I’ve just entered the Fire Temple. Well, they’re calling it the Earth Temple in this game, but I’m not fooled. It’s the second dungeon and so it’s the Fire Temple. The next one will undoubtedly be the Water Temple, and then I’ll get the Master Sword. I know how this goes.
The boss of the first temple…normally Zelda rightfully prides itself on its bosses. Usually you need the new toy that you picked up in the dungeon to defeat them, you figure out the little puzzle of how to damage them, and you defeat them once you figure out the trick. The first boss is all about sword combat. Very few if any Zelda bosses are about sword combat. You rarely have to do more than whack them around a couple of times once you’ve figured out how to stun them. Here, you’ve got to swing the sword in specific directions and hope that the motion controls follow your movements. The combat is not very well done and it’s not an interesting fight.
The temple itself was poorly designed–again, the maps are very confusing and the areas aren’t very easily laid out, so I didn’t feel like I was solving the temple. I felt like I was just blundering my way through. I know the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time is pretty infamous, but I loved that dungeon. Getting through the Water Temple involved you knowing how the temple was laid out, what different switches did, where you needed to go and what route you needed to go there–it required you to think. The best Zelda dungeons require that flash of insight. I didn’t see it at all during this game’s first temple and I miss that. Maybe the Fire Temple will provide that, but honestly, I’m way past the point where any flaws can be attributed to a weak beginning. I’m in the game proper at this point.
The entire game is just so joyless. I don’t enjoy all of the fetch quests to find all of thse parts of keys because the areas are laid out in a very unintuitive way. I can’t seem to get any of the levels in my head, and that seems due to poor design. I haven’t felt like I’ve done anything in the game, like I’ve solved anything. There haven’t been any flashes of insight–for the most part, every time I’ve solved a puzzle I’ve shrugged and said, okay, I suppose that’s what they wanted me to do. I should be congratulating myself for figuring it out.
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