Sunday, February 10, 2008

All good things must end...

And so it with a heavy heart that I remove the Phantom Hourglass cart from my DS. Yes, I have finally finished the latest Zelda game. I played it almost every day, a little bit here and there, and now it will no longer be a part of my life. Sigh.

I had lots of fun playing it - but as I've mentioned before - thank heavens for There were a number of things in the game that I just didn't get. And now that I have a family and a life gone are the days where I would spend weeks trying to work out how to solve a puzzle. Actually, I never did that. Life is too short.

I play games now for fun, and approach them much the same way as I would reading a book. In fact the final boss in Zelda was so obscure for me that it felt like I had just come to the last page of the final Harry Potter book only to find that it was in Latin and Ms. Rowling was sending me the message of "screw you pal, you've come this far and if you want closure then you're going to have to work for it. Enroll in Latin classes now!".

Anyway, I pored over quite a few walkthroughs trying to work out what I was doing wrong. I eventually found out what I had to do and if it wasn't for the internet I probably wouldn't have finished the game - and how annoying would that have been? To invest so much time only to hit a brick wall in the last few minutes.

Not that I'm innocent of such charges. I remember during development of the first TY the Tasmanian Tiger game that I played Halo and was pissed off that the ending of the game required you to use the Warthog - a vehicles that I had avoided where I could during the game. Doing that last section of Halo took forever as I had to learn the skills that they assumed everyone would have had by the end. I vowed never to do anything like that. So, what happened? The final level of TY has you piloting the Doomerang down a stupidly long tunnel. A skill that the player never had to use before. For some reason I let this happen.

Anyway - I was young and naive then. I promise you now that I will never let anything like that happen again... honest... you do believe me, don't you?


monty said...

You know though, the problem with the Ty ending was not the mechanic, but that the player hadn't been prepared for it. All that was required were a few previous game puzzles with the same (though simpler) challenge, and voila! You have a challenging, foreshadowed ending that is fair.

I say that is because it was a kids game. Had it been a game for adults, part of the fun is meant to be in figuring it out. I actually disagree with the trend in game design to spoon feed the player everything. Look at the classic games like Mario! Filled with difficulty and challenge, and hidden things.

Games are becoming like movies and sitcoms. We'll have canned applause soon. But then, I'm an old text adventure aficionado...

erickia said...

haha...nice blog, ok alway stay cool

Brendan B. said...

Hi John,

Have you ever played any of the other Zelda titles?

A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo, and Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 are nothing short of astounding.

I am currently working my way through Twilight Princess for the Wii, and the puzzles are just fantastic. If you haven't played them, I highly recommend you check them out.

-Brendan B.

Passfield Games said...

Hi Brendan,

I loved Link to the Past on SNES and Link's Awakening on GBA is one of my all time favorites.

I was playing Zelda Twilight Princess but got side tracked - I have to get back into it.

If you haven't played it yet, play Minnish Cap on the GBA. It's a lot of fun.