The Legendary World of Zelda (Book) Review
A missed opportunity to provide some real insight into one of the most influential game series of all time.
The Legendary World of Zelda is subtitled The Ultimate Unofficial Guide, but that description is pure hyperbole. Written by Game Informer contributor Kyle Hillard, the book is a chronical of every Legend of Zelda game released in the series' 30 year history. A chapter is devoted to each title in the series that gives an overview of each one, summarizes its storyline, and touches on a few of the unique items or gameplay that were featured in the game. Calling the chapters 'chapters' is rather generous, though. Each runs from four to six paperback-sized pages with double spaced text, and half of that space is covered with half-page sized screen captures. The content in these chapters doesn't provide any knowledge or insight that can't be readily found on the internet, and, in fact, the Wikipedia article for The Legend of Zelda game provides a far greater wealth of information than you can find in this book.
The book adds a few chapters towards the end covering Zelda-inspired spinoffs and knockoffs, but only cursory information and a picture are included for each. There were a couple of products that I haven't seen before included in here. The final two chapters, The Influence of The Legend of Zelda and The Future of the Legend of Zelda, are both missed opportunities to provide insight on the impact of the series on gaming and pop culture in general. The former is merely a loose collection of other game titles accompanied by a picture and a short paragraph or two that tells you less about the game than you can read from their product descriptions online. The latter is primarily a cursory look at what's expected from the next game in the series.
The lack of content could have been at least bolstered by an interesting writing style; witty, insightful, entertaining, anything but what we have here. The book is written in a dry and perfunctory manner, making it read more like a term paper assignment than a book written by an industry insider looking at one of the most influential game series of all time. A book like this should be something that holds a place of honor on a gamer's bookshelf or that is left out on the table in front of the gaming TV. Instead it's something that you'll flip through once and then never look at again.
Transmitted: 3/26/2019 6:38:56 PM