By William Haderlie / June 20th, 2016
*The opinions of the author may not necessarily represent the views of the entirety of Operation Rainfall.*
I have a long history with The Legend of Zelda. The gold cart version of the first game was one of my first NES games, although I was old enough to draw parallels between it and the Atari game Adventure. It was definitely the far better product. So, on the NES, I really got into the first game, and learning that a whole new adventure waited for me after beating the game the first time — that ranks up there with learning that Samus was a woman. It blew my young mind. Zelda 2 was quite the mind trip, but when you have so few games to play, I was able to power through the differences and ended up enjoying that game, as well.
Fast forward to the SNES. By this time I was old enough to earn a paycheck, so I was able to purchase and play far more games than I could in the NES era. And then The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past came out, and things changed. I went from enjoying the series to truly loving it. This is still my favorite Zelda game of all time, and is in my top five games of all time, period. But, once you have such a powerful experience with a game, its sequels will always have the difficult task of living up to those expectations. There were some highlights since then. While I have generally not liked the handheld titles, Link’s Awakening and A Link Between Worlds were definite highlights. Their association with Zelda 3 is quite obvious, though. On consoles, though, only two games since the SNES entry have almost reached its heights.
Most people probably expected me to extol the virtues of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time here. And while I enjoy that game — even more than Majora’s Mask — my favorite Zelda game after A Link to the Past is actually The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. And this wasn’t a sudden realization after the HD remaster, I’ve always been a vocal supporter of this game. However, having that HD remaster on my Wii U has been a wonderful thing. Especially because it looks like this will be the last Zelda that I truly love, at least for a while. Skyward Sword gets a lot of grief, and justifiably in my opinion, but I didn’t like Twilight Princess any more than that one. And that brings us to E3 2016. The news of a new Zelda fills me with very mixed emotions. It certainly doesn’t make me worry about the continuing war of adult tastes that Nintendo has been waging and I’ve discussed before. But there is some trepidation about the direction they have taken this series. But there was a Zelda game this year that truly attracted my attention and made me excited to play in that world. Sadly, it wasn’t The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
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