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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

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This week, Zero Punctuation reviews The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and has a chat with Nintendo.

TranscriptEdit

You know what, I’m glad that new releases are currently barer than the sandwich platter at the home for wayward fat people; I've caught up on so much shit! I finished my full sized replica of the West Midlands in Minecraft at the bottom of the ocean where it belongs, and I've caught up on some of last year's releases that I missed the first time around. I picked up Battlefield 4, then I put it down again and stamped on it a few times, and then I picked up the new Zelda, Link between Worlds, instead.

Now if you're looking for a balanced and thoughtful critique of the game, then what the fuck are you doing here? I'm basically just going to rail it with the same points as always until it cries. Strap in while I strap on, viewer. What's this game about then? You play as Link and you have to rescue the Princess Zelda, wow! Across the meadows of fresh ideas you stride like a colossus, don't you? Oh, but it's very innovatively evoking Link to the Past on the SNES, the same way I very innovatively crawled up my mum's vagina and stuck my thumb in me mouth. I'm gonna to continue like this for 5 minutes of your life that you will never get back.

…Have they gone? Right! Sorry about the subterfuge. By my calculations, the only person still watching will be Nintendo itself, ego-surfing, and you and me need to have a little talk, man to monstrously large corporation.

Consider this an intervention: you're currently dangerously addicted to failure. When the Wii took off the way it did, you probably thought that ship was going to sail into the sunset forever, didn't you? But a few years down the line you've realised it wasn't a sunset at all but the unforgiving hot flame of a tactical carpet bombing! Now the Wii U is failing to meet sales projections, profits are low, your senior staff are taking massive pay docks, and it's always worrying when a friend starts cutting themselves for attention. I wouldn't be surprised if you feel like a museum piece that's somehow come to life, stumbled out into the street and realised it’s a relic of the past kept around solely out of nostalgia by a niché audience rapidly outgrowing it in the brief moment before a speeding bus comes along and smears you across the road like marmalade on a piece of toast.

I know we've had our differences, you and I. I did once refer to the Wii as a pile of white spunk that has congealed into the shape of the world's most uncomfortable turd (or something along those lines). I was just frightened that the gaming platform achieving mainstream success was the antithesis of everything I hold dear, namely murdering things with elegant controls that don't require me to wave my hands in the air like the The Thomas Crown Affair. But it didn't last; all those trend-following knobs who bought the Wii moved on to the Furby hovercraft or whatever the next big thing was, and you were stuck with the old fanbase again.

Water passes under the bridge, and with a new generation of consoles I find myself in the strange position of being unreservedly on your side, Nintendo. And why? Because you released a game console! Not an inferior gaming PC for people who dream of being the sub in an unhealthy techno-masochistic fantasy. The Wii U is all like, "Here are some things happening that even the most paralytically drunk mind can understand. Assemble some friends and tequila shots and let’s do this, bitch!"

Consoles attempting the shift to online multiplayer focus will be remembered as one of the bigger of their many mistakes because it’s always an uphill struggle, and PCs do it so effortlessly. Play online without subscription fees, type insults with your keyboard, minimize the game and file your tax return, and have another martini, Mr. Bond. Bam! PC doesn't do so well with local multiplayer because a PC is something you keep in an office, and you don't entertain friends in an office (except when you're shagging your secretary). You entertain friends in a living room, and that's where the console has the home team advantage. While Sony and Microsoft compete to see who can make themselves obsolete the fastest, Nintendo never lost sight of the need for strong local multiplayer in a console, and I respect that.

So what is the problem with the Wii U? Well, to coin a phrase, "you can make yourself as fertile as you like but you can't make a baby without a few good hard dickings." And people just aren't making games for the thing. Nintendo's never been good with third party relationships. That's cool; I have trouble making friends as well, but that's because I compulsively slap people who end their sentences with prepositions. Nintendo loses friends by pushing the hardware. Everyone does hardware gimmicks; the Xbone has the Kinect and the Pisspoor has its rectangular clitoris, but both of these are fairly easily ignored like a sparrow perched on top of your hat. Wii U games push the screen controller like a sparrow getting in your face and doing plop-plops on your kebab.

The screen controller was always innovation for innovation's sake and doesn't seem to have done much more than place the Wii U in a dead zone, somewhere between game consoles and tablet devices without the excitement of the former or the expedience of the latter. Press one button on a tablet and touch an icon or two and you are playing a game, my friend! You don't have to go through that slightly creepy "Michael York at the end of Logan's Run calling down to the brainwashed masses" sequence you get when you turn on the Wii U, and then you can minimize the game to file your tax return!

It could be that the average Joe Scumfuck is now tech-literate enough that we no longer need a Baby's First Console to slowly and patiently introduce to the dumb-dumbs all the wonders of the magic glowing box. Perhaps the very thing that makes me respect the Wii U is the very thing that's failing it. Maybe audiences would prefer to game now on integrated devices that also play movies and music and has the all-important tax return factor, and a dedicated games machine may already be right up there with still having a landline phone in your house or a hand-cranked brontosaurus feeder.

The difficulty is that Nintendo's name is so closely tied to dedicated games machines that you wouldn't take anything else they did seriously. In the mind of the masses, "the new smart phone from Nintendo" sounds akin to "the new washing machine from Etch A Sketch." But none of Nintendo's problems would be insurmountable if the Wii U had a few more must-play games. I still think Mario Galaxy was the last time Nintendo showed any actual evolution and all their first party nostalgia-baked games since then have just been sifting through decade-old shits trying to figure out when they caught their wasting illness.

Maybe Nintendo should take a break from hardware and focus on the games, like what their old sparring partner SEGA did. And they seem to be doing all right: Sonic the Hedgehog now has all the vim of a pig slowly turning on a spit, but they do other stuff! They published Aliens: Colonial M- oh.

You know what, forget it, it'll all probably straighten itself out. Now I better put the facade back on in case someone skipped to the end. Oh! A Boomerang and a Hookshot!? Slow down. Stanley Kubrick! And now you're going to rent them out to me because who wants actual structure that gradually opens up the game world when we could be at Blockbuster video. Zelda? More like Smellda!… fart. I Smellda fart.

Addenda:Edit

  • Quite the silly sausage: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
  • Failing everything else Nintendo can always charge a dollar a pop to slap Reggie's big chunky face
  • Consider yourself fixed, games industry

ScreenshotsEdit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5

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