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Author Topic: Mario and Zelda-I Just Don't Get It...  (Read 2224 times)
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Dante Rising
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« on: April 25, 2007, 09:21:15 PM »

I've tried and tried again, but I absolutely cannot get through any Mario or Zelda game. I think the furthest I've ever reached is about the 25% mark before I've completely lost interest in any of these titles. Paper Mario, Wind Waker, Mario Sunshine, Twilight Princess and several other variations have just come across as lukewarm offerings to me. And it astounds me that they sell MILLIONS of copies? Why? There are numerous games out there with better graphics, storylines and gameplay, but they can't come close to the sales figures generated by some silly looking plumber. Okami is one example of a game that I find to be superior to the Nintendo offerings, but it sold only a mere fraction in comparison.

I'm not saying these games are bad by any stretch of the imagination, but the way reviewers and the gaming community fawn over each new release is rather baffling. I can't help but think Nintendo is given a complete pass when it comes to these franchises, and if Twilight Prioncess or Wind Waker had been a Microsoft title the average review would have been in the low 80s instead of mid-90s.

So for those of you that love Nintendo's little plumber and boy in green, what is the fascination that keeps you going back for more? What is the X factor?

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depward
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2007, 09:31:05 PM »

I think, for me, it's just the continuation of a "storyline" from my childhood.  I grew up playing Mario & Zelda games.  Playing games now with these characters gives me a feeling no other kind of game does.  I can identify with these characters, they have a personal past for me that I've experienced through the years.
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2007, 09:37:08 PM »

Quote from: depward on April 25, 2007, 09:31:05 PM

I think, for me, it's just the continuation of a "storyline" from my childhood.  I grew up playing Mario & Zelda games.  Playing games now with these characters gives me a feeling no other kind of game does.  I can identify with these characters, they have a personal past for me that I've experienced through the years.

Ditto.

I think if Mario were a brand-new franchise today, despite the stellar gameplay, it would probably be more of a niche title rather than a system-seller, and Banjo-Kazooie might have been recognized for the top-grade title that it really is instead of playing second fiddle (teehee!) to Mario 64. (I think both games are the top of that particular style of game) Zelda, maybe so, maybe not; there aren't a lot of high-quality Zelda-style games (Okami is the most notable I can think of).
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2007, 09:41:28 PM »

Quote from: depward on April 25, 2007, 09:31:05 PM

I think, for me, it's just the continuation of a "storyline" from my childhood.  I grew up playing Mario & Zelda games.  Playing games now with these characters gives me a feeling no other kind of game does.  I can identify with these characters, they have a personal past for me that I've experienced through the years.

Hey, I have no problem with Nostalgia. I also believe the Nintendo has an "innocence factor" or "family factor" that Sony and MS just cannot replicate. (Some people call it "kiddy-factor", but I find that label to have too much of a negative connotation.) Perhaps parents buy these titles for their children because they know they are safe.
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Andrew Mallon
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2007, 09:47:52 PM »

I dunno about nostalgia. I grew up well before the NES era and never played a Nintendo game until a few years ago. I think two of the best games last generation were Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and Zelda: Wind Waker. Wind Waker had a few questionable design decisions (the Tri-Force hunt especially), but there are only a few games that I can think of ( POP: Sands of Time, DQVIII), that are better than these two in any of the categories (gameplay, graphics, story) you listed.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2007, 09:50:10 PM by Andrew Mallon » Logged
Kevin Grey
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2007, 10:34:26 PM »

I loved Okami but Twilight Princess obliterated it in terms of gameplay IMO. 

And it ain't nostalgia for me, I didn't own SNES or N64's during their original releases- I did play the original LoZ and Zelda 2 upon release but the next Zelda game I played was when Link to the Past was released on Gameboy Advance circa 2002 or 2003 with OoT and Wind Waker shortly thereafter so there was a 15 year gap between Zelda games for me. I think it's a fantastic series. 

I'm more hit and miss with Mario- Yoshi's Island is one of the best platformers ever and Paper Mario 2 is sublime and I enjoyed Super Mario 64 very much.  The rest don't usually hold my attention as much. 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2007, 11:34:24 PM by Kevin Grey » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2007, 10:38:27 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Mallon on April 25, 2007, 09:47:52 PM

I dunno about nostalgia. I grew up well before the NES era and never played a Nintendo game until a few years ago. I think two of the best games last generation were Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door...

Paper Mario isn't a particularly good example - it's quite a bit different from the regular Mario games... it's more of a lite-RPG with some platforming elements.
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2007, 10:38:58 PM »

I have never finished a Mario or Zelda game.  I've played most of them and enjoyed them a lot but never finished any of them.  There's just some part for each of those games that I feel frustrated or bored with and quit.
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denoginizer
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2007, 10:39:07 PM »

I agree with the original poster 100%.

I tried Paper Mario on the Wii and I could not get past the dialogue.  There is waaaaaaaay too much pointless dialogue in that game.  The gameplay was OK, but the inane overabundant dialogue completely turned me away.
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Andrew Mallon
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2007, 10:59:09 PM »

Quote from: Laner on April 25, 2007, 10:38:27 PM

Quote from: Andrew Mallon on April 25, 2007, 09:47:52 PM

I dunno about nostalgia. I grew up well before the NES era and never played a Nintendo game until a few years ago. I think two of the best games last generation were Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door...

Paper Mario isn't a particularly good example - it's quite a bit different from the regular Mario games... it's more of a lite-RPG with some platforming elements.

He mentioned Paper Mario in the original post, so I assumed it was fair game to discuss.
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kronovan
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2007, 11:40:08 PM »

As is the case with some of the others that have already replied, it isn't previous experience with the game or nostalgia for me as the 1st Zelda game I played was LOZ: OOT and the 1st Mario game was Mario 64. What I think really makes the game stand out is the following:

Story and Pacing: the games are very well structured and there stories unfold very effectively. The Zelda stories have a real epic feel to them which make you -well at least me- want to play them to the finish. The pacing has a bit of a down side in that disruptions to the game flow can really spoil things. With Zelda games I really recommend referring to a game guide or cheats if you ever get hung up. The puzzles in some of the Zelda games can be quite challenging or not overly apparent and these game are ruined if you can't keep the story and plot flowing.

Humour: There's a lot of  humour in Mario and Zelda games and some of it's very clever. Some of it can be a bit silly, but it still done well enough to always make the game fun.

Quality: These franchises are the most bug free out of any game series I've ever played. Playing a Zelda or a Mario game you can really tell that the development team obsessed over it with a lot of attention to detail.

Not Genre Restricted: By this I mean that the Mario and Zelda series games can't always be pigeon holed into a specific genre. There's often different elements of action, adventure, platforming and even light role-playing. This makes these games appeal to players of varying interests and a variety of age groups.

I'd agree that these games may not be for everyone and that there are other series that equal them in quality; Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy come to mind. I think their sales success is a direct reflection of what I highlighted above and there really isn't much mystery to the large numbers.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2007, 11:45:59 PM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2007, 11:44:22 PM »

not a huge mario fan (tho i really liked 1000 year door & superstar saga), but zelda?! - how can you like video games & not like zelda? smile ...

tho, personally, i wasn't a big fan of twilight princess, there isn't a zelda i've played that i didn't find lots to like about - the fundamental elements (exploration, puzzle-solving, goodie-collecting, boss-battling), even as recycled as they sometimes are, just really click for me, or at least my inner child (who i'm pretty sure is the guy miyamoto was always aiming for). that, combined with the fact that the excellent controls have made the games (with the exception of the final boss in oracle of seasons) quite doable (if occasionally tricky) for someone with my limited skills, have made the series very special (bordering on endearing?) to me - i'm guaranteed to feel like a kid again when i play a zelda game, & that, basically, is why i love them...
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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2007, 12:34:13 AM »

If you haven't, Dante, try an old school Zelda (A Link to the Past if you can get it). I've always enjoyed the 2-D Zeldas more than the 3-D Zeldas.
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2007, 12:54:24 AM »

I enjoyed the older (ie: 2D) Mario games quite a bit, but I never thought that Mario 64 was as incredible as everybody said (I disliked the camera) and I got pretty bored with Mario Sunshine after a short time.  
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2007, 02:38:46 AM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on April 25, 2007, 09:21:15 PM

I've tried and tried again, but I absolutely cannot get through any Mario or Zelda game. I think the furthest I've ever reached is about the 25% mark before I've completely lost interest in any of these titles. Paper Mario, Wind Waker, Mario Sunshine, Twilight Princess and several other variations have just come across as lukewarm offerings to me. And it astounds me that they sell MILLIONS of copies? Why? There are numerous games out there with better graphics, storylines and gameplay, but they can't come close to the sales figures generated by some silly looking plumber. Okami is one example of a game that I find to be superior to the Nintendo offerings, but it sold only a mere fraction in comparison.

I'm not saying these games are bad by any stretch of the imagination, but the way reviewers and the gaming community fawn over each new release is rather baffling. I can't help but think Nintendo is given a complete pass when it comes to these franchises, and if Twilight Prioncess or Wind Waker had been a Microsoft title the average review would have been in the low 80s instead of mid-90s.

So for those of you that love Nintendo's little plumber and boy in green, what is the fascination that keeps you going back for more? What is the X factor?




I just find the game play fun? I mean I don't think that the reason is anything much deeper. Twighlight Princess walks all over Okami, which, while I enjoyed it; I knew the whole time it was a Zelda clone. However, I don't particularly feel that way in regards to the Mario series.

I think it helps that a lot of these series were the firsts, and almost everything since has been a cheap knock off, clone or copy cat.





You could ask the same questions about anything in our society that has hit a "mainstream" appeal, be it music, books or movies. I recall someone saying that there is no accounting for taste. We all obviously like different things. So they are obviously going to appeal at different levels. If I were you, I guess I would take a little pride in knowing that your tastes don't always fall in line with everyone else's smile Sometimes it is better to be the exception than the rule.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 02:40:42 AM by Tebunker » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2007, 02:09:47 PM »

I'm with the OP.   I certainly understand how people would enjoy them, but they don't click with me at all.   Not that I haven't tried, mind you (I bought a Gamecube specifically for WW when it came out), but I tend to get bored with any Mario or Zelda game very quickly.  Then again, I didn't enjoy either series back in the NES days either.

And since everyone seems to be doing the comparison, I though the gameplay in Okami was far, far better than anything I ever played in a Zelda game.
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2007, 03:49:27 PM »

My problem with the Mario games are the controls.  I've mentioned many times that I'm a 3D platformer lover, but I didn't own any consoles between the 2600 and the PSX, so I began with Spyro and continued to Ratchet, J&D, etc.  After playing those games, I found the controls in Mario 3D games to be "slippery" and the platforming to be a little unforgiving.  I have played a good bit of Super Mario Sunshine and I hate the way that you slide in a lot of places I would normally expect to stop short, or overshoot jumps or miss a ledge or handhold.  The way Mario will wind up sliding on his belly drives me crazy in particular.  There's also not the same level of story in the Mario games that you get with an Insomniac or Naughty Dog platformer (although I haven't played any of the Crash games).

I do enjoy the Zelda-style games, particularly the 3D versions.  I've never finished one, though.
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2007, 05:00:51 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on April 26, 2007, 03:49:27 PM

There's also not the same level of story in the Mario games that you get with an Insomniac or Naughty Dog platformer (although I haven't played any of the Crash games).

That's basically new to this past generation (and in Naughty Dog's case, Jak 2 since Jak 1 was as story-lite as any platformer before it) as a way to try and differentiate themselves.  You won't find that in either Naughty Dog or Insomniac's PS1 offerings.
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2007, 05:33:58 PM »

I have almost always enjoyed the Mario and Zelda games. There are a few exceptions, such as Zelda II, but otherwise I am having a hard time thinking of any games in those long running series that I have not enjoyed. I noticed you did not mention the Metroid series, so I was wondering if you enjoyed those or just have never tried them?

My favorite 3D platform game is Jak & Daxter. What made it my favorite was the save system. You basically never lost anything you had collected when you ran out of life. Mario 64 was great, but losing with one gold coin left to collect drove me crazy at times. Mario sunshine was good and the 3D platforming skill levels were some of the most intense gaming moments I have ever had. I got a great sense of accomplishment from finishing them, twice no less. I recommend a strategy guide for Sunshine as some of that stuff is ridiculous to find. I have high hopes that Mario Galaxy will become my new favorite 3D platform game.

I also think that trying a 2D Zelda is a good way to go if you have not played them before. A Link to the Past is in my top three games of all time, probably #2.

I think why I love these Nintendo series is partly nostalgia, partly because of the high quality of the games, partly the excellent control schemes, and partly because I find them fun. The graphics, sound, controls, and gameplay all work for me. My usual only complaints with Nintendo games is the lack of flexible saving systems and uninspired collect-a-thons to make a game longer (Zelda WW & MP2 Echoes). The save system is particularly frustrating since Nintendo is going for a more casual gamer crowd and the casual gamer does not have set amounts time to play and can be interrupted easily.
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« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2007, 01:56:54 AM »

When people buy a Nintendo console they expect Mario and Zelda.  So they sell well and will sell well as long as they have some level of quality.  Okami may have done much better on the GC or Wii because the audience is already built in. 

I will cop to the nostalgia.  Donkey Kong was one of the first arcade games I ever played and it intrigued me so much more than Pac Man because it almost seemed to have a story.  I played all the descendents of that game and when Super Mario Brothers came out it was perfect.  I played everything through SNES.  Mario 64 I find lacking since it seemed to strip off the charm and pacing of the original and the camera blows. 

But I also have different expectations for consoles games.  I have a good PC so I want to play things that don't feel like PC games on my console.  Silly, charming, somewhat shallow, replayable diversions. 
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« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2007, 02:19:15 AM »

Quote from: denoginizer on April 25, 2007, 10:39:07 PM

I agree with the original poster 100%.

I tried Paper Mario on the Wii and I could not get past the dialogue.  There is waaaaaaaay too much pointless dialogue in that game.  The gameplay was OK, but the inane overabundant dialogue completely turned me away.

I could apply this to just about every Japanese designed game I've played that tries to stick in a bunch of dialog and "story". I don't play much anymore from the East unless its a puzzle game like Lumines or something.
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« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2007, 02:22:23 AM »

Quote from: Jumangi on April 27, 2007, 02:19:15 AM

Quote from: denoginizer on April 25, 2007, 10:39:07 PM

I agree with the original poster 100%.

I tried Paper Mario on the Wii and I could not get past the dialogue.  There is waaaaaaaay too much pointless dialogue in that game.  The gameplay was OK, but the inane overabundant dialogue completely turned me away.

I could apply this to just about every Japanese designed game I've played that tries to stick in a bunch of dialog and "story". I don't play much anymore from the East unless its a puzzle game like Lumines or something.

Hell, most people enjoy it for the dialogue. It's very well written, sarcastic, funny, self depricating, and I could go on and on. Definitely one of the better parts of the game. It's just a shame that Nintendo won't spend some money for voice actors.
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« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2007, 02:28:14 AM »

You are not alone. I don't get it either. I don't think I have ever enjoyed a Zelda game and haven't enjoyed Mario since Super Mario Bros 3.
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« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2007, 02:31:07 AM »

Quote from: Tebunker on April 27, 2007, 02:22:23 AM

Hell, most people enjoy it for the dialogue. It's very well written, sarcastic, funny, self depricating, and I could go on and on. Definitely one of the better parts of the game. It's just a shame that Nintendo won't spend some money for voice actors.

I think Paper Mario (including the 1.5 hours of Super Paper Mairo I've played) is just fine without voice acting.  They really do an excellent job conveying everything through stylstic presentation of the text.  I don't miss it at all.  But, yeah, the series is pretty much at the top of the heap when it comes to writing (overall story is a different matter). 

As far as Zelda goes, Twilight Princess was the first Zelda game that I thought would be improved with it.  Prevoius Zelda games were pretty sparse on the dialogue front and conveyed so much through animation and music (especially Wind Waker and it's very expressive faces) that I never missed it.  But TP was more ambitious on the story-front and overreached a bit.  Good voice acting might have helped smooth out some of the story bits. 
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« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2007, 01:10:31 PM »

Quote from: Tebunker on April 27, 2007, 02:22:23 AM

Quote from: Jumangi on April 27, 2007, 02:19:15 AM

Quote from: denoginizer on April 25, 2007, 10:39:07 PM

I agree with the original poster 100%.

I tried Paper Mario on the Wii and I could not get past the dialogue.  There is waaaaaaaay too much pointless dialogue in that game.  The gameplay was OK, but the inane overabundant dialogue completely turned me away.

I could apply this to just about every Japanese designed game I've played that tries to stick in a bunch of dialog and "story". I don't play much anymore from the East unless its a puzzle game like Lumines or something.

Hell, most people enjoy it for the dialogue. It's very well written, sarcastic, funny, self depricating, and I could go on and on. Definitely one of the better parts of the game. It's just a shame that Nintendo won't spend some money for voice actors.

I used to be pissed that they never hire voice actors. But I think it has to do with localization more than anything else, as they are mostly a japanese company. Upon further thought, PLEASE lets not slow down Nintendo any more than they already PAINFULLY are.
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