What Little Boys Are Made Of

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The boy-hero of Zelda discovers the joystick of two kids who died of boredom playing his game.No one wants to give a kid a bucket of blood for Christmas. But give them a videogame that’s too dorky, and they’ll be trading it in before you can say Rated E for Everyone.

I’d heard good things about The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Nintendo, 2003) and was excited to play it. It’s one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises, and the screenshots I’d seen made me smile — a big-eyed cartoon boy running around a brightly coloured world. Part of me was hoping to find the innocent doppelgänger of the Grand Theft Auto series: certainly it looked like the visual opposite of GTA‘s dark and gritty Liberty City.

I played it once, and was unimpressed.



I heard some more praise about it, and decided to give it another chance. I played it for a couple of hours more, and am sad to report that my first impressions were right. If I had the designers in front of me, here’s what I’d say, in my best schoolyard voice:

The story is lame. A heroic quest to rescue your little sister? Maybe Mom and Dad think that’s cute, but the characters are bland and goopy to the extent that any kid older than seven is going to call bullshit on it.

Too much reading. If you’re going to upgrade the graphics, why not throw in some audio? Having all the dialogue in text was OK with the previous Zelda games, but it just seems lazy now.

Moving around is boring. For a game that has so many jumping puzzles, it’s annoying that you do a roll when you hit the jump button except when you’re near a ledge. (Context-specific actions suck in general. I can’t jump except where I’m supposed to jump? Who’s playing this game, you or me?) I get a sense for how far my character jumps by jumping for fun — then when I get to a ledge I have an intuitive feel for how to get across it.

The boy-hero of Zelda discovers the joystick of two kids who died of boredom playing his game.
Tutorials should be part of the game. In Zelda, you have to learn all the moves by rote from a teacher before you can progress. Kids get enough of this at school. Show, don’t tell — that’s the beauty of something being interactive. Making encounters with enemies get gradually harder means that people who already know how to do it can get beyond the baby levels, while players who need more help will die and start again. Without challenge there is no achievement.

All in all, enough to send a 12-year-old kid looking for excitement into the arms of adult-themed games. But thankfully, there’s another boy hero on the market. I liked Jak II (SCEA, 2002) for pretty much the same reasons I didn’t like Zelda.

The story is cool. You’re taken prisoner by the Baron Praxis, who experiments on you with something called Dark Eco. After two years of this, you’re pretty angry: so angry, it seems, that every so often you can focus your rage to turn into a faster and stronger version of yourself. An internal light/dark struggle that any kid heading for puberty can relate to.

No reading. The futuristic setting, an admittedly derivative space-opera city, gets across the tone in a varied way. The music is subtle and foreboding as you walk through the ramshackle European city, and the armed guards and the loudspeaker announcements give you an idea of the Baron’s fascism. The voice-acting is excellent.

Moving around is fun. The camera is easy to control and intuitive, and Jak’s jumping and fighting moves are the tactile equivalent of eye candy. You also get to drive the hovercars and bikes in the city, and the control pad jerks if you bark up against another car on your way by. They’ve done a great job making the city feel crowded — you really have to thread your way through the traffic between the buildings, and when you come out to the less dense waterway neighbourhood there’s a tangible sense of relief.

Tutorials are part of the game. From the beginning, you’re trying to escape the Baron’s fortress. You’ve got a weasel sidekick on your shoulder, and so at the beginning he helps you out if you’re stuck: “You haven’t forgotten to jump, have you?” (Usually the smart-talking sidekick annoys me, but I don’t mind Daxter: he’s a good craven motormouth foil to Jak’s brooding silence.) More than just telling you what button to press, or what combo, the game gradually introduces more complex obstacles until you pick up a good range of moves by osmosis. And the tutorials aren’t the only seamless elements: when you do bust out of the Baron’s fortress, you jump out of the window and land in the teeming city. No loading time or nothin’! Now that’s non-stop excitement that may keep the kids off the streets of Liberty City.

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34 Comments

  1. Wow, you just jumped on the cool bandwagon now, didn’t you?
    How trendy is it to make fun of Nintendo?
    Do you also think Fallout is about getting a waterchip? There’s a lot more beyond the game than a simple rescue mission.

  2. I too, am more than impressed with Jak II, didn’t expect it to be so cool.
    Check out Ratchet & Clank, they did an awesome job which I think Jak II borrowed a lot from (in terms of cartoon sci-fi style and characterisations)- I never played the original Jak so maybe this is an incorrect observation.
    The only reason I bought a PS2 was because Zelda had not yet been released, the one game I was waiting for (well, now that the new mariokart game is out, make that two) – pity to hear that it does not live up to it’s predecessors. Ocarina Of Time was a true gaming milestone.

  3. I hope you know rescuing Link’s sister is only the crisis that sets the story into motion. Please play your games more than 10 minutes before passing judgement on them.
    Zelda also doesn’t have a ‘jump’ button, you automatically jump from the edge of cliffs and platforms as you move over them. It’s been this way since 1997. In fact, the only Zelda with a jump button was back in the NES. 🙁
    Please refrain from writing articles about videogames. Thanks.

  4. I love to hear people being passionate about videogames. Be a little more articulate about them and people outside the gaming world will listen. What is it exactly that you like about Zelda? I know I come off as a smart-ass in the piece, but I’m actually quite interested.

  5. I must say, this guy is a moron. I want to set Jim Munroe on fire. I swear, if I didn’t have all of these urges to set various people on fire, I would think I was mad.
    “The story is lame” – The Wind Waker story is the best of the series. This guy obviously didn’t play the whole game. Saving your sister is less than half of the game. After you save your sister, the story line picks up and becomes fantastic. Miyamoto planned it out well.
    “Too much reading” – This guy thinks designers leaving out a voice is “lazy”? Link has never had a voice; it has always been “. . .”. They should keep it this way. If they did give Link a voice, most people would hate it with a passion, including me. It would have to be a semi-deep voice for me to think it is good, and a little kid with a deep voice does not work.
    “Moving around is boring” – Well, moving around is only a part of life, of course it is boring. “…it’s annoying that you do a roll when you hit the jump button except when you’re near a ledge.” Apparently this guy thinks the action button is a jump button. NEWS FLASH: You don’t have to hit the button at all to jump, you just walk off the edge! Maybe you should play the game next time.
    “Tutorials should be part of the game” – First, this guy should think before he types, because a tutorial is part of the game, except it is not what he is looking for. The old man was a fantastic idea. This way, I don’t have to run around and get my ass kicked every time I fight an enemy. Just because Jim got his ass kicked every time he fought old guy, doesn’t mean it is a poor tutorial. If you do it correctly, the tutorial only lasts FIVE MINUTES — MAX. When the guy tells you to hit ‘B’, you don’t hit ‘A’!!!
    If you have any questions or comments feel free to visit http://www.vanillagamer.com and talk to Shizadow on the forums.

  6. Hi Adam —
    I’m glad to hear the story picks up. What happens to make it fantastic? As I mentioned in the article, I played the game for a couple of hours, so obviously I didn’t finish it. Of the games I’ve reviewed, I’ve only finished a few of them — I don’t feel that it’s as necessary as it is when reviewing movies or books.
    I (and most of the people reading these comments) never played any of the previous Zelda games, so saying that it’s “the best in the series” isn’t descriptive enough.
    Similarly, I don’t care what they did in previous games in regards to dialogue, and defending that choice on the basis of tradition is weak. If the designers are going to revamp the visuals, why not the audio? I like the idea of Link being voiceless, however. I think in general that the more blank the player avatar is, the more easily a player can “be” Link or whoever. I’m fascinated by your opinion that it would have to be a “semi-deep” voice — can you elaborate on why?
    I actually didn’t know you didn’t have to press the action button to jump. I would disagree that it’s “only a part of life”, however — it’s pretty fundamental.
    I know that the style of tutorial is common, I’m just saying I don’t like it, for the reasons I stated. Some people don’t like voiceovers in a movie, for instance.
    My column is published in a free weekly newspaper with a mass audience. I’m a casual gamer, and I’m more interested in writing reviews that a non-gamer can get something from than writing articles of interest to hardcore gamers.
    What is Vanilla Gamer a reference to?
    I’m going to cross-post this to the vanillagamer.com forum and we can continue the discussion here:
    http://www.vanillagamer.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=299

  7. As both a game developer and player I felt compelled to enter this discussion for many reasons. I am a huge fan of your column, as it helps to address video games for what they are, an extremely important aspect of both media and culture. More often than not, the dialogue surrounding video games tends to lapse in to a state of testosterone infused single syllable sentences, and part of the process of bringing around the unconverted involves talking intelligently about them.
    That being said, this is the first column where I think I actually felt angry after reading it. I don’t want to attack your personal choice in regard to what is compelling to play, as there is no grounds upon which to build that argument (choice is choice after all); However, I thought it fair to provide another assessment of the games in question, as a counter-point to your article.
    From the outset I will admit a personal bias towards the Zelda series. I am in my mid-20s and was part of the primary demographic when the first adventure was unleashed on the NES (I still remember the commercials, and running to the TV when I heard them). The series has a history of being ground breaking, and Shigeru Miyamoto is largely responsible for creating what I feel is one of the best series in video games ever.
    I have also played both Jak and Daxter games, however I must admit putting the second one down when the new Ratchet and Clank was released. The first in the series was an interesting game, but it lacked the depth and believability to make it what I would deem a great game. Ultimately it had to compete with the first Ratchet and Clank, which showed what a modern platformer should be (deep, funny, excellent replay value for a single player game).
    I still haven’t finished Jak II, as between work, Ratchet and Clank and now Manuhnut my playing time has been limited. Rather than a full comparitive review of my own I will try to mirror the breakdown of your column collapsing both games into single paragrpahs:
    Story. Zelda and Jak II are targeted at different age groups, but inevitably there is some overlap in who will play both games. As for consistency Zelda would get my vote as it stays true to the narrative of the series. Jak II on the other hand feels too dark in cotrast with its predecessor. It is much more about the big guns than the first in the series, though is still successful, just more so in isolation. As for which is more successful, they are moving in different directions in terms of narrative. Jak II is a story about revenge, and is much more male-targeted, just look at the ads with Jak brandishing his large gun. Zelda on the other hand is a story about struggle in the face despair, and takes a much more gender-neutral approach to narrative. It is sad that games have to be talked about in these terms, but guns still have a tendency to sell to boys better than girls. Overall, both games have a story that is compelling with Jak II obviously being targeted at a slightly older age group.
    Reading. There is a story about the first Zelda being ported for North America. As it is told, most of the senior members of Nintendo of America felt that any game that involved reading would be lost on North American audiences, and thus a failure. This is a perfect example of where marketers often underestimate the masses, and the game went on to become one of the best selling games versus installed systems in history. Have video games come so far that we don’t need text anymore? I don’t think so. In the case of Jak II the voice acting is largely successful, but text still has an advantage in one respect in that people can digest information at their own pace. Seem like a stupid point? Just watch a young child play a game where they are given verbal instructions or narrative, they often don’t take it in the first time, and it is lost on them. Ultimately, I think text still has its place in games, but audio, when carefully crafted can also work. My vote would lie with text over bad voice acting almost every time though.
    Moving around. I feel that both games suffer in this respect, Zelda with its lack of totally controlled jumping, Jak II with its long delay time between hand attacks (hit the attack button repeatedly, and you will notice a delay), and both games with their desire to make the environments more expansive than they need to be given the scope of gameplay. This is where GTA:III and GTA:Vice City have done a bad thing for video games, just like Doom before it. In both games the environment is huge, but it isn’t really used to add much to the game. Yes, I know Zelda has its treasure maps, and Jak II has the races through the city, but in both cases they don’t add enough to the game to actually make the environments feel real or compelling. GTA worked because the city felt real, and it did that by more than just having lots of vehicles and people on the roads. It was the ability to go almost anywhere, and the behaviour of everything within the city. In Zelda too much time is spent sailing around, however part way through the game you do unlock the ability to travel around almost instantly. Jak II has a similar flaw in that you must spend a great deal of time traveling around the city, which feels like bit of a set. The controls for “driving” are also flawed in Jak II, and sequences that involve driving through the city can be incredibly frustrating. Given that it is not a driving game, the difficulty in these sequences should have been toned down to allow for a greater level of error on the player’s part. The design team could also have learned a lot by playing some driving games like Midnight Club II, or NFS, where it is clear when and where you should turn, even while traveling at breakneck speeds.
    Overall I think both games are successful, but neither really pushes the envelope as far as what is possible in video games. In my opinion Super Mario 64 and the Zelda : The Ocarina of time still stand as two of the best platform based games ever, and neither of these come close. If I had to pick something that came out this year to put up against them my vote would be Ratchet and Clank 2 : Going Commando. It builds upon the great foundation laid down by the first in the series, and even goes so far as to pay mention to Jak and Daxter and Sly Cooper (yet another good platformer). It is nice to see a company so confident in their product that they can show respect to their competitors.

  8. Yeah i agree with Adam. The Wind Waker is a great game.
    Jim, if you played the previous Zeldas you would realize that changing the game like that would just be stupid.
    You obviously didn’t play the game for very long if you think there is a jump button and saving his sister is the only part of the game.
    You write in a free weekly newspaper, so why don’t you get the facts straight before you write anything?
    Why would you be writing reviews that non-gamers would get something from? That doesn’t make any sense. Non-gamers don’t play video games, it’s the hardcore gamers that play the games. Hardcore gamers no what games are good.
    It’s obvious that you, being a casual gamer, would write such a post.

  9. I think it’s a little churlish to say that Jim is partaking in trendy Nintendo bashing considering that he is only providing criticism to one of their games out of their entire output. It appears criticizing Zelda has caused some offence, as experienced by the vitriol of some of the replies. So I tread carefully with my entry for fear of ending up in some sort of Anti-Zelda gulag.
    I myself was left feeling oddly empty after playing Zelda: Wind Waker. Being told that this is the greatest game ever etc… doesn’t feel like any suitable solace. I played the game till about four islands in and came to the conclusion that I just wasn’t having any (for want of a better word) ‘fun’. And some of the reasons for this were the same as Jim had identified in his article. I felt annoyed at the sailing, why couldn’t I sail around on the lovely ocean swells and explore, without having to be attacked (combat in the boat being bit of a sore point) and stop the ship to twonk annoying monsters with my sword. The sailing felt more of a chore than the leisurely experience it could have been. Perhaps as Daniel pointed out earlier the large game world expanse has worked in its detriment; however, this never felt a problem in Ocarina of Time. I also felt I could do without the combat for the most part. There was a tutorial of various moves that appeared unnecessary, and unused. As when confronted with a normal foot solider a bit of button bashing would nearly always put them in their place.
    The puzzles in a Zelda game are where its at, and in this game there were many, and some sublime, but some felt a little familiar and early on in the game a bit Metal Gear Solid at times (hide under vase, press up against wall). I loved the graphics and never tired of the puffs of purple smoke the enemies vanished into.
    For me though a guilty feeling of disstassifation prevailed and so in the end I decided to hang up my green tunic. As for platform puzzle games I don’t have any inclination to play Jak II, as it doesn’t sound my cup of tea, plus I’m still trying to complete Metroid Prime.
    On a slightly different note another more recent Zelda game I’ve enjoyed immensely is Four Swords on the Gameboy Advance. The multiplayer element to the puzzle solving for me felt brilliant and a true innovation, working together in groups to pull enemies apart, or wearing the gnat hat has been some of the best fun I’ve had in ages.

  10. Jim Munroe…. shame on you.
    while i admit that wind waker didnt live up to my expectations… it could have been alot better, but i found it to be a great game, only a few things that bugged me.
    the sailing and collecting the triforces was boring, and the game was extremely easy.
    but with those problems i still managed to enjoy the game alot, the story really hits you later, it gets really indepth and if u had played the other zeldas, would bring back memorys of past games =)
    like the previous poster said, if u had watched/paid attention to the intro movie with the tapastry, it would explain some of the past zelda history.
    im just gonna end this now with one last thing, when you review a game, you are meant to review the whole thing, by giving up so early, you missed out on a great experiance. my thoughts to you is that you go and get Zelda: Ocarina of Time on n64 or gamecube and play that then move on to Wind Waker, then u will understand why we all disagree with you. the things u didnt understand about this game is what makes them zelda games, and what makes them great =)

  11. Jim, it’s common knowledge any decent editors actually play a game before bashing it. There is no “jump button”. The whole story is not based upon the rescue of Link’s sister. You’d realize these facts if you got past the title screen. Your amazingly ignorant comments about the game and the way you repeatedly compare two completely different games makes me question your sanity of ever thinking to write a review for this game, or any video game for that matter. It’s blatantly obvious you don’t know what makes a good game, all casual gamers struggle with the same problem. Your immature attempts to bash this game because of its “kiddiness” makes you sound like a 13-year-old adolescent.
    Take my advice and never write another video game review again.

  12. One thing i still dont get is why he decided to review a game that he didnt even give a chance to unravel.
    not only did he not give the game a chance, he decided to bag it with stupid reasons that would have been clear to him if he had played the game till the end or even bothered to read the instruction manual.

  13. Wow…how about you actually play the next game you review?
    And by the way, the “OMG NINTENDO GAMES ARE SO KIDDAY!1!” argument is very old. I wish people would stop using it, seeing as games are supposed to be fun and imaginative, not dark and gory all of the time. Quite frankly, I grow tired of the sight of blood and gore in every game that comes out.
    kthxbai!11!111ONEONEONE1!!1!

  14. Wow…how about you actually play the next game you review?
    And by the way, the “OMG NINTENDO GAMES ARE SO KIDDAY!1!” argument is very old. I wish people would stop using it, seeing as games are supposed to be fun and imaginative, not dark and gory all of the time. Quite frankly, I grow tired of the sight of blood and gore in every game that comes out.
    kthxbai!11!111ONEONEONE1!!1!

  15. Do you watch the first few minutes of a film, stop watching and then base your opinion of the film on those few minutes?
    Do you eat a starter course, then not bother with a main course or dessert, judging the restaurant solely on the little you’ve eaten?
    Do you take a week’s holiday abroad and come home after a day because you’re satisfied you’ve seen enough of what that country has to offer to make an informed opinion of it?
    I might as well say I’ve read some of the things you write and because of that, I think you’re a boring 50-something hospital worker who enjoys stamp collecting. Yes, none of it is true, but it makes for a much better read. ;o)

  16. So, you can write a full length review and yet you have trouble going through this game because it’s text heavy? Nice going. Now, the story, you obviously didn’t get through the game because that’s not the main plot, nice way to review without actually playing the whole game. Someone should reconsider whether or not this guy should still write reviews…I’m not saying fire him…I’m saying maybe have him come in after meeting and stuff and have him sweep up…eh?

  17. First I would to congratulate Jim Munroe for the worst (professional) reviews I’ve ever read.
    Not because he is dissing Wind Waker, everybody should have it’s own opinion, but because the structure of his review is simply evil.
    First of all, I thought this review was about Zelda? Instead he’s writing how great Jak 2 is in comparison!
    That’s a bit lame and childish.
    Blinded by things he missed in this game, he only pointed out negative things HE didn’t like(talking about being subjective) and did not mention something positive. NOT A SINGLE ONE.
    Any (good) professional jounalist will agree with me that critic, although it reflect personal feelings, should be balanced.
    And this ill-written review is clearly not. It’s just bashing in an unprofessional way.
    Sincerly yours,
    wackywong

  18. You amaze me how stupid you can be its quite obvious he’s a “ps2” fanboy i mean of course look he goes to bash zelda then compares it right off the bat to Jak II and goes on the bandwagon with that, completely off the review topic. This review is a complete joke.

  19. Jim, this Bud’s for you!
    REAL MEN OF GENIUS!
    Mr. Nintendo Bashing PS2 Fanboy Game Reviewer
    Yes, Mr. Nintendo Bashing PS2 Fanboy Game Reviewer, this Bud’s for you. You’re the kind of guy who can play a game for 10 minutes and hate it ever so much.
    You fail to give your readers the facts and your reviews are unwanted advertisements for other games. (I didn’t like Wind Waker, but Jak II was awesome! It’s one of the greatest games to hit the PS2 this year, and it’s better than Windwaker or any other pile of crap Nintendo releases! So get Jak II only on Playstation 2 today! *winks*)
    You think Wind Waker has a jump button, and you complain because you learn you moves from an elderly man.
    So thank you, Mr. Nintendo Bashing PS2 Fanboy Game Reviewer, this bud’s for you!

  20. “I’m glad to hear the story picks up. What happens to make it fantastic? As I mentioned in the article, I played the game for a couple of hours, so obviously I didn’t finish it. Of the games I’ve reviewed, I’ve only finished a few of them — I don’t feel that it’s as necessary as it is when reviewing movies or books.”
    You have GOT to be kidding me. In your “review” you comment specifically on the story and the way it is told. Yet you turn around and say you don’t think it’s necessary to finish a game to review it? How ridiculous is that? The whole game is a story, how in the hell can you review the game objectively and fairly if you don’t even bother to finish the story. And yes, this relates directly to books and movies, as they all tell a story.
    You are a hack of a hack, you are no professional reviewer, no matter where you are published.

  21. you get a Ps2 fanboy to review a nintendo game. beautiful. ok.first of all, youve never played a game wich series spans for over a decade, no nothing about the series, play the latest one without actualy trying to get some backround information about it and totaly flame it. some reviewer you are. also,maby some of us would like a bucket of blood for xmas. Another thing is that you dont need a jump button for a good game. they should have got someone who actualy plays games alot and who knows something about good games because hyonestly i dont think you do

  22. I must say that this is quite possibly the worst review I have ever read. And by a professional, no less. Congratulations.
    First of all, video games are a form of media, last time I checked. As are books, movies, etc. You finish books and movies when you review them, no? So why do you not do the same with video games? “Because they’re video games”? They’re still a form of media.
    Second, I noticed something interesting. During your complaints about the lack of voice acting, you said that it was okay with previous Zelda games. Yet later you say that you have never played a Zelda game. So which is the truth?
    And regarding that complaint, I agree with some of the other people-if you’re literate enough to write a review, you shouldn’t have any problems with reading the dialogue in an adventure game.
    Third, the game comes with a manual, you know. If you had read that manual, you would have realized that the A button does not always mean jump. Even if you rented a copy that didn’t have a manual or something, the game displays what pressing the A button will do at that time right ON the A button icon. If you couldn’t comprehend this, then I’m really starting to pity you.
    Fourth, I personally think that there is a greater sense of satisfaction from figuring out how to play the game yourself than having the game lay it out for you step-by-step. But if I had to choose a type of tutorial, I would take Zelda’s duel with the old swordsman over any game that just says in a little textbox against a black background “Press A to jump. Press B to attack. Now you try it!” But that’s just me.
    Fifth, what game are you reviewing here, Zelda: The Wind Waker or Jak II? Not only did you review two games in the same article, you compared two games of completely different genres! Well, okay, not completely different, but Zelda: WW would be defined as an adventure game, that is, exploring and collecting items while occasionally fighting. Jak II would probably (I’m not entirely sure, as I have not played this game, but I’ve heard about it) be defined as action, which usually means it has a lot of fights as opposed to exploration and item-collecting.
    But with that aside, you don’t really look professional if you compare two very different games in the same article.
    And finally…”My column is published in a free weekly newspaper with a mass audience. I’m a casual gamer, and I’m more interested in writing reviews that a non-gamer can get something from than writing articles of interest to hardcore gamers.”
    Well, normally I’m sure no one would have any qualms with that. But when you send out a review like this, nitpicking Game A and praising Game B, it gives the message to the non-gamer that Game B is the game he absolutely should be getting, when it’s quite possible that Game A will be the one he likes. But since you only pointed out what’s bad about the game (and even then not very well-Nintendo didn’t say “Wind Waker will have voice acting” and then not include it, so why call them lazy for not including something they never intended to?), he might not ever know that Game A does indeed have some redeeming qualities.
    I’m not saying your review is terrible simply because you only pointed out bad things. It’s just that you either didn’t play far enough to NOTICE the good things, or just decided to close your mind to them. Either way, it doesn’t look nice.
    I believe everyone else has said what I intended, so that is all.

  23. I am not persanally a big fan of Nintindo over all. But there are some games that Nintindo has that i own even though i dont have a Nintindo. (i borrow my friends every now and then)
    Every single last Zelda that has ever come out has been insporational. This is because it allows you to use your brain while accually haveing a good time.
    I would have to say that windwaker was not as good as Ocarina of Time, but thats only cause it was designed for a slightly younger age than ocarina. with that in mind it was still a great game. i was able to rescue my “Sister” in 25 min(i am a 50-100 hours weekly gamer) for an average gamer it should have taken a max of 1.5 hours. If you played this for a few hours and still hadnt rescued her then i have to wonder if you are accually a gamer? And if you are not a gamer how can you rate or Judge a game?
    Well i would get in more detail but i got to go to work now… Just wanted to let ya know (anyone who is reading this to get game ideas for there kids) it would be a mistake not to get this game for them.

  24. Hi Jim
    It’s refreshing to see a review that tries to be a little different instead of giving the usual GAMEPLAY GRAPHICS SOUND STORY OVERALL rundown.
    That being said, it doesn’t do much for your credibility as a reviewer to admit that you’ve only played a few hours of a game. With certain genres you could get away with it, but adventure/RPGs like Zelda generally take much longer to “get going” if you will.
    I don’t agree with much of your review, but it was written with guts and I admire you for trying to shake things up a bit.
    I’d be interested to hear your views on the implementation of context-specific actions in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Personally, I thought it was very effective.

  25. Hi Jim,
    It looks like none of your other respondents have answered your questions, so I’ll try.
    The quest to rescue your sister is a MacGuffin. You attempt it, with the aid of some pirates, and get your ass spanked by Gannon (the traditional Zelda villain). You end up in a small island town, and from there the real quest very slowly evolves until it becomes the traditional “You Are the Chosen One” kind of hoo-hah.
    The real fun for me was in the dungeons of the game, which have lots of difficult and interesting puzzles. Also, as you gather new equipment (boomerang, grappling hook, glider, etc.) new areas open up.
    Interacting with the townsfolk of the island is also quite fun, as all of them have fairly unique little quests they need help with.
    I loved it, and would call it one of the best games I played last year. It has a sense of playfulness and completeness not often found in today’s games.
    By the way, loved “everyone in silico.”
    Cheers,
    Mj

  26. I do thick that this game is all most lick th other ones but this one is the one that will pit the others in the dust

  27. I read your “Blasphemy…” post before this one, and i must admit i was skeptical at first that a single comment on a game would generate such outrage, after all, we are entitled to differ with the rest of the world in matters of personal taste. The problem is that, after reading this post,i realized that it is a much less than serious review of a game, a game terribly misrepresented by its reviewer.
    I mean, c’mon… “The story is lame” (I must admit that before the rest of the plot was developed I also thought it was lame) “Too much reading” (WTF ???¿¿¿) Man, few things encourage anyone to read anything these days, we should not be bashing one of them. “Moving around is boring” Well my friend, that’s the whole point of a Zelda game, or any RPG for that matter. In a Zelda game you’re supposed to figure things out, the game will not serve the next step on a silver platter.
    Finally, I gotta tell you that I don’t like the tutorials of Zelda either, I always figure things out on my own and that adds challenge to a game, you got that one right.

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