Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Zelda Calendars 2022

front covers, the Abrams one has the main artwork for Majora's Mask 3D, while the one for Pyramid shows the Champions

The battle of the calendars between Abrams and Pyramid continues in 2022. Last year I was convinced that I would be exclusively going with the Pyramid calendar from now on, mainly because it had the much better variety in artworks and also because it uses ecofriendly, FSC-certified paper.

For the upcoming year, however, the guys at Abrams (to the left) have actually switched their paper source, so there is no difference here any longer. And the guys at Pyramid decided to make a calendar specifically for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for some reason. Ironically, this is what Abrams already has done for 2019, which seemingly also spawned the rival calendar series by Pyramid at the same time as an alternative, and a good one at that.

back of the calendars showing all the months

For 2021 the Pyramid calendar was the clear choice if you wanted more variety, but this has changed in 2022 thanks to Pyramid's focus on a single game. Abrams still is very reluctant to do much outside of the 3D Zelda titles, however, where for the first time they are featuring the remake of Link's Awakening with two months, but that's it. No A Link Between Worlds, no Tri Force Heroes, no Spirit Tracks, ... It's mostly just the popular 3D Zeldas again, which makes it seem like Abrams is afraid that no one will buy their calendar if it doesn't focus on the big titles.

But it's not like they are getting any competition here. The 2021 calendar from Pyramid was excellent, probably even the best Zelda calendar so far. Having all the months designed like Chamber Dungeons was a lot of fun and the selection of artworks had a good variety to it, even featuring five different 2D games. And from that they've moved on to a Breath of the Wild exclusive calendar.

I'm not sure what has happened here – maybe Nintendo even specifically requested this for 2022, because that's the year where the sequel is supposed to arrive. So, it might be a really good fit for this year. But come on... How many times am I supposed to look at that Gold Lynel artwork from The Master Trials? Don't get me wrong, it's a great artwort and I like it, but this was in Abram's 2019 calendar, in Pyramid's calendar this year and now it will be featured in both calendars for 2022.

The Zelda series is so rich in different artworks that there is no excuse about having this many duplicates in the calendars all the time. At least the Breath of the Wild calendar from Abrams tried some different compositions, but that's not the case here. The Pyramid calendar even reused one of its months from this year... And the following page for April 2022 is also very similar to the current one in December 2021, just with Zelda instead of Link:

month of April showing Zelda in her royal dress smiling in front of the four Champions

The overall design is pretty good, as always, but it looks somewhat bland compared to the Chamber Dungeons in 2021, where the pages also had more contrast to them, instead of simply going with an old paper texture all over it. Maybe something that's fully based on the Sheikah Slate visuals would have been a good idea here and could have made the calendar truly pop.

At least it's still better than the Abrams calendar, where they seriously can't be bothered with even trying something like a design:

September in the Abrams calendar showing an artwork of Marin from the Link's Awakening remake with a simple background

It's as bland and uninspired as it gets. And it's been like that since their Breath of the Wild calendar for 2019. In the past they at least had little artworks somewhere over the actual calendar on the lower page, but they've dropped this feature back then. It's all been very simplified, where it just shows a general lack of effort. You could probably design such a calendar in a couple of hours and then call it a day. It's just bad and there is no excuse for it.

Speaking of no excuse for Abrams, there doesn't seem to be an official Metroid calendar for 2022, at least I couldn't find one. After the lackluster one for 2021 it probably didn't pay for them to do another. But maybe Metroid will return as part of the calendar business in 2023 after the success of Metroid Dread. Knowing Abrams, however, they probably won't have anything from Metroid Dread in it, because it's still too new, and then fill everything with the Metroid Prime Trilogy again. Or maybe we could get a Metroid calendar from Pyramid? That could be interesting...

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