Puzzles and Dungeons
Zelda Wii U‘s dungeons are supposedly going to be completed in a non-linear order a-la-A Link Between Worlds, and while I enjoyed the hell out of that game, that worries me a bit. Dungeons in A Link Between Worlds were intentionally designed with a lower amount of gear interaction since the game couldn’t control which items you did or did not have ready.
But flash back further and you’ll find classics like Twilight Princess or A Link to the Past merely ask you to use the main item from a dungeon in that dungeon, and then neatly tuck it away at the bottom of the bag never to be needed again until maybe the end of the game. Maybe.
We do have some shining examples of hope however, Ocarina asked you to combine Hoverboot use along with Lens of Truth to complete the Shadow Temple and parts of the Spirit Temple. Majora’s Mask‘s Stone Tower demanded multiple mask transformations along with songs as the basis of it’s puzzle solving. Nintendo certain retains it’s knack for compelling dungeon design (see Link Between Worlds and Skyward Sword) it just needs to respect Link’s ever growing arsenal and include them as dungeons layer on complexity.
This is the ONE area where Nintendo can shine brighter than anyone. I find many open world games to feature lackluster “dungeons” or indoor areas, with the BIG focus being on their world. Wind Waker was close but not NEARLY enough of that sweet, sweet dungeon crawling. I need the Zelda Wii U gameplay to bring together the wide sweeping landscapes and the tight core dungeon design they’re known for.