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Forums > Submission Feedback > honestgamer's 3D Dot Game Heroes review

This thread is in response to a review for 3D Dot Game Heroes on the PlayStation 3. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: Suskie
Posted: May 31, 2010 (02:58 AM)
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Developed by people who understand what made those classics tick, 3D Dot Games Heroes is both an homage to its predecessors and a journey down the road not taken when Miyamoto and crew explored three-dimensional territory with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. That title did many things well and earned itself a gold star in the gaming annals, but it made some changes that moved its franchise away from some of its core values and started it down what I would call "the wrong road."

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Author: LowerStreetBlues
Posted: May 31, 2010 (09:36 AM)
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What's bad is how vague but sure to rile OoT fans it is: "some changes" to "core values" started it down the "wrong road?" Something concrete might actually identify an audience, but only people with a grudge will nod along with that sort of unidentifiable griping.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: May 31, 2010 (11:04 AM)
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The griping isn't unidentifiable, LowerStreetBlues, because it's identified within the review (a few paragraphs down). Hyrule Field was, is and always will be a massive stain on Ocarina of Time, which is otherwise virtually spotless (with the possible exception of Navi, at whom 3D Dot Game Heroes also makes a well-placed jab). In a single swipe, Ocarina of Time hacked away nearly half of what made Zelda great: an overworld that actually was a pleasure to explore. Only the combination of a host of new elements helped the series to recover from that blow, but it definitely marked the obvious start of a shift for the worse (one that explains a lot of the vague complaints that people voice about newer Zelda titles without really saying specifically what they're complaining about). I could have gone into that in even more depth than I did in the body of the review, but I was already over my desired word count as it was.

The review, like 3D Dot Game Heroes itself, is aimed at people who appreciated the sense of wonder and exploration that Zelda stood for pre-OoT.

One of the central points of the review is that 3D Dot Game Heroes goes back to the likes of A Link to the Past and from there evolves it in a different direction. I'm not just mentioning the Hyrule Field thing here in my response to the feedback, either. It was stated in the review. The reader didn't see red the minute I insinuated that Ocarina of Time and its successors were less than perfect can then reason that "Well, I never played Zelda for exploration or adventure," and it should be apparent at that point that 3D Dot Game Heroes won't please him as much as it did me. That's the sort of realization that should in turn help him to say "And since exploration and adventure aren't important to me, I should bump this score down a few pegs to figure out how well the game will or won't work for me."

I'm aware that some will find my very failure to bow before the altar of Ocarina of Time to be a major transgression. Many of those people never thought the old Zelda games were all that hot, though, and loved Ocarina of Time to pieces. They're not really who this game is for, though. So I had to decide who I wanted to tailor an extremely favorable review to: people who will absolutely love the game and should be told about it in no uncertain terms--terms that align with the score I ultimately awarded it--or people who I can still identify with (because I still enjoyed Ocarina of Time and agree with the assertion that despite any flaws, it remains one of the best adventure games ever created) but who require all sorts of "soft" words to accompany each claim I make. The latter wouldn't have resulted in a review that worked for anyone, because I wouldn't have been able to really communicate what makes the game compelling for its real audience in a convincing manner.

If some people come away from this review feeling that I'm an idiot who actually prefers the old Zelda titles to Ocarina of Time, well, I can live with that. Mostly because it's true.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: May 31, 2010 (11:34 AM)
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DEAD.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: LowerStreetBlues
Posted: May 31, 2010 (02:37 PM)
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Dude, I read your review before I commented. No need to explain it to me.

I still think it's drawing an unnecessary line in the sand between you and a potential audience before explaining a point and liable to make the point less well-received. I can think of the Hyrule landscape as magnificent (and it was in terms of scope and cinematic value for its time, for my money) or merely an overly large hub and still not agree with your introductory statement to the notion, that OoT "changed core values" and "traveled down the wrong road". If you really want to make that point, at least begin with some supporting information. And I'm not sure it's necessary to make that point to convince someone of 3DDGH's worth, and if not, such a blanket conclusion seems there just to rile.

The gist of your second paragraph is this: I like 3D Dot Heroes because it does what I thought Ocarina of Time and sequels should have been. That's a pretty cool perspective. You don't need to "bow before an altar" or suppose you understand the "core values" of a series or make broad statements that cast a revered game in a negative light to make that point. Ocarina of Time should not have to be a "featureless grassy expanse" -- especially to make a game over ten years later in conception, with that knowledge of ten years of innovations and mistakes made, on two generations newer hardware -- to make 3DDGH look lively. Or would you quote Super Mario Bros'. barren stretches to make Yoshi's Island look good? It's not wrong, just an unnecessary crutch to build on, and even worse is to focus solely on the worst points of a game so clearly just at a natural comparative disadvantage -- yet still wildly successful and acclaimed -- to build an argument in your favor. I think it'd be more effective to build the overworld description off of A Link to the Past -- since this is the most enchanting world since then(!) and it would help me as a reader understand if we like the same qualities rather than just share a mutual hatred of traveling vast expanses -- than using Hyrule Field as square one and focusing on the negative.

I'll shut up now. I really just like Ocarina of Time.


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: May 31, 2010 (04:23 PM)
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Just in case you hadn't realized as much (though I think you have), I didn't decide on a whim to include the Ocarina of Time comparisions, and I didn't include them to incite anger or to chase people away from the review. I included the reference because the most important thing for me with the review was to communicate that:

1) I love the old Zelda games with an immersive overworld.
2) I like Ocarina of Time but I really don't like the absence of a worthwhile overworld and I feel that it was the wrong direction to take.
3) 3D Dot Game Heroes includes a welcome return of that meaningful overworld experience.
4) In addition, 3D Dot Game Heroes gets everything else right that the Zelda games have done all along.
5) The combination of those elements and the inclusion of the overworld justify a 10/10 rating.
6) People who don't care as much about the overworld half of the Zelda experience (or who balk at my belief that the overworld is anywhere close to half of the Zelda experience) will not find 3D Dot Game Heroes to be a 10/10 game, because for those who aren't invested in half of its triumphs, 3D Dot Game Heroes is NOT a 10/10 game. It's just really, really good.

Without resorting to a numbered list like the above, I feel that my review effectively communicated that. In the process, it irritated some people who like Ocarina of Time even more than I do. My sense is that the angrier someone got at that reference, the less he is likely to enjoy 3D Dot Game Heroes, because the things that it does so well don't matter as much to those readers.

I apologize in the unlikely event that someone is genuinely offended by the suggestion, but I don't think that's the case. There's been rational discourse in response to the review and I appreciate it. I also plan to leave the references as they are because it does appear that they have been every bit as effective as I had hoped that they would be when I included them in the first place. I don't expect to win RotW this week (especially going up against Suskie's excellent take on Alan Wake), but I said what I needed to say to really explain why I scored the game the way that I did and why other people should give it a try. I'm very pleased with that.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Suskie
Posted: May 31, 2010 (11:59 PM)
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If it's any consolation, Jason, I was only kidding.

You make a good point, though. To me, Zelda is about the dungeons, which is why the first three games in the series don't resonate as strongly with me today as others do (Zelda II for other reasons as well, of course). In those games, by today's standards, the dungeons feel more labyrinthine in nature, whereas later games in the series (starting perhaps with Link's Awakening) they leaned more heavily in the direction of puzzles. And I'd easily say that Ocarina has, to this day, the best dungeons of any game in the series, which is one of the reasons why it remains my favorite.

So I'm still interested in 3D Dot Game Heroes but I think your point was communicated very clearly. It's just a point I don't agree with :)

Oh, and thanks for the comment about my recent review! Of course, this all rests on RotW still being alive, which I'm not sure it is.


You exist because we allow it. And you will end because we demand it.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: June 01, 2010 (02:56 PM)
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ROTW is happening! I'm doing it today. I'm just putting the finishing touches on the term paper and then I'm doing it.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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