it, but keep my Link silent), etc.

EpicNavi

#3

EpicNavi said:

If things aren't going as well as Nintendo wants them to, they might as well make a change. I love the Legend of Zelda series and a change has never been a bad thing in my eyes. Maybe if the short games were linked together in some way...

Kinioka

#4

Kinioka said:

Take Skyward Sword as an example. Nintendo could have easily released this extensive adventure as a two-or even three-part quest.

Are you serious? I don't know about you, but i certainly don't want to spend money in 3 games if i can buy only one and fully enjoy it. I don't think Zelda is the Kind of game i would like to play every year tbh. Great series sure, but I don't love Zelda to that point. There are other things in the market...

Silvervisiona

#5

Silvervisiona said:

It's starting to feel like Mario is already doing it. Instead of focusing on Mario and Zelda, Nintendo needs to just keep all of it's franchises alive, not overemphasizing any. It's great to hear Pikmin and Luigi's Mansion 2 is coming. They did a good job with Kirby the past 5 years, and it was good to have Donkey Kong Returns and Kid Icarus keep the pot churning. It was sad to see Zelda games only at the tail beginning and end of the Wii cycle, but the DS/3DS came up with some great titles in the meantime, not to mention the next Zelda 3DS sounds to be fresh as well. But what I really want is: F-ZERO!

grumblebuzzz

#6

grumblebuzzz said:

Well, it would be something new, but that would take a lot of the exploration out of the game, which is something that Skyward Sword was hurt by.

ShadowSniper7

#8

ShadowSniper7 said:

I like tearing into my new zelda game knowing I have one huge adventure ahead of me....

no episodes please.

Onett

#10

Onett said:

Either route would be fine with me as long as they do what "Starfox Adventures" did on the Gamecube. Give me full voice acting and HD graphics and I'll be happy no matter what. Just keep Link's dialogue sparse and the game will feel a bit more modern and less empty. I'm open for new ideas and willing to try before rejecting them. It depends entirely on how it is executed.

CommanderAudio

#11

CommanderAudio said:

NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO
Unless Nintendo goes broke and this is the only way, this is a terrible idea

Zach777

#12

Zach777 said:

Horrible idea... Three 20 hour games at 39.99 a piece for 3DS or 49.99 (hopefully) for the Wii U is way too much. Rather go it all at once and not break the bank that's already broken...

Geonjaha

#13

Geonjaha said:

No, I dont think episodic Zelda games are a good idea at all.
While my favourite Zelda title is Minish Cap (one of the shortest) - I believe more content is a good thing. The simple step is to not put TOO much content in the game. Side Quests and Minigames are a great idea for extending the games potential length for those that want it - while not having to drag out the story, and the games such as Minish Cap and the DS Zelda titles didnt so much have an overly long storyline as a lot of optional quests and activities, and to me this is where Zelda gets a lot of its strength.

For example; I enjoy Zelda games a lot, but some of the games are a bit too long for their own good. I played OoT for the first time with the 3DS version, and I loved it at first - but I havent completed it to this day. Later on in the quest I just got bored of the game, and a lot of that was because I felt there wasnt enough to do outside of the storyline, and the huge expansive world felt wasted at times.

I know lots of people will disagree with me about this - as some people will happily play through any Zelda game no matter how long, but it's about the way in which the content is added to the game, and having a huge story that can get boring towards the end isnt the best way to appeal to other gamers.

You'll always think less of a story in a game if it started to get boring towards the end - and thats the kind of thing that needs to be avoided.

Luffymcduck

#14

Luffymcduck said:

@Silvervisiona
Ten points for mentioning F-Zero in Zelda related article. Give us F-Zero Nintendo! No, even better, let Link be one of the drivers and have Story Mode about future Link becoming an F-Zero racer! That´s a Zelda game I want to see in the future.

Xilef

#16

Xilef said:

No thanks, rather wait some time for a long Zelda game rather than a short one every year. Also, you have to remember that SS released on the end of the Wii's life cycle, which might explain it's low sales (compered to other Zelda games). Give it some time. It might go into higher sales, just slowly.

JustAnotherUser

#18

JustAnotherUser said:

Don't change anything (major), seriously.
They better not even think about giving the series full voice acting. (Unless it was Hylian, even then I wouldn't be too happy about it)

Kinioka

#19

Kinioka said:

@Geonjaha

I know lots of people will disagree with me about this - as some people will happily play through any Zelda game no matter how long, but it's about the way in which the content is added to the game, and having a huge story that can get boring towards the end isnt the best way to appeal to other games.

You are confusing the story with meaningless exploration that only exists to make the game look longer. Zelda stories are actually quite simple. The problem is, you need to go here, then there,here again...

warioswoods

#20

warioswoods said:

It's been done before. Remember that Nintendo experimented with the Stellaview for delivering new episodes live to gamers via satellite broadcast during specified time slots in the mid 90s (Japan only), and Zelda was one of the games featured in several incarnations. You had a limited amount of time to complete the mission objectives, and then a ranking was broadcast.

Untitled
More info (Wikipedia)

tat2

#22

tat2 said:

If they wan't newcomers, they should make a short title for download and keep the main games as they are. An eShop game that would cost 6 to 10 euros would surely gain attention without compromising current fanbase, though I'm not sure how that would work since I haven't played any of the games myself.

ueI

#23

ueI said:

I agree that Zelda can stand to be a bit shorter, but no "episodes" please.

ScreamoPichu

#24

ScreamoPichu said:

I'd much prefer the way it is now. Rather than having to play several games to have the full on experience beginning to end.

Mercury9

#26

Mercury9 said:

I don't care if it would attract more people.
This is Zelda. ZELDA! This is a series that is renowned for it's depth, beauty and innovation. I shudder at the though of a cheap Zelda game.Games such as this are a rarity nowadays and so much hard work and dedication go into making them!

I don't fancy the idea of TLOZ: Granny's First Adventure...

Zelda is to me, the very definition of how a game should be. Leave them as they are! Zelda caters for all camps. It doesn't need silly nonsense like this.

Bad SS sales figures? Who bought it? Yup Zelda fans. That's all that matters :)

I'm salivating at thought of all that Wii U Giga Byte-age being crammed full of lovely Zelda Goodness!
Nintendo make the leap into HD with a powerful console and you suggest tiny games? It maketh no sense to me!

Yanchamaru

#28

Yanchamaru said:

I have no interest buying multiple retail episodes or download content to complete a Zelda game. I would not mind shorter games but never continue the story into the next quest.

TeeJay

#29

TeeJay said:

@Mercury9 I agreed with everything you said right up until the part where you said Zelda fans bought it and that's all that matters. Unfortunately, and as much as it pains me to say this, that's not how the world works. Money makes the world go round. If only Zelda fans bought it, then they lost a good deal of money, and that is a bad thing for them.

Mk_II

#30

Mk_II said:

Zelda sales have always been minor compared to Mario and Pokemon. But i think Nintendo sees it as their showpiece / flagship franchise that doesnt have to be very profitable as long as it gets so much critical acclaim.

SuperNictendo

#31

SuperNictendo said:

They should just try to up the marketing for their titles. Episodic games never fair well and to be honest it would blow if we have to pay for a game once every year just to finish the story. Plus it would be of lower quality. And then what if they decided they wanted to go in a new direction after 1 episode and they're budget grew?

Mercury9

#32

Mercury9 said:

@TeeJay

As harsh as it may sound, I don't care if non Zelda fans buy it. Snuggling up to the casuals with games as good as this? Changing a 25 year old formula just to snag a few new people? No! No! No! That's a waste of money. If some people haven't played a Zelda game before in it's 25 year history, then episodic chunks won't change that now.

I buy Zelda games because it's not a game, it's an experience. If people like Nintendogs, great but don't blur that line!

TheRegginator

#33

TheRegginator said:

Hell no. This had the be one of the most poorly written articles on NL. Zelda is just fine as it is. Overall, selling millions is extremely good and only a small minority do. Sure, Zelda's sales seems small compared to Mario's but 3.5 copies sold in only six months on a dying console is very good.

SkywardLink98

#34

SkywardLink98 said:

That could work if done right. It would be tricky, even for Nintendo but if they released the episodes often enough and had the right pricing and found the "Sweet Spot" for the details (Like length per episode, # of episodes, pricing, etc) than it could work nicely. I'd swap 5 year wait to monthly dungeons and quests any day :D

Minny

#36

Minny said:

I believe the games should be condensed. One of the first games I beat as a kid was The Legend of Zelda (gold kart, holding reset then power and all). The last few Zelda games have simply been time fillers. Not hard, just extremely long. As the population of Zelda fans ages, it becomes too difficult to devote large chunks of time to playing through the game. SS being an example of needing to play for several hours to get anything accomplished.

I also agree with many outsiders (Non-Nintendo) in saying with the Wii U, it's time to drop the characters talking in text. Heck give everyone a voice but Link, but this is not 1986 anymore, Nintendo needs to get with the times to lure others in.

she_gamer

#37

she_gamer said:

This is my biggest problem with Zelda. It's simply too long and I don't have the time. I tried Twilight Princess, Skyword Sword, and even bought Ocarina of Time 3DS, and I just couldn't get into them. Okami, on the other hand, I gladly spent 50+ hours on, and Xenoblade Chronicles I'm approaching 40 hours. So what's the difference? I really don't know exactly, they just managed to capture my interest.
However, that being said, I don't believe Nintendo should change their current Zelda formula if it's working so well for the fans of the series. I've found other titles that interest me, so I don't feel left out when everyone's raving about the new Zelda. It's just not for me.

seronja

#38

seronja said:

nah, the point of why i like zelda games is cause they are all so damn long =D if they do this, it would ruin that "magic" of the series...

kkslider5552000

#40

kkslider5552000 said:

Lol, wow people. No, this is actually a great idea. Skyward Sword showed how annoying a game longer than 20 hours usually can be (filler filler filler, filler filler filler!) and I think Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect have shown how amazingly effective this can be (and Nintendo is less likely to pull the greedy nonsense that has partially affected the latest games in both of those series).

Beyond the fact that it's already worked with recent games, most of the best Zelda games (see: the other 3D Zeldas) were about that long anyway. And the best Zelda game, Majora's Mask, didn't waste their time with new graphics and stuff and just made an amazing game with what they already have. This would also help negate Miyamoto's apparent hatred of traditional sequels (since it would technically, at least presumably, be one story that they just make into 3 different games).

Now the real question is, why do you all have such little faith in Nintendo as to think this couldn't be pulled off? As a Nintendo fan, I am dissappoint.

Mercury9

#41

Mercury9 said:

@seronja

Exactly! You buy a Zelda game to be drawn into another world. Not to be inanely entertained for 5 minutes. Zelda games aren't really games. They are digital journeys and adventures. They work best spread across many hours. Just because some people may not have enough time to sit down and enjoy it as it was designed, doesn't mean it needs changing.

This episodic nonsense would be better suited to Mario

NX01Trekkie1992

#42

NX01Trekkie1992 said:

no, simply no, changing to that formula would fundamentally alter how Zelda games are developed and played, and that's a bad thing in my mind, leave them as they are, the best game series of all time

TeeJay

#43

TeeJay said:

@Mercury9 I'm not supporting this idea at all. I'm in agreement with you. I'm only letting you know how companies think. Here's how they think : Less $$$ = bad. More $$$= good. It's sad but that's how it is.

Me, I wouldn't want Zelda games to change at all.

C-Olimar

#44

C-Olimar said:

I still weep inside when friends at school say that Skyrim is better than Skyward (Sword), despite never having played Skyward. I guess the motion controls can put people off -fine, their loss- but what about 3D Classics: Ocarina of Time? Seriously, had that been released as Elder Scrolls: Ocarina of Time (in the modern era of course) it would, without question, be considered an amazing game by most who buy it.

Rawk_Hawk

#47

Rawk_Hawk said:

If they tinker with Zelda to reach a new audience and higher sales then they run the risk of turning off the regular fans of the series and turning the series into something it was never meant to be.

Mercury9

#48

Mercury9 said:

@C-Olimar

To be fair, Skyrim and Skyward Sword can't really be compared lol
Both are excellent yes but Skyrim is just a different beast. I wouldn't even call them the same genre. Skyrim is HUGE, goes for looks and sheer content. SS opts for great pacing, beautiful music, lovable characters and fun.

Bethesda also said they would be releasing less but more complete and satisfying DLC rather than the short content of the past right? Less horse armour, more story telling. Anything other than that in games such as these would be a crying shame.

kkslider5552000

#49

kkslider5552000 said:

@Xilef Except no one actually knows what they are talking about.

Ok, to put this simply, it would basically be if a game as long as...I dunno, Wind Waker, ended...but only 1/3 of the story was complete. Hopefully in a way it would be a complete story in its own way (similar to Metroid Prime or Assassin's Creed) but ultimately one that continues in the next game. The first game would have the engine...and whatever, would take the most work in terms of making the graphics and such, while the other games would focus on awesome gameplay and story elements using relatively same gameplay and graphics, similar to what Majora's Mask did. And I can completely believe Nintendo would do that correctly. I mean, I don't want something like downloadable episodic gaming because that has turned out to be largely a failure (since only Telltale doesn't take forever for their 4 hour episodic sequel to be released), but I don't see the downside. It would be the same as the other 3D Zeldas except the story would get 2 more games to be fully fleshed out.

Also, I don't want Zelda to be the same. Because there's no reason. Because the handheld games were almost certainly be more traditional Zelda games, so you get both anyway. So again, what's the point? And Nintendo themselves admitted that Twilight Princess was to be the last "Zelda game as you know it".

Kinioka

#51

Kinioka said:

@KKslider- Mass Effect trilogy has one of the best Sci-Fi stories ever written. You can't even compare Mass Effect that has such a complex world with Zelda. In ME you explore, but you also have a lot of dialogues, informations while you are doing that. Nintendo does not have enough material and content to split one game into three... and SS showed how annoying a game +20 hours can be because it really is annoying. Meaningless exploration... just that.

iPruch

#52

iPruch said:

Another "no, thank you" here. From what I've seen, here there's some kind of collective opinion in the same direction, which is something good I think. Or at least it proves there's a big 'NO' from the fans of the series.

In my opinion, Zelda is good as it is: Constantly innovating without betraying their principles.

kkslider5552000

#53

kkslider5552000 said:

@Kinioka I don't deny that possibility, but Metroid Prime...which btw Miyamoto was involved with. The Metroid Prime trilogy is more loosely connected as a trilogy but that would also be a great idea. Anything that would remind me of Metroid Prime by default would doing something very right.

ReleaseTheBears

#54

ReleaseTheBears said:

I don't want 50-60 hour Zeldas period. Modern Zeldas since Wind Waker have relied on filler and padding to make them longer, not actual content.

Xilef

#55

Xilef said:

@kkslider5552000 I agree that Zelda shouldn't stay to much the same as now (like you said, portable Zelda games will likely be more like traditional ones so we will still have the "classic" Zelda type) however i don't think doing episodic games is the way to change up the console formula. Skyward Sword felt to me like a game that was trying to change things up a little.

MeloMan

#59

MeloMan said:

That may cut it for casuals, but I'm still a hardcore, and all of my Zelda "not at once" is an unnecessary tease. For those that love the more approachable, accessible Zelda, that's what the handheld Zeldas bring. I for one embrace the daunting and sheer size of the landscapes and dungeons, but that's just me. I say nah, keep things as is.

Now... coming up with an MMO in the world of Hyrule.............

hailsanta

#60

hailsanta said:

i would down for any kind of new direction. the formula is getting stale. skyward had some interesting changes, but they weren't that significant if you ask me

warioswoods

#62

warioswoods said:

Perhaps they ought to split the franchise similarly to Mario platformers: preserve the sweeping 3D games (Mario Galaxy or Twilight Princess) as one sequence that releases less often, but release another series of 2D throwbacks (NSMB or 4 Swords etc) on a regular schedule. Then the 2D games can be smaller in scope and give us our fix, without hurting the occasional epic 3D quests.

MetalMario

#63

MetalMario said:

No, I hate anything that is episodic. I want the whole game, and I want to pay for it all at once.

theblackdragonAdmin

#65

theblackdragon said:

I've never really been interested in episodic games because what happens when the devs decide not to continue it, or (god forbid) they're physically unable to continue for whatever reason? I prefer to wait until all the parts of a game have been released before I start playing them through, if for nothing else than being able to experience the entire story in one go. I know this is Nintendo we're talking about, and hopefully they'll be around until long after we're all dead, but that's just how i feel.

Onett

#67

Onett said:

@hailsanta

Agreed. Most people seem to think that creating a new and detailed Zelda universe is impossible. Unlikely, but certainly not impossible.

BlueBana

#68

BlueBana said:

What? Did Skyward Sword failed to soar? Okay then, I'm already picking up my Wii to connect him with my tv and tomorrow I will buy SS.

paburrows

#69

paburrows said:

I love 50 - 100 hour Zelda games, I say more of them! Or at least rotate like how Mario goes back and forth between Longer Galaxy games and shorter New games.

mamp

#70

mamp said:

This is a bad idea for one thing every Zelda fan knows Link's adventures are never short. Also, knowing Nintendo these episodes would probably cost a pretty good amount of money each. I doubt making Zelda shorter will attract more fans, (I don't think videogame length is enough to attract someone to a new game especially if the length is short) not to mention people now complain about how most 360/PS3 games are so short yet they still charge you $60.

Haywired

#71

Haywired said:

A no for me. Though I generally don't care about the length of games (In fact it has always baffled me when people complain about a game being too short. I have more often been annoyed by games that dragged on too long and in a way that was clearly done to appease such people).

But do you mean that each "episode" directly carries on the story from the last one? Because wouldn't that alienate casuals/newcomers far more? As they would feel that they would need to have played the previous one/s to understand what's going on and in the end just wouldn't bother, thinking that it's probably completely impenetrable if you haven't been there from the start. At least as it is (and with Nintendo games in general) they know that each game is a complete, self-contained story and therefore totally accessible to everyone regardless of whether they've played a previous game in the franchise.

I remember playing a game that was a direct "episodic" sequel within a group of games (of which I hadn't played) with a continuing story and it made it very hard to understand/care.

47drift

#72

47drift said:

Pff, what? Heck no. I've never even heard this idea come up before. If anything it would alienate more people because of necessity to play in sequence. Don't fix what isn't broken.

Aqueous

#73

Aqueous said:

No. What kind of craziness is this? I like my games lengthy and the 4-5 year wait keeps the quality high, something I greatly enjoy. The games are fine as they are, get tried of the main story? Well then there are side quests and mini-games to kill time.
The length isn't nearly too long. Some of them go down in about 20 hours.
I don't care how they how they mess with Zelda game play wise as they always pull off something grand with the experiments. Like WW's graphics, MM's 3 days or SS's motion controls.
Paying for episodes of a Zelda game is a foolish and fool hardy idea. The exploration of the area, choosing where you want to explore and what you want to do as you go through side quests and mini-games. Is a core component of Zelda and the idea that some areas are going to be blocked needlessly, maybe never unlocked as they choose not to add them later on, do to time or change in plans.
It would be like starting the Kafei quest and by the last part you don't get the dungeon or only some of it finished. Or maybe one of the mini-games, take the bomb arrow game in TP gets cut out at some point, leaving you wondering why you cleared the river and what was coming up.
I don't think it's likely Nintendo would pull that kind of thing. But I would find it bitterly frustrating to have to wait another year to advance a few dungeons, a bit of story and a few side quests. Only to wait yet again for a game that could have came up as one impressive master piece instead of smaller rush jobs.
Part of Zelda's greatness comes from the time and attention that comes into it. Then getting it after exploring the previous one for a a few years and starting fresh into the next great adventure that will last you a long time just on the initial play through as you take the time you can give to see the game in it's entirety. Then after the beating the chance to come back into it, playing it a whole other way, being a 3 heart challenge or changing the way you collect items or explore and sometimes even taking on dungeons in different orders just to see how one could manage. Is something I like as the long package that I can lose myself in, a game series, that takes Quality over Quantity as it should.

Wesker

#74

Wesker said:

Right now, I'm pretty much done with Zelda. I hated Skyward Sword and Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass. If they made another good dark Zelda like Twillight Princess it would perk my interest, but they would have to change the formula. Zelda today feels like painting by numbers.

Ernest_The_Crab

#75

Ernest_The_Crab said:

The sheer amount of polish that goes into a Zelda game almost guarantees that this won't happen. There'd probably be too big a gap between episode release dates, not to mention maintaining consistency between episodes.

Generally, each Zelda game is also made to be its own game (there is an exception, Oracle games). I have a feeling that people would tire of the Zelda games if they're exposed to the same style for too long. Going episodic could create this problem.

MetroidMasher17

#77

MetroidMasher17 said:

When you cut the golden goose into smaller pieces...
It dies.

This is what would happen with Zelda games. As pointed out in the article, you would have to wait years to finish the game because it would come out in episodes. Some things are best left as they are, and Zelda is one of them.

Hardy83

#79

Hardy83 said:

No.
Not because it wouldn't work, but because Nintendo would most likely sell these episodes at full price because it's Zelda.

Henmii

#80

Henmii said:

"Should Zelda Go Episodic?"

What a RI-DI-CU-LOUS idea!!! Yeah, make Zelda even more lineair!!! That's what we want (sarcasm overload)!!!

By the way: Episodic gaming is a farce! It only works when there is a new episode every month. But in the case of Sonic the hedgehog 4 (and many others) there are many months between one episode and the next!

Zelda should always be massive games! 30 hours on a handheld, 60 or more on a homeconsole!

PixelatedPixie

#81

PixelatedPixie said:

I wouldn't be interested in three 20 hour zelda 'episodes', but I might actually prefer a self-contained 20 hour Zelda experience. I'm beginning to really dislike the amount of unnecessary fluff that comes with each new Zelda game. I'd gladly take a lean and focused 20 hour Zelda game over a bloated and slow 60 hour Zelda game any day.

Edlicious

#82

Edlicious said:

sounds like a bad idea honestly.
and SS was at the end of the cycle, no one would buy it >.>
and aslong as the new zeldas arnt like SS were i revisit the same 3 places basically then ill be fine.

kkslider5552000

#83

kkslider5552000 said:

@Henmii Mass Effect, clearly linear. Clearly. Assassin's Creed. Most linear open world game ever!!!

Most of the best Zelda games are 20 hours at absolute most.

Try again.

Nintenbro

#84

Nintenbro said:

In these trying times of economical instability, I highly doubt gamers would rather pay more or the same for less. You know, there's nothing forcing you to play through the entire game in three or four days. You can space out your playtime as much as you wish to. Why would anyone opt to pay two or three times as much money to receive the same experience? Can anybody please tell me why? TLoZ: Skyward Sword hasn't sold as well as Nintendo wished, because it was released way too late in the Wii console's lifespan. If Nintendo decides to release future TLoZ titles in episodes, I truly believe sales figures will decline even more so. There will be two or three installments Nintendo will have to market, instead of just concentrating on one epic adventure. Which will also cause more of a hassle for the consumer. Instead of trying to locate funds to pre-order or track down one Zelda title, gamers would have twice the fun trying to pre-order or track down two or three releases. I seriously don't believe episodic Zelda titles would grant the same grandiose experience either, and what if a loyal fan can't afford to purchase the second episode at the time of it's release. Then they'll most likely be left behind, by the time the third episode becomes available. It would cause a never ending backlog of episodes to purchase. I would either loose interest or just give up on the franchise, at that point. Are there any other negative aspects I've forgotten to touch on here? I Nintendo knows better than to do this. Well, at least I hope they do.

RaylaxStaff

#86

Raylax said:

Nah. But on the other hand, I'd prefer a short game that's all awesome than one that's mostly awesome but far too padded out (Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword being the main offenders). What I'd like to see is a shorter (by which I still mean 20-30 hours) Zelda game, with an entirely separate Zelda game further down the console's history. With a new approach or art style, etc.

Basically what that Ocarina of Time one did. 20-hour-ish adventure, followed by Majora's Mask which took things in a completely different direction. And people do seem to like those two titles a fair bit.

Also, we seem to be neglecting the fact that whilst there's only 1 or 2 console Zeldas per generation, there's always a couple of handheld Zeldas interspersed through the gen too - the Wii gen might have only given us Twilight Princess (arguably a ported GC title) and Skyward Sword with a huge gap between the two, but we saw Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks in the middle years too. Previous handheld gens saw the likes of Minish Cap, the LttP port, the excellent Oracle titles and equally excellent Link's Awakening too.

I think we have plenty Zelda, and I don't think it would suit episodical formatting. ..Well, perhaps it would work as episodes, but I feel it would suffer creatively. Three games of a the same overall style, storyline and world? I'd prefer two unique games.

kkslider5552000

#87

kkslider5552000 said:

@Vintage

Except the most creative Zelda was one that just used the gameplay and graphics of Ocarina of Time. It was called Majora's Mask. They didn't waste their time on stuff so much on graphics so they could focus on gameplay and creative ideas. Granted, that is genuinely a good point and Majora's Mask is probably more of an exception than the rule, but I think it's acceptable since it's one story overall and let's be honest, it would still be more creative than a lot of sequels. Or more creative than those DS games honestly.

Knux

#88

Knux said:

Hell no. It might work for Sonic, but it won't work for Zelda.

Mercury9

#89

Mercury9 said:

@kkslider5552000

Most Zelda games are 20 hours at most?
Wow, you sure do rush through them!

Mass Effect is good but it's really nothing more than an over hyped, vacuous, overrated and drawn out series of tired ideas, boring gameplay and weak writing. Honestly, the best thing about it is Seth Green.

tanookisuit

#90

tanookisuit said:

"Would anyone object to three 20-hour Zelda adventures releasing in a single console life cycle as opposed to one 50-to-60 hour game every five years?"

I doubt it, but if you go episodic forcing people in a DLC like sense to keep buying pieces to get the full story I think it will piss a good many people off including myself. I just wouldn't buy it. Games in a sense are getting a bit too long for their own good these days in a penis length match of trying to figure out who is the longest and biggest. 20-30 hours or less for a game is fantastic, wish more people would jump on board to that idea and make a great story in that time, not over 70-100+hours as it's ridiculous short of open world titles (mmos and the like.)

Betagam7

#91

Betagam7 said:

No. Zelda should just go away, full stop...at least until someone with the spark to reignite the franchise is available.
There hasn't been a truly great Zelda game since Wind Waker and, as such, perhaps it would have been better to let "Hyrule" stay drowned and try and create some new IP's instead of recycling the same old ideas ad infinitum.

Kinioka

#92

Kinioka said:

@KKslider

Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect. Those games' sales literally contradict your entire point. Try again.

Assassin's Creed has been losing quality every year. And i think we can all agree with the fact that AC is multi and yes that attracts a wider range of gamers than Zelda. In the end, all of that helps... about Mass Effect, please stop comparing them.

@mercury9- ...

Mandoble

#93

Mandoble said:

If a game keeps you on your toes for 100 hours, much better than for 2, who cares if it takes one year to finish it as long as you are enjoying every minute of play. But if you want a closer example, go and see what happened with Metroid other M compared to Prime and you will have an answer about how good is to create simpler and shorter versions of games. Or comparing Twilight Princess (6.5M copies) with the Skyward Sword (3.2M). Yep Nintendo, the most you simplify your games, the most you simplify your sales ;)

ADaviii

#95

ADaviii said:

I believe this article is aimed at me. I don't have time to play games like Zelda anymore. Im not saying I could never finish the games, but by the time I go back them for the 50th time just to best it once, I'm bored of playing the game.

However, I don't believe that the whole series should change just because it takes too long to finish them. What I think should happen is a change in format. Follow me with this.

Instead of selling the game episodically (as in 3 or more different games sold at full price), why not bring back the old idea of using more than one disc (as an example, the Final Fantasy games for PS1 and, more recently, FFXIII for Xbox 360).

I'm not asking, though, for the whole game to be divided up into three parts. Otherwise, it would be the same thing as me buying one long Zelda game. What I'm saying is do the episodic format, but launch all of the different games together in one package. Think of it like Zelda's take on the Metroid Prime Trilogy for Wii, except with three completely new games rather than 1 recent game and 2 old ones.

Sorry if this makes no sense :P

nerdydan

#96

nerdydan said:

No. Never in a thousand years. This idea should be locked up and thrown in a pit full of venomous snakes and a bag containing the foul stench that is the B.O. that resides and young teenagers. This idea deserves to be sentenced to this said pit for all eternity, never to see the light of day again.

madgear

#97

madgear said:

No. For a start, as a person who is pretty clued up on gaming, I had no idea how long Skyward Sword actually is before I bought it. I'm still playing through it now and still don't know when I'll reach the end. If I don't know, then your average Joe will have no idea if it's a long game or not anyway. Unless there's a big 40+ hours printed on the box who is going to know? Besides NOT having 40+ hours would put people off. Console games are getting longer and longer and bigger and bigger - no one has time to play through them but most games seem to written off as a rip off these days. It certainly would not be a selling point.

The reason it didn't sell well was simply because Nintendo practically abandoned the Wii after the premature Wii U announcement. Only now, in Europe at least, are they trying to pick up the pieces and release some games. It's too late, though - they gave the impression they were ditching the console a full year and a half before the next, so people moved on. If they released Skyward Sword a year before that the sales would be a completely different story.

Kaine_Morrison

#98

Kaine_Morrison said:

The ONLY thing that should change in the Zelda formula is to make it more like the original .hack// series.
Those "worlds" felt more "real/alive" than most of the Zelda games.
Meeting random people anywhere, not just in towns.
The only random, non-town character in that HUGE OoT world was the Bunny Hood guy...
The carriage ride in TP was a really good idea, but in a new game, there should be more, like active trade routes and bandits that if you come across, you can either help the carriages or ignore them.
More random people, more true side-quests that don't impact the main story, dungeons and weapons that aren't truly needed. Like in ALttP.

Doma

#99

Doma said:

Wut... no. What we all need is a Zelda (preferably 3d) that brings some actual difficulty and isn't the usual samey quest. Majora's Mask was the last truly good Zelda. Actually, just give me MM 3DS, then i can stop caring about this series altogether.

Token_Girl

#101

Token_Girl said:

No. I don't think this is a good idea. I am having trouble finding the time to finish skyward sword, but I'd have trouble doing it in episodes too - and an episode model would be more expensive. I just want deeper characterization, a more open/non linear world to explore, and a smaller overworld. I spend too much time flying between islands in Skyward Sword.

sinalefa

#102

sinalefa said:

Maybe if the author could compare the sales of the DS games or the VC Zeldas to the longer Zeldas he could have a point about the shorter games being more profitable or attractive to "casuals".

If a main Zelda lasted 20 hours, it would last most dedicated gamers a single weekend, which would be a joke. A nice world is to be enjoyed, and you need time for that.

I also dislike games that link themselves by their story in order for you to buy each of them (Assassin's Creed), specially when you have to pay full price in a yearly basis.

sinalefa

#103

sinalefa said:

@Mandoble:

Metroid Other M was criticized more because of its story (trying to be complex, actually), more than the gameplay itself.

As for Zelda , you are taking the sales of a six month game vs the sales of a game that was released 6 years ago in two different consoles, and it was even recently discounted.

Not to mention the best selling game of all time, Wii Sports, is a super simple game.

ajcismo

#104

ajcismo said:

Sorry, not feeling it. The best thing about Zelda is its pacing: The ability to hammer out 8 hours on a rainy sunday afternoon or play in short 1-2 hour spurts and still accomplish a few things in the process. I like the ability to take the 40-60+ hour adventures and stretch them out over months if need be. Episodic adventures would make me feel too confined, and possibly disinterested if the time in between 20 hour acts are too long.

BattleBorn

#105

BattleBorn said:

Interesting article, but the "larger gaming audience" doesn't have any problem with 100-hour games like Skyrim, which sold SS's current lifetime numbers in two days.

If Nintendo wants better Zelda sales, the dungeons and sidequests should allow flexibility for many play styles instead of forcing every player down a single rigidly-scripted path. They should also try to not ship three years after the console stops being relevant to the very market they want to attract.

kkslider5552000

#106

kkslider5552000 said:

Oh unquestionably, I honestly don't really get this article, I just really adore what series like Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed and even Metroid Prime have done for long term storylines in games while usually making sure the individual games are worthwhile experiences by themselves. I don't think (most) people are getting the difference between what those games have done and the failures of most episodic gaming in terms of downloadable titles.

TimboBaggins

#107

TimboBaggins said:

HORRIBLE IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!! When Skyward Sword people were complaining it wasn't long enough compared to huge games like Skyrim, Mass Effect, and Fallout. Turning it into episodes would overexpose the franchise. First nintendolife says Mario is being overused and now you want to do the same thing to Zelda? Who's side are you on?

Chris720

#108

Chris720 said:

Zelda is awesome because it's long, but there's long and than there's way too long!

Skyward Sword is an amazing game, but I have to sit down for 2-3 hours before I actually get anywhere in the storyline as your mainly going here, there then back to here again.

If you cut out the traveling time, mini-games, heart container finding, chit-chat etc. the game would probably be shorter.

But the problem is, it's not a "game" it's a massive world to explore. I find you only do the story if you want to, I can easily spend hours just finding new things to explore, but pushing the story takes a while.

TeeJay

#109

TeeJay said:

@sinalefa Not defending Mandoble's point here, but I always found it stupid that Wii Sports keeps getting it's sales counted as if consumers even had a choice in the matter. Anyone who owns a Wii own's Wii Sports because it freaking comes bundled with the console!

BalrogtheMaster

#110

BalrogtheMaster said:

Well Nintendo tried this a long time ago with BS Zelda on the Satellaview (A broadcasted Zelda game through the Super Famicom), and it worked very well.

The way it worked is that the player would have 2 hours (The time you could play a day, there was a set broadcasting time) to complete the goals for that day. There for 4 episodes, with about 8 hours of gameplay, and it's a cult favorite among fans.

So I think it could work well :)

Chrono_Cross

#111

Chrono_Cross said:

@kkslider
You should give more examples outside of Metroid Prime and Assassin's Creed so I can begin to give you credit for what you're trying to say.

At the same time, you're not getting the point of Zelda. Zelda games are not supposed to be episodic since there isn't a main story to follow like there is in the Metroid series. Making it episodic would really be out of the norm and most fans would not like that "change" of pace. No damn cliffhangers. Especially for a Zelda game.

It also wouldn't fit Legend of Zelda at all. I mean, how would they execute it? Link defeats Ganon only to find out he really didn't and Ganon is out again doing the same thing but somewhere else? But now with Zant and Dark Link?

Nintenbro

#112

Nintenbro said:

@kkslider5552000, first of all, how the hell is Assassin's Creed or Mass Effect in anyway relative to TLoZ? Second of all, casual gamers are the target audience for short 20-30 hour games. When has a Zelda title ever been a casual videogame, I ask you? Well, except for maybe Link's Crossbow Training, but I highly doubt that counts.

Zelda= Epic Adventure
Zelda doesn't= Casual Kiddy Game

@Nintendo, please keep on producing epic TLoZ adventures on a grandiose scale, and let the casual gamers play their Wii Sports Resort. Period.

Dodger

#113

Dodger said:

I'm not surprised that Zelda sales aren't as good as other Nintendo franchises. It doesn't appeal to kids and a lot of people don't think it is as good as other franchises on the 360 and PS3. I like Zelda but I know why other people don't.

The series doesn't need to become episodic. It needs changes. Major changes. It needs a story that is worth being 60 to 100 hours. Skyward Sword came close. It needs puzzles that haven't been done in every Zelda game since OoT or aLttP (Skyward Sword came close). It needs interesting characters to give Link a personality even if he doesn't talk (Skyward Sword came close). Most of all, it needs to forget OoT exists. The series needs to stop trying to recapture OoT and be something new. It shouldn't forget what it was but it shouldn't be the same thing over and over and Twilight Princess was laughable at times. I want to go back and finish it sometime but I stopped about at the time where you have to find the 4 poes as Wolf Link and went to go compare it to OoT and then Skyward Sword was out and I played that instead. Skyward Sword came close but it needed to be a bit bigger.

I love Skyward Sword but it still felt small. It needs a larger overworld. It needs more memorable music. It needs slightly more impressive characters. I can think something is fantastic and still see the faults. Skyward Sword showed me that the franchise can move in a new direction. It didn't exactly show me what that new direction is.

the_shpydar

#114

the_shpydar said:

No thank you. Not at all.
But if they did do this, i'd still buy it.
Cuz it's still f'n Zelda after all. :D

Zario777

#117

Zario777 said:

Shoot, I thought they meant make a decent 15-30 minute television series that you have to watch at the beginning to fully understand. I'm behind THAT episodic-type deal

sinalefa

#118

sinalefa said:

@Teejay

Yes, you can never tell. If Wii Play did not come with an extra wiimote, its sales would be much, much lower.

Javin

#119

Javin said:

HECK NO! One reason I love the Zelda series is because it's long. There aren't that many games out there that take longer than 20 hours to beat.

kkslider5552000

#122

kkslider5552000 said:

@G4L Frankly I'm just interested in what I want and disagree with the logic of why Skyward Sword had dissappoint sales (or that even they did considering Wii's complete abandonment before then).

Xenoblade has already advanced the story in more interesting ways that make me want to play the game in the first 15 hours (and half of those hours were sidequests) than Skyward Sword did until the entire finale. Another advantage would be, in fact, to make it so each game is more like the other 3D Zeldas and thus avoids Skyward Sword's definitely biggest problem of half of the game feeling like blatant, BLATANT filler. And again, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed contradict the idea that it would just mean the filler are in all of the episodic ("episodic") games.

@Chrono_Cross
You gave reasons and then didn't explain why they somehow make Zelda different. It can be one adventure, just separated cleverly into parts. Mass Effect did this brilliantly, without too much spoilers, the first game has you defeat some built up bad guy but you've found out there's a much, much bigger threat that you will have to deal with later on, and you go from there.

kkslider5552000

#124

kkslider5552000 said:

Ok, I'm willing to immediately admit I didn't think that through. Really, Skyward's Swords problem with filler wasn't that it was filler. It's that you didn't care. Nothing that happens on the surface world matters and you are given no reason to care. It's all a giant distraction before you get the thing that helps you get to Zelda maybe. That ultimately has little to nothing to do with separateing games.

Mercury9

#125

Mercury9 said:

Assassins Creed is the same tired concept regardless if whether it's all on one disc or drip fed to us. Episodic chunks of this are ridiculous. I wouldn't even describe AC as games as such. It's more a slightly padded tech demo with the odd line of dialogue thrown in. As games go, it's a pretty empty, hollow experience.

Metroid doesn't really count surely? If that was on 360 or PS3 it probably wouldn't be a trilogy. It's spread out on Wii because it physically had to be. Couldn't download episodes for it or fit it all on one disc.

As @Chrono said, Mass Effect 1 is full of filler. MAKO anyone? Mass Effect 2 is like playing on a film set and Mass Effect 3? Lazy writing.

Bassman_Q

#126

Bassman_Q said:

@Geonjaha actually makes a solid point. The handheld Zelda games I felt were really fun and easy to get into because there was the main story (which wasn't dragged out too long to become boring), and there were numerous sidequests and chances for exploration to lengthen itself. I felt that Skyward Sword kind of missed it on both of those fronts. While it is an awesome game and an awesome addition to the series, there were times where I kind of had to FORCE myself to want to keep playing through the story; it felt kind of overly stretched out at times. Plus, the overworld wasn't consistently connected to each of its smaller parts this time, making exploration a very minor element in the overall scheme of things. I was also disappointed with how little there was to explore in the sky (only a few notable areas like Skyloft and the Lumpy Pumpkins), especially when compared to the likes of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. Sure, there were numerous sidequests in the game, but the exploration factor was next to nil. There just wasn't enough overworld secrets to uncover in my opinion.

As for Zelda going episodic, I don't think they should. While I DO support them making Zelda titles that are less lengthy in the main storyline department, Zelda epics should never have to become "episodic." If they make shorter games, I'm fine with that; as long as they offer a lot more chances to explore. Because that is the reason why the Zelda series was so revolutionary in the first place.

Nanoline

#127

Nanoline said:

I...just...how...what?

Whatever you're smoking, keep it the hell away from me and farther away from Nintendo. Dear lord.

Shorter Zelda games I have no issue with, look at Link to the Past and Minish Cap, those remain a lot of fun with plenty of side quests and extras padding them out.

I would NOT want an episodic game. No. That kind of locked in storyline would stunt the entire thing. Look what it did to Half-Life.

retro_player_22

#128

retro_player_22 said:

An episodic Zelda title would be the worst thing that happen to the Zelda franchise. Sorry but I want my Zelda game non-linear and explorable. Episodic means we'll be stuck playing one area at a time, that I hate.

TheAmazingRaccoon

#129

TheAmazingRaccoon said:

This would be a money making scheme. I bet you that if a zelda game was split into 3 they wouldn't be a third of the price. So much of what makes zelda zelda would be lost in an episodic format.

Kage_88

#130

Kage_88 said:

Zelda games are designed as one big epic adventure. Being 'episodic' is the last thing it should be. Sorry to sound harsh, but this was an utterly pointless article.

sykotek

#131

sykotek said:

Games are taking too long to make? You can't keep up with the latest technology? Forget going episodic. Give me a good story in 2D with existing polygons or sprites. C'mon Nintendo, I already buy your stuff, you should know by now that I don't give a care about graphics.

Alienfish

#132

Alienfish said:

"days of the shorter, more concise Zelda experiences."

Sorry, those days have never existed. It may be possible to get through one of the older ones in a few hours, but think about when they released and how people trying to beat the game then didn't have access to online resources. There are things about the first two games in particular that would have driven me absolutely mad trying to figure out, like a single bush in the middle of a forest that is no different than any other bush except you can start this one on fire. Zelda II is even more cryptic. I'm simply happy that Zelda games nowadays are filled with enjoyable content all the way to the end and don't leave you guessing for too long. My point here is that older Zelda titles were probably actually longer for most people than modern day Zelda titles, and much less enjoyable.

Skogur

#133

Skogur said:

I think It would be pretty neat if they made something similar to the Satella-Zelda games.

kurtasbestos

#135

kurtasbestos said:

Gross. No thanks.

I didn't play a Zelda game since Link to the Past, mostly thanks to the few brief encounters I had with Ocarina of Time where I REALLY didn't like it. So maybe I'm personally to blame for Zelda games not selling as well as other Nintendo franchises. But holy crap, I love Skyward Sword enough to go back and find out what else I missed in the series. There's no way that would have happened if it wasn't as large in scope as it is.

James

#136

James said:

Thanks for your amazing comments everyone — loved reading them.

As you know, we like to ask interesting questions here and let you guys talk it out in the comments. We rarely say "this must happen!" but we like to say "well, how about this?" to kick-start discussion. You never let us down when it comes to the comments, so you have my honest thanks!

Aviator

#137

Aviator said:

@kkslider5552000 I'm waiting for you to use Mass Effect and Assassins Creed as a rebuttal to Mass Effect and Assassins Creed.

Frankly, I'd love for Zelda to go along this part. Because lets face it, pretty much every Zelda is the same, all that happens is a new coat of paint and a new story is written.

What I would love to see with Zelda (and it's hard now later down the track) is for each game to be completely different from another, ala Final Fantasy. You still keep the basics but change everything else.

Raptor78

#138

Raptor78 said:

Whats wrong with having both options, we already know that the 3DS and wiiU are going to have downloadable retail games so why not produce the game in a way that you could either buy the retail packaged version that has the complete game in all its glory or download the title in a few distinctive episodes. It would just mean that there would have to be a few points in the game where events happen that would feel like a complete chunk if you didnt feel the need to continue but yet make you feel compelled to purchase the next installment. It would only be like when Zelda went from being boy to a man in OOT or becoming the Wolf in TS etc. This would not only give the option of having a downloadable version of Zelda if that is what you want but it would give people who may have been put off by the epicness of Zelda or was even a little unsure of the game a chance to just purchase an episode and give it a try for less investment. I personally dont mind either way providing a game is well produced and above all offers me value for money, it doesnt mean that it has to be a massive game to offer value, I have played short games that I have enjoyed so much more than an epic one both at the same price point and I would have considered the shorter one better value on that basis. So yeah, I think that its possible to produce a Zelda game that would appeal to both camps here, one a complete boxed retail version with all the bells and whistles and the other consisting of a few downloadable episodes that effectively make up the complete game.

madgear

#139

madgear said:

For the record, as I forgot to point out, I actually do agree with games being shorter, I just don't think Zelda should be one of them. Zelda is like your epic Lord of the Rings adventure - it's supposed to be a long, perilous task that takes you over long distances. You need to feel the adventure and that takes you to far off places where you can see the path behind you.

However, in addition to games like these, I wish some games were short enough to be completed over a weekend (perhaps at a lower price). Silent Hill Shattered Memories, for example, is just the right length - you can finish it in a weekend yet you feel you've had a good, full experience. The original Resident Evil games were also of the right length. There's no need to stick so much padding on such games - sometimes a game about a zombie mansion or a spooky town only need to take up a weekend's worth of play. After all, I tend to go back to those games more often than not - when you know you can reach the end in a reasonable time, you tend to enjoy multiple play throughs to relive it once more. Zelda, however, is about the epic long adventure and the vast world - one of those every five years is great as you can take your time with it and truely enjoy it. It's the other types of games that need to shorted. More Shattered Memories please.

JimLad

#140

JimLad said:

Well considering Majora's Mask was made from the same engine and graphics as OoT in one year, and people seem to rave about that game (I wasn't one of them). I suppose there could be a market for it.
I personally wouldn't mind seeing the Twilight Princess or Wind Waker engines used for new games with new overworlds and dungeons etc.

On the other hand, their infrequency is what makes them special. But I think Nintendo need to up their game if they want future entries to be taken seriously. Skyward sword feels like it was made on a quarter of the budget given to Twilight Princess, and in many ways it feels like a step back. Zelda is a series that needs to look stunning, hopefully with HD they'll start pushing the envelope a little more.

Rekiotsu

#141

Rekiotsu said:

Should Zelda Go Episodic?: yes, it would be awesome, especially since skyward sword was worst zelda game ever in my opinion.

Fuzzy

#142

Fuzzy said:

Add voice acting and cut out the padding (fetch quests, slow over-world travel). Had to force myself through about the last 10 hours of the game.

This "episodic" (maybe the wrong word- think more like OoT/MM and SMG1/2 in terms of using the existing engines to make new games/stories) could work well if the games were more refined.

It would be ideally suited to some the 2D Zelda's, IMO.

Doma

#143

Doma said:

@JimLad
MM was in no way 'episodic' to OoT... the visuals and some NPCs were re-used (by appearance alone), but the actual connection it had to OoT was incredibly loose, linking to how he got the ocarina and that's it.
I agree i'd like to see a game that re-uses WW assets (not TP though), with a changed setting and no stupid filler (i.e. sailing), more varied and replayable content, added difficulty..etc. In a similar way to MM, something like that could be awesome. It will never happen though.

All i can say is, with how the series is going (mainly since after WW), they just keep getting worse. Zelda will be dead (to me at least) before long.
Oh, and making them episodic/directly connected to one another (story and all) as suggested here would only speed up the current deterioration IMO.

McHaggis

#144

McHaggis said:

This is a terrible idea. Skyward Sword wouldn't split well into multiple episodes, and I even felt like it was shorter than other Zelda games like TP, WW and OoT. Sure, they might increase the number of casuals, but they'd probably lose just as many core gamers in the process.

The problem is that casuals don't really play RPGs, action or otherwise. Most of the people I know aren't bothered about epic stories, they just want to shoot some bad guys, play football or stomp some goombas.

eviLaTtenDant

#145

eviLaTtenDant said:

i could only see a benefit for the game if each dungeon and its surrounding area got their own episode and these would get a slightly different graphical style.
It would destroy the amazingness of getting a new item and directly see what you can do with it in the neat Zelda world though.
I don't think that would be worth it.

shingi_70

#146

shingi_70 said:

@Mercury9

Is it filler she. The game brings bad side plots from me1 into the other games. I love Conrad Berber and he's a pretty filler sidequest but the mix of good writing and my Dulcie's bring him through three games and had a satisfying conclusion. And beyond the ending and maybe seeing tali's face where is there lazy writing in me3. That stuff is golden. From character deaths to the final assault on earth. Done get me started on teaming up with past squadmates and the Eden prime dlc.

Onett

#147

Onett said:

Using Final Fantasy as a example is terrible. That series is doing far more poorly than Zelda and suffers from a identity crisis.

Watch everybodys tune change when Zelda's sales skyrocket on the Wii U. It doesn't matter what they do with it. It will be a new Zelda game on a new console with HD graphics and a new controller.

DerpSandwich

#148

DerpSandwich said:

With all due respect, I absolutely HATE this idea. I would know that eventually they would release a collection of all the episodes, so I would have to wait for it anyway. I think the real fix to this problem would be as simple as Nintendo hurrying up with their releases! Don't rush it out or anything, but don't fart around for so long between games! And stop building your games from the ground up; Majora's mask was built off of OOT, and it was both awesome and released in a timely fashion. I would be glad to wait a mere two years for a TP or SS sequel.

That's how I feel, at least.

ATDI

#149

ATDI said:

From a business aspect, not everyone finishes 50-60 hour games. That would mean that not everybody would pay for part III.

Henmii

#150

Henmii said:

"Most of the best Zelda games are 20 hours at absolute most"

Well, I didn't read the whole article. But when I think about episodic games I think of 5 hour games. If Zelda would go episodic, every episode would have only 1 dungeon and/or one open area/town. That's not what I want!

Very big homeconsole Zelda's can be great fun: Just look at Ocarina of time or Windwaker. But a 30 hour handheld one, like Spirit tracks, can also be great!

However, I would love a homeconsole Zelda in the middle of a console's lifespan. It's not fun to always have to wait until the end of a console's lifespan! Besides, it would also be better for sales. At the end of a console's lifespan, most people are looking forward!

Henmii

#153

Henmii said:

@Aviator,

Many franchises get every year a sequel. Ubisoft does this very often, though it's not the only developer who does this. Overall it hurts the quality and/or the excitement you get from a new title. Keep in mind that in the past we had to wait much longer before a new Zelda arrived.

Quite simply, if Nintendo did more games for the core gamer (for example, turning Kid Icarus into a Zelda-like franchise and creating a totally new core gamers platform/adventure franchise with new appealing characters) and would attract more good third-party games, the wait for a new Zelda would be much more bearable!

grimbldoo

#154

grimbldoo said:

They can have more games with connected stories, but please keep each one a full game.

Hokori

#155

Hokori said:

Imagine a Zelda game that starts out as you g link then youlay through it for a while, then you go to ep 2 as adult link to fight ganondorf. Wow...
Oh wait that's OOT and it's not episodic

chickenmaddy

#156

chickenmaddy said:

I love Zelda. Best Video game series ever. As much as I would love to have 3 or more Zelda games come out, I honestly think that would be a bad idea. I am willing to wait for a good game, with a good story and content instead of a bunch of shorter games with decent content. I honestly fell in love with Skyward Sword, I haven't finished it yet, but the story motivates me to keep on playing. It sure grabbed my heart. Every Zelda game ever made, in my opinion, is great and amazing in my eyes, some better than others. Skyward Sword defiantly goes in my top 3! GO NINTENDO!

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