Nintendo has always been known for top tier games ranging from a multitude of genres such as classic adventure style gameplay with The Legend of Zelda or the grandfathers of platforming, Super Mario Bros. Nintendo has been the foundation for games and it looks like it’s not going to change with the first-year success of the Nintendo Switch. 

The success of the Switch has many reasons but there are two that stand out.

Super Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. With both games being held as the best of 2017, it’s no wonder why the Switch has sold 10 million units in its first year. Nintendo has always made great games, but these two were on another level. Game design has been the key and always will be when it comes to Nintendo games and that’s evident in Mario and Zelda. Nintendo took a look at its history to create such an innovative product. 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild opens Hyrule to new levels never seen before. The game begins at the Great Plateau, a perfect tutorial section filled with everything the game is going to throw at the player — hunting for animals to cook, finding all the abilities for the classic Zelda puzzle and surviving the drastic environment conditions.

After leaving the Great Plateau, the player is truly open to Hyrule. They are able to go to the open horizons filled with the Goron lava filled mountains, the deserted Hyrule Fields or the aquatic filled waterfalls of the Zorians. There isn’t a linear story holding the players hand, and for some Zelda fans that might be a problem, but it’s an open invitation for exploration and mystery. That is what the original The Legend of Zelda accomplished too. The open nature of Zelda games has been gone for recent entries in the open world space like Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess and Wind Waker. What Breath of the Wild and The Legend of Zelda have in common is the drop-in nature of its gameplay. It's an open world with an endless amount of possibilities at the players disposal. That’s what gave Nintendo the edge for their upcoming console. 

Even after grabbing old ideas from past installments, Nintendo found new ideas for the series that’ll hopefully be staples in the franchise like their predecessors. Nintendo has always believed gameplay is king and proves once again by bringing back core gameplay mechanics for their origins. There’s nothing wrong with bringing gameplay from the past if it works in today's console generation. Nintendo has achieved that and doesn’t seem folding anytime soon. If Nintendo keeps this going, it’s not just going to be a great year for Nintendo, but a great year for gaming. This is not just proven advice for Nintendo, but for all developers. Look back at the drawing board, and see what made Zelda or Mario shine in the first place. It may just be hidden in plain sight.


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