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Playing Zelda – When you have no time

It was not too long ago that I posted about fitting video games into a busy lifestyle. From the post it could be gathered that playing Zelda is no longer a possibility for us parents of young children.

However some new insights have occurred to me, and I’ve been successfully playing along Zelda: The Ocarina of Time for the N64 for the past few weeks, and making descent progress. This suggests that games which are traditionally dialog dependent – meaning you can’t play them without knowing specific details about the world – are not necessarily out of reach.

The last time I posted about strategies for gaming inside of 30 minute windows, I mentioned that we have to let go of our old-time desires of playing epic RPG’s and start pursuing games with less story dependence.

Although I still support this notion to some extent, I failed to consider a glorious tool, that can aid us in our desires to embark on treacherous quests, explore dungeons and smite the enemies who stand before us, inside our 30-40 minute “play time”.  The frigging internet!

Yup, I don’t know why it slipped my mind, but I completely forgot that it is entirely  possible to use strategy guides to quickly figure out where you left off, and where you have to go next – no aimlessly running around, talking to NPC’s required!

Before I carry on, I still agree with my stance in the fact that there are many great games out there which won’t make you feel like a “casual gamer”, while still being easy to pick up and play extensively in short game sessions. That being said, one of the things I miss most about playing video games as a kid/adolescent is role playing games. So to come up with a few strategies and tips to be able to fit games like Final Fantasy, Zelda, or Phantasy Star into my week is pretty exciting for me!

Let’s Begin.

Tip # 1 – Pick a game that’s popular.

I’d have to say this is just from my personal experience and it may not be entirely accurate, but as a rule of thumb, I’d say that the more popular, and the older the game is, the more likely there is a fully dedicated wiki for the game. This makes pretty much any game from the Zelda franchise a perfect choice.

There are so many RPG’s to choose from, many which have not had the attention from the general gaming public, so if you’re hoping to play an old favourite that no one has heard of, make sure to do a little research into the tutorials/guides you find. The web is full of incomplete efforts, and it would be such a piss off to get half way through a game and find out that the guide is missing important steps, or was just poorly put together.

Tip # 2 – Use it, don’t abuse it.

Remember, we still want the experience of actually playing a game. If you get distracted by the guide, and try to use it to help you beet the game to 100% completion, you might as well just be watching a Let’s Play on YouTube.

Use the guide so that you don’t have to worry about talking to everyone to figure out what the hell is going on in your game, so you can get to real game play. But don’t over use it.

We’re really using it as a shortcut to progressing the story, but not as a means to uncovering all the secrets. Once I figure out where I’m going, I typically won’t even glance at the guide until the next time I sit down to play.

Tip # 3 – You don’t have to commit every day.

One of the downfalls we are overcoming by using an online tutorial or guide, is having to play the game constantly and regularly. RPG’s tend to be hard to pick up after you’ve gone a week or more without it. Let the guide handle that for you, it’s exactly what we’re using it for. It should only take you 2-3 minutes to figure out exactly what you should be doing next, if the guide is well organized.

Well, that’s the end of tonight’s blog, and it’s also the end of my beer.



Featured image attributed to daveoratox under CC license.


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