Thursday, August 25, 2016

Favorite Classic Game

            I have not been posting nearly enough this year and I want to steer back from that.  To that end I have found a 30-day blog challenge and will be writing out entries, hopefully I can get all thirty days without any breaks, and if I manage to do that (since August has 31 days) I will think of an additional entry to write about.  I have done a 30-day challenge before, it for movies, but that was a while back, feel free to read those too if you like.

            Today is day 25 and the topic is “Favorite Classic Game”.
            This is probably not going to surprise anyone.  This game is still considered the underlying superstructure for story and gameplay in its series (and to a lesser extent the world of 3-Dimensional gaming) because it did everything it needed to do so well (FOR THE TIME).
Pretty... Though not representative of the game's angular art style (THAT WAS AWESOME AT THE TIME).
“Zelda: Ocarina of Time” allowed for better conception of puzzles in a 3 dimensional space than any previous Zelda title (yes there were multiple floors before, but this allowed for multiple levels in a single room).  It had big boss monsters that looked and felt big.  It had numerous enemies with visual personality that made them memorable.  The use of color and music to convey tone and information about characters and environments is simple in the best sense of the word, you could show a child any member of the good guys and they would know that they are good guys, and you could show them the bad guys and they would know that they are the bad guys.  It is creepy when it needs to be creepy, not to mention weird, silly, and dramatic at all the right times.
I should point out the one thing that is unquestionably timeless and of great artistic merit: The Score.  The music in “Ocarina” is fantastic (and linked to in the first image).  If I had not so quickly decided on “Halo 2” earlier this month (and had already decided to do “Zelda” for this entry) I would have put the score to this game as my favorite video game music.
The “Zelda” franchise is perhaps the most well-known fantasy series in gaming, and one of the few game series that people who do not play games can point to as recognizable.  I just watched a play thru of the whole game less than 2 months ago by the Game Grumps (mostly it is EgoRaptor sucking at playing and then blaming the game, it is a little strange) and I liked watching it again and seeing how much of it is etched into my mind from having played and replayed the game while combing thru an issue of Nintendo Power for help on the first half of the game and buying a strategy guide so that I wouldn’t miss out or get stuck on any part when the Nintendo Power’s guide ran out.
(I know it sounds strange to say this, but I was taking some advanced math classes for my age and did not have time to learn the hard way how to power thru “Ocarina” without a guide to go to when I got stuck, pay to win has always existed in some form or another; now I would just use the internet).
The Sequel is when things really cut loose.
I do not think I am ruffling any feathers to say that this game is a classic.  I do wish that its continuity had hung around.  Its sequel, “Zelda: Majora’s Mask” is better than “Ocarina” by providing great artwork and reworking of the existing characters and assets while expanding and diversifying the gameplay.  The variety and inventiveness is so cool that you feel like you are getting new experiences in each iteration even while reliving the same three days over and over, “Cause and Effect” style… I could have gone for the “Groundhog’s Day” reference, but I instead went for the Star Trek reference, because “Star Trek” ends in a collision and explosion like “Majora’s Mask” does.  I will point out that this game pretty much required a day 1 purchase of a strategy guide, as the sheer number of stories and hidden things to collect was maddening.
I wish that “Twilight Princess” had found a way to continue the story further in the way “Mask” did.  “Twilight” instead chose to make a redo and I found that to be weak.  Lame even.  I had already seen the story in which Link is a fresh faced adventurer saving the world from Ganon for the first time, and I had seen it again with “Windwaker” (which also should have just been a sequel, but I like to cut it some slack because I like its art style… and no one else at the time cut that game any slack for not being a sequel).
Seriously, look at this thing.  It is god damn gorgeous.
Zelda is a fun series and “Ocarina of Time” is arguably the last time it did anything exceptionally new with how the game was designed on a fundamental level.  “Majora’s Mask” was the last time they did anything original with the story (though I do not know a lot about the Gameboy games so maybe that is flatly untrue).  Since then my passion for the series really only expresses itself thru nostalgia via “Super Smash Bros”. 
And nostalgia is what this thing does best.
             What is your favorite classic game?  What game exists recently that is destined for classic status in years to come?  I am guessing “Minecraft” even though I get motion sickness playing it and thus can’t partake.


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