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The Legend of Zelda: Mobile Edition - A Hit in the Making!
Nintendo is moving into the mobile stratosphere with the recent announcement of their partnership with mobile gaming giant DeNa. This news comes to my surprise - I never imagined Nintendo developing mobile games; however, I am all for seeing what they can do in this realm. One of the first things that come to mind is the Legend of Zelda on mobile. Would it be good or bad?
First things first - the Legend of Zelda is already a portable franchise with all of the handheld games in the series so going mobile seems like the next step in making Zelda accessible to all users. Many people will agree that Zelda is not for everyone and trying to make it so only waters down the core experience. I have to agree that the games may be easier - but how much of that is actually due to them "watering" down the experience?
It could simply be that the series has reach a level where the common knowledge of gamers is higher than the learning curve of the game so they appear easier with each iteration. How does this translate to mobile? Well, mobile games are known for being for casual gamers - that is people who want an easy going experience. This is an area where Zelda is all too familiar: Spirit Tracks anyone?
Spirit Tracks was a game that many people considered one of the easiest in the series. It was very casual in my opinion and only occasionally challenged me. It was however - a very solid experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I could see a mobile Zelda game in the style of Spirit Tracks and I would be the first to purchase such a game. Zelda on the go? In short burst? YES!!!
Watering down the franchise? Maybe for core fans; however, the people who commonly play mobile games want a game that can be played in short bursts of time such as when riding on the bus or waiting for an appointment. Most core Zelda games do not offer such an experience - they can take up to an hour to just get out of the "tutorial" phase. Skyward Sword is one offender of this style.
Aonuma promised to shorten the tutorials in the games and mobile will give him the prime opportunity. Mobile games have the tendency to be easy to pick up and play so long tutorials would likely turn people off from the game. With a short tutorial and an easy to use control scheme, a mobile Legend of Zelda would be a hit from the start. People complain about the lack of a story? No problem...
Mobile games are not necessarily void of stories and are not inheritably plagued with being such - there are several MMORPGs on mobile that have vast stories. Just add climaxes in short spurts instead of a long build up like a traditional Zelda and a mobile edition could be just as immersive and likely a whole lot more accessible to the masses.
So now we have a Spirit Tracks casual Zelda game on mobile with climaxes every 15 minutes and an easy to use control scheme. What else would you need in a mobile Legend of Zelda? You'd be hooked in an instant and not be able to wait until the next time you are waiting in line so you could get your next fix. Mobile Zelda would work so well that it could introduce new gameplay experiences to the core games.
Mobile. Legend. Of. Zelda. Need I say anymore? It would work and you know it! Will it happen? I use to think there was a better chance at meeting Aonuma, but I did that. So mobile Zelda? It is looking more likely to happen than ever and with being one of Nintendo's biggest IP - I think it is only a matter of time before we are all addicted to the next gaming craze.