Review by LukasOharo
"The Comparison Between Darksiders and Zelda"
Before I go into detail on this review, I'd like to say that I am a Zelda fan, and not a Darksiders fan. However, I'm not going to discuss (too much, or at least, in detail) about the Darksiders on it's own. Also, when talking about Zelda, it is referring to the 3D Zeldas, from OOT and onwards, since they are the ones which are most recognized as a link with Darksiders. So, here's the review:
First of all I'd like to state the obvious - the Darksiders uses generic weapons that are inspired/copied off Zelda. It uses similar weapons, and shares some similar game mechanics. However, to actually compare the weapons in the game, you have to consider that the fighting in Zelda and the fighting in Darksiders are completely different, if you ask me. The fighting in Darksiders is very much button bashing, and using combos that may seem all awesome but before you know it, they are old and boring and feel annoying as you are using them (I don't know if you experience this, but I do on any games where you get combos like this). Meanwhile, Zelda is much more strategical fighting, and uses it's equipment for greater use with more challenging puzzles and a better style of combat (I must apologize for my negativity towards Darksiders, sorry! (and sorry for using so many brackets!)). Also, Darksiders does use the skills on a much more powerful basis, which separates it from Zelda. The fighting can be more hectic, due to it's button bashing style of game play. I do believe that the strongest link between Darksiders and Zelda is in the weapons you acquire. Although, I never really seen a modern day gun in Zelda...
The next link: an obvious one, but a short one, your horse. So, you get a horse on Darksiders, and you get a horse on Zelda. But, that isn't exactly much of a link - I mean, they aren't the only two game with horses! This must be a very strong link, you know, it's not like War is one of the four horseman or anything of the sort. The use of the horses isn't exactly the same, even though they use a similar system. I mean, Epona isn't exactly the out of the ordinary horse, and no way near as fast. Now of course, you could say this is a link, but is it really worth it? It's not exactly the strongest of links, after all, the use of the horse in Darksiders is used for bosses, which Zelda doesn't use it for (or does it, and my memory has gone? Sorry if I am wrong...).
Maybe I lied when I said that the greatest link was the weapons. It is thought that the dungeons in Darksiders are very much based on those in Zelda. However, I can't really disagree with that. But then again, like in the matter of the horse, does there really have to be such a strong link just because they both have dungeons? After all, the Zelda dungeons are much more elaborate than those in Darksiders. Although, they are supposed to follow the same themes - but Darksiders is not exactly the friendliest looking world, so Zelda achieves more of a variety of dungeons in the themes. So, you can push a block around in Darksiders and Zelda? Well, you can do that in Tomb Raider. It's just common things you see in game puzzles (I'm not saying that they are just as ordinary as other games! I mean, why would I say that?). You get a heart at the end of a dungeon - well that's so coincidental! No, it's just giving you a reward.
Next subject, the money systems. How can someone say that they use similar money systems? In Darksiders, you "unlock" things, you don't buy them. And what do you unlock with them? Skills and upgrades. Rupees in Zelda are used for a much larger variety than that in Darksiders. Also, the skills that you do unlock on Zelda (this is probably mostly referring to Twilight Princess) are skills that aid you in a fighting, not just giving you a new way to kill things. Each skill has it's purpose - I know that you don't require them to complete things - that will assist you. Maybe a few are not completely needed, but they have much more purpose than the button bashing combos you unlock in Darksiders. Both of these games do have finishing moves, but yet again that isn't something we've never seen before.
Another link that you could associate with the two is the chests. But chests, seriously? In Zelda when you find a chest, you have the moment of suspense before you open it, and wonder what you get as you sit in content. In Darksiders, you find yourself open chests that give you what? Spirits. Little souls. They use chests completely differently. Now there is the map and compass collection that you get which I can't argue against. And I will not give you a "however, this is in other games", because nothing comes to mind. Although if you think about it - in fact, I'm not going to say anything more.
A final link I'll talk about before the comparisons that set them apart is the sidekick that Link and War have. Link has Navi (or whoever it is depending on the game). War has the Watcher. Let me just think about this - small little fairy with a squeaky voice which says "Hey! Listen!" and a meaningful fellow - that doesn't even like you - who follows you around. Yes, they are very similar. Let's elaborate a bit more - I don't see War's good companion hovering above people (that would be stupid, I know). Maybe Darksiders feels that a voiced guidance would be much more helpful, which is true. But, to be honest, Navi is the coolest character ever! Or not... But she's still fun.
Now let's get this more interesting, and do what people don't really want to do. The differences between the games. Differences that are significant. You could say that Darksiders isn't supposed to be a replica of Zelda, but I will still list them, for your satisfaction of boredom. So please, read on. Or if you are seriously bored, skip to the conclusion - it doesn't matter to me, I'm just trying to outline my point!. But please don't, I was only joking.
Let's take a look at the world of Darksiders, and the world of Zelda (Hyrule, for all those who'd like me to say that meaningful and lovely world ((I'd put Earth next to Darksiders, but how boring would that be?!)). Darksiders: Destroyed. Zelda: Awesome! Not much more I can put there, since it is obvious that the worlds are no way near the same in such context. Zelda has a variety of themes throughout the sections of the world, where as Darksiders is slightly stuck to it's post-apocalyptic style theme, not able to vary too much. The Darksiders world, if you ask me, isn't very open. Zelda has the free roam feel, even though that is not the intention of it. You have a nice, massive field to skip in. You can do the same in Darksiders, but where do you go? Zelda is full of side stories (I would say quests, but it doesn't exactly work like that) and mini-games. And something you should take interest in - it has people! What more can you ask for? Shops, interesting people who write words to you (you have to remember Zelda doesn't really have speech dialogue, which some people want, but I don't mind). This is very appealing to such a player who takes interest in these things (that was a stupid comment, yet again I have to apologize). Can you really think the Darksiders is so linked to Zelda when Darksiders is actually a very controlled game (maybe you don't realise it, but I have a phobia for anything which doesn't grant you freedom)? I hope not.
The next comparison: Zelda uses a story that is very original and self created, with it's own background and lore (I don't think I've ever used that word for Zelda before). Darksiders has an original and self created story, but copies off the nice story of four horrible horseman. I'm not saying that they can't think of their own story, because the whole idea of the game is from the basis of the Four Horseman. It is obvious that the stories are nothing alike, but of course, that would possibly be too extreme of a copy off Zelda (and then Nintendo would be very unhappy! Poor Shigeru Miyamoto...).
I don't really feel like continuing with more comparisons, I'd rather get to the final point. I'm only 17, and I don't feel this is a future for me. Or maybe it is? So, I'll just lay out some comparisons for you:
The power of Link and War, the in game time period and technology, the beauty of the worlds (of course Darksiders wins on graphics...), one is Japanese and the other is American (I personally think you can slightly see the Japanese style in Zelda, although it is only minor), the style of character you play, the variety that you have in each game and the fighting system. Surprisingly, my mind is starting to run out of things to say. My sincere apologies. But I think I've labeled enough, and I did say I'd stick to the things that are important... So I am going to have to apologize again. I know I do this too much, but I care for you (it's a shame I can't use mail-merge here). And again, sorry for using the brackets, it's just something I enjoy, at hear. Now I must stop apologizing...
So, in the end, you can clearly see that I defy the link between the games. However, I would probably say that this is because I don't want Zelda to be disgraced, and for Darksiders to use this as an icon for themselves. But, there are several things that Darksiders do seem to have used, which I can't simply look over. You could maybe say that these are the ones that people are on about, and most of what I have been saying is something no one even cared about. Although, I do believe that the creators of Darksiders possibly used the small links to Zelda as a way to make the game seem more awesome as it it. You probably disagree, but if you think about it, a Zelda fan who maybe doesn't want to use the Wii or a Nintendo system would be blackmailed into buying the game. However, if I do find that people disagree with me, I am dreadfully sorry (I thought I could survive without saying sorry!), and I hope you never hear from me again. But I do hope you agree. I will not deny that I don't really like Darksiders, but my view on gaming has adapted and changed throughout the years, and I go for games that I do feel are actually worth while, which I don't see in many games today. When I say this, it is mostly to these new franchises. However, I will always favor Nintendo over X-Box and PS3, and that is because, although the other two exceed in graphics, Nintendo has the best franchises ever. You can't go wrong with a bit of Zelda or Mario. Although, I am a PC gamer. Which does set a different view, and maybe why I don't take a liking to new games, since I play online games (not WoW! Not that I despise it, I just have a better game). But why am I dribbling on about my gaming tastes? This is off topic. And for the very last time I will apologize - sorry. So there's my review on the link between Darksiders and Zelda, I hope you liked it.
I am not sorry if you encounter any mistakes in this review, because I told you that I won't be sorry anymore. Thank you for your time.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 10/05/10
Game Release: Darksiders (EU, 01/08/10)
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