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Stop Asking for Zelda to have “Realistic” Graphics - PE Network


Jamie Butterworth discusses why Zelda fans shouldn’t be asking for ‘realistic’ graphics.

Source: Butterworthy

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  • J0E

    I wouldn't mind having a "realistic" looking Zelda. As long as it keeps all the core things that makes it a Zelda game. I don't like people saying it needs to become Zelda Scrolls/Souls though.

  • SoccerStar9001

    The day Zelda has realistic graphics is the day I still go buy it because it is fun.

  • koopzilla

    I personally hope Zelda never has a realistic look. I love a stylistic approach to any game more than a boring "realistic" style. I play games to get away from real life for a while, why would I want them realistic? Not to mention the characters in these realistic games have a repulsive look to me.

  • PrimusOrion

    Didn't I state that we Zelda fans are a different breed. Look at the Comments above.

  • Freelancepimp

    The unique gamut of characters from zelda games probably wouldn't translate to with a realistic aesthetic. Take for instance that walking nutsack of a character, can you imagine what he would look like in realistic graphics. *Shudders* 😛
    Seriously though, I don't have a problem with realistic Zelda, for a change that is. I definitely like being surprised with each iteration.
    Oh and twilight princess was far from the worst Zelda. That game had some awesome dungeons and boss fights and the atmosphere in my opinion was the most immersive maybe second to Ocarina. While wind waker was pretty immersive I really only felt it while I was in the ocean and the first part where you had to sneak into the stronghold. Twilight princess even had an awesome escort mission.

    • TLH14

      Walking nut-   Walking… What?


      Well, he'd probably look a little something like this.

      • Mythosa

        Should look more like here

        • TLH14

          Rule 63 fixes everything.

          • Mythosa

            YEAH!!!! 😀

      • Freelancepimp

        Nah I was referring to the character that you see at 30 seconds into the above video. I can't think of his name.

        • TLH14

          Bucha? Don't be mean; he's not nearly wrinkly and gross-looking enough to be a nutsack.

          Anyway, to re-answer your question, probably not all too different. Contrary to popular belief, cute, fluffy creatures do exist in real life and it would not at all be hard to render the Kikwi in a realistic style (like, legit realistic, not just the "realism" Twilight Princess gets mislabeled with).

  • Syrek

    I'm very glad Jamie brought this up because this vey topic has been on my mind as of late. Zelda and realistic graphics just don't mesh well, at least in my opinion. I mean I've played Twilight Princess within the last year or so and holy crap it has not aged as well as I thought it did in my mind. I know many will disagree with me but I can't deny how kinda ugly Twilight Princess looked. Not to mention the dark, depressing, moody atmosphere that this game portrays feels rather jarring and it made my experience with the game lacking.

    What's interesting is that back when I was 16, which was the same year Twilight Princess came out, I absolutely loved the game. For me, realistic graphics were the in thing for me and my group of friends because of the Xbox 360 and PS3 which had graphics that seemed so real at the time. Twilight Princess became the "mature" or "realistic" Zelda and for many people back in the day, and especially in this day and age, that's what gamers want for some reason.

    However, after playing Twilight Princess within the last year and having matured in my own, I saw Twilight Princess in a different light, especially when compared to Skyward Sword, Wind Waker HD and A Link Between Worlds. I greatly preferred the colourful, vibrant and brimming with life environments and graphics that came from Skyward Sword and The Wind Waker HD. For some reason that suited The Legend of Zelda universe better given the quirky characters and light heartened most of the Zelda games were known for. And the graphics for both of those games has held up rather well, especially The Wind Waker.

    I think too many people use Twilight Princess as a way to justify that Nintendo games can be mature when mature is such a subjective thing. Maturity doesn't come from playing violent, gritty, dark and realistic games, it comes from the choices we make, the views we take and enjoying something because it's fun, not because it's "dark" or "mature." I wouldn't say that Twilight Princess is the worst Zelda game as it has some great dungeons, cool music and interesting characters. However, I will say The Legend of Zelda series should not have realistic graphics as Zelda games were never intended to be realistic in the first game. It's almost like saying Mario should have realistic graphics, it just feels unnatural and out of place in many ways.

    Again, these are solely my opinions and I know how passionate people are about they're individual Zelda games, as am I. That being said, I really do think people should stop asking for Zelda to have more "realistic" graphics as The Legend of Zelda games flourish with more colourful and artistically pleasing graphics or art styles. I really feel that too many people have nostalgia glasses when it comes to that game because most of us played it during our youth when we were young, naive and thought playing realistic and dark games made us "mature" and "cool." Not saying everyone did that but I know a lot of people, especially some of my friends, who were like that and still are like that. Twilight Princess is still a good Zelda game and like Jamie said better than 90% of the video games out there but it feels out of place and disjointed with the many other Zelda games out there.

    • AtomicToasterYo

      For me, all the different art styles is what makes the series so dang interesting at this point! But Twilight Princess looked dated upon release. I'm sure it was a better Gamecube game then it was a Wii game, given the Wii game had gimmicky controls.

      I think if they did a remaster of Twilight Princess and made it a harder game and redid the graphics for HD, it might just be a great game for HD. The characters were certainly interesting enough, the world was big and open, the temples were amazing. It's more just the fact that it was way too easy and the art style didn't work.

      I mean, the colors in twilight princess were just really muted. If they were to do more with light and shadows and not make everything feel like a blurry fog it'd be a great game there.

      I mean, all the quirky stuff that happens in Zelda was still in this game, it just seemed strange and out of place because it was trying to be Lord of the Rings or something.

  • AtomicToasterYo

    I enjoyed Ocarina of Time, Link Between Worlds, Skyward Sword, Windwaker the most…. I still need to go back and finish Majora's Mask cuz that looks great… TP is for my bunghole!

  • stoneman194

    i wouldnt say twilight princess was trying to be realistic i think it went with the right art style for the atmosphere it was going for it and absolutely worked for the game and the story it was trying to tell, moments like midnas lament just couldnt work in a art style like skyward sword.

    at the end of the day zelda fans have their game they like the best just dont hate on another game because your supposed favorite gets a ton of criticism hell skyward sword i like a bunch but i wont deny some problems people pointed out, heck i like Fi a ton but i still say she made the game drag a bunch or how the sky while very cool was ultimately pointless i still enjoyed it.

  • dgc4gamers

    I'm sorry as a massive Zelda fan I don't completely agree with butterworth on this. It's his opinion and if that's how he feels there is nothing wrong with that. He's still a really cool guy. Now I agree that people shouldn't keep asking for zelda to be realistic. But I don't think the realistic graphics took away from twilight princesses experience. For it's time twilight princess was a gorgeous game, visually one of the best sixth gen games out there and even made some of the early seventh gen games look bad. Although it has not graphically held up as well as windwaker over time for realistic style art it has held up a lot better than many other realistic style games out there even on seventh gen systems. Now although ocarina of time still looks fairly good to this day on the surface. There are a lot of corners cut in the game because of it, a lot of areas that have completely flat textures and the animations are not exactly what I cool cutting edge today. I understand at the time there were limitations and they did what they could and overall ocarina of time is an amazing game regardless, its the game that made me fall in love with the series.

    In terms of the tone, all zelda games have a fairly dark tone. Ocarina of time's tone was very dark and Majora's mask even darker, as colourful as a link to the past was it was still a fairly dark game. Even skyward sword at times can be quite dark. The original games on the nes and gameboy are pretty dark toned as well. Twilight princess was probably one of the darkest of all zelda games but games like the ones I mentioned above are not as far off as people make out in my opinion. The graphics do add atmosphere but overall it is the content of Zelda that makes it that way.

    Hence why I will agree with jamie in regards to the fact that people should stop asking for Zelda to have realistic graphics because zelda already has a fairly dark tone, adding realistic graphics will only make the game a lot more gothic than it already is. Remember Zelda is meant to have mass appeal to both young and old gamers, so it is only natural that their should be some whim to its style. Now do not get me wrong, I would love to see a more realistic style Zelda with the power of the WiiU especially after that demo they showed at E3 2011, but that is because I can appreciate on a whole that Zelda comes in all different art forms, each one expressing Zelda games in a beautiful manner and I am still glad Nintendo went with the art style they did for WiiU because it looks gorgeous more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

    But I definitely do not agree that Twilight Princess is the worst Zelda in fact it is one of my favourites simply because it took everything that ocarina of time did and made it so much better whilst adding more. I like many Zelda fans got to see what something similar to ocarina of time would possibly look like and play like with more power and I think Nintendo did something amazing with that game, and the story was a twist on the conventional zelda story whilst still retaining the essence and with the power of the gamecube expanded all the worlds and gave life to them more than anyone could imagine. I'd never thought I'd see areas like Zora's domain brimming with life the way I did. For what it is I think twilight princess is definitely a game that is underrated and heavily under appreciated in the zelda community and will go as far as saying it is actually better than ocarina of time.

  • jet045

    I like the TP art style very much. It still had fantasy but also with "realistic" graphics.

    I really don't like what this guy has said so far either. Skyward Sword is a terrible Zelda game. If it had been named differently, and not a Zelda game, it would've been fine. But it does not live up to the standards of Zelda. So his point about "When you hear Zelda, what do you think?" is really moot because he applies it to SS, and then lists elements that were not in SS but were in TP.

    First off, Skyrim doesn't have bad graphics, for one. (I'll give him fallout) and second of all, what does that have to do with anything? Realistic graphics can't be good?

    TP doesn't hold up? I don't know. I just played it a few months ago on the Gamecube from start to finish and it looked pretty beautiful. Much better than the hybrid art style of SS.

    I still don't understand his complaint with TP, aside from the graphics. I feel like he somehow thinks "Yep, realistic graphics means bad gameplay and the more animated graphics automatically means good gameplay." As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure he thinks this because of his praise for SS, which had bad gameplay (constantly had problems with the motion controls being inaccurate, especially with the last boss), a terrible companion, and was horribly padded to make the game seem longer because the world didn't have much to explore.

    Also, how is it fair to compare TP to WW HD, a recently upgraded remake, and SS, a game which made full use of the Wii's power (lel) and was not held back by the gamecube.

    This is a terrible argument.

    • markwang125

      Well, I see that what he's saying is more of his own opinion, and I mostly understand what he's trying to say. He's trying to tell us that Zelda doesn't really need realistic graphics, rather, he believes that it has the possibility to downgrade the experience over time; to make it even more clear, he's just saying realistic graphics don't age well.

      • jet045

        But TP still looks good. It hasn't aged badly, and the gameplay is superb, and he insults that as well while also praising SS. And he keeps comparing the game to SS and WW HD, which is a very unfair assessment.

        • http://nintimdoblog.wordpress.com NinTimdo

          I'm playing TP for the first time ever now and I've only started the Zelda series in the past 2 years, so you know I have no nostalgia goggles with the series and I honestly think the complete opposite to you, I think it has aged a lot and is a boring, empty and uninteresting world compared to the vibrant and colourful worlds of Skyward Sword, ALTTP and Windwaker. I don't care what fans think a Zelda game should be, for me Zelda peaked at SS and that is still meaningless as the next game could be completely different and I'll go into it with an open mind.

        • markwang125

          You also got to remember that this is HIS opinion, so whether or not he thinks TP is worse than SS, that's up to him. I'm not really much of a Zelda fan compared to others, but I definitely see where Jamie's coming from. TP definitely doesn't look ugly, but if he likes the style of SS better, again, that's his view.

          • TLH14

            Right, it's fine to have your own opinion, but what does the point of this video become then? Jamie isn't just stating his opinion for its own sake, he's trying to make an argument in support of something; that "realism" (and I can't stress those quotation marks enough; TP's style is as much a cartoon as the one in FS/TWW/FSA/TMC/PH/ST is, it's just that the bodies are measured in 6 and 7 heads instead of 3 and 4) is somehow detrimental to the series.

            And that's where this argument of opinion falls flat; because that basically boils the video down to Jamie saying, "A realistic style is bad for Zelda because I don't like it."

          • markwang125

            If you were to ask me, I wouldn't know how to answer because I'm not Jamie. I honestly thought this was just an opinion video, not an argumentative video; I guess I misunderstood.

          • TLH14

            I only made it about six minutes in before I realized I had better things to do and the video didn't seem like it was going to cover any ground I hadn't already heard exhausted before, so I don't want to comment on the video itself because, for all I know, halfway through he goes, "Just kidding! Now here's some actually constructive criticism for Twilight Princess instead of just going on about how the colors made me feel."

            I'm just saying that if you're trying to help support the video by arguing for Jamie's right to express opinion, you should stop, because that's just making him sound worse. Really makes it seem like he's expressing his right for an opinion at the expense of anyone that disagrees with him.

          • markwang126

            Note: I'm using a different accound right now (i'm actually markwang125)

            I understand, but hey, there were people here who, imo, weren't giving him a fair chance. If you feel my "defense" (not quoting you btw) of his opinion makes things worse, I guess I'll stop.

          • Mythosa

            It's possible that realism takes away from the fantasy of it. It also has the ability to not take it's self too seriously. It is possible to do it with very realistic graphics as well, but it becomes a much finer line and can change the entire tone of a full game. I'm just speaking not directly about Zelda here, but about fantasy games in general.
            The more realistic a game looks, the more serious the tone and feeling. Take for instance the original Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Eternal Darkness, or even the likes of Contra. Of course they were limited by the potential of their representative systems. The opposite side of that are the likes of Wonderful 101, or an even better representation would be MadWorld. It's dark and brutal but doesn't take itself seriously at all. Zelda is somewhere in between imo.
            Something that Skyrim doesn't do well is portray silliness or goofiness, and those are both things that the Zelda series tends to do when it feels like it. Some take it more seriously, but others not so much.
            I don't overly care what they look like either way in the end, as long as it gives a good atmosphere for the story and gameplay.

            Edit: I haven't watched the video. Just wanted to give my two cents 😀

          • TLH14

            Thing is, I've always enjoyed TP, in part, because it played on those dark and serious expectations and delivered the same goofy and quirky Zelda experience that we've come to expect and quite frankly should have even with TP.

            I dunno, it just seems to me that people are just getting far too caught up on TP's surface image and they miss out on all those times when TP plays with that image. And maybe that's not what's going on, but every time I play Twilight Princess it's a wonderful experience.

          • Mythosa

            I'll agree with that. Since we haven't seen a "realistic" Zelda yet, probably the closest would be Adventures of Link (sort of) they have all had the ability to take themselves as seriously as is necessary at the within the story. TP is certainly the darkest Zelda game to date that I can think of, other than the alternative worlds on Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds. I found I couldn't play it for longer periods of time due to that fact, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good game. I have actually missed out on SS as sad as that is, but life was busy when it was released and it's pretty expensive now.

          • TLH14

            It's Majora's Mask.

            You don't even need to read up on all the fan theories surrounding that game for it to be dark.

            But feel free to check some of that stuff out anyway.

          • Mythosa

            Yeah, I didn't think of that one lol. I'll agree with that and toss it into the mix as well.

            I don't need to read up on much of any of the Zelda fan theories TBH. I have been alive and played most of them at release, with the exception of oddly enough, MM (used an emulator to play partially loooooooooong after release, didn't get to finish :( ) and SS(still haven't played)

            No. I don't agree with emulators,but at the time I didn't care and it is what is was. Can't change that now.

  • http://thenintendovault.wordpress.com/ Your Usual Sparkie

    Bah, this debate is just silly at this point.

    In my opinion it's a LOT harder to make a game stylish and good looking at the same time than making a realistic grey game. I didn't like TP because it tried a bit too hard to be grey, and so it didn't turn out to be the game that I wanted from a Zelda installment. Granted, it still got heaps of praise simply because it's a "realistic" Zelda game (although it wasn't…really…), and people disregarded its many flaws.

    I think that, on a fundamental level, Skyward Sword is a better game than Twilight Princess. However, the one thing I will agree with is that Twilight Princess is a LOT more of a Zelda game than Skyward Sword. Skyward Sword felt like it wasn't exactly MEANT to be Zelda.

    Just to clarify; Twilight Princess IS my least favourite Zelda game.

  • Hardin25

    To be honest, both sides of the realistic vs cel shaded art styles got what they want in LoZHD(I'm naming it that just because it's almost an HD version of the original based on what we know) It's a clear mix. Realistic look in a cel shaded style.
    If i had to choose, i'll pick Toon Link.

  • dreadedgrin

    I disagree with Butterworthy wholeheartedly. Why? Because skyward sword kinda killed the sense of exploration that Zelda games usually have. At least TP still had that. Also the blurred art style in skyward sword kinda hurt my head. SS definitely had the better of the game engines, but i personally liked aspects of Tp better. Like 1. Links fighting style.(not motion mechanics, the way he moves is different) 2. Bomb arrows. and that eagle eye thing. 3. The music parts actually felt like i was playing music, that strumming the harp mechanic sucked. 4. Midna didn't remind me constantly to take a break or change batteries.

    Anyway you can't please everyone with a specific art style and I'm glad that they switch it up every other game. Art style has little bearing on if the game is actually fun, and he was so anti green and brown graphics in that video that it felt like he has the same attitude toward colorful graphics as dudebros have for brown green colors.

    • FrancisPE2

      One Zelda fan disagreeing with another Zelda fan?!? You don't say? lol

      • dreadedgrin

        It had to be done. I kind of got the vibe that "people who play Tp are idiots" from this one part of the video. And while I probably am the only person who feels that way, It felt good to get that out of my system. Downvotes be Dammned.

        • TLH14

          I'll meet you halfway and agree that TP is awesome.

          But SS is also awesome.

    • PrimusOrion

      We are Zelda fans, I will say Ocarina of time, the next shall say A link to the Past.

      • TLH14

        It's Link's Awakening, as it has been since the game released.

        Unless you want to count the two versions separately, in which case, DX did well to improve upon the original without sacrificing any of what made the original great, so that one's the best.

        Anyone that tells you otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.

        • PrimusOrion

          You did not like A link to the Past? on the SNES?

          • TLH14

            A Link to the Past is great.

            It's just that Link's Awakening is greater.

  • PrimusOrion

    We are Zelda fans, we are too crazy to agree on anything. Just that after we play any Zelda game, it is the greatest Zelda ever lol.