Getting an education

TL;DR -- Zelda games good - Must simplify design -- 

Funny story, I set out to make a hybrid of classic Zelda games and DooM, without actually having played through any of the classic Zelda games.

As a kid, I had my trusty NES, and the only Zelda game I ever had was Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which doesn't quite fit the bill as far as top-down games are concerned.
I rarely got to play the original Legend of Zelda, mostly when at friends' houses, and I personally never took a liking to it back in the day, I sincerely preferred Zelda II (which sounds like heresy to Zelda fans nowadays).

In any case, now I have an old second-hand Gameboy Mico (GBA) I've been slowly adquiring games for, which is harder than it seems, not because the games are not to be found, but because the collector's market results in obsecenely marked-up prices.

So I finally got my hands on two Zelda titles: A Link to the Past and The Minish Cap.

I've played all the way through A Link to the Past and quite enjoyed it. I'm even considering writing up a review or something. In any case, it did give me a lot of perspective regarding my current struggle to develop my silly little game.
I'm currently playing through The Minish Cap, and I'm linking it a lot too, although with some reservations (yes, the written review idea might be worth it). Still, it really is helping me shape up some ideas.

Funny fact, I originally used Link's Minish Cap sprites as a basis for the design of my own sprites!

As for the original Legend of Zelda, I got it too (classics series for the GBA) but... There's something about it that just doesn't engage me, and after wandering around for a bit I tend to lose interest.

Additionally, I also played through Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, which, despite being an RPG, has a level design pretty much exactly as I intend my game's design to be, and I got to experience the confusion such layout generates first hand.

I generally have a tendency to over-engineer, and this project has greatly suffered from it. After playing this games, I'm of a mind of restricting myself to replicating what these games can do, and then look into complicating matters. You know, the advice everyone gives you when you start out... The advice even I give out to others. 

Self-criticism is hard.

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