At the time of writing this blog entry, there is just one more day until the release of Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. So what better time to talk about the peak of adventure gaming than the day before a new Zelda game comes out?
I could talk about my top 5 Zelda games, but the problem with that is, no matter which five I pick, someone, somewhere is going to get insanely angry that I didn't put their favourite on the list. So, if people are going to be offended anyway, why not go all out and do something that everyone will get angry at? Talking about the WORST games in the franchise!
Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to The Red Fleece's Top 5 Worst Legend of Zelda Games!
In all honesty, Phantom Hourglass isn't really that bad a game. It actually had some good stuff going for it. It's a portable sequel to Wind Waker with modified sailing mechanics and the touch controls work well. But the big problem with the game is it's main dungeon- The Temple Of The Ocean King. You have to keep returning to this central dungeons, repeating the same floors, doing the same block puzzles over and over and over again. As if that wasn't enough, doing so on a time limit, with invincible phantom enemies that can drain huge chunks of your time in one hit makes this dungeon the most frustrating water themed area in the series. Give me the water temple from Ocarina of Time any day!
Skyward Sword is basically the Frozen of the Zelda series. Not horrible, just not as good or as original as people claim it to be.
Unlike Phantom Hourglass, this game doesn't suffer from one gigantic problem, but several reasonably large problems that add up to a less enjoyable experience: Such as the empty over world in the sky, the linear game progression and having to repeat the frustrating boss fight with The Imprisoned numerous times.
A lot of people praise this game for it's story, but for me personally, the story seemed pretty cliché and just overstayed it's welcome. Let's begin with the story's biggest pain in the arse- Fi.
Take everything you found annoying about Navi, multiply it several hundred times, give her zero personality and have her repeat every-single-direction another character gives you- You've just experienced Fi. The NPC has just told me to go to the Volcano Dungeon. I REALLY don't need Fi butting in with “Master, I have calculated an 88.65% that you should go to the Volcano Dungeon.”
Fi, I have calculated a 100% chance that you are the most annoying companion character in the history of Hyrule.
Everyone gushes over the relationship between Link and Zelda in this title; what, you mean that cliché anime childhood friend twaddle? It's just a carbon copy of Link's relationship with Ilia in Twilight Princess and Saria in Ocarina of Time. Hell, it's not even the first time he's had this sort of relationship with Zelda herself- they were childhood friends in Minish Cap. Or does that game not count because it's on a handheld and not a home console? First time Zelda actually had a personality? In Minish Cap, she's bubbly, fun loving and down to earth. Sounds like a personality to me!
Like our previous entry, Skyward Sword does have redeeming qualities. I love the orchestral soundtrack (it actually reminds me of my childhood watching The Dreamstone) and I found the motion controls fun to work with. Its definitely not the worst Zelda game (there are three more spaces on this list after all!), but I do think its the most overrated.
Before I begin, I'd just like to clarify something- I am not hating on Link's Crossbow Training just because it's a shooter instead of an action adventure game. That would be like hating on Mario Kart or Mario RPG just because they aren't platformers. Bashing a game just because it's not the genre I expected would be narrow minded and childish...okay, admittedly I am a narrow minded and childish person, but that's beside the point!
The reason Link's Crossbow Training is on the list is simply because there's really nothing to it other than shooting. It's really just a showcase for the Wii Zapper peripheral with a Zelda theme. There's no story so all you're doing is shooting to get a high score. It doesn't even have a good multiplayer mode. You have to take it in turns passing the zapper around. They could have at least given us a split screen battle mode, like in Golden Eye. Even just adding a story mode would have made for a more satisfying one-player campaign.
Rail Shooters and First Person Shooters can be fun games, as long as they're done well. Think of games like Doom, Time Crisis, or even Nintendo's own Metroid Prime series. Shooting games that still gave you a sense of adventure.
The last three titles that I've talked about all had their flaws, but there was still some fun to be had. Now we move on to the really bad Zelda games- Wand of Gamelon and Faces of Evil. Much like Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, these two CDI exclusives were different games, but two sides of the same coin (hence why I've put them here together). Due to their high price on the market, they are two of the only Zelda games that I haven't actually played.
“But isn't it narrow minded to call these games two of the worst, when you haven't actually played them?”
Yes, it is. Even if they are infamous for their bad controls and frustrating level design. But horrible gameplay isn't why I've placed them so high on the list.
Two words- YouTube Poop.
The infamous cutscenes in these two games are one of the biggest reasons YouTube Poop exists.
And that is why they are on the list.
Triforce Heroes...without a shadow of a doubt, the worst Zelda game that I've ever played. Nintendo was so focused on multiplayer that they left the single player story mode virtually unplayable. In said single player, you are accompanied by two dummy Links, who remain stationary until you switch your soul into them. To progress through the level, you have to either carry them totem style or keep switching between the three. Ridiculously tedious.
Now, the Anniversary Edition of Four Swords on the 3DS was also geared towards multiplayer, but you could still have a decent single player experience- the other Link followed when you whistled and automatically performed the actions that you needed to do to get past the obstacles. Triforce Heroes doesn't have anything like that. And because the bosses are geared towards you using your Totem formation to hit the weak spots with Top Link, Middle Link or Bottom Link, fighting them becomes a complete nightmare.
When you actually try to go through the game in Multiplayer, teaming up with two random people, it still doesn't help. Mostly because of all the trolls who drop out in the middle of the stage, meaning that the entire party has to return to the hub.
“So why don't you just play it with friends that you know you can trust?”
Simple. None of my friends own the game. It really is that bad, nobody I know wants it.
So there's the list of my Top 5 Worst Zelda games, OR the 2 (technically 3) Worst and 3 of The Least Best. Will this list change when Breath of the Wild comes out tomorrow? Hopfully not. I'm cautiously optimistic about the new entry to the series. While this list does show that even the Zelda franchise can have a rotten apple or two, Nintendo does learn from past mistakes, as is the case with the HD re-release of Twilight Princess for the Wii U. It no longers interupts the game to remind you of how much the blue, red, yellow etc rupees are worth and it allows you to skip the cut scenes.
Now if you'll "Excuuuse me, Princess/Prince", I'm off to change into my Goron Tunic to protect myself from the incomming flames being fired at my unpopular opinions.