I’ve been away. But I haven’t been idle.
Because of the move, I’ve had to make do with my consoles. That hasn’t really impacted the amount of gaming I’ve been doing or anything. Just given me the opportunity to play some games that have been a bit farther down my backlog. Games like Zelda 2.
Zelda 2 is famously difficult. Zelda 2 is not a good game. By any means. Even for its time, it wasn’t a good game. Sure, it has some interesting things with the shield mechanics and defensive combat, but beyond that, it’s pretty much just a cut-rate Castlevania. Beyond the difficulty, Zelda 2’s controls and mechanics are just poor, and often at odds with themselves. There was never a point in playing it where I actually enjoyed the game.
I just finished the whole blasted thing.
And that’s left me wondering why. I’ve enjoyed some hard games in my time. The fun I’ve been having with Dark Souls is quite well documented. I’ve got some fond, fond memories of the Ninja Gaiden series. And yet, I’ve never enjoyed games just because they’re difficult. They’ve always had something worthwhile underlying it. Zelda 2 didn’t, and thus was never enjoyable to me. But I do feel quite fulfilled at having finished it.
There’s a lot of things you can get out of a video game. A good plot. Immersion. Exploration. And, such as in this case, accomplishment. Games don’t necessarily need to be fun to give a good experience.
And that’s where I’m at with Zelda 2. It’s not a fun game. But in having cleared the Great Palace, saved Hyrule, and established myself as a real hero, I have conquered a challenge that has been haunting people since before my childhood. And that is worthwhile too.