A Paean for the Old School Gamer

Like a lot of games journalists, you sit down watching E3 thinking about what you’re going to write. You try to build it up as you go, and write the article in your head. Then, put it on paper.

With Nintendo, I had an initial thought, almost immediately: God, this new Zelda looks awful. The creator can’t even make it work, hell if I can. And it’s not coming out to 2011? Christ almightly, we’re going down disappointment alley, and all the thugs have their knives out.

I don’t know when my mind changed. As cool as it was (expect a whole post later!), Epic Mickey didn’t change my mind. I knew it was going to be cool, and while I didn’t know it would be quite so cool, it couldn’t change my mind. I don’t think it was at Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, which looked pleasant but inoffensive (kind of like Golden Sun as a whole). Kirby: Epic Yarn definitely…got me going, a little bit. But this isn’t a triple A title. This is a title I’d love, for sure, as a Kirby aficionado and a lover of Yoshi’s Story, a game it shares aesthetic similarities with, but it didn’t change my mind.

No, I lied at the beginning of the last paragraph. I know exactly when my mind changed. Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Just let it sink in.

Okay, you’re there, right? Remembering the days when you played Donkey Kong Country, or its sequels? For me, it was only a couple months ago when I last played through them. The magic. The beauty, but also the crunch, the difficulty. And you look at this new game, and it boggles the mind. It really does. It never occurred to me that Nintendo could pull off something so profoundly right that it is beyond belief. Something so profoundly perfect.

They built on this utter, massive enthusiasm with Kid Icarus: Uprising for the 3DS, which, quite frankly, looks better than The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It looks like Zelda, but with an epic sense of scale, massive battles, and what looks like similar gameplay. Honestly, it looks fantastic, and exactly like I’d want a new Zelda to look. Which is disappointing, when you think about it, considering Nintendo apparently knows how to make a Zelda-like game right, but refuses to do it.

But that’s okay. Between Epic Mickey, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Kirby: Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Kid Icarus: Uprising, I’m willing to forgive them for what could be the first Zelda game I don’t buy. As usual, expect more from us as we find things fantastic. And personally, I find a lot of things fascinating here.


  1. Ali

    Somebody needs to tell Jaek about the new DK game.

  2. Ali

    Also, i, as for Zelda, it looks they they tried to add the Wind Waker style to Adult Link land, which…come on, those enemies look more cuddly than scary.

    • Tom

      My big “problem” is that the game’s creator should be able to make it work. And if he can’t because of “wireless” then how the fuck will I?

      It also looks really, absurdly generic. Perfectly generic, but generic perfection is still generic.

  3. in his defense, there probably IS a ridiculous wireless…shit in that room. 😛

  4. Fernando Cordeiro

    That HUD is ridiculous. Hey, Nintendo! You forgot to cover the middle of the screen with useless shit.

    This new Zelda made me shit my pants in fear. Apparently, the Wiimote became so complex and unintuitive that even with that giant HUD, Shiggy still needed to materialized on the stage. Hey, Shiggy, will you materialize at my home too? There are some games I wanted you to see.

    The Zelda series, unless they change its structure, is destined to become stale. Whether or not h graphics are realistic, cartoony or a mix is irrelevant.

    As for Kid Icarus, I’m expecting a bucket of puke for everyone who expected some kind of evolution of the original concept.

    • Tom

      What bothered me is that Kid Icarus and Epic Mickey both have major Zelda influences (it seems for the former, definitely, officially for the second) and they both do it a lot better than Skyward Sword looked to.

      It looked like what a completely idiot would take from Wind Waker as a follow up* to Ocarina of Time, and transferred that to Twilight Princess. Like, they played the part where you rescue Tetra in the forest, and thought, okay, it’s cartoony, there are vine enemies, and otherwise it’s the same game.

      And, I mean, I don’t want to pass judgment, but it’s the same game. And I don’t want to play the same game. I really don’t. I’ve played Ocarina of Time at least 12 times already (TP is two of those) and….I don’t need it.

      *Majora’s Mask probably doesn’t exist in their minds anymore.

  5. Fernando Cordeiro

    By the way, is it just me or that sword looks longer than he previous ones? Longer than Link’s arm, in fact – so my question is: how can he possibly remove that sword from its holster? It’s like a T-Rex conundrum!