2D Zelda Games Vs 3D Zelda Games

The Legend of Zelda games have been rendered in 2D and 3D. Is one better than the other?

The 2D Zelda games include the original Legend of Zelda as well as those Capcom-developed Zelda games on the Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance. With The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the games were rendered using 3D character models.

"Until Ocarina of Time, we had only episodes in two dimensions," says Zelda series developer Eiji Aonuma in a recent interview. "In this sense, this episode was for us a huge challenge since it was made entirely in 3D."

"The traditional 2D is limited in terms of display and the range of emotions expressed by a character is quite limited," Aonuma continues. "But with the 3D and the many opportunities it offered, it was possible to imagine them tons of expressing feelings."

Until the end of the title's development, Nintendo continually asked themselves whether or not players found it convincing.

But does that mean Aonuma thinks 3D rendering is better than 2D?

"Normally, 3D offers many more possibilities," he adds. "But should that mean we always prefer the 3D over 2D? I do not think like that, quite the opposite. The 2D possesses qualities and a charm that is not found necessarily in 3D."

Both 2D and 3D have their pluses and minuses, Aonuma concludes, and it's up to the developers to pick one depending on what they want to express.

So which do you prefer: 2D Zelda games or 3D Zelda games?

The Legend of Zelda Manga Interview Translated [Zelda Informer via GoNintendo][Pic]


    I like the current system: a 3d series and a 2d series.

    Personally, my favourite games were Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, however I didn't like Twilight Princess. For me, I guess, the dimensions are second to the feel: Twilight Princess was too dark, and I just feel that the Wind Waker series is becoming perhaps too lighthearted.

    Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask were light, but twisted. It was a brilliant feel that hasn't been replicated since the 64.

      Gotta agree. Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask have been my absolute favourite Zelda games, Majora's Mask in particular. Twilight Princess didn't even come close to how epic those two were, and I doubt that any future Zelda game will be able to recapture the feeling of those two games. I'm not sure what it is about them, there's just some hidden quality that makes them awesome. For whatever reason, I think the ocarina had a big part to play in that.

        I think you have to look at Twilight Princess in its own merits.

        OOT and MM were both something completely new when they came out and many games have been influenced by them between then and TP there by the wow factor of the game and how you feel about it would be lessened as its largely the same as what you've played before.

        thats my opionion

    2-D zelda is my favourite! gogogo.
    Why? Because top-down is more fun than over the shoulder if you ask me.

    I absolutely hate toon link. why dumb something down when there is no need?

      how exactly was Wind Waker/Phantom Hourglass 'dumbed down'?

        he means the art design, and I agree. I couldn't get into the Toon Link games at all, I hated the tone and atmosphere.

        I wouldn't use the term dumbed down, but I have to say, they are a bit too... jolly... for my liking.

        I think that since the 64, with the entire 'split timeline' thing, Nintendo has taken it too literally: they've made a dark series and a light series. Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.

        Which, unfortunately, is why I doubt we'll ever get another OoT or MM: They were the crux of the two timelines, now split until the unforeseeable future.

    Zelda will always be the best in 2D to me. Ocarina of Time is a good game, but will never be as epic as what Link to the Past is. That remains my favorite Zelda game. I also don't know why more games havn't followed in Zelda 2's footsteps of being side scrolling. That game was bloody awesome.

    I hope they go back to the 2D style, and make the game bloody huge. After all look what LttP did when it was only 2 or 3mb. I doubt they will ever make another game like that though because in the gaming world, going back to what made the franchise classic in the first place is considered bad. People would complain to hell that "IT'S ONLY 2D!!!11!oneoneone"

      Have you ever heard of New Super Mario Bros Wii

    Well I consider Ocarina of Time to be the best game of all time, so I'd have to say 3D.

    I like 2D and 3D, if its a Zelda game I'll inevitably come to love it. Although more of my favourites in the series are in 3D, I'd have to say that the 2D ones have a charm and vibrancy that couldn't be replicated to 3D.

    For the record my top three are Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time then Link to the Past.

    Why all the Twilight hate? (okok I know it's not hate) Being able to aim the bow and hookshot with the Wii remote was ace if you ask me.

    BTW Am currently in the middle of my first play through of Wind Waker. There are some nice concepts, but it's just too sparse a landscape!

    My favoutire Zelda is Twilight Princess. I loved the art direction and Midna is probably my favourite character (followed by Linebeck)
    However, I agree. 2D and 3D both has it's good points and it's bad points. I think it depends on the game.

    Definitely 2D. Especially ALttP and LA. Hopefully they decide to make another 2D Zelda at some point.

    I've finished all 2D Zeldas (except 2) but I haven't been able to really get into any of the 3D ones, they just feel wrong and to me OoT was actually quite boring *hides*

    I've enjoyed all the Zelda's now while I didn't like the Celda art, the gameplay was solid.

    I think they need the graphics of Twilight with a bit more light.

    I close my eyes and think of Zelda I always see a mix up of Zelda 1 (NES) and OoT.

    link to the past was the best zelda game to date - period.

    but i prefer the 3d environments and the challenges they present

    as for artistic style - theyve all had their merits. i personally enjoyed windwaker, sure, it was odd, didnt seem right after OOT and MM... but it definetly had its place, and the animation style was truly quite enjoyable when you got into it

    Both are good. Both have their benefits, but I'd have to choose 3D because it offers a whole different way of looking at the game.

    Water Temple (one of my fav Zelda dungeons ever) is a good example as one that requires the extra scale and wouldn't work in 2D. There are numerous other examples in 3D Dungeons such as ledges, hookshot etc where 2D wouldn't work.

    I found myself directionless more often in 2D.
    The 3D games were more fun to explore I found.
    Favourite games were Twilight Princess, OoT, Phantom Hourglass and I'm currently playing through Spirit Tracks.

    I hope they keep up the 2 series' as they're currently doing. 2D portables and big epic 3D console titles.

    As a Zelda Zealot (ehehehe), they all have a special place imho. LttP, LA, and OoT being my favorites based on the whole package, not just the perspective the game is presented in.

    Flashy graphics are all well and good, but if you forget the gameplay and story...what's the point?

      oh, and when i say "story" while referring to Zelda, i use the term loosely. :)

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now