The Legend of Zelda 3DS; What Does It Need to be Successful?

1. To be in 3D like Ocarina of Time 3D, rather than pseudo 3D like Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks

Come on, there was already barely a justification for this on the original DS (which could handle Nintendo 64 level games like Super Mario 64 DS and Metroid Prime Hunters perfectly well), and on the 3DS going back to that style would be utter madness.

If your system can handle Ocarina of Time 3D, Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Luigi’s Mansion 2 and Resident Evil Revelations without a sweat, then it should easily be able to handle a roughly Gamecube level 3D Zelda game.

If the 3DS can handle this, it can handle a 3D Zelda game.

Not to mention, most of the 3D ones are the better received and higher selling Zelda games, so you might as well learn from those rather than the likes of Spirit Tracks.

2. A smaller world with more densely packed together content

Now I know the design of the sky and three provinces in Skyward Sword was meant to achieve this in some fashion, but you have to admit the sky still felt almost devoid of content outside a few main areas.  And that’s been a problem across most of the series now, they’ve gone for over the top fancy worlds with tons of space to explore, but haven’t been able to fill them with enough content to keep them interesting.  See the ocean in Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass, overworld in Twilight Princess and pretty much everywhere in Spirit Tracks (which I’m sure is 90% only explorable by train).

Looks nice; pity it had a lack of things in it.

The logical way to counter this? Make the world smaller, like how it was in the Nintendo 64 titles.  Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask never felt like their worlds were lacking in content, and for 2D games, the Oracle games, Minish Cap and Link’s Awakening showed you could have an interesting setting without making it ridiculously massive with minutes long journeys between important areas.

3. Don’t focus too much on 3D, gyro controls or touch screen controls

Just a traditional control scheme would be nice here, like the one used in Ocarina of Time 3D after you turn off the gyro control options. Touch screen controls have always been a bit finicky and annoying to use for games more complex than you’d find on the app store (especially when it comes to actually moving your character in 3D, like the DS Zelda games and Mario 64 DS), gyro controls seem to fail to consider that most people don’t play video games standing up, and that a lot of people don’t really want to physically turn around just to aim weapons (not to mention, the Wii remote’s always worked better in this respect than any handheld), and 3D should compliment the game, not be the very core of it.

Or in other words, I don’t think the game should be like Super Mario 3D Land and be designed around perspective tricks and how many ways you wow people with the 3D effect, we already know Aonuma has enough problems designing Zelda games to be more than gimmicky puzzles as it is…

So what this game should be like in this respect should be a traditionally controlled Zelda game which works about the same as how Ocarina of Time/Majora’s Mask/Wind Waker does, with no gyro or touch screen controls as the central gimmick and 3D used tastefully like how it was in Ocarina of Time 3D.

4. To not be a sequel to Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks

Wouldn’t it be much better to have the 3DS Zelda game actually set in Hyrule rather than years after it’s destruction by flood?  In a kingdom where instead of industrial revolution era technology it’d still be all high fantasy like in a way similar to Lord of the Rings, and where boats and trains are absent?

Where enemies people actually care about like Darknuts, Stalfos, Moblins and various others are in the game rather than their poorly designed future counterparts such as Phantoms and whatever the hell Spirit Tracks used instead of Moblins and Bokoblins?

Oh, and more variety too, rather than the twenty different palette swapped species of Bokoblins found in Skyward Sword:

Note: The above is just the ones there are pictures of on Zelda Wiki, there are also green palette swaps of most of them.

So it’d be great to have a game with everyone’s favourite enemies and actually set in good old Hyrule rather than in some future equivalent with all the lame enemies that brings.

5. A conveniant save system

Not sure if the DS Zelda games have one of these, and I’m assuming they do, but another handheld Zelda game needs to a quick and easy to use save system.  Best solution is simply to let the player save whenever they want, and resume from the very point they saved.  This is because the 3DS is a handheld console, and whether people like it or not, gamers don’t play handheld games like they do console ones (aka in one place next to a power supply).

They play them for short periods of time when possible, and don’t particularly want to end up back at the Temple of Time or start of the game whenever they resume, or desperately run around looking for a save point.

Please don’t bring this system back…

6. Divide the game’s content into shorter sections

This doesn’t mean the game needs to be short as a whole, just that things like dungeons, puzzles, battles and field areas should be possible to ‘complete’ in one sitting before the 3DS runs out of battery life.  I mean, look at the kind of games that are popular on handheld consoles and the kinds popular on app stores, they’re simple games divided into bite sized chunks where the areas are generally kept seperate from one another.

This is why Nintendo released Super Mario 3D Land, because it’s a game which can be played one level at a time when riding on public transport/commuting to work.  And while dividing the Zelda series into levels generally doesn’t work (see Four Swords or Skyward Sword’s surface locations), I do think it’d be better if every tme you played the game you’d know you’d be getting a significant amount further into the adventure rather than just slowly solving puzzles and exploring random parts of the dungeons piecemeal.  Perhaps they should have the dungeons be smaller than in most games, yet have enough of them that you get the same general amount of content regardless.

7. A way to replay individual areas

The boss rush mode found in Ocarina of Time 3D and Skyward Sword is a very good start here, but I think the replay value of a Zelda 3DS game would be much improved if you could replay individual areas and events, maybe even with your current weaponry.

It’s an interesting gimmick to think about it, and here’s how I’d think it’d work:

The game would be ‘divided’ into sections that take about 15 minutes to complete.  This wouldn’t mean they’d be physically divided by walls or barriers like in Skyward Sword or Four Swords, just that the game would keep track of which parts you’ve beaten.

You’d then be able to choose to reset the area back to how it was before you’d beaten it, and have the option to either use your current items/weapons or the ones you had at the time, like how the monochrome boss refights in The Wind Waker worked.

It wouldn’t affect any connected areas/sections of the game, just the one you chose.  So if you want to walk out mid ‘challenge’ and go to Kakariko Village or Hyrule Castle Town, you would, and they’d still be in one piece.

But if you return, then you’d end up in the challenge version until you choose to stop ‘reliving the past’ from the menu.

Maybe tie the Timeshift Stones from Skyward Sword into it somehow and have it explain that by activating them, you’re returning the area to how it was before your visit/quest.

If you need a reason why this is potentially a great idea, think back to The Wind Waker.  Remember how neat it was when you stormed Forsaken Fortress after getting the Master Sword, or how you killed all those Moblins and Darknuts in Hyrule Castle?  And then how disappointing it was that when you returned, both those areas were completely empty?  Imagine how great it’d be if you could relive those events without having to replay half the game!

Heck, imagine how more awesome it’d be if you could relive those with all the weapons you got nearer the end of the game!  Storming Forsaken Fortress with say, the Hookshot, Fire and Ice Arrows and fully powered up Master Sword, completely slaughtering everything and everyone in your path!  Or if in Ocarina of Time, you could replay the child dungeons as Adult Link and mass kill all the monsters with fancy items without even having to consider running or using strategy.  That’d be pretty fun, right?

It’d also help Nintendo market the game through word of mouth, since if you’ve ever wanted to introduce new players to the series, it’s too difficult to do so seeing as you’d have to start a new game to show them the exciting aspects of it.

8. Don’t call the game ‘New Legend of Zelda’

New Super Mario Bros made sense given how it was about twenty years since the last 2D Mario platformer, and New Super Mario Bros Wii was a Wii based sequel to that game.  But no one likes the names ‘New Super Mario Bros 2’ and ‘New Super Mario Bros Mii’, because they just don’t make sense.  What’s new about it any more?  How can New Super Mario Bros 2 be the second game in a three game series?  Why just add ‘Mii’ to the title?

Instead, give the 3DS Zelda game a nice traditional title (presumably involving some instrument/object and some word describing the premise) and just consider it a proper Zelda game, the next released after Skyward Sword.

That’s all the things I’d want to see in the 3DS Legend of Zelda game, and what would make the game work so well on the console.  But what do you want to see in the Legend of Zelda 3DS?


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9 years ago

I agreed with everything you said besides rhe shorter stuff. I want the temples or whatever they will be to be long. It won’t be a problem. That’s what sleep mode is for. I’m sure nintendo will continue to upgrade it. But most everything else you said I agreed with