Sometimes even Link can't win.

Grumpy Gamer recently made a blog post about how he is rather upset with the upcoming Zelda game's realistic graphics. Throughout the replies and comments, there are insights and various stupidities. Overall it is an interesting read.

The basic jist of the original argument is that Zelda previously had been a game series that went against the flow, and now was failing that by doing what every other game does by trying to have ultra realistic graphics. There's more to the argument, and a lot more insight if you read the comments, but that's just a summary.

The greatest insight I saw was rather subtle. One commenter noted that Nintendo hadn't signed up Britney Spears to do Zelda's voice, or Eminem for Link etc. This commenter noted that there were a lot of points to be made for Nintendo not having sold out to the whim of video game fad and public random opinion.

Underlying this was the insight of, "Why are we so concerned about the graphics?" People have basically been arguing for and against the new Zelda's graphics the same way they did for Wind Waker. That in and of itself is ironic. Because of this, the majority of people are missing out on something a little more important.

You would think that Iwata's moving speech would have clued people in, but apparently Microsoft had their brainwashing equipment turned up to the max at their keynote speech. The final insight that anyone who's played Zelda games since Link to the Past will notice the repetition that has been occurring. The difference between Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time is a seven year time change, and between Ocarina and Wind Waker an ocean. We still find rupies in the grass, free sages, find the master sword and rescue Zelda.

As Iwata pronounced, innovation is what we should be concerned with. Graphics, while important, should be secondary. My hope is that as revolutionary and controversial as the Wind Waker's cel shading was and unchanged the gameplay, the gameplay of the new Zelda will be revolutionary and controversial while having the same "mundane" realistic graphics that seem typical today.

Iwata touched me with his ideas, and I'm sad to see that gamers still fuss and obsess over graphics while ignoring what really makes a video game a video game.

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