Tears of the Kingdom Should Have Taken Cues from Links Awakening: The Legend of Zelda series is deeply rooted in its traditions, but it also prides itself on pushing the boundaries of innovation. Each new installment brings something fresh to the table, with some making only slight changes while others completely revolutionize the franchise.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom falls into the former category, as it serves as a positive revision and enhancement of Breath of the Wild. It introduces new gameplay mechanics, expands the open world with additional layers, and delivers a captivating story that seamlessly complements the game’s setting.
Tears of the Kingdom Should Have Taken Cues from Links Awakening in One Area
While Tears of the Kingdom undoubtedly takes inspiration from its predecessor, it also pays homage to older entries in the series by incorporating familiar outfits, items, and locations. This creates a sense of celebration for the entire Zelda franchise. However, the game could have taken a page from another title on the Nintendo Switch, Links Awakening, which features stunning anime-style cutscenes. Implementing similar cutscenes in Tears of the Kingdom would have allowed for a more distinct visual representation of its diverging story paths and enhanced the overall visual experience.
The remake of 1993’s Links Awakening was a much-needed and well-received recreation of a beloved classic. Its unique and charming toy-like art style during gameplay, combined with intuitive controls and a nostalgic yet modernized music score, made it a memorable experience. The opening and closing cutscenes in Links Awakening differed significantly from the rest of the game’s visuals, serving to emphasize the game’s final twist. These cutscenes were visually stunning and could have been utilized in future Zelda games, such as Tears of the Kingdom, to depict Princess Zelda’s involvement with Rauru and Sonia in a captivating anime style. This would not only have expanded the presentation beyond Links Awakening but also helped differentiate the two distinct journeys that take place in different time periods.
Tears of the Kingdom places a stronger emphasis on storytelling compared to Breath of the Wild, which prioritizes player-generated amusement and exploration in its vast open world. While Breath of the Wild relies on scattered memories to convey its narrative, Tears of the Kingdom offers a more coherent and weighty story that unfolds naturally. It delves into the past, Zelda’s present, and Link’s ongoing quest to rescue the Princess and vanquish Ganondorf’s menacing threat. It is disappointing, however, to see that Tears of the Kingdom maintains the same visual style as Breath of the Wild. A game with a greater focus on storytelling could have presented an opportunity to introduce a fresh visual style for certain narrative elements. Links Awakening’s beautiful anime cutscenes are a prime example of what could have been utilized in Tears of the Kingdom.
In conclusion, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom builds upon the foundation laid by Breath of the Wild. It introduces new gameplay elements, expands the open world, and delivers a captivating story. While it pays homage to the series’ traditions, it could have utilized the stunning anime cutscenes from Links Awakening to further enhance its visual presentation. Nonetheless, Tears of the Kingdom stands as a testament to the ongoing innovation and evolution of the Zelda franchise. Players can experience this exciting adventure on the Nintendo Switch.
The Legend of Zelda is a series steeped in tradition, but one that also prides itself on innovation. Each new game is different from the last, and while some will only move the needle slightly, others will turn the franchise on its head in favor of something completely new. Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom rests more in the former category, being a positive revision and improvement on Breath of the Wild by introducing new devices to experiment with, more layers to the open world (literally), and a story that compliments the setting, never feeling like a hindrance or distraction.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom undoubtedly takes the most cues from its direct predecessor, but by including outfits, items, and locations that hearken back to older entries, it feels like a celebration of the series at large. It could have leaned further into another title that found a home on the Nintendo Switch, however, as Links Awakening boasts some gorgeous cutscenes in an anime-esque style that Tears of the Kingdom could have used to separate its diverging story paths and give the game even more visual improvements.
Link’s Awakening’s Anime Cutscenes are Few, but Memorable
The much-needed and well-received remake of 1993’s Links Awakening was a wonderful recreation of a classic. Its toy-ish art style during gameplay was unique and effective, the gameplay was reminiscent of old while feeling intuitive, and the music score was a powerful punch of nostalgia, but held up beautifully in the modern day, The opening and closing cutscenes of Link at sea were drastically different to the rest of the game’s visuals to better adhere to the game’s well-documented final twist, but they were also pretty enough to be used again in the future.
Link’s adventure could have been documented with a more conventional art style, with Princess Zelda’s involvement with Rauru and Sonia being told using the gorgeous anime style that Links Awakening used to great effect. This would not only have implemented a presentation that should not be isolated to Links Awakening but it also could have excellently differentiated the two journeys, which each take place in different time periods.
Tears of the Kingdom has More Emphasis on Story
Breath of the Wild is a game that puts user-generated amusement at the forefront, allowing players to mess around with the game’s physics while getting side-tracked with optional collectibles or satisfying other curiosities in the expansive open world. This comes at the cost of storytelling, however, as the most substantial narrative beats are told through memories that can be found scattered across Hyrule, but only if the player knows how to find them. The tale is far too fleeting as a result, and Tears of the Kingdom does well to remedy the issue with a story that is both easier to follow naturally and far more weighty.
It’s no longer a tale told in hindsight, but rather one that sheds light on the past, Zelda’s present, and Link’s ever-evolving quest to find the Princess and finally put a stop to Ganondorf’s overbearing threat. Because of this change, it’s slightly disappointing to see the presentation has carried over from Breath of the Wildas more story this time around could have been a good opportunity to mix it up and use a different visual style, at least with certain parts of the narrative. Links Awakening‘s anime cutscenes are arguably too beautiful to stay isolated on one product, and Tears of the Kingdom could have been the perfect opportunity to employ them once again.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is available on Nintendo Switch.
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