It has been a long time since I covered a Malstrom story. He has been relatively quiet over the past month or so, like most other Pretendos that aren’t named Laura Kate Dale or Emily Rogers. It was really kind of hard for anyone to get upset at the Switch. It was just the right blend of what makes Nintendo fun while introducing new and interesting technology. Seeing people like, say, the GamingBrit or DSP try to shit on the Switch was hilarious, because no one was buying into their skepticism. And I do mean absolutely no one.
However, that feeling as ebbed away somewhat in the past couple of weeks. People aren’t quite where they were at in the Wii U era, obviously, but they’re still bitching about things no one really cares about, like NES mini shortages and the like. So of course, Sean Malstrom thought it was safe to start crying about Zelda again following the new trailer.
It’s been a couple of days since this went live, so my feeling of ‘What the fuck am I reading’ has died away somewhat, but rest assured that I’m still incredibly annoyed by his attitude.
And that, specifically, is his never ending crying about things that simply DO NOT MATTER.
What is this!? Let us look at it together, reader.
5 seconds in…
Aww geez… There are two ways to look about Bill Trinen who is dressing like a grandpa and beginning to look and sound like one. If the video is trying to use Trinen to resemble what most Zelda fans look like, then this works. However, I think people are forgetting that even though this is gameplay trailer, this is still a work of broadcast. Look, I had a problem listening to Iwata’s broken English as a native English speaker. I shouldn’t have to listen to that. But the question is obvious:
Why are we looking at Bill Trinen?
You cannot go to Gamestop and buy Bill Trinen. Bill Trinen is not the product. Bill Trinen is also not a model. Why not just have footage of the gameplay and spare us looking at these Nintendo employees? When a car is being marketed, they do not put old dad up there. They put hot female model instead if they put anything.
I have a problem with Miyamoto and others jumping in front of cameras all the time. We’re interested in the game, not in the developer… or the marketer… or the guy who drives the boat that takes the Nintendo products across the Pacific ocean.
The game is the product, not Nintendo employees. So why is screentime wasted on looking at these fools?
30 seconds in….
There is a Big Bird playing an accordion. God damn it, Aonuma. You keep putting in shit like this. No one thinks this is interesting or funny. It is just crap. Sheer crap. I do not like Big Birds let alone when they play accordions. Fuck these crappy characters. They should call Aonuma’s games “Link And The Crappy NPCs”. It is like Aonuma has no idea how to make a decent NPC.
42 seconds in…
Did you notice the poem? Look at Aonuma go!
Where the dragon’s mouth meets the serpent jaws,
A shrine sleeps in the forest with noble cause.
If you are trying to pull off Iambic Pentameter here, Nintendo, please stop.
1 minute in…
“Ohhh! Look how the enemy took seven of his hearts! This game gonna be like Dark Souls, yeah man.”
Dumb ass hardcore gamer there. Big attacks do not matter because Link just eats food and is healed.
End of video…
Geez, Bill Trinen is dressing like grandpa!
What should we make of this?
Well, it is a trailer. We play games, not movies. A demo to play is the equivalent of a movie trailer. These game teasers are really ridiculous in terms of interactive entertainment.
The village looks boring. NPCs will probably be a bunch of retards. Do they have schedules?
The Legend of Zelda, the NES game, was based on the open world RPG of PC games. That PC game (there were several in that time) was largely Ultima 3.
Now here is where it gets interesting. Zelda Breath of Wild is looking for inspiration from Legend of Zelda which took inspiration from Ultima 3. But the Ultima series has many amazing innovations that many games haven’t picked up on yet. Keep in mind that Ultima did invent the MMORPG as well. Ultima IV for the virtue system, Ultima V for the schedules and tight storyline, Ultima VI for a one world map (no town map or dungeon map, all on same map interconnected), Ultima VII for its interactions, etc.
What I would like to see are schedules for the npcs. Sure, they might wake up and go to sleep, but are they truly three dimensional people? Ulitma VII pulled this off by hiring a broadway scriptwriter to write the dialogue for the NPCs (and it is truly immersive). The NPCs will mostly be cogs in a wheel.
“Why do the NPCs matter?” the reader asks. Well, you cannot be the hero without them, right? What exactly are you going to save? The NPCs of course! The more developed and interesting the NPCs are, the more of a hero you feel for saving them.
I have a problem seeing that little rustic village and then seeing super technological airship. Come on! This worked out well in Final Fantasy 1 because only a few parts of the world had high technology, and it was all from a collapsed civilization. There was an airship, but you dug it up. In Final Fantasy IV, the high technology was integrated with some of the towns (Baron which used its Red Wings to attack other city-states). Final Fantasy VI integrated high technology quite well.
Then there is this guy:
Why is Falco in a Zelda game? When I see this, I think this:
I really, really, really hate the animal races in Zelda. Why aren’t the humans in tribes? Nintendo can’t pull it off, that is why. Now we are stuck with all these stupid furries. One great thing about Zelda 2 is that there were multiple cities. Ever since then, there is largely just one town in a Zelda game. I do not care about the animal races. They are stupid. The people who made them are stupid. The developers are not geniuses with their ‘creativity’, they are creating garbage with these ‘races’. And these ‘races’ seem to move like anime characters. So terrible!
Imagine watching M*A*S*H and Batman comes running in (the terrible Batman from the 50s show). The audience would be jarred. Batman does not belong in MASH’s universe. It doesn’t make sense. In the same way, these stupid bird people and other animal races do not belong in Zelda. They don’t make sense. Any moron would know this, but Nintendo loves employing morons and promoting them so they make Wii Us that blow up and cost Nintendo billions.
And what of the female character that is probably Zelda: The Transgender Version? I think Link should start wearing dresses at this point. (No, don’t link me pictures to pantless Link saying he does!)
Is Zelda cross dressing again? Am I the only one tired of Zelda cross dressing? She did it in Ocarina of Time as Sheik. She did it to be a pirate in Wind Waker.
“Well, what ARE you saying Zelda should be doing, Malstrom?” fumes the reader. “Are you saying Zelda should be barefoot and pregnant?”
YES! Hell, YES! ESPECIALLY when she is captured by Ganon. Can you imagine Ganon breeding with Zelda to create unholy monsters that you have to hunt down and kill? That’d be more interesting and more mythic than anything else that has ever come out of Zelda.
And it worked for Princess Toadstool.
What about the airships? Well, we’ll see what they do. I do not like how the Big Bird race runs around in airships. Why don’t they FLY? THEY ARE BIRDS, AONUMA. BIRDS! What would birds need an airship for? Are the Zora going to have boats now???
Notice how he never actually talks about the gameplay. All he does is cry about the most petty things imaginable. From how Bill Trinen is dressed to the complaints about the bird person. I like how he forgets that animal people have been around since since the original game (Zoras) and the bird person could be a modern take on the bird knights from Zelda II. Not to mention animal people had a big part in the role of ALTTP, LA, and MM. It’s almost like Malstrom doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
I bring up the bird specifically because he made an email response from another reader calling him out on his shit. All he did to defend himself was repeat himself over and over: The bird is lame because I say it’s lame.
This post in particular goes into his mindset a bit more, and is actually pretty interesting.
But yeah, I am pissed off about Zelda. I feel a constant ‘war’ against why we liked the original ones. I despise the anime influence, the ridiculous story crap they put in, and how they have turned the game into something completely different. Nintendo fans may be excited for Zelda, but not the gaming community. Other games have replaced Zelda such as the Elder Scroll Series as far as console gamers’ desire for an adventure game.
The ‘original ones’ meaning Zelda I and Zelda II. Which, as you may recall, are as different as night and day. And no… Skyrim hasn’t replaced Zelda. TES mainline entries may sell a lot right now, but the series isn’t flexible in the slightest. It doesn’t have the same brand as Zelda does, and I think that will become more apparent as Breath of the Wild sets new precedents as to what people can do in open world games.
Look at Metroid, OK? Metroid was a great series. A fine series. We all loved Metroid. We may have argued about which game was better, but we all believed in Metroid and glad it graced our lives. But what was the influence behind Sakamoto’s Other M or Federation Force? Anime. It is clearly anime. In Federation Force, I do not care about a ‘soap opera’ between the bounty hunters (as that is what Federation Force ends with).
“Anime is the reason Nintendo sucks now!” Hahaha. Is he serious?
Also, that line about Federation Force, speaking as someone who has actually played it, makes no sense. It was that scene that really convinced fanboys that Federation Force was a real Metroid game after all.
Just as Western developers want to be movie directors, it seems these Japanese developers want to be making anime. Well, go make anime. Just leave it the hell out of our games. I do not want my game to be a movie. I also do not want it to be an anime.
When you consider something like Federation Force, which wasn’t even developed by the Japanese, as ‘anime’ it’s kind of hard to take something like that seriously.
How much ‘story’ has Metroid really had? None, really. The more ‘story’ guys like Sakamoto put in, the worse it got.
People liked Prime 3 and Fusion. If anything, FF is actually pretty light in story in comparison.
I think it is the same for Zelda. The more ‘story’ and ‘dialogue’ they put in, the worse the game gets. Can someone show me a great Zelda dialogue or story scene? The best dialogue comes from the NES games which are rampantly quoted.
Because they’re iconic. Not necessarily because they’re ‘better.’
I am not saying Zelda developers are bad story makers. I am saying they are no story makers at all. They have no talent for it. They need to stop. Like Metroid, the ‘story’ should be in its environment, in its ambiance. I do not want or need your stupid story scenes. They are ‘anti-gaming’ because there is no interaction from me, the player.
This is hysterical coming from someone who tries to hype instruction manuals as being the coolest thing ever. Having a backstory in games is not a new thing. Impa didn’t appear in the original LOZ, but was mentioned in the manual. And Captain Falcon was the same way.
The main difference between then and now is that developers can implement the explanation as to what’s going on into the game itself.
I still love BoW but I am still extremely guarded against it. I do not trust Aonuma. I’ve never seen someone so arrogant. “Let’s make a Zelda about trains because my child loves trains.” Iwata was shocked. “Let’s do more Wind Waker art style because FUCK YOU Western Market!”
There are people who are far more ’emotional’ about what I talk about with Zelda and Mario than I am. I’m giving voice to those ‘disinterested consumers’ because they do not appear on gaming message forums.
Not everyone is going to buy every Zelda product that comes out just because they liked the old games. This has nothing to do with Nintendo, and everything to do with the fact that eventually, people move on to new interests. Lots of things I was interested in five years ago don’t really have a lot of presence in my life now. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the creators fucked up or anything. I just found new things that I liked.
And that’s perfectly okay.