mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Defying Expectations - Tales and Zelda

You’ve probably heard about it by now, but there’s a new Zelda game out! Breath of the Wild is a wonderful game that has been an absolute pleasure to play and experience. While thinking about what I should say about Zelda, surprisingly the Tales series came to mind! Why?

Protaganists from the Tales series

I see the Tales series as a consistent deliverer of JRPG experiences. Some are better than others (and some are worse) but generally I can pick up a Tales game and know that I’ll get a healthy serving of JRPG from the game; I’ll get a cast of interesting characters, a plot to flesh them out and keep me hooked, and plenty of things to level and power up.

Reflecting upon my expectations with the Zelda series, I realized those expecations were very similar to my expectations from the Tales series. I approach a Zelda game expecting puzzles, heart containers, a Master Sword, cuccos, and boss battles in a grand adventure to once again save Zelda and destroy Ganon. Each game delivers some interesting new mechanics, but it’s usually a play on the same formula.

Breath of the Wild upended those expectations. I applaud Nintendo for taking the risk of breaking from a working formula and I’m so excited about the product that resulted from that deviation. Playing Breath of the Wild took me back to when I first started playing Xenoblade Chronicles: a feeling of excitement that I, admittedly very jadedly, thought was no longer attainable in adulthood.

If you’re a fan of the previous Zelda entries, play this game! If you’re not a fan of previous Zelda entries, play this game! If you’re not even into video games, consider playing this game! If you’ve already played this game and want to play more amazing games – with a little bit of JRPG mixed in – check out the Xenoblade Chronicles games!