March 15, 2010

It is time for the return of jumping as an ability of Link´s. Link was able to jump in Adventure of Link, Link´s Awakening, the Oracle-games and the Smash Bros.-series. He also had a context-sensitive jump in Twilight Princess.

When Ocarina of Time was released, Nintendo wanted to differentiate the game far enough from Super Mario 64, which influenced Nintendo´s 3D-experience. So they took away the jumping ability and turned it into the well-known automatic jump Link does when running past an edge. Since then, there have been lots of other action-adventures games that included a jump-button. It works. It´s proven. And it gives additional freedom to the player. There´s nothing I hate more than first-person-shooters where I cannot jump (see Time Splitters), and even though it wasn´t a real problem in previous Zelda-games, it´d be a great way to introduce new, fresh gameplay ideas.

Being able to jump would change a lot. For combat and non-combat. It would make fighting even more directly involving. Instead of relying on more or less abstract combos that include Link jumping, the player would have to decide by himself when to jump, where to jump, and what to do while jumping. However, it´d be even more game-changing for the exploration-portion of the game. Of course, it´d have to be a more realistic jump than Mario´s, but really, jumping around in a Mario-game and thus reaching new places is what makes it so much fun. The same would work for Zelda.

Combine jumping with in-depth climbing, and you´ll have a world that feels even more alive. After 12 years, it´s time for Link to lay down his roll-action and grow up to a jump-action.


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