The Legend of Zelda Going Back to its Roots?
Kotaku’s recent interview with Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto at E3 has shed some light on future developments within the Legend of Zelda universe. Discussed were more recent developments in new titles for the Wii U but one of the main topics of discussion was how precise many of their current series have become and how many games are now weighed down with lengthy tutorials. During the interview they made a few comparisons between older titles in the series to the newer ones and discussed just how long it can take before you’re finally left to adventure. One of the more subtle topics mentioned however, was how the delicate balance between gameplay, the need to teach the player how to play, and how to make the experience fun was something that the minds at Nintendo have been rigorously working on and tweaking throughout the series.
“With something like Zelda, we’re in the process of now of discussing what is the right form for the next Zelda game” said Miyamoto, “One thing I should point out is that the New Super Mario Bros series in particular exists as a way for the traditional Super Mario Bros game style to remain in a relatively traditional state. And that’s done specifically because there are certain players for whom that style of games is really what’s best suited for them. So that sort of series is designed to retain those traits and retain that safeness that you described.”
The interviewer then pressed Miyamoto to uncover just why it is that each new addition to the Zelda series takes ever longer to progress through the tutorial. In which Miyamoto responded:
“This is actually a topic that has been a big discussion internally for us lately. I think there a couple of things going on. One is that, often times we’re creating games where you’re doing a lot of different actions. Zelda is an example of one of those. And, particularly with these types of games, you have to first learn the action and then you have to master the action and then you have to have more actions added in and master those. Then, when you have a lot of actions you can do all at once is when the game really becomes fun. And with a game like Zelda, on top of that, you have the story elements that also take additional time to tell.”
“So one of the things we’re talking about internally is how can we get people to that point of fun more quickly, and ‘How do we balance the need to teach them how to do something with the need for them to be able to master it and feel they can do it well?’—and also tell the story—and ‘What is that overall balance and how we approach it?’ That’s one of the key things we’re talking about with Zelda right now.”
While playing through each title is all well and good, each provides it’s own obstacles to overcome, which is why I for one have never had any bones to pick with LoZ tutorials. Their lengthening with each addition seems only natural as each adventure gives you new items and gameplay abilities to utilize which undeniably require some practice before proper use. The tutorial-to-gameplay ratio may seem steep at times but you’ll be glad you went through with them in the end.