Poll: Zelda as formulaic as COD?!!?!

jamail77

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Hello there. Some of you may have heard this discussion before in a forum or among friends. I am one of those people on the side of Zelda isn't like COD. It's unique enough between games and changes art style and perspective (top-down, full 3D behind the shoulder, etc) and what not to be more than just a formulaic thing. It could do with more experimentation and a deeper exploration of certain themes, but it's not as though it's bad enough at this that the next game in the series is an automatic travesty.

I'm not here to prove that or explain that though. I want all of you to give your interpretation on the debate. If you think insults toward COD as too formulaic to the point of being a stale, milked franchise are too far and just a bad excuse from whiny haters then ok, fine. Compare Zelda to something you do think is more like that then.

I think Mario is more like COD than Zelda in this respect, but I was never as big of a fan of Mario as I am of Zelda. To be fair, Mario doesn't approach COD formula enough either, but it does so more than Zelda if you ask me.

EDIT: Here's a clarification on why I didn't choose Mario then via explanation to someone else:
jamail77 said:
CaptainMarvelous said:
Summation: By definition, a series will be this. CoD does it terribly. Zelda doesn't do it as bad.(along with Metroid and Kirby, this is easily the worst choice of a Nintendo IP for this, Mario or Pokemon would have been better cases)
[snip]

yes all series have some repetition, but like you say a balance is necessary. Making essentially the same game does not make a fun series. It's lazy and it's a waste of money even more so if they literally used the same exact engine, assets, and code for a majority of it. [snip]

I didn't make the case of Mario or Pokemon because Zelda is the common "like COD" argument on the Internet among a certain sect of gamers (I think they're mostly [diehard] defenders of COD). This is because while Zelda isn't quite as popular or anything it's well known for the nostalgia factor and has a solid fanbase, similar to COD, and one could argue Mario and Pokemon don't have these factors, at least not in the same way if they do have them to the same extent (which it seems they do).
END EDIT

If you don't want to see slightly unrelated fanboy rant skip this and just discuss the topic *I couldn't help myself*

Heck, looking at what I know of Arkham Origins Zelda definitely does more to keep the franchise from going stale than plenty of other big franchises rather than just the easy, overused COD argument. Arkham Origins looked like a rehash Arkham City to me (though I haven't played it yet to be fair). Arkham City opened up into a sandbox, added twice the moves, new game mechanics and gadgets, fixed combat issues, had better boss fights, and included side missions. Arkham Origins adds reverse countering, gimmicks, looks like it takes place in the future for the sake of keeping gameplay fun up without having to come up with clever ways to make it obvious it's a prequel while still just as fun (suit looks more advanced, GUI looks more futuristic, things look sleeker especially environments, etc.).

EDIT: Title changed from "Explain how Zelda is or isn't like COD". Also, here are a couple points made for the "Zelda is not COD" side of the debate:

1) http://retrowaretv.com/every-zelda-game-is-not-just-a-rehashed-ocarina-of-time/

This one is a little weak, but it gets the point across.

2) http://hope4media.blogspot.com/2011/12/zelda-franchise-without-rehashes-part-1.html

This was removed unfortunately since I first saw it a year or two ago and going through Google cache and other methods to see the older, not-removed and/or screenshotted and/or saved version did not work. I'll leave it here anyway in case anyone can manage to figure that out.

If this is the blog I'm thinking of then this is the best case I've seen made on how Zelda isn't really like COD in the rehashing department.
 

Poppy JR.

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Zelda isn't like COD becuase it is an RPG, it isn't first person, and it doesn't have online multiplayer. While some may argue that it is very formulaic, it does seem to be changing it's ways. Link Between Worlds now allows you to rent the items you need to progress, you can proceed in a non-linear fashion.

The purpose of the games are entirely different too. The protagonists in the COD games aren't silent, and they are intended to be actual "personalities". Meanwhile, Link is silent in order to allow you to project yourself on him. He has no personality except the one you give him. In addition, as I mentioned above, COD is an FPS, TLoZ is an RPG.
 

Pink Gregory

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Series are a poisoned chalice. Too much change, fans freak out (hello, Wind Waker); too little change, fans get bored. End the series, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

You can't win.
 

Meinos Kaen

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Well... Yes and no. Zelda is not like COD because COD's gameplay stays always the same all the time, with no true innovation. I've read a definition on here somewhere that was fitting: they're sports games with guns, they may just as well start calling them COD 2014.

Zelda, instead, it is formulaic but more than in the gameplay -I have to admit, that always gets innovated every single time- it's formulaic and repetitive in the story. You can spin it however you want, but at the end of the day, you're always a Link saving a Zelda by defeating a Ganondorf by going through Dungeons. I did that the first time in Ocarine of Time, that was enough to last me a lifetime, with how epic that game was. And that's also why Majora's Mask was so successful and it's now a cult. New gameplay additions and... Well, if you played it, you know the story is NOTHING like any other Zelda game.

And that's also probably why I'm not big a fan of the series, especially if you realize that everything only happens because the three goddesses are huge trolls.
 

Zeh Don

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Call of Duty is a series of interchangeable sub-six hour long man-shoots, each resulting in little more than an exercise in hyper-masculine chest beating. Some entries can be distilled down to being little more than pro-American propaganda. The game is designed to remove failure and require little to no interaction from the player in order for the game to be completed. With over 20 entries in the series overall, two for each year since it was created, Call of Duty features little to no difference between entries. It is targeted towards children and the lowest common denominator.

The Legend of Zelda is an RPG series of varying lengths, designs and story types. It is primarily an adventure game based around exploration and puzzle solving. The core concepts are of Good VS Evil, and continual variations of these themes run through most entries in the series. The games are generally designed to be challenging yet rewarding, and each requires a good deal of thought to complete. With some 15 entries in the series, roughly one every two and a half years, The Legend of Zelda features a significant degree of variety between entries. It is targeted towards no specific age demographic, though it is usually presented with a whimsical or colourful art style, lending many to classify the series as a younger franchise.

The comparison that is attempting to be made here would be between the misconception that "nothing changes", and that The Legend of Zelda simply re-releases the same game for each entries with zero changes.

With Call of Duty, literally no central mechanic has been changed since the second game, which introduced the regenerating health system. 19 entries later, selectable mission segments was added in Black Ops 2, however these were discarded in the next entry. Apart from the time period, there is virtually no differentiation between titles in terms of gameplay, mechanics, pacing and styling. The multiplayer received a radical face lift in "Modern Warfare", however since then the multiplayer systems have also seen no new mechanics, only variations.

With the Legend of Zelda, it was the gauntlet of consoles and technology for some 25 years. From 2D overhead RPGs and side-scrollers, to 3D exploration games and motion-controls, Zelda features a strong evolutionary development. Common progression mechanics and pacing are featured in each game, with some entries altering the systems dramatically - see Majora's Mask and A Link Between Worlds. The core "DNA" of the series - item based progression and puzzles, set number of dungeons and bosses, re-occurring characters - is generally present, though some entries forego various aspects - see Majora's Mask, Link's Awakening, Oracle of Ages/Seasons, The Minish Cap, A Link Between Worlds.

I think a better question to ask is: how could anyone think the stagnation and rinse-and-repeat, fire-and-forget nature of Call of Duty's yearly release cycle is comparable to any other franchise? Nothing is as run down, stagnant and utterly devoid of creativity, originality or innovation as Call of Duty.
 

debtcollector

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For one thing, Zelda's fans have been around for years. Conversely, CoD's advocates are, I would argue, newer to the video game scene (though not necessarily younger). So I'm sure nostalgia is a big reason for Zelda's praise.

However, something I've noticed is that it's very difficult to nail down Zelda's genre. It's not quite an RPG, not quite a puzzle game, not quite a platformer, not quite a hack-and-slash. Zelda seems to be a mix of many genre elements into something definable only as "Zelda-esque". Zelda managed to create its own inimitable genre, while CoD is very prototypical of the FPS, although that may be due to its success and influence on the industry.

For another, CoD is a surpassingly linear game. There is little to no room for exploration or secrets, only a progression of corridors, the antithesis of Zelda. While many of the mechanics of Zelda have remained unchanged for game after game, each installment offers a new world, with new secrets, new dungeons, new characters, etc. A Zelda game can be played for days or even weeks, while CoD's campaign lasts around nine hours.

I would say the most wearying part of CoD is its focus on multiplayer. Now, I haven't spent much time in CoD matches (certainly not recently either), but I can't imagine they can change much about the multiplayer mechanics at all without alienating a huge part of its player base (death threats over a changed fire rate? Yeah.). Because of this, CoD adds new maps, new guns, new killstreaks, but not much else that couldn't be included in a DLC pack. Not to mention the campaigns don't do anything original enough to justify selling it as a full game.

Most importantly, Zelda is not (yet anyway) into yearly installment territory. It wouldn't surprise me if Nintendo did release a new Zelda every year, alternating between handheld and console installments, but even then, handheld and console Zeldas are considerably different beasts. If Zelda was released on the same console year after year, then I'd worry.
 

Tom_green_day

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Woooow, CoD gets a LOT of hate, some of which isn't entirely educated. CoD takes more than a year to be made. Lots of the protagonists are silent. The games have changing settings, characters, tones and gameplay feels. In Black Ops 2 at least, there are a few open areas to explore, with hidden secrets and collectibles.
 

StriderShinryu

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I can see it both ways, though I would certainly say that they are definitely more different than alike.

Zelda is definitely pretty formulaic but it's really just iterating on it's own formula. There aren't all that many other games like Zelda out there, and it doesn't come out every year (though it has been around much longer in total). CoD, on the other hand, feels like it's part and parcel of an entire genre and is iterating on that entire genre on a yearly basis. They also both tend to be gameplay driven experiences as opposed to heavily relying on any depth in their story or lore. Zelda has it's history and lore, but the core of the experience is the adventure and light puzzle solving. CoD has it's blockbuster action movie drama but the core is really the tight honed shooting and setpieces.
 

Fireaxe

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Original Legend of Zelda games come out roughly half as often is a good start.

In terms of the single player at least Call of Duty is far more formulaic (it's shoot and hide when shot with the same plot bar the fact the enemy is a different group of non-English speakers), Zelda at least has new puzzles and items (which feeds into the puzzles).
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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debtcollector said:
For one thing, Zelda's fans have been around for years. Conversely, CoD's advocates are, I would argue, newer to the video game scene (though not necessarily younger). So I'm sure nostalgia is a big reason for Zelda's praise.

However, something I've noticed is that it's very difficult to nail down Zelda's genre. It's not quite an RPG, not quite a puzzle game, not quite a platformer, not quite a hack-and-slash. Zelda seems to be a mix of many genre elements into something definable only as "Zelda-esque". Zelda managed to create its own inimitable genre, while CoD is very prototypical of the FPS, although that may be due to its success and influence on the industry.

For another, CoD is a surpassingly linear game. There is little to no room for exploration or secrets, only a progression of corridors, the antithesis of Zelda. While many of the mechanics of Zelda have remained unchanged for game after game, each installment offers a new world, with new secrets, new dungeons, new characters, etc. A Zelda game can be played for days or even weeks, while CoD's campaign lasts around nine hours.

I would say the most wearying part of CoD is its focus on multiplayer. Now, I haven't spent much time in CoD matches (certainly not recently either), but I can't imagine they can change much about the multiplayer mechanics at all without alienating a huge part of its player base (death threats over a changed fire rate? Yeah.). Because of this, CoD adds new maps, new guns, new killstreaks, but not much else that couldn't be included in a DLC pack. Not to mention the campaigns don't do anything original enough to justify selling it as a full game.

Most importantly, Zelda is not (yet anyway) into yearly installment territory. It wouldn't surprise me if Nintendo did release a new Zelda every year, alternating between handheld and console installments, but even then, handheld and console Zeldas are considerably different beasts. If Zelda was released on the same console year after year, then I'd worry.
Poppy JR. said:
Zelda isn't like COD becuase it is an RPG, it isn't first person, and it doesn't have online multiplayer. While some may argue that it is very formulaic, it does seem to be changing it's ways. Link Between Worlds now allows you to rent the items you need to progress, you can proceed in a non-linear fashion.

The purpose of the games are entirely different too. The protagonists in the COD games aren't silent, and they are intended to be actual "personalities". Meanwhile, Link is silent in order to allow you to project yourself on him. He has no personality except the one you give him. In addition, as I mentioned above, COD is an FPS, TLoZ is an RPG.
Uh, guys? Zelda is not an RPG. It's action-adventure. If anything CoD is more of an RPG, it's actually got stats and levels (well, in multiplayer, anyway). The only Zelda game that counted as an RPG was Zelda 2, which had experience levels and stats... which ironically makes that one more like CoD in one way, specifically because it manages to avoid the biggest similarity of the other Zelda games (which is that each game is a marginal iteration on the last, at least to someone who doesn't play them).

Edit: Also, CoD isn't a prototypical FPS, it came much too late to even be the prototype for the Modern Military Shooter (Which would be Halo, for the genre as it exists today.). It is, however, the current stereotypical FPS.
 

MasterPaz

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Edit: Also, CoD isn't a prototypical FPS, it came much too late to even be the prototype for the Modern Military Shooter (Which would be Halo, for the genre as it exists today.). It is, however, the current stereotypical FPS.
UUhh, isn't Call of Duty 4 the game that started the whole "Modern Military Shooter"? Halo is a lot more of a sci fi FPS than a Modern Military Shooter.
 

Something Amyss

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the hidden eagle said:
Are you really trying to argue that COD isn't the same shit with a different wrapping?Same gameplay,same game design,same multiplayer,and nothing is changed at all.And please don't use the "but it has more than one year of development" card because I can point out two games where more development time meant absolutely nothing.
I don't see what's wrong with him trying to dispute claims people have made that are plain wrong.
 

MrHide-Patten

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Ninetndo is ENOUGH like Cod in that once I've played one I've played them all, and don't get very excited to hear about any new ones. Pretty much sums it up.

Sure they're good games if that's your thing, just tell me which is best over at least a period of 3 decades so I don't have to wade through the quagmire of repitition.
 

Hero of Lime

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I feel like it's ridiculous to say all Zelda games are the same. Compare two games in the franchise and tell me how it's the same game? Even direct sequels are vastly different. Compare Ocarina of Time to Majora's Mask, other than the same engine and main character, those games are very different. Could anyone with a straight face say Minish Cap is the same as Link to Past? I don't see how. It's funny how Zelda game "gimmicks" are usually means to shake up the formula, yet the cynical crowd just says they are dumb gimmicks. That's a bunch of bull.

Don't forget the way the games are released, Zelda games come out once every two or three years, and the distance between 3D console games can be over five except for Ocarina to Majora.

I'm not trying to put COD down because it does what works, I honestly can't blame Activision for putting a game out every year. It's the same thing with Nintendo and Zelda, they make good games, and a there is a strong fanbase to back it up.

I can see the comparison to Mario and COD, but Zelda? Nope.
 

CaptainMarvelous

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MrHide-Patten said:
Ninetndo is ENOUGH like Cod in that once I've played one I've played them all, and don't get very excited to hear about any new ones. Pretty much sums it up.

Sure they're good games if that's your thing, just tell me which is best over at least a period of 3 decades so I don't have to wade through the quagmire of repitition.
a) Ocarina of Time followed by Majora's Mask, cos it's difficult to appreciate Majora's Mask without OoT as contrast. So. y'know... now you know.

b) That applies to pretty much any game series. Like, I honestly wouldn't recommend someone play ACIII if they can play ACIV instead, just play the pirate one and if you want an inferior version of the same thing play ACIII. There's an ove-arching plot but nobody actually cares about it.

Not saying you're wrong but in order to be a SERIES it requires repetition and Zelda's pretty good at striking the balance (least in my opinion, huge ocean exploration followed by being a werewolf seemed like decent contrasts)

OT: As for CoD I... honestly don't care all that much? They aren't bad just redundant, thing change in them but rarely enough to justify the whole game. If Ghosts had actually been a woefully underarmed force 'Thief'ing it through bases to win I'd have been impressed, but nope, the 'outgunned and outarmed' troops slaughter their better armed opponents because they're just that good. Dog was cool though.

Summation: By definition, a series will be this. CoD does it terribly. Zelda doesn't do it as bad.(along with Metroid and Kirby, this is easily the worst choice of a Nintendo IP for this, Mario or Pokemon would have been better cases)
 

Something Amyss

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the hidden eagle said:
I don't see what's wrong with him trying to dispute claims people have made that are plain wrong.
How are they wrong exactly?As someone who used to be a big COD fan before getting tired of the same shit I can personally attest to the claim that the series has'nt changed at all since COD4.[/quote]

He was addressing claims like "there aren't silent protagonists" and "change of setting."

Why are you trying to change the subject?

And if you take away the same superficialities, Zelda "hasn't changed a thing" either.