The Legend of Zelda is one of the greatest series in videogame history, with nearly every game being a classic in its own right. So, mostly just to get the internet really upset about something, we asked you to vote for your favorite Zelda game of all time. And after nearly 200,000 votes (you can see the full results here), you (well, a bunch of people who voted, which may or may not include you) have decided the top 10 games in the Legend of Zelda series, which has done pretty well for a series starring a kid who never speaks and doesn't even have his name in the title. So take a break from trying to figure out how the new Link to the Past game will affect the Zelda Timeline and read about the top 10 Zelda games of all-time.
10. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Somewhat narrowly beating out the Oracle games (also developed by Capcom), comes the Honey, I Shrunk the Link entry of the Zelda series, The Minish Cap. The basic twist of the game was Link could put on a hat that turned him into an ant-sized hero as he went around searching for medallion halves and doing somersaults as he rolled around Hyrule.
The game is notable for being the first entirely new Zelda game produced for the Game Boy Advance, and one of the few Zelda games to be developed by someone other than Nintendo. Other than that, The Minish Cap is mostly just a colorful and well-made entry in the Zelda series with some solid puzzle-solving, although a Rick Moranis cameo would have been totally welcome.
Romance in video games: It makes us laugh, it makes us cry, it makes us scratch our heads and sort of sit back and look confusedly at the screen. Mostly the last one. There have been a lot of horrible romance subplots in video games, but here's our tribute to the worst.
8. Ryu Hayabusa and Irene Lew (Ninja Gaiden)
Ninja Gaiden for NES is a ludicrously hard side scroller with a ninja protagonist named Ryu whose romance starts when he sees a young girl and says, "Just a girl. Get out of here!" Ninja Gaiden comes from the era of dialogue that could only be produced by Koreans translating Japanese games into English without understanding either language. Not only does Irene shoot Ryu at one point, but they only end up together because Ryu proclaims that he'll be taking her as his payment for saving the world. Luckily, she's inexplicably aroused by this, so they kiss and sort of hold each other while they conclusively watch the sun rise. Even though she still probably wants to kill him.
7. AltaÃ¯r ibn-La'Ahad and Maria (Assassin's Creed 2)
The unfolding of this relationship can barely even be called a romantic subplot it's more like an afterthought. It's like Ubisoft realized two weeks before the game shipped out that the concept of DNA memory (and therefore the entire franchise) depends on AltaÃ¯r reproducing, even though he's a combination between ninjas and monks, the two most celibate professions in the ancient world. So they threw in a level where AltaÃ¯r chases a mysterious cloaked figure to the top of a tower, finds out it's a beautiful woman, and then has sex with her. On a tower, without a single word of foreplay or even warning, and with both of them wearing all their clothes. Then AltaÃ¯r uses his assassin skills to promptly get the hell out of there, because assassins make terrible dads.
Videogame advertising should be almost impossibly simple: all anyone needs to hear is that it's a videogame, it's fun to play, and that's it. "Videogames are fun, you should buy this one because look how fun it is!" Nothing more is necessary. But maybe it's because of the utter simplicity needed that marketing for videogames gets so weird to set your videogame apart, maybe the ad should be a surreal journey into a bizarre, trippy, nonsensical world?
The answer to that question is "no, really you shouldn't do that, that's just confusing", but don't tell the gaming industry that, because they're pretty committed to it. Here are the worst videogame commercials of all-time.
20. Sega CD
You know when you're watching TV and a guy comes on and starts berating you about something and you have an IQ of 35 so you're incapable of speaking other than grunts and well, relatability is probably not the goal here. The goal is to show how the weird, bad graphics of the Sega CD will cause a wind tunnel in your home and briefly turn you into a skeleton and finally turn you into the Joker. "Sega CD" is a pretty disappointing answer to how he got those scars.
Though we stand behind our first tribute to snow levels, we realize we overlooked a bunch of really great ones. So here's part 2! Enjoy our second tribute to the greatest wintery levels in videogame history. And if we missed one, maybe we'll make a part 3!
But don't count on it.
Few games seem so easily adaptable to the videogame world as Scott Pilgrim probably because Scott Pilgrim itself was so deeply influenced by videogames. Whether you think the Michael Cera film version was awesome or the awesomest (it's actually a little of both), it's hard to deny how great this throwback, beat-em-up game was and this level was a pretty fantastic introduction. It's games like this that make me wish my girlfriend had evil exes for me to defeat. And that people I beat up would turn into coins, instead of assault charges.
Ice Man may look like a relatively nonthreatening, slightly-deformed, neckless eskimo, but looks can be deceiving in the world of Mega Man. His stage is one of the most challenging in the original much moreso than the barely-not-copyright-infringing Bomb Man or the effective-against-Paper-Man Cut Man. The most challenging aspect was that nagging question: Why are there frozen-over palm trees in the background? Was it a bold statement about climate change, or did Capcom just try to lazily re-use some beach level sprites? You be the judge.
Life. Death. For all things, there is a season. Now you bask and frolic in the light of the sun, but in time, you, too, will be commended to the earth. Unless you're in a comic book, in which case, you'll probably just take a quick dirtnap and get back on your feet in no time, so long as yours is a commercially viable series (and sometimes even if it's not). For superheroes, returns to the world of the living range from triumphant to shockingly dumb to outright ridiculous. Here are the 7 most ridiculous resurrections in comic book history.
7. Aunt May
In the Hitchcock film Psycho, mild-mannered Norman Bates lives alone in an old motel with his elderly mother, who commits horrible murders. By the end of the film, it's been revealed that Norman's mother has been dead for a decade, and the 'Mother' committing the murders is actually an aspect of his fractured psyche; he dresses like her, carries on conversations with her, and stole and preserved her corpse so she would never truly die. This is not unlike Peter Parker's relationship with his Aunt May, who has been very nearly murdered so many times it's a miracle she never built up an immunity. Most recently, she was shot in a failed hit by the Kingpin. Seeing his aunt dying again, Peter literally made a deal with the devil: In exchange for the life of an old, old woman in perpetual danger, Peter agreed to retroactively give up his marriage and entire romantic history with his bombshell supermodel wife. Time was turned back, allowing Peter to spend many more blissful years with his aunt's embalmed corpse. Of course, this is only slightly more ridiculous than the last time Aunt May died, at which point she turned out to have been a surgically-altered actress all along, because that's a thing that happens.
Article 8 Middle Earth PSAs
A MacGuffin was originally a film concept, defined as "an element that drives the plot of a work of fiction." Basically, they are cheap ploys that make a hero want to do something, and they've never enjoyed more prevalence than in the video game industry. Why do you want that princess, star, or weapon you can't even use? Because you do, you benighted controller monkey! Here's our tribute to the MacGuffins that deserve recognition for being awesome, terrible, ironic, or just confusing.
6. Triforce (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
The Triforce was left behind by three goddesses (supposedly) and has the power to grant wishes, but only to a person with equal measures of courage, power, and wisdom. This seems to be one of those built-in after school special messages, as someone who already has all three qualities wouldn't have any trouble getting anything they wanted. Or even if you just had power, that's probably enough to put you on the road to success sans a set of wish-granting golden triangles. Of course, if you have no wisdom, power, or courage, presumably that's still equal measures, so we can only guess that Link is forever on a quest to prevent stupid, cowardly, unimportant people from touching the Triforce.
What would have happened without it: Ganon would have been forced to ruin lives by some other, less elegant method, like forming a standing army of desert people who are not so afraid of Master Swords, pretty ponies, and wind instruments. This situation would be moderately less difficult to navigate than the Water Temple.