Personal Faves - The Legend of Zelda

*Here is where I will discuss games that have a history. Giving my own personal look at why I find the series discussed to be enjoyable and what that series means to me.*

The Legend of Zelda series is my favorite gaming series period. While I do play a lot of different games in many different genres, the Zelda games are the ones that I find to be truly engaging. Growing up I was always fascinated by works of fantasy fiction. Books that told stories of grand adventures with heroes and villains, swordplay and magic were things that I would dive headlong in to, often finishing them up quickly while looking forward to the next tale. When I started gaming I gravitated toward the action adventure genre and that is where I found the Legend of Zelda. The first game I played in the series was A Link to the Past. The game was fun and presented more of a save the damsel in distress type dynamic, which in all honesty as an awkward and incredibly nerdy 12 year old, worked for me. It wasn't until 1998 and the release of Ocarina of Time that I would finally play a masterpiece of a game, one that would go on to be my favorite game of all time.

When Ocarina of Time released in 1998 I was a freshman in college and away from home. Still pretty much a card carrying nerd, I found a way to pass the time by losing myself in Hyrule. It was then that I began to pay attention to the game and each one since. From the themes, diverse peoples/cultures, music, level design, and so much more. Not to mention that each story in the series (at least since Ocarina) builds on the previous one. While it may not be directly each game's tale tells another piece of the legend. I have to give Nintendo credit as they came up with the perfect way to keep each game feeling fresh and familiar all at the same time and that is by making each of the three main characters be reincarnations in each game. The land of Hyrule usually undergoes some type of change as well. There is also an added tribe or people that usually have never been in game before as well as returning favorites. The music is iconic and memorable as well, massive props to Koji Kondo on his work.

The world that is Hyrule is diverse and full of different tribes with unique customs and characteristics from each other. I love how in each game enough time is spent getting to know each of the tribes as well as what their customs are and how their days are spent. This is important to me because as a black male, I don't see much diversity in media such as gaming. While it is true that there aren't any black Hylians I do like the fact that the different peoples/cultures of Hyrule are always represented and have their own mysteries about them. I often find myself wondering about some of the other tribes stories and if we'll ever be able to play games based off of those stories. The other thing that I really love about the series is the strong characters, especially the women. While it is true that the first few games in the series focused on the whole damsel in distress trope, later games in the series did not. Starting with Ocarina of Time women played a strong role in the story. Of course the player would not be able to play as anyone but Link the hero, Zelda's story however, and what she is doing behind the scenes are just as important if not helpful to Link and his quest. Princess Zelda is the bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom and has vast magical ability, she is also a master archer, and is not to bad with a blade either. At no point was this shown better than in 2014's Hyrule Warriors, where for the first time players got to play as the Princess and man is she awesome to play with, with a devastating moveset she is amazing on the battlefield. I hate when people say that she is just another damsel in distress as it shows me that they haven't once played any of the games and if they have they are horrible at comprehension.

For me this series has always been the perfect escape from reality. The stories are amazing, the artwork, monster design, tribe design, and world design always manage to fascinate me. I have never found the games to be to long and drawn out but just the right size. As a matter of fact I still play Ocarina of Time at least once a year and I have done that for the longest time. What are some of your favorite game series? Leave a comment below.

Images courtesy of Wii U Image Share

Popular posts from this blog

First Impressions - Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy +

Film Review - Rurouni Kenshin

Impressions - Wulver Blade (The North Never Forgets)