Ducktales and Zelda

I’m sure at this point we’ve all seen the A Link to the Past 2 trailers and all. There seems to be excitement about it on the Internet that I don’t share. I can’t get myself excited on the fact that I would be able to play ALttP all over again with slight changes. This should’ve been a similar addition what Ocarina of Time’s Master Quest was.

I wonder what  were Nintendo’s thoughts when they devised this. Was it  something along the lines of Geez, people sure liked that SNES game, but how could we make it more annoying and gimmicky? or was it We want to rework one of the best games we had for our handheld in trouble! It’s shameless abuse of nostalgia, much like Ducktales Remastered is. It’s also apparent that both games suffer already from being made in the modern game era.

While the Legend of Zelda as a series is still in the minds of the core audience (to an extent,) Ducktales has been dormant and unused for long time now. Even the three companies involved in developing Ducktales Remastered agree that there has been very little buzz on Ducktales. Are they using this game to gauge the possible revival of the franchise for modern generation? If they are, Disney is stupider a company than I thought. You really don’t want to see if an animation series has potential based on a success of a video game.

While ALttP2 will be decently successful because of the raving fanbase, as shattered as it is, Ducktales has to fight against obscurity. Hipsters will buy it because of that, but that market is small. People with nostalgia for the original game are the target market here because of this. It’s weird to think that Ducktales is aimed at people from 25-years and up. Not that an adult couldn’t enjoy it, but it’s a cartoon best watched young, and were at their best when you just came from an episode and wanted some more before next episode.

So, why were kids on their focus test? In fact, why are they giving so much emphasize on the result of the focus test? While focus tests are something of worth, one focus test alone shouldn’t determine the direction you need to take. Human variable is far too big to handle, and one small group can’t really give proper results on a world wide scale. With this focus test, the kids were Disney fans and found the game hard to work with. It’s true that modern children have grown up in a completely different game environment. It makes me feel old to think that there are some fifteen year old people whose first game console was the PS2. A simple 2D platformer doesn’t sit their skill set… except that it does. 2D platformers never went away, and in recent years they’ve been coming back to the mainstream gaming. Saying that these kids found the game too hard isn’t something to be discouraged of, but something that you should be feeling proud of. Ducktales by no means wasn’t a hard game, but it wasn’t easy either. Much like with Mega Man, CAPCOM managed to balance between a good challenge and fun gameplay.

And then you go in and add a cutscene where Scrooge shows the kids that you can walk through some walls.

This is stupid. This shows that you have no trust on your focus group. Then again, wasn’t your target group people who actually recognize the characters and are able to purchase the game? There’s multiple ways you could show the kids that you can walk through certain walls outside damn video clip. Make the walls have slightly different texture, or even better; make an enemy walk through a wall in the opening stage and thus informing the player that fake walls exist. There’s absolutely no reason to bog down the gameplay any further than it already it. The whole thing just reeks. On one hand it looks likely the target audience is young children and teens, but overall the only people who really are interested in this game are old and jaded gamers. Sorry WayForward, this is one game I’m sitting out.

Why am I contrasting this to ALttP2 on any level? Well, we all know that Link can turn into painting in it, and the game has been built on the 2D/3D contrast. I want to quote the director Aonuma here;

“The world of Hyrule has been reborn in a highly realistic stereoscopic vision, which will feature a new story and new puzzles to be solved. The development for the successor of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is going smoothly, so, please look forward to it!”

I do not like Aonuma Zelda, nor the direction this game has gone. First, how does he think stereoscopic Zelda will be more realistic when everything’s in those crayon cartoon graphics and all enemies are still in super deformed style? If he tries to say that seeing it in 3D will make more realistic, I want to slap his glasses off. Then he mentions story, which I hope will not be any more prominent than in original ALttP, but then he mentions the puzzles. Aonuma likes to cut grass and solve puzzles, and Zelda games have become one of the most perfect Grass Cutting simulators with a dash of ouzzles because of this. I’ll be honest with you; in the last three Zelda releases that I’ve played through I’ve been using guides to breeze them through. At some point I realized that the games were so puzzle ridden, that I needed to have a guide at hand almost all the time. There’s so many puzzles in-between grass cutting, that it’s almost funny in a very sad way.

This is why the Painted Link exist; to create new puzzles. I’ve heard people call it a cave painting, but it’s more like the middle-aged mural painting. Nevertheless, it’s inclusion is needless. Why couldn’t they concentrate on making the dungeons more interesting to look at and use the power modern era offers to make this game stand out? At this point it’s not really a good thing to proclaim that this game will be the sequel to one of the best games ever. It’s like saying that a Volvo will be your next car after you’ve driven a Jaguar for multiple years.

Because the Painting Link exist only to appease the developers’ wish to create puzzles, do not expect interesting gameplay. I would joke that the next Zelda games will remove almost all of Zelda-like elements and concentrate on dungeon puzzle solving alone, but Skyward Sword already did that.

Aonuma will be the death of Zelda franchise. Thus far 2D Zeldas have been able to have their own identity form the their 3D brothers, but now Aonuma hinted that 2D Zelda will be changed into 3D for all time. Well, Zelda had a good run. It’ll be a painting on a canvas of video game history from now on.