Tag Archives: The Legend of Zelda

The MoeGamer Awards 2018: The Evergreen Award

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more and leave a suggestion here!

If you’re a gamer on a budget or simply going through a lean month or two, it’s always a good idea to have one or two “evergreen” games on your shelf.

The concept of an “evergreen” game is simple: it’s a game that you can always return to at any time and have an enjoyable experience with. It’s a game you can set aside for weeks or months at a time before returning to when you feel like it, able to pick right back up where you left off.

Evergreen games can involve narrative, but the best ones place a strong focus on mechanics, providing them a pick-up-and play quality coupled with extensive — potentially infinite — longevity. One game that I covered in 2018 definitely fits that bill more than pretty much any other.

And the winner is…

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Hyrule Warriors: The Real Game Starts Here

You know how dedicated MMO players say that the game is “just beginning” when you reach the level cap? Hyrule Warriors is a bit like that in some respects; completing the main story mode is far from the end of the game.

In fact, one might argue that the “endgame” of Hyrule Warriors, if you choose to look at it in that way, is in fact the most substantial meat of the package. Eschewing the narrative focus of the main story mode in favour of a non-linear, mechanics-centric experience that is all about just having fun as you see fit, this part of the game will keep you busy for a long, long time.

And, moreover, it will do this not by forcing you to grind the same things over and over again, but instead by offering you a huge variety of different, highly replayable challenges that each put their own fascinating twists on the core mechanics of the game.

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Hyrule Warriors: Leading the Charge

The Warriors series as a whole has experimented with a few twists on its basic mechanics over the years, and Hyrule Warriors most certainly provides one of the most accessible, immediate takes there is.

This is at least partly down to the influence of Koei Tecmo’s division Team Ninja, who played a role in the game’s development alongside longstanding series producers Omega Force. The result is a speedy, fluid Warriors game that is easy to get into but challenging to master in its entirety.

Today we’re going to take a look at the various components that make Hyrule Warriors’ gameplay tick, and see how they come together to create such an enjoyable experience.

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Waifu Wednesday: Midna

One cannot, in good conscience, discuss the appealing female characters in the Zelda series without bringing up Midna at some point.

Confined to a distinctly non-human imp-like form for the majority of 2006’s Twilight Princess, Midna takes on the role of the “companion” character in this particular installment, offering Link help and advice on his adventure… only this time around with a fair amount of sass and a considerable amount of mystery surrounding her.

And she’s playable in Hyrule Warriors, in both her imp and humanoid Twili forms. Which is nice!

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Waifu Wednesday: Zelda

Zelda is an interesting entry in Nintendo’s substantial portfolio of beloved characters… because she isn’t just one character.

While some may debate whether or not the convoluted, multi-universe, split-timeline narrative of the Legend of Zelda series as a whole was intentional from the start, it’s certainly true that both series protagonist Link and the titular princess have undergone numerous revisions over the years. And, in the latter case, she’s become some of Nintendo’s most memorable characters. Plural.

Let’s take a look at some of my favourite takes on Zelda — and if your picks differ from mine, feel free to share ’em in the comments.

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Waifu Wednesday: Marin

Since its third installment A Link to the Past, Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series has had a fine variety of memorable female characters.

My personal favourite from among this varied cast hails from the fourth game in the series, Link’s Awakening. This is one of my most fondly regarded installments for numerous reasons, including its divergence from the “traditional” Zelda narrative formula, its solid gameplay and the sheer technical feat of squeezing such a sprawling, consistently well-designed game onto the Game Boy.

But for all these good points, when I think of Link’s Awakening, my mind always goes to one place before anything else. And that place is sitting on a log overlooking the ocean, sitting next to Marin and wondering if there’s something between us.

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Wii U Essentials: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

In contrast to The Wind Waker, which shook things up considerably in terms of both aesthetic and game structure, you’d be forgiven for thinking Twilight Princess was “just another Zelda game”.

It marks a return to the semi-realistic visuals of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, and is set firmly on dry land in the familiar land of Hyrule — albeit another, differently laid-out Hyrule to its predecessors on the grounds that it’s yet another era in the extremely convoluted Zelda timelines.

But get into the game a bit and you’ll discover something a little different to what we typically expect from a Zelda game: childish optimism replaced with melancholy; the usual feeling of light inevitably triumphing over darkness replaced by questions over whether everything really will turn out all right this time; and an air of slight cynicism that largely emanates from Link’s perpetual companion Midna, one of the most memorable characters the series has ever seen.

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