I feel very fortunate that I've had the privilege to have games become such a huge part of my life in recent years, but if I were to have one regret it would be that I didn't start with the Legend of Zelda games sooner.
So recently I just finished Breath of the Wild (the main story at least,) and I am planning on writing a separate piece all about that as it certainly deserves it, but the main thing I seem to have taken away from that game is just how much I'm in to LoZ. Truth be told it was the first game of theirs that I have actually taken the time to finish. As usual with me I have started many other titles, but always got halfway through and gave up, usually because of intimidation due to difficulty/skill level. This includes Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and Link Between Worlds, each of which I've really enjoyed playing but just happened to stop playing for whatever reason. I also attempted once to play the original Legend of Zelda on the NES, something I would not necessarily recommend to a brand new gamer as it gives you zero context - I really struggled with this, but I'm looking forward to going back and trying it again some time, hopefully with the right guidance! (Never be ashamed to use walkthroughs, they have saved my ass A LOT.)
2018 was the year I completed my first big game (Kingdom Hearts) and since then I seem to be on an unstoppable train to complete more games this year than I ever have done in my life. Ever since I saw the trailer for Breath of the Wild a few years back (and learned how big it was) I never in my wildest (get it) dreams thought that I would even get close to ever finishing it. When we got the Nintendo Switch back in March, I spent a solid 15-20 hours just running around not doing a lot because the game is just that damn fun anyway, but again never thought I'd finish. For the longest time it was just one of those 'pick up' games, where you could play for a few hours here and there and never really put any commitment into it. I picked it up a few weeks back however and noticed how well I was doing - All those hours spent running around in the field had really jacked up my stats, so I decided to tackle the story. In about a week or so I managed to smash through it and I felt such a great sense of achievement from it, that it very much reignited my desire to complete more LoZ games. Hell, Reece hasn't even finished it yet and that never happens! I'm still so damn proud.
As I said, this game made me realise how much I genuinely love the Legend of Zelda as an idea - I'm a real stickler for adventure fantasy and I love anything with a good lore. If I had discovered these games as a child then I would have soaked them up like a sponge, over and over again, and would have rarely played anything else. I do often think though that I would really like to have the nostalgia attached to these games as so many others do - having such wonderful memories the first time you played Ocarina of Time as a kid, only to see it remastered in full glory many years later so that you can enjoy it again. Yeah, I have my nostalgic memories with the few games I played as a kid, but it's nothing spectacular. I'm very envious that I don't have that feeling, although settling for the HD remakes straight off the bat is never a bad thing as they are absolutely stunning.
Speaking of I've just restarted OoT for the second time and am looking forward to pushing all the way through. I think everything I've learned from playing games this year is really going to help my confidence, and I'm excited to see how the end plays (actually for myself!)
This now decades-old behemoth of a franchise is so iconic and has become such an integral part of gaming imagery, that even now I struggle to know where to begin with all of the games. Of course the main ones are top of the list, and there's a few I'm going to have to psyche myself up for (*cough cough* Majora's Mask) but I can feel my connection with LoZ growing every time I play something. I enjoy the fact that I've done it backwards and started with the biggest game first, now the other's don't seem so overwhelming. They seem... tiny even, but no less fun all the same!
I suppose the point I was trying to make here was that it doesn't matter if you've known something for 15 years or 15 minutes, it's still cool to really like something if you're interested in it. I've had to be reminded of this myself quite a lot but it's very true the more you think about it. I often struggle with justifying myself as someone who writes about games as I don't have a rich history with them as so many others do, but at the end of the day, who gives a fuck? The Legend of Zelda to me is basically everything I loved as a child crammed into a variety of things that I'm getting to enjoy as an adult for the first time and damn, it's great! I'm crazy excited to have at least a go at most of, if not all, of the games to see what they're all about and how they all supposedly interconnect with each other. ('Supposedly' being the operative word here...)
Enjoy things at your own pace, discover things on your own time, read that damn walkthrough to guide you through the dungeon that you've been stuck on for the past 2 days! I can't wait to see what adventures await me with the legendary trio, and I can't wait to play them as someone who would appreciate them as they are now more than they would have ever before.