Video games have long been at the center of discussion when it comes to who the appropriate age group playing them should be. Some would agree that while games can have a 17+ rating, it doesn’t mean that adults should be playing games. Others would say the opposite in that games shouldn’t be played at all and are considered to be a waste of time. For some, gaming is a constant variable in their lives that changes and grows as they do.
I remember getting a Nintendo 64 for the first time and immediately thinking that graphics just couldn’t get better than what was coming through my television at the time. Of course, as the years passed, games have become a different entity altogether than what they were twenty, or even ten years ago.
Many gamers might say that Nintendo would be the greatest constant of them all, with their IPs being among the most well-known in all of gaming. Even if you aren’t in your thirties or above, it’s hard not to imagine the legacy of Nintendo without games like Zelda, Mario, and Pokémon. In fact, you can go back and see how the gameplay for these games construct a legitimate timeline of what was considered to be great both physically and visually. What’s also hidden in this timeline is the different generations of players interacting with these games for both the first time and all over again.
Are More Difficult Video Games Better?
With the release of games like Dark Souls and Elden Ring, games with a knack for more difficult gameplay have been attributed with being better since they require more skill and engagement. The same goes for online games that pin players against one another in heated matches. Regardless of what the particular skill needed is, the outside perspective is that a game must be great because their audience absolutely loves that there is more to do on a skill-based level than just progress. So, from an outsiders perspective now, Soulslike games are intended for hardcore gamers where Zelda is intended for children and less experienced gamers; just by looking at the physical design and gameplay styles of both.
It’s important to understand what the idea of difficulty is. A puzzle might be hard to crack, but it’s different than trying to dodge a flurry of bullets because the difficulty setting is set to one-hit kills. The same goes for the crafting and progression in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Many of the shrines require Link to solve puzzles using a variety of different factors including puzzle-solving, brute strength, and more. The development of these shrines were done in way that allows them to be completed in a variety of ways, so long as they make physics sense. So, where someone might create an intricate creation to get from one area to another, another person might scrap all of that and use a single fan to hover to their destination.
If both players were able to solve the puzzle using two different methods, one far more intricate than the other, then does that still make the puzzle difficult? That’s hard to say. But, what it does prove is that the game is for people who think about how to complete their objectives in different ways.
Players Want Worlds That Let Them Play How They Want
Just like its predecessor, Tears of the Kingdom opens the floor to however players want to explore. Personally, I went for the Goron people first, followed by the Zora people before losing myself in the exploration of everything from wells to mountaintops. I haven’t gotten through a lot of the story as I write this, and I feel like I won’t in the coming weeks just because of how much there is to see and explore. The story is there, and I can complete it as I wish, but exploration isn’t punished. By punished, I mean that just because you decided to explore doesn’t mean that you’re going to be absolutely mauled by enemies that you have no business fighting yet.
A lot of times, I’ll notice that a game will be considered open-world, but areas are scaled to your level. This means that you can’t explore until you’ve reached particular points within the story or have grinded in order to be able to defeat particular enemies. The exception to this are games that have story points that need to be met in order to obtain equipment that allows you to enter previously locked areas. These types of games are widely considered to be called Metroidvania-type games. If a game is boasting their open world, then I expect to be able to travel through it when I so choose to, whether or not I have the tools or abilities to do so in the most convenient way.
The added abilities as a result of Link’s new arm also add a fresh take on exploration, giving players who want more exactly that. These abilities limit a person’s progression and exploration only to how imaginative and creative they are. If they can’t progress one way, then they can quite literally build something that can force them to progress. In fact, there are videos all over YouTube that detail all the incredible and intense creations that players have been able to make just because the game allows them to.
There is No Age Group For The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Considering everything above, Tears of the Kingdom can’t be confined to any age group or particular type of gamer. It’s development was done with the idea that anyone can pick it up and play so long as they are not overwhelmed by the limits of their imagination. The game isn’t limited by a sense of difficulty or of single ways to complete different objectives and players who simply want to move forward without spending more time than necessary will not really be missing out on anything either.
Games being developed from this point forward that are looking to have a similar idea on their gameplay are sure to have a difficult time finding how to top the presentation of this Zelda game to players. With a completely different take on puzzle and general predicament solving than most modern games, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom proves to be a game that is meant to be played by anyone who loves video games.