Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Legend of Zelda Zone

So, this got released today:

I don't have Sonic Lost World, nor do I have any interest in getting it at the moment. Maybe rent it to try this level, but it looks exactly like Hyrule Warriors. It's a ragtag mix of Twilight Princess, Ocarina of Time and Skyward Sword visuals, which looks very cheap and nothing like the harmonious graphics of an official Zelda game.

And it's only purpose is to sell the damn game. Much like Hyrule Warriors does absolutely nothing for Zelda, but helps Tecmo Koei to actually sell their Warrior games.

This is what Iwata said last January in an investor briefing:

Also, we are planning to utilize Nintendo’s abundance of character IP more actively. I think the reason that Nintendo is now considered to have this “abundance of character IP” is perhaps because of our passive approach toward the character IP licensing business, which tends to have a high risk of damaging the value of the character. In other words, we think that spending time to develop our approach of having our characters appear mainly in our carefully selected games has created our current fortunate circumstances. However, we are going to change our policy going forward.

In other words: they are going to butcher Zelda. Take whatever little dignity the series has left.

The Zelda IP has been protected very well for the most part. Because if they sell it's licenses carelessly, then you get something like the Zelda Animated Series or even worse: the CDi games. The only other cheesy thing that came from Zelda were the Tingle spin-off games, but with one exception they were Japan exclusives. But for the most part Zelda has been quite strong and consistent. Even the other spin-off games, the BS Zeldas, the Game & Watch game and Link's Crossbow Training had a certain level of quality to them, which didn't leave a stain on the series. And Link's appearance in SoulCalibur 2 was excellent.

The Zelda series got treated like an high quality product and unlike Mario or Pokémon it didn't create tons of weird merchandise and spin-off games. No Zelda cornflakes or Zelda Kart. Because that would just silly.

But that might change, because Iwata officially announced that they are ready to license their IPs to "carefully selected partners", which probably means anyone, who pays good. I'm a little worried about this development, simply because both the Zelda Zone and Hyrule Warriors look really quirky.