2011 holiday releases and no preorder for Skyward Sword

Legend of Zelda Skyward SwordWe’re just a few weeks away from the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which in turn caps a pretty amazing holiday buying season for console games. Gears of War 3, Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3, Modern Warfare 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, and Skyward Sword are all being released within just weeks of each other.

Every year, more and more huge titles are crammed into the holiday schedule, grade inflation becomes rampant, wallets are emptied, and I seem to miss out on more and more games. But this year, I’m missing out on them mostly because I just don’t have any time to play games these days. I’d love to play Arkham City and give Battlefield 3 a try, but I’ve only managed to play four whole hours of Professor Layton and the Last Specter in the past week, which is why our content has been a bit dry lately.

Which leads me back to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, I’m usually frothing at the mouth for the latest adventure of Link, but through a combination of Twilight Princess still stinging and just being sick of the Wii, I’m not preordering the game. I have preordered every console Zelda game since Ocarina of Time back in 1998.

Granted, in 13 years, Skyward Sword is only the fifth proper console Zelda game (not counting random crossbow games and compilations), so this post is about to become somewhat nostalgic as I look back at them.

Ocarina of Time was one of the first games I ever preordered. Heck, before Ocarina, you didn’t need to preorder games. You just walked into Wal-Mart and bought it. Release dates were iffy, but if you called and bothered the electronics department enough you would get it. But Ocarina offered a special gold cartridge if you preordered, and the local EB Games also tossed in a T-shirt and fancy gold bag to carry the game home in. I picked up my copy on November 23, 1998 and never wore the crappy T-shirt.

I preordered and bought Majora’s Mask the same day I stood in line with a friend so he could buy a PlayStation 2. Yes, Nintendo chose to combat the release of a major system with a Zelda game. Everyone in line was there for a PS2 so the employees were rather annoyed when I asked for a Nintendo 64 game. My win though, Majora’s Mask is one of my favorite games of all time.

I was in college when The Wind Waker was released, so I preordered it at a Gamestop across town that I had to take a bus to pick the game up. I have a special place in my heart for that game, it has its flaws but it is so darn charming.

Twilight Princess was a Wii launch game, so I sat in the bitter cold (twice! once to actually place the preorder) in Minnesota to pick up the console and game. I plowed through the title pretty quickly, was greatly annoyed at the route the plot took, took a look at the Wii release schedule, and promptly sold the game and console before Christmas of 2006. I own a Wii again, but haven’t played it in nearly a year.

As for Skyward Sword, it looks like a nice combination of The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, but I don’t have a lot of interest in playing that. Maybe my opinion will change as the reviews roll in, but for now, my streak of preordering console Zelda games is over.