Don’t get me wrong; I’m not unexcited about Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. I’m just not $60 excited.
Whenever Nintendo announces a new Legend of Zelda game, it’s a big deal. I mean, it’s a huuuuge deal! Nintendo’s treatment of the Zelda franchise differs wildly from that of Super Mario. While Mario only gets a major release a few times (at most) per console, he also gets tons of spin-off games.
Mario Tennis, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Paper Mario and those type of “side games” are all excellent, of course, and loved by fans. And while they lack the scope of the mainline Marios (Odyssey, Galaxy, etc), they are fun and expected additions to each console.
Without getting into a Mario rabbit hole, let’s just say that The Legend of Zelda is a top-tier first-party franchise but it’s not the Nintendo flagship. So it makes sense that we don’t get a Zelda Party, Zelda Tennis, Tingle’s Mansion (Zelda fans will buy anything), or Zelda Kart. Although Link’s appearance in Mario Kart 8 was certainly welcome. He’s my main.
And yes, there are quite a few Zelda side games like Cadence of Hyrule, Link’s Crossbow Training, and who can forget Freshly Picked – Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland? (Zelda fans really will buy anything!) But these are usually handled by 3rd party developers and nowhere near as frequent as Mario games.
So that more or less answers my thesis question. Hyrule warriors: Age of Calamity is exciting because Zelda games don’t get made all that often. It actually is kind of a big deal. And the fact that this game backfills the story leading up to Breath of the Wild is exciting.
Age of Calamity’s big world map will use the same geography we spent so many hours exploring in BotW, but in an earlier state. With buildings intact (or perhaps in the process of getting destroyed?) and hopefully a few more villages and NPCs than what BotW offered.
We all know there’s a big, fat elephant in the room.
It wasn’t long ago that Nintendo announced a true sequel to Breath of the Wild was in development. I even wrote an excessive list of Breath of the Wild 2 demands and what we already know about it.
Breath of the Wild 2 is objectively exciting. Age of Calamity? Well, there’s more room for interpretation and I’m not completely convinced.
(If you’re not familiar with Hyrule Warriors)
By the way, if you’re not already familiar with the Warriors games, it may be helpful to get caught up.
The original Hyrule Warriors was released for the Wii U in 2014. It is part of Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors series which has a long history that stretches across many consoles.
The Dynasty Warriors games have always been fun, pitting a hero or team against massive hordes of enemies, slicing through them like gobs of warm butter with long chains of combos and awesome weapons.
I don’t think anyone would dispute that the Warriors games are fun. And it will certainly be fun and cathartic to rediscover the sights and situations of Hyrule in a new setting. And I’ve always enjoyed hacking and slashing my way through crowds.
And really, I’m not unexcited for this game, okay?! It looks great! I’m just not sure I’m excited enough to drop the money this game will cost.
Age of Calamity is not going to scratch that Legend of Zelda itch. It just won’t. No matter how many moblins I mow down, or how many octorok projectiles I deflect. It won’t be the same.
It’s hard to get excited about a Zelda game that
- Isn’t a mainline Zelda game
- Isn’t developed by Nintendo
- Costs as much as Breath of the Wild 2 (Zelda fans will buy anything.)
- Is just Nintendo’s way to shut fans up until they can actually finish BotW 2.
So sure. Shut me up, Nintendo. If I happen to have an extra $60 floating around (I won’t) I’ll gladly pick this up. But we all know you’re just trying to appease the fans and throw them off your trail long enough to finish BotW 2.
I would further not be surprised if Nintendo was holding off on the sequel to release it with the next edition of the Switch console. Switch Pro or whatever they’re going to call it.
Nintendo knows how to make money. But their whole earnings model is based on the central concept of this article. Zelda fans, and indeed Nintendo fans, will buy anything and everything that comes out.
Not me though, Nintendo. Not me.
But srsly if anybody wants to loan me sixty bucks…