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The Legend of Zelda, Part 2

02/23/2011

Continuing on from last night’s post a bit…at least in spirit.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find this:

GameBoy games

GameBoy games

Much more appealing than this:

Bin of Xbox and PS2 games

Bin of Xbox and PS2 games

I mentioned yesterday that I was planning on picking up a GameCube copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Well, I resisted for as long as I could, but managed to hunt down probably the only copy of Twilight Princess in the GameStops of Minneapolis, and for a price cheaper than the game is going for on ebay.

(Side comment – Have any of you joined GameStop’s new rewards program? What a crock. Where you used to be able to get 10-20% off all used games plus 10-20% extra for trade-ins, now you earn “points” which you can redeem. Example: earn 5000 points, get $5 off. But those 5000 points require nearly $200 of purchases or trade-ins, judging by how much I’ve spend in the past few months, what with Christmas and a birthday or two. GameStop already killed the far superior EB Games and Electronic Boutique, now they are ruling the whole industry almost. Shame.)

I think I’ll beat Wind Waker before I start Twilight Princess. My brother currently has possession of the GameCube, as he was between Xbox 360 games and felt an urge to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I can relate, it can be a pretty strong urge. Normally I just live through others and watch some YouTube or GameTrailers videos, but occassionally I succumb and pop the game in for a quick run around Hyrule.

Currently though I’m playing Star Ocean: The Last Hope on Xbox 360, and frankly, I’m about ready to pull the trigger and quit it. It’s not that it’s a terrible game, it’s just not a great game. It has elements that remind me of Skies of Arcadia Legends, which I loved and consider one of my all time favorites, but then the game slaps you upside the head with its Japanese-ish-ness. Seriously. I hate J-Pop. Hate the culture, hate the music, hate the look, pretty much hate everything about it. And while Star Ocean is a decent sci-fi game using traditional J-RPG elements, its the sudden overdoses of the J that I absolutely despise. Plus, the checkpoints are far, far apart, worse than other games I’m playing off and on such as Final Fantasy XII. By all accounts, I should really like Star Ocean: The Last Hope…but, like one reviewer said, it would have been a great game back in 2001, just not in 2011.

I’m willing to give Star Ocean: The Last Hope another chance, mainly because I know I’ll only get about $8-10 for trade-in on it, and I paid roughly $30 for it, which was the best deal I’ve seen on it. I’ll probably end up trading it in, using the 5000 plus points I have saved up (yay, $5 off coupon!…), and pick up Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition on Xbox 360. Rather play it on PC, but as I’m lacking access to a moderately decent PC…

….

Part of the reason why I love The Legend of Zelda so much is because of friendships that have existed around these games, particularly the Nintendo 64 edition, Ocarina of Time. I bought my Nintendo 64 from friends of mine after they had beaten Ocarina of Time and weren’t looking for anything else to play, plus they needed college money (a trend I continued when I sold my Wii, although I hadn’t beaten Twilight Princess). My friends were twin brothers, both four years older than me, and for some odd reason, I, a lonely 8th grader, became great friends with two seniors, and remain good friends with them to this day, despite not having seen either of them for close to 5 years now. One is married with a child and going to seminary, the other is living and working in California; yearly they get back together with their whole family, yet for some odd reason the 5 hour drive feels too daunting to do just to go see them (and it’s always me having to go see them, not the other way around).

My friends would invite me to sleep over at their house, basically hang out with them all day after school and throughout most of the weekend. I’m very grateful for this, as it was a time in my life when I didn’t have very many friends, and the friendships I did develop, apart from these two, weren’t the greatest, both in terms of actual friendship and in terms of positive influence. We’d order pizza (Fazolis), watch movies (Unbreakable!), lift weights together (highest I made back then was 125 lbs), read and discuss comic books (The New Teen Titans are still the best), share music (they introduced me to U2), and yes, play video games. And I was happy to simply watch them play Zelda, drinking it all in, memorizing where everything was, because I knew that one day I’d have the opportunity to play the game too. All three of us bonded together over Ocarina of Time and other Nintendo 64 games.

Perhaps my love of Zelda, and specifically two games, Link’s Awakening and Ocarina of Time, owes to my age and the memories I associate with these games. I’ve never developed such a deep connection to any other game in the Zelda series. But my love for those two games is so strong that I instinctly want to like all Zelda games.

Maybe I am too old for The Legend of Zelda. I know I’m not too old for video games, much as I’m not too old for film, art, or literature. I hope not.

“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – CS Lewis

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