Monday, January 4, 2010

Zelda and Multiplayer: Tingle Tuner

The history of Zelda's multiplayer is a history of failure. By now six games in the series already tried to implement a multiplayer mode, but still the Zelda series isn't known for its multiplayer experience. Let's take a closer look, how multiplayer was incorporated into Zelda and what went wrong.

I decided to split this article up into smaller parts, one part for each game.

First Part:
The Wind Waker

The first attempt for some multiplayer gameplay in the Zelda series was offered by The Wind Waker. The game doesn't have a real multiplayer mode, but a co-operative mode in form of the Tingle Tuner, which uses the GBA connection. The thought behind this was, that you often hear about people watching someone else playing Zelda. Nintendo wanted to give those the opportunity to step in the game and have some "fun" too. This idea has been later used for the "Co-Star Mode" in Super Mario Galaxy, where a second player can also use a Star Pointer. But overall the second player is taking the back seat, while the first player gets the real fun. In case of the Tingle Tuner it might even better, if the second person just keeps watching instead of using this thing. Because the only thing you can really do with it is annoying the person playing the game by constantly pressing A to call him or blowing him up with bombs, which even costs him rupees. But luckily you don't need a second player to operate the Tingle Tuner, you can easily use it by yourself. Also, the implementation of this feature was quite cheap. The graphics on the GameBoy Advance are mediocre and the Tingle Tuner deals with lots of invisible stuff in the environment, which you can't sea in the game. You only see the results, you need the Tuner to unlock Knuckle and the five Tingle Statues from the dungeons.

Well, you can definitely say that is not the way to include multiplayer into a Zelda game. The second player doesn't want to play the second fiddle, the execution of this feature was pretty cheap and more or less it's just a gimmick to advertise their great GameCube GameBoy Advance Cable. What we want, is a real multiplayer mode.

Next game: Four Swords.


Anonymous said...

"a history of failure."
I wouldn't call FSA a failure but I know that hardly no one ever liked this game. (Besides me...)

Well let's wait and see.

TourianTourist said...

Well, Four Swords Adventures at least had a singleplayer option and it was quite enjoyable, yes. But it's still weak on the multiplayer side, since you need a GameBoy Advance and a cable for every player. Also, it lacks certain elements, that made the first Four Swords game great.

But just wait for my article about FSA, it should be up in the next couple of days.