The problem with Water Dungeons…

I went on a bit of a hiatus with Ocarina of Time 3D, mainly because other games that I hadn’t played before got in the way. Or, in the case of Star Fox 64, games that I probably have more fondness for. Now I’m trying to wrap it up this week, and I just made it through the Water and Shadow dungeons.

You might’ve heard the fixes they applied to the Water Dungeon. Your boots are now an item, rather than gear, so you can hot-key it to slip them on and off. They also made some clearer visual cues to the water levels. Now, these are both welcome fixes. But, the Shadow dungeon arguably has the exact same problem, needing to switch on the Hover boots, and it hasn’t gotten nearly as much hate over the years. I realized in this play-through that the tedious boot-swapping was not the major problem of the Water Dungeon.

The major problem is: it’s a poorly-designed dungeon.

The whole thing is meant to be done in sequence. It demands to be done in sequence. You lower the water level, then mid-level it, then raise it to the highest point. In an ideal run, you would probably only have to do this twice, maybe three times. But Zelda puzzles rely a lot on trial and error, entering one room and then another to find the right one. So unless you’re some kind of Zelda prodigy, you’re probably repeating this cycle 4 or 5 times. Every time you miss a room or do something out of sequence, back to the beginning with you.

That’s not to say the Shadow Dungeon doesn’t have its problems. It’s basically a straight line, and the items (especially the Lens) felt less empowering and more like the game had hobbled you and then given you a crutch. It’s only necessary because they broke your legs first.

In other games, I finished up Renegade Ops, and that’s just a big ball of fun wrapped up in a crunchy shell of crazy. And I got Killzone 3 on the cheap from Gamefly, so I’ll be cracking into that shortly. Gears of War 3 is on the way (rental) too.

I’m officially two-for-two in my Fantasy team. Whooo! That makes the baffling defeat against the Titans a little better.

  • I have to imagine in the pantheon of games that were hard to localize for Japan, Scribblenauts may be among the top ones. The task had to basically be “translate the entire dictionary.”
  • I don’t think Dan Amrich is totally off-base about gamers’ sense of entitlement, but I have to wonder if his brusk approach puts people off. Being in PR generally means treading lightly, and he just doesn’t do that.
  • Sony’s mistake, not ours! But still, disappointing news. If you, you know, missed out on one of the other dozen ways to play these fantastic games.
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