Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Link X Dynasty Warriors: Only cool things can come from Nintendo and Koei combined

at 7:14 PM

And you thought Twilight Princess was bad! HAhahaha! aHAhahahahaahaaHAHAHahah! HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAAH!

Sorry, that was my impression of how 90% of the Internet reacted to that video. 

Isn't this only natural considering Pokemonaga's Ambition? Silly, sure, but I kinda love that we're getting Nintendo/Koei crossovers. Two companies who've been in the industry as long as there's been an industry, one the most iconic and revered of all-time, the other perpetually mocked and banished to the shadows, both supported by fervently dedicated fans. It could be said there's not really any difference between the Nintenhardcorer and the Koeihardcorer except that the former were often so destined by the holiday console purchasing predilections of their parents, while the latter perhaps became so attached to their patron saint because of the effort it took to seek out their games (and then defend them from the onslaught of critics). Regardless, I think in some sense Nintendo and Koei are symbolic of both the best and worst of the video game industry - the idealism, the precision, the tight connection between the community and the creators, and also the redundancy, the pandering, and the reluctance to evolve.

As someone with moderate respect for the Dynasty Warriors franchise (though I can only enjoy the games for about two hours per year), I think the series is anything but a barren wasteland of inspiration. People trash Koei's action games a lot (and maybe they'd trash their strategy games if they knew they existed), but they're labors of love, not schlock. Honestly, check one out sometime. You can get one of the PS2 or Xbox games for all of $2 or fucking splurge and dump 19 cents on Samurai Warriors. Actually, do yourself one better and get the best (of the ~five I've played), Mystic Heroes. They may be boring to some (myself included), but they have a dedicated hardcore fanbase and each game is overflowing with dozens of levels, hundreds of weapons and characters, all kinds of mode variations, and the tried and true gameplay that the fans demand. Taking potshots about how they're samey mindless grindfests is like shitting on Godzilla movies for being ridiculously cheesy scifi or Friday the 13th for being idiotic flasher-slashers - that's the entire reason people like them. They're not trying to cater to the mainstream. There's a reason Ebert didn't bother to review Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, so I'm not sure why IGN feels so justified giving Dynasty Warriors 8 a 4.63/10 every year. It seems like maybe Zelda vs. Dynasty Warriors is a chance at a big budget mainstream crossover a la Pacific Rim or JJ Abram is Star Trek.

That's pretty much what Pokemon Conquest was for Nobunaga's Ambition - it stripped away the excesses of the franchise, concentrated on the core characteristic elements (recruiting and balancing a force, taking and holding territory, and turn-based tactical battles), introduced some Pokemon strategy (trainer/Pokemon matching and elemental cycles, which actually took on a new level when it became necessary to distribute different types of Pokemon around the map, determining which areas were Fire-vulnerable or where to make a strong Rock/Psychic attack), and significantly prettied it up for mass appeal (the series was barely animated up til that point). It was NOT just Nobunaga's Ambition in a Pokemon coat of paint. If Nintendo/Koei apply the same mentality to Hyrule Warriors and give a substantial Zelda slant to the action, there could be a pretty damn decent game in store. Especially if they keep the strategier elements of the better Dynasty Warriors games, or somehow find a way to replace them with Zelda's exploration/collection shenanigans. Of course, Conquest was nearly as obscure as the Koei games that spawned it simply because of the obscene glut of Pokemon spinoffs released on a daily basis - I doubt I Rule Warriors will suffer that fate, as the uproar already unleashed is indicative of just how rare and special it is for anything to bear the Zelda brand. [instead HW will find its way to obscurity via its release platform, Wii U, on which a 3D Mario game sold only 200k units in a November launch].

Is it the next Zelda game I wanted? No, but it's clearly not the next Zelda anymoreso than was Link's Crossbow Training. People are already panicking about where this is going to fit in canon and shit like that. Seriously? Link was in fucking Smash Bros., is this really any different?

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