Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword: an Epic Adventure!

Skyward Sword is going to be epic. Thankfully, I don't mean it in the way dumb college guys used to or annoying kids today do, I actually mean it as the word is defined. Like Campbell's Hero with A Thousand Faces monomyth, Link's story of coming of age, saving the world and the princess is a story with very traditional elements that many gamers can be told and retold for their entire lives (more or less, at twenty-five years old Legend of Zelda has been around just a few years more than I have).

However, despite it's near universal praise from it's early reviewers, I worry that the Zelda franchise may have been slowly edging toward a very awkward place in our culture. The deep story and craftsmanship that was built into this game will not go unappreciated by it's fan base, but the newer generation may find it difficult to sink into when the competition for their attention are games like Modern Warfare, Batman, and Assassin's Creed. All good games in their own right, but are all much more immediate. The action is always available to the player, or just at his or her periphery.




This is a shame, because The Legend of Zelda is, at the end of the day, all about a kid going on an adventure. It's fine for adults to enjoy it, but there is a different audience this game was made for. For all of the effort put into making a family friendly game that also strives to be challenging and with artistic integrity, after about an hour into it I suspect many kids will proclaim the game to be “too boring”. Maybe I'm wrong though, and maybe all of this is merely distaste for pop culture from a codgerly 'well back in my day...' point of view. Maybe I'll end up getting the game, only for my youngest brother to walk in, and say in a tone of shocked amusement, “It doesn't have cinematic explosions? It's like a baby's toy!”