I couldn't take it. SS has been sitting in its package at my house, but I refused to play it until the semester ends. I have so much ♥♥♥♥ to do in these next 2 weeks... SS just has to be one of them. I'm weak.
In terms of structure, there are similarities between the Prime games and the SS surface, but the SS surface is more open. The atmosphere is also entirely different, obviously. Two of the regions in SS feel upbeat (Faron and Eldin), the other feels melancholy (Lanayru). Some people have a problem with the lack of NPCs on the surface, and to be sure, those that are there are pretty much a waste of space, but as a Metroid fan, I felt right at home. I still think the surface could have used the Hidden Village somewhere in the Eldin region (seriously, it would have created an awesome continuity with Twilight Princess and finally let us see something about the Sheikah) but I was pretty satisfied. The over-world feels like a "lite" dungeon. You feel a bit like you're on a journey. In Faron, you feel like you're navigating a maze, in Eldin, you feel like you're ascending a great mountain, in Lanayru, you feel like you're crossing a desert. As you might expect, the action far more involved than past over-world travel in 3D Zelda, but generally less intense than a dungeon.
Metroid is a complete mess at the moment. It's amazing how much damage Other M did to the franchise. It's hard to gauge where that series should go next.
I think Link's Awakening would really lend itself well to SS's engine. Adding more sidequests, chararacters, areas, and revamping the dungeons for 3D would be really cool to see. By the look of it, SS's overworld is handled in a very similar way as LA where the overworld itself is pretty much a multi-layered dungeon. But that dream-like and innocent feeling that makes the original so charming (to me at least) needs to stay intact. LA really had some oddball characters, even the bosses were silly and talkative.
And, man, waking the Wind Fish with a fully orchestrated Ballad of the Wind Fish would be jaw dropping! Just thinking of it puts sparkles in my eyes.
By the way, how is the surface overworld in SS? Is there a lot to explore? And do the dungeons really feel like part of the overworld? That's a page from Metroid that I really want Zelda to take from.
Speaking of Metroid... I wonder what's going to happen to that series. I honestly don't trust anyone but Retro Studios with Metroid now, but I really would like to see Retro take on a 2D Zelda or a brand new IP where they can have at much fun with level design as they did with DKCR but have the open world of Metroid Prime.
LA did feel more dated to me than the original. I think part of it may have been the monochrome, so the DX version might have been better. But it just felt kind of slow to me in general.
And I'm talking full 3D versions (I hate that 2.5D crap--it's ugly and lacks the perks of both 2D and 3D). Obviously, since they're entering a new dimension, these would be very ambitious "remakes", to the point where they would basically be entirely new games. But I think it would be amazing to be immersed in 3D recreations of our favorite 2D worlds.
It's going to get harder and harder to stay off the 3DS bandwagon. I still think 3D is a gimmick and I really do not want to support the system. But Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart have my interest.
I probably won't be able to resist if they announce an appealing Zelda game for the system. Hopefully, they'll just stick with the PH/ST engine so I can continue to ignore the system. None of the other upcoming software (Luigi's Mansion, Kid Icarus, Paper Mario) really appeals to me at this point.
Awww, that's too bad about you not getting into LA. The more I think of it, the more suited I think it is for a remake. ALttP is as close to perfection as gaming can get, so leave that the way it is. LA could do with some tweaking, like real-time item selection and tougher boss battles (LA is the first "easy" Zelda").
If you ever do find that you feel guilty for not finishing LA (as you should ) then the DX version is the way to go. Do you really feel that it hasn't aged as well as the original NES game? I hate that game because the challenge comes from the games limitations (moving in only 4 directions, sword stabbing has no range and sucks, no map, etc.) and not challenging level design.
Anyway, are you talking about 2.5D remakes? Or like 3D versions of LA and SM using the OoT/Metroid Prime engines?
My roommate and I started the very beginning of LA, but didn't continue (this fall, we beat OoT a couple times, ALTTP, TP, MC, WW and MM and the original). I'm intrigued by the premise for LA and wanted to like it, but it just felt old to me in a way that even the original doesn't. It was slow. That's why I think it would be a good candidate for a remake. I've heard of this dream like quality before, and it does seem to be one of the most unique Zelda games, so I think a remake would be awesome. To be fair, we were playing on an emulator, which is never as satisfying.
One thing that Nintendo has never done (as far as I know) that I think would be interesting is a 3D remake of a 2D game (except that OoT is a remake of ALTTP LOLOLOLOOL). I think it would be fascinating to see 3D interpretations of our favorite 2D worlds. Imagine Zebes from Super Metroid or Koholint Island.
I want to play it. I don't NEED to play it like I did with TP, but I really want to. (I will never let myself get that hyped for a game again; I'm actually quite proud that I'm keeping my excitement for SS pretty tame).
Also, I know you just finished up a Zelda binge. Did you get the chance to play Link's Awakening? One thing didn't age well, and that's the item selection. Like the iron-boots in Ocarina of Time, it becomes annoying to constantly pause the game to switch items, and you need to equip dash boots and the power bracelet to pick things up. That means you only have 2 buttons, and basic features that you didn't have to equip in ALttP now take those button slots up.
Other than that, Link's Awakening is the most charming game in the series. Maybe it's nostalgia, but I do believe that the dreamlike quality to the game makes it something truly unique. It's not as balanced as ALttP, but few games are. In my mind, LA is the greatest handheld game, and easily one of the best Zeldas.
Well, I'm part way through the Fire Sanctuary, which is the sixth dungeon. I know there is a seventh dungeon called "Skykeep." I think there is still a fair amount of content before the finale. And then I have a fair amount of side-questing to do.
Looking forward to Hero Mode. Sounds legitimately hard (enemy damage 2X, no heart pick ups)
I've only died twice (however, that's more than I died in WW and TP combined), but I have had to use potions occasionally.
So far, I'd say it's definitely better than the Gamecube Zeldas. I'd also go as far as saying that if you only consider the game play, it is the best Zelda ever. Opinions on WM+ obviously vary, but I couldn't imagine going back to swordplay with buttons.
That said, there are some things that bug me and may ultimately prevent me from placing SS alongside the N64 Zeldas. One of the biggest is the harp and the scenes associated with it. Wow, were those disappointing. You remember how amazing and epic those scenes where Sheik would teach Link songs were? I think they were going for something similar here with the Fi and the harp but the execution is abysmal. For how skillfully Nintendo usually weaves music into their games, I was almost shocked by how bad these songs and the scenes they accompany are. It was especially surprising because the presentation for the rest of the game was fantastic.
One good surprise--the Silent Realm. As you know, I was as big a skeptic as any, but these segments are fun. It may sound similar to the vessels of light quests in TP, but the Silent Realm is actually fun. Very intense. I wouldn't really describe it as stealth based. Best of all, your runs through the silent realm are short, sweet, and reasonably challenging (I failed the last one twice).