New ‘Zelda’ plays new tune

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By Yasmeen Salama / Inscape Editor

Bring in the giant monsters (Games Press)

By Yasmeen Salama / Inscape Editor

Gaming has come a long way since Nintendo’s release of “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past,” considered one of the best games ever made.

Because “Zelda” games don’t come out very quickly, whenever another is on its way, gamers can generally mark off a national holiday on their calendars.

Well mark off November 20 because “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” is coming to the Nintendo Wii.

One thing that is unique about the “Zelda” games is that none of them have really failed yet.

Fans have their favorites and a few may say a particular game was not the best but overall, “Zelda” has yet to disappoint.

The release of the best game ever made, “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” introduced a vast 3D world that revolutionized open-world games.

With its mix of a classic hero’s tale, an iconic villain, a vast world to explore, beautiful music, and stunning graphics (for it’s time), the game will always be a beloved classic.

“Majora’s Mask” was released for the Nintendo 64 shortly after “Ocarina of Time” and it may be the most stressful game ever made.

With only three days to complete each mission, Link, the main character, had to reset time repeatedly, leaving gamers a little frustrated at having to play parts of the game multiple times.

But for those who managed to get through it, in hindsight it was a great idea for a game.

“The Wind Waker” was a gamble on Nintendo’s part. Fans of the series were somewhat disappointed to see the cartoon-like animation, especially after seeing the mature image of Link in “Ocarina of Time.”

A typical seafaring adventure, complete with buried treasure and pirates, the game had a charm to it that extended beyond the characters fans grew to love in the other games.

And then there was Nintendo’s first “Zelda” game for the Wii motion controller, “Twilight Princess.” They reverted back to the dark, mature Link and introduced a detailed world with lurid, otherworld-like images.

The game was sleek and beautiful, introducing the mysterious Twilight Realm as a parallel world to the kingdom of Hyrule. Link even gets to be a wolf for a portion of the game, a fact that many gamers didn’t care for but as a story concept held a certain flare.

So fans of the series have been treated to an annoying talking fairy, changing the direction of the wind, learning to play the ocarina, turning into a wolf, a moon with an evil face threatening to crush the earth, a beautiful princess who always needs saving and a plethora of memorable characters of fantasy races.

What could “Skyward Sword” possibly give fans that they haven’t already gotten?

Well, it sounds like Nintendo’s got a few tricks up their sleeves.

In this next game, Link is from the Skyworld in which players get to fly on giant bird-like beasts, something they haven’t done yet.

Zelda is supposed to be a long-time friend rather than a princess, a curious change. The animation is . . . different. Not cartoonish like “The Windwaker” or dark like “Twilight Princess” but sort of artistic.

It’s rather like a water color painting, which could be amazing after seeing all these games where the characters look altogether too realistic.

The game also introduces a few new races of people and if they’re anything like the fire-haired Gerudos or the graceful Zoras, fans will be very pleased.

So it seems Nintendo is stretching the possibilities again.

Despite all its motion technology, the Wii has been pretty abysmal in the realm of actual games. Perhaps a “Zelda” game is just what it needs to see it go out with a bang before Nintendo releases their new system.

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