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Do LoZ games get inflated review scores just because it has Zelda in the title?

Do zelda games get inflated review scores?


  • Total voters
    138
  • Poll closed .
I don't consider myself a Zelda fan. I buy the games, but I'm not in a rush to play them. I still haven't played botw.

However, when I do, in nearly all cases, I find them to be wonderful and fulfilling games.
 

conpfreak

Member
Yes they do, but with that said, pretty much all 3D Zelda games are some of the best games of their generation. Like Skyward Sword wasn't a 10/10, but it was better that most Action Adventure titles that dropped that gen if you could get past its flaws.
 
I voted yes. Most big games do these days. That’s why I don’t even pay attention to reviews and scores honestly. At the end of the day it is someone’s opinion.
 

Kataploom

Gold Member
Every single well positioned brand gets favored treatment, that's just how life works, every Sony game do too, that's what keeping quality over time rewards, it's not like people feel obligated to put scores to games they don't like, it's that game are great consistently and keep surpassing expectations.

Other franchises have more varied scores because they're not consistent or because while good, are not at the same level.

A mainline Zelda release is like the Olympics or FIFA World Cup level of event for the industry, it's even more symbolic for most Nintendo fans than a Mario game, you don't get that status because of some social pressure our magic name, you get it by keeping and increasing quality over Time.

I'm not exactly a Zelda fan and am still yet to play a below average, bad or even not great Zelda game.

Yes, Zelda doesn't get scores for being Zelda, it gets scores for being good, very VERY good.
 

bender

What time is it?
The Nintendo bump is a real phenomenon but it's not like other companies/properties get similar treatment.
 

hemo memo

Gold Member
Every single well positioned brand gets favored treatment, that's just how life works, every Sony game do too, that's what keeping quality over time rewards, it's not like people feel obligated to put scores to games they don't like, it's that game are great consistently and keep surpassing expectations.

Other franchises have more varied scores because they're not consistent or because while good, are not at the same level.

A mainline Zelda release is like the Olympics or FIFA World Cup level of event for the industry, it's even more symbolic for most Nintendo fans than a Mario game, you don't get that status because of some social pressure our magic name, you get it by keeping and increasing quality over Time.

I'm not exactly a Zelda fan and am still yet to play a below average, bad or even not great Zelda game.

Yes, Zelda doesn't get scores for being Zelda, it gets scores for being good, very VERY good.
Nothing compared to Nintendo in my opinion. Their worst game output is way above the industry average for quality. It is their development method I guess. The worst Zelda game by many is Skyward Sword which I enjoyed greatly so I have zero doubt that they will deliver on this.
 

Kataploom

Gold Member
Nothing compared to Nintendo in my opinion. Their worst game output is way above the industry average for quality. It is their development method I guess. The worst Zelda game by many is Skyward Sword which I enjoyed greatly so I have zero doubt that they will deliver on this.
I played SS recently on Switch for first time and thought it was a weird "8" game to be with "3" or less moments whenever you had the use the sword with any kind of precision... Hated every moment of the sword to the point I learned to fight without having to directly touch the enemies that guarded, the worst were the ones with electricity guarding... Fuck them every day for eternity, really really hated using those controls for anything involving combat on any level... Yet the game is an 8 to me because apart from some obligatory sections, I could manage to do without it and those moments still felt far from each other.

Definitely not an 9.3 game to me, but it's a fucking 10 for a couple of friends only God knows how, it's not like there's only hate for it, it's just not an almost flawless experience as other Zelda games to some of us, yet way better than most games out there.
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
You guys put way too much focus on “scores”. You either going to like the game or you wont regardless what “score” it gets.
 

Filben

Member
It's not only a Zelda thing. It's very often an emotional assessment because you cannot dettach your previous experience and memories from such a strong brand. They not only shape your expectations but also how you perceive a new game under the same name. It's very human I'd say.
 

SeraphJan

Member
The Nintendo bump is a real phenomenon but it's not like other companies/properties get similar treatment.
Nintendo games don't get bump in terms of numeric score, its just Zelda and sometimes Mario, other Nintendo franchise don't get this treatment, Xenoblade series never break 90, other franchise mostly hover around the 80s and sometimes even 70s, including Kirby, Donkey Kong, or even Pokemon, of course I'm talking about the newer ones.

However numeric critic score in general is not a objective enough of a measurement of video game's quality in the first place, the pool is way too small
 
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Dr.D00p

Member
Most of the gaming journalistic class were the 'Nintendo Generation' and have long let their childhood nostalgia turn a blind eye to the failings of the company and the stale nature of their software, resulting in many higher review scores than are merited.
 
Everything people don't like as much as others

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Stare-Bear

Banned
I think Nintendo get a pass for a lot of shit. Release “Super Mario 3D Collection” for £60 and its literally poor performing roms running on an emulator.
 

Paltheos

Member
As most games do, yes, plus an extra bump on top of that for brand recognition (although Breath of the Wild is really good imo). It's just the way of things - best not to dwell on it too hard.
 
As a big Zelda fan, I say yes. They are really good games, but each one is significantly higher rated than I would score them.

Stories are okay for the most part, music is hit and miss (the peaks are absolutely incredible though) and I’ve found myself becoming more and more disappointed with production values.

My favourite is Windwaker by quite a margin, but I do have a soft spot for the old handheld ones. Didn’t get on with BOTW and aren’t expecting TOTK to grab me either.
 
I just find it wierd that the most interesting ones to me were 2D. And that Capcom made Oracle of Seasons and Minish Cap, which are on par with the NES original and Link's Awakening in quality if not a little better executed.

The 3D ones are a lot of running around, solving children's puzzles, and using subpar combat mechanics every so often.
 
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Astral Dog

Member
They are actually great games

but sometimes, we could argue certain titles like Breath of the Wild are a tad overrated, just like any other games
 

Solidus_T

Member
I think that review scores for Zelda games are usually inflated, but the games are still some of the best. BoTW was a nod to all of the games influenced by Zelda, where it was then influenced by the same games that Zelda partially inspired. It's beautiful.
The gameplay loop of the games is usually very easy, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. I can fire up any Devil May Cry game or even Souls if I want better combat.
 

Kataploom

Gold Member
Of course, but not by a lot.

Basically subtract 1 point and you have the true score.
I mean, you can say the same about every single game, many of us just like the games as much as it's reflected in scores or even more

Non-Zelda fans hate this franchise so much its pathetic
Yes, they swear THEIR criteria is THE criteria, they think X zelda game is "just a 70 or max 80" therefore everyone else is wrong or are fanboys that even if they don't like the games they put 99 on it because they'd ashame daddy Nintendo and then should be put to do seppuku to clean their dishonore... Or something of that fashion, but NEVER that people actually liked the games that much.

Here some saying "Spirit Tracks can't be 87" but to me and everyone I know IRL the game feels like that, I've only seen internet people complaining about DS Zelda games, everyone else IRL I know loves them.
 
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YOU PC BRO?!

Gold Member
The Legend of Zelda games absolutely get favourable treatment by reviewers... and Nintendo games in general but that's besides the point. That's not to say it isn't one of the greatest game franchises of all time. I mean, look at the excitement surrounding almost every release. To stay this relevant for so long is an achievement almost no other franchise can claim. My largest gripe with Nintendo games in general is that they aren't penalised for their inadequacies the way similar games are. Take BotW... there was no character development or compelling story to speak of. The shrines were a grind and not rewarding compared to the dungeon formula employed in previous entries. The breakable weapon system was annoying and the game graphics were trash. All that being said the game was super fun and extremely innovative. While not my preference the open world was adapted so very well into the franchise. The series certainly has a charm that belies its flaws. If we look at the game objectively, BotW is a solid 8/10 if it was reviewed without the Zelda name on it. It isn't the best entry in its own franchise but is lauded as the single greatest video-game ever created. How does that make sense?
 

Codes 208

Member
Honestly the only one i can consider to be inflated are the ds games and skywards sword. Absolute trash tier. But the others? Like oot, mm, ww or alttp? Absolutely fuck no, they more than deserve those scores
 

tr1p1ex

Member
as a rule of thumb? No.

All the games with "Zelda in the title" are polished, well designed and rather fun even if the next one isn't always better than the previous one and even if they aren't your cup of tea.

Hard to believe maybe but BotW is the only new console Zelda game released in the past 11 years until next week.

.
 
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phant0m

Member
Yes they do, but with that said, pretty much all 3D Zelda games are some of the best games of their generation. Like Skyward Sword wasn't a 10/10, but it was better that most Action Adventure titles that dropped that gen if you could get past its flaws.
You talking about the gen that brought us Demon's/Dark Souls, Uncharted 2, and Arkham Asylum? Red Dead Redemption? Alan Wake? I know some of those lean a little more RPG than Zelda does but damn dude. Skyward Sword isn't even the best Zelda on that console. I thought I was wrong about my impressions so many years ago so I bought the HD remaster for Switch. Holy shit I was not wrong. It's a 7/10 game at best in any other series.
 
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Kataploom

Gold Member
The Legend of Zelda games absolutely get favourable treatment by reviewers... and Nintendo games in general but that's besides the point. That's not to say it isn't one of the greatest game franchises of all time. I mean, look at the excitement surrounding almost every release. To stay this relevant for so long is an achievement almost no other franchise can claim. My largest gripe with Nintendo games in general is that they aren't penalised for their inadequacies the way similar games are. Take BotW... there was no character development or compelling story to speak of. The shrines were a grind and not rewarding compared to the dungeon formula employed in previous entries. The breakable weapon system was annoying and the game graphics were trash. All that being said the game was super fun and extremely innovative. While not my preference the open world was adapted so very well into the franchise. The series certainly has a charm that belies its flaws. If we look at the game objectively, BotW is a solid 8/10 if it was reviewed without the Zelda name on it. It isn't the best entry in its own franchise but is lauded as the single greatest video-game ever created. How does that make sense?
It makes sense because other people actually think it's one of the greatest game ever. Game is 8/10 to you but most people actually think it's way above that, they're (including me, actually) enjoyed the game that much compared to other games. It has its flaws but the rest compensate enough to even consider those flaws most of the time.

I don't think it's hard to understand, honestly... As an example I gave above, me and others actually think Spirit Tracks is an 87 game as it's metascore shows or even better, people genuinely enjoy those games that much.
 

YOU PC BRO?!

Gold Member
It makes sense because other people actually think it's one of the greatest game ever. Game is 8/10 to you but most people actually think it's way above that, they're (including me, actually) enjoyed the game that much compared to other games. It has its flaws but the rest compensate enough to even consider those flaws most of the time.

I don't think it's hard to understand, honestly... As an example I gave above, me and others actually think Spirit Tracks is an 87 game as it's metascore shows or even better, people genuinely enjoy those games that much.

I very much enjoyed my time with BotW. I merely used it as an example of favourable treatment in the face of its deficiencies. Other action/adventure games are scored on metrics including story, character development and visuals. Other franchises may be judged unfavourably based on removal of older progression mechanics. What other franchises don’t have is the Zelda name and brand. Are games journalists so forgiving when it comes to the deficiencies of other titles? Would BotW score similarly with or without the Zelda name? I don’t think so. My point is that there should be a fair metric in attempting to score games across a genre. Nintendo games appear exempt to such a standard and still score highly regardless. If we could agree, for example, that story and visuals are a moderately important component of an overall score for an action/adventure game then how can we score BotW a 10 when it is obviously lacking in those areas?
 
Nintendo games a get bump. And get rewarded for doing more of the same, with a twist.
You could use the exact same argument for Sony first-party, or really any highly-regarded series when it gets a new installment. People can’t help but view it differently because when it’s not the first of something brand new, like a new IP, there are certain expectations and things about it that you can’t just delete from your brain. Things that you subconsciously use to judge the game by.

You may personally love a series or franchise, and due to that, you won’t be able to view it entirely objectively like someone who was reviewing Mario Odyssey 2 having never played much Mario until 2023. And then it would be the reverse problem, people would complain and say “Why is this person reviewing a Mario game if they’re not a Mario expert, or a Mario super fan?” Etc, etc.

It’s just human nature.
 
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Dynasty8

Member
Yes 100%.

If the game didn't have the Zelda name, characters, music, etc, it would have been hit hard much harder with things like framerate, annoying durability, enemy variety, similar looking dungeons, etc.

Nostalgia makes people disregard things.
 
Skyward Sword yes, all others no.
I’d lump Skyward Sword in with Twilight Princess, in that boat of overrated Zeldas. Although many SS reviews were fairly harsh, if you go back and look. Justifiably so. After such a long gap from TP in 2006, SS in 2011 was pretty disappointing for most Zelda fans. The sales reflect that. It didn’t perform super-well, by Zelda standards.

TP in my view was a cobbled-together mess of a game structure. *But many of the dungeons in TP were exceptional. An argument you could also make for some of the dungeons in SS, to be fair.
 
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Shifty1897

Member
I’d lump Skyward Sword in with Twilight Princess, in that boat of overrated Zeldas. Although many SS reviews were fairly harsh, if you go back and look. Justifiably so. After such a long gap from TP in 2006, SS in 2011 was pretty disappointing for most Zelda fans. The sales reflect that. It didn’t perform super-well, by Zelda standards.

TP in my view was a cobbled-together mess of a game structure. *But many of the dungeons in TP were exceptional. An argument you could also make for some of the dungeons in SS, to be fair.
I don't remember the reviews for TP, but I remember personally enjoying the game a lot. Really though, I just remember how good the dungeons were, so as you said, maybe the rest of the game wasn't as good as reviewers made it out to be.
 
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